10 Cold Appetizers for Luau That Are Easy to Make

As summer approaches, it’s the perfect time to start planning your next Luau party. These cold appetizers for luau are easy to prepare and fun to serve.

Make-ahead appetizers are fantastic! Get them ready, chill, and bring them out. No last-minute rush getting things together; there is enough of that with other party preps.

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase via one of these links, I’ll earn a commission at no extra cost to you. See our full disclosure and liability disclaimer.

Easy Cold Appetizers for Luau. Starfruit, palm leaves on purple background.

What to Serve at Luau Party

Start the party with Hawaiian appetizers, a.k.a. pūpūs.

Bring out the luau side dishes, like Hawaiian potato salad, and delight the guests with tasty main courses, such as pineapple meatballs.

Luau parfaits, shave ice, and coconut cupcakes satisfy the sweet tooth. And delicious luau drinks from the Tiki bar are just what the guests want.

In this blog post you’ll find cold appetizers for luau that are easy to make.

How Many Luau Appetizers Should You Serve

Pick 2 or 3 appetizers and aim to have a total of 5-7 pieces for each guest.

1. Watermelon, Avocado, Mint, and Feta Salad

Refreshing luau appetizer: watermelon salad with avocados, mint, and feta. (Watermelon on a palm leaf.)

Serve a luau salad as a starter.

This watermelon and avocado salad is a refreshing and delicious combination of flavors that will surely whet your appetite.

Though I have heard that mint can be an appetite suppressant… so maybe you’ll omit that if you don’t want to risk having a ton of leftovers.

I thought it would be fun to include Hawaiian names for these appetizers. I used a google to find the translations, so don’t blame me if these actually mean something very different. Haha.

Watermelon Salad translates to Salakeke ‘Alani.

2. Easy Cucumber Appetizer

Got to include some Luau vegetable recipes here as well. Three ingredients and five minutes are all it takes to prepare these easy cucumber appetizers. Loving it!

Cucumber is Kukama.

3. Hawaiian Salsa

Easy Hawaiian Salsa as a luau appetizer.

This colorful Hawaiian salsa, served in a hallowed pineapple, makes a lovely, tropical appetizer for a Luau. (The link takes you to CopyMeThat but the recipe is from whole-sisters.com which at the moment is not accessible. I’ll link to it again when that changes.)

The chopped ingredients, like mango, purple onion, and pineapple, mixed with a blended combo of tomatoes, orange peppers, cilantro, etc., create a nourishing, tasty dish your guests will enjoy.

Hawaiian Salsa is Salsa Hawai’i.

4. Easy Hawaiian Dip

My criteria for these dishes has been “got to be easy.” This dip has the word “easy” in its name, perfectly fitting this list of cold luau appetizers.

You’ll spend only 10 minutes fixing this one. It’s a delicious blend of cream cheese, sour cream, pineapple juice, bacon pieces, green onions… and ham which I would leave out. But either way, it’s quick.

Serve the easy Hawaiian dip with crackers and chips.

Hawaiian Dip… okay, this is my own version of it Dip Hawai’i. When I tried to translate dip, it gave me the word “luu” which seems to mean to dive.

5. Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Hawaiian macaroni salad is a tasty appetizer that combines macaroni with mayonnaise and pineapple juice. Shredded carrots and diced celery make it more colorful and healthier too. Need some veggies with all that pasta.

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is Salakeke Makaroni Hawai’i.

6. Rosemary Pineapple Mozzarella Bites

This canapé is easy and super cute!

Enhance the natural sweetness of pineapple by gently charring it, and dipping it in rosemary oil complements its tropical notes. After that, you add the cheese balls with a hint of chili.

A delectable finger food for a luau party: rosemary pineapple mozzarella bites.

Hmm….This one was an interesting… so how about Rosemary Hala Kahiki Mozzarella

7. Chicken Salad Cups

Five minutes! That’s all it takes to put together these luau chicken appetizers.

The flaky phyllo shells make tasty bowls you can fill with anything from whipped cream and berries to savory fillings.

Prepare these chicken salad bites in three easy steps, and you have a delectable Hawaiian appetizer. And what makes these Hawaiian? I’d say they look like some lovely tropical plants.

Chicken Salad Cups could be translated as Kīʻaha Salakeke Moa

8. Ham Pineapple and Cheese Bites

Three ingredients and frill toothpicks. Pretty simple. These ham, pineapple, and cheese bites look fun and easy to make.

You could also make them with deli turkey or salami.

This is the translation I found: Puaʻa Hame Hala Kahiki Waiūpaʻa.

24 Luau Party Games adults will like. A pink hibiscus flower and a palm leaf.

What would the Luau party be without exciting games!

Travel around the islands, stump coconuts, race to create a tropical drink…

Lots of fun luau party games for adults.

9. Easy Corn Dip

What a fun, colorful tropical appetizer!

Bell peppers, pimientos, and corn (of course) mixed with sour cream, cream cheese, and seasonings. Yummy!

This easy corn dip will go fast. Serve it with chips, crackers, or baguettes.

How about this translation Dip Kūlina.

10. Starfruit and Kiwi

Throwing in one more delicious fruity appetizer.


  • 2 starfruit
  • 2 kiwis
  • raspberries (optional)

How to Prepare

  • Wash and slice the starfruit.
  • Peel and slice the kiwis.
  • Arrange on a platter.
  • Top with some raspberries for additional color.

These are the words I found: Hua Hōkū a Hua Kiwi.

13 simple finger foods for a luau party

What did you think of these ten cold appetizers for luau? They are pretty easy to make. I love the make-ahead kind of appetizers.

If you want to explore more finger foods for luau party, I’ve got fun warm and cold ideas for you.

Host a Fun-Filled, Relaxed Luau Party

Share or save for later:

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.