24 Graduation Party Recipes That'll Earn Honors

Graduation season is upon us! Do you have a party in your near future? Here are 24 nibbles and bites that are easy to make and easy to share.

Graduation Bites Round-Up

Graduation season is nigh—what are you making to feed the happy graduate and your friends and family?

Preparing meals for larger gatherings is all about planning, pacing and staging—careful implementation of time and resources.

For example, you can marinate skirt steak skewers ahead of time so they're ready to put on the grill as guests start to arrive. You can also make a big batch of deviled eggs and refrigerate them for several hours before serving.

Other recipes, such as the baked wontons or the cheesy zucchini bites in our round-up below, can be made entirely ahead and frozen—even better!

Here are some of our favorite bites for a big graduation party. What are yours?

  • Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

    Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus
    Lisa Lin

    Veggie lovers can buy a few bunches of asparagus, wrap them in thin slices of salty prosciutto, and roast them in the oven until crispy. Easy peasy. The asparagus can be wrapped several hours ahead of time and kept refrigerated.

  • Sausage Rolls

    Sausage Rolls Recipe
    Sheryl Julian

    Think of this as a slightly elevated take on pigs in a blanket—sausage rolls. Bake these ahead of time and reheat briefly in the oven before serving.

  • Broccoli Cheddar Bites

    Broccoli Cheddar Bites
    Elise Bauer

    Bite-sized nibbles that you can easily cram onto a small plate or eat with one hand are often a winner at large parties. These broccoli cheddar bites also appeal to kids, too. Bonus!

  • Grilled Skirt Steak Skewers

    Grilled Skirt Steak recipes
    Elise Bauer

    Marinate and thread the skirt steak onto skewers ahead of time and refrigerate. Fire up the grill before the guests arrive, and you’re good to go.

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  • Sour Cream and Bacon Deviled Eggs

    Sour Cream and Bacon Deviled Eggs
    Lisa Lin

    The cool creaminess is a great foil for bacon and deviled eggs are a quintessential party favorite. Hard boil the eggs the day before, make the filling that morning, and refrigerate until party time.

  • Spinach Artichoke Dip with Bacon

    Easy Spinach Artichoke Dip with Bacon in a white casserole dish
    Aaron Hutcherson

    Dips with bacon are always crowd pleasers, and this warm one loaded with spinach is no exception. Mix the dip together ahead of time and then bake until bubbly when the party starts. Make sure you have plenty of pita chips and other crunchy things on hand for dipping.

  • Cheesy Bread

    Cheesy Bread
    Elise Bauer

    It’s tempting to just leave the description at just those two words; after all, cheese and bread are so appealing. Consider this a cross between garlic bread and pizza. This recipe is so quick and easy that it needs no make-ahead steps; double or triple the recipe as needed.

  • Bourbon Maple Glazed Chicken Wings

    Bourbon Maple Glazed Chicken Wings
    Elise Bauer

    Bourbon and maple syrup complement each other well—sweet and slightly smoky and easy to share. Marinate the wings overnight and then bake them off in batches as needed.

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  • Baked Vegetable and Cream Cheese Wontons

    Baked Vegetable and Cream Cheese Wontons
    Lisa Lin

    Don't worry—these only look complicated! The best part is that you can prep the whole thing and freeze them ahead of time—and they don’t require messy deep frying, either.

  • Potato Herb Tart

    Potato Herb Tart
    Sheryl Julian

    Cut this baby up into smaller pieces, put it out on a big tray, and sprinkle with fresh chives. This recipe is best left to the last minute and served hot from the oven, but with only a few key ingredients (namely, puff pastry and potatoes), it comes together in a flash.

  • Easy Muhammara

    EAsy muhammara dip
    Alison Bickel

    Roasted red peppers, walnuts, and a touch of pomegranate molasses create a dip that's perfect for raw veggies and crackers. The recipe is easy to double or triple depending on the size of the party crowd.

  • Classic Cheese Ball

    classic cheese ball
    Nick Evans

    You might want to make two of this retro appetizer made with cream cheese, cheddar, simple seasonings, and pecans because people can't resist it.

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  • Asparagus Pakoras with Lemony Yogurt Sauce

    Asparagus pakoras on a white platter.

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

    These crispy fried fritters are made with chickpea flour, asparagus, and lots of fresh herbs. Make the pakoras up to 5 days ahead; to warm them up, bake on a sheet pan for 7 to 10 minutes at 300°F. You can also use a toaster oven on the ‘toast’ setting.

  • Roasted Red Pepper Dip

    roasted red pepper dip
    Elise Bauer

    Roasted red bell peppers, fresh red bell peppers, garlic, mayonnaise, and balsamic vinegar create a delicious dip for crudités, breadsticks, or chips. Make up to 2 days ahead to cut down on party day work.

  • Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil

    Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil
    Elise Bauer

    These toasts with tomato and basil topping are perfect for a party. Make a large batch of the topping ahead of time. Toast the baguette slices ahead of time. Bring them both out during the party and let people put the topping on themselves.

  • Banana Bread

    Easy banana bread cut into thick slices.
    Kelly Hamilton

    Everyone loves banana bread so turn it into a make-ahead snack for your graduation party. Bake it up to 2 days ahead of time, let it cool, wrap it in plastic wrap, and keep it at room temperature. Unwrap before the party, cut it into slices, place it out with the other snacks, and watch it disappear.

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  • Guacamole

    Authentic guacamole in a bowl with chips
    Elise Bauer

    This authentic guacamole recipes deserves homemade tortilla chips, but since it's party day, no one will think twice if you take it easy on yourself and serve it with store bought chips.

  • Candied Bacon

    Bacon Candy Recipe
    Nick Evans

    Bring out these bacon treats and watch your guests make a beeline for the snack table. Just two ingredients, bacon and brown sugar (with optional black pepper), go into this snack you can make a couple days ahead of time. Reheat just before serving.

  • Kettle Corn

    Side view of easy kettle corn in a teal bowl.

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

    Four ingredients. Five minutes. Make a few batches of this sweet popcorn 2 or 3 days before the party, and it will keep until you're ready to serve. Just hide it or it might disappear before the party.

  • Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Chicken Wings

    Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Chicken Wings
    Irvin Lin

    Let the slow cooker do the work and keep these wings warm for you. Sweet, savory, and spicy, these are the perfect wings to serve for the party, and the perfect way to prepare them.

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  • Cheesy Zucchini Bites

    Cheesy Zucchini Bites
    Elise Bauer

    Cheddar, parmesan, lemon, and rosemary flavor these zucchini bites. If you're a super planner, make them weeks ahead of time, freeze, defrost and serve at room temperature.

  • Deviled Egg Salad

    Deviled Egg Salad
    Elise Bauer

    Reinvent the deviled eggs by putting all the flavors of the classic appetizer into egg salad form. It keeps in the fridge for 3 to 5 days so you can make it ahead. Serve it surrounded by crackers or bagel chips to scoop it up.

  • Buffalo Chicken Dip

    buffalo chicken dip warm out of the oven

    Don't relegate this crowd-pleasing dip to sport's gatherings. It's just as crowd-pleasing at a graduation party. It reheats well so make it the day ahead of time and pop it back in the oven shortly before serving.

  • Caramelized Onion Dip

    Caramelized Onion Dip
    Elise Bauer

    You're going to have potato chips at the grad party, right? Give them a homemade onion dip that elevates the chip and dip experience. It tastes better on day 2, after the flavors have a chance to meld together, so it's great make-ahead party fare.