5 Budget-Friendly Finger Food Ideas From TikTok

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Novice cooks will probably describe TikTok as either blissful or overwhelming. The platform has endless food inspiration, bursting with cooking trends and recipe hacks. Take finger food, for example. As of this writing, the collective views of videos with “#fingerfood” have reached 242 million! 

From crunchy to savory, TikTok’s finger food ideas tick off the boxes for filling and fun party bites. They’re easy to recreate at home, and your pantry will already have most ingredients.

5 Budget-Friendly Finger Food

The good news is you don't have to spend hours browsing TikTok videos anymore – that’s “done and dusted,” as user @foodiechina888 would say. Below is a curated list of unique and affordable finger food you can whip up quickly for any get-together (planned or not). The flavors are crowd-pleasers, so don't be surprised if your kids want these appetizers as everyday meals. 

1. Smashed potatoes

Smashed potatoes on a baking dish with white creamy sauce

You can cook potatoes to a beautiful crisp even without flour or breadcrumbs, as Jeeca Uy of @thefoodietakesflight shows in her video. This recipe alone already has half a million views! After boiling baby potatoes, she flattens each with a mason jar's bottom. Then, you air-fry or bake the smashed spuds in the oven.   

Jeeca, who authored Vegan Asian: A Cookbook, pairs her baby potato crisps with a dill sauce, which gets its umami kick from white miso paste. You can make yours using Lady's Choice Real Mayonnaise, chopped fresh dill, red onions, juice from half a lemon, and black pepper.

2. Bite-sized banana pancakes

TikTokers love mini pancakes, and one of the most popular recipes involves using bananas. Creator @yummy_little_belly cuts the bananas into round slices. Then, she dunks them (not mashed) into an egg-free batter and fries them until golden. Her three-ingredient pancake base features flour (try 100% whole-grain if you're looking for a healthier option!), baking powder, and your milk of choice. 

Serving tiny banana pancakes makes for a great party conversation. But you can also have them for breakfast or merienda! Enjoy them with fresh fruits and a generous drizzle of peanut butter, maple, or chocolate syrup.

3. Peri-peri-style chicken on sticks

With 1.5 million views, this TikTok video proves that peri-peri chicken is always a winner. You can make the spiced blend with pantry staples such as paprika, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and hot sauce. In her Tiktok video, @gj.sweetandsavoury uses the sauce as a marinade for boneless chicken breast. She then threads the fillets onto skewers, then pan-grills them until nice and charred. Who doesn’t love food on sticks? 

The sauce can also double as a dip for steamed, roasted, or simply sliced vegetables – so make sure to prepare extra portions! 

4. Ham and cheese bread rolls

Closeup shot of golden-brown ham and cheese bread rolls

Kids and kids-at-heart will never tire of a ham-and-cheese sandwich. But if you're serving them as finger food, transform the sammie into crispy bites like in @tineydc's recipe, which has almost 3 million views. She cuts white bread into four squares, flattens each, and layers ham and cheese on top. Now the fun part: roll them into miniature logs! Next, she dips them in beaten eggs and coats them in breadcrumbs. All that’s left to do is fry them until the outer layer turns crunchy and golden and the cheese becomes gooey. 

For this, go for panko breadcrumbs, which don't get soggy when your bread roll sits out. Don’t forget to spread a layer of mayo before adding your ham to keep your treat moist. Want more color? Sneak in vegetables like cucumbers, bell peppers, and carrots.

5. Tuna pie lumpia

User @cathrena.chen's transforms the humble lumpia wrapper into an ASMR star. The crunch, whenever a knife slices the rolls in half, just makes you want to watch the video (and cook the recipe!) again and again.

To make the filling, melt butter in a pan, then sauté garlic and onions until fragrant. Add canned tuna and mushrooms and stir well. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and mix in grated cheese, all-purpose cream, or mayonnaise to complete the luscious mouthfeel of this Filipino finger food. So much better than the fast-food version!

These finger food ideas prove that you can impress your guests and keep your wallet happy at the same time. But the best part? You don't need a party to make these appetizers. They're fuss-free to prepare and cook, so you can make them on demand whenever the craving hits.

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