As we say, food is the soul of any successful party, and planning a delicious, healthy, and economical meal that will make everyone happy can be an intimidating task.
Considering the likes and dislikes of every guest and then deciding the menu can be a costly affair. I am sure being a nice host, you would definitely won't like to disappoint your guests. So, here are some inexpensive party food ideas that will make you sail smoothly out of those tough situations.
Points to Remember
- Once the day and time of the party is decided, figure out how many people you are inviting.
- Plan the menu keeping in mind your budget and preferences of your family and close friends.
- Decide whether you will be preparing the food all by yourself or will be hiring a caterer.
- Start the preparations as early as possible so that later when no time is left, you won't have to compromise on the quality as well as the cost of the food items.
- While purchasing food items, stick to your budget and try not to exceed it.
- The next step, which is the most important one, is to use simple and good recipes that will not only cut down on your budget, but will also make your evening memorable.
List of Food Ideas
- 1 (8 oz) package refrigerated crescent rolls
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 (1 oz) package Ranch-style dressing mix
- ½ cup chopped red bell peppers
- ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
- ½ cup fresh broccoli, chopped
- ½ cup chopped green onions
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375º F, meanwhile, roll out the crescent rolls onto a large non-stick baking sheet.
- Stretch and flatten the rolls to form a single rectangular shape on the baking sheet, and then bake for 10 - 13 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.
- In a bowl, mix the cream cheese and ½ of the ranch dressing mix.
- Now, spread this mixture over the cooled crust and garnish with carrots, red bell pepper, broccoli, and green onions on its top.
- Refrigerate for an hour or so and cut in to bite-size squares before serving.
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans; drain and reserve liquid
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 ½ tbsp tahini
- ¾ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp paprika
- 10 Greek olives
- In a food processor, add garlic, black beans, 2 tbsp reserved liquid, 2 tbsp lemon juice, tahini, ½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, and process until smooth.
- Add additional seasoning and liquid if needed, and garnish with paprika and Greek olives.
- 8 boneless, skinless, chicken thighs (or 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- ¼ cup tamari sauce or soy sauce
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 mangoes, peeled, pitted, and cut into ¼ inch cubes
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 - 2 jalapeno chilies, seeds and membranes removed, minced
- 3 green onions, finely sliced
- 2/3 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, stems discarded, coarsely chopped
- Wash the chicken thoroughly under cold running water and pat dry with a paper towel.
- In an oven-proof baking dish, mix the remaining ingredients, put the chicken and turn several times to coat it well with the ingredients.
- Cover with aluminum foil, and allow the chicken to marinate for 2 - 4 hours in the refrigerator.
- In a mixing bowl, combine all the salsa ingredients, mix thoroughly and keep it aside.
- Keep the covered baking dish in an oven and bake at 375º F for approximately 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked throughout.
- While serving, spoon a generous serving of salsa onto plate besides the cooked chicken.
- 1 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (sweetened), coarsely chopped
- ⅓ cup water
- 3 tbsp packed light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup pitted dates, coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp vanilla
- 1 large egg
- Vegetable oil cooking spray
- 1 tsp confectioners sugar for dusting
- In a saucepan, boil water and dates and then transfer them to a food processor.
- Add cocoa powder and chocolate and blend well.
- After a few minutes, add brown sugar, egg, vanilla, baking soda, and a pinch of salt, blend again until smooth. Finally, put flour and blend until incorporated.
- Spray muffin cups with cooking spray and spoon the batter into cups, dividing equally.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 325° F for 18 - 22 minutes or until a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool down, and then, before serving, sprinkle their tops lightly with confectionery sugar.
I am sure the aforementioned recipes will not only curb your expenses; but being delicious and quick to prepare, they will also save your preparation time and enable you to spend quality as well as quantity time with your family and friends at the party.