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Finger foods

Finger Food Ideas for Summer Gatherings Here on the Suncoast

| Angela Naff |

This summer, family gatherings by the pool or to catch up will be on the horizon. While hamburgers, hot dogs, and other food staples are expected, maybe you want to add a little pizazz to the offerings. We have compiled some great finger food options that are simple to put together and wonderful additions to please your guests.

Peach Bruschetta

Yep, you read that right. We have twisted an Italian cuisine favorite into a fresh summer option. With tantalizing fruit and crispy baguette, these will surely disappear in short order when served to your guests this summer.

Finger Food
Photo courtesy of Food Network


  • 1 French baguette, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound large peaches, cut into small dice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil 
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/4 cup honey 
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, plus more as desired 
  • 4 ounces goat cheese 


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Lay the baguette pieces in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet, brush both sides with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, and bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, toss together the peaches, basil, salt, and the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  • Whisk together the honey, vinegar, and hot sauce in a small bowl, adding more hot sauce to taste.
  • To build the bruschetta, start with a piece of baguette, spread with the goat cheese, spoon on some peaches, and top with the hot honey.

Mango Zucchini Lettuce Wraps

Finger Food
Photo Courtesy of

Take your wrap game to the next level with these sweet and savory bites. These healthy appetizers are packed with bold flavors like juicy mango, fresh mint, and zesty lime. The whole thing is finished off beautifully with a bright ginger and soy sauce. 


  • Romaine lettuce leaves
  • ½ cup kelp noodles (optional)
  • 1 zucchini, julienned
  • ½ mango, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 radishes, sliced into thin sticks
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions
  • 1-2 Thai red peppers, sliced
  • Handful of fresh mint
  • Edamame, baked tofu, or a protein of your choice
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Sriracha, for serving


  • Prep all your veggies and arrange on a platter.
  • Mix the dipping sauce together.
  • Serve with lime wedges and sriracha, assembling your lettuce wraps to your liking.

Queso-Filled Mini Peppers

What could be better than a little spice in your gatherings? This queso doesn’t need any chips, as the peppers provide the perfect utensils for this cheesy finger food option for your gatherings.

Queso Peppers
Photo Courtesy of Southern Living


  • 2 (16-oz.) pkg. mini sweet peppers
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 8 ounces pepper Jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeños
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro


  • Preheat broiler on HIGH with oven rack 5 inches from heat.
  • Toss peppers with oil and 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt; arrange in a single layer on an aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  • Broil until tops are lightly charred, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Let cool to room temperature 30 minutes.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 425°F.
  • Flip over the peppers so the charred side is on the bottom; cut and remove the top third of each pepper (from stem end to tip).
  • Discard the cut-off part, or reserve it for another use.
  • Scoop out membranes and seeds, and discard.
  • Whisk together pepper, Jack cheese, and milk in the top of a double boiler over simmering water over medium.
  • Whisk until smooth, 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat; stir in cream cheese, jalapeños, and remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon salt.
  • Spoon a heaping teaspoon of cheese mixture into each pepper.
  • Place on a baking sheet.
  • Bake until tops are golden, 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, melt butter in a skillet over medium.
  • Add panko and pepper; cook, stirring, until golden brown, 3 more minutes.
  • Sprinkle peppers with panko mixture and cilantro.

Baby BLT

Cherry tomatoes stuffed finger food option with a mixture of bacon, green onion, and mayonnaise. Is your mouth watering yet? These are sure to be a fresh option that will be a hit with your guests.

BLT Chilled
Photo courtesy of All Recipes


  • 1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 24 cherry tomatoes


  • Place bacon in a large, deep skillet.
  • Cook over medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until evenly brown.
  • Once cooled, crumble and set aside.
  • In a bowl, stir together mayonnaise, bacon, green onions, and parsley until well blended.
  • Set aside.
  • Cut a small slice from the top of each tomato.
  • Using a melon baller or small spoon, scoop out the inside of each tomato and discard.
  • Fill each tomato with the bacon mixture, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Serve chilled.

Spinach Artichoke Zucchini Bites

Grilled vegetables are often a staple of grilling season. These zucchini bites mix the best vegetables with finger food ease to add some zest to your food line up this summer.

Spinach Artichoke Bites
Photo Courtesy of Delish


  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 c. shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan 
  • 1/2 c. canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 c. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 tbsp. sour cream 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes 
  • Kosher salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2″ rounds


  • Preheat oven to 400° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan, artichokes, spinach, sour cream, garlic, and crushed red pepper.
  • Season with salt and pepper. 
  • Spread about a tablespoon of cream cheese mixture on top of each zucchini coin.
  • Bake until zucchini is tender and cheese is melty, 15 minutes.
  • For more color, broil on high, 1 to 2 minutes.

Which one of the above finger food options got your taste buds salivating? These fresh options will get you kudos this summer for amazing options at your next gathering. Remember, you can change ingredients to vegan, vegetarian, or just your personalized taste to ensure that everyone has great food options while you have an amazing time with all your favorite people.

Happy gathering, Suncoast!

Photo Courtesy of Deposit Photos

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