30+ Graduation Party Recipes
Graduating, whether from high school, college, or any graduate school, is a huge deal that deserves to be celebrated. Celebrating is something Southerners have never taken issue with, especially when there’s ample homemade food involved. These are the best graduation party food ideas to show your grad how proud you are of them. Everyone will be happy with party classics like ham biscuits and deviled eggs, and you can mix in new favorites like roasted broccoli salad and our latest spin on potato skins. You can’t forget dessert when you talk about festivities, because every party needs to end on a sweet note. Instead of ordering one, try a homemade chocolate chip cookie cake, or send your grad off to the real world with a decadent Texas sheet cake. Whatever recipes you choose for your graduation party, be sure your graduate feels the love. These ideas will end the school year on the best note.
You're three ingredients away from your new favorite appetizer.
Pork Tenderloin Sliders
Recipe: Pork Tenderloin Sliders
Pork tenderloin sliders are the best party food—they feel dressy but are budget friendly. Plus, they’re easy for guests to pick up but more filling than other bite-size foods.
Southwest Black-Eyed Pea Dip
Recipe: Southwest Black-Eyed Pea Dip
There’s nothing like a creamy dip to get the party started. This one combines all the ingredients you love from Texas Caviar and makes them into a warm, cheesy treat.
Roasted Broccoli Salad
Recipe: Roasted Broccoli Salad
This ain’t Mama’s broccoli salad, that’s for sure, but guests will fall for this updated twist on a potluck classic.
Recipe: Ham Biscuits
Ham biscuits are a Southern party staple. Why? They’re easy, filling, feed a crowd, and make a pretty spread.
Recipe: Potato Skins
Potato skins are an undeniable hit every time we serve them, and this easy, tangy-spicy sour cream sauce is the perfect addition to kick them up a notch.
Lemony Potato-and-Beet Salad with Dill
Somebody has to bring the potato salad, so swap it out for this springy upgrade.
DIY Deviled Egg Bar
Recipe: DIY Deviled Egg Bar
Add a personalized component to the setup where guests can create their favorite deviled egg topping creations.
Petite Sweet Potato Biscuits with Pulled Pork and Slaw
These perfect party bites pack everything we love about a cookout in grab-and-go form.
Queso-Filled Mini Peppers
Recipe: Queso-Filled Mini Peppers
These poppable bites can be made a day in advance to help with prep time.
Mini Shrimp Rolls
Recipe: Mini Shrimp Rolls
These mini sandwiches are the ideal party snack for the graduation time of year.
Spicy Pimiento Cheese Sausage Balls
Sausage balls are already a classic for parties in the South, but we made them even more Southern with a pimiento cheese twist.
Fresh Fruit Salad
Recipe: Fresh Fruit Salad
Among rows of hearty appetizers and casseroles, it’s nice to throw a little fresh fruit in there with this easy salad your guests will appreciate.
Potato Puffs with Toppings
Recipe: Potato Puffs with Toppings
Although they look fancy, these bite-size delights are basically dressy tater tots, which makes them our new favorite appetizer.
Slow-Cooker Beef Sliders with Pickled Peppers
Take the work out of prep work and let the slow cooker handle it with this crowd-pleasing recipe.
Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad
Recipe: Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad
This tangy side dish combines everything you love about pasta salad and broccoli salad.
Deviled Egg Salad and Asparagus Tartines
Instead of a self-serve bowl of egg salad, make it easy on guests with these springy toasts.
Chicken Biscuit Sandwiches
Recipe: Chicken Biscuit Sandwiches
With the help of your slow cooker, this recipe will free up more of your time for other finishing touches.
Watermelon, Cucumber, and Feta Salad
Lighten up the spread with this colorful salad that’s ideal for the start of summer.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
Your grad has probably requested a cookie cake for countless events, so surprise them with a homemade version that’s even better.
Key Lime Pound Cake
Recipe: Key Lime Pound Cake
Brighten up the party with a dessert that tastes like a slice of paradise.
Death by Chocolate
Recipe: Death by Chocolate
This classic potluck dessert was made to feed a crowd and make them happy in the process.
Recipe: Strawberry-Lemonade Cake
This layer cake is perfect for a sunny spring gathering like a graduation party.
Mamie Eisenhower’s Chocolate Fudge
It’s not a Southern gathering without at least one plate of fudge on the dessert table.
Recipe: Easy Peach Cobbler
Has anyone ever turned down a scoop of classic peach cobbler? Nope, especially when it’s paired with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream.
Banana Pudding Poke Cake
Recipe: Banana Pudding Poke Cake
If your grad is a banana pudding fanatic, they’ll swoon over this decadent cake that was made for feeding a crowd.
Hummingbird Cupcakes with Candied Pineapple Wedges
We made our legendary hummingbird cake recipe into a big-batch cupcake recipe that’s perfect for parties and just as delicious.
Recipe: Oreo Cheesecake
Milk’s favorite cookie is now cheesecake’s favorite, too. Kids and adults will love this nostalgic dessert.
Mini Bourbon-and-Cola Bundt Cakes
Cheers the grad with a classic bourbon and cola—in cake form!
Recipe: Peach-and-Blackberry Crisp
Welcome the beginning of summer with this fresh and easy dessert.
Sweet Tea-and-Lemonade Cake
Recipe: Sweet Tea-and-Lemonade Cake
This cake version of the Arnold Palmer drink is the perfect dessert to kick off your grad’s summer.
Chocolate Peanut Butter-Fudge Bars
Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies
Recipe: Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies
These stuffed-to-the-brim cookies are easy for guests to grab and keep mingling.
Texas Sheet Cake with Fudge Icing
Despite this cake’s size, there won’t be any left at the end of the party.
Graduation Sheet Cake
Recipe: Graduation Sheet Cake
Your grad will be equally excited about these sweet diplomas as the real deal.