Easy & inexpensive appetizers/snacks for large crowd
I'm looking for ideas for appetizers/snacks/dips that are easy & quick to make. Also fairly inexpensive.
This is for a mid-afternoon baby shower & we are expecting between 30-50 people.
I will be serving coffee, lemonade, & iced tea for drinks & will have a cake.
We don't want the guests to fill up on food right before dinner, but we want to offer some sort of a snack.
There will be 4-5 of us who can cook. I just need some ideas.
So far I've come up with: buffalo dip, 7 layer bean dip, fruit dip, veggie tray, fruit tray. Maybe some chex mix or glazed nuts. I make some great pinwheel snacks with puff pastry, pancetta, parmesan & caramelized onions, but that can get expensive.
How much should I be expecting each guest to eat?
What else do you suggest?
Hi jcattles-- here's a thread to start:
If you decide to have spiced nuts, I especially like these:
+1 for the deviled eggs...also, WHY put all those expensive ingredients into pinwheels? Just do a veggie version and use tortillas (which come in great colors now!)...I like the Hidden Valley Ranch pinwheels from their website but there are a billion others and probably better out there on the internet.
Mini polenta rounds (spread cooked polenta in large baking sheet, let firm up, cut with 1 or 1 1/2 in ring, place on baking sheets and broil til golden) topped with tapenade or a pesto or a marina something
Soup shooters (i got a big pack of plastic shot glasses at a mart for cheap) - chipotle corn or gazpacho or caramelized garlic cauliflower or etc.
Spanakopita - you could even get a few trays of the ones in the freezer section at Costco or Trader Joes and just bake and slice
Roasted veggies - sliced sweet potatoes, onions, fennel, carrots, turnips, parsnips, roasted with sea salt and herbs
Mini salmon croquettes with a creamy garlic dill sauce
Feta with fresh herbs (this recipe is only cheap if you grown the herbs...use mint, chives, pretty anything except rosemary) and walnuts served with flatbread. A lot of Persion restaurants serve this dish.
Marcella Hazan had a recipe where she just blended tuna and butter and I think capers. Serve with toast points. I would add marinated artichoke leaves if you don't do capers. Had something like that in Italy at a gas station and it was AWESOME. I don't have my book with me, but maybe someone can help with the proportions. She said everyone loved it and she was a little embarassed by the simplicity of the dish. God bless canned tuna fish...it's given us some of our tastiest and thriftiest meals.
And I love brandade. It's cheap and it's delicious. However, I really like salted cod. Actually, any cod potato thing would be cheap. Like bacalau which I think is deep fried salt cod and potato croquettes.
I know you said you cook, but those Alexa Sweet Potato Fries are used by a lot of restaurants and they just jazz it up by offering different dipping sauces. On a similar note, I live in Fort Lauderdale and Costco was selling Acme Smoked Whitefish Dip. At $8 for a huge tub I had to try it because smoke fish is one of my favorite things in the world. I have to say, it was really good. My husband grew up on the stuff and he loved it. I served it with crostini and apples for some friends who stopped by unexpectedly and they commented on how good it was.
Most caterers will say 5-7 pieces per guest if dinner is served, but that number is subject to the number of different appetizers offered.