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12 Easy Finger Food Appetizers for Casual Gatherings

These easy-to-make finger food recipes are the perfect heavy appetizers for casual evening gatherings when only appetizers are served.

Sometimes it’s nice to host or attend gatherings where just heavy or hearty appetizers are served rather than a dinner.

As a host it’s nice to make a variety of appetizers for guests to choose from especially if part of the appetizers can be made ahead of time. 

Also as a host, it’s especially nice if the appetizers are finger foods because they don’t necessarily require utensils, skewers or even toothpicks to serve.

As a guest I personally like to be able to choose from a number of options when appetizers are available.

And of course when I find my favorite one, I keep going back for more.

Heavy appetizer options are especially nice for gatherings that are in the early evening when dinner isn’t served.

Here are 12 easy finger food heavy appetizers for casual gatherings that are made with shrimp, chicken and cheese.

These recipes include Mexican food, Asian inspired food, comfort food, pizza and garlic bread.

Let’s check these recipes out.

Below each of the following images, there’s a link to the respective post with step-by-step instructions, pictures and a printable recipe.

Shrimp Appetizers:

Tempura Shrimp with Sauce

Starting off with “Tempura Shrimp with Honey Mustard Sauce”.

These fresh shrimp taste wonderful with the light and crispy tempura batter and they’re so pretty and appetizing that they’re sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Leaving the tails on not only looks appealing but also makes these shrimp a great finger food so the guests have something to grab on to.

Tempura Shrimp

And a quick and easy honey mustard dipping sauce (included in the Tempura Shrimp recipe) tastes wonderful with this shrimp.

Tempura Shrimp with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce.

Fresh Spring Rolls with Shrimp

Next, beautiful “Fresh Spring Rolls with Shrimp”.  

Fresh spring rolls are easier than you may think to make.

Shrimp Spring Rolls

They’re so pretty when served cut in half so that the colorful ingredients can be seen.

Homemade Peanut Sauce in Bowl

These fresh spring rolls need a dipping sauce and this “Easy Peanut Sauce” is just the thing.

The spring rolls and peanut sauce taste so good together.

Fresh Spring Rolls with Shrimp

Cutting Corn Tortilla on Plate

Next, let’s check out “Shrimp and Guacamole Mini Tostadas”. 

The crispy tortilla base for the tostadas is made from corn tortillas and cut into rounds with a cookie cutter.

Homemade crispy corn tortillas taste especially delicious and are sturdy enough to stand up to the toppings.

Shrimp Cooking in Pan

The shrimp are cooked in butter and spices.

Yogurt on Guacamole Tostada

Also included in this recipe is a quick and easy guacamole topping.

Mini Shrimp Tostadas

These mini shrimp tostadas are an eye catcher and taste amazing.

Mini Shrimp Tostadas with Homemade Guacamole

Meatless Appetizers with Cheese:

Cream Cheese Garlic Bread

Warm “Cream Cheese Garlic Bread” cut into smaller size pieces (not too small of course) is an irresistible appetizer.

This is a heartier finger food appetizer which is perfect when only appetizers are served at a gathering.

Cream Cheese Garlic Bread

Rolling Pin on Bread

This comfort food favorite “Grilled Cheese Roll Ups” is the perfect shape for finger food.

Rolled Bread with Cheese Inside

It’s made with simple ingredients that taste so good together, American cheese, wheat sandwich bread and butter.

Grilled Cheese Roll Ups in Pan

These taste wonderful served by themselves or…

Grilled Cheese Roll Ups in Soup

…serve them with a warm “sauce” that is another comfort food only it’s from a can, tomato soup.   

Grilled Cheese Roll Ups

Wonton Cheese Bites

This unique appetizer “Wonton Cheese Bites” is made with a variety of 4 cheese fillings.

Brie Wonton Cheese Bites

…brie, brown sugar and walnuts…

…brie and chives (or the green part of a green onion)

Cheddar Wonton Cheese Bites

…sharp cheddar cheese and slices of fresh jalapenos…

String Cheese Wonton Cheese Bites

…string cheese and slices of fresh jalapenos.

Wonton Cheese Bites

These yummies taste delightful when dipped in a sauce (this recipe also includes 3 quick and easy dipping sauces).

Wonton Cheese Bites with 4 Varieties


Crispy Tortilla Chips with Seasoning

…another recipe with brie.  yum.  “Brie and Olive Tapenade Nachos“.

Homemade crispy corn tortilla chips are topped with chili powder and salt…

…then put in a small serving skillet and topped with chunks of brie

Olive Tapenade on Tortilla Chips

…then baked in an oven just long enough to melt the cheese and topped with olive tapenade.

Brie and Olive Tapenade Nachos

The salty and tangy tapenade with the melted brie and crispy homemade tortilla chips tastes heavenly.

Brie and Olive Tapenade Nachos

Brie Cheese and Olive Tapenade Nachos

Next, more cheesy goodness…

Cheese and Jalapeno on Tortilla

…with “Jalapeno and Cheese Taquitos”.

Corn tortillas are filled with a stick of cheese and slices of fresh jalapeno,

Cheese and Jalapeno Taquitos

then rolled and lightly fried to crispy perfection.

Jalapeno Cheese Taquitos

…they taste like a combination of crispy nachos and a jalapeno popper.  so good.

Top with a quick and easy homemade,

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo and…

Homemade Guacamole in Bowl


Cheese and Jalapeno Taquitos

Jalapeno and Cheese Taquitos

Appetizers with Meat:

Red Salsa on Scrambled Eggs

Here’s a hearty finger food that falls in the category of a breakfast-for-dinner recipe, “Crispy Breakfast Quesadillas“.

Flour Tortilla on Quesadilla in Pan

It’s filled to the brim with a mix of cheese, scrambled eggs and a breakfast sage sausage that tastes incredible along with the other ingredients.

Breakfast Quesadilla on Plate

Cheesy and flavorful breakfast-for-dinner goodness.

Breakfast Quesadilla on Plate

Crispy Breakfast Quesadilla

On to a traditional favorite…

Sauce on Roll for Pizza


These “Mini Kaiser Roll Pizzas” are made with a simple homemade sauce that amps up the flavor in each and every bite of these pizzas.

Mini Kaiser Roll Pizzas on Pan

The firmness of a kaiser roll stands up nicely to the pizza ingredients…

Mini Pizza on Plate

…and the crispiness of the roll tastes so good with the generous portions of sauce and toppings.

Mini Kaiser Roll Pizzas

Next, a popular comfort food…

Ketchup in Ground Turkey

…sloppy joes.

These homemade Sloppy Joe Sliders are made with ground turkey…

Sloppy Joe in Skillet

…and cooked down to a mouthwatering thick consistency then…

Ground Turkey Sliders

…served in soft slider buns or Hawaiian rolls.

Ground Turkey Sloppy Joe Sliders


Frying Chipotle Chicken Breast

a fried chicken slider “Chipotle Chicken Nugget and Honey Dijon Sliders” made with boneless skinless chicken breasts topped with spicy seasonings and a light coating of flour, lightly fried…

Honey Dijon Sauce on Chicken

…and served in soft slider buns or Hawaiian rolls and topped with a quick and easy honey Dijon sauce.

Chipotle Fried Chicken Sliders

Top with chives and these yummies are ready to eat.

They taste sooo good with the combination of spiciness in the chicken and sweet in the Dijon sauce.

Chipotle Fried Chicken Sliders

Chipotle Chicken Nugget and Honey Dijon Sliders

Thank you so much for stopping by CCC!

More Recipe Collections You May Like:

12 Easy Breakfast Finger Food Recipes

Down-Home Comfort Food for Fall

20 Easy Pasta Recipes for Any Day of the Week

Deliciously Simple Recipes for Chicken

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