Buffet Party Food Ideas

Consider a buffet party!

Choosing to host a buffet party is a great way to serve your guests when seating and space are limited. A buffet is convenient for both the host and the guests. Guests are also able to choose from a variety of food items and eat what they like, and the host is not committed to serving each person an individual meal. This style of dining also allows for guests to stand and graze if they prefer instead of taking part in a formal sit-down dinner.

Buffet Party Food Ideas

Have an assortment of items so that there is something for everyone to enjoy. There are endless possibilities when it comes to buffet party food ideas. Choose items that are in season and that you know both you and your guests will enjoy. Some ideas to consider include:


Start off your party with an assortment of tasty appetizers. Some simple ideas include:

  • Salad: A salad is the perfect way to start off a meal. One option for your guests is a caprese salad. It can be made by layering mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and tomatoes then drizzling with extra virgin olive oil. Another salad to serve is a simple green garden salad. Choose fresh greens and have a variety of dressings available so guests can choose what they like.
  • Cheese and crackers: Arrange cheese and crackers on a large tray and let guests serve themselves. A great accompaniment to this appetizer is fresh fruit, such as bunches of red and green grapes.
  • Vegetables and dip: This appetizer is always a hit. Serve fresh vegetable crudites along with ranch dip.
  • Shrimp cocktail: Serve with lemon wedges and sauce.

Main Course

For the main course, have selections that guests can easily serve themselves. Some ideas include:

  • Carved ham, turkey or roast beef
  • Pasta such as baked rigatoni or lasagna
  • Fried chicken


Be sure to include several side dishes as part of your buffet. Potatoes and vegetables are easy to prepare and go great with a wide range of foods. Some side dish ideas include:

  • Green bean casserole
  • Garlic mashed potatoes
  • Roasted potatoes
  • Roasted asparagus
  • Dinner rolls or freshly sliced bread


For the finishing touch, include several tasty desserts. A separate table can be used to hold desserts if there is not room for them on the main buffet table. Choose items that are easy for guests to pick up and eat. Ideas for desserts are:

  • Cupcakes
  • Cookies
  • Tarts
  • Chocolates

Attractive Presentation

A buffet party is a great way for guests to mingle and enjoy the food being offered. Keep it organized and have an assortment of items on your buffet. Add a few decorative touches, such as a festive tablecloth and fancy serving bowls, to make your buffet look sensational.

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Buffet Party Food Ideas