28 Cheesy Appetizers to Make for Dinner
Get creative in the kitchen and enjoy a spread of these cheesy appetizers for dinner. Whether it’s a twist on charcuterie or an ooey-gooey dip, these appetizer recipes are a fun choice for a meal tonight. Recipes like Air-Fryer Mozzarella Sticks and Loaded Sweet Potato Nacho Fries are flavorful and will shake you out of the same old dinner routine.
Roasted Corn Cheese Dip
Inspired by queso fundido--melted Mexican cheese dip--this corn and warm Cheddar cheese dip is great with toasted baguette.
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.
Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip
This healthy Buffalo chicken dip is one quick appetizer to remember for your next Super Bowl party. A simple mixture of reduced-fat sour cream and reduced-fat cream cheese is baked with shredded chicken breast and the classic spicy-tangy hot sauce with a crumble of blue cheese on top. It's perfect for heaping onto celery and carrot sticks or any other crispy vegetable.
Loaded Cauliflower Bites
Crispy slices of roasted cauliflower topped with cheese, sour cream and bacon make a tasty low-carb alternative to classic loaded potato skins.
Loaded Sweet Potato Nacho Fries
Bump up the vitamin A and fiber when you swap tortilla chips for sweet potatoes in this healthy recipe. Serve as an appetizer at your next party or turn it into dinner by adding chicken, tofu, shrimp or more beans for protein.
Strawberry & Blue Cheese Bruschetta
In this healthy bruschetta recipe, the big, bold, salty, tangy flavor of blue cheese makes an unexpected but utterly delicious match with sweet juicy strawberries. This bruschetta recipe makes a quick, easy appetizer and is so pretty topped with chopped green chives.
Smoked Gouda & Giardiniera Charcuterie Sticks
Crunchy pickled vegetables pair perfectly with creamy Gouda with a hint of smoke.
Creamy Cauliflower-Jalapeño Popper Dip
Creamy, cheesy and tangy—this super-easy warm dip has everything you love about jalapeño poppers without the individual prep work. And it's better for you, thanks to the riced cauliflower stirred into every spoonful. Adjust the level of heat to your tastes with either mild or spicy pickled jalapeños. If you prefer smaller pieces of the hot pepper, feel free to chop the jalapeños.
Air-Fryer Mozzarella Sticks
These crispy air-fryer mozzarella sticks taste like your favorite mozzarella sticks without the fuss of frying and with much less oil thanks to the magic of your air fryer. The crust is crispy and the cheese inside is ooey-gooey—perfect for dipping in marinara.
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!
Pepperoni Pizza Rolls
These cheesy baked pizza rolls with marinara dipping sauce would be fun for a casual party for kids or adults--or just for dinner! Classic pizza fillings are tucked into egg roll wrappers, which are baked--no frying required!--until nice and crispy on the outside. Feel free to mix up the fillings; for example, you could drop the pepperoni to make these vegetarian or nix the mushrooms if you're not a fan.
Blended cashews make for a creamy and dairy-free cheese dip. Serve with tortilla chips and veggies for an easy and healthy vegan appetizer.
Salami, Cheddar & Pepperoncini Charcuterie Sticks
Salami, Cheddar cheese and pepperoncini deliver flavor in every bite in this easy appetizer.
Cheesy Ham & Pickle Wraps
For this no-cook game-day appetizer, tangy dill pickles are stuffed with a creamy filling that's peppered with sharp Cheddar and sweet pimientos, and then wrapped with ham. We cut back on the sodium by scraping out the pickle seeds and opting for reduced-sodium ham, which has 260 milligrams (or less) of sodium per 2-ounce serving.
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.
Whipped Feta Dip with Roasted Red Peppers
This super-creamy whipped feta dip is savory with just a hint of sweetness from honey. This healthy dip is perfect for veggies, whole-grain crackers or bread.
Cheesy Baked Potato Skins
Serve these crispy baked potato skins as a side or cut them into 1-inch pieces and serve as an appetizer. Refrigerate or freeze the potato flesh to make mashed potatoes another night.
Butternut Squash Queso Fundido
This cheesy dip recipe is lightened up by subbing mashed butternut squash for some of the melted cheese. We also loaded it with chili-spiced caramelized onions. Serve this healthy makeover with tortilla chips or sliced jicama for dipping.
Cheesy Tomato Bruschetta
For a healthier option, we use whole-grain bread and light cream cheese for this tomato bruschetta recipe.
Asiago Cheese Dip
Serve this cheese, tomato, and mushroom dip warm with freshly-toasted French bread slices for a wonderful party appetizer. The slow-cooker recipe makes enough for a crowd.
Manchego, Pepper Drop & Chorizo Charcuterie Sticks
Manchego cheese pairs perfectly with sweet and tangy pepper drops. If you can't find small pickled peppers, a larger one cut into pieces will work well too.
Mini Sandwiches with Fig & Brie
Turn the basics of a cheese board into adorable mini grilled cheese sandwiches for a satisfying appetizer.
Lemon-Thyme Whipped Ricotta
This stunning yet easy appetizer recipe infuses creamy ricotta with fresh herbs and lemon. Serve with whole-grain crackers and cut-up vegetables or use as a spread for sandwiches or sauce for pasta.
Chicken Parmesan Dip
No breading and frying here! Layer on the cheese and tomatoes using leftover chicken (or turkey) in this healthy dip recipe. Pair with soft Italian bread and a salad for an easy dinner or serve it as an appetizer for your next party.
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.
Creamy Cheese Fondue
Green apples, broccoli florets and veggie sticks are the perfect dippers for this decadent cheese fondue.
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.
Baked Brie with Jam in Puff Pastry
Serve this decadent yet easy appetizer with apple wedges and crackers and watch it disappear in seconds! It's bound to be your new party go-to.