Create a delicious menu with these luau party food ideas.
From simple appetizers to delectable desserts, these Hawaiian luau-themed dishes will surely please your guests, both adults and children.
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Let’s explore what food is served at a luau party.
3 Mouthwatering Luau Appetizers
Delicious, colorful appetizers stimulate the appetite and keep the guests from getting too hungry while mingling, playing luau party games, and waiting for the buffet to open.
I’ve got here three appetizers, one has fruit, the next meat, and the last one is a vegetable. Simple luau finger foods you can serve at your Hawaiian luau party.
And what are Hawaiian appetizers called? Pūpū.
1. Caramelized Pineapple Picks
What would be a better appetizer than pineapple? Combine it with cheese, and you have a winner.
These caramelized pineapple picks from Wisconsin Cheese sound amazing. I’m going to make them for our next summer gathering, but I think I’ll make some without the added sugar.
2. Delicious Wontons
Make it easy, grab some frozen wontons, and prepare them according to the instructions or follow one of these simple recipes: deep-fried wontons filled with meat and vegetables or air fryer pork wontons.
3. Simple Roasted Asparagus
Looking for a gluten-free and dairy-free appetizer? Try this one: simple roasted asparagus. Experiment with various flavors like onion, garlic, lemon, and rosemary.
Play a fun luau ice-breaker game while waiting for everyone to arrive.
7 Luau-Themed Side Dishes
All the guests have arrived, the appetizers have been devoured, and you may have already played a game or two. And now it is time for the luau buffet.
These ideas help you to create a mouth-watering luau menu.
Let’s start with some fruity options.
1. Fruit Cups or Fruit Salad
- Chop up mangoes, pineapple, honeydew, and cantaloupe.
- Arrange them in clear cups or a big bowl.
- Sprinkle shredded coconut on top.
- If using cups, decorate the cups with tropical party stickers. And put a colorful cocktail fork in each cup.
Make various fruit combos, some with berries too.
2. Easy Pineapple Fluff
Pineapple fluff is delicious and easy to make.
- 1 20 oz can of crushed pineapple, don’t drain it
- 1 vanilla instant pudding mix
- 1 1/2 – 2 c mini marshmallows
- 8 oz cool whip, thawed
- 1/3 c pecans or walnuts (optional)
- 1 c shredded coconut (optional)
- Mix together crushed pineapple and pudding mix.
- Gently fold in the marshmallows, cool whip, nuts and coconut. Chill for a couple of hours.
3. Coconut Fruit or Veggie Dip
- Coconut Cream Pudding Mix (3.4 oz)
- 2 cups of milk (or 1 cup if you want a thicker dip)
- 8 oz cool whip, thawed
- Prepare the pudding mix following instructions, using 1 to 2 cups of milk (depending on how thick you want the dip to be).
- Fold in the cool whip.
Serve with fruit slices and vegetable sticks.
4. Spicy Eggplant Stir-Fry
This quick and easy spicy eggplant stir-fry from Cooking Hawaiian Style combines fun flavors like ginger and garlic, to create a fabulous luau side dish or an entrée.
5. Easy Mango Salsa
Serve yummy mango salsa with pulled pork, chicken, or tortilla chips. It only takes a few minutes to put together this easy make-ahead dish.
6. Hawaiian Potato Salad
Potatoes don’t come to my mind when I think about Hawaiian foods, but I read that the soil in Maui is great for growing potatoes.
This mouth-watering Hawaiian potato salad combines potatoes with macaroni. Yep. Bring on the carbs and the creaminess of mayonnaise. Add some eggs and peas for protein, and balance with tangy vinegar.
Fried rice or steamed rice? Maybe both!
Cook plain rice in any way you are used to, or check out this simple recipe for perfect steamed rice.
Prepare Hawaiian luau fried rice for those who desire more flavor. It combines coconut and pineapple with bell peppers, ginger, and ham.
4 Easy Luau Main Dishes
I’m a fan of Luau-style food that is simple. The easier to make, the better.
1. Hawaiian Pizza
Make it easy and place an order with a local pizza place.
But if you want to prepare something from scratch, try this three-cheese Hawaiian pizza. The five-minute dough sounds simple.
2. Hawaiian BBQ Pulled Pork
Pulled pork is an easy way to feed the luau party guests. Just throw the ingredients in the crock pot and let it work its magic for you. Use Hawaiian BBQ sauce to make it more Hawaiian.
- 2.5 lbs boneless pork loin
- 8 oz Hawaiian BBQ sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 onion sliced
- 1 Tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic
- Put all ingredients in the crock pot.
- Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
- Shred the pork by pulling it with forks.
3. Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken
A must have food in any luau is pineapple! It tastes good with chicken.
Your guests will enjoy any kind pineapple chicken dish:
- Grill chicken and pineapple slices and serve with grilled vegetables.
- Or prepare this easy crock pot chicken.
Easy Hawaiian Crock Pot Chicken
- 2 lbs chicken
- 1/3 c soy sauce
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1/2 sugar or honey
- Mix all the ingredients in a crock pot.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- Serve with rice.
4. Hawaiian Meatballs
The easiest way to do this is by cooking frozen meatballs in a crockpot with some BBQ sauce, pineapple, and spices. Interested in this time-saving method? Take a look at the crock pot Hawaiian meatballs.
But if you prefer to make them from scratch, you’ll enjoy this easy Hawaiian meatballs recipe from Five Heart Home.
8 Delicious Desserts for Luau
And now the desserts.
1. Beach-Themed Cake Topper
Are you hosting a Luau birthday? These toppers add tropical fun to any cake.
Bake your favorite cake and decorate it with beach-themed cake toppers.
2. Edible Cupcake Toppers
Any cupcake will look tropical with these edible Monstera leaves printed on wafer paper.
3. Pineapple Donut Topper
I don’t know about you, but I like easy dessert ideas, and these pineapple donut toppers fit that category. Push the donut topper into a mini-donut, and you are done!
Yes! Loving the idea.
4. Sand Dollar Cookies
No frosting is needed for these cookies!!
You can make awesome cookies with a sand dollar cookie cutter. I picked this cutter because of its irregular shape, which gives the cookies a fun look.
How about serving the cookies on a Kona wood plate!
You could also wrap the cookies individually and hand them out as luau party favors.
5. Luau Parfait
Parfaits are easy to make; they also look good and taste great.
- 4 cups of yellow cake cubes (chocolate and strawberry cake or brownies work too)
- 1 (4.3 oz ) package of pudding, any flavor (coconut and vanilla are great)
- 8 oz of cool whip, thawed
- 2 cups of crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 cup of shredded coconut
- Whipped cream (optional)
- Prepare the pudding with 1 and 1/4 cup of milk. Stir in cool whip.
- Layer 1/2 of the cake cubes, pudding, and pineapples. Repeat layers.
- Add whipped cream and coconut.
Makes one big parfait or 6 1-cup servings.
6. Shave Ice
Got to have shave ice at a Hawaiian luau party. Shave ice is different from snow cones, I’ve been told. Snow cones have larger granules.
You can easily make this kid-approved luau party food with shave ice maker. It comes with three flavored syrups and accessories. Check it out!
7. Coconut Cupcakes
I like easy luau food ideas, and coconut cupcakes fit that category.
Make the cupcakes your usual way but add 2 tsp coconut extract to the batter.
Decorate the cupcakes with basic buttercream frosting and top with shredded coconut (maybe toasted coconut).
Add a cocktail umbrella or a palm tree pick as a final touch.
8. Luau Cake Pops
Purchase irresistible Hawaiian-themed Cake Pops from Carla’s Cake Pops. Impress your guests with tropical flower and pineapple cake pops that look almost too good to be eaten. Perfect bite-size treat!
Or make some coconut rum cake pops. I must try these. Angel food cake mixed with the rum flavor. Lightly toasted shredded coconut. Sounds delicious!
5 Easy Luau Beverages
Make your beverage table colorful with various tropical drinks.
1. Hawaiian Mimosa
This fantastic-looking luau beverage, Hawaiian Mimosa, can be made non-alcoholic by substituting champagne with club soda. But your adult guests might prefer it with champagne.
2. Green Hawaiian Punch
Hawaiian punch, pineapple juice, and Sprite make a delightful green Hawaiian drink for the luau.
3. Ocean Water Punch
…something blue. This two-ingredient ocean water punch with optional Swedish Fish will be a hit with the kids.
4. Hibiscus Iced Tea
I know, just thinking of the sugar overload can make your teeth hurt. So, here is a lower-sugar option for you, hibiscus iced tea. In this one, honey is used to sweeten it, but you control the amount.
5. Strawberry Guava Iced Tea
This refreshing strawberry guava tea bursting with tropical flavors is perfect for your luau menu.
Luau Party Food Ideas Summary
Greet the guests with tasty appetizers like caramelized pineapples and start the party with tasty luau beverages.
Serve a couple of luau-themed main dishes you can easily prepare in crock pots; and a variety of tropical side dishes like mango salsa and Hawaiian potato salad.
The simple desserts, from fruit parfaits to coconut rum cake pops, are a perfect finish for the meal.