21 Easy Appetizers So Delicious You'll Want to Eat Them for Dinner
Try something new and enjoy a spread of these easy appetizers for dinner. Whether you want to make a night at home feel more special or are tired of your normal dinner routine, these appetizers are a fun and flavorful way to mix things up. Recipes like Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms and Fig & Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Roll are delicious and can be made in 30 minutes or less.
This crab-stuffed mushroom recipe is perfect for Christmas, New Year's Eve and other holiday parties or any other time you need a quick and easy appetizer. The filling is light and fresh thanks to hearts of palm, a tender vegetable with a mild flavor (similar to artichokes) that doesn't mask the rich, sweet flavor of fresh crabmeat.
Creamy Spinach Dip
Try this light spinach dip made healthier with reduced-fat cream cheese, nonfat yogurt and low-fat cottage cheese instead of full-fat cheese, mayonnaise and sour cream. It will save you a whopping 84 calories and 10 grams of fat per serving when compared to traditional versions. Serve it with pita chips and crunchy vegetables or spread it on a sandwich.
Sriracha-Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
This recipe for spicy Buffalo cauliflower bites is a great vegetarian alternative to Buffalo wings. Roasted cauliflower stands in for chicken and provides more fiber and fewer calories. Serve this easy appetizer with carrot sticks, celery and your favorite ranch or blue cheese dressing.
Easy Scallion-Salmon Dip
Inspired by the classic combination of smoked salmon and cream cheese, this spread is perfect for slathering on a bagel or serving as a dip with bagel chips. This salmon dip recipe is a great way to use up leftovers from Miso-Maple Salmon (see Associated Recipes).
Baked Brie with Blackberry Jam
Baked Brie is a classic, crowd-pleasing party appetizer, whether it's wrapped up in a pastry, in bite-size form or covered in a fruity jam, like in this recipe. 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 (or crackers). It's so simple yet so delicious, you'll wonder why you don't make it more often!
Air-Fryer Jalapeño Poppers
The perfect football-party food, classic jalapeño poppers get a crispy upgrade in an air fryer. Cream cheese tempers the just-right hint of heat from the pepper and Buffalo sauce. To save time, you can stuff the peppers ahead of the party and fry them just before serving.
Apricot, Prosciutto & Parmesan Bites
These 3-ingredient apricot, Parmesan and prosciutto bites are as simple to make as they look, and they taste even better. Simply layer each ingredient on top of the other and secure with a toothpick for an easy bite-size starter.
Fig & Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Roll
Buttery puff pastry is a tasty shortcut ingredient that can be used in many delicious 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 impressive, especially considering it has just three ingredients.
Goat Cheese Crostini with Mushrooms & Brown Butter
Serve these savory herbed crostini with a big green salad. Looking for a heartier meal? Top each toast with a poached or fried egg.
Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms
This finger food is the perfect healthy appetizer to get your party going. Three ingredients are all it takes to make this elegant hors d'oeuvre--no one will ever guess how easy they were to make! Want to keep things plant-based? Use vegan pesto in the breadcrumb stuffing. You can also swap the whole-wheat breadcrumbs for gluten-free.
Medjool dates are softer than their semi-dry Deglet Noor cousins and therefore, much easier to stuff with almonds. This healthy snack recipe can also be turned into an addictive appetizer by adding a little blue cheese to the stuffing.
Greek Salad Skewers
Turn classic Greek salad into finger food appetizers on a stick. The cute presentation is also super easy to prepare and makes for easy eating at a cocktail party or on game day. Just skewer tomatoes, cucumber, onion, feta and olives and serve with a side of Greek salad dressing for dipping!
Guacamole-Stuffed Mini Peppers
The simple homemade guacamole in this healthy snack recipe couldn't be easier to whip up! We cut some carbs by stuffing the guac in halved mini bell peppers--or use them as guacamole dippers instead of tortilla chips.
Harissa Mackerel & Endive
Harissa, the flavorful chili paste from Tunisia, gives this mackerel salad a spicy punch. If you need an alternative, try another chili paste, such as gochujang, sambal oelek or chile-garlic paste.
Serve this vegetarian pâté recipe as an appetizer with crackers and pickled onions or try it as a sandwich spread. Nutritional yeast, rich in vitamin B12, adds a cheesy flavor without any dairy. Look for the yellow yeast powder or flakes in natural-foods stores.
Pear & Camembert Crostini
Up your appetizer game with this fruit-topped cheese crostini recipe. Warm preserves give the pears a shiny glaze and prevent them from browning.
Loaded Black Bean Dip
This is 7-layer black bean dip simplified: just heat and season refried beans, then top with fresh vegetables for a texturally exciting dip.
Avocado & Salsa Cracker
Avocado and salsa team up for a zesty Southwest-inspired topping on a whole grain crispbread. This snack is packed with fiber, veggies, and healthy fats, and it takes just minutes to put together.
Polenta Wedges with Tomato Tapenade
Crispy pieces of polenta topped with a tangy sun-dried tomato tapenade makes a pretty and tasty appetizer.
Canapés with Peach, Sage & Prosciutto
There are endless ways to change up these canapés--plums and tarragon, cherries and mint, apricots and chervil. Mix 6 ounces of softened goat cheese with 1 tablespoon honey if you can't find honey chèvre.
Cheese Fondue with Fennel & Tomatoes
The alpine cheeses in this healthy cheese fondue recipe by Laura Werlin are known for melting smoothly, which is key in a fondue. Adding vegetables brings texture and bonus nutrition, while complementing the buttery nuttiness of each cheese. To serve 12, plan to offer 6 cups of cut-up vegetables for dipping, such as steamed broccoli and cauliflower florets or strips of raw fennel and red bell pepper.