An invitation to dinner is just about all the appetizer I need—I’m so happy to have someone feed me that I’m not fussy about what’s on the menu. But if, when I arrive, there are little nibbles to start things off, it’s a delightful bonus. Appetizers really take gatherings up a notch, showing an attention to detail I appreciate.
And hors d’oeuvres don’t have to add a lot of time to your meal prep—here I’ve picked 5 no-cook appetizers that are practically ready in an instant. There’s at least one thing these 5 easy appetizer recipes have in common: an instant (read: store-bought) foundation. The part you make rests on a tasty cracker, chip or toasted baguette you buy. Think of that box of fancy crackers as a lifeboat full of party-savers. You can top the crackers with just about anything and they’ll keep the evening floating along.
Another great thing about these finger foods is that they won’t break the bank: it’s just a mini splurge to get the special ingredients the recipes call for, because the amounts are small.
For Blue Cheese & Fig Bites , you just need ¾ cup crumbled blue cheese and 9 figs to produce 24 elegant apps on slices of whole-wheat baguette.
Marinated olives are a super-handy staple for instant entertaining—and it’s easy to marinate your own, as you do for Marinated Olives & Feta .
“Nosh” is one of my favorite words, with its grazing connotations (num-num-num), and Roast Beef & Beet Nosh  is one of my favorite noshes.
We call these mini crab rolls “deconstructed” because you take the tasty inside bits—pickled ginger, crabmeat, sesame seeds—and serve them on rice crackers instead of rolling them up. Your guests will be delighted when you greet them with this little appetizer (pictured above)—no need for them to know how little time you actually took to make it.
Deconstructed Spicy Crab Roll 
Top rice crackers with pickled ginger and crabmeat for a sushi-bar-inspired appetizer. For the best flavor, use refrigerated pasteurized crabmeat labeled “jumbo.” Try a dollop of wasabi on top for extra zing.
What’s your favorite appetizer? Tell us what you think below.