50 Easy Appetizer Recipes

Make these pre-dinner bites from Food Network Magazine in 15 minutes or less.

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COVER_151.tif

Clockwise from top: Stuffed Cherry Peppers (No. 14), Mini Manchego Tart (No. 12), Fried Ravioli (No. 10), Broiled Brie with Cranberry Chutney (No. 21)

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Clockwise from top: Stuffed Cherry Peppers (No. 14), Mini Manchego Tart (No. 12), Fried Ravioli (No. 10), Broiled Brie with Cranberry Chutney (No. 21)

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GOAT_CHEESE_TRIO_211.tif

Goat Cheese Trio

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Goat Cheese Trio

1. Goat Cheese Trio: Cut a 12-ounce log of goat cheese crosswise into 3 mini logs. Roll 1 piece in chopped mixed herbs, another in cracked mixed peppercorns and the last in chopped dried cranberries and cashews. Serve with baguette slices or crackers.

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CANNELLINI_BRUSCHETTA_324.tif

Cannellini Bruschetta

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Cannellini Bruschetta

2. Cannellini Bruschetta: Combine 1 drained can cannellini beans, 1 cup chopped drained giardiniera (Italian pickled vegetables) plus a splash of brine from the jar, 1/4 cup diced provolone and 2 tablespoons each chopped parsley and olive oil. Serve on toasted Italian bread.

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SPICED_OLIVES_181.tif

Spiced Olives

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Spiced Olives

3. Spiced Olives: Heat 1/3 cup olive oil with 1 strip each lemon zest and orange zest, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and 1 smashed garlic clove. Stir in 1 cup mixed olives and a few thyme sprigs.

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ANCHOVY_RADISH_CANAPES_178.tif

Radish-Anchovy Canapes

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Radish-Anchovy Canapes

4. Radish-Anchovy Canapes: Finely chop 1 to 2 rinsed anchovies, 2 tablespoons parsley and 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest; mix with 1 stick softened butter. Spread on pumpernickel cocktail bread and top with thinly sliced radishes and a squeeze of lemon juice.

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BLUE_CHEESE_PECAN_SPREAD_206.tif

Blue Cheese-Pecan Spread

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Blue Cheese-Pecan Spread

5. Blue Cheese–Pecan Spread: Mix 1/2 cup soft blue cheese with 2 tablespoons chopped toasted pecans. Spread on celery sticks or crackers and drizzle with honey.

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KALE_ARTICHOKE_DIP_179.tif

Kale-Artichoke Dip

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Kale-Artichoke Dip

6. Kale-Artichoke Dip: Thaw 1 1/2 cups frozen kale and 1/2 cup frozen artichoke hearts; squeeze dry, then roughly chop. Combine with 4 ounces softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup each shredded Swiss cheese and milk, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, 1 minced small garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a dash each of cayenne and Worcestershire sauce in a microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave 5 minutes, then stir. Serve with pita chips or crackers.

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INDIAN_SPICED_YOGURT_DIP_217.tif

Indian Yogurt Dip

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Indian Yogurt Dip

7. Indian Yogurt Dip: Mix 1 cup Greek yogurt with 2 tablespoons each chopped cilantro and tomato, 1 tablespoon minced shallot, 1/2 teaspoon each grated ginger and garlic, and salt to taste. Serve with crackers or pita chips.

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CUCUMBER_CAVIAR_ROUNDS_281.tif

Cucumber-Caviar Rounds

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Cucumber-Caviar Rounds

8. Cucumber-Caviar Rounds: Spoon dollops of crème fraîche onto cucumber rounds. Top each with a small spoonful of salmon or trout caviar.

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POMEGRANATE_AVOCADO_SPREAD_369.tif

Pomegranate Guacamole

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Pomegranate Guacamole

9. Pomegranate Guacamole: Cook 3 tablespoons pepitas (hulled green pumpkin seeds) in 1 tablespoon olive oil until toasted; season with salt. Mash 2 avocados with 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, 1/4 cup finely chopped onion, the juice of 1/2 lime, 1 finely chopped jalapeno and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Top with pomegranate seeds and the toasted pepitas. Serve with tortilla chips.

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FRIED_RAVIOLI_158.tif

Fried Ravioli

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Fried Ravioli

10. Fried Ravioli: Fry uncooked small cheese or meat ravioli in 365 degrees F vegetable oil until golden, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt and grated Parmesan. Serve with warm marinara sauce.

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ROMESCO_DIP_184.tif

Romesco Dip

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Romesco Dip

11. Romesco Dip: Pulse 1 cup roasted red peppers, 1 garlic clove, a pinch of red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar and 1/3 cup each toasted almonds and olive oil in a food processor until finely chopped. Serve with breadsticks or crackers.

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MANCHEGO_TARTS_165.tif

Mini Manchego Tarts

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Mini Manchego Tarts

12. Mini Manchego Tarts: Make Romesco Dip (No. 11) and spoon a thin layer into mini phyllo shells. Top each with a cube of manchego cheese and bake at 425 degrees F until the cheese melts, 8 minutes. Top with chopped parsley.

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COUNTRY_PATE_BITES_316.tif

Cranberry-Pate Bites

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Cranberry-Pate Bites

13. Cranberry-Pate Bites: Mix 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons cranberry sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread on toasted baguette slices and top with sliced country pate and sliced cornichons.

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STUFFED_CHERRY_PEPPERS_162.tif

Stuffed Cherry Peppers

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Stuffed Cherry Peppers

14. Stuffed Cherry Peppers: Stem and seed hot or sweet pickled cherry peppers. Wrap strips of thinly sliced salami around cubes of aged provolone and stuff inside the peppers. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve with toothpicks.

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DELILED_CRAB_DIP_254.tif

Deviled Crab Dip

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Deviled Crab Dip

15. Deviled Crab Dip: Mix 1/2 pound crabmeat, 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon each dijon mustard, lemon juice and chopped parsley, 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, and salt and hot sauce to taste. Serve with crackers.

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PIMENTO_CHEESE_SPREAD_203.tif

Pimiento Cheese Spread

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Pimiento Cheese Spread

16. Pimiento Cheese Spread: Mix 8 ounces grated sharp yellow cheddar, 4 ounces grated pepper jack, 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup chopped drained pimientos, 1 small grated shallot and a pinch of cayenne. Spread on toasted bread and sprinkle with chopped chives.

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CREAMY_SHRIMP_DIP_225.tif

Creamy Shrimp Dip

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Creamy Shrimp Dip

17. Creamy Shrimp Dip: Combine 8 ounces softened cream cheese, 3/4 cup mayonnaise and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Stir in 3/4 pound chopped cooked shrimp and 1/4 cup each chopped celery and scallions. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with potato chips or crackers.

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TONNATO_DIP_199.tif

Italian Tuna Dip

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Italian Tuna Dip

18. Italian Tuna Dip: Pulse 1 drained 5-ounce can oil-packed Italian tuna, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon and 2 tablespoons capers in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons chopped parsley. Top with more parsley and serve with crudites.

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SPICED_PITA_CHIPS_313.tif

Spiced Pita Chips

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Spiced Pita Chips

19. Spiced Pita Chips: Cut 3 pitas into wedges. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin and coriander, and salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 425 degrees F until toasted, 8 minutes.

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PUMPKIN_HUMMUS_294.tif

Pumpkin Hummus

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Pumpkin Hummus

20. Pumpkin Hummus: Purée 1 1/2 cups drained canned chickpeas, 1/3 cup canned pure pumpkin, 3 tablespoons each olive oil and tahini (sesame paste), 1 garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon paprika and 1/4 cup water. Add salt and lemon juice to taste. Transfer to a bowl and top with olive oil, red pepper flakes and toasted pepitas (hulled green pumpkin seeds). Serve with sweet potato chips.

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BRIE_CRANBERRY_CHUTNEY_359.tif

Broiled Brie with Cranberry Chutney

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Broiled Brie with Cranberry Chutney

21. Broiled Brie with Cranberry Chutney: Slice the rind off the top of a small wheel of brie. Spread 1/4 cup cranberry chutney over the cheese and broil until bubbly, 3 minutes. Top with pecans. Serve with baguette slices.

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BISCUITS_TRIPLE_CREAM_333.tif

Biscuits with Cheese and Preserves

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Biscuits with Cheese and Preserves

22. Biscuits with Cheese and Preserves: Spread digestive biscuits with triple-cream cheese (such as Saint Andre) or brie. Top each with apricot or cranberry preserves and a dill sprig.

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BLISTERED_PEPPERS_214.tif

Blistered Mini Peppers

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Blistered Mini Peppers

23. Blistered Mini Peppers: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add whole baby bell peppers and cook, turning occasionally, until charred and tender. Sprinkle with lemon juice and salt.

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SPICE_FRIED_CHICKPEAS_258.tif

Spiced Fried Chickpeas

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Spiced Fried Chickpeas

24. Spiced Fried Chickpeas: Drain and rinse 1 can chickpeas; pat dry. Deep-fry in batches in 375 degrees F vegetable oil until crisp and golden, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels, then toss with 1/2 teaspoon each ground coriander, cumin, smoked paprika and salt.

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HAM_ENDIVE_SPEARS_280.tif

Ham and Endive Spears

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Ham and Endive Spears

25. Ham and Endive Spears: Pulse 1/4 pound diced ham, 1/4 cup chopped dill pickle, 2 scallion whites and 2 tablespoons mayonnaise in a food processor until combined. Spoon onto endive spears. Top with sliced scallions.

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PUMPKIN_SAGE_BUTTER_338.tif

Pumpkin-Prosciutto Canapes

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Pumpkin-Prosciutto Canapes

26. Pumpkin-Prosciutto Canapes: Pulse 1 stick softened butter, 1/4 cup canned pure pumpkin, 1 tablespoon chopped sage and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor until smooth. Spread on cocktail bread and top with thinly sliced prosciutto.

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PUMPKIN_SAGE_SCALLOP_243.tif

Pumpkin-Sage Scallops

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Pumpkin-Sage Scallops

27. Pumpkin-Sage Scallops: Make the pumpkin-sage butter from Pumpkin-Prosciutto Canapes (No. 26). Melt 1/2 tablespoon plain butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 12 small scallops and sear, turning once, until just cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the pumpkin-sage butter and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve with toothpicks.

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SHRIMP_COCKTAIL_268.tif

Shrimp Cocktail

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Shrimp Cocktail

28. Shrimp Cocktail: Combine 1/2 cup ketchup or sweet chili sauce, 1/4 cup drained horseradish, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of celery salt, 2 dashes of hot sauce and 1 tablespoon minced celery. Serve with chilled cooked shrimp.

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SHRIMP_VERDE_250.tif

Shrimp with Sauce Verte

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Shrimp with Sauce Verte

29. Shrimp with Sauce Verte: Simmer 4 garlic cloves and 2 scallion whites in salted water until soft, 6 minutes. Add the scallion greens and 1 cup each torn basil and parsley leaves; cook until wilted, 10 seconds. Drain and rinse under cold water. Purée in a food processor with 1/4 cup mango chutney, 1 teaspoon mustard powder and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Serve with chilled cooked shrimp.

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BROILED_SRIRACHA_OYSTER_218.tif

Spicy Broiled Oysters

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Spicy Broiled Oysters

30. Spicy Broiled Oysters: Mix 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon Sriracha and 1 minced small garlic clove. Shuck 12 oysters and leave on the half shell; pat dry. Spread with the mayonnaise mixture and broil until browned in spots, 2 minutes. Top with chopped chives.

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GARLIC_CLAMS_170.tif

Broiled Garlic Clams

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Broiled Garlic Clams

31. Broiled Garlic Clams: Sauté 1 minced garlic clove in a skillet with 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in 1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons chopped parsley. Shuck 12 clams and leave on the half shell; pat dry. Top with the garlic breadcrumbs and broil until crisp and browned, 1 to 2 minutes.

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SHRIMP_BACON_SLIDER_349.tif

Shrimp-Bacon Sliders

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Shrimp-Bacon Sliders

32. Shrimp-Bacon Sliders: Spread mayonnaise on mini potato buns. Fill each with 1 sliced cooked shrimp, 1/2 slice crisp cooked bacon and some chopped chives.

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STUFFED_SNOW_PEAS_227.tif

Stuffed Snow Peas

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Stuffed Snow Peas

33. Stuffed Snow Peas: Blanch snow peas in boiling salted water, 30 seconds; rinse under cold water and pat dry. Trim along the curved side to split open. Pipe prepared taramasalata (Greek caviar spread) or soft herbed cheese into each one and drizzle with lemon juice.

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CREAMY_STUFFED_MUSHROOMS_188.tif

Creamy Stuffed Mushrooms

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Creamy Stuffed Mushrooms

34. Creamy Stuffed Mushrooms: Remove the stems from small cremini or white mushrooms. Sprinkle the caps with salt and pepper and fill each with 1 teaspoon cream cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and browned in spots, about 8 minutes. Top with chopped chives.

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HALLOUMI_BITES_330.tif

Warm Halloumi Bites

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Warm Halloumi Bites

35. Warm Halloumi Bites: Cut 8 ounces halloumi cheese into bite-size pieces and fry in a skillet with 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, turning, until golden. Add 1 cup grape tomatoes, the juice of 1 lemon and a pinch of dried mint. Cook, stirring, 2 more minutes. Serve on toothpicks.

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CHILI_LIME_CASHEWS_173.tif

Chili-Lime Cashews

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Chili-Lime Cashews

36. Chili-Lime Cashews: Cook 2 cups cashews in 1 tablespoon olive oil with 1/2 teaspoon each chili powder and smoked paprika over medium heat until toasted, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro and the zest and juice of 1 lime. Season with salt.

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HONEY_CHIPOTLE_NUTS_270.tif

Maple-Chipotle Peanuts

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Maple-Chipotle Peanuts

37. Maple-Chipotle Peanuts: Simmer 1/3 cup maple syrup with 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder in a saucepan until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 cups salted dry-roasted peanuts. Pour onto a lightly oiled pan and let cool.

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SALMON_ASPARAGUS_246.tif

Salmon-Wrapped Asparagus

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Salmon-Wrapped Asparagus

38. Salmon-Wrapped Asparagus: Blanch asparagus in boiling salted water until crisp-tender. Drain, then cool in ice water. Drain and pat dry. Wrap each spear with a thin slice of smoked salmon. Combine 1/4 cup each sour cream and mayonnaise with 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill; spread on the asparagus.

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SMOKED_SALMON_CANAPE_255.tif

Smoked Salmon Canapes

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Smoked Salmon Canapes

39. Smoked Salmon Canapes: Make the sour cream–dill mixture from Salmon-Wrapped Asparagus (No. 38). Spread on pumpernickel cocktail bread and top each with sliced smoked salmon and a few capers.

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GORGONZOLA_PEAR_POLENTA_341.tif

Gorgonzola and Pear Polenta Rounds

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Gorgonzola and Pear Polenta Rounds

40. Gorgonzola and Pear Polenta Rounds: Cut 1 tube prepared polenta into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Brush with melted butter and broil, turning, until golden. Top with sliced pear and gorgonzola; season with pepper.

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BACON_CHEDDAR_PECAN_PIZZA_320.tif

Cheddar-Bacon-Pecan Pizza

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Cheddar-Bacon-Pecan Pizza

41. Cheddar-Bacon-Pecan Pizza: Roll out 1/2 pound pizza dough until thin; place on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with 3/4 cup shredded cheddar and 1/3 cup crumbled cooked bacon. Bake at 450 degrees F until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped candied pecans and chopped chives. Cut into squares.

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FRIED_ARTICHOKE_HEARTS_277.tif

Fried Artichoke Hearts

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Fried Artichoke Hearts

42. Fried Artichoke Hearts: Drain 2 cups marinated artichoke hearts; pat dry and cut into bite-size pieces. Heat 1/4 inch olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the artichoke hearts and fry, turning once, until crisp and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

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GOAT_CHEESE_TOMATO_CHUTNEY_335.tif

Goat Cheese with Tomato Chutney

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Goat Cheese with Tomato Chutney

43. Goat Cheese with Tomato Chutney: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet; add 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes, 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup golden raisins, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and salt to taste. Boil until thickened, about 5 minutes. Spoon onto a plate and top with a small wheel of creamy aged goat cheese (such as Bucheron). Serve with baguette slices.

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KIELBASA_APPLE_SKEWER_352.tif

Kielbasa-Apple Skewers

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Kielbasa-Apple Skewers

44. Kielbasa-Apple Skewers: Mix 1/4 cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons each chopped parsley and whole-grain mustard, and 2 teaspoons horseradish. Season with salt. Thread sliced grilled kielbasa and green apple cubes on small skewers. Serve with the horseradish mixture.

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HERB_DEVILED_EGGS_288.tif

Herbed Deviled Eggs

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Herbed Deviled Eggs

45. Herbed Deviled Eggs: Peel and halve 6 hard-boiled eggs. Mash the yolks with 1 tablespoon each mayonnaise and sour cream and 2 tablespoons each finely chopped chives, parsley and green olives; season with salt. Pipe or spoon into the egg whites and sprinkle with paprika.

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PUMPKIN_HAM_FRITTER_310.tif

Pumpkin-Ham Fritters

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Pumpkin-Ham Fritters

46. Pumpkin-Ham Fritters: Mix 1 cup dry pancake mix, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1 egg and 2 tablespoons each canned pure pumpkin, beer, shredded cheddar, chopped ham and chopped scallions. Deep-fry small spoonfuls of the batter in 350 degrees F vegetable oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

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PUMPKIN_CHIPOTLE_SHOOTER_194.tif

Pumpkin-Chipotle Soup Shooters

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Pumpkin-Chipotle Soup Shooters

47. Pumpkin-Chipotle Soup Shooters: Bring 1 cup canned pure pumpkin, 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1/4 cup cream, 2 tablespoons chipotle hot sauce and 2 teaspoons bourbon to a simmer in a small saucepan and cook, whisking, 3 minutes. Pour into small cups and top with chopped chives.

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CARROT_GINGER_SHOOTER_192.tif

Carrot-Ginger Soup Shooters

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Carrot-Ginger Soup Shooters

48. Carrot-Ginger Soup Shooters: Sauté 1 chopped garlic clove and 1 tablespoon chopped ginger in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a small saucepan. Add 1 1/2 cups carrot juice, 1/4 cup cream and the juice of 1 lime; bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Pour into small cups and top with chopped cilantro.

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SHERRY_GLAZED_MUSHROOMS_302.tif

Sherry-Glazed Mushrooms

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Sherry-Glazed Mushrooms

49. Sherry-Glazed Mushrooms: Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 pound white mushrooms and sauté until tender, about 7 minutes. Add 1/4 cup sherry, 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar and a pinch of salt. Cook until the sauce is reduced to a glaze, about 1 minute. Stir in 1 tablespoon each chopped parsley and chives. Serve with toothpicks.

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SHRIMP_FLAUTA_262.tif

Shrimp Flautas

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Shrimp Flautas

50. Shrimp Flautas: Warm 1/4 inch vegetable oil in a skillet. Dip corn tortillas in the oil one at a time until softened, then brush with mayonnaise and sprinkle with chipotle chile powder. Halve cooked shrimp and sticks of string cheese lengthwise; arrange 2 pieces shrimp and 1 piece cheese in the center of each tortilla. Roll up and secure with a toothpick. Increase the oil heat to medium high; fry the rolls, turning, until golden. Remove the toothpicks and cut in half. Sprinkle with salt and lime juice.

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