How Many Appetizers You Really Need So You Don't Run Out Of Food

If you like the idea of throwing a dinner party and enjoying yourself at the same time — an impressive feat for any entertainer — an appetizers-only affair may be the perfect event for you.  

Better Homes and Gardens offers up a number of compelling reasons why throwing a party by serving nothing but nibbles can be an appealing option: An apps-only party doesn't require a lot of work, particularly if you're organized. They can be less formal, so people are more likely to mingle than to sit down and chat with the person on the left, per Next On My List. As regular "Top Chef" guest judge Ted Allen put it, "The point [of an appetizer party] is to spend time with people you like. If you keep it between 10 and 15 people, it's possible to buy better quality wines and champagne and nicer food," per People.

An appetizer party also has the ability to expand and contract to fit any budget. Where else could vegetables and dip sit side by side next to a cheese board or charcuterie board, as well as caviar and blinis.

Serving sizes to consider for an appetizer party

To host a successful appetizer party, you need to have a balanced menu that covers the dietary needs of all your invitees, and you'll need to ensure you're providing enough food take the edge of the hunger, even though they may not be conpletely full, per People. Better Homes and Gardens suggests serving a food combination that covers one dish made with a fruit or vegetable; a carb or starch; a protein; dips and spreads; and a sweet or dessert. Another good guideline to follow is to have a selection of five different appetizers if you have between 10 to 12 guests; nine appetizers if you have 25 guests, and if you're really ambitious, a selection of 13 appetizers to serve 50 guests.

Party planners Twin Oaks Caterers suggests planning for six appetizers per guest if you're hosting a dinner, and 12 apps per guest if you are hosting an appetizer party. For serving sizes, Better Homes and Gardens recommends going by serving sizes — so you may want to budget three pieces per person if you're serving chicken wings, stuffed mushrooms, or a sweet treat like mini-cupcakes or bite-sized brownies; a fourth of a cup for dips, spreads, and sauces from spinach and artichoke dip to fondue and queso; two ounces of cheese and/or charcuterie, and two ounces per person of nuts.