No matter the occasion, there are certain starters that just work every time—cue these crowd-pleasing three-ingredient appetizers.

Victoria Seaver, M.S., RD
December 14, 2020
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No matter the occasion, there are certain starters that just work every time—cue these crowd-pleasing three-ingredient appetizers. They're super easy to make, look beautiful on your table and taste even better. And really, just three ingredients are required for each one (not including basics like olive oil, salt and pepper). With recipe combinations like baked Brie with blackberry jam; fig- and goat-cheese-stuffed puff pastry; and easy apricot, prosciutto and Parmesan bites, you can't go wrong. Add one (or more) to your holiday menu or simply jazz up Friday date night at home with one of these impressive apps.

3 ingredient appetizer spread
Credit: Photo by: Jamie Vespa, M.S, R.D.

Baked Brie with Blackberry Jam

baked blackberry brie
Credit: Photo by: Jamie Vespa, M.S., R.D.

Baked Brie is a classic, crowd-pleasing party appetizer, whether it's wrapped up in a pastry, in bite-sized form or covered in fruity jam, like we do here. In this easy 3-ingredient appetizer, we top a wheel of Brie with blackberry jam, bake for 10 minutes and serve with crisp apple slices. It's so simple yet so delicious, you'll wonder why you don't make it more often!

  • 1 (8-oz.) wheel Brie
  • 5 Tbsp. blackberry jam
  • 1 apple, sliced

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place Brie in a small casserole dish and top with jam. Bake for 10 minutes. Serve with apple slices or crackers.

Apricot, Prosciutto & Parmesan Bites

3-ingredient apricot parmesan prosciutto bites
Credit: Photo by: Jamie Vespa, M.S., R.D.

Perhaps the easiest 3-ingredient appetizers of them all are these apricot, Parmesan and prosciutto bites. They're as simple to make as they look, and they taste even better than you might think. Simply layer each ingredient on top of the other and secure with a toothpick for an easy bite-size starter.

  • 1 (6-oz.) package dried apricots
  • 10 slices prosciutto, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 (8-oz.) wedge Parmesan cheese, cut into 1-inch slices

Roll up prosciutto and place Parmesan and apricot on top. Secure with a toothpick and serve.

Smoked Fish Dip with Capers

3 ingredient smoked fish dip
Credit: Photo by: Jamie Vespa, M.S., R.D.

There are two kinds of people when it comes to smoked fish dip—those who love it and those who haven't tried it yet! Made with cream cheese, herbs and smoked trout, smoked salmon or a mix of both, it's a creamy, savory dip that takes your appetizer table up a notch. Top it with briny capers and serve with baguette slices and you have yourself a delicious app that is sure to impress.

  • 1 (8-oz.) container smoked fish dip
  • 1 Tbsp. capers
  • 1 (16-in.) baguette, sliced and toasted

Transfer smoked fish dip to a serving bowl and top with capers. Serve with toasted baguette slices.

Goat Cheese & Fig Puff Pastry Roll

3-ingredient goat cheese puff pastry
Credit: Photo by: Jamie Vespa, M.S., R.D.

Buttery puff pastry is a tasty shortcut ingredient that can be used in many yummy ways. Here we roll out a pastry sheet and cover it with fig jam and crumbled goat cheese, then roll it up into a log and bake it. The end result is a sweet-and-savory appetizer that looks and tastes quite impressive, for only having three ingredients.

  • 1 puff pastry sheet
  • 6 Tbsp. fig jam
  • 1 (4-oz.) log goat cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lay puff pastry on a baking sheet and roll it out to about 10 or 11 inches. Peel it up from the baking sheet, so it doesn’t stick when rolling, then lay it back down. Evenly spread the jam over the pastry and crumble goat cheese on top. Roll up into a log and place it seam-side down on the baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Jazzed-Up Hummus

3-Ingredient jazzed up hummus
Credit: Photo by: Jamie Vespa, M.S., R.D.

Who doesn't like hummus? It's an easy snack or appetizer as is, but to make it feel extra special, top it with whatever extra ingredients you want. Here we jazzed up store-bought hummus with Kalamata olives and olive oil (a staple ingredient that doesn't count toward our three!) and serve with crunchy pita chips.

  • 1 (16-oz.) container hummus
  • ¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 (8-oz.) bag pita chips

Transfer hummus to a serving bowl. Top with chopped olives and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired. Serve with pita chips.