Graduation Gourmet: Recipes for Grad Parties, Any Time of Day

Story by Katherine Nunan
Feature Photo via Unsplash

It’s that time of year again – the semester is starting to wind down (although it hardly seems like it), and the promise of a sweet, sweltering summer is just around the corner.

I’m sure you all know about the magical anticipation I’m talking about. But, for many, the entrance into the summer of 2017 is not just a celebration of upcoming fun in the sun, but of graduation.

Who doesn’t love a good graduation party? The question is, most importantly, what kind of food will you have?

Are you having your graduation party in the morning, mid-day or evening/night? Are you having a sit-down meal, lots of standing room or a come and go as you please? That, of course, is up to you, but if you’re stuck as to what in the world to serve to your adoring guests, look no further.

Breakfasts and Brunches
Breakfast food is arguably some of the best out there. Sweet, savory, spicy, you name it, it comes in a delectable morning form. If you’re graduating during the later parts of the day and hope to kick off your special day right, here are some some fantastic bites to help celebrate your tremendous accomplishment.

Breakfast Egg Bites


  • Eggs – as many as the number of guests you’re expecting
  • Crumbled, cooked bacon, sausage, or ham
  • Fresh spinach, chopped
  • Quartered cherry tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cheddar cheese (or whatever kind fits your fancy!)


  • Grease several muffin tins.
  • Layer each ¾ of the way up with your meat and veggies.
  • Crack egg on top. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cheese.
  • Bake in the oven at 350 for 8-12 minutes.

GC tip:
If you want to do mini quiches instead, simply cut circles of pie crust and put into the bottoms of your tins. Beat eggs with milk, cheese, and your veggies and meat before putting them into the oven. Bake for just a few minutes longer.

Pancake Station:


  • For a pancake station, simply whip together a batch of your favorite pancakes and set out on platters.
  • Fill bowls with toppings such as fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries and bananas), whipped cream, chocolate chips, butter, maple syrup, and anything else you think your guests might enjoy.

Lunch has always been a perfect for graduation parties, as it tends to be lighter and simpler to conjure up. If you’re doing a lunch grad party, try switching it up a little with some fresh ideas!

Mini cucumber sandwiches:


  • Several loaves of your favorite kind of bread with the crusts cut off – preferably white or wheat, as they’re always big crowd pleasers!
  • Sliced, peeled cucumbers
  • Cream cheese
  • Chives (dill is also a fresh, delicious option)
  • Sour cream
  • Ranch seasoning packet


  • Mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, herbs, and seasoning.
  • Spread lightly on all pieces of bread.
  • Add sliced cucumbers and place sandwiches together, cutting into small triangles.

Fruit kebabs:


  • Any number of different fruits, preferably ones that can be chopped into large chunks.
  • Skewers


  • Randomly layer chunks of fruit until kebabs have enough room for people to hold the skewers. Ta-da!

Dinner hosts possibly the most options for graduation parties, as there are about a million different recipes out there for hors d’oeuvres – not that you can’t use those for lunch, too!

Paula Deen’s Shrimp Creole Tarts:
They’re delicious and super simple, but it seems like you’ve been slaving away in the kitchen all day!

Mini Key Lime Pies:


  • Key lime juice and zest
  • Cream cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Egg
  • Vanilla extract
  • Sugar
  • Graham crackers, crushed
  • Butter
  • (Amounts will vary depending on how many you plan on making)


  • Mix together the first six ingredients.
  • Set in fridge while you crush the graham crackers.
  • Add melted butter – just enough to combine the two so that you’re able to form compact crusts.
  • Smash graham cracker crust mixture into the bottom of greased muffin tins.
  • Add In your cheesecake mixture.
  • Put in oven at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through.