Save on Pinterest

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.

1 / 40

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
2 / 40

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
3 / 40

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
4 / 40

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
5 / 40
Bang Bang Shrimp Cake Sliders Exps Tham19 233452 B11 08 7b 6

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
6 / 40

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
7 / 40

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
8 / 40

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
9 / 40

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
10 / 40

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
11 / 40
Toasted Ravioli Puffs

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
12 / 40

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
13 / 40
Hummingbird Cupcakes Exps Ghbz18 49668 C08 09 6b 3

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
14 / 40
Coconut Clouds Exps Sddj17 39293 16 C08 05 7b 2

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
15 / 40
Barbecued Meatballs Exps Cimz17 5830 B07 13 5b 6

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
16 / 40
Chicken Skewers With Cool Avocado Sauce Exps Dsbz17 37502 C01 13 4b 1

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
17 / 40

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
18 / 40

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
19 / 40
Exps108577 Sd153319c10 14 3b 3

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
20 / 40

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
21 / 40

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
22 / 40

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
23 / 40
Exps186141 Th153340d20 03 5b 3

Chocolate Chip Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Baking a fun treat is a must when my four grandchildren come to stay for “Grandma Camp.” Sometimes the grandkids help by piping the cake batter. —Linda Schend, Kenosha, Wisconsin
24 / 40

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
25 / 40

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
26 / 40
Pear Waldorf Pitas Exps Thca19 12570 B08 23 1b 2

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
27 / 40

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
28 / 40

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
29 / 40

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
30 / 40

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
31 / 40

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
32 / 40

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
33 / 40

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
34 / 40

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
35 / 40

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
36 / 40

Caprese Salad Kabobs

Trade in the usual veggie platter for these fun kabobs. In addition to preparing these for get-togethers, I often make these as snacks for my family. And because assembly is so easy, the kids often ask to help. —Christine Mitchell, Glendora, California
37 / 40
Apricot Filled Sandwich Cookies Exps Ucsbz17 113721 B05 26 6b 3

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
38 / 40
Sausage Chive Pinwheels

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
39 / 40

Sun-Dried Tomato Goat Cheese Empanadas

I created this appetizer because I entertain a lot and wanted something simple but special. People like these empanadas so much! I always make extra. —Lynn Scully, Rancho Santa Fe, California
40 / 40

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

Amanda Tarlton
As both a freelance lifestyle writer and editor for a national teen magazine, Amanda spends most of her time creating #content. In those (rare) moments when she's not at her desk typing furiously, she's likely teaching a hot yoga class, reading the latest chick-lit or baking a batch of her famous scones.

Popular Videos