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?!

GiadaDeLaurentiis_PeaPestoCrostini_H

GiadaDeLaurentiis_PeaPestoCrostini_H

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.

HALLOUMI_079.tif

HALLOUMI_079.tif

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.

GiadaDeLaurentiis_PizzetteWithGorgonzolaTomatoAndBasil_H

GiadaDeLaurentiis_PizzetteWithGorgonzolaTomatoAndBasil_H

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.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Behind the Booklet: 50 Easy Appetizers

Get extra recipes from Food Network Kitchens for easy appetizers for Thanksgiving from the November issue of Food Network Magazine.

A Procrastinator's Guide: 5 Last-Minute Game-Day Bites

Instead of fumbling an opportunity to eat guacamole and drink beer on a Sunday night, throw together a last-minute viewing party spread with a little football-inspired rushing.

5 Ways to Dress Up a Chicken Wing

There's more to chicken wings than just blue cheese and celery.

Best 5 Super Bowl Recipes

Food Network's top five Super Bowl recipes below are quick-to-prepare, traditional dishes that are sure to win points with your team of friends.

Countdown to the Big Game: Best Cheesy Starters

If you’re going the cheesy app route for your Super Bowl party, make it count. Here are Food Network's best cheesy bites to get started on with hours to go until game time.

Holiday Party Throwback: Retro One-Bite Appetizers

When it comes to throwing this year's holiday party, serve a revamped menu that isn't reminiscent of your grandmother's.

A Duo of Southern Dips — Down-Home Comfort

Game-day goodies deserve a dose of down-home comfort, too, and this duo of dips is certain to score with your home team. I’m sharing two favorite Southern dips — Pimento Cheese and Warm Crab Dip.

Easy Appetizers — Meatless Monday

Food Network's easy meatless appetizers are go-to recipes that will dress up your next get-together.

Easy Appetizers for Spring Entertaining

Food Network's no-fuss appetizers are ideal for casual entertaining, and include charred lemon-scented shrimp, velvety deviled eggs and bacon-wrapped veggies.

Top-of-the-Class Graduation Party Ideas

Here are a few tips for throwing an A+ graduation party.