17 Summer Appetizers So Good, You'll Want to Eat Them for Dinner

Tomato-Basil Skewers
Photo: Photographer / Jen Causey, Food Stylist / Emily Nabors Hall

If you're stuck in a dinner rut, these healthy appetizers are sure to help you dig your way out. Pick two or three of these fresh and flavorful recipes for a spread of snackable summer dips, cheesy bites and loaded veggies that will satisfy everyone at your table. Recipes like our Crispy Eggplant Parmesan Fries and Caprese Skewers are healthy ways to bring the seasonal flavors of tomato, cucumber, zucchini and corn to your next evening meal.

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Crispy Eggplant Parmesan Fries


The cheesy flavor and crispy crust on these eggplant "fries" is just like fried eggplant Parmesan, but with a fraction of the oil. They're the perfect appetizer for Italian night! Dip these crispy fries into a big hot bowl of your favorite marinara.

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Lobster Roll Dip


This quick and easy summer appetizer turns all the simple flavors of a lobster roll into a warm and bubbling dip that's perfect for slathering on slices of baguette or fresh veggies.

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Air-Fryer Zucchini Chips

overhead shot of air fryer zucchini chips on a black plate with creaming dipping sauce

These crispy air-fryer zucchini chips are delicious paired with the creamy dill dipping sauce--or any sauce you have on hand. And the best part? The air fryer delivers a crispy crunch without having to pile on the oil like traditional fryers do.

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Avocado Hummus


This vibrant green hummus recipe couldn't be easier--just toss a few ingredients in the food processor and whir away! Aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas) and avocado make this healthy dip extra smooth and creamy. Serve with veggie chips, pita chips or crudités.

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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.

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Cheesy Jalapeño Corn Dip


Creamy melted cheese brings sweet corn and spicy jalapeño together with a nice pop of brightness from lime juice and cilantro in this tasty dip inspired by Mexican elote and esquites. This creamy and satisfying dish can be served with tortilla chips and veggies for dipping.

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Caprese Skewers

Tomato-Basil Skewers
Photographer / Jen Causey, Food Stylist / Emily Nabors Hall

We take all the ingredients of a classic caprese salad and layer them onto skewers for a quick appetizer. These tomato-mozzarella-basil skewers are easy to assemble and perfect for a party.

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Cucumber Salsa

Cucumber Salsa

This fresh, tangy cucumber salsa is perfect for grilled fish or on its own as a simple side salad. Well balanced and easy to make, the flavor mellows and the cucumber softens as this sits, so it can easily be made a day or two ahead of time--or enjoy it right away, fresh and crisp.

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Taco Dip with Tomato Wedges

Taco Dip with Tomato Wedges
Ted & Chelsea Cavanaugh

Enjoy a fresh tomato in all its ripe glory with this simple creamy dip. A little taco seasoning, lime and cheese adds tons of flavor to protein-packed Greek yogurt for a satisfying snack.

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Cheesy Zucchini Tots

Cheesy Zucchini Tots
Casey Barber

Not one, not two, but three cheeses make these low-carb cheesy zucchini tots live up to their name. Bake them in the oven or fry them in your air fryer for a crisp exterior and a gooey, melted center. Don't use pre-shredded cheese here; shred it fresh for the best and creamiest results. Serve with ketchup, marinara, ranch or your favorite dipping sauce.

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Loaded Zucchini Bites

Loaded Zucchini Bites
Brie Passano

These low-carb zucchini bites have all the toppings of a loaded baked potato, without the potato! Melted cheese, bacon, chives and a dollop of sour cream make these bites perfect for game day or anytime you're craving comfort food.

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Baked Breaded Eggplant


This breaded eggplant is baked to perfection with a crunchy outside and soft interior. It's wonderful dipped in marinara. If you want to elevate it further, add a sweet and tangy drizzle of balsamic glaze and a sprinkle of fresh basil leaves.

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Zucchini Pizza Bites


Think of these zucchini pizza bites as a fun gluten-free alternative to bagel bites. Be sure not to overcook the zucchini or the bites may become soggy. We like the classic pepperoni topping, but feel free to experiment with your own favorites.

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Crispy Air-Fryer Pickle Chips

Crispy Air-Fryer Pickle Chips

Use your air fryer to make these crispy, salty pickle chips for game day! The air fryer gives you a crispy crust, using much less oil than a traditional fryer. Enjoy these addictive little snacks on their own or with our Southern smoky, creamy dipping sauce.

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Fresh Corn Hush Puppies


Stirring chopped corn kernels into the batter and serving these homemade hush puppies with a lemony herb yogurt sauce give these tasty bites fresh flavor. Holding the frying oil at a steady 360 degrees F prevents the dough from absorbing too much.

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Cheesy Zucchini Breadsticks


Shredded zucchini, eggs and cheese combine in this easy recipe for low-carb cheesy breadsticks like you would get from the pizzeria, but healthier! Dip this gluten-free appetizer in marinara or pico de gallo for even more flavor.

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Avocado Fries with Sriracha Aioli

Avocado Fries with Sriracha Aioli

Creamy avocados are a delicious foil to crunchy breading in this healthy oven-fried avocado fries recipe. Dip into spicy Sriracha dipping sauce for a flavor explosion. Save your ripe avocados for guacamole or toast--only firm ones will do when making these fries.

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