Seafood – Party Food Ideas

Party Food Ideas

If you’re looking for party food ideas, you must be doing some event planning like what we did during bbq events. If you are, don’t overlook seafood. Most people love seafood of all types. Of course, it’s best if you know your party guests, as some might be allergic to shellfish or other types of seafood. Because of that, it’s important to make sure your attendees know which dishes contain seafood. Don’t be bashful about telling them. Because of seafood allergies, you’ll want to include other party food ideas in addition to seafood. Of course, if you already know for sure that everyone attending your event enjoys seafood, all your finger foods and other party foods can focus on shrimp, oysters, crab, scallops, finned fishes, crawfish, clams, mussels, and other gifts from the ocean. If you’ve never served seafood appetizers at any of your celebratory functions, give some seafood recipes a try. In this article, I’m providing you with some party food ideas I’ve used, and they all contain seafood.


I love seafood, and so do all our friends and family members. In fact, I know only one person with any seafood allergies, and he’s only allergic to shrimp. He can eat crab, lobster, oysters, scallops, and fish with no problems. It surprises me how so many hosts and hostesses overlook seafood with their party planning and party food ideas. I’m not usually guilty of this crime. We host a lot of parties, and I usually offer at least one or two party foods that contain crab, shrimp, or both. The dish might be something as simple as crab dip or shrimp spread, or it might just be a platter of cold boiled shrimp with cocktail sauce and saltine crackers.

I think seafood is a lot more versatile than some people realize. Most of it’s even good served cold, and it lends itself well to easy finger foods. Of course, there are also plenty of finger food ideas you can serve hot, too. In that case, you might want to serve such party foods in chafing dishes to keep them at the proper temperature. If the dishes need to be served chilled, place the platter or bowl on a bed of ice, or offer small amounts of the food at one time and replenish the dish frequently from your refrigerator.

Something else that’s pretty cool about serving seafood at parties is that you can use the spreads to make interesting shapes. I sometimes make a big batch or seafood spread and use my hands to mold it into the shape of a fish. I add thinly sliced cucumbers to serve as scales, al olive for the eye, and a strip of red bell pepper for the gills. You might also want to use unflavored gelatin to make a mold in a metal form with the shape of a crab, a shrimp, or a fish.

Seafood Recipes

I have a few friends who think seafood recipes are too difficult to make for party foods. Nothing could be further from the truth! You can buy shrimp that have already been cooked, peeled, and deveined. Crabmeat is already cooked when you buy it. You can buy smoked oysters in small cans at practically any supermarket in the United States. Imitation crabmeat and imitation lobster are cooked and ready to eat or use in a recipe. What could be easier? Okay, I’ll concede that not all seafood recipes are easy to prepare, but many are. Unless you’re throwing a dinner party, you’ll probably want to stick to easy seafood recipes.

Some hosts and hostesses might also avoid serving seafood at their parties because of expense. Serving a lot of guests can get expensive, and as you already know, some types of seafood are costly. You can often solve this problem by serving one or two expensive party foods, along with lots of cheaper dishes. Also, you might want to start with cheaper ingredients for your recipes, like canned tuna, canned salmon, and imitation crab or imitation lobster. You can also save money on lobster and crab recipes by using a combination of real and imitation seafood. You might be surprised at what a great strategy this is!

Finger Food Ideas

Finger food ideas are great party food ideas! Most people love seafood, and a little can go a long way. It’s true that most types of seafood are relatively expensive, but in some cases, just a small amount will give your party foods a lot of flavor. For example, seafood can turn a boring dip into a delicious dip, and it can do the same for spreads.

Some types of seafood you might want to consider for finger food ideas are shrimp, crabmeat, imitation crab meat, blue crab claws, salmon, smoked mullet, tuna, lobster, oysters, clams, and scallops. Dips, spreads, cheese balls, and finger sandwiches are typical finger foods, but seafood provides many more party food ideas. Typically, finger foods should provide just one or two bites each, and a lot of seafood is just the right size to fit the bill. Think: shrimp, oysters, scallops, clams, and blue crab claws. Depending on their size, stone crab claws might also qualify.

Of course, all finger foods don’t have to eaten completely with the fingers. You can use fancy wooden or plastic toothpicks, small skewers, or even tiny little fork-like picks. If your party has a theme, you might want to use food picks that echo the theme of the party. Check your local party supplies store or you may get in touch with us. If they don’t have what you’re looking for, check online at Oriental Trading.