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Simple budget friendly appetizers and dips to go with pita chips and veggies for 50 ppl.

I am having a backyard party for a 50th birthday with about 55 people. Basic dinner being provided (beef, chicken and pasta) simpler items because I am on a budget....this is not a fancy shmancy crowd so it will be fine for them.

I need easy to make high volume appetizers that are budget friendly.
I think I will make home made pita chips and have veggies..... I have had hummus dips out before and dont find people go too crazy for it.( I love it!)...what other dips would go with pita chips and veggies that can hang at room temps for awhile?

These simple appetizers items are on my consideration list....
Tricolor pinwheels(any special loved recipes for the pinwheels?) spinach dip in bread bowl, home made quac and a very good bean variety salsa, bruchetta with crisps.

Any ideas and recipes would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. I would go with the quac and maybe some vegetable dip yep.. The Knorr stuff. If you go with spinach dip leave the bread bowl behind. You are pushing pita chips.

    This close to summer, I would want to have fruit like watermelon wedges.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Hank Hanover

      We often serve a white bean dip with garlic, lemon, cumin , mint and dill. It is always gone and is very cheap and easy.

    2. I have a recipe for BLT dip that is always a crowd pleaser. Basic ingredients are Greek yoghurt, bacon, arugula ( you could substitute romaine to save $), green onions, and grape tomatoes. Let me know if you'd like more details on the recipe.

      3 Replies
      1. re: masha

        Yes..pleas provide the details.

        1. re: lesann1

          Here is the basic recipe. You obviously will need to ramp up the scale, given the size of your party. Also note that I typically do not add as many tomatoes as the recipe calls for.

          BLT Dip

          3 green onions
          ¼ cup mayonnaise
          ¼ cup Greek Yoghurt (low or no fat is fine)
          ¼ cup chopped arugula
          4 slices bacon, cooked, drained & crumbled
          fresh ground pepper
          1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered

          Combine green onions, mayonnaise, and yoghurt in food processor, and pulse until still chunky.
          Transfer to bowl. Stir in bacon, tomatoes, and ground pepper.
          Taste and add a bit more salt (depending on saltiness of bacon) and pepper, if needed.

          1. re: masha

            I just realized that my recitation of the recipe omitted adding the arugula. It gies int the FP in the first step.

      2. What about a baba ghanouj for pita chips? It's okay to sit for a while, and I like it at room temperature.

        Often a fair sight cheaper than the prepped stuff, if it suits your budget you can buy a hunk of prosciutto, slice it yourself, wrap it around melon balls, then skewer. Alternately you could slice the melon too, and put it and the meat on crackers.

        Bruschetta is an obvious home run, and guac too -- it'll never last long enough to spoil!

        1. I love this Pea Dip with Parmesan. You can easily double or triple it. I like it better with only a little mint, or none at all.


          And I know you said no hummus, but I think that this Roasted Garlic and Carrot Hummus sounds good and a little different. It's potentially on my menu for our July 4th party.


          1. Benedictine Spread

            12 oz Cream cheese, at room temperature
            1 med Cucumber, grated, pulp only, drained
            1 med Onion, grated, drained, and juice reserved
            1 tsp Salt

            pinch of Cayenne
            Mayonnaise, to thin
            drop of Green food coloring
            • Blend all ingredients until a spreadable consistency. If making by hand, mash and beat the cheese with a fork, working in the cucumber and onion. Add onion juice to taste.
            • Beat in remaining ingredients, adding only enough mayonnaise to thin. Place in crocks.

            1 Reply
            1. Muhammara looks beautiful and tastes great. If you roast your own peppers instead of buying them in a jar, it cuts down on the cost considerably.

              I also do a pea dip similar to the one already mentioned, with frozen peas, a bit of mint, lemon juice, olive oil and soft goats cheese to make it spreadable. Always a big hit. The pea dip and muhammara look great when served together - one bright green, the other bright red, and sometimes I do a simple white bean dip with curry powder to add another color.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Klary

                I never heard of muhammara...so I looked it up. It looks soooo wonderful. Do you recommend a recipe?

                1. re: lesann1

                  there are versions with and without roasted red peppers, I've made both and like the version with peppers best. I would definitely include pomegranate molasses, its the sweet and sour of this that gives the dip its distinctive taste.

                  This recipe looks like the one I used to make often


                  except I made it with all walnuts (although I think the addition of cashews sounds really good) and like I said, I would not substitute balsamic vinegar for the pomegranate molasses.

              2. Room temperature is key. Serving in June and dont want to worry about spoilage.
                I have been seeing wonderful ideas...thanks for all this help. I love this site.

                1 Reply
                1. re: lesann1

                  you just set the dip bowl on top of an ice bowl...
                  I like green goddess dip for veggies
                  Pimento cheese with the pita
                  beer cheese can stay at room temp
                  and is great with veggies and pita

                2. I love pita and pita chips here are dips that are gobble up with them.

                  White bean dip (melbo's toast blog)
                  Roasted red pepper feta dip-whipped (Ana Sortun recipe on Chow)
                  Morrocan carrot dip (food.com)
                  Mexican cheese dip (same as first blog)
                  Pizza dip ( same as first blog$

                  1. This is tasty, unusual and cheap, and keeps at room temperature for several hours.

                    Carrot Salad/Dip (thinned with cooking liquid becomes Carrot Salad Dressing) - loosely adapted from a recipe by Paula Wolfert

                    30 carrots, peeled, sliced, & simmered till tender (you could skip peeling them if they are very young and sweet)
                    Cool, drain and buzz in the food processor with 5-6 cloves garlic; big handful of fresh cilantro, flat-leaf parsley, or other fresh herb of your choice (stems & all): 6 TBSP olive oil; a little lemon juice & salt to taste. Add a bit of hot pepper if desired.
                    I like this with a still-slightly chunky texture, but that's up to you.

                    Best wishes to the birthday guy/gal!