Appetizers for a Crowd

Kick off your next weekend get-together with an impressive spread of small bites.

Photo By: Renee Comet ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Christopher Testani

Photo By: Ryan Liebe ©Ryan K Liebe

Photo By: Ryan Liebe

Photo By: Ryan Liebe ©Ryan K Liebe

Photo By: Matt Armendariz

Photo By: Charles Masters

Photo By: David Malosh

Photo By: Ryan Liebe ©Ryan K Liebe

Photo By: Charles Masters

Photo By: Andrew Purcell

Photo By: Andrew Purcell

Photo By: Ryan Liebe ©Ryan K Liebe

Photo By: Johnny Miller

Photo By: David Malosh

Photo By: Andrew Purcell

Photo By: Andrew Purcell

Photo By: Teri Lyn Fisher

A Trio of Bruschetta

Bobby Flay’s trio of bruschetta toppers — white beans marinated in balsamic vinegar, black olive tapenade and a fresh tomato-basil mixture — is an easy way add variety to your appetizer spread without taking on a bunch of extra work.

Get the Recipe: A Trio of Bruschetta

Sauteed Shrimp Cocktail

Rather than make the usual chilled shrimp and spicy cocktail sauce, Giada De Laurentiis serves sauteed shrimp with smoky, sweet yogurt dip flavored with turmeric and maple syrup.

Get the Recipe: Sauteed Shrimp Cocktail

Stovetop Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Served in a bread bowl, this rich and creamy artichoke dip is just about impossible to pass up. Reduce white wine, then stir in heavy cream for a more sophisticated — although just as indulgent — alternative to the traditional cream cheese- and mayonnaise-based dip.

Get the Recipe: Stovetop Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Crab Dip with Garlic Saltines and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes 

Saltines are the preferred vehicles for Tyler Florence's crab dip. To fancify the crackers, brush them with a garlic-herb butter and bake until golden.

Get the Recipe: Crab Dip with Garlic Saltines and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Smoked Brie

Brie will always be a crowd-pleaser. But smoked brie is a total cheese platter game changer — especially when you can say you smoked it yourself.

Get the Recipe: Smoked Brie

Spanakopita Hand Pies

You’ll fall in love with these mini Greek pastries, which are wrapped in flaky phyllo dough and filled with a mixture of creamy potatoes, cheese, leafy greens and plenty of herbs.

Get the Recipe: Spanakopita Hand Pies

Puff Pastry Heirloom Tomato Tart

An assortment of heirloom tomatoes gives this savory puff pastry a mosaic-like appearance. The more your tomatoes vary in size and color, the better.

Get the Recipe: Puff Pastry Heirloom Tomato Tart

Serrano Ham-Wrapped Figs

Throw a tapas-style cocktail party and serve wine-soaked figs with blue-cheese crema. In the words of Iron Chef Jose Garces: "These figs are easy to pick up and eat if you happen to be using your other hand for a glass of sangria!"

Get the Recipe: Serrano Ham-Wrapped Figs

Fried Deviled Eggs

These crunchy and creamy deviled eggs are an upgrade from your usual fare. Top them with pickled jalapeno slices for addictive two-bite appetizers.

Get the Recipe: Fried Deviled Eggs

Spicy Peanut-Coconut Dip

A good dip makes crudites infinitely more appealing. Food Network Magazine’s 10-minute recipe combines spicy ingredients like chili paste and ginger with coconut cream and smooth peanut butter.

Get the Recipe: Spicy Peanut-Coconut Dip

Watermelon and Halloumi

Watermelon marinated in a mint and honey dressing is soon to be your favorite summer treat. And halloumi, a delicious non-melting cheese, is the perfect landing place for the juicy fruit. 

Get the Recipe: Watermelon and Halloumi

Herb Toasts

Cut a baguette into strips, slather on a generous amount of butter and a big dousing of your favorite herbs, then bake for 10 minutes. The breadsticks will go just as quickly as any fancy appetizer.

Get the Recipe: Herb Toasts

Crab-Stuffed Piquillo Peppers 

Considering that the filling for these stuffed peppers is similar to what you would use to make crab cakes (but with cheese), these colorful appetizers won't be a hard sell at a party — especially when topped with homemade paprika aioli. 

Get the Recipe: Crab-Stuffed Piquillo Peppers

Carrot-Miso Dip

Whip together an Asian-inspired dip with roasted carrots, mild miso paste, fresh ginger and soy sauce. Make sure to have plenty of rice crackers on hand. After one scoop, it’s hard to stop.   

Get the Recipe: Carrot-Miso Dip

Cheese Fondue

Any get-together involving cheese fondue will be considered a smashing success. Food Network Magazine’s easy recipe combines two ultra-creamy cheeses with a touch of white wine and sherry.

Get the Recipe: Cheese Fondue

Chilled Cucumber Soup with Fiery Yogurt Sauce

Chilled cucumber soup is as easy as blending together cucumbers, honey, salt and pepper. Add a well-balanced kick to the refreshing appetizer with a drizzle of jalapeno yogurt sauce. 

Get the Recipe: Chilled Cucumber Soup with Fiery Yogurt Sauce

Chipotle Pork Meatballs

The warm spices in gingersnaps complement the heat in chipotle chiles, making cookie crumbs an unexpectedly tasty addition to spicy pork meatballs.

Get the Recipe: Chipotle Pork Meatballs

Clams with Chorizo

Alongside crusty bread, this buttery seafood dish served right from the saute pan makes a beautifully simple and rustic appetizer.   

Get the Recipe: Clams with Chorizo

Classic Caesar Salad 

Classic Caesar salad should be in everyone’s dinner party repertoire. This recipe features an egg trick that will help make the traditional dressing perfectly creamy every time.

Get the Recipe: Classic Caesar Salad

Barbecue Kale Chips

According to Jeff Mauro, "You can crunch your way through a bowl of these and not feel one ounce of guilt!" So you may want to double (or triple) his recipe for your next party. 

Get the Recipe: Barbecue Kale Chips

Beef-and-Bacon Meatballs

If you're going to add bacon to the meatballs, it only makes sense to simmer them in a red wine-shallot sauce too. The rich and savory aroma is so tempting, don't be surprised when everyone anxiously gathers in the kitchen. 

Get the Recipe: Beef-and-Bacon Meatballs

Crab Arancini

Giada adds crabmeat to Italian rice balls for a deep-fried, bite-size snack that everybody will love.

Get the Recipe: Crab Arancini

Grappa-Poached Pears with Speck

Poached in grappa, an Italian grape-based brandy, pears take on a spiced sweetness that perfectly complements fresh arugula and speck ham.

Get the Recipe: Grappa-Poached Pears with Speck

Slow-Cooker Moroccan Turkey Meatballs

The slow cooker does most of the work for these sweet and spicy turkey meatballs, but you’ll get all the credit. Pomegranate seeds aren't your usual cocktail meatball accompaniment, but they work wondrously here. 

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Moroccan Turkey Meatballs

Fried Pasta Shells with Vodka Sauce Dip

When you need a crowd-pleasing party platter appetizer, here's what to make. (You're welcome!). We deep-fried pasta shells to create crisp scoops—the perfect vehicles for a creamy and tangy vodka dipping sauce.

Get the Recipe: Fried Pasta Shells with Vodka Sauce Dip

Grape Jelly Slow-Cooker Meatballs

Many versions of this dish live on the Internet and for good reason—it’s quick, easy and a real crowd pleaser. We find some of them a bit too cloying though, so we scaled down the jelly and added a little acidity and heat in the form of Dijon mustard, cider vinegar and hot sauce to create the perfect balance of sweet and tangy. We use beef meatballs, but you can substitute turkey or veggie ones.

Get the Recipe: Grape Jelly Slow-Cooker Meatballs

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