7 Food Ideas for a Tropical Party

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Food Ideas for a Tropical Party

You've pulled out all the stops to transform your space into an island paradise — including luau-inspired leis, tiki-worthy drinkware and even a show-stopping pineapple serving tray — and now all that's missing is a tropical menu to match. From a Hawaiian-inspired ahi poke appetizer to a traditional Brazilian Caipirinha cocktail to a Caribbean-worthy scoop of mango ice cream, serve your guests dishes that evoke images of crystal-clear blue waters and coconut-filled palm trees. Here are seven recipes that will transport your guests' tastebuds to the tropics.

You've pulled out all the stops to transform your space into an island paradise — including luau-inspired leis, tiki-worthy drinkware and even a show-stopping pineapple serving tray — and now all that's missing is a tropical menu to match. From a Hawaiian-inspired ahi poke appetizer to a traditional Brazilian Caipirinha cocktail to a Caribbean-worthy scoop of mango ice cream, serve your guests dishes that evoke images of crystal-clear blue waters and coconut-filled palm trees. Here are seven recipes that will transport your guests' tastebuds to the tropics.

Kick Off the Party With Coconut Shrimp Appetizers

How to Make Coconut Shrimp

Conjure up visions of palm-tree lined beaches with a classic coconut shrimp appetizer. This crowd-pleasing starter will have everyone coming back for seconds, thirds and even fourths — that is, if they last that long! We suggest setting aside a few for yourself before putting them out for your guests to devour. (Yes, they are that good.)

Credit: Ashley Manila

Conjure up visions of palm-tree lined beaches with a classic coconut shrimp appetizer. This crowd-pleasing starter will have everyone coming back for seconds, thirds and even fourths — that is, if they last that long! We suggest setting aside a few for yourself before putting them out for your guests to devour. (Yes, they are that good.)

Satisfy Salty Cravings With Bacon-Wrapped Scallops

How to Make Bacon-Wrapped Scallops

Salty yet sweet, crispy yet chewy, bacon-wrapped scallops are the ideal combination of complementary flavors and textures. Plus, they're incredibly easy to prepare. All you need are five ingredients and a hot grill to make these impressive, bite-sized morsels. Serve individually on toothpicks and watch as they quickly disappear.

Credit: Ashley Manila

Salty yet sweet, crispy yet chewy, bacon-wrapped scallops are the ideal combination of complementary flavors and textures. Plus, they're incredibly easy to prepare. All you need are five ingredients and a hot grill to make these impressive, bite-sized morsels. Serve individually on toothpicks and watch as they quickly disappear.

Set Up a Build-Your-Own Poke Bowl Bar

How to Make Hawaiian Ahi Poke Appetizers

Rather than creating grab-and-go appetizers, let your guests create their own customizable poke bowls. Before your guests arrive, fry up individual wonton cups, prepare the ahi and set up a bar with all the fixings: shredded carrots, diced avocado, sheets of seaweed, lime wedges, diced pineapple and sliced chiles. You'll have less prep work to do, and your guests will love the opportunity to get creative!

Credit: Tieghan Gerard

Rather than creating grab-and-go appetizers, let your guests create their own customizable poke bowls. Before your guests arrive, fry up individual wonton cups, prepare the ahi and set up a bar with all the fixings: shredded carrots, diced avocado, sheets of seaweed, lime wedges, diced pineapple and sliced chiles. You'll have less prep work to do, and your guests will love the opportunity to get creative!

Go Family-Style With Seafood Paella

How to Make Seafood Paella

Feed a crowd with a delicious and hearty seafood paella filled with shrimp, mussels, chicken and, of course, saffron rice. The best part (well, aside from guests' satisfied faces after that first bite)? You only need one pot to whip up this party-ready dish, so clean up is a breeze!

Credit: Julia Mueller

Feed a crowd with a delicious and hearty seafood paella filled with shrimp, mussels, chicken and, of course, saffron rice. The best part (well, aside from guests' satisfied faces after that first bite)? You only need one pot to whip up this party-ready dish, so clean up is a breeze!

Mix Up a Beach-Worthy Cocktail

How to Make Caipirinha (Traditional Brazilian drink)

No party is complete without an on-theme cocktail. While you could keep it simple and serve up traditional Mai Tais or mojitos, why not opt for something a little different? Our tropical cocktail of choice is a Caipirinha, a traditional Brazilian drink made with cachaça, sugar and limes. Trust us, after one sip you'll feel like you're living it up in Rio!

Bonus points if you go all out and create the ultimate tiki-themed bar cart!

Credit: Kristan Raines

No party is complete without an on-theme cocktail. While you could keep it simple and serve up traditional Mai Tais or mojitos, why not opt for something a little different? Our tropical cocktail of choice is a Caipirinha, a traditional Brazilian drink made with cachaça, sugar and limes. Trust us, after one sip you'll feel like you're living it up in Rio!

Bonus points if you go all out and create the ultimate tiki-themed bar cart!

Cool Down With Acai Bowls

How to Make a Brazilian Acai Bowl

If you're hosting a party on a scorching summer day, break out the blender and whip up some refreshing acai bowls. Set up a toppings bar complete with sliced fruit (such as strawberries, mangos and pineapples), granola, raw coconut and a variety of nuts, and let guests serve themselves. For truly tropical vibes, serve in halved coconuts instead of bowls — the extra effort is worth it!

Credit: Julia Mueller

If you're hosting a party on a scorching summer day, break out the blender and whip up some refreshing acai bowls. Set up a toppings bar complete with sliced fruit (such as strawberries, mangos and pineapples), granola, raw coconut and a variety of nuts, and let guests serve themselves. For truly tropical vibes, serve in halved coconuts instead of bowls — the extra effort is worth it!

Serve Scoops of Tropically-Flavored Ice Cream

How to Make Mango Ice Cream

Put a tropical twist on the quintessential summer treat — ice cream. This mango ice cream recipe swaps out traditional ice cream base ingredients in favor of a simple mixture of cream, sugar and mango, making it even easier to satisfy your sweet tooth. It's so delicious you'll be tempted to whip it up all summer long, whether you're entertaining or not.

Credit: Jackie Dodd

Put a tropical twist on the quintessential summer treat — ice cream. This mango ice cream recipe swaps out traditional ice cream base ingredients in favor of a simple mixture of cream, sugar and mango, making it even easier to satisfy your sweet tooth. It's so delicious you'll be tempted to whip it up all summer long, whether you're entertaining or not.

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