Great food makes a get-together even more memorable, and an array of finger foods can please a crowd. Easy to nibble on while sipping a cocktail and chatting with friends, delicious finger foods won't fill up guests but will please many palates. Plan to prepare about 12 pieces per person for a cocktail party and four to six pieces per guest for a dinner party.
Small sandwiches require no utensils and please many guests. Conventional cold sandwich ideas include crab salad, mini lobster rolls or egg salad. The beauty of serving finger sandwiches is that you can purchase a bevy of mini rolls and create a platter with many different sandwich varieties. Allow guests to make their own by setting out plates of breads, meats and cheeses, and gourmet condiments. They don't always have to be cold, either: You can also serve hot sandwiches, such as mini-cheeseburgers, cheese steaks or roast beef.
Create an appetizing cheese platter featuring a variety of textures and flavors. For example, set out an aged gouda, soft brie, firm cheddar and a spreadable goat cheese. Offer many types of crackers, such as water, whole wheat and sesame. Finally, garnish the cheese platter with fruit, olives and salted nuts to balance out the flavors of cheese. For a cheese platter served along with other appetizers, provide 3 to 4 ounces per person.
Skewers of food are easy for guests to hold and convenient, because you can make them ahead of time. Play with ingredient combinations, such as tomato, mozzarella and basil; citrus-marinated chicken and pineapple; feta, cucumber, olive and chicken; or melon and prosciutto. If you're serving a large group, the pragmatic option is to prepare skewers in advance that can be quickly reheated and served when your guests arrive.
Chicken wings are a blank canvas for finger-licking-good flavor. Make them ahead of time and reheat them just before guests arrive. In fact, allowing them to soak in a sauce or marinade makes them even more delectable. Make the classic Buffalo wing served with creamy ranch or blue cheese dressing. Or prepare-Asian inspired wings served with a tangy peanut sauce. A jalapeno barbecue sauce wing on the sweet-heat themes, while a grilled turmeric and lemongrass wing gives guests a taste of crispy chicken skin with just a dash of citrus zest.