A+ Appetizers That Are So Easy for a Graduation Party

Because the tassel is the only thing worth the hassle.

Food Network Kitchen - Chicken Caesar Salad Crouton Cups

Photo by: Teri Lyn Fisher

Teri Lyn Fisher

School is out for the summer — or forever. If it's the latter, you've got one more party-planning assignment to knock out before you can kick back. Whether your graduate has completed college or kindergarten, it's an accomplishment worthy of a celebration! Get your shin-dig started on the right note with these top-of-the-class apps that will ensure your party earns a 4.0.

Guacamole: Alton Brown

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Tara Donne, Tara Donne

Alton Brown certainly enjoys the science behind food and uses this knowledge to create delicious dishes. When serving a large crowd, cool dips like this guacamole are perfect. They require no oven space and hardly any prep time at all. Cover the guacamole with the plastic wrap touching the surface when storing to prevent it from turning brown. We will spare you the science lesson on oxidation — it is summer after all!

Food Network Kitchen’s Grilled Loaded Nachos.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

If you make extra guacamole you can serve it up with these family-style nachos. Now, we don't condone cheating — but utilizing the same topping to create two appetizers lightens the workload. (Remember, work smarter not harder!) This appetizer is wrapped in aluminum foil packets and then cooked on a grill until the cheese has melted all over the chips. Raise your hand if you like an easy clean-up?!



Chef Name: Giada De Laurentiis Full Recipe Name: Pea Pesto Crostini Talent Recipe: Giada De Laurentiis’ Pea Pesto Crostini, as seen on Foodnetwork.com FNK Recipe: Project: Foodnetwork.com, SUMMER/APPETIZERS/PASTA Show Name: Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Renee Comet, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

If you study the recipe the day before the party, you will find that Giada De Laurentiis likes to use day-old bread to make crostini. But if you don’t have day-old bread on hand, you can dry out fresh bread by placing it in a 300 degree F oven until it crisps up slightly. The non-traditional pesto made using frozen peas adds a creaminess and density to this spread that your guests are sure to love!

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

These guys are full of flavor and easy for your guests to enjoy while mingling. Soak the wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes to ensure they don't burn while you grill the chicken. And make things extra-easy by serving them with your favorite store-bought dipping sauce. In a colorful bowl, it will still feel festive and special.

Food Network Kitchen - Chicken Caesar Salad Crouton Cups

Photo by: Teri Lyn Fisher

Teri Lyn Fisher

Everyone's favorite part of a salad is the crispy, garlicy croutons on top — so Food Network Kitchen turned croutons into mini salad bowls so you're sure to get crunch in every bite! Allow the cups to cool on a rack so the bottoms don't become soggy. Now that is what we call "salad smarts."

House Number - 0043092

House Number - 0043092

Mini Italian Club Sandwiches. Giada De LaurentiisEI-0706Everyday Italian,Mini Italian Club Sandwiches. Giada De Laurentiis EI-0706 Everyday Italian

Grilled focaccia bread filled with eggs, bacon, sliced turkey and provolone will provide a filling little bite to keep your guests and graduates satisfied until you bring out the main course. Giada assembles her sandwiches ahead of time and cuts them into bite-sized pieces just before serving. Appetizers that can be prepared in advance make us want to throw our caps in the air.



Photo by: David Malosh

David Malosh

We love bright flavors and vibrant dishes when it comes to summertime appetizers. Seared halloumi cheese acts as the backdrop for juicy marinated watermelon. Michael Symon adds just a few ingredients like mint, honey and toasted almonds to elevate this impressive appetizer.



Chef Name: Giada De Laurentiis Full Recipe Name: Pizzette with Gorgonzola, Tomato and Basil Talent Recipe: Giada De Laurentiis’ Pizzette with Gorgonzola, Tomato and Basil, as seen on Food Network’s Everyday Italian FNK Recipe: Project: Foodnetwork.com, SUMMER/APPETIZERS/PASTA Show Name: Everyday Italian Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Renee Comet, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Your little scholar only needs one hand to count the number of ingredients needed to make these adorable pizzettes. Giada keeps party prep simple by using store-bought pizza dough. Cut the dough using a cookie cutter into rounds and top with Gorgonzola or any of your other favorite cheeses. Just because school is no longer in session doesn't mean you can't have art class. Think outside the (pizza) box and cut the dough using different shaped cutters for a creative spin your little ones will love.

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