Traditional recipes

Top-Rated Party Appetizers

Top-Rated Party Appetizers


Whether it's a quiet night with friends or a big crowd to watch the game, these hors d'oeuvres are perfect. We listened to our readers and are featuring their favorite appetizers. Everything from creamy, gooey cheese dip to stuffed grape leaves, these recipes all earned a whopping five stars. The best part? A lot of these can be made ahead to save you stress during party time.

Top-Rated Party Appetizers

Orange Chipotle-Spiced Pecan Mix

Put a big bowl of these crunchy morsels in front of the TV for guilt-free muching during the game. Try Rachel12345's suggestion with any leftovers. "LOVED this―sweet, spicy, fruity in just the right mix. I used a little of this to spice up a salad, too."

Ginger-Shrimp Pot Stickers with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce

Asian dumplings like pot stickers are great finger foods, especially with the creamy-spicy sauce in this recipe. They're also a good way to expand your culinary horizons, as webdr101 did. "I'd never used wonton wrappers before and was a little scared, but they were so easy! I can't wait to make these again. Everyone in my house loved them, even the picky eaters. Definitely something I'll make again."

Lemon-Caper Parmesan Potato Salad Bites

Turn “jacket potatoes” into irresistible potato salad bites. Capers offer a twist on traditional relish; they’re actually pickled flower buds and add bright, briny flavor to this appetizer.

Spinach-and-Artichoke Dip

This recipe has been a staff favorite since we first tried it 13 years ago. It's rich, savory, and super creamy, with a nice hit of garlic. We made a few small tweaks—increased the amount of spinach and decreased the mozzarella to lower the sat fat to an acceptable level.

Fire-Seared Antipasto Platter

More of a game plan than a set recipe, this dish lends itself to an assortment of ingredients you may have on hand. For example, if you can't find capocollo—cured sausage similar to salami—substitute salami or pepperoni. Serve the platter while vegetables are warm or at room temperature.

Pumpkin Dip

Canned pumpkin makes it easy to whip up this sweet dip. Make sure to purchase 100% pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. This kid-friendly dip is the perfect treat for a crisp Fall day. Bring it to a potluck or serve it as an appetizer and the guests will swoon over this seasonal creation. Dip in apples, smear it on toast, or top it on whole grain pancakes. If you're into the Fall pumpkin craze, this dip is sure to satisfy that craving.

Mini Corn Bread Crab Cakes with Lemon-Caper Sauce

These little gems are easy to make ahead and are sure to impress, as they did at hoboshome's party. "A huge hit at a holiday potluck! The sauce was an excellent complement to the crab cakes. This will be my go-to recipe for crab cakes. They make such a luxurious appetizer."

Date, Walnut, and Blue Cheese Ball

The sweet-savory combo of dates, walnuts, and blue cheese, topped with the earthiness of fresh flat-leaf parsley, brings your regular cheese ball up a notch. Prepare this retro-chic snack up to two days ahead, and serve with crackers, bread, or veggies.

Zesty Green Goddess Dip

Because fresh herbs are increasingly available, you can make this tangy, peppery dip year-round.

Caramelized Onion, Gruyère, and Bacon Spread

Serve with crackers or bread slices. If you can't find Gruyère, substitute raclette, fontina, or Swiss cheese.

Phyllo-Wrapped Asparagus with Prosciutto

Crunchy phyllo-wrapped asparagus makes great pick-up bites for a party. You can also chop the prosciutto and sprinkle it on the phyllo if you want.

Eggplant Crostini

Although this recipe calls for a regular globe eggplant, if you see baby eggplants or other fresh seasonal varieties, they will work just as well in this tangy appetizer.

Cauliflower "Caviar" with Frizzled Prosciutto

An enticing mix of cauliflower, prosciutto, and spices makes for a perfect appetizer fit for any meal or occasion.

Baked Black Beans with Chorizo

Serve this versatile dish warm or at room temperature as a tasty side to accompany the tacos or as a dip with chips.

Sun-Dried Tomato Palmiers

You can either thaw the puff pastry in the fridge overnight or leave it out at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours until it's pliable.

Stuffed Grape Leaves

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

This classic Mediterranean dish makes a great party hors d'oeuvre. Brined flavor comes from both the grape leaves and the salty feta cheese.

Roasted Red Pepper Bagna Cauda

Serve with fennel bulb slices, blanched broccoli florets, steamed new potatoes, and carrots.

Grilled Stuffed Jalapeños

Photo: Jennifer Causey Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

The rich and creamy combination of bacon, cream cheese, and cheddar is a nice foil for the muted spice of grilled jalapeño peppers. This recipe is a healthy, fresh alternative to the popular breaded and fried version. If making these poppers for a party, you can stuff the peppers, cover, and chill. Then grill just before your guests arrive.

Baked Feta with Romesco and Olive Tapenade

Make the romesco sauce and tapenade up to three days ahead, and keep them chilled separately.

Pear Chutney Bruschetta with Pecans and Blue Cheese

Sweet-tangy chutney pairs beautifully with pungent blue cheese and toasty pecans. You can make the chutney up to three days in advance; assemble bruschetta shortly before serving.

Quick Liver Pâté

This pared-down pâté is based on liverwurst. Use Usinger's or Schaller & Weber brand liverwurst for best results.

Crostini With Gorgonzola, Caramelized Onions, and Fig Jam

This recipe brings together big flavors―the tart sweetness of figs, the savory sweetness of onions, and the pungent kick of Gorgonzola cheese―in a balanced way. Try this suggestion from eatwelltx to make assembly easier: "I put the toasted bread with the cheese back in the oven (turned off but still warm) to melt the gorgonzola before adding the fig jam and onions, and this made layering the jam and onions over the cheese much easier. Absolutely delicious."

Windowpane Potato Chips

Create a simple yet elegant hors d'oeuvre that's sure to impress featuring assorted fresh herbs. Praises reviewer pkinzz, "We will make these again! We spent too much time making them super thin. When the rejects were used (thin but not paperthin) they turned out fine but needed more cooking time. Must serve them standing in the salt to really show them off. Party friends said they were too pretty to eat: art or eats? They ate and LOVED them!"

Chipotle-Lime Crab Crisps

An easy crab salad that has tons of flavor―it includes tangy lime, fiery chipotle, creamy avocado, and crunchy vegetables―is baked on tortilla chips for a unique appetizer. Reviewer vicman33 raves, "This is the best crab appetizer I have ever had. Try to use jumbo lump from the US not the asian crabmeat. This dish will be the hit of the party."

Parmesan Zucchini Sticks With Smoky Roasted Romesco Sauce

Crunchy, salty items are a must at any party, and these oven-fried zucchini sticks fit the bill. The Spanish-style sauce is great on anything from chips to sandwiches to grilled seafood. It's also an easy way to sneak healthful food onto your party menu, as one Cooking Light reader, named Lisa did: "Seriously―make the sauce," she told us. "It's easy and amazing. My husband ('not a veggie fan' is putting it mildly) ate an entire zucchini because he kept going back for more and dunking in the sauce, which is―surprise!―more veggies.

Spicy Black Bean Hummus

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

"Wow" your guests at your next gathering with this super easy and delicious spicy black bean hummus. Says recipe creater Maureen Redmond of Easley, South Carolina, "I created this recipe three years ago based on a popular appetizer my friends ordered at a pizzeria in Greenville, South Carolina. I researched the ingredients and added my own variations to suit my preference for spicy flavors. I received glowing feedback from my husband and friends, and now I keep this recipe on hand for parties and tailgates."

Seared Beef Tenderloin Mini Sandwiches with Mustard-Horseradish Sauce

An appetizer-only menu can leave guests feeling hungry, unless it includes an item like this one: hearty and meaty, but elegant and refined at the same time. It drew rave reviews from Rachel. "Great for the meat lover and the sauce lover. I made this for all the people who love a kick of flavor and taste, and boy did it deliver!"

Garlic Flatbreads with Smoked Mozzarella and Tomato Vinaigrette

It's easy to double or triple this pizza-like treat to satisfy a big party. If the weather's right, try grilling it, like stephaniekRD did. "I baked the flatbread the day before, then put it on top of a hot grill and topped it with the smoked mozzarella just as guests were arriving. Make sure you close the lid to get the cheese to melt. Once the bread was warmed through and the cheese melted I topped it with the tomato mixture. Wow!"

Baba Ghanoush

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Baba ghanoush (bah-bah-gah-NOOSH) is a Middle Eastern dip typically made from eggplant, tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice. One of our readers, Karen Waldman, was dissatisfied with the baba ghanoush recipes she was finding, so she created her own. By combining mayonnaise and tahini, she tinkered, found her perfect combination, and even incorporated it into a Greek-themed Thanksgiving meal. The unique dinner was an instant hit with her family.

Mini-Spanakopitas (Greek Spinach Pies)

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Wonderful as appetizers or a side, these miniature spinach pies enclose fresh spinach, feta cheese, and dried dill in folds of delightfully crispy phyllo dough. Reviewers reported that this recipe won over everyone from picky kids to spinach-phobic husbands and doubters of light fare.

Pinto Bean Nachos

Garlic and cumin-infused refried beans top freshly baked tortilla chips, which are sturdy and hold up well under the assortment of toppings. As reviewer tabbytrap suggested, you can use black beans in place of pinto beans, if you prefer.

Baked Brie with Golden Raisin Compote

Created by Elizabeth Bennett of Mill Creek, Wisconsin, this hearty appetizer is best made ahead before your guests arrive. "The Brie is rich enough to carry the appetizer with a tart and sweet compote." Says Elizabeth. "To ease slicing, keep Brie chilled until ready to use."

Vanilla-Spice Nuts

Bring a little heat to this snack by adding 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper to the spice mix. Turning the oven off before returning the spice-coated nuts to the oven ensures they won't overtoast. Prepare up to one week ahead, and then store nuts in an airtight container at room temperature.


Watch the video: 25 Easy Christmas Party Appetizers. Super Entertaining Compilation. Well Done