finger food

7 Delicious Budget-Friendly Party Finger Food Appetisers 

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Updated on January 12, 2024

Reviewed by Panseih Gharib

You’re throwing a party, and you’ve already spent a lot of money and want to cut your costs a little. The solution is budget-friendly finger food appetisers. Do you still have second thoughts? Let us persuade you with this fantastic option that all your guests will love and ask you for the recipes of the delicious food they munched on. 

People regularly attend or host parties in order to gather all of their loved ones in a place or to mingle and meet new people. The best part of having finger food at a party is that it allows people to mingle and get to know one another while passing around the mouthwatering dish of finger food appetisers, enjoying various flavours and listening to great music. It also complements whatever drink you serve. 

finger food

You may be thinking that making finger food appetisers will cost a fortune; however, we are here to provide you with seven amazing budget-friendly recipes that are very easy to create and will taste wonderful for so little. So, grab your kitchen knife and let’s explore what recipes we have just for you. 

Bean & Cheese Taquitos

finger food

Serves: 12

Prep Time: 15 mins.

Total Time: 40 mins.

Love Mexican food? You will love this budget-friendly finger food appetiser. It’s quick to make, doesn’t cost much, and tastes so good that once your friends try it, they’ll probably want it all the time. It’s a good thing it’s inexpensive to make. If you want to go big with your Bean & Cheese Taquitos, serve them as a main dish with rice and salsa.

Ingredients:

Taquitos

  • 1 (16-oz.) can refried beans
  • 1/2 c. shredded pepper Jack (about 2 oz.) 
  • 2 tsp. chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 12 small corn or flour tortillas
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar (about 4 oz.) 
  • Neutral oil for frying

Green Chile Sour Cream Sauce

  • 1 (4-oz.) can of green chiles, drained
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice 
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions: 

Step 1:

Get a large bowl and add beans, chilli powder, pepper jack and cumin.

Step 2:

It’s time to make your tortillas, so get a microwave-safe plate, cover it with a damp paper towel, and microwave for 15 seconds or until the tortillas are warm. 

Step 3: 

We will now stuff the tortillas. All you have to do now is take the bean mixture you created in the first step and place two teaspoons of it in the centre of the tortilla. You can create a couple with cheese topping and firmly roll them up, or if you don’t want to add cheddar, just roll them up right away. 

Step 4:

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat until it shimmers or until the thermometer reads 350°.

Step 5: 

Drop the tortilla rolls into the hot oil and fry them seam side down for 2 to 3 minutes or until a nice brown colour. Please keep in mind that wheat tortillas may take 4 to 5 minutes. When it goes golden, flip it over to the opposite side to get the same colour. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels using tongs. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, adjusting the heat as necessary.

Green Chile Sour Cream Sauce

Step 1:

Get a medium-sized bowl and mix green chiles, sour cream, cilantro, garlic, and lime juice; of course, don’t forget to season with salt and pepper. 

Step 2:

Taquitos should be served warm, with dipping sauce on the side.

Step 3: 

Make ahead: The sour cream sauce can be made up to a day ahead of time. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container.

Pinwheel Sandwiches

Serves: 40

Prep Time: 10 mins.

Total Time: 25 mins.

Pinwheel sandwiches are swirly fun to serve as a budget-friendly finger food appetiser. Why should you do it? They are incredibly simple to create, and you can experiment with the fillings; the sky is the limit. You can even make vegan variations for your vegan friends; the key is to keep to the basics: tortilla bread and any sort of spread you choose, and the rest is up to you. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. deli-sliced baked ham
  • 1 lb. deli-sliced turkey breast
  • 16 butter lettuce leaves
  • 2 tbsp. ranch seasoning
  • 3/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 8 (10″) flour tortillas
  • 8 oz. sliced American or cheddar cheese

Directions:

Step 1:

We will start with the spread; mix ranch seasoning and mayonnaise in a small bowl. 

Step 2:

Always make sure your working station is clean. Your tortillas will be laid flat on a clean surface. Spread one spoonful of the sauce you made in the first step onto each tortilla. Then, depending on how much cheese you want in your pinwheel, add 2 to 3 slices of cheese on the bottom two-thirds of each tortilla. On top of the cheese, stack ham, turkey, meat and 2 to 3 lettuces before securely rolling up.

Step 3: 

You have two options; the first option is that if you’re serving it straight away, slice it into 1″ rounds and arrange it on a party tray. The second option, if you are preparing ahead of time, place the seam side down on a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for up to 6 hours. When you’re ready to serve, cut into slices.

Bruschetta

finger food

Serves:10 

Prep Time: 15 mins.

Total Time: 50 mins.

Another budget-friendly finger food appetiser is bringing Italy to your party, or should we say little Italy, because we all know how bite-sized Bruschetta is. If you are not a big fan of cooking, this dish is really simple to create, doesn’t take much time, and could be your signature dish at any party you go to. 

Here are a few important tips and tricks to make this dish ten times better:

  • Use ripe, fresh tomatoes because they are the main ingredient in this tasty recipe. If you’re asking if juicier tomatoes will do the same thing, the answer is yes, but it’s recommended to go for the drier option because juicier tomatoes may make the bread soggy, and our main goal is for fresh tomatoes and crunch toast. As a result, it is advised to choose the drier option.
  • Ciabatta is a popular choice for a lovely crisp crunch bread, but this recipe also works with a large, sliced baguette.

Ingredients: 

Tomatoes 

  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 large tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 c. thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar 
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Bread & Assembly: 

  • 1 large baguette, sliced 1/4″ thick on the bias
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
  • 2 cloves garlic, halved

Directions: 

Tomatoes 

Step 1:

To get started, heat the oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium-low heat. For two to four minutes, add garlic and stir until it gets a good, lightly golden colour. Then leave it to cool. 

Step 2:

We’ll wash our tomatoes thoroughly; get a bowl and lay a large strainer or colander over it. Add your bright red tomatoes and add with 1/2 teaspoon salt. After 5 minutes, transfer the tomatoes to a large bowl.

Step 3: 

We shall now prepare the tomatoes. Mix the basil, vinegar, red pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt into the bowl with the tomatoes. Do you recall the garlic you prepared earlier? Throw in the garlic and oil from the skillet to mix them together. Allow at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days to marinate for a great full-flavoured taste.

Bread & Assembly

Step 1:

You want the bread to have a wonderful crispy colour and crunch at the same time, rather than a hard slice of bread that we all despise. Preheat the oven to 400°. Brush both sides of the bread with oil and place on a large baking sheet. 

Step 2:

How do you get the beautiful toasted brownish colour? Toast the bread for 10 to 15 minutes, flipping halfway through, until it is dry and golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before rubbing one side of the bread with the halved garlic cloves.

Step 3: 

Arrange the bread on your party dish. The most important part is to add a spoon of tomatoes on top of the bread just before serving to produce the lovely Bruschetta; to have a little Italy in your party. 

Antipasto Bites

finger food

Serves: 20

Prep Time: 5 mins.

Cook Time: 10 mins.

Total Time: 15 mins.

Who doesn’t enjoy food on small skewers? A budget-friendly finger food appetiser that you can create with whatever you have on hand, and if you don’t like olives, as many people do, you can swap them with anything else, such as pepperoncini peppers.

If you want to make this a vegan option, simply replace the salamis with any type of veggie and either get vegan cheese or leave it out. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • 1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 lb. green olives
  • 1/4 lb. roasted red peppers, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 14 oz. artichoke hearts, drained and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 4 oz. sliced salami
  • 8 oz. mozzarella balls (such as Ciliegine)
  • 9 oz. fresh cheese tortellini
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt

Directions:

Step 1:

The first step will be to cook our tortellini. We all know the drill: add one tablespoon of oil to the boiling water to keep the pasta from sticking. Tortellini should be cooked until al dente, according to the package guidelines. When it’s done, drain it and place it in a big bowl. 

Step 2:

This combination will be prepared and kept aside. Season the cooked tortellini with salt and pepper, then add the balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup olive oil and mix well.

Step 3:

It’s time to marinate the dish’s second star. Marinate the mozzarella balls in a small bowl with the Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil. Set aside after mixing.

Step 4:

You will make the delicious skewers by layering all of the ingredients, starting with one piece of each mozzarella, salami, roasted red pepper, tortellini, basil, artichoke heart, and green olives and repeat for all of the skewers you have until they are ready and set them on a nice dish and the budget-friendly appetisers are ready for the party.

Cheesy Corn Poppers

Serves: 24

Prep Time: 20 mins.

Total Time: 50 mins.

A budget-friendly finger food appetiser that everyone will love from the first bite. The blend of sweet corn, salty Parmesan, and bright scallions creates a flavour explosion that will have your guests devouring these poppers all night, so prepare a few extras.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. chilli powder
  • 1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 c. cornmeal
  • 3/4 c. panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 c. fresh corn kernels (from about 6 ears)
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 6 oz. cream cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Directions:

Step 1:

You’ll need a large bowl because you’ll be mixing a lot of items right now. Mix corn, mozzarella, cream cheese, green onions, and chilli powder. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and eggs until evenly coated. 

Step 2:

You’ll want to make small bite-sized balls out of the mixture. Then, combine the panko and Parmesan, season with salt, and roll the balls in the panko.

Step 3:

Start frying your poppers over medium heat. Add the corn poppers in batches and cook until they have a nice golden colour all around, about 6 minutes total.

Step 4: 

Add the final touches to the dish before serving it to the hungry crowd, finish the dish with extra Parmesan and green onion, then sit back and watch everyone fall in love with how delicious they are. 

Chocolate Crispy Cakes

Serves: 10

Prep Time: 15 mins.

Bake Time: 10 mins.

Total Time: 25 mins.

A budget-friendly finger food appetiser that is extremely easy to create and will transport your guests to their childhood. You can bake the chocolate crispy cake with or without marshmallows; we will provide both recipes for you to choose from based on your budget. 

Without Marshmallows

Ingredients:

  • 100g Milk chocolate
  • 40g Rice Krispies
  •  Sprinkle decorations

Step 1:

You can get milk, dark, or any other type of chocolate you like. To begin, we will melt the chocolate, and it is recommended to follow the instructions on the package for the best results. 

Step 2:

The fun part is to get a big bowl, add the melted chocolate to the Rice Krispies, and mix till evenly coated.

Step 3:

Once you are done with a spoon, add the mixture into cupcake cases or liners.

Step 4:

Add your final touches by adding sprinkles or anything else you prefer, and you are ready to serve it.

With Marshmallows

Ingredients:

  • 1 x 100g bag of mini pink and white marshmallows
  • 100g unsalted butter, plus a little extra to grease
  • 150g rice krispies
  • 300g silky milk chocolate, chopped into small pieces

Directions 

Step 1:

It’s a one-pan kind of situation. Melt the butter, marshmallows, and 100g chocolate in a large pan over low heat until completely melted and mixed. Stir in the rice krispies until they are thoroughly covered. Grease your nonstick baking paper while your mixture is resting. 

Step 2:

Take the mixture and flatten it out on the nonstick baking paper with the back of a spoon to achieve a smooth, flat top. As for the remaining chocolate, melt it the way you prefer.

Step 3:

Once the remaining chocolate has been melted, pour it over the Rice Krispies and spread it evenly or make an abstract shape with it. After it has been set, cut it into squares, and it is ready to serve at the party.

Bite-Size Chocolate Brownies

Servings: 12

Prep Time: 15 mins.

Cook time: 35 mins.

Total Time: 50 mins.

Without a doubt, we all love crispy around-the-edges and perfectly fudgy in-the-centre brownies. A bite-size brownie will be your go-to for your budget-friendly finger food appetiser, and if you think it’s a hassle to make, think again. All you have to do is mix the batter, pop it in the oven, and cut it into small bite-size, and you’re ready for the testiest brownies your guests have ever had.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup white choc bits
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 125g butter
  • 2 eggs

Directions: 

Step 1:

First thing first, we will melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in the sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and salt. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool a bit.

Step 2:

In a bowl, whisk in the eggs. Mix in the sifted flour and baking powder. Don’t forget to add the chocolate chips. Once you’ve mixed everything, take the mixture you set aside and thoroughly combine it all.

Step 3: 

Get a rectangular tin, line it with baking paper, and then grease it so the brownies don’t stick or burn from the bottom. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 170°C.

Step 4:

The mixture will appear mushy when it comes out of the oven, but it will harden as it cools. Allow to cool in the tin before removing and slicing and watch how impressed your guests will be by how good it is.

Happy Belly, Happy Pockets

Just like that, with seven budget-friendly finger food appetiser recipes, we saved you money with tasty ideas, and without a doubt, if you try any or all recipes, it will be your go-to at every party. The question is, which one will you make? 

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