Want to know what to serve for a graduation party? I’ve got you covered with ideas and recipes to get you started! Incorporate some of these recipes into our graduation party ideas and you will be ready to celebrate the graduate. I’ve included appetizers, main dishes, side salads, with some salsa and dessert thrown in for good measure. Most dishes can be made ahead so they’re ready when you are. Others require grilling so they become an interactive part of the party.
Enlist the help of close family or friends to help make party food
After designing these boxed lunch backyard shabby chic graduation party ideas I thought it would be a good idea to collect some recipes that would be great to make and serve at a graduation party. Some of these recipes are great for filling your lunch boxes. Others are best to set out buffet style and let guests serve themselves. For more tips see everything you need to know to host a potluck party.
You can easily double or triple the recipes here to feed a larger crowd. I suggest asking a couple of close friends or family members to help make some of the side dishes or desserts. You can fill in food gaps by adding party trays from the grocery store or restaurants. Things like vegetable platters, fruit platters, mini chicken sandwiches are all good choices.
Overview of Graduation Menu
In general stick to foods that are easy to prepare, easy to eat, and have broad appeal. These are our top choices.
- Picnic style sandwiches
- Grilled entrees like burgers and hot dogs
- Classic potluck sides like pasta, potato, or vegetable salads
- Tried and true appetizers like Mexican dips, and crudites
- Fill in with chips and purchased party platters
- Family friendly punch recipe
- Desserts that are single-serving size and easy to pick up
Most of the dishes are prepared with fresh seasonal ingredients. They should appeal to all ages that you would expect to be at a graduation party. There’s also some vegetarian options for your guests who don’t eat meat. You can view the entire collection below and click to view recipes. Happy Making!
Golden Graduation Punch Family Friendly Recipe
This family friendly punch is perfect for all ages.
Favorite Mexican Layer Dip Recipe
Everyone loves this Mexican layer dip served with tortilla chips.
Easy and Delicious Mango Salsa
Serve this mango salsa with chips or with fish tacos.
Fish Tacos with Coconut Avocado Crema
Fish tacos are so delicious and easy to make. Let guests add their own toppings like mango salsa.
Roast Beef Party Sandwiches w/Chili-Lime Mayo
The roast beef sandwiches are great for boxed lunches.
Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Diplomas for Graduation
Add whimsy with these savory "diploma rolls."
Pressed Picnic Sandwiches
Make these pressed sandwiches the night before so the flavors have time to fully combine.
Picnic Sandwich Recipe
Serve these vegetarian sandwiches for guests who want to forgo the meat choices.
Picnic Veggie Sandwich
The veggie sandwiches are another great alternative to meat.
Plan a Hot Dog Roast
Hot dogs are another classic crowd please'r. Plus guests can roast their own over an open fire if you want.
Chris' Classic Potato Salad Recipe
My own classic potato salad is a tried and true side dish for backyard parties.
Favorite Picnic Salad
There's lots of flavor and texture in this picnic salad.
Pasta Salad with Broccoli and Peanuts
You'll get flavor and texture with every bite in this pasta salad.
Veggie Pesto Pasta Salad
This veggie pesto pasta salad is great for outdoor entertaining.
Outrageous Fudge Brownie Recipe
Make these outrageous fudge brownies the night before and keep them refrigerated. You won't believe how amazing they taste!
Chocolate Filled Pastry Rolls Recipe
Add some whimsy to dessert with these chocolate filled pastry "diplomas."
BEST Glazed Lemon Bars Recipe
Everyone will be begging for this lemon bar recipe after you serve it for graduation.