27 Easy Appetizers That Are Perfect for Any Occasion

Whether you’re hosting cocktails for your friends or throwing an all-out dinner party, these small bites are sure to impress.

July 14, 2022

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

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

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

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

Photo By: Renee Comet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

©2008, Hearst Communications, Inc.

Flavor-Packed Bites

Appetizers may be small, but they often make the biggest impression. Whether you choose beautifully topped bruschetta, the always-popular pigs in a blanket or an array of party-worthy dips, the colorful presentation and perfectly paired flavors (because you’re serving wine or cocktails too, right?) are guaranteed to keep your guests coming back for more. Just take these show-stopping bites, for example. Valerie creates a sophisticated appetizer by layering roast beef, horseradish cream and chives into pillowy mini Yorkshire puddings. It sounds (and looks!) fancy but is surprisingly easy to make.

Get the Recipe: Mini Yorkshire Puddings with Roast Beef and Quick Caramelized Onions

Warm Brie with Fuji Apple, Pear and Melba Toasts

Few appetizers are as irresistible as warm, creamy Brie cheese. Rather than wait for the oven to heat up, simply microwave the Brie for 1 minute. Once it's melted, serve the Brie with a platter of fruit and Melba toasts and watch how quickly it disappears.

Get the Recipe: Warm Brie with Fuji Apple, Pear and Melba Toasts

Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed With Chorizo

This classic, sweet-and-savory appetizer is a cinch to pull off. Best of all, it’s ready in under an hour, giving you plenty of extra time to tackle all the other things on your to do list.

Get the Recipe: Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Chorizo

Spanish Tortilla

Traditional Spanish tortilla requires only three staple ingredients: potatoes, onions and eggs (lots of them!). Together, these ingredients create a canvas for various add-ins, like sliced chorizo, roasted piquillo peppers or crumbled goat cheese. Best of all, when cut into small squares, one batch can easily feed a crowd.

Get the Recipe: Spanish Tortilla

Shrimp Cocktail with Quick Remoulade

Ditch the cocktail sauce and serve this classic appetizer with a spicy twist by preparing Rachael's easy remoulade. She combines mayonnaise, Creole mustard, lemon juice and cayenne to create a tangy dip.

Get the Recipe: Shrimp Cocktail with Rach's Quick Remoulade

Cheddar and Bacon Pinwheels

You can never go wrong with bacon — especially when it’s rolled up in puff pastry with sharp Cheddar cheese!

Get the Recipe: Cheddar and Bacon Pinwheels

Pea Pesto Crostini

Giada combines peas, garlic and grated Parmesan in her food processor to create a simple, spreadable pesto for crusty grilled baguette slices. Using defrosted frozen peas will save time without sacrificing flavor.

Get the Recipe: Pea Pesto Crostini

Crab Cakes and 5-Ingredient Remoulade

Ree cooks her crab cakes under the high heat of the broiler but you can fry them in a pan if you’re out of oven space. Just add butter to your skillet over medium heat and sear the cakes until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Get the Recipe: Crab Cakes and 5-Ingredient Remoulade

Pasta Chips with Alfredo Dip

Here's one more way to love pasta: as a crispy snack. Serve it up golden fried with a smooth and creamy sauce for dipping.

Get the Recipe: Pasta Chips with Alfredo Dip

Blue Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes

You only need 7 simple ingredients to make these delicious small bites. But don’t worry, they won’t be lacking in flavor — they’re loaded with blue cheese, bacon and fresh chives.

Get the Recipe: Blue Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes

Cacio E Pepe Cheese Puffs

Ina says, "When friends come over for dinner and I have a lot to cook, I serve the simplest appetizers: shards of aged Parmesan, slices of good salami and a bowl of salty Marcona almonds. But when I invite people to come for just a drink, I go all out and make something special like these cheese puffs, inspired by ones I had at Missy Robbins’s restaurant Lilia in Brooklyn. Everyone always loves them!"

Get the Recipe: Cacio E Pepe Cheese Puffs

Spanakopita Chicken Meatballs with Spicy Cucumber and Yogurt Sauce

Rachael gives these one-bite treats a Greek twist by adding spinach and feta to the meatball mix and serving them alongside a tangy Greek yogurt dipping sauce.

Get the Recipe: Spanakopita Chicken Meatballs with Spicy Cucumber and Yogurt Sauce

Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil

The key to bruschetta's signature crunchy texture is to char the baguette slices under the broiler or on the grill. Rachael rubs the toasts with garlic before piling on the fresh tomato-basil topping.

Get the Recipe: Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil

Blini with Smoked Salmon

Nibbling on crunchy toasts and crackers without leaving a trail of crumbs can be difficult — especially while mingling at a party. Blinis, or Russian buckwheat pancakes, are the perfect solution. Ina tops the soft pancakes with a slice of silky smoked salmon, sour cream and dill.

Get the Recipe: Blini with Smoked Salmon

Fried Pork Dumplings

Skip store-bought dumplings and make these bites from scratch with ground pork and dumpling wrappers. An easy ponzu dipping sauce makes a perfect pairing.

Get the Recipe: Fried Pork Dumplings

Clams Casino

Littleneck clams are the perfect pick when you’re making appetizers. They’re smaller but that means they’re sweet and tender — and just the right size for a one-bite starter.

Get the Recipe: Clams Casino

Pizzette with Gorgonzola, Tomato and Basil

For quick preparation, Giada uses a cookie cutter and store-bought dough. Once baked, the soft pizzette crust makes for a mess-free way to enjoy sweet cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and Gorgonzola.

Get the Recipe: Pizzette with Gorgonzola, Tomato and Basil

Cheese-Stuffed Dates with Prosciutto

Sweet dates pair perfectly with Giada's creamy mascarpone-goat cheese mixture. A slice of salty prosciutto balances the flavor.

Get the Recipe: Cheese-Stuffed Dates with Prosciutto

Cornmeal Blini Bites

Use a corn muffin mix to make these easy Cornmeal Blini Bites.

Get the Recipe: Cornmeal Blini Bites

Roasted Shrimp with Homemade Cocktail Sauce

Tender leaves of Bibb lettuce make the perfect cups for roasted shrimp and cocktail sauce. Arrange the lettuce leaves and the shrimp on separate platters, with the cocktail sauce on the side, and have guests assemble their own wraps: one shrimp per lettuce leaf, with a healthy dollop of cocktail sauce on top.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Shrimp with Homemade Cocktail Sauce

Charcuterie Board Bites

Instead of setting out a charcuterie board (and having your guests huddle around to wait their turn) layer all of the iconic flavors onto individual bites of baguette. Genius!

Get the Recipe: Charcuterie Board Bites

Smoked Trout Canapes with Creme-Fraiche and Herb Sauce for Two

Rachael spreads zesty creme fraiche on top of crunchy pumpernickel toasts before laying on a hearty chunk of smoked trout. Another small dollop of the creme fraiche and a dill frond for garnish make these toasts special-occasion-worthy.

Get the Recipe: Smoked Trout Canapes with Creme-Fraiche and Herb Sauce for Two

Maple Pepper Pecans

Maple syrup, cayenne pepper and butter are mixed with pecans to make Nigella's sticky Maple Pepper Pecans.

Get the Recipe: Maple Pepper Pecans

Tea Smoked Chicken

Our Tea Smoked Chicken is marinated overnight with Chinese black tea and spices, then served on a bed of lettuce with Asian chili sauce, soy-ginger sauce and lime.

Get the Recipe: Tea Smoked Chicken

Star Puffs

Parmesan-topped Star Puffs are an easy and fun way to use puff pastry.

Get the Recipe: Star Puffs

Lemongrass-Cured Salmon Canapes

These fresh-tasting, Asian-inspired canapés are great for wintertime entertaining.

Get the Recipe: Lemongrass-Cured Salmon Canapes

Wrap-Party Apps

Appetizers can't get much simpler than Wrap Party Apps made with mini mozzarella balls.

Get the Recipe: Wrap-Party Apps

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