The Best Summer Appetizers

Get inspired with our best summer appetizers like crab dip, salsa, nachos and more from Food Network.
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Chicken and Pineapple Skewers

Transport the tropics to your backyard with Tyler Florence's island-inspired kebabs. He bastes the skewers while they're cooking on the grill so the barbecue sauce caramelizes right on the chicken and pineapple chunks.

Get the Recipe: Chicken and Pineapple Skewers

Bruschetta

Red and yellow grape tomatoes are the star of this two-bite appetizer. These juicy in-season bites only need a bit of garlic, oil, balsamic and basil before they're spooned onto grilled baguette slices.

Get the Recipe: Bruschetta

Beef and Ground Pork Sliders

No summer party is complete without everyone’s favorite poolside food: burgers hot off the grill. For party-ready bites, make these beef and ground pork sliders, perfectly dressed with lettuce, caramelized onions, cheese and a delicious sauce. 

Get the Recipe: Beef and Ground Pork Sliders

Tomato Salad with Cheese Crisps

This tomato salad comes together easily. Make the croutons and cheese crisps, pack them up separately once they're cool, then toss and dress the salad to serve.

Get the Recipe: Tomato Salad with Cheese Crisps

Tuscan Pasta Salad with Grilled Vegetables

This cheery, hearty salad is perfect for parties — make it in the morning, let it hang out in the fridge for a few hours before you leave for the party, then let it come to room temperature on your way over and serve it as-is when you get there.

Get the Recipe: Tuscan Pasta Salad With Grilled Vegetables

Grilled Mushroom Flatbread with Truffled Pecorino

You can use premade pizza dough to cut down on prep time, or make the simple one in this recipe. The flatbreads need just two minutes per side on the grill, then load them up with oyster and cremini mushrooms and truffled cheese sauce.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Mushroom Flatbread with Truffled Pecorino

Smokin' Potato Salad

This easy potato salad is one of Guy's favorites. Give the dish a smoky finish by grilling the potatoes for 10 minutes on each side.

Get the Recipe: Smokin' Potato Salad

Three-Bean Salad

Crisp, blanched green beans add crunch to offset the tenderness of the kidney beans and cannellinis in this bright summer salad.

Get the Recipe: Three Bean Salad

Asian Lettuce Wraps

Sunny's lettuce wraps come together in under half an hour and feature ingredients from the pantry. Serve the beef mixture out in a party-sized bowl and have the lettuce wraps nearby so guests can serve themselves.

Get the Recipe: Asian Lettuce Wraps

Broccoli Salad

Trisha packs a ton of flavors and textures into this one salad. Coating the broccoli in a mayonnaise-vinegar mixture allows the diced bacon, onion, raisins and sunflower seeds to adhere, so you get a bit of salt, crunch and sweetness in every bite.

Get the Recipe: Broccoli Salad

Crunchy Noodle Salad

Ina coats thin spaghetti in a sweet-pungent dressing made from rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, ginger and peanut butter. Fresh vegetables add color and crunch — fitting for an outdoor gathering.

Get the Recipe: Crunchy Noodle Salad

Alton Brown's Guacamole

The avocados in Alton's guacamole get mashed for uniform smoothness, allowing the textures and bright flavors from tomato and onion to really come through.

Get the Recipe: Guacamole

Gazpacho

Garnish Ree's traditional gazpacho with grilled shrimp, avocado slices, minced hard-boiled eggs and cilantro leaves.

Get the Recipe: Gazpacho

Beef Pops with Pineapple and Parsley Sauce

Thread beef and pineapple cubes onto skewers for an easy-to-make, fun-to-eat party appetizer.

Get the Recipe: Beef Pops with Pineapple and Parsley Sauce

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

Turn abundant, fresh summer zucchini into Parmesan-coated zucchini chips for snacking.

Get the Recipe: Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

Shrimp Summer Rolls

Soak rice paper wrappers until pliable and fill with cooked shrimp, vermicelli noodles, herbs, cucumbers, scallions and lettuce. Fold the bottom of the wrapper over the filling, then fold in the sides and roll up into a tight bundle. Serve these hand-held bites with a homemade peanut sauce.

Get the Recipe: Shrimp Summer Rolls

Tomato-Basil Pizzettes

Roll homemade pizza dough into 3-inch rounds and brush each round lightly with herb oil. Top each round with soppressata, tomato slices, and a sprinkle of Parmesan and basil. 

Get the Recipe: Tomato-Basil Pizzettes

Bobby's Pork Satay

Bobby marinates the pork for a few hours for tenderness and serves it with a delicious peanut sauce.

Get the Recipe: Pork Satay

Rachael's Grilled Shrimp

Rachael's grilled shrimp recipe doesn't get easier or tastier. Tip: If you don't have a grill, you can broil these shrimp on medium heat.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Shrimp

Alton's Perfect Salsa

Why go with store-bought salsa when it's so easy to make fresh, spicy salsa all on your own? Alton's secret ingredient: mild, full-of-flavor dried ancho chiles.

Get the Recipe: Salsa

Asian Chicken Skewers

Grill marinated chicken skewers until they're well-charred, then serve them with your favorite dipping sauce.

Get the Recipe: Asian Chicken Skewers

Giada's Grilled Eggplant and Goat Cheese Salad

If you plate the grilled eggplant first, then top with the salad, the cheese will stay bright white and the herbs bright green.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Eggplant and Goat Cheese Salad

Giada's Italian Flatbread (Piadina) with Fontina and Prosciutto

Giada says, "A piadina is a lot like a pizza, except that the crust doesn't rise and it's typically cooked on a grill to give it a nice, smoky flavor and crunchy crust. You can top a piadina with anything you like. This no-sauce combination is very typical of northern Italy, where piadini are especially popular."

Get the Recipe: Italian Flatbread (Piadina) with Fontina and Prosciutto

Bacon-Wrapped Prawns with Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Get your summer party started with Guy's skewered shrimp wrapped in bacon with an easy chipotle barbecue sauce for dipping.

Get the Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Prawns with Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Asian Glazed Wings

Rachael glazes chicken wings with a ginger-spiked Asian sauce for a truly unique flavor.

Get the Recipe: Asian Glazed Wings

Guacamole Salad

Ina turns a favorite dip into a salad — it's like guacamole you can eat with a fork.

Get the Recipe: Guacamole Salad

Greek Salad

Make a restaurant-style salad at home; Rachael Ray loads her version with classic ingredients: kalamata olives, tomatoes, peppers and feta cheese.

Get the Recipe: Greek Salad

Bibb Lettuce and Shrimp Wraps

Wraps make a great summer appetizer since they're really light and fun to eat. Try these Bibb lettuce cups filled with shrimp tossed in a lemony vinaigrette and a sprinkling of crushed peanuts.

Get the Recipe: Bibb Lettuce and Shrimp Wraps

Colorful Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Use a mandoline to turn vegetables into paper-thin slices, then perfect filling and rolling each lovely bundle. It takes time and practice, so be sure to have a few extra rice wrappers on hand in case some tear.

Get the Recipe: Colorful Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Queso Fundido con Chorizo

Make a Monterey jack and mozzarella dipping sauce complete with cooked chorizo and chopped jalapenos.

Get the Recipe: Queso Fundido con Chorizo

Picadillo Sliders

These Cuban-inspired sliders are a natural with merlot. Briny olives, garlicky mayo, and a slight hit of tomato acidity sharpen the wine's fruit; caramelized onions and raisins play to the wine's toasty side.

Get the Recipe: Picadillo Sliders

Corn with Chile-Lime Butter

Grill corn until nicely charred then top with a butter, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, chile paste and cumin mixture.

Get the Recipe: Corn With Chile-Lime Butter

Spicy Thai-Style Pineapple Wraps

Infuse juicy pineapple with classic Thai flavors like lime, chile paste, cilantro and peanuts, then wrap it up in crisp lettuce cups.

Get the Recipe: Spicy Thai-Style Pineapple Wraps

Bacon-Apple-Jalapeno Pop 'Ems

Try Aarti Sequeira's oven-baked appetizers instead of fried jalapeno poppers. She fills the halved peppers with light cream cheese, scallions and apples, then wraps each bite with a bit of bacon.

Get the Recipe: Bacon-Apple-Jalapeno Pop 'Ems

Summer Salsa with a Shot

Add a little life to the party with this tomato salsa: A jigger of silver tequila is mixed in with the usual suspects for a shot of grown-up flavor.

Get the Recipe: Summer Salsa with a Shot

Grilled Sausages with Grilled Shallot Relish with Fresh Ricotta and Toasted Baguette

There's a meal's worth of flavor contained in just one bite of Bobby's snackable baguettes topped with creamy ricotta, grilled shallot relish and sweet Italian sausage. 

Get the Recipe: Grilled Sausages with Grilled Shallot Relish with Fresh Ricotta and Toasted Baguette

Grilled Grape Leaf-Wrapped Goat Cheese

Grill everything this summer, even creamy goat cheese! Grape leaves make a grill-friendly wrapper for the cheese and infuse it with flavor.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Grape Leaf-Wrapped Goat Cheese

Romesco-Topped Potato Bites

Scoop out baby potato halves and fill with Romesco sauce, sour cream and crispy Serrano ham shards for a poppable one-bite.

Get the Recipe: Romesco-Topped Potato Bites

Grilled Watermelon Salad

Claire's 5-ingredient salad shows that grilled summer fruit is delicious in savory dishes as well as desserts. She pairs sweet grilled watermelon with fresh arugula and crumbles of salty feta cheese.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Watermelon Salad

Grilled Potato and Goat Cheese Napoleon with Balsamic-Basil Vinaigrette

Bobby's Napoleon is an elegant way to kick off a cookout, and the recipe couldn't be easier. Boil then grill the potatoes so they cook all the way through.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Potato and Goat Cheese Napoleon with Balsamic-Basil Vinaigrette

Pineapple Polenta Squares with Shrimp

A reader won the Chairman's Challenge in Food Network Magazine with this creative pineapple recipe. The fruit does double duty: It's combined with the polenta and used in the shrimp's marinade.

Get the Recipe: Pineapple Polenta Squares with Shrimp

Margarita Chicken Skewers

Sandra's easy-to-grill skewers are full of flavor thanks to a tequila-spiked margarita mix marinade.

Get the Recipe: Margarita Chicken Skewers

Sunny's Chicken Flautas with Avocado Cream

Sunny's take on this fiesta favorite will liven up your next party.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Flautas with Avocado Cream

Giada's Fried Zucchini

Fry up some fresh zucchini for a crunchy, Italian-style starter.

Get the Recipe: Fried Zucchini

New England Steamers

Pick up a few pounds of steamer clams, steam them in a flavorful broth and dip in melted butter for the perfect anytime appetizer.

Get the Recipe: New England Steamers

Rachael Ray's Lettuce Wraps

The stir-fried filling in Rachael's lettuce wraps boasts crunch, bright colors and flavor from oranges and hoisin.

Get the Recipe: Barbecued Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Pork Lettuce Wraps

These lettuce wraps serve up a range of bright flavors from sweet to spicy with grapefruit, chile sauce, ginger and fish sauce. Pork and nuts provide savory texture for a more hearty appetizer experience.

Get the Recipe: Pork Lettuce Wraps with Grapefruit

Pineapple-Ginger-Habanero Salsa

This is no ordinary fruit salsa. Bobby spikes his pineapple salsa with fresh ginger and habanero peppers for a dip with quite a bit of kick. Serve it with tortilla chips as an appetizer, or spooned over grilled salmon for your main course.

Get the Recipe: Pineapple-Ginger-Habanero Salsa

Alex's Grilled Clams with Scallions and Cucumber

"There is, to me, no better thing than when a food can be cooked in its own shell for deep, authentic and simple flavor," says Alex. "Be patient with the clams. Sometimes they can take a few minutes to open on the grill. I find that when I give up and turn my back on them, that’s when they open."

Get the Recipe: Grilled Clams with Scallions and Cucumber

Grilled Loaded Nachos

These clever foil packets are quick to put together and cook up perfectly for a summer barbecue. And because they are personal size, your guests can eat them with our suggested toppings or their favorites. 

Get the Recipe: Grilled Loaded Nachos

Grilled Summer Pizzette with Caramelized Peaches, Burrata, Arugula and Crispy Serrano

This summery flatbread is topped with caramelized peaches, creamy Burrata, crispy Serrano ham and arugula. Made with premade pizza dough, it's an easy and crowd-pleasing party starter.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Summer Pizzette with Caramelized Peaches, Burrata, Arugula and Crispy Serrano

Grilled Shrimp Scampi-Style with Soy Sauce, Fresh Ginger and Garlic

Bobby adds ginger and soy sauce to traditional buttery garlic sauce before grilling for an unforgettably flavorful twist on shrimp scampi.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Shrimp Scampi Style with Soy Sauce, Fresh Ginger and Garlic

Michael Chiarello's Grilled Corn Salsa

Grilled corn and tomatoes give this salsa a smoky-sweet twist.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Corn Salsa

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Make this Thai restaurant staple easily at home. Use leftover homemade peanut sauce as a topping for noodles or rice.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Buffalo Wing Hummus

Spice up your usual hummus recipe with this fiery Buffalo version.

Get the Recipe: Buffalo Wing Hummus

Grilled Corn, Bacon and Chile Crostini

The smokiness of grilled corn melds well with the bacon, while chiles give this recipe a nice kick.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Corn, Bacon and Chile Crostini

Scallop Ceviche

Orange and lime juices "cook" the scallops for a light and refreshing lunch or appetizer.

Get the Recipe: Scallop Ceviche

Jalapeno Pepper Poppers

Sandra Lee's jalapeno poppers are oozing with melted cheese and wrapped in crispy bacon, and are so easy to make on the grill.

Get the Recipe: Jalapeno Pepper Poppers

Sour Cream and Onion Hummus

This fun twist on traditional hummus is even better served with sour cream and onion-flavored chips.

Get the Recipe: Sour Cream and Onion Hummus

Pizza Hummus

This recipe relies on traditional pizza sauce ingredients, such as tomato paste, garlic, basil and oregano, for its powerful pizza flavor.

Get the Recipe: Pizza Hummus

Jumbo Shrimp Stuffed with Cilantro and Chiles

Juicy shrimp are stuffed with a flavorful mixture of garlic, jalapenos, scallions and cilantro that also adds vibrant color to this two-bite appetizer.

Get the Recipe: Jumbo Shrimp Stuffed with Cilantro and Chiles

Grilled Asparagus and Melon Salad

Start your summer meal with Giada's grilled asparagus salad. Plate it individually or serve it on a big platter so guests can help themselves.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Asparagus and Melon Salad

Bobby's Grilled Oysters with Jalapeno-Herb Mignonette

When you shuck your oysters, make sure to leave as much of the oyster’s juices — its liquor — in the shell as possible so it stays moist. As for the Jalapeno-Herb Mignonette, if you aren’t into fresh cilantro, rest assured that fresh chives or tarragon can do the trick too.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Oysters with Jalapeno-Herb Mignonette

Ceviche (Shrimp and Grouper) with Serrano Chiles, Mango, Smoked Tomatoes and Crispy Plantain Chips

The cold-smoked tomatoes add some depth to this tropical and spicy seafood dish while plantain chips provide a perfect, mildly sweet crunch.

Get the Recipe: Ceviche (Shrimp and Grouper) with Serrano Chiles, Mango, Smoked Tomatoes, Crispy Plantain Chips

Mini Italian Club Sandwiches

Giada's two-bite sandwiches may be small, but they're loaded with the flavors of turkey, provolone, bacon and pesto.

Get the Recipe: Mini Italian Club Sandwiches

Classic Deviled Eggs

Make room for this tried-and-true classic finger food; they're guaranteed to be a hit at your next party.

Get the Recipe: Classic Deviled Eggs

Michael Chiarello's Mini Panini

Finger sandwiches can be a party favorite year-round — just look how Michael Chiarello takes his to the grill for miniature panini with olive tapenade.

Get the Recipe: Mini Cheese Sandwiches (Panini With Mozzarella And Olive Tapenade)

Marcela's Grilled Stuffed Jalapeno Chiles

Marcela removes the seeds from the jalapenos before stuffing them with mozzarella and wrapping them in bacon. Cooking them on the grill sizzles the outside, while the inside becomes oozy and creamy.

Get the Recipe: Grilled Stuffed Jalapeno Chiles

Bobby's Guacamole

Make restaurant-style guacamole at home for your next picnic. It's best served fresh, so make it just before guests arrive; if you're bringing guac to a party, take the ingredients with you and make it when you arrive.

Get the Recipe: Guacamole

Spicy Crushed Hummus

Bobby adds sauteed jalapeno peppers to his hummus and keeps some of the chickpeas chunky for a dip that's spicier and heartier than traditional versions.

Get the Recipe: Spicy Crushed Hummus

Crostini with Sweet Ricotta, Honey and Toasted Hazelnuts

Top toasted baguette slices (toast them in the oven or right on the grill) with creamy ricotta cheese, toasted hazelnuts and a drizzle of honey for a super-simple, unforgettably delicious appetizer.

Get the Recipe: Crostini with Sweet Ricotta, Honey and Toasted Hazelnuts

Marcela's Cauliflower with Avocado-Cilantro Dip

Veggie platters are often limp and neglected at summer cookouts. The cure? Marcela’s Avocado-Cilantro Dip: Cream cheese, fresh cilantro, lime juice, avocado and serrano chiles are blended until smooth and creamy — perfect for revitalizing florets of cauliflower or Romanesco.

Get the Recipe: Cauliflower with Avocado-Cilantro Dip

Campfire Beans

Give dried pinto beans big flavor by simmering them with a ham hock, chili powder, garlic, onion and red bell pepper. It results in a stewlike dish that couldn't be easier to make.

Get the Recipe: Campfire Beans

Watermelon Salsa

This 15-minute salsa is light, fresh and really convenient. With watermelon instead of tomato, the final product is mild enough to be spread on everything from tacos to pita chips.

Get the Recipe: Watermelon Salsa

Guacamole

Ina feels strongly about guacamole, and it shows in this recipe. Her 5-star take on the Tex-Mex classic gets a fresh spritz of lemon juice and a generous 8 dashes of hot sauce for heat.

Get the Recipe: Guacamole

Stuffed Baby Bell Peppers

Cook red and yellow baby bell peppers in a skillet until the skins blister, then stuff them with ground pork and Muenster cheese to add extra smokiness. Use the same skillet to cook the meat — it'll cut down on the meat's cook time in the oven. 

Get the Recipe: Stuffed Baby Bell Peppers

Cold Summer Soup

Take a break from salad with Tyler's chilled cucumber-melon soup. Serrano chiles add a touch of heat, while low-fat yogurt produces a creamy base.

Get the Recipe: Cold Summer Soup

Bruschetta with Prosciutto, Ricotta and Arugula

Spread ricotta cheese on grilled slices of bread, then press an arugula leaf into the cheese. Top with prosciutto and very good olive oil.

Get the Recipe: Bruschetta with Prosciutto, Ricotta and Arugula

Alton's Homemade Pickles

Homemade pickles are super easy to make with Alton's method. Just allow yourself some extra time; the pickles take several days to ferment.

Get the Recipe: Dill Pickles

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