Appetizer Bar Ideas: Fast and Easy Family Dinner


Trying to come up with the perfect meal plan to feed 27 people all with different cravings and preferences can be tough. So, when a gal in our group suggested appetizer bar ideas, we knew we had hit the jackpot for the perfect group dinner!

Sam's Club_Appetizer Bar

Not only is meal planning for a large group stressful, it can also be expensive. So I equally as was thrilled when Sam's Club reached out and offered us a gift card to help offset the cost of our appetizer bar ideas. Not already a Sam's Club member, we got the full experience from setting up an account, which took no time at all, to overloading one cart (we really needed two!) with enough variety to please kids from ages 4 to 54.

Appetizer Bar Ideas

Sam's Club_Appetizer Bar IdeasYou will want to scale your appetizer bar ideas up or down based on the number of people at your dinner. For a group of 27, we found the following mix of appetizers offered something for everyone. Some we purchased from Sam's Club and just had to heat up or take out of the package and place on the appetizer bar. Others were ingredients we used in quick and easy recipes. Overall, we had a mix of hot and cold food, fruit, vegetables, starches, and meat, including:

  • Artichoke Dip (best dip ever, see recipe here)
  • Brie Cheese Plate With Honey and Berries (one of their more than 50 international cheeses)
  • Fiesta Dip (or as @TroyPattee calls it: Party in a Bowl, see recipe here)
  • Little Smokies (which we wrapped in bacon)
  • Meatballs
  • Shrimp Cocktail
  • Spanakopita
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Vegetable tray with Ranch Dressing and Sabra Hummus

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The Benefits of Purchasing at Sam's Club

I'm not gonna lie. My husband put me on a bulk store buying moratorium when we first got married, because I developed a real problem for buying way too much merchandise when I shopped at stores like Sam's Club. It's funny to think back on now, but raise your hand if you can relate to going into one of these stores with appetizer bar ideas on your mind only to walk out with a big screen TV. OK! I'm kind of kidding. I really only got new sets of plates and way too much holiday ribbon, but you get my gist.

So, I was a little nervous about keeping to my budget, but here is what I loved about my Sam's Club shopping experience:

  • I bought everything I needed from Sam's Club with exception to five items I opted to buy at my local grocery store, which simply were items I didn't need to purchase in bulk. Had I been willing to buy them in bulk, they were also available at Sam's Club. The one-stop shopping aspect of shopping there saved me a ton of time.
  • I am a produce snob, so having high-quality products (fresh and delicious being the key) is super important to me. And, I found everything I needed at Sam's Club. The only item I opted to buy at my local grocery store was cucumbers, and simply because I preferred a different variety than what Sam's Club offered.
  • I was buying a lot of unique appetizers, like Spanakopita and Pot Stickers. I LOVE that Sam's Club has a 200% satisfaction guarantee on all fresh food. If for whatever reason members are not satisfied, Sam’s Club will refund double the purchase price or refund the purchase price and replace the product. That's better than Nordstrom. And for those who know me, you know how much I die for Nordstrom. Score!

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.

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