Appetizers to make per person for a dinner or cocktail party?

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How Many Appetizers To Serve Before Dinner:  If you choose to serve an appetizer before a meal, consider the meal following immediately, and try to select complementary foods. Choose items you can prepare ahead and serve easily.

Dinner Party - 6 appetizers per person

Cocktail Party - 12 appetizers per person

Caterer's Formula: A fairly standard formula is used among caterers to figure out how many appetizers are needed from each recipe:

12 pieces per person times the number of people divided by the number of different appetizers.

When appetizers are being served before a full dinner, halve the totals.

If the guest list has fewer than 45 people, plan on using roughly 6 different appetizers; for more than 45 guests, 8 types. The rule of thumb for smaller gatherings is that 3 types are suitable for 8 to 10 guests; 4 or 5 for 14 to 16 people.

Having an equal number of hot and cold foods is also helpful so that while one appetizer is heating in the oven, a cold one can be circulating, keeping everyone nibbling happily.

Check out all my great Appetizer Recipes (includes Hors d' oeuvres, Starters, Amuse-Bouche, & Snacks).


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