Honor the Grad With 25 Festive Graduation Party Food Recipes


Graduation season is kicking into high gear and with it comes a seemingly endless influx of graduation announcements and party invtations.

There’s something about a graduation party that demands a spread of fun party food, am I right? That’s where our treasure trove of party recipes comes in!

These festive finger foods, party appetizers and childhood favorites will bring a touch of joy and nostalgia to any graduation party food line-up.

From hot dogs to cotton candy, from funfetti to tacos, add a few of these party recipes to your spread and your graduate will quickly be the talk of the town.

  1. Pretzel Dogs Recipe
    • Pretzel Dogs Photo
    • These pretzel dogs are easy to make for a crowd and feel like an elementary school lunch only better – perfect for a graduation party! Hot dogs are wrapped in buttery, soft pretzel dough and sprinkled with coarse salt then served with ketchup and mustard for dipping. Make a bunch because these will go quickly!
  2. Funfetti Sugar Cookie Bars Recipe
    • Funfetti Sugar Cookie Bars Photo
    • These funfetti sugar cookie bars not only taste like childhood, but they’re also super simple to make for a crowd at a party. You can cut the cookie bars into any shape you like or even choose sprinkles in colors to match the graduate’s alma mater. Just don’t skip the dollops of homemade buttercream frosting on top! The frosting is a total must.
  3. Frito Taco Pie Recipe
    • Frito Taco Pie Photo
    • This Frito taco pie is one we write home about all the time and with good reason! Ground beef is tossed with taco seasoning and browned before adding corn, tomatoes and cheese and layering it all over a bed of Fritos. Baked until melty and gooey, it’s best served with more Fritos, of course, and topped with whatever taco toppings your guests love!
  4. Chocolate Strawberry Milkshakes Recipe
    • Chocolate Strawberry Milkshakes Photo
    • I can think of zero reasons why chocolate strawberry milkshakes shouldn’t make your graduation party menu. Sweet and refreshing on a summer afternoon, these milkshakes channel the simple joy of a trip to the ice cream stand as a kid. What better way to serve dessert at a graduation party?!
  5. Pesto Chicken Pull Apart Sliders Recipe
    • Pesto Chicken Pull Apart Sliders Photo
    • These easy to make, pesto chicken pull apart sliders are the perfect quick and easy way to feed a hungry crowd. Slider rolls are piled high with shredded chicken and cheese and then smothered in garlic herb butter and baked. Make up a few trays of these and you’ll have a very happy crew of party guests.
  6. Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes Recipe
    • Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes Photo
    • Peanut butter and jelly cupcakes sound like something a five year old invented, but in the best possible way! Soft, fluffy peanut butter cupcakes are filled with sweet jam and topped with a homemade berry buttercream resulting in a cupcake that’s as close to perfection as any I’ve ever tried.
  7. BBQ Chicken Wings Recipe
    • New Orleans Style Barbecue Chicken Wings
    • Chicken wings are always a good idea for any party, but these BBQ chicken wings are a great idea. Easy to make but loaded with flavor, these wings boast a homemade barbecue sauce that far surpasses any you’ve had from the bottle. Don’t forget to reserve the leftover sauce to use for dipping along with the ranch and blue cheese!
  8. Teriyaki Meatballs Recipe
    • Teriyaki Meatballs Photo
    • I have never served meatballs at a party that haven’t disappeared in a flash, making them a great option for a graduation party. These teriyaki meatballs are guaranteed to do the same! They are super simple to make, too, and the homemade teriyaki sauce never disappoints. I suggest keeping them in a slow cooker to stay warm for guests who are coming in and out throughout the day.
  9. Cherry Chocolate Chip Poke Cake Recipe
    • Cherry Chocolate Chip Poke Cake Photo
    • A sweet and memorable dessert, this cherry chocolate chip poke cake is simple to make in a sheet pan and practically sings with childhood nostalgia. Not only do I love a dessert that’s simple to make, I also love one that just makes people happy. This sheet cake recipe checks the boxes!
  10. Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos Recipe
    • Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos Photo
    • Nachos are never not going to be the perfect party food in my world. These sheet pan chicken nachos loaded up with all the good stuff are proof of this theory. At a graduation party overflowing with teenagers? You’ve got your menu made with these nachos, which you can make in a flash. Serve them alongside a buffet of toppings and you’ll have yourself a win.
  11. Pretzel Toffee Bark Recipe
    • Pretzel Toffee Bark Photo
    • At graduation parties, the crowd is often coming and going as friends and family make their rounds hitting up multiple parties on the same day. Having a few waves of snacks and desserts to bring out throughout the day makes hosting a breeze and this crunchy, sweet, and salty pretzel toffee bark is the perfect sweet little snack in addition to being super easy to make.
  12. Tex Mex Enchilada Meatballs Recipe
    • Tex Mex Enchilada Meatballs Photo
    • Another meatball recipe for your consideration, these Tex Mex enchilada meatballs are out of this world delicious. Juicy and flavorful, these enchilada meatballs are made with a combination of ground beef and chorizo, simmered in a Texas style homemade enchilada sauce and disappear almost as quickly as you can serve them.
  13. Oven Fried Pickles Recipe
    • Oven Fried Pickles Photo
    • The finger food that dreams are made of, don’t skip these oven fried pickles when finalizing your graduation party menu. Tangy and spicy, this beloved snack gets served up with a quick and easy sriracha ketchup that kicks up the heat to just the right level. Serve up a heaping platter of these fried pickles and you’ll have a guaranteed hit.
  14. Guacamole Wontons Recipe
    • Guacamole Wontons Photo
    • I have made these guacamole wontons for parties more times than I can count and with good reason! The crisp, salty wonton exterior is wrapped around a simple, homemade guacamole creating a taste and texture sensation that people go crazy over. Serve them with your favorite salsa or enchilada sauce for dipping and thank me later.
  15. Ranch Pulled Chicken Sandwich Recipe
    • Ranch Pulled Chicken Sandwich Photo
    • Insanely easy to make in the slow cooker, this ranch pulled chicken sandwich recipe is about to become your go-to party food. Ranch flavored pulled chicken is piled onto buttery brioche buns then topped with a white slaw tossed in a homemade white barbecue sauce that is out of this world tasty.
  16. Cookie Monster Brownies Recipe
    • Cookie Monster Brownies Photo
    • If you want to plan a graduation party menu that plays off the sweetness of days gone by, these Cookie Monster brownies should make the cut! Oreo-crusted brownies topped with bright blue buttercream and dollops of cookie dough, are both playful and delicious. Plus they’re easier to make than you’d ever imagine!
  17. Crock Pot Chicken Taco Bites Recipe
    • Crock Pot Chicken Taco Bites Photo
    • The ultimate of party foods, these taco bites are the easiest thing to make for your upcoming graduation party. The chicken practically cooks itself in the Crock Pot and then you just pile it into mini phyllo dough shells, which you can pick up in the freezer section of any grocery store. Add the toppings and you’re party-ready in no time!
  18. Buffalo Chicken Pizza Recipe
    • Buffalo Chicken Pizza Photo
    • For the pizza and wings lovers, this Buffalo chicken pizza will be a major crowd pleaser. With fried Buffalo chicken bites with homemade Buffalo sauce and a creamy flavorful blue cheese avocado dressing, this pizza is perfect for a graduation party or any other upcoming gathering you may be planning.
  19. Bean Dip Recipe
    • Bean Dip Photo
    • I’m not sure if it’s a party without a good dip as part of the food spread, but I do know it’s a party I don’t want to go to. (I’m kidding….mostly.) This bean dip is creamy, cheesy and takes just five minutes to whip up. Toss it in the oven to let it get melty and oozy, then top it with jalapeños, sour cream and cilantro and serve it with your favorite tortilla chips.
  20. Cotton Candy Layer Cake Recipe
    • Cotton Candy Layer Cake Photo
    • If you’re going to go all in with an epic dessert there is no better occasion than a graduation party! And there is no better dessert for doing so than this cotton candy layer cake. Cotton candy flavored cake is smothered in cotton candy buttercream and then topped with, you guessed it, cotton candy! Should you skip the rock candy garnish? No, no you should not.
  21. Instant Pot Crispy Carnitas Tostadas Recipe
    • Instant Pot Crispy Carnitas Tostadas Photo
    • Anytime you can lighten your work load prepping for a party the better and that’s where these Instant Pot tostadas come into play! Crispy, crunchy fried tortillas topped with savory pork, red onion, avocado, cheese and hot sauce make a great party appetizer while also being filling enough to serve as a meal!
  22. Almond Joy Brownies Recipe
    • Almond Joy Brownies Photo
    • Made with almonds, coconut and chocolate these Almond Joy brownies are next level. The fact they’re actually made with mini Almond Joy bars?! That is precisely what I am talking about. Topped with a sweet, creamy coconut glaze, these brownies are arguably even better than the original. I said what I said.
  23. Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole Recipe
    • Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole Photo
    • Cheesy ground beef topped with crispy tater tots and sprinkled with pickles, this cheeseburger tater tot casserole is the unexpected addition to your graduation party menu that will make the crowd go wild. Easily prepped the day before and baked until golden and perfect right before serving, this is the perfect dish to serve a crowd of merry partygoers.

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