Menu

Party Plan: St. Patrick's Day

From tips on tasty drinks and appetizers to fun and easy decorating ideas, you’ll have the luck o’ the Irish on your side this St. Patty’s Day.

Irish Eyes Are Smiling Down on These St. Patrick’s Day Party Ideas!

There are plenty of ways to throw a St. Patrick’s Day celebration that will have your guests feeling green! 3 Tips for St. Patrick’s Day Parties will start the festivities off right with some great appetizer ideas, or try Pub Cheese with Guinness for a deliciously cheesy pot o’ gold! Heartier fare like Beef and Whiskey Stew and Oven Roasted Cabbage Steaks will bring your guests the full flavor of the Emerald Isle, while Pot O’ Gold Marshmallow Pops and Irish Brownies bring a Celtic flair to your dessert tray. Celebrating the occasion with a glass of family-friendly Lime Sherbet Punch provides a bit of colorful, sweet-tart-festive fun, or perhaps try the adult kick of a Ginger Whiskey instead.

You’re covered for decorating ideas with both Indoor St. Patrick’s Day Décor and Outdoor Décor, and there’s Kid’s St. Patrick’s Day Fun for your little lads and lasses. From the top o’ the mornin’ to the wee hours of the night, these party ideas will make sure your St. Patty’s Day shindig is a shamrockin’ good time!

Guinness Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potatoes

Guinness Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potatoes

A touch of malty-flavor from the beer is the perfect complement to the sweet potato topping in this twist on classic comfort food.

Potato Topping
  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
  • ½ lb. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup half and half
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
Filling
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3-4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1½ lb. ground beef and/or lamb
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. thyme, chopped
  • 1 cup Guinness
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Butter or spray a 2-quart casserole dish; set aside.
  2. In a 3-quart pan boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and mash with butter, half and half, salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile in a large skillet over medium heat add butter, onions and carrots; cook 6-8 minutes until softened. Increase heat to medium-high; add meat and garlic. Cook, breaking apart the meat, until browned and internal temperature reaches 165°F. Add tomato paste, thyme and beer; cook 3-4 minutes to reduce beer. Add peas, salt and pepper; adjust seasoning to taste.
  4. Transfer meat mixture into prepared pan. Top with mashed sweet potatoes, covering completely. Drag the tines of a fork across the surface of the potatoes to slightly rough up the surface. Bake 30-35 minutes until bubbling and potatoes start to brown. Allow to stand 5-10 minutes before serving.
  5. Refrigerate leftovers.

View Party Plan: St. Patrick's Day

Beef and Whiskey Stew

Beef and Whiskey Stew

This hearty Irish stew features a splash of whiskey for extra flavor.

Ingredients:
  • 1 Tbsp. Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 lb. beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. carrots, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup Irish whiskey
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 lb. potatoes, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp. cold water
  • Chopped parsley, if desired
Directions:
  1. Mix together salt, pepper and garlic powder. Toss with beef pieces.
  2. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium high heat. Brown meat in batches, removing to a plate as finished. Reduce heat to medium; add onion and carrots. Cook 5-7 minutes until softened. Add tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce; cook 1 minute. Deglaze with whiskey. Return meat to the pan; add beef broth, bay leaves and thyme sprigs; bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover.
  3. Cook 1 hour, stirring occasionally until beef is almost tender. Add potatoes cook 25-30 minutes until potatoes and beef are both fork tender. Return stew to a boil. Mix cornstarch and water together; whisk into stew to thicken. Adjust seasoning; remove bay leaves and thyme stems. Serve with a sprinkle of parsley, if desired.
  4. Refrigerate leftovers.

View Party Plan: St. Patrick's Day

Oven Roasted Cabbage Steaks

Oven Roasted Cabbage Steaks

Roasted cabbage with a bit of garlic and caraway is perfect as a side for roast meats or even a vegetarian main dish.

Ingredients:
  • 1 head (1½ -2 lb.) cabbage
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 400°F. In a small bowl mix together garlic powder, caraway, salt and pepper; set aside.
  2. Slice cabbage into 1-inch thick slices through the root end. Place cabbage steaks in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning mixture.
  3. Bake 30-35 minutes until cabbage is tender in the center and browning around the edges.

View Party Plan: St. Patrick's Day

Mini Irish Soda Bread

Mini Irish Soda Bread

Classic Irish bread made into individual loaves.

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. fine salt
  • ½ cup butter, cold and cut into pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Butter or spray a baking pan; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk, mix with a fork until it just comes together.
  3. Turn out on flour surface; knead gently 3-4 times; pat into a rectangle. Divide into 8 equal piece. Gently form into rounds and transfer to prepared pan leaving at least 2-inches between each loaf. Using a sharp knife, score an X in the center of each loaf. Bake 20-22 minutes or until golden brown.
Tip:

½ cup of currants can be added with the buttermilk if desired.

View Party Plan: St. Patrick's Day

Pub Cheese with Guinness

Pub Cheese with Guinness

Irish cheddar blended with Guinness beer, garlic and mustard makes the perfect spread for crackers, bread or pretzels.

Ingredients:
  • 12 oz. Irish cheddar, grated
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup Guinness beer
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard powder
  • ½ tsp. minced garlic
Directions:
  1. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until well blended. Spread can be served immediately but flavors will continue to develop with time.
  2. Refrigerate leftovers.
Tip:

Allow spread to come to room temperature before serving.

View Party Plan: St. Patrick's Day

Rainbow Fruit Skewers with Golden Fruit Dip

Rainbow Fruit Skewers with Golden Fruit Dip

Fresh fruit skewered in rainbow color order served up with a golden fruit dip makes a wholesome but festive St. Patrick’s Day treat.

Ingredients:
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup marshmallow fluff
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon curd
  • Yellow food coloring, if desired
  • 12 each (10-inch) bamboo skewers
  • 12 each large red grapes
  • 12 each (1-inch) pieces mango
  • 24 each blueberries
  • 3 each kiwi, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 12 each (1-inch) pieces pineapple
  • 12 each (1-inch) pieces cantaloupe
  • 12 each strawberries, stems removed
Directions:
  1. In a bowl mix together cream cheese, fluff and lemon curd. Add yellow food coloring if desired for a more golden color.
  2. For each skewer add 1 grape, 1 piece mango, 2 blueberries, 1 piece kiwi, 1 piece pineapple, 1 piece cantaloupe and 1 strawberry, adjust position so each piece of fruit touches and the tip of the skewer is covered by the strawberry. Serve with fruit dip.
  3. Refrigerate leftovers.
Tip:

To cut down on prep time look for pre-cut pineapple and melon in the produce department. Experiment with different fruit combinations like oranges instead of cantaloupe or honeydew instead of kiwi.

View Party Plan: St. Patrick's Day

Pot O’Gold Marshmallow Pops

Pot O’Gold Marshmallow Pops

Chocolate dipped marshmallows on a stick topped with gold coins are the treasure at the end of the rainbow.

Ingredients:
  • 8-10 oz. chocolate candy coating
  • 24 ea. (6-inch) treat sticks
  • 24 ea. marshmallows
  • ⅓ cup chocolate frosting
  • 72 ea. yellow candy-coated chocolate candy pieces
  • 24 ea. rainbow gummy candy pieces
Directions:
  1. In a bowl, melt chocolate according to package directions. Dip the tip of each stick in the chocolate and then into each a marshmallow to secure. Dip each marshmallow into the chocolate until completely coated, allowing excess to drip back into the bowl. Allow chocolate to set.
  2. Place chocolate frosting in a piping bag or plastic bag with a small corner snipped off. Pipe a small amount of frosting around the top edge of the marshmallow and fill in the center. Place 3 chocolate candies on each marshmallow and 1 rainbow candy.
Tip:

To keep marshmallow up right while cooling place sticks in a piece of floral foam or secure through an egg carton or shoe box.

View Party Plan: St. Patrick's Day

Lime Sherbet Punch

Lime Sherbet Punch

Festive green punch is a little sweet, a little tart and a whole lot of fun.

Ingredients:
  • 1½ qt. lime sherbet, slightly thawed
  • Green food color, if desired
  • 3 cups limeade, chilled
  • 3 cups pineapple juice, chilled
  • 8 cups lemon-lime soda, chilled
Directions:
  1. Scoop sherbet in a punch bowl. Add a drop of green food color, if desired. Top with limeade, pineapple juice and soda. Serve immediately.
  2. Refrigerate leftovers.

View Party Plan: St. Patrick's Day

Grasshopper Cupcakes

Grasshopper Cupcakes

The combination of mint and chocolate is irresistible in these cupcakes finished with a whipped cream frosting.

Ingredients:
  • 1 box (15.25-16.5-oz.) vanilla cake mix
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup crème de menthe
  • ¾ cup hot fudge, slightly warmed
Whipped Cream Frosting:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. crème de menthe
  • 1½ cup whipping cream
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 24 baking cups with cupcake liners; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, milk, butter, eggs and ¼ cup crème de menthe. Divide into muffin cups. Bake 14-16 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan; cool completely.
  3. Spread a generous teaspoon of hot fudge on each cupcake. Allow fudge to cool completely before frosting.
  4. Combine cream cheese, sugar and crème de menthe in bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Slowly add whipping cream, beating until stiff peaks form. Frost cupcakes.
  5. Refrigerate leftovers.

View Party Plan: St. Patrick's Day

Irish Brownies

Irish Brownies

Stout beer brownies with Irish cream frosting for a sweet taste of Ireland.

Ingredients:
  • 1 stick butter
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup stout beer, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp fine salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
Irish Cream Frosting:
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Irish cream
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line an 8”x 8” pan with foil or parchment; butter or spray and set aside.
  2. Combine butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of warm water. Stir occasionally until melted. Allow to cool slightly.
  3. Whisk eggs together in a large bowl; add sugars, beer, vanilla and salt. Stir in chocolate mixture; fold in flour.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 28-30 minutes, until center is set. Cool in pan on a rack.
  5. Meanwhile beat together frosting ingredients until smooth. Spread on cooled brownies.

View Party Plan: St. Patrick's Day

Shamrock Pretzels

Shamrock Pretzels

It’s an easy, fun, no-bake St. Patrick’s Day treat.

Ingredients:
  • 12 oz. green candy melts
  • 90 ea. mini pretzel twists
  • 30 ea. pretzel sticks
  • Green decorating sugar, as desired
Directions:
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper; set aside. In a bowl melt candy melts according to package directions.
  2. With a fork, dip 1 pretzel stick in candy melts; allowing excess to drain back into the bowl; place on prepared pan. Dip 3 mini twists, allowing excess to drain back into the bowl; place around one end of pretzel stick to form a shamrock shape. Add a small amount of extra candy melt over the seams where the pretzel pieces meet to secure. Sprinkle with sugar if desired. Repeat with remaining pretzels. Allow to stand until set.

View Party Plan: St. Patrick's Day

Ginger Whiskey

Ginger Whiskey

Ginger beers give a nice spicy ginger kick to this cocktail.

Ingredients:
  • 2 oz. Irish whiskey
  • 5 oz. ginger beer
  • 1 wedge lime
Directions:
  1. Fill a highball glass with ice. Add whiskey, top with ginger beer; stir to combine. Squeeze lime wedge and drop into glass.

Drink responsibly.

View Party Plan: St. Patrick's Day

3 Tips for St. Patrick’s Day Party

3 Tips for St. Patrick’s Day Party

From sweet to savory, you can easily transform simple party fare into St. Patrick’s Day-worthy snacks and sippers.

  1. Bring on the fruit! Party fare can be tasty and healthy – Green Fruit Kabobs anyone? Thread 6-inch wooden skewers with green grapes, kiwi slices, green apple slices and slices of green Anjou or Bartlett pears. A sweet honey-cream cheese dip (8 ounces softened cream cheese blended with 4 teaspoons tablespoon honey and ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract) is St. Patrick’s Day-appropriate when tinted with green food color.
  2. Complement the sweet kabobs and dip with salty DIY Shamrock Tortilla Chips. It’s as simple as using a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter ( easy find at stores that sell baking equipment, but you can also use a handmade cardstock shamrock stencil and a sharp kitchen knife to trace the shamrocks) to cut out shamrock shapes from flour tortillas. Spray both sides of chips with cooking spray and sprinkle lightly with salt. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake at 375ºF for 8 or so minutes, turning chips over after 4 minutes. Chips are done when lightly golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Guacamole (DIY or store-bought) or salsa verde makes the perfect green dip!
  3. Every party needs a festive punch to accompany the food. Clear punch bowls or pitchers are best for serving. (It’s fun to see the green!) Stir together 2 liters ginger ale and 46 ounces pineapple juice for your St. Paddy’s Day Punch. Adding a scoop or two of lime sherbet to each glass ups the festive, fizzy and fruity feel. The over-21 crowd is welcome to add a splash of vodka for an extra punch. If possible, serve either version in clear glasses that have been rimmed in green sugar and add a green straw for extra decoration.

View Party Plan: St. Patrick's Day

Kid’s St. Patrick’s Day Fun

Kid’s St. Patrick’s Day Fun

If you have the younger set over to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, you can keep them busy and entertained while also teaching them a thing or two about March 17.

Venture beyond pin-the-shamrock-on-the-Leprechaun activities with a bit of science, history and arts-and-crafts. Because busy hands usually belong to hungry kids, you can involve the kiddos in making fun edible St. Patty’s Day treats, too. Gather your young guests and celebrate the spirit of the Irish with any of these fun projects.

Slime is all the rage with the younger set and it’s an easy DIY.

Things You'll Need:
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup (4 oz.) white or clear school glue
  • Green glitter, food color and/or confetti
  • 1 teaspoon borax powder
  • 1 cup warm water
  • Large bowl
  • Spoon
Directions:
  1. In a bowl, stir together ½ cup water and the glue until thoroughly combined.
  2. Stir green décor into the glue mixture.
  3. In another bowl, stir borax into 1 cup warm water until combined.
  4. Stir borax mixture into glue mixture until desired texture.
  5. When ready to store, transfer slime to clean container and cover loosely.

The Science of Rainbows lets your young guests make their own rainbows using everyday ingredients.

Things You'll Need:
  • 6 clear drinking glasses (as deep as the straws are long)
  • Warm water
  • Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple food colors
  • Granulated sugar
  • Clear straws
Directions:
  1. Fill each glass with warm water. Add one food color to each water glass and mix well to create six different colors.
  2. The first of the six glasses will have no added sugar. Stir 1 rounded teaspoon sugar into the second color, 2 rounded teaspoons into the third and so on until stirring 5 rounded teaspoons of sugar into the sixth. For each, stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Hold the straw near one end, wrapping four fingers around and placing your thumb over the top opening. To make your Rainbow, lift your thumb off the opening, dunk the lower end of the straw about 1 inch into the non-sugared water. Cap the straw firmly with your thumb, lift it out of the water and dip it quickly into the next (1 teaspoon) solution. Go an inch deeper than you did into the first glass as you want layers of about the same thickness. With the straw in the liquid, lift your thumb but quickly replace it. Lift the straw and you’ll have the first and second colored solutions stacked inside the straw. Continue dipping until you have all six colored solutions inside the straw. In science-y terms, this is considered a “density column of sugar water,” but to your young party-goers, it’s a delightful Sugar Rainbow!
  4. When you’re ready for another, hold the straw over the dish and lift your thumb to empty the straw. Rinse it and make another rainbow.

DIY Tablecloth and Placemats will keep little hands busy while also encouraging their creativity as they learn a few fun facts about St. Patty’s Day.

Things You'll Need:
  • Markers, crayons and/or colored pencils
  • Craft paper roll with enough paper to fit tabletop
  • Undecorated paper placemats
Directions:
  1. Learn a bit about St. Patrick’s Day legends by researching online or in books. Why is the shamrock a symbol of this holiday? The leprechaun? Why is there a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Share the history of these legends with your young party guests.
  2. Have the kids decorate paper tablecloth or placemats with drawings, puzzles and even games inspired by what they have learned. Encourage them to talk to each other about what they’re drawing.

Rainbow Seeds make a great take-home activity for young ones.

Things You'll Need:
  • Fruit-flavored bite-size candy
  • Snack-size resealable plastic food-storage bags
Directions:
  1. Separate candy by color, placing one color in each cup of a muffin pan.
  2. Show your guests a picture of a rainbow, explaining how the colors are always in the same order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple.
  3. Have them fill their bags with different colored candy. They can imagine the bag’s contents as a seed packet that will “grow” a rainbow!

Leprechaun Wands may not contain true magical powers, but these tasty pretzel snacks will make magic happen just the same!

Things You'll Need:
  • White baking chocolate
  • Green food color
  • Pretzel rods
  • Green decorating sugar
  • Parchment paper
Directions:
  1. Melt baking chocolate according to package directions; stir in food color.
  2. Have kids dip the top third or so of each pretzel rod in chocolate. Immediately sprinkle with decorating sugar.
  3. Place on parchment paper to set.

View Party Plan: St. Patrick's Day

Indoor St. Patrick’s Day Décor

Indoor St. Patrick’s Day Décor

Deck the halls for your St. Patrick’s Day party, and do it kid-style as your little ones draw, cut, staple, glue and paint their way to festive party décor!

  • Provide your party-helpers with green construction paper and ask them to cut out same-size strips (draw pencil lines as guide if needed). They can then decorate these strips with St. Patrick’s Day-themed stickers or drawings. Staple the strips together in a simple chain and hang them around the party space.
  • Kids can also put their shamrock skills to use by making a Shamrock Bouquet. First, use a stencil to cut out 3-4” shamrock shapes from St. Patrick’s Day-style scrapbook paper. The kiddos can attach these paper shamrocks to wooden skewers or pipe cleaners with tape. Place a bundle of these “flowers” in large mason jars, then decorate the jar with ribbons, green buttons and the like.
  • Mason jars can also be used to Layer a Rainbow: Start by having the kids drop a handful of gold-wrapped candies (chocolate coins or chocolate-covered caramels (Rolos) look especially nice) into an empty 1-quart jar. They can then top the wrapped candies with fruit-flavored bite-size candies, layered by color to resemble a rainbow. Cover and wrap the lid with colored foil or ribbons and use as a centerpiece. Or make as many smaller (1 pint) jars as you have guests and send home as party favors.
  • Buy a dozen or so mini clay flowerpots and have your young helpers paint the outside of the pots green. When the paint dries, they can tie a black ribbon just below the rim and place a gold sticker “buckle” on the ribbon. Upside-down, these painted flowerpots become Leprechaun hats! If you’re using as party favors, write each guest’s name on the rim of the hat with gold permanent marker.

View Party Plan: St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick’s Day Décor

St. Patrick’s Day Décor

Take your Irish spirit outside by decking the outdoors as well as the indoors. A few ideas to get you started:

Paper Shamrock Wreath

Things You'll Need:
  • Double-sided scrap paper. If you don’t have or can’t find, glue two pieces together to make double-sided paper.
    7 (12”x2”) strips
    7 (10”x2”) strips
    7 (8”x2”) strips
  • Ribbon
  • Extra scraps of paper for center decoration and back pieces
  • Hot glue
Directions:
  1. Stack one of each size paper together, gluing the ends together on one side.
  2. Loop the outside piece over and glue the edge down so you have a teardrop shape with the shorter pieces in the middle.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 five more times to make six teardrops total. Group into three sets of two, gluing the ends together to form three heart shapes.
  4. To make the stem, make two folds on each of the three remaining strips.
  5. For the 12” strip, make a fold mark 5” from the left edge and 5” from the right edge. There will be 2” between the two fold lines and the section between the folds is centered.
  6. For the 10” strip, make one fold mark 4¼” from the left edge and the same distance from the right edge. There will be 1½” between the two fold lines and the section between the folds is centered.
  7. For the 8” strip, make one fold mark 3½” from the left edge and the same distance from the right edge. There will be 1” between the fold lines and the section between them is centered.
  8. Line up the folded strips, shortest on top. Glue ends together to form a 3-D triangular stem.
  9. To assemble, cut out a small cardstock circle and glue each “heart” to the circle so they fan out to form a three-leaf shamrock. Glue stem in place.
  10. Glue both ends of a green ribbon to back of shamrock for hanging.

Even without a patch of four-leaf clovers, you can show your Irish spirit. Plant any green herbs in multiple clay pots spray painted with gold and/or green and you’ll add color to your porch, deck or front or back yard. Your inner artist can embellish the pots further by using paint markers or brushes to draw additional St. Patrick's Day designs when the spray paint dries.


Balloon Rainbows are festive, bright and colorful – perfect for St. Patrick’s Day. Buy at least two dozen balloons in the basic rainbow colors. Inflate and tie, then attach them – in rainbow fashion – by their tied end to a surface (garage door or even poster board, which can be hung on a post in your yard) and fly your St. Patty’s Day colors with pride!


Take your rainbow to its pot of gold by stretching colored streamers at an angle from a deck or windowsill down to the ground. Attach them at ground level so they spread out to look like a rainbow touching down. Set a black cauldron of gold foil-wrapped foam blocks at your rainbow’s end. If you have kids coming over for a party, fill with gold foil-wrapped chocolate coins instead and lead them to the “end of the rainbow” with scavenger hunt clues.

View Party Plan: St. Patrick's Day

Website Feedback