40 Recipes to Make for Your 1970s co*cktail Party (2024)

Home Recipes Meal Types Appetizers

ByRachel Seis

Taste of Home's Editorial Process

Updated: Jul. 09, 2024

    These recipes for '70s food will be a hit at your next co*cktail party. Who doesn't love stuffed shrimp, co*cktail meatballs and fancy drinks?


    Olive-Stuffed Celery

    My grandmother taught both me and my mom this appetizer recipe for stuffed celery. The stuffing is so yummy that even if you don’t normally care for the ingredients on their own, you’ll love the end result. —Stacy Powell, Santa Fe, Texas

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    Three-Cheese Fondue

    I got this easy recipe from my daughter, who lives in France. It’s become my go-to fondue, and I make it often for our family. —Betty A. Mangas, Toledo, Ohio

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    Cheese Puffs

    I found this cheese puffs recipe in one of my mother’s old cookbooks and updated the flavor by adding cayenne and mustard. Tasty and quick for this busy season, these tender, golden puffs go together in minutes and simply disappear at parties! —Jamie Wetter, Boscobel, Wisconsin

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    Seafood Cakes with Herb Sauce Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Seafood Cakes with Herb Sauce

    Living near the ocean, I have a wide variety of seafood available to experiment with in recipes. This one uses salmon and scallops, shrimp, crab, lobster or any firm whitefish (such as halibut or even cod) would work equally as well. —Elizabeth Truesdell, Petaluma, California

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    Pistachio and Date Ricotta Crostini Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Pistachio and Date Ricotta Crostini

    My husband and I regularly have date night at home where we make a four-course meal. For appetizers, I like to keep things simple but dressed up. I’ve found that making a special appetizer helps transform the atmosphere into a fancy meal. We’ve grown to really cherish these long and luxurious evenings together in our living room. Fresh figs can be used in lieu of dates if that’s what you have on hand! —Kristin Bowers, Gilbert, Arizona

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    Brie Appetizers with Bacon-Plum Jam

    Among my friends I’m known as the pork master, because I love to cook just about every cut there is. These appetizers combine soft, mild Brie cheese with a sweet-sour bacon jam that has a touch of Sriracha sauce. —Rick Pascocello, New York, New York

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    Barbecued Meatballs

    Grape jelly and chili sauce are the secrets that make these meatballs so fantastic. If I’m serving them at a party, I prepare the meatballs and sauce in advance and reheat them right before guests arrive. —Irma Schnuelle, Manitowoc, Wisconsin

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    Curry Pineapple Dip

    The flavors blend deliciously in this refreshing pineapple dip. It’s also terrific with an assortment of vegetables or your favorite fancy crackers. —Barb Meninga, Kalamazoo, Michigan

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    Shrimp and Cucumber Canapes Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Shrimp and Cucumber Canapes

    These cute stacks really stand out in an appetizer buffet. Tasty, cool and crunchy, they come together in a snap. —Ashley Nochlin, Port St. Lucie, Florida

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    Mini Cheese Balls Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Mini Cheese Balls

    These mini cheese balls are the perfect quick appetizer for any party. Roll them in toasted sesame seeds, fresh rosemary and/or paprika to add even more flavor. —Judy Spivey, Ennice, North Carolina

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    Ambrosia Fruit Salad

    My mom's ambrosia salad, with its tasty combination of fresh fruits and creamy yogurt, is a family favorite, and a great addition to a backyard barbecue. —Colleen Belbey, Warwick, Rhode Island

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    Effortless Guacamole Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Effortless Guacamole

    Here’s one delicious, extra-easy classic you’ll turn to again and again. I’ve been making this recipe since I started cooking, and that was a long time ago. —DeAnn Lokvam, Tijeras, New Mexico

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    Pina Colada

    Velvety-smooth texture and a taste of the tropics are what this tropical drink delivers. The easy-to-make pina colada recipe can be mixed and chilled ahead of time. When ready to serve, just blend for a creamy and delicious beverage. —Linda Schend, Kenosha, Wisconsin

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    Oyster Cheese Appetizer Log

    When you say “holiday tradition” around our house, this appetizer comes to mind immediately. Every winter, I make lots of cheese logs and freeze them for when I’m expecting company or need to take food to someone’s home. The blend of smoked oysters, chili powder, nuts and cream cheese tastes good—even people who don’t like oysters may enjoy this interesting appetizer. —William Tracy, Jerseyville, Illinois

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    Marinated Shrimp and Olives

    This is my favorite appetizer to serve party guests. The flavors in this colorful dish blend beautifully, and the shrimp are tender and tasty. —Carol Gawronski, Lake Wales, Florida

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    Swiss Potato Puffs

    Encourage guests to mingle by serving these cute little morsels. They’re transportable, mess-free and easy to eat in a few bites. —Myra Innes, Auburn, Kansas

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    Crab Phyllo Cups Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Crab Phyllo Cups

    I always like a little extra chili sauce on top of these easy snacks. If you're out of crab, water-packed tuna works well too. —Johnna Johnson, Scottsdale, Arizona

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    Savory Cucumber Sandwiches Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Savory Cucumber Sandwiches

    Italian salad dressing easily flavors this simple snack. You can also omit the bread and serve the spread as a dip with cucumbers or other veggies. —Carol Henderson, Chagrin Falls, Ohio

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    Rosemary Strawberry Daiquiri Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Rosemary Strawberry Daiquiri

    This strawberry daiquiri recipe is a standout with its herbal twist! I used to teach herb classes at our local technical college and everyone enjoyed my segment on herbal co*cktails like this one. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

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    Pineapple Appetizer Meatballs

    Blend a can of crushed pineapple into these meatballs to create a taste-tempting treat. Best of all, the sweet and tangy glaze that coats this big batch of bite-sized snacks is a snap to prepare. —Karen Baker, Dover, Ohio

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    Slim Curried Deviled Eggs

    When you’re in the mood for some good finger food, try any one of these sinfully delicious variations on deviled eggs. They are a cinch to fill and make a popular contribution to a potluck or brunch. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Greendale, Wisconsin

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    Cheese Lover's Fondue

    French bread cubes and apples are the perfect dippers for this classic fondue, made with white wine and Swiss and Gruyere cheeses. It’s a crowd pleaser. —Linda Vogel, Elgin, Illinois

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    Brandy Old-Fashioned Sweet Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Brandy Old-Fashioned Sweet

    The concept of an old-fashioned dates back to the early 1800s and includes whiskey, bitters, cherry juice, sugar and water. This old-fashioned recipe, which is extremely popular in Wisconsin, uses brandy in place of whiskey and lemon-lime soda instead of water for a milder co*cktail. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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    Swedish Meatballs Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Swedish Meatballs

    Mom fixed this Swedish meatball recipe for all sorts of family dinners, potluck suppers and PTA meetings. The scent of browning meat is intoxicating. Add to that the sweet smell of onions caramelizing, and everyone’s mouth starts watering. —Marybeth Mank, Mesquite, Texas

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    German Beer Cheese Spread

    We love recipes inspired by our German heritage. This tangy spread is fantastic served alongside everything, including pretzels and pumpernickel or crackers and sausage. Choose your favorite beer—the flavor really comes through. —Angela Spengler, Tampa, Florida

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    Lobster Tartlets Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    Lobster Tartlets

    I love lobster, so I created these gems. They are perfect appetizers for a co*cktail party or family dinner. Top with chives or green onions for color. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario

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    Polynesian Meatballs

    With pretty bits of pineapple, these meatballs are sure to attract attention—and the sweet-tart sauce brings people back for seconds. —Carol Wakley, North East, Pennsylvania

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    White Russian Recipe photo by Taste of Home

    White Russian

    This creamy coffee-flavored drink is a star at any occasion and perfect for any season. A White Russian is equally appropriate before or after dinner. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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    Reuben Rounds

    Fans of the classic Reuben sandwich will go crazy for baked pastry spirals of corned beef, Swiss and sauerkraut. They're so easy to make, and bottled Thousand Island dressing makes the perfect dipping sauce. —Cheryl Snavely, Hagerstown, Maryland

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    Party Franks

    These tiny, tangy appetizers have broad appeal. I prepare them often for holiday gatherings, weddings and family reunions. They're convenient to serve at parties since the sauce can be made ahead and then reheated with the franks before serving. —Lucille Howell, Portland, Oregon

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    Garlic-Herb Mini Quiches

    Looking for a wonderful way to impress guests? You’ve got it—and you need only five ingredients to make these tasty apps! —Josephine Piro, Easton, Pennsylvania

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    Spiked Pink Lady

    Why reserve lemonade and strawberries for the summertime? They’re just as refreshing during the holiday season. Add two more ingredients to create a crowd-pleasing co*cktail. —Silvia Garcia, New York, New York

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    Cherry Cheese Logs

    Our party guests flock to this holiday gem of an appetizer—cherry-studded cream cheese served with graham or water crackers and pears. —Libby Walp, Chicago, Illinois

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    Hawaiian Cheese Bread

    This bread is absolutely delicious. A friend of my mother’s took it to a party at work, and after one bite, Mom knew she had to have the recipe. With constant nagging, she eventually got it! Simple and fast, this mouthwatering loaf is a hit with everybody and at every kind of function. —Amy McIlvain, Wilmington, Delaware

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    Simple Lime Gelatin Salad

    Looking for a festive dish to light up the buffet? This pretty green gelatin salad is eye-catching and has a delightful, tangy flavor. —Cyndi Fynaardt, Oskaloosa, Iowa

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    Martinis recipes can be made with either vodka or gin. Our taste panel’s preference was for the gin, but try them both and decide for yourself. Be warned, this is a strong and serious drink. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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    Taste of Home

    There’s plenty of both crunch and cream in these party appetizers. Fresh chives help them really stand out. —Jean McKenzie, Vancouver, Washington

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    Marinated Almond-Stuffed Olives

    Marinated stuffed olives go over so well with company that I try to keep a batch of them in the fridge at all times. —Larissa Delk, Columbia, Tennessee

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    One of my favorite dishes in childhood was my mom's pineapple and green pepper cheese ball. Now I make it, and it’s always a hit. —Susan Harrison, Laurel, Maryland

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    Originally Published: November 13, 2020


    Rachel Seis

    As a former deputy editor for Taste of Home, Rachel spent close to a decade diving deep into the world of food. Currently, Rachel is the dining critic for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel where she covers the local food scene, from newly opened restaurants to the behind-the-scenes of Season 21 of Top Chef, which was primarily filmed in Milwaukee.

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