Try these easy party food ideas and recipes, including tips for how to lay out a buffet dinner table so everyone doesn’t get piled on top of each other.
10 Easy Christmas Party Food Ideas
There will be a lot of us having buffet dinners and parties before and on Christmas and many of us will be looking for easy party food ideas.
Have you ever been to a dinner or party where the buffet was just not laid out right? It took forever for everyone to get through the line and trying to juggle everything was a tremendous challenge.
Here is the proper way to lay out your party food for a buffet dinner so that things go quickly and easily for you and your guests.
If you have room, set the table up so that people can walk down both sides of the table and serve themselves. Regardless of whether they walk down one side or both sides, make sure that at the end of the table it is easy for them to go on to the room where they will be sitting or mingling. Try to arrange it so they don’t have to push their way back through the other people who are trying to make their way down the table to serve themselves.
This is the order in which to set things on the table:
- Plates, meats, side dishes, relish dishes, salads, desserts, napkin, silverware and then drinks.
Some people put the drinks first. This is a no-no because then everyone has to juggle a plate and a glass while trying to serve himself. This is why it is better to put the salads and desserts at the end if you are using salad or dessert plates too.
- If at all possible, put the drinks and desserts at a separate table.This helps reduce the congestion. Guests can then set their plates down after they are filled and go back to get their drinks without having to stand in line again. You’ll also avoid problems with guests trying to hold two plates or a drink and a plate.
- If it is going to be an all day get-together, you can wait and put the desserts out a little later with a pot of coffee and some tea to make things easier.
Party Food Recipes:
Here are some party food ideas including “red and green” recipes to use for those holiday parties or Christmas dinners.
These first two are our favorite salads that we serve every year with Christmas dinner. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without them. Our readers love them too, requesting them again every year.
1/2 cup boiling water
1 small package cherry Jello
1/4 to 1/2 cup red hot candies
1 1/2 cups applesauce
Dissolve Jello and candies in boiling water. I usually do this in a small saucepan so I can reduce to low heat to keep it warm while dissolving the candies. When mostly dissolved, add the applesauce. Chill until set.
Here is a different and delicious side dish for Christmas that gives you a good variety of veggies for the dinner while keeping the Christmas color scheme.
Green Broccoli Salad
4 cups broccoli, cut into pieces
4 cups cauliflower, cut into pieces
2 cups celery, sliced
1/2 cup green olives, sliced
1 avocado, cut into small cubes
1/4 to 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
Put all ingredients into a bowl and sprinkle with Italian dressing to taste. You can prepare everything the previous day except the avocado and dressing.
Take some of your favorite veggies like broccoli, green beans or cauliflower and cook them your favorite way. Add chopped green and red peppers.Toss it all with Italian dressing and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Cranberry Rice Salad
4 cups wild rice, cooked
1 can (8 oz.) sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/2 cup each of the following:
green peppers, chopped
frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup green onions, sliced
1/3 cup vinegar
1/3 cup cranberry juice
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. sugar
Salt and pepper
Mix all the salad ingredients into a large bowl. Mix dressing ingredients into a small bowl and pour over salad. Refrigerate overnight. Sprinkle with pecans just before serving.
Red or Green Dessert
1 (3 oz.) package lime Jello
2 (6 oz.) package key lime pie yogurt
1 small container of whipped topping
Combine Jello powder and yogurt. Then fold in whipped topping. Chill for 20 minutes.
You could also pour this into a graham cracker crust. Choose other flavors if you want. For example strawberry or cherry Jello with strawberry or cherry yogurt. In the summer months, use orange flavored ingredients.
For more easy party food ideas and recipes, check out our Dining On A Dime Cookbook.