How to Create a Platter of Classic Finger Food Appetizers

Make entertaining easy by serving a sampler board of classic, easy-to-assemble savory bites such as spicy wings, sweet-and-sour meatballs, loaded potato skins and more.

This restaurant-inspired appetizer board holds all your favorite noshes in one place. And the best part? No special cooking skills are required. Most of the appetizers can be purchased ready-made at the grocery store from the freezer section. Others can be simply made with few ingredients. Some of the classic appetizers we’ve chosen include spicy buffalo-style wings, gooey mozzarella sticks, sweet-and-sour meatballs and cheesy homemade jalapeño poppers.

Appetizer Party Platter

Appetizer Party Platter

Make entertaining easy by serving a sampler board of classic, easy-to-assemble savory bites such as spicy wings, sweet-and-sour meatballs, loaded potato skins and more.

Photo by: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

1. Use an Ovenproof Pan

Selecting the right board is important for presenting an appetizer ensemble with lots of variety. While any roomy wooden board or large platter will suffice, consider using a big aluminum heat-proof pan, like the 22" pizza pan we’ve used here. It serves as both a baking pan and a serving board. Most of these appetizers should be cooked before assembly and served warm. To make sure everything stays nice and toasty, arrange the appetizers, sauces and cold items on the pan. Then, remove the cold items to the refrigerator and place the entire platter in a 200 degrees F oven until ready to serve. Just before serving, remove the pan from the oven and pop the sauces and other refrigerated items back onto the board in their empty spots. The thin aluminum pan will cool quickly, but the appetizers will stay warm and appetizing.

Photo by: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

2. Make Sweet and Savory Meatballs

No party is complete without the perfect party meatball recipe. These Orange-Gochujang Party Meatballs are so easy to throw together and fuss-free. Just combine 1 lb. of frozen homestyle meatballs, a 12 oz. jar of orange marmalade and 2 tablespoons of Gochujang (chili sauce) in a slow cooker. Stir well and cook on low. In three hours, you’ll have a sweet and savory sensation ready to be showcased at the center of your board. Pile them high in a big bowl, and plan to have toothpicks close by for easy self-serving.

Photo by: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

2. Include Crunchy Popcorn Chicken

For a satisfying crunch, ready-made popcorn chicken is a real crowd-pleaser. These bite-sized delights are the perfect finger food for your guests to graze on. They can be purchased from your favorite deli, restaurant or in the grocer’s freezer section.

Photo by: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

3. Load on the Potato Skins

Indulge your guests in the irresistible goodness of loaded potato skins. These are also widely available at the grocery store in the freezer section and can be heated in the oven or an air fryer for an extra crunchy exterior. For a vegetarian option, serve slightly less loaded (but no less delicious) without the bacon bits.

Photo by: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

4. Don’t Forget the Sauces

Some appetizers just beg for a dunk in creamy, sharp or tart sauces. For example, spicy hot wings just aren’t the same without the cooling creaminess of blue cheese dressing on the side. From honey mustard for popcorn chicken to marinara for mozzarella sticks, you’ll want to include these crucial ingredients for maximum yum factor.

Photo by: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

5. Pile on the Pigs in the Blanket

Who doesn't love cute mini franks all snug in a pastry blanket? These kid-friendly favorites can be found in the freezer section at the grocery store. With their puff pastry wrappers, they're a little more upscale than the homemade canned biscuit version. Place them near the popcorn chicken, so the honey mustard sauce is in close proximity for dipping both appetizers.

Photo by: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

6. Include Spicy Wings

Game Day wouldn't be the same without hot wings. Opt for pre-cooked, pre-sauced buffalo-style wings from the frozen section of the supermarket. Simply heat per instructions and eat. Serve them with the classic combination of blue cheese dressing and fresh celery sticks.

Photo by: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

7. Add Some Cheesy Goodness

Mozzarella sticks provide a stretchy, cheesy appeal to this arrangement. Purchase them frozen and heat them in the oven according to the package directions. Or deep fry them for an extra-indulgent crisp exterior. Paired with marinara sauce, they add a gooey goodness to this appetizer board.

Photo by: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

8. Make Jalapeño Poppers

Jalapeño poppers are easy to make at home with just a few ingredients. With gloves on, split 12 jalapeños lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and ribs. Mix 8 oz. softened cream cheese with 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar. Stuff the peppers with the cheese mixture and wrap with thin-cut bacon (or leave the bacon off for vegetarian guests). Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Alternatively, you may find these ready to bake in the deli section of your supermarket. Stuffed mushrooms would also make a wonderful addition to this array of appetizers and are often assembled and ready to bake from the grocery store’s deli section.

Photo by: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

9. Dress the Platter With Little Extras

When all of the appetizers are thoroughly heated and assembled, dress a few of the loaded potato skins with sour cream and green onions. This will add a fresh look to the composition. Have a small bowl of sour cream sprinkled with green onions next to the potato skins, so guests can dress their appetizers.

Photo by: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

10. Add Extra Dips on the Side

In case of overflow, don't hesitate to showcase additional snacks nearby. A bowl of spinach-artichoke dip with accompanying chips is the perfect restaurant-style addition for guests to enjoy. These dips can be found in the deli section at most grocery stores and just require a quick re-heating in the microwave.

Photo by: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

11. Indulge and Enjoy

Appetizers are meant to be shared, and this restaurant-style appetizer board is the ultimate way to partake with no reservations required. Just prep, heat, assemble and serve.

Photo by: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

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