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40 Simple Wedding Food Ideas You Can Pull Off Without a Caterer

Weddings can get expensive, so it's important to save money where you can—like by cutting out the cost of catering. Thanks to these easy wedding food ideas, you can DIY your own scrumptious spread.

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Party Crab PuffsTaste of Home

Party Crab Puffs

I received this recipe years ago from my grandmother. She also told me to have fun being creative and experimenting in the kitchen. My friends request these little puffs at every gathering. —Jean Bevilacqua, Rhododendron, Oregon

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Strawberry Cheesecake BitesTaste of Home

Strawberry Cheesecake Bites

These treats are a perfect mouthful of strawberry, sweet cream cheese filling and just a drizzle of chocolate. Easy to fill and fix ahead, they add tempting variety to brunch or party offerings—and make a delicious homemade gift. —Linda Baldt, Croydon, Pennsylvania

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Zippy Shrimp SkewersTaste of Home

Zippy Shrimp Skewers

These flavorful skewers deliver a mouthwatering kick with minimal effort. Fix them for your next party and watch them disappear. —Jalayne Luckett, Marion, Illinois

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Cucumber CanapesTaste of Home

Cucumber Canapes

I always get requests for the recipe for these canapes whenever I serve them. They're delicate finger sandwiches with a creamy herb spread and festive red and green garnishes. —Nadine Whittaker, South Plymouth, Massachusetts

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Bang Bang Shrimp Cake SlidersTaste of Home

Bang Bang Shrimp Cake Sliders

My family loves these shrimp sliders. The bang bang slaw dressing and shrimp cake patties can be made ahead. When ready to serve, toss the cabbage slaw and sear the shrimp cakes, then assemble and enjoy. —Kim Banick, Salem Oregon

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Best Deviled EggsTaste of Home

Best Deviled Eggs

Herbs lend amazing flavor to these deviled eggs, which truly are the best you can make! The recipe includes tasty variations that feature bacon, chipotle peppers and crab.—Jesse & Anne Foust, Bluefield, West Virginia

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Mini Lemon Cheesecake TartsTaste of Home

Mini Lemon Cheesecake Tarts

Dainty and light, these tartlets feature two of my favorites —lemon and cheesecake —in one yummy morsel. They look lovely topped with fresh raspberries, but sliced strawberries are just as pretty and delicious. —Gwyn Brandt, Hibbing, Minnesota

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Mini Mac & Cheese BitesTaste of Home

Mini Mac & Cheese Bites

Young relatives were coming for a Christmas party, so I wanted something fun for them to eat. Instead, the adults devoured my mini mac and cheese. —Kate Mainiero, Elizaville, New York

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Tangier Island Virginia Crab CakesTaste of Home

Tangier Island Virginia Crab Cakes

I grew up eating these crab cakes, which are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. They're absolutely delicious every time I make them. —Ann Girucky, Norfolk, Virginia

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Spiced Peach PuffsTaste of Home

Spiced Peach Puffs

We always made cream puffs for special occasions when I was growing up in our family of seven. Sometimes we used a custard filling, but this version with whipped cream and peaches is the best. —Agnes Ward, Stratford, Ontario

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Toasted Ravioli PuffsTaste of Home

Toasted Ravioli Puffs

I call toasted ravioli a fan favorite because it disappears faster than I can make it. With just five ingredients, this is how you start the party. —Kathy Morgan, Temecula, California

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Dill Vegetable DipTaste of Home

Dill Vegetable Dip

A friend gave me this zesty dip recipe many years ago, and now I serve it at our annual holiday open house. To make it mobile, spoon a serving of the dip in the bottom of a small cup, then garnish with fresh veggies. —Karen Gardiner, Eutaw, Alabama

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Hummingbird CupcakesTaste of Home

Hummingbird Cupcakes

Turn the traditional hummingbird cake—flavored with pineapple, bananas and walnuts—into a bite-sized treat with these moist cupcakes. —Jessie Oleson, Santa Fe, New Mexico

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Coconut CloudsTaste of Home

Coconut Clouds

Coconut lovers will have extra reason to celebrate when they taste these cakelike drop cookies. The generous frosting and coconut topping make them a hit at holiday cookie swaps. —Donna Scofield, Yakima, Washington

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Barbecued MeatballsTaste of Home

Barbecued Meatballs

Grape jelly and chili sauce are the secrets that make these meatballs so fantastic. If I’m serving them at a party, I prepare the meatballs and sauce in advance and reheat them right before guests arrive. —Irma Schnuelle, Manitowoc, Wisconsin

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Chicken Skewers with Cool Avocado SauceTaste of Home

Chicken Skewers with Cool Avocado Sauce

I’m always looking for lighter recipes to take on tailgate outings—and this one works fabulously for grilling. Just whip up the marinade, add the chicken and take it along to the pregame festivities. —Veronica Callaghan, Glastonbury, Connecticut

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Pineapple Chicken SlidersTaste of Home

Pineapple Chicken Sliders

For fun appetizers that tide over even the hungriest of guests, try these mini sandwiches. My youngest daughter likes their small size and the tangy sweetness of the pineapple.—Maria Vasseur, Valencia, California

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Nutty Stuffed MushroomsTaste of Home

Nutty Stuffed Mushrooms

Basil, Parmesan cheese and mushroom blend together well, while buttery pecans give these treats a surprising crunch. Our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren always ask for them! —Mildred Eldred, Union City, Michigan

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Mini Chicken & Biscuit SandwichesTaste of Home

Mini Chicken & Biscuit Sandwiches

My 11-year-old son, Jake, invented these sliders at dinner one night when he plunked his chicken on a biscuit. The rest of us tried it his way, and now we have them a lot. —Jodie Kolsan, Palm Coast, Florida

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Mimosa Butter CookiesTaste of Home

Mimosa Butter Cookies

You can add many different flavors to butter cookies to make them your own. Try an alternate type of citrus zest, or add an alternate liquid to change things up. —Sara Lark, Raton, New Mexico

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Sweet Pea Pesto CrostiniTaste of Home

Sweet Pea Pesto Crostini

I made a healthier spin on my favorite celebrity chef’s recipe by subbing in vegetable broth for some of the oil and going easy on the cheese. To top crostini, use this recipe for a pastelike pesto. For use on pasta, add more broth for a saucelike consistency. —Amber Massey, Argyle, Texas

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Almond-Bacon Cheese CrostiniTaste of Home

Almond-Bacon Cheese Crostini

For a change from the usual toasted tomato appetizer, try this baked crostini recipe. If you like, slice the baguette at an angle instead of making a straight cut. —Leondre Hermann, Stuart, Florida

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Chocolate Chip Red Velvet Whoopie PiesTaste of Home

Chocolate Chip Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Baking a fun treat is a must when my four grandchildren come for “Grandma Camp.” This year I’ll recruit the oldest, Henry, to help pipe the cake batter. —Linda Schend, Kenosha, Wisconsin

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Cucumber-Stuffed Cherry TomatoesTaste of Home

Cucumber-Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Besides being tasty, these little tomato poppers are extra awesome because you can make them ahead of time. At parties, I often triple the recipe because they disappear fast. —Christi Martin, Elko, Nevada

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Garlic-Herb Mini QuichesTaste of Home

Garlic-Herb Mini Quiches

Looking for a wonderful way to impress guests? You’ve got it—and you need only five ingredients to make these tasty apps! —Josephine Piro, Easton, Pennsylvania

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Pear Waldorf PitasTaste of Home

Pear Waldorf Pitas

Here's a guaranteed table brightener for a shower, luncheon or party. Just stand back and watch these sandwiches vanish. For an eye-catching presentation, I tuck each one into a colorful folded napkin. —Roxann Parker, Dover, Delaware

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Mini Grilled CheeseTaste of Home

Mini Grilled Cheese

If you're looking for a fantastic make-ahead snack, try these miniature grilled cheese sandwiches. They're nice to have in the freezer for lunch with soup or a salad. My family loves to nibble on them anytime. —Anita Curtis, Camarillo, California

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Pancetta, Pear & Pecan PuffsTaste of Home

Pancetta, Pear & Pecan Puffs

I was recently at a wedding reception where the menu was all small bites. Here’s my rendition of the pear pastries they served. They're the perfect combo of savory and sweet. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois

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Fruity Chicken Salad Mini SandwichesTaste of Home

Fruity Chicken Salad Mini Sandwiches

Chicken salad ranks among the classics, and this version is a hit at parties of all kinds. Feel free to substitute green grapes for the red, or toss in extra strawberries when they're in season. The filling can also be served on a bed of salad greens. —Marcy Kamery, Blasdell, New York

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Greek Sandwich BitesTaste of Home

Greek Sandwich Bites

Here’s an appetizer that tastes just like traditional spanakopita, but it’s much less work to make. —Lynn Scully, Rancho Santa Fe, California

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Chocolate-Covered Cheese with Black Sea SaltTaste of Home

Chocolate-Covered Cheese with Black Sea Salt

Every time I make these for guests or for a cooking demo about real food made simply, people rave about them. They're surprising as an addition to an appetizer table—or even served after dinner paired with a nice cabernet or port. —Dorothy McNett, Pacific Grove, California

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Grilled JalapenosTaste of Home

Grilled Jalapenos

When barbecuing for friends at home, I also use the grill to serve up hot appetizers. These crowd-pleasing stuffed peppers have a bit of bite. They were concocted by my son. —Catherine Hollie, Cleveland, Texas

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Marinated CheeseTaste of Home

Marinated Cheese

This special appetizer always makes it to our neighborhood parties and is the first to disappear at the buffet table. It's attractive, delicious—and easy! —Laurie Casper, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania

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Cobb Salad SubTaste of Home

Cobb Salad Sub

When we need a quick meal to share, we turn Cobb salad into a sandwich masterpiece. Sometimes I substitute tortillas for the bread and make wraps instead. —Kimberly Grusendorf, Medina, Ohio

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Tortellini & Shrimp Skewers with Sun-Dried Tomato SauceTaste of Home

Tortellini & Shrimp Skewers with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

These fresh skewers and tasty sauce will have guests nibbling all night! —Cacie Biddle, Bridgeport, West Virginia

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Caprese Salad KabobsTaste of Home

Caprese Salad Kabobs

Trade in the usual veggie party platter for these lively kabobs. I often make them for my family to snack on, and the kids like to help with the recipe! —Christine Mitchell, Glendora, California

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Apricot-Filled Sandwich CookiesTaste of Home

Apricot-Filled Sandwich Cookies

I bake these delightful cookies every year for Christmas and when I share a tray of my homemade treats with the faculty at school, these are always the first to disappear! I've even had requests to make them for wedding receptions.—Deb Lyon, Bangor, Pennsylvania

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Sausage Chive PinwheelsTaste of Home

Sausage Chive Pinwheels

These spirals are simple to make but look special on a buffet. Our guests eagerly help themselves, and sometimes the eye-catching pinwheels never even make it to their plates! —Gail Sykora, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin

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Sun-Dried Tomato Goat Cheese EmpanadasTaste of Home

Sun-Dried Tomato Goat Cheese Empanadas

I created this appetizer because I entertain a lot and am always trying to think of things I can do ahead of time. I always need to make extra because people love them so much! —Lynn Scully, Rancho Santa Fe, California

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Smoked Salmon BitesTaste of Home

Smoked Salmon Bites

Because smoked salmon is one of my favorite ingredients, it plays a big role here. Best of all, there’s no cooking involved. —Tom Faglon, Somerset, New Jersey

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