Cold Buffet Ideas

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Hot foods are great for parties, but they have one significant disadvantage – they lose some of their tastiness as time goes on and they become colder. For this reason, they are usually served to be eaten at once.

What about dishes and snacks your guests can eat whenever they want during the event? To provide them with such an opportunity, you should come up with some delicious cold food buffet ideas. Read on to check out some of our suggestions!

Marinated Cheese Crackers

Crackers with toppings are one of the most popular finger foods, often served at office lunches, weddings, graduation parties, and other gatherings. Our suggestion for a tasty topping will be marinated cheese with some extras.

In order to make them, prepare a marinade from oil, vinegar, pepper, herbs, garlic, sugar, salt and onions, and pour it over blocks of cheese (like cheddar or cream cheese). Refrigerate them overnight, possibly turning them once. Drain excess marinade and place them on crackers right before serving so that they stay crunchy for a longer time.

Avocado, Chickpea and Sun-Dried Tomato Salad

There obviously need to be some salads among cold lunch buffet menu ideas! This one is quick, easy, healthy, and delicious, so it’s really worth trying out.

The first thing you need to do to prepare it is put shredded cabbage, olives, chickpeas, avocados, and sun-dried tomatoes in a large bowl.

Then, prepare the dressing by adding parsley, salt, and spring onions to olive oil. Pour the dressing over the ingredients, and that’s it – your salad is ready!

Savory Cucumber Sandwiches

Another popular suggestion on our list of cold party food ideas for a buffet is to prepare classic cucumber sandwiches with Italian salad dressing.

In order to make it, mix mayonnaise, cream cheese and salad dressing mix in a small bowl. Put it in your fridge for 1 hour.

Just before you serve your sandwiches, spread the dressing over slices of rye bread and top each of them with a cucumber slice. Additionally, you can also sprinkle them with dill.

Watermelon, Tomato and Cheese Salad

It is one of the cold lunch buffet ideas we most recommend adding to a summer catering menu! Preparing this salad is amazingly easy. First, you need to mix tomato, watermelon, scallions, cheese, and salt in a bowl.

Then, whisk together 2 tablespoons of watermelon juice, vinegar, oil, and cayenne pepper. Gently toss it with the salad, and garnish it with parsley or cilantro if you like.

Cranberry Endive Appetizers

A stunning and tasty appetizer doesn’t have to be complicated and hard to make – you just need to use the right combination of ingredients and elegant mini cups for appetizers. Cranberry endive appetizers are an example of that!

To prepare the filling, beat cream cheese and jelly in a large bowl until smooth, and then, stir in cranberries along with blue cheese. Heap teaspoonfuls of your filling onto endive leaves placed on a wooden or plastic tray. For a satisfying crunch, sprinkle it with nuts (preferably pecans).

A table full of cold buffet food

Yogurt and Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Toppings

A list of cold buffet food ideas wouldn’t be complete without some cool dessert suggestions! This delicious panna cotta is one of our favorites, as it is comforting and decadent.

To make it, you need to start by preparing gelatine and heating up thick Greek-style yogurt with sugar. When the gelatine is mixed with the warm, sweetened yogurt, you need to add sour cream, buttermilk and some more cold yogurt. It should be refrigerated when it’s ready.

You can also prepare tasty toppings for your panna cotta with sugar, thyme, bay, vanilla pod and seeds, orange zest and rhubarb or strawberries. When the dessert is ready, portion it using mini dessert cups.

The Bottom Line

These are some of our most recommended cold buffet ideas that should work great for various kinds of parties. No matter if you are looking for catering ideas for a wedding, a birthday party, a graduation party, or another gathering, it is certainly worth including cold buffet food like salads, finger food, appetizers, or desserts.

What’s more, if you are working on cold food buffet ideas as a catering company, don’t forget to stock up with enough disposable plates to serve all the dishes in elegant and convenient ways. Browse through our selection and order what you need now!




  • Dacia Flowers

    Dacia Flowers is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) with a major in Cultural Anthropology. Since graduating in 2019, she has expanded her expertise and applied her anthropological background in the practical domain. As the Administration Manager at CMJJ Gourmet since August 2022, Dacia handles crucial day-to-day operations, ensuring the warehouse's optimal functionality, timely delivery of orders, and managing invoices. Her commitment to excellence and in-depth understanding of organizational dynamics stem not just from her academic prowess but also her personal passion. Beyond her professional responsibilities, Dacia has a keen interest in reading, loves to travel, and stays active through regular exercise.

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