It’s one of life’s great woes that nachos are not an acceptable food for every occasion… but what if they could be? With these 21 recipes, you can upgrade your run-of-the-mill bar snacks to fancy cocktail party fare. We have sweet potato nachos, Sriracha Ranch popcorn, spicy mac ‘n’ cheese bites and all the greasy goodness your heart could desire. Before we go any further, maybe you should give your guests each a Pepcid.
1. Ham and Cheese Mac ‘n’ Cheese Bites: Have you had those fried mac ‘n’ cheese bites they have at Jack in the Box and KFC? So good and so artery clogging. We love this grown-up baked version — no breading necessary! (via Virtually Homemade)
5. Baked Sweet Potato Nachos With Blue Cheese and Bacon: The base of these nachos is sweet potato chips, our fave. Paired with smoky bacon, a creamy blue cheese sauce and other toppings of your choice, this may just become a new staple. (via Cooking For Keeps)
7. Artichoke and Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms: With the quinoa, veggies and cheese, these ‘shrooms could be an appetizer or a meal in themselves. We’re picturing them with a runny egg for breakfast. (via Family Spice)
8. Buffalo Deviled Eggs: While deviled eggs may cause flashbacks to hors d’oeuvres at your mom’s cocktail parties, a healthy dose of the essence of buffalo chicken (a bar food staple) kicks up the flavor and the presentation. (via Ari’s Menu)
9. Grilled Tex-Mex Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins: Sweet and savory skins with a just-north-of-the-border flair and you don’t even have to feel guilty about eating one… or three. (via Half Baked Harvest)
10. Hawaiian BBQ Quesadillas With Pineapple-Mango Guacamole: We’re big fans of the two-tortillas-and-some-shredded-cheese-in-the-microwave incarnation of a quesadilla, but this Hawaiian looks pretty damn good, too. (via Half Baked Harvest)
12. Crispy Wonton Mozzarella Sticks: They were good when you were five, and they’re even better now. We discovered these during the Super Bowl and love how much less work they are to make when using wonton wrappers. (via Neighborfood)
13. Vegan Dessert Nachos With Coffee Ice Cream: So good, you won’t even know they’re vegan. Dessert nachos are da bomb, especially when everyone (including the gluten-averse!) can enjoy their crispy, melty goodness. (via Minimalist Baker)
14. Smoky Fried Chickpeas: Ditch the Chex mix, and bring your cocktail snacks up several notches. These chickpeas have a Spanish/Moroccan vibe going on. Plus, they’re super crunchy and addictive. (via Food52)
15. Stuffed and Fried Olives: No one wants your pimento-stuffed olives. No one. Just put that jar back on the shelf, and make these cream-cheese- and sausage-stuffed ones instead! (via Oui, Chef Network)
18. Grilled Chicken Wings and Livers With Balsamic-Mustard Glaze: We know what you’re thinking — chicken livers, huh. But this hot and tangy glaze will convert even the most skeptical of skeptics. (via Food and Wine)
20. Coconut Shrimp With Mango-Sriracha Dipping Sauce: These gluten- and grain-free coconut shrimp are perfect for a summer evening, and we’ve been told mango and Sriracha are destined to be paired together. (via Brittany Angell)
21. Korean Style Tacos With Kogi BBQ Sauce: Fusion taco goodness, Korean meets Southern barbecue meets Mexico. What could be better? Topping it with kimchi or a sour cucumber pickle, that’s what. (via Steamy Kitchen)
Did your favorite bar snack make the list? Are you a fan of the classic or excited to try one of our updates? Let us know in the comments!