50 Graduation Party Food Ideas with Names

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Plan a next level grad night for your recent grad with these graduation party food ideas and themed names! This list has everything from sweets to finger foods to food bars! 

Things to Consider When Choosing Your Menu

When you are planning the party menu, here are a few things that are good to keep in mind. 

  • First, you’re going to want to have a variety of food options. That way, people can customize their plate. This could mean having a variety of different foods or even just a variety of toppings for things like a taco or waffle bar. 
  • Next, be mindful of food allergies and dietary restrictions. You’ll want to make sure that there is something that each guest can enjoy. If a meal is being prepared, provide a couple of options such as regular, gluten free, and vegetarian. 
  • Another thing to keep in mind is the number of people on the guest list. This will likely impact the type of food that is provided and how much of it is prepared. You don’t want to have too much food, and you definitely don’t want to have too little.  Knowing the guest count will help you provide an adequate amount of graduation party food. 

Following these tips will help you provide food that fits your group! 

Graduation Party Finger Foods

Whether your grad has just wrapped up their high school years, gotten their undergrad, or received a masters (or higher), they are deserving of some praise and celebration for that incredible achievement!

This food list with graduation-themed names will help capture the significance of this chapter by highlighting key elements from their experience the last few years.

You’ll notice looking at this list that most of the food items suggested are finger foods. I suggest always having some kind of finger food at a party like this. Most grad parties are casual and fun, so finger foods really fit that atmosphere. Plus, they are easy to eat, pre-portioned, and make very little mess. Perfect for entertaining a variety of guests as they come and go during the party!

Vegetarian Graduation Party Snacks

Meat-free appetizers tend to be more cost-effective, since meat is often a more expensive ingredient. Below I have included a number of the most popular vegetarian party foods. You and the other guests can enjoy snacking on these while hearing and sharing the grad’s fondest memories from school! 

1.”Congratulations” Chips and Dip – Chips and dip are a party classic. They are inexpensive, low effort, and great for a crowd. You’re sure to get some applause with this one!

2. “Busy Schedule” Bruschetta – Even the busiest of students can make bruschetta. It is a simple mixture of mixture of basil, tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar on mini toast slices. If they can do it, you can make it for a party!

3. “Quest for Knowledge” Queso – Queso is a party staple! It is cheesy, flavorful, and satisfyingly messy! Use it so celebrate this hallmark occasion in your grad’s quest for knowledge.

4. “Got Your Degree” Deviled Eggs – Thankfully, making deviled eggs is much easier than getting a degree. And eating them is even easier than that!!

5. “A+” Quesadillas – Anyone can make a quesadilla, but not everyone can make an A+ one! You might have to do your homework to figure out which cheeses and add-ins you like best.

6. “Graduate” Guacamole and Chips – You know what else people love? Guac! Add a little onion, tomato, lemon juice, and garlic and you have a delicious graduation-worthy appetizer. 

7. “Tassle” Mozzarella Cheese Sticks – You know what’s better than a tassle on your graduation cap, one you can eat! Guests are sure to love this graduation party food!

8. “Bookworm” Dip and Veggies – With a little imagination, your baby carrots, celery sticks, and cucumber spears might just look like bookworms….perfect for celebrating a bookworm of your own.

9. “Back to the Basics” Mini Quiche Bites – Thinking about throwing a bunch party or picnic? These would be a fabulous choice. They are a simple food, but sometimes its good to stick to the basics.

10. “Good Work” Garlic Twists – Nothing says “treat yourself” like buttery, garlicky baked garlic twists! These are an addicting bite to share with your grad and fellow guests for their good work!

Graduation party food - vegetarian snacks - chips in bowls

Graduation Party Foods Containing Meat 

Some of my all time favorite snacks are included in this section. I mean, jalapeño poppers? I’m all about it. Pizza rollups! What’s not to love? Pretty much anything from this list will be an award winner with your friends, family, and neighbors. If you’re looking for the crowd pleasers, this is a great section to look at!

11. “Make Your Mark” Mini Sliders – Looking for a party food that will “make a mark” just like your graduate? Try making mini sliders! There are tons of flavor combos, and they are a hit every time!

12. “Passed With Flying Colors” Wings – Wings make any party better. That’s just a fact. Whip up some sauce-drenched wings and you are sure to win over your party guests!

13. “Cap and Gown” Pigs in a Blanket – These savory, fluffy bites are just like your grad – all wrapped up!

14. “Diploma” Chicken Taquitos – Since chicken taquitos already kind of look like a diploma scroll, they are a perfect snack for a grad party.

15. “Honor Roll” Pizza Rollups – Don’t worry if your grad wasn’t on the honor roll or didn’t have the best grades. You can still make pizza rollups and say “That’s a wrap on school!”.

16. “See Success” Shrimp Cocktail – Shrimp cocktail is seen as high class. It is elegant and refined, just like your degree-holding graduate. Serve it to your guests to help them envision the coming success of your grad.

17. “Rule the School” Spicy Buffalo Chicken Dip – Buffalo chicken dip is king when it comes to hearty dips. It is popular for its creamy, spicy flavor and “kick”. Great option for your party!

18. “Crushed It” Croissant Sandwiches – If you’re looking for a simple party food, croissant sandwiches are a go-to. After making them, you and your grad can say you “Crushed it!”.

19. “Full of Knowledge” Stuffed Mushrooms – While your grad may be full of knowledge, you can make stuffed mushrooms that are full of anything you want, from cheese to bacon to spinach! 

20. “Keepin Mom and Dad Proud” Kebabs – Just like building a class schedule, with kebabs you can mix and match to your delight. Grill them up for a festive, backyard bbq party!

21. “Hit the Books” Jalapeno Poppers – Eyes go wide. Throat starts to tingle. Forehead starts to sweat. – Sounds like hitting the books before an exam right?! What’s crazy is jalapenos can do the same thing! Give your guests a taste of the rush that comes from being in school by offering them bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers!

22. “Celebration” Charcuterie Board – Charcuterie boards and grazing tables are very visually appealing ways to display food at a gathering. Design your own to celebrate your grad’s accomplishment!

23. “Momentous Occassion” Meatballs – Help your alum enjoy this momentous occasion with some moist, sauce-covered meatballs! Almost as good as the feeling of walking across that stage, diploma in hand!

24. “Destined for Greatness” Dumplings – Dumplings are full of surprises and so is your grad! Serve up some fresh dumplings at the party as a reminder that you never know what is hiding within!

Graduation party food - foods containing meat - charcuterie board

Sweet Graduation Party Snacks

If your friends are like me, then they definitely have a sweet tooth! I’m a firm believer that no party is complete without some kind of dessert.

Sweeten up this last hurrah with your new graduate, by including treats like these! 

25. “Teacher’s Pet” Truffles – Truffles are so good that they are a great way to get on anyone’s good side, including your teacher/professor’s. Need a good recipe? Check out these oreo balls!

26. “Full Circle” Donuts – Graduating really is a “full circle” moment. It brings back a flood of memories from the past few years of hard work. Honor that moment with some tasty donuts!

27. “As easy as ABC” Cheesecake Bites – Ok so maybe graduating wasn’t quite as simple as ABC, but what better way to celebrate the victory than with some decadent cheesecake bites?!

28. “Commencement” Cookies – Whether they have a written message or themed design, cookies are an easy way to add theme to your graduation party foods!

29. “Worth it” Macaroons – Like finishing high school or attending a university, macaroons take time. They require intentionality, care, and expertise. Let them serve as a reminder of everything that has led up to the party. Pretty worth it, if I do say so myself!

30. “Magical Moment” Muffins – Let your grad share magical moments from their experience in school over some muffins. You just might create another magical memory there at the party.

31. “Piece of Cake” Cupcakes – Hopefully, earning their degree was a piece of cake for your grad. But even if it wasn’t they can celebrate the journey with a succulent cupcake!

32. “End of an Era” Fruit and Dip – Fresh fruit is the same to a party as the library is to a school, aka it is SO necessary! Make a cute spread of fruits and maybe even take it up a notch with a dessert dip.

33. “Bigger and Better Things” Brownies – Fudgy brownies are indulgent and rich, but nothing can taste as good as the feeling of freedom. Bake a batch of brownies so your alum can remember the true sweetness that comes from moving on to bigger and better things!

34. “Bittersweet” Lemon Bars – Earning a degree truly is a bittersweet experience. It is the end of one chapter and start of another. Capture that feeling with these sweet and sour dessert bars.

35. “On Cloud Nine” Cotton Candy – Your grad may be on cloud nine, but that doesn’t mean you can enjoy your own cloud….cotton candy cloud that is!

Graduation party food - sweet snacks - diploma cupcakes

Other Graduation Party Foods ( Not Finger Foods)

Depending on the size of your crowd and party timing, snacks and finger foods might not be enough. These are some ideas for more hearty foods you can include to round out your party menu. These options are on the cheaper side for feeding a crowd, so they are great options if you’re planning a large gathering.

36. “Nacho Average Grad” Nacho Bar – Not just anyone can get a diploma! Or serve up incredible party food. Do both by adding a nacho party to your graduation gathering!

37. “Burn the Midnight Oil” Baked Potato Bar – After learning that potatoes are cheap and can be cooked in the microwave in 7 minutes, I ate baked potatoes FAR too many nights in college…….So to honor the “poor college kid” diet, throw in a baked potato bar!

38. “Study Sesh” Salad Bar – Choosing a salad to serve is like choosing a major. There are just sooo many choices! Instead, let your guests build their own with a salad bar!

39. “Academic Achievement” Pasta Salad – Pasta salad is easy to make for a large group and comes with all kinds of options for sauces and toppings! It’ll be just as popular as your recent grad!

40. “Top of the Class” Taco Bar – Tacos are a go-to meal for a crowd. They are a fan favorite that’s easy to do on a large scale and very customizable. “Top of the Class” you might say. 😉

41. “Cheers for the Grad” Cake – Is it even a party without cake? I mean, c’mon. Let’s be real with ourselves. Ya gotta have cake!

42. “Report Card” Crepes – Crepes are like report cards. They get folded up and mysteriously disappear all the time. Weird right?!

43. “Fake It ‘Til You Make It” Fondue – Fondue is a fantastic party food. While it can get a little messy and no one really knows the best way to dip their food into that delicious gooeyness, we all can “fake it” like we know what we are doing!

44. “What Comes Next” WafflesWaffles are a yummy food with options for both sweet or savory! With so many possibilities, there’s no telling what comes next – for the waffles or your graduate!

Graduation party food - fondue table with lots of fruit to dip in the chocolate fountain

Drinks for a Grad Party

Graduation parties always need to have good drinks to go along with the food. Here are some popular drinks that would be a great addition to the food situation you already have going on!

45. “Lightbulb” Lemonade – If you’re into genius party ideas, you probably already love this one! Not only is lemonade a beloved party drink, but it easily fits into the graduation theme. So fun!

46. “Wow I Made it!” Water – Whether you’re the grad who just got their degree or a parent who had to sit through the forever-long graduation ceremony, you’re gonna need a refreshing drink. Water is a MUST at the party!

47. “Hats Off To You” Horchata – Anybody who knows their stuff understands that horchata is SO tasty. Show off your smarts by serving up this milky cinnamon deliciousness to your party guests.

48. “Future is Bright” Floats – Run to the grocery store and grab different kinds of soda and vanilla ice cream. This will allow people to make their own cute little floats!

49. “Young Professional” Punch – Punch can be super tasty, just be careful not to spill. That bright red can be a tough stain to get out. Wouldn’t want the grad getting that on their cap and gown!

50. “Brain” Juice – Make a toast to all the “brain juice” that went into completing this school year!

Graduation party food and drinks - lemonade

If You Like This, You Might Also Like

I want to make this grad party an extra special day, so here are some recommendations I have for you as you plan your upcoming graduation party. I have lots of dessert recipes, so definitely check those out, and don’t miss my teacher appreciation ideas as well!

Don’t Leave Just Yet

Here at Events to Celebrate, my whole goal is to help real people plan for their kids’ birthday parties, life events, and holidays! Life is crazy. I GET IT. You don’t have endless time OR money to spend on parties, but you still want to help your guests have a great time. I’m here to help give you tips, tricks, and ideas for celebrating life on a budget.

As a mom, you want to do it all. You want to make your family happy and create special memories. My brand is all about creating special moments with those you love. The kind of moments that you will look back on years later and wish you could relive! So, if that’s something you’re interested in, stick around! I have an email list you can sign up for, so you don’t miss my future party ideas!

50 Graduation Party Snacks with Names - Pinterest Pin

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