21 Appetizers That Taste Great at Room Temperature
21 Appetizers That Taste Great at Room Temperature
Room Temperature Appetizers
There's nothing worse than hosting a party, only to find out your appetizers have gone cold and soggy before guests have even arrived. That's where these easy and delicious room-temperature appetizers come in. Just make them, put them out on the table, and forget about running back and forth from the oven or fridge. The good news? You can safely leave apps made with meat, dairy, or eggs out for up to two hours at room temperature, according to the FDA. All of these appetizer ideas come together in a snap, and are perfect for two-bite munching at parties.
Double-Serrano Watermelon Bites
These bites are a step up from classic prosciutto-wrapped melon and provide sweet, spicy, salty, tart, and meaty tastes. If you can’t find serrano ham, use prosciutto; you also can use balsamic glaze in place of pomegranate molasses.
We blend a little oil from the Spring Onion Confit into the favas to show the versatility of the confit oil, but this recipe is plenty tasty with plain extra-virgin olive oil, too. Fava beans are indeed a labor of love—the shelling, blanching, and peeling required to get at the bare beans keeps many would-be fans away from them entirely. If you don’t have favas, or would prefer a shortcut, an equal amount of shelled, thawed edamame will work here as well. Find edamame in frozen food sections of markets.
Smoky Roasted Chickpeas
These crunchy chickpeas will serve you well as both a snack and a crunchy, protein- and fiber-rich topping for salads. They’ll stay crisp in an airtight container for up to a week; just be sure to cook them until they’re just shy of burning for the crunchiest results.
This recipe gets back to basics and makes flavor balance the top priority so no ingredient tramples on the exquisite, subtly nutty, and lightly sweet flavors of avocado. As with all simple recipes, the quality of the ingredients makes or breaks the dish: Be particularly sure to use avocados at peak ripeness. We let the onion and jalapeño macerate with the lime juice and salt to tame their flavors slightly. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips, and set out some crunchy vegetables to dip, too, such as radishes, mini sweet peppers, and jicama slices.
Ratatouille Zucchini "Bruschetta"
In this lighter version of bruschetta, crisp zucchini stands in for bread. The ratatouille is delicious left over (even cold), so go ahead and make a double batch to enjoy on pizza or pasta.
Lobster Roll Deviled Eggs
Eggs steam perfectly in the Instant Pot, making this once labor-intensive appetizer a breeze. Classy enough for a dinner party while casual enough for game day, these Lobster Roll Deviled Eggs combine two fun foods into one delicious dish. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly dish, substitute pre-cooked shrimp for the lobster tail. Feel free to omit the breadcrumbs to up the keto-friendly factor.
Everything Lavash Crackers
The popular bagel seasoning of poppy seed, sesame seed, onion, and garlic flakes turns super crispy crackers into a knockout addition to your cheese board and are so easy to make. We love the rustic look of large shards, but you can also cut the rolled dough into rectangles before baking. Keep the dough rises to just 10 minutes each, otherwise the texture of the crackers may be chewy rather than crisp.
Miso-Caramel-Tamari Popcorn Mix
A slightly thicker caramel and the addition of whole roasted almonds turn traditional caramel popcorn into gift-worthy popcorn mix. We use less sugar in the glaze and cut the sweetness with mild white miso (fermented soybean paste) and tamari (a richer, wheat-free soy sauce) for a salty-savory note that makes the snack incredibly addictive.
Miso Ranch Dip
Get ready—this dip is about to become your party go-to. It’s quick and easy to make, and you can serve it with any type of vegetable (we particularly like it with carrots, radishes, and cucumbers). Be sure not to puree the chives or pepper, as they will discolor your sauce. Use leftover dip as a spread for pulled pork, hamburgers, or other sandwiches, or thin it out with water or another tablespoon or two of buttermilk to dress lettuces.
Here's the ideal dish for holiday party guests to bring as an offering—easy to make and transport, and welcome at any gathering. It's also great for hosts who need a simple snack to tide guests over until dinner, or to round out an appetizer spread. We like a mix of briny kalamata and mild, fruity Castelvetrano olives, both available at most specialty market antipasti bars.
Miso Deviled Eggs
This fun twist on deviled eggs is a nice change-of-pace dish for your next picnic. After all, what is a picnic without deviled eggs? With just a hint of tang and spice, they’ll appeal to all, including folks who aren’t particularly adventurous eaters. Try to use older eggs—they will peel more easily. Look for shichimi togarashi in the same place you buy miso.
Beet Chips With Turmeric-Yogurt Dip
Here's a lighter, more colorful take on the usual chips and dip. Beet chips crisp up in a flash in the microwave. Keep close watch on them to make sure they won't scorch.
Date, Walnut, and Blue Cheese Ball
This retro-chic snack can be served with raw veggies, crackers, or toasted whole grain bread. Medjool dates add natural sweetness and chewy texture, while blue cheese creates the ideal salty, tangy contrast. Bonus: you can prepare it up to two days in advance.
If you’re worried that this crunchy snack will taste like fish, rest your fears. The anchovy paste simply lends rich umami depth and a good salty kick. We use a fair amount of fresh thyme here, too, for even more savory notes; it adds a woodsy, earthy flavor that other herbs just don’t quite have. If you would rather start with prepopped corn, opt for one with little or no seasoning, and use 8 cups.
Cheesy Sausage Balls
This classic party appetizer will go quickly, so make double. Unlike typical sausage balls, this recipe has a hidden whole-grain secret: quinoa. That's right. Instead of using store-bought biscuit mix, we use cooked quinoa as the binder. If your guests can handle the heat, don't be afraid to use hot pork sausage. The extra flavor boost is worth it.
Lobster Roll Bruschetta
Though we love the sweet flavor of lobster in this appetizer, you can easily substitute 1/2 pound of shrimp with delicious results.
Grill-Smoked Baba Ghanoush
This classic Middle Eastern eggplant dip is known for its smoky flavor and creamy texture. The smoke here comes from four components: charred eggplant, green onions, garlic, and a dash of smoked paprika. To grill the garlic, pull the cloves off in a clump from the bulb so the bundle won’t fall through the grates. Don’t worry if the clump contains more than 4 cloves—you’ll surely find a use for the roasty-toasty extras. Serve with pita bread wedges, pita chips, or crudités.
Marinated Goat Cheese
A dairy goats ramp up milk production, spring is the best time to enjoy fresh, tangy goat cheese. Bright-flavored, smooth, and spreadable, it's a treat on its own. But it also shines in a simple olive oil, garlic, and herb marinade. Serve over toasted baguette slices.
Green Pea and Parsley Hummus
Make good use of frozen green peas to create this creamy spread infused with parsley, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice.
The Ultimate Cheese Board
For easy entertaining, you can't beat a well-built cheese board. Create one that will encourage guests to assemble bites of crisp toast and creamy/salty/nutty cheese and a sweet or tart topper. Accoutrements like grapes and gherkins cleanse the palate so you can start fresh with the next cheese type or focus on the meal to come.
French Onion Dip With Sweet Potato Chips
With big flavor and less heft, our healthier ode to the classic French onion dip is a delicious way to sneak in extra vegetables. Ditch the sodium-bomb seasoning packets and sour cream-and-mayonnaise–laden dip (which can pack a small meal’s worth of calories and sat fat into a single serving) for our homemade dip. And be patient with the caramelizing process—slowly sizzled onions have noteworthy sweetness and concentrated umami. And because no dip is complete without a dipper, baked sweet potatoes will satisfy your chip craving for half the calories of most bagged varieties.