Illustration of tiny foods
Don't pass up bringing these cute tiny foods to your next summer barbecue. (Illustration by June Le, Minneapolis College of Art and Design)

5 Cute and Tasty Finger Foods To Bring to Any Summer Cookout

Even though they’re small enough to hold right in the palm of your hand and can be passed around by toothpick, they still pack a lot of flavor.

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Illustration of tiny foods

Even though they’re small enough to hold right in the palm of your hand and can be passed around by toothpick, they still pack a lot of flavor.

As a lover of things that are unnecessarily small and cute, I have become addicted to tiny cooking videos. Something about watching two fingers navigate the space of a microscopic kitchen is so pleasing. It seems as though I’m not the only one who feels this way, as this trend has captured the attention of major publications, such as Vogue and Buzzfeed.

While I’d love to participate in the cooking of unrealistically tiny foods that are no larger than the size of my thumb, I would have absolutely no idea how. Handling such small portions requires a level of dexterity and precision that I do not possess, nor do I have tiny utensils or kitchen appliances.

Much to my delight, though, I have discovered a few recipes that allow me to make finger foods that are miniature in size and will be easy to cook from the comforts of my own, normal-sized kitchen.

1. Big Mac Bites

One day, while attempting to keep to my Keto diet, I stumbled upon a finger food that was adorable. These bunless, bite-sized burgers feature all the toppings of a normal hamburger, except they are held together by a tiny toothpick instead of bread. Not only are they low carb, but they feature the famous McDonald’s Big Mac sauce, which is even more delicious when it’s homemade.

There is no special hack for making these burgers; just shape the raw meat into small patties, throw the patties in the oven, construct the sauce, add your desired toppings and spear your whole concoction with a toothpick. It’s the simplest, smallest low carb snack.

I made these baby burgers for my family a few weeks ago, and they were such a hit that I made them again only two nights later (and a few more times after that!).

2. Mini Deep Dish Pizzas

If you’re looking for a proper excuse to eat 25 deep-dish pizzas in one sitting, here you go.

With a fluffy tortilla crust molded by a muffin pan, these tiny finger foods make the perfect appetizer, side dish or even main course for your next potluck or picnic.

Constructing a mini deep-dish pizza is simple. All you need are normal sized tortillas, a cookie cutter to make the tortillas into smaller circles, your favorite pizza sauce, any cheese you’d like, herbs for the garnish (if you’re feeling fancy) and some mini pepperonis.

There’s nothing in this world that’s better than a delicious deep-dish pizza, and even more so when it’s small enough to be eaten in a single bite.

3. PBJ Mini Pancake Parfaits

PBJ Mini Pancake Parfaits put a creative, childlike twist to the trending mini pancakes cereal. This versatile breakfast or dessert finger food could be a delightful option to bring to a brunch or make for a graduation party. It is nearly impossible to go wrong with a pancake. No matter the occasion, everyone seems to enjoy them, and understandably so.

The best feature of these parfaits is that making a tiny pancake isn’t much different from making a normal sized one — it just requires a little less batter and a shorter amount of time on the stove.

Making these pancakes is pretty self explanatory. Between each mini pancake, layer some peanut butter, jelly, honey, chocolate or whatever else you can think of and stack them on top of one another. You can even top your creation with some berries or bananas if you’d like — just don’t forget to spear them with colorful toothpicks and display them on a cute platter.

4. Lasagna in a Cup

This dish makes one of the best finger foods, and it’s one of my childhood favorites that I often make for guests.

The best part about this mini meal, other than its delectable flavor, is that it’s just like eating an entire lasagna casserole in one bite.

I’ve seen many intricate recipes for lasagna cups, but I prefer to make mine as simply as possible. I do this by using wonton wraps instead of lasagna noodles. There’s nothing too complicated about these bites — just layer your beef, ricotta or cream cheese, sauce and mozzarella inside of a wonton or lasagna noodle-lined muffin pan.

They’re basically savory, delicious cupcakes made entirely of meat and cheese.

5. Mini Mac and Cheese Bites

In my opinion, mac and cheese can sometimes be an overwhelming dish. I am almost always enthusiastic about the idea of gooey, melty cheese over noodles; however, it can all be a bit too much when served as the main course.

That’s why I was particularly drawn to mac and cheese that is bite-sized. Making these bites allows you to experience all the joy and goodness of eating mac and cheese with the perfect amount of cheesiness.

Taste of Home offers the best recipe for these finger foods, but if you’re feeling adventurous you can make them however you’d like. Want to reminisce about the days when eating a bowl of “SpongeBob”-themed Kraft mac and cheese was acceptable? Go ahead and make a pot, and add some sophisticated “adult” ingredients such as breadcrumbs or parsley for the garnish.

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