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70 Quick and Delicious Lunch Party Food Ideas For Entertaining

A lunch party is a great way to celebrate with friends and family. But what do you serve? No need to fret, we have 70+ delicious lunch party food ideas that are perfect for entertaining! From appetisers to main dishes, and sweet desserts!

Try one or more of these recipes the next time you’re hosting a lunch party for friends and family.

Lunch party with a group of friends dining outdoors

Lunch parties are a great way to kick off earlier in the day and are perfect for Sunday celebrations or quick mid-week get-togethers with friends.

Unlike a dinner party or evening celebration, lunch parties typically require lighter food options with plenty of finger food and appetisers instead, or healthy salads and cold dishes.

To help you plan the perfect lunch party food ideas for your celebration, no matter the party theme, we’ve put together this collection of simple and delicious recipe ideas and easy food for entertaining so you can focus more on the great company than spending your time in the kitchen!

Need ‘bring a plate’ party food ideas? Check out more than 70 share plates and pot luck ideas for your next event!

Quick & Delicious Lunch Party Food Ideas For Entertaining At Home

These simple entertaining recipes and birthday party lunch ideas for adults are exactly what you need to keep your guests’ appetites satisfied during your next birthday celebration, holiday gathering, graduation party or game day get-together at home.

Tips for stress-free lunchtime entertaining:

  • Keep your menu simple so you can spend more time with guests and less time preparing food
  • Make-ahead as many items as you can to save time
  • Check with your party guests for any dietary requirements
  • The bigger your guest list, the easier you should make your menu
  • Finger food ideas or a buffet-style menu is great for casual entertaining
  • Salads and small bite options are perfect for spring and summer lunch parties
  • The type of party will also influence your menu – sit down meal vs casual get together or formal lunch for example
  • If kids are attending, make sure you have some kid-approved items on the menu too
  • Create your shopping list several days in advance to ensure you can get everything you need from the grocery stores without the last-minute rush!

Check out more than 200 party theme ideas for adults to help you plan your next celebration!

Lunch Party Menu Ideas

Easy finger food recipes and appetisers are the perfect choices for a lunch gathering, with plenty of hot or cold options that your guests will love to eat as they mingle.

Grazing Boards and Charcuterie

Simple charcuterie board with cheese and fruit

Set up a mega grazing table and charcuterie platter on a table with a selection of smoked meats, cheeses, dips, veggies, crackers, chips and more.

There really is no easier option than a cold grazing table that your guests can help themselves to.

No cooking is required and you can top up anything that is running low once or twice during the party and otherwise let guests help themselves.

Another fun way to utilise a grazing table for a lunch party is to have a combination of sweet and savoury foods so guests can enjoy both.

This means you don’t have to worry about dessert either and it gives them a little something else other than birthday cake if it’s a birthday celebration.

Sweets for a grazing table may include things such as coloured popcorn, wafers, chocolate biscuits, macaroons, doughnuts, fresh fruit and candy.

Check out more grazing table and charcuterie ideas, including some incredible dessert platter inspiration.


Much like the grazing table idea, offering up a few different varieties of food on platters can be an easy way of serving guests during a lunch party.

And you don’t need to walk around offering them up to guests either. Just place them on a table in the centre of the room and let them help themselves.

A few great options for platters include:

  • Veggie platter with dips
  • Chicken wing platter with a mix of buffalo wings and mild wings
  • Hot party appetisers such as spring rolls, samosas and mini quiche
  • Pinwheels or wraps with a range of fillings
  • Sliders / mini burgers
  • Cookie cutter shaped mini sandwiches
  • And for the kids, you can’t go wrong with party pies and sausage roll platter complete with a huge bowl of tomato sauce (ketchup)

Taco Bar

Taco bar on dark tablecloth

A taco bar is a fun way to set up a help-yourself food station for guests to make their own tacos, tortilla chips and nachos.

Use a slow cooker or instant pot to make up a large batch of seasoned taco meat and add it to a food warmer so it stays hot.

Have a variety of hard and soft taco shells, nachos, cheeses, diced salads, beans and other must-have taco fillings to your table, as well as guacamole and sour cream so guests can create their own loaded tacos to enjoy.

This is the perfect way to create a lunchtime Mexican Fiesta party too with a few great sides to pair with your taco bar!

Recipe Ideas For A Lunch Party Menu

These lunch party menu ideas and delicious light lunch recipes are perfect for any type of celebration or event where you are entertaining during the day.

You can easily put together your own menu with these wonderful easy lunch party ideas:

Delicious Appetisers & Finger Food Lunch Ideas

Appetisers are always popular, no matter the time of day! You can easily host a lunch gathering with just a selection of fantastic appetiser dishes, or add one or more appetisers to your main course. These easy finger food recipes are perfect for entertaining at lunchtime:

  • Individual Charcuterie Cups – These platters in a cup are easy to assemble, versatile and perfect for parties, game days and holidays. These are also great appetisers to hold and carry, making them much more portable than a traditional charcuterie board to allow guests to mingle.
  • Baked Chicken Tenders – These deliciously juicy and crispy chicken tenders are soaked in a herbed batter and coated in a golden panko crumb. Pair them with your favourite dipping sauce for a meal that kids and adults will love!
  • Pepperoni Calzones – This simple, and inexpensive calzone recipe with no yeast dough is so easy to make and a fantastic appetiser!
  • Air Fryer Sausage Rolls– These bite-sized sausage rolls offer dippable puff pastry perfection in just minutes. Sausage rolls are always a hit if you’re entertaining younger guests and need something a little more kid-friendly too!
  • Braided Chicken Bread – This homemade chicken bread is stuffed with a delicious, creamy chicken filling and is super easy to make. Slice it up and serve for a simple party appetiser.
  • Air Fryer Salt & Pepper Calamari – This crispy seasoned calamari in the air fryer is the perfect seafood appetiser served with your favourite dipping sauces. Or try this oven-baked squid alternative instead.
  • Lemon Garlic Prawns – There is no better way to enjoy grilled prawns than with zesty flavours of lemon and garlic. This easy lemon garlic prawns recipe is bursting with flavour and will go from pan to plate in under 15 minutes. This recipe is also a great option for lunch BBQs when entertaining outdoors!
  • Air Fryer Coconut Prawns – These air fryer coconut prawns (shrimp) is the perfect amount of crispy and crunchy, paired perfectly with my homemade sweet and sour sauce. This recipe is always a hit when entertaining a smaller group.
  • Air Fryer Vietnamese Fish Sauce Chicken WingsDon’t let the name of this recipe put you off. These are the most deliciously sweet and sticky chicken wings that are always a hit when entertaining!
  • Baked Chicken Taquitos – These baked taquitos are ready in just 30 minutes! A delicious and easy lunch option when entertaining because they are portioned and easy to grab and go.
  • Steak Fajita Roll-Ups – These flavoursome roll-ups make a delicious low carb lunch or appetiser. Perfectly grilled marinated steak fajitas wrapped around sautéed fajita seasoned onions and peppers. Serve as they are for toothpick appetisers or on top of salad greens for a delightful lunch. 
  • Puff Pastry Pizza Wheel – This puff pastry pizza is the perfect lunchtime treat to share with your guests, with flavours of tomato and garlic, chorizo, mozzarella and Italian herb and a dipping sauce in the centre.
  • Greek Yogurt Deviled Eggs – Enjoy your favourite classic deviled eggs recipe with a low-fat twist! These deviled eggs with Greek yogurt are just as delicious & creamy, with a little extra tang as a perfect lunch party finger food.
  • Scotch Eggs – This popular British snack is perfect for lunch and can make a simple appetiser idea. Delicious eggs are wrapped in sausage meat and coated in crispy breadcrumbs. 
  • Air Fryer Onion Rings – For the ultimate comfort food, onion rings in the air fryer are perfectly crispy if you are entertaining a small crowd. This is a recipe you can prepare before guests arrive then cook once ready to serve your food.
  • Jarcuterie – This charcuterie in mini mason jars with pickled cherries are a single-serve charcuterie and cheese board in the cutest little portable container.
  • Spinach Artichoke Squares – A delicious, low-carb spin on classic spinach artichoke dip for the perfect party treat everyone can enjoy! Great for breakfast or brunch parties too.
  • Pretzel Bites – Homemade soft pretzel bites are a great appetiser recipe for the carb lover and one to please a crowd of all ages! Pair these easy finger foods with one of the amazing dipping sauces or a tomato paste.
  • Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks – These crispy air fryer mozzarella sticks are simple recipe to make and perfectly gooey yet crunchy every time. With just a few minutes needed in the air fryer, you get a mozzarella stick that is a healthier take on party time classic recipe.
  • Pigs In A Blanket – This classic bring a plate appetiser is made with mini hot dogs wrapped in buttery crescent rolls, baked until golden brown, then sprinkled with Everything Bagel Seasoning. They take less than 30 minutes from start to finish.
  • Chicken Kiev Balls – Loaded with herb and garlic, these garlic chicken balls make the perfect appetisers. Easy to make with instructions for both air fryer garlic chicken balls or shallow fry! 

Dip Recipes

These delicious dips will further complement your appetisers as an easy to make ahead finger food option that you can serve with veggie sticks, crackers or sourdough. These dip recipes are always a crowd-pleaser:

  • Healthy Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip – This healthy recipe is the perfect, easy party appetiser for any time of the day! The dip is great served with veggies and can be made ahead of time for meal prep.
  • Roasted Red Pepper Hummus – This smoky-sweet peppers, creamy garlic and lemon hummus tahini go so well together. It’s a match made in heaven!
  • Buffalo Chicken Dip – This easy keto-friendly buffalo chicken dip is a low carb new twist of the very popular buffalo chicken dip. It’s loaded with flavour, with mozzarella cheese, ranch dressing and sour cream, with only 3.5g net carbs per serving!

Lunch Salad Recipes

Unlike dinner parties and entertaining at night, serving only cold dishes can be great for lunch entertaining. An array of salads are the perfect way to compliment your lunch party food menu:

  • Mediterranean Chickpea Salad – This crisp summer salad topped with flavourful lemon juice and kalamata olive dressing makes for the perfect appetizer or a main course. The vibrant colours are perfect for a fancy lunch party spread!
  • Lemon Basil Chicken Salad – This tasty lemon basil chicken salad is perfect for lunch! It’s made with rotisserie chicken and tossed in a homemade zesty herb dressing and garnished with fresh basil, making it quick and easy to put together.
  • Roasted Beet & Walnut Salad – This gorgeous showstopping salad with beets, walnuts, goat cheese and honey balsamic dressing is perfect for any occasion! You can roast the beets ahead of time so that the salad can come together quickly on the day you are entertaining.
  • Healthy Crabmeat Salad With Lime – Loaded with avocado, tomatoes, and shallots, tossed in tangy lime juice, this crab meat salad is a healthy and refreshing dish and perfect for summer!
  • Grilled Peach Salad With Blueberries – This grilled peach and blueberry salad is a perfect summer dish. Packed with sweet, grilled peaches, blueberries, goats cheese and almonds plus homemade blueberry dressing for a bright and fresh flavour combination
  • Mexican Shrimp Salad – A fresh and vibrant salad, with seasoned shrimp, corn, tomatoes, jalapeños, and avocado. Drizzled with a Mexican vinaigrette dressing and with a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds!
  • Cherry Tomato Salad – This quick and easy cherry tomato salad makes for a delicious, easy lunch – especially when partnered with a crusty slice of bread and some grilled chicken. It only takes a few minutes to toss together!
  • Shredded Buffalo Chicken & Nacho Salad – For those who love nachos but want a light lunch dish instead, this Buffalo chicken salad with nachos is the perfect way to enjoy a combination of great flavours with your favourite nacho toppings.
  • Pear, Gorgonzola & Candied Walnut Salad – This elegant pear and Gorgonzola salad with candied walnuts is a delicious dish for entertaining. Add grilled or poached chicken for a heartier dish variation.
  • Tuna Potato Salad – This tuna potato salad recipe is a complete meal that is perfect for lunch. A satisfying combination of baby potatoes, green beans, tuna, radishes and red onion all tossed together with a delicious dill buttermilk dressing.
  • Tamarind Roasted Baby Eggplant Salad – As these glorious pops of baby eggplants are slowly roasting away in a sweet, yet tart, homemade tamarind sauce, you can prepare the rest of the ingredients ready for a sweet and unique salad dish. Vibrant flavours of pomegranate and raspberries complete the dish.

Winter Warmers

These hot lunch recipes for entertaining are perfect for a winter lunch party! Or simply when you want to serve up a hot meal or add a few warm dishes to your party foods line up!

  • Baked Feta Pasta – Try this easy baked feta pasta for yourself with a flavour loaded twist that brings even more flavour into the simple, delicious pasta recipe. Just 10 minutes to prep and then bake, ready to serve your party guests.
  • Broccoli Chicken Frittata – This frittata recipe is made with simple ingredients and comes together quickly. You can serve it hot out of the oven or serve it cold for summer parties!
  • Jackfruit Tacos – These mouth-watering jackfruit tacos are a creative take on traditional taco flavours. The texture of shredded jackfruit is the perfect replacement for traditional pork tacos. The recipe is also vegan and gluten-free to cater for guests with different food needs.
  • Rasta Pasta – Get ready to add some spice to your entertaining! This colourful and flavorful rasta pasta is easy to make, hearty, and incredibly satisfying on a cold day. 
  • Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Breast – For a lunchtime sit down meal, if entertaining a smaller group, this mushroom stuffed chicken breast is delicious! Easily double or triple this recipe to serve a group. Or slice up your chicken into smaller pieces before serving for a hot dish to serve with salads.
  • Easy Southern-Style Chicken Divan Casserole – This iconic, much-loved southern dish has been around for decades. It is full of crisp broccoli, tender chicken, and the most wonderful homemade cheesy sauce. It’s easy to make and the perfect winter comfort food to add to your lunch party food table straight out of the oven.
  • Hot Chicken Salad – This is an easy baked version of a classic recipe. Chopped chicken combined with a mix of creamy and crunchy ingredients makes this dish a winner for a light luncheon. It has celery, almonds and crispy fried onions to add to the texture and flavour.
  • Spanish Paella – This beloved Spanish dish is an impressive combination of saffron-infused short-grain rice mixed with meat, seafood, and vegetables. Filled with traditional Spanish flavours, this is sure to be a crowd-pleasing dish for your lunch party.
  • Croatian Chicken & Mushroom Quiche – Known in Croatian as piletina sa gljivama, this flavorful egg quiche is loaded with diced chicken breast, sliced mushrooms, onions and fresh garlic. Unlike traditional quiche recipes, the beaten eggs are poured over the top of the chicken and mushroom mixture, creating a layered effect.
  • Spinach Bacon & Tomato Quiche – Rich and creamy flavours with fresh spinach, crisp bacon, and sliced cherry tomatoes, is a quick, easy, and delicious warm dish to serve to your guests. 
  • Slow Cooker Pulled Pork – This tasty variation in the slow cooker is one of the easiest ways to make delicious BBQ pulled pork to perfection! Coca Cola pulled pork is loaded with flavour and an easy lunch party food idea when paired with fresh rolls and coleslaw for a make your own sloppy joe menu. There are plenty of other delicious sides to serve with pulled pork too.
  • Spanish Omelette – Known in Spain as tortilla de patatas, this is a Spanish classic for good reason. With just 4 main ingredients plus seasoning, it makes a perfect brunch or lunch dish for guests to share.
  • Mexican Potato Casserole – This cheese-loaded Mexican potato casserole is the ultimate comfort food while bringing a twist on your favourite Taco Tuesday menu! Perfect for winter entertaining since it easily serves a crowd.
  • Oven-Baked Frittata – This oven-baked frittata recipe can be made using any fillings you have on hand, such as tomato, bacon or feta cheese for a savoury taste that will leave you wanting more. Serve warm straight out of the oven or serve cold alongside salads.

Sandwiches, Rolls & Wraps

Entertaining during the day often means the easiest choice is sandwiches and wraps. You can keep these super simple, perhaps making shapes with cookie cutters. Or try something a little more fancy for your lunch party menu ideas with these sandwich, wraps and roll recipe ideas:

  • Chicken Salad Sandwiches – These chicken salad sandwiches are a go-to for lunch when entertaining. Served in croissants, they only take 10 minutes to make and are loaded with flavour!
  • Tuna Veggie Wrap – This tuna veggie wrap with hummus offers a hefty dose of protein with a generous serving of veggies. It’s the perfect nutritious lunch and one you can easily make in the morning to serve your lunch guests. The rainbow of colour looks fabulous on your serving table too!
  • Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps – Ground chicken cooked on the stovetop, then served in buttery lettuce leaves with a drizzle of fresh lime.
  • Blueberry Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps – Fresh basil, plump blueberries, combined with Greek yogurt and crunchy almonds for an easy summer chicken salad wrapped in healthy lettuce leaves.
  • Air Fryer Steak Gyros – This Greek-inspired Gyros recipe is easy to make in the air fryer and will satisfy your hunger as it tastes delicious! Enjoy this beef gyros dish with a creamy tzatziki sauce that’s made from scratch at home!
  • Turkey Roll-Ups – These turkey pinwheels are tortilla wraps filled with a layer of herbed cream cheese and slices of cooked turkey. A quick and easy finger food appetiser for entertaining during the day.
  • Air Fryer Chickan Caesar Wraps – The delicious tastes of Caesar salad with crispy air fried chicken wrapped in a tortilla with salad and Caesar dressing. Yum!

Sweet Treat & Dessert Lunch Party Food Ideas

While dessert is not essential for a lunch party, especially if you are looking for lunch birthday ideas when there will be birthday cake on the menu.

No matter the occasion, adding a sweet treat to your lunch party menu is always a fun idea!

Put together a dessert platter with chocolates, sweet biscuits, sweet dips and candy for an array of sweet flavours or try one of these easy recipes instead:

  • Oreo Dip – This simple and delicious Oreo dip recipe is one of the best cold dessert dips, made with only 5 simple ingredients. It tastes like cookies and cream cheesecake filling and you can whip up a batch in just 5 minutes!
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip – This light and fluffy treat dip recipe tastes just like Monster Cookie Dough. It is a fun, kid-approved, party snack that is perfect to dip graham crackers and pretzels in.
  • No-Bake Oreo Cheesecake Bars – These no-bake Oreo cheesecake bars bring together your favourite cookies and cream flavours in an indulgent dessert recipe. With an Oreo cookie base and more cookies throughout, this is the ultimate cheesecake recipe to please a crowd!
  • Air Fryer Chocolate Chip Cookies – These air fried choc chip cookies are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside with buttery brown sugar flavours. They take just 15 minutes to make including cooking time, making 4 at a time so this is a great recipe to make ahead the day before your party.
  • White Chocolate Hot Cocoa BombsAdd a hot chocolate bar to your daytime party celebration during winter by making these white choc hot cocoa bombs ahead of time. Drop them in warm milk for an instant warm cocoa treat!
  • Pavlova – This simple Australian dessert classic, pavlova, only requires 4 ingredients and is easy to make! It is perfect for entertaining, topped with whipped cream, fresh fruit or grated chocolate. Enjoy the crisp pavlova meringue and soft marshmallow filling. There will definitely be none leftover after your party!
  • No-Bake Turkish Delight Slice – This 4 ingredient chocolate slice is an easy way to turn your favourite Turkish Delight flavours into a crowd-pleasing slice to share. With a crunchy biscuit base and topped with a layer of chocolate, it is the ultimate way to cure a sweet craving!

Lunch parties are a great option for family-friendly events when late nights aren’t ideal and work best with finger foods and appetisers or lighter meal options than a dinner party!

With all the different entertainment food options out there, it’s easy to get caught up in what to serve when hosting a lunch party. If you want to make things simple, yet more interesting than just sandwiches or salads, these fun lunch party food ideas will keep your guests happy and hopefully give you more time to enjoy the party rather than worrying about cooking the whole time they are there!

I hope these easy lunch ideas for entertaining friends and family help you plan your next party lunch menu!

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Wednesday 20th of April 2022

Hi! I love how informative and great your articles are. Thanks a lot!