There are so many reasons to party. There are religious holidays, new years, sporting finales, and Hallmark events – whole days for moms, dads, grandparents, Valentine’s, you name it. Don’t forget birthdays, Halloween, federal holidays like Memorial Day, and even solstices. For some people any excuse to party will do: Friday night! Full moon! New season of favorite TV show! There are the party planners, people who prep ahead and make intricate and even themed menus (green St. Patrick’s Day potatoes, we’re looking at you), as well as last minute types who throw together whatever is in the fridge for an impromptu get together. The thing all of these parties have in common? Finger foods.

If you’re hosting a party or are a guest wanting to bring a dish to share, you’re going to want some crowd-pleasing party starters. Finger foods are just the thing to eat with bubbles or cocktails or anything in between. Call them appetizers or tapas, call them hors d’oeuvres or nibbles, call them whatever you want  — here are a bunch of ideas for small, festive, and meaty bites. Give these a try.

Mini Meatballs

Try quick and easy lamb meatballs or you could also use our 50:50 beef/pork blend for tiny meatball sliders. If you want beef only, our vending machines are stocked with beef ground both coarse and fine, some of it dry aged.

Rib Tips

Ribs are great party food. Mix it up with a pile of rip tips using this basic recipe. Don’t forget extra napkins (depending on your crowd, a roll of paper towels counts).


Make a pot (to bean or not to bean?) and put out cups and spoons, plus fixings. Or use it for some nachos.

Cheese Steak

Try making mini sandwiches with chuck eye and don’t forget to slice the meat as thin as you possibly can. (Our friend Justin Brunson at Masterpiece Deli in Denver uses brisket.)


You just can’t fail with seasoned meat on a stick. Try your hand at pork or chicken thigh satay (so simple), or opt for beef kabobs with vegetables. Or you can just stick a sausage – cut into small bite-sized pieces – on a stick. No one would complain


If you’re planning ahead, set aside the time to slow cook a hunk of pork butt aka Boston butt to turn into bruschetta, crostini, or mini pulled pork sandwiches. Or place small slices of roast beef on toasts with creamy horseradish sauce; it’s a classic for good reason.

Adult Hot Pockets

One of our staff members makes pork and mozzarella adult hot pockets with sautéed mushrooms, kale, and onions. It’s less labor intensive than you would think especially if you use pre-made dough. Make a lot; people love them.