Top-Rated Party Appetizers
Whether it's a quiet night with friends or a big crowd to watch the game, these hors d'oeuvres are perfect.
Put a big bowl of these crunchy morsels in front of the TV for guilt-free muching during the game. Try Rachel12345's suggestion with any leftovers. "LOVED this―sweet, spicy, fruity in just the right mix. I used a little of this to spice up a salad, too."
These little gems are easy to make ahead and are sure to impress, as they did at hoboshome's party. "A huge hit at a holiday potluck! The sauce was an excellent complement to the crab cakes. This will be my go-to recipe for crab cakes. They make such a luxurious appetizer."
This recipe brings together big flavors―the tart sweetness of figs, the savory sweetness of onions, and the pungent kick of Gorgonzola cheese―in a balanced way. Try this suggestion from eatwelltx to make assembly easier: "I put the toasted bread with the cheese back in the oven (turned off but still warm) to melt the gorgonzola before adding the fig jam and onions, and this made layering the jam and onions over the cheese much easier. Absolutely delicious."
The sweet-savory combo of dates, walnuts, and blue cheese, topped with the earthiness of fresh flat-leaf parsley, brings your regular cheese ball up a notch. Prepare this retro-chic snack up to two days ahead, and serve with crackers, bread, or veggies.
Create a simple yet elegant hors d'oeuvre that's sure to impress featuring assorted fresh herbs. Praises reviewer pkinzz, "We will make these again! We spent too much time making them super thin. When the rejects were used (thin but not paperthin) they turned out fine but needed more cooking time. Must serve them standing in the salt to really show them off. Party friends said they were too pretty to eat: art or eats? They ate and LOVED them!"
An easy crab salad that has tons of flavor―it includes tangy lime, fiery chipotle, creamy avocado, and crunchy vegetables―is baked on tortilla chips for a unique appetizer. Reviewer vicman33 raves, "This is the best crab appetizer I have ever had. Try to use jumbo lump from the US not the asian crabmeat. This dish will be the hit of the party."
Crunchy, salty items are a must at any party, and these oven-fried zucchini sticks fit the bill. The Spanish-style sauce is great on anything from chips to sandwiches to grilled seafood. It's also an easy way to sneak healthful food onto your party menu, as Lisa did. "Seriously―make the sauce. It's easy and amazing. My husband ('not a veggie fan' is putting it mildly) ate an entire zucchini because he kept going back for more and dunking in the sauce, which is―surprise!―more veggies.
"Wow" your guests at your next gathering with this super easy and delicious spicy black bean hummus. Says recipe creater Maureen Redmond of Easley, South Carolina, "I created this recipe three years ago based on a popular appetizer my friends ordered at a pizzeria in Greenville, South Carolina. I researched the ingredients and added my own variations to suit my preference for spicy flavors. I received glowing feedback from my husband and friends, and now I keep this recipe on hand for parties and tailgates."
An appetizer-only menu can leave guests feeling hungry, unless it includes an item like this one: hearty and meaty, but elegant and refined at the same time. It drew rave reviews from Rachel. "Great for the meat lover and the sauce lover. I made this for all the people who love a kick of flavor and taste, and boy did it deliver!"
Asian dumplings like pot stickers are great finger foods, especially with the creamy-spicy sauce in this recipe. They're also a good way to expand your culinary horizons, as webdr101 did. "I'd never used wonton wrappers before and was a little scared, but they were so easy! I can't wait to make these again. Everyone in my house loved them, even the picky eaters. Definitely something I'll make again."
It's easy to double or triple this pizza-like treat to satisfy a big party. If the weather's right, try grilling it, like stephaniekRD did. "I baked the flatbread the day before, then put it on top of a hot grill and topped it with the smoked mozzarella just as guests were arriving. Make sure you close the lid to get the cheese to melt. Once the bread was warmed through and the cheese melted I topped it with the tomato mixture. Wow!"
Baba ghanoush (bah-bah-gah-NOOSH) is a Middle Eastern dip typically made from eggplant, tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice. One of our readers, Karen Waldman, was dissatisfied with the baba ghanoush recipes she was finding, so she created her own. By combining mayonnaise and tahini, she tinkered, found her perfect combination, and even incorporated it into a Greek-themed Thanksgiving meal. The unique dinner was an instant hit with her family.
Wonderful as appetizers or a side, these miniature spinach pies enclose fresh spinach, feta cheese, and dried dill in folds of delightfully crispy phyllo dough. Reviewers reported that this recipe won over everyone from picky kids to spinach-phobic husbands and doubters of light fare.
Garlic and cumin-infused refried beans top freshly baked tortilla chips, which are sturdy and hold up well under the assortment of toppings. As reviewer tabbytrap suggested, you can use black beans in place of pinto beans, if you prefer.
Created by Elizabeth Bennett of Mill Creek, Wisconsin, this hearty appetizer is best made ahead before your guests arrive. "The Brie is rich enough to carry the appetizer with a tart and sweet compote." Says Elizabeth. "To ease slicing, keep Brie chilled until ready to use."
Sweet-tangy chutney pairs beautifully with pungent blue cheese and toasty pecans. You can make the chutney up to three days in advance; assemble bruschetta shortly before serving.
The rich and creamy combination of bacon, cream cheese, and cheddar is a nice foil for the muted spice of grilled jalapeño peppers. This recipe is a healthy, fresh alternative to the popular breaded and fried version. If making these poppers for a party, you can stuff the peppers, cover, and chill. Then grill just before your guests arrive.
Crunchy phyllo-wrapped asparagus makes great pick-up bites for a party. You can also chop the prosciutto and sprinkle it on the phyllo if you want.
More of a game plan than a set recipe, this dish lends itself to an assortment of ingredients you may have on hand. For example, if you can't find capocollo—cured sausage similar to salami—substitute salami or pepperoni. Serve the platter while vegetables are warm or at room temperature.
Although this recipe calls for a regular globe eggplant, if you see baby eggplants or other fresh seasonal varieties, they will work just as well in this tangy appetizer.
Bring a little heat to this snack by adding 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper to the spice mix. Turning the oven off before returning the spice-coated nuts to the oven ensures they won't overtoast. Prepare up to one week ahead, and then store nuts in an airtight container at room temperature.