50 Easy Appetizer Recipes
Make these pre-dinner bites from Food Network Magazine in 15 minutes or less.
Clockwise from top: Stuffed Cherry Peppers (No. 14), Mini Manchego Tart (No. 12), Fried Ravioli (No. 10), Broiled Brie with Cranberry Chutney (No. 21)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
8. Cucumber-Caviar Rounds: Spoon dollops of crème fraîche onto cucumber rounds. Top each with a small spoonful of salmon or trout caviar.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.