It’s graduation season, and planning a celebration party can be stressful, especially when trying to adhere to a budget. Don’t worry. Whether you’re throwing an outdoor celebration or keeping it small with your closest family members and friends, you can make it affordable and safe with these 12 food ideas that will impress your grads and guests and are served in individual portions to keep contact to a minimum (safety first!).
Who misses charcuterie boards filled with all your favorites? They are making a comeback, but they just look a little different. Instead of a communal board, use clear plastic cups or glass mason jars to create individual mini charcuterie cups. You can include cubed cheese, cured meats like salami and prosciutto, crackers, breadsticks, olives, dried fruit, nuts, etc…get creative with it! Here’s an example from two_boardmoms on Instagram that we love.
Dill Vegetable Dip
This is a similar concept for your veggie lovers who love and miss those veggie boards with dip. Serve the dip in individual cups and add sliced veggies like celery, carrots, cucumber, and sweet peppers. Here is a Dill Vegetable Dip recipe from Taste of Home that we think your guests will love.
Antipasto Salad Cups
This fresh antipasto salad is great for warm summer days. If your celebration is taking place outdoors, you’ll love this light and refreshing option. This recipe from Foodness Gracious includes mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, pickled veggies, artichokes, olives, basil, and hard salami.
Southwestern Turkey Burger Sliders
It’s BBQ season, so why not celebrate your grads with some freshly-made burgers? These turkey burger sliders combine ground turkey and your favorite salsa to add moisture and flavor to the patty. Check out the recipe from Katy Keck.
Baked Mashed Potato Squares
If you love mashed potatoes, this handheld version will have your guests coming for more. It includes peas and you have the option of adding ham for extra flavor. Check out this recipe by For the Love of Food and Life.
Mini Taco Bowls
Create your own taco bowls by pressing mini flour tortillas into jumbo muffin tins and baking them for 8–10 minutes. Fill with your favorite meat, filling, and toppings. This recipe from Three Bites More uses slow-cooked pork carnitas as the main filling.
Zucchini is abundant in the summer, making it an affordable veggie to incorporate into your recipes. These crispy fritters can be enjoyed with your favorite dip or lemon pesto garlic aioli as shown in this recipe from melissas_healthykitchen.
Baked Pasta Cups
Pasta is a staple loved by all. Capture all the goodness in a cup with this recipe from Phenomenal Phoods. It can be made with any small pasta noodle such as macaroni or penne and includes tomato basil pasta sauce, sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese.
If you’re going to be outside in the heat, you’ll need some fresh fruit to cool off. Some simple fruit kabobs will do the trick. Use any fruit you like that can be sliced or diced to serve on a skewer. Here’s an example from Appetizer Addiction on Instagram.
Ditch the big cake that requires slicing and serving, and opt for some grad-themed cupcakes instead. Decorate your cupcakes with a graduation cap made out of a Reese’s peanut butter cup and a square from a chocolate bar. You can also add frosting and sprinkles with the school’s colors as shown in this example from alyssas_cakes_n_bakes on Instagram.
Graduation Diploma Cookies
This idea is extremely simple, but it fits the theme so well that we could not leave it out. Get some Pirouline chocolate hazelnut rolled wafers, and tie a ribbon around each one to give the effect of a diploma. Check out this example photo from Love the Day.
No-Bake Cheesecake in a Jar
Flavor meets convenience in this no-bake cheesecake recipe from Hannah Mageerd. Use cream cheese and greek yogurt as the base for a lighter version of your favorite cheesecake.
Which of these recipes are you excited to try at your graduation celebration? Let us know in the comments! Remember to check the Flipp app to find the most affordable ingredients at your local grocery stores.