30 Graduation Party Foods For an A+ Celebration
Say congrats grad with these top-rated graduation party recipes. We've put together a list of our favorite appetizers, main dishes, side dishes, desserts, and drinks for a grad party that's not to be missed. Get graduation party food ideas that are perfect for feeding a crowd. Many of these recipes can be made ahead of time, saving you time and energy on the big day. School's out — celebrate with 30 graduation party foods that will earn high honors at your celebration.
Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork
Let the slow cooker do the work on this pulled pork while you get the rest of your graduation party ready. "I pulled 40 lbs of pork using this recipe for my son's graduation party," says reviewer ORNURSE. "I also froze it before reheating it in crockpots. I received many compliments."
Seven Layer Taco Dip
"I didn't know whether I would prefer this dish hot or cold, so I served it warm the first night, and we had the leftovers cold," says reviewer RuthieBaby. "I love it either way, and plan to make it again, both for my own family and for get-togethers, for which it is perfect in terms of size."
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough + Cupcake = The BEST Cupcake. Ever.
Find out why these cupcakes with a fun surprise inside have over a thousand glowing reviews. Reviewer Vivian says, "What a good idea- to put a cookie in a cupcake!"
Smooth Sweet Tea
What's more refreshing than a cold glass of sweet tea on a hot summer's day? The secret ingredient to this smooth tea is baking soda…yes, you read that right. "The baking soda is the key ingredient in this recipe to make a smooth tea. It helps to cut the bitter taste that you can get from tea. It's really refreshing and for me it has the right amount of sweetness," says reviewer Cookies.
Luscious Slush Punch
What's a party without some party punch? This top-rated recipe can be made-ahead of time, frozen, and thawed in the punch bowl just before the guests arrive. Reviewer Roseheart says, "These go down fast so make the entire amount."
Boston Baked Beans
Treat your party go-ers to homemade baked beans. Reviewer Ruth says, "This reminded me of my mom's baked beans. DELICIOUS! It was my first attempt at making baked beans from scratch, but certainly not the last!"
Old Fashioned Potato Salad
"This is really good. It is even better if you can let it sit for awhile--like overnight," says reviewer Puck. Make this potato salad ahead of time to save you time and energy on the day of the big event.
Best Ever Jalapeno Poppers
"Well worth the effort, especially if you make enough to freeze for later," says reviewer niki-b. Be sure to wear rubber gloves while seeding the jalapenos!
"This dip is a hit whether you serve it at a block party or a formal dinner party! It really tastes like a BLT," says recipe creator Kathy W. Just four ingredients and 25 minutes is all it takes to make this easy dip.
Bacon and Tomato Cups
Reviewer CSANDST1 says, "I took these to a party over the weekend and they were a hit!" A savory mixture of tomato, bacon, onion, Swiss cheese, mayo, and basil are served in little buttermilk biscuit cups.
"I made them for a party of fifty with ages ranging from 8-55," says reviewer MTMLMM_96. "I was scared that nobody would eat them...but they were ooed and awed about all night." A mixture of cream cheese, ranch dressing mix, green onions, red pepper, celery, black olives, and cheese are rolled into a tortilla wrap and chilled overnight.
Texas Sheet Cake V
They say everything's bigger in Texas, and this sheet cake that serves 32 people is no exception. Reviewer Butterfly Flutterby says, "Make sure that you prepare the icing when you are able to put it on the cake while it is still warm, preferably right out of the oven. The icing gets stiff fast so the warm cake helps it spread. My family also loves to pair this up with vanilla ice cream."
Awesome Pasta Salad
Reviewer Ms. Chef Esh says, "This a favorite summertime recipe that I love to take to picnics!" Pasta, cherry tomatoes, provolone cheese, salami, pepperoni, green bell pepper, black olives, and pimentos are tossed in an Italian dressing.
Mini Cheesecakes III
Reviewer Danielle Lockley says, "These are soooo unbelievably good and so simple to make!" Double or triple this recipe for individually-portioned cheesecakes perfect for feeding a crowd.
The bright and zesty flavor of these summertime cupcakes is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Reviewer naples34102 says, "It's moist, not too fluffy yet not too dense. It has that wonderful richness only butter can contribute and just the right level of fresh citrus flavor."
Bacon Wrapped Barbeque Shrimp
Forget utensils, this simple appetizer is the perfect finger food. Reviewer IMVINTAGE says, "These were as good as any I have ever gotten in a restaurant!"
Recipe creator ROZANNEBLESH says, "This is a great bruschetta recipe based on an artichoke dip. It's always a huge hit! Try adding spinach or tomatoes!" This elegant appetizer comes together in just 20 minutes.
Grad Cap Cookies
"Cute little graduation caps are made with peanut butter cup hats, graham cracker cookie mortarboards, and candy licorice tassels. They are easy to assemble with prepared frosting to hold them together," says recipe creator Baily. Serve these as cake toppers or simply on their own.
Recipe creator Aunt Suzie says, "In the 1800's this is how people made lemonade--you can do it too! It's not that difficult, and tastes wonderful!" Sometimes less is more — lemons, white sugar, and water are all that’s required for this top-rated recipe.
Garlic-Ginger Chicken Wings
"These wings were beautiful looking and perfect for guests," says reviewer healthyeating. "Really easy to make."
Jalapeno Popper Cups
Looking for an easy alternative to jalapeño poppers? Look no further. Phyllo tart shells are stuffed with a mixture of cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, jalapeños, hot sauce, and bacon bits and baked in the oven.
Blue Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms
Watermelon Cooler Slushy
On a hot day, your guests will be thanking you for this refreshing treat. "This watermelon slushy is just perfect for hot summer days," says recipe creator Olivia. "Watermelon, ice, and a bit of lime juice are simply blended together in this quick treat."
Chef John's Barbecue Chicken
This simple recipe is an essential addition to any backyard barbecue party. "Easy to do and delicious. Huge hit. I actually whipped it up the night before and the next day as the grill was preheating I placed them on the skewers," says reviewer Ed Dietrich.
Trifle is the perfect dessert for serving a crowd: it can be made ahead of time and split between a large amount of people. Not to mention the layers make for a beautiful presentation. Can't decide between trifle and banana pudding? Why not both? Recipe creator CNM CATERING says, "Pound cake, whipped cream, banana pudding, and vanilla wafers are layered to form this easy trifle that's sure to please."
Amy's Sensational Summer Salad
Chicken, apples, lettuce, avocado, feta cheese, strawberries, and dried cranberries come together for the ultimate combination of summer flavor. Reviewer yikes91 says, "Just one big flavorful party with every bite!"
Picnic Marinated Summer Slaw
"Oh, such a summertime taste. This easy-to-prepare slaw was given to me by a neighbor who said a little lady from her church gave it to her! A refreshing and delightful change for slaws. Tastes delicious after being allowed to marinate for several hours," says recipe creator rosebud424. This is another easy recipe that's best made ahead of time.