15 tasty Summer Food Ideas (Cold Appies & Finger Food)

Sharing is caring!

Wondering what to munch on during those hot summer days and nights? Here are some tasty, cold appetizers and finger food Ideas that are perfect for enjoying outdoors when you don’t feel like having a big, full meal.

15. Caprese Skewers

caprese skewers are a great summer appetizer

Thread cherry tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, and mini mozzarella balls onto small skewers then drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Eating food off a stick can be fun for kids, and they may try food that they’d otherwise pass on.

14. Veggies with Dip

Veggies and dip are an easy summer snack

Fill small cups with a dollop of hummus and stick a variety of sliced veggies like carrots, celery, and bell peppers vertically into the hummus. They’re easy to grab and go, and there’s no double-dipping.

13. Fruit and Cheese Platter

Fruit and cheese platter - a tasty summer snack

Create a simple platter with slices of cheese and fresh fruits like grapes, strawberries, apple slices, and pears. (Pear and brie are such a great combo!)

Add some crackers and nuts for an extra crunch.

12. Cucumber Sandwiches

Cucumber sandwiches are a nice and light sandwich that takes only minutes to prepare.

Spread cream cheese on your bread or croissant, add slices of cucumber, and season with salt and pepper. Cut the sandwiches into small triangles for easy eating.

I prefer having thicker cucumber slices so there is more of a crunch, yet others like thinly sliced. Experiment and see what you prefer.

11. Rice Paper Rolls

Photo credit: HealthyGreenKitchen.com

I love how fresh salad rolls in rice paper taste. The crunchy veggies inside the soft roll is the best.

I’ve made simple salad rolls by slicing up carrots, cucumbers and red onions then dipping it in peanut sauce.

If you want to follow a recipe (and hopefully make it look as good as the picture above), check out this recipe from HealthyGreenKitchen.com

These could be an appetizer for a larger meal, but I find eating enough of these veggie-stuffed rolls to be quite filling on their own.

10. Pinwheel Wraps

Spread cream cheese, deli meats, and your choice of veggies on a large tortilla.

Roll it up tightly, then slice into pinwheels that are perfect for packing and sharing.

9. Mini Quiches

Mini quiches can be a tasty finger food that contains protein

Quiches may not immediately come to mind when you’re thinking about summer food.

But they’re tasty cold, are easy to serve and can be eaten without any mess.

Prepare mini quiches or tartlets ahead of time using a muffin tin. Fill them with ingredients like spinach, bacon, and cheese.

Want to follow a recipe? Check out this mini quiche recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

8. Cold Pasta Salad

Photo credit: CherishedBliss.com

Pasta salad is flavorful and can be served in small cups or bowls so it is perfect for picnics or other outdoor gatherings.

If you want to make the pasta salad shown above, click here to get the recipes on CherishedBliss.com

7. Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps

Fill some wraps with Caesar salad and slices of grilled chicken or cooked chicken strips.

Roll them up and cut into manageable pieces.

For a decorative touch, you can secure each piece with a toothpick. This makes it a great finger food that is perfect for picnics and dinners on the patio.

My family enjoys the “Hampton House” chicken fingers that we buy at Costco. Cook those up in the air fryer and then you can eat them in chicken caesar salads over the next couple of days.

I like the air fryer option in the summer so you don’t have to heat up the entire oven and warm the kitchen just to cook a few chicken strips.

6. Deviled Eggs

Make classic deviled eggs with a mix of egg yolks, mayonnaise, mustard, and a sprinkle of paprika.

They are easy to transport and can look quite fancy when served on a nice platter.

The protein in this snack may help fill you up and less likely to reach for carb-heavy snacks like chips.

5. Guacamole and Tortilla Chips

Speaking of chips…

Serving up some guacamole and tortilla chips adds a nice festive feel to an outdoor meal: perfect for a summer snack.

4. Fruit Salad

Fruit salad is tasty, sweet and hydrating.

It’s great to serve up during an outdoor summer meal, but try to keep the fruit chilled until it’s ready to be eaten, or else it can get mushy.

3. Fruit Skewers

While we’re on the topic of fruit…

Here are some fruit skewers I made the other night.
I threaded some watermelon, grapes, strawberries, and oranges onto wooden skewers. (I even added sliced bananas onto a different skewer but I didn’t snap a photo of that one.)

I served it with some vanilla-flavored greek yogurt to dip the fruit in.

It was a hit with the kids (and me!).

2. Antipasto Skewers

Skewer a mix of olives, artichoke hearts, cheese cubes, salami, and cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and Italian herbs for a robust flavor that’s easy to enjoy outdoors.

1. Cold Quinoa Salad

Cold quinoa salad is a fantastic summer appetizer because it combines nutrient-rich quinoa with a variety of fresh vegetables like cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers.

Tossed in a light lemon vinaigrette and served in individual cups, these salads are easy to eat, refreshing, and packed with protein and fiber, making them delicious – and satisfying – on a hot summer day.

Want to follow a recipe? My sister makes a killer quinoa salad and she got the recipe from this website.

These cold appies and finger foods offer a variety of flavors and textures that are perfect for outdoor summer meals.

They are all easy to make and your guests or family will appreciate having these tasty bites to enjoy.

Up Next:

Pool party snack ideas

Got some friends coming over to use your pool? Check out these pool party snack ideas. (They won’t disappoint.)

Watermelon recipes

Watermelon recipes that go outside the “norm”

Easy Strawberry Desserts

Finish off any summer meal with one of these tasty and easy strawberry desserts.

Playlist covers

Did you know you can change your Spotify playlist covers? Check out these Playlist cover art ideas.

Want to find this list again later? Pin the image below to your favorite Pinterest board.

Summer food ideas - cold appetizers and finger foods