25 No-Cook Appetizers So Delicious, You'll Want to Eat Them for Dinner

Caprese Salad with Cherry Tomatoes
Photo: Photographer / Antonis Achilleos, Prop Stylist / Kay Clarke, Food Stylist / Emily Nabors Hall

Keep your evening relaxing and cool with these no-cook appetizer recipes. Whether you're looking for a simple starter for tonight's dinner or in the mood to make a spread of dips and small bites, there's something you'll love in this mix of recipes. Recipes like our Easy Scallion-Salmon Dip and Caprese Salad with Cherry Tomatoes are refreshingly easy ways to shake up your dinner routine.

01 of 25

Black Bean Hummus

Black Bean Hummus
Casey Barber

For a slightly Southwestern spin on hummus, swap in black beans for the traditional chickpeas. It's just as fiber-rich and filling, but with a taste that pairs well with tortilla chips and crisp bell peppers.

02 of 25

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.

03 of 25

Marinated Yogurt Cheese


By draining the liquid whey out of yogurt, you can make a "cheese" with the texture of soft cream cheese. Here it's turned into a savory spread with dried herbs. Avoid using regular yogurt containing additives like modified food starch, vegetable gums or gelatin; these thickeners inhibit the release of the whey. Serve this with crusty French bread or crackers.

04 of 25

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).

05 of 25

Taco Dip

taco dip
Johnny and Charlotte Autry

Here we lighten up classic 7-layer dip by using plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream. Serve with tortilla chips and/or crudités.

06 of 25

Caprese Salad with Cherry Tomatoes

Caprese Salad with Cherry Tomatoes
Photographer / Antonis Achilleos, Prop Stylist / Kay Clarke, Food Stylist / Emily Nabors Hall

The basil dressing packs a punch in this caprese salad with cherry tomatoes. Dark balsamic vinegar is traditional, but to make the color pop, white balsamic vinegar can be used in its place.

07 of 25

Za'atar-Spiced Chickpea Dip

Za'atar-Spiced Chickpea Dip
Greg Dupree

Labneh—a thick and tangy strained cow's-milk yogurt—adds creamy richness to this layer dip featuring salty feta and olives. Serve with pita chips for dipping.

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Mini Bell Pepper Pebre

Mini Bell Pepper Pebre
Ted & Chelsea Cavanaugh

This version of pebre, a Chilean condiment, combines bell peppers, tomatoes, parsley and cilantro for a fresh bite.

09 of 25

Everything-Bagel Smoked Salmon Dip

Everything-Bagel Smoked Salmon Dip
Charlotte & Johnny Autry

Give 7-layer dip a brunch twist with this recipe featuring layers of cream cheese, smoked salmon, cucumber, red onion and capers. Serve with bagel chips for scooping.

10 of 25

3-Ingredient Kalamata-Olive Hummus

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

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

11 of 25

Thai Chile-Curry Dip

thai curry dip
Charlotte & Johnny Autry

Curry paste lends a pop of heat to this 7-layer dip, while carrots and snap peas add fresh crunch on top. Look for roasted peanut oil for the strongest nutty flavor.

12 of 25

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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Pimiento Cheese-Stuffed Mini Bell Peppers

Pimiento Cheese-Stuffed Mini Bell Peppers
Ted & Chelsea Cavanaugh

A quick spread of pimiento cheese stuffs these mini bell peppers for an easy, three-ingredient appetizer.

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Antipasti Layered Dip

Antipasti Layered Dip
Charlotte & Johnny Autry

A typical antipasto platter features cured meats, cheeses, olives and anchovies—we took a lot of those elements and turned them into a creamy layer dip with white beans and ricotta. Serve with toasted baguette for scooping.

15 of 25

3-Ingredient Smoked Fish Dip with Capers

3-Ingredient Smoked Fish Dip
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.

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Tequila Guacamole

Tequila Guacamole

Margarita lovers will go crazy for this twist on classic guacamole. Spiking your guacamole with tequila adds an extra layer of flavor and blends deliciously with the fresh lime juice and jalapeño. This guacamole is for grown-ups only, but you can omit the tequila if you're serving to kids.

17 of 25

Creamy Smoked Trout Spread

Smoked Trout Spread
Johnny Autry

Here the smoky flavor of the fish pairs exceptionally well with the robust bite of horseradish and onion. Serve with crackers, apple slices or cucumber slices for an easy appetizer.

18 of 25

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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Cherry Tomato & Strawberry Bruschetta

Cherry Tomato & Strawberry Bruschetta
Leigh Beisch

These topped toasts get a sweet-salty punch from the addition of strawberries and ricotta salata—a firm, saltier version of ricotta cheese. Look for it with other specialty cheeses at the supermarket, or substitute Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino.

20 of 25

Radishes with Green Goddess Dressing

Radishes with Green Goddess Dressing
Jason Donnelly

This quick and easy radish recipe will get you ready for spring. Traditional green goddess is made with mayo and sour cream but here we use avocado, buttermilk and yogurt to achieve a lightened-up, creamy dressing.

21 of 25

Loaded Black Bean Dip

loaded black bean dip in a white bowl served with tortilla chips

This is 7-layer black bean dip simplified: just heat and season refried beans, then top with fresh vegetables for a texturally exciting dip.

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Traditional Greek Tahini Dip


Super creamy with the nutty flavor of sesame seeds, this homemade tahini sauce recipe is a popular way to begin a meal in Cyprus. Serve with crudités and pita.

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Almost Chipotle's Guacamole

Almost Chipotle's Guacamole

Make guacamole at home that tastes just like it came from Chipotle--but don't worry, our version won't be extra! This deliciously fresh guac is perfect for topping burrito bowls or tacos, or serve as an appetizer or healthy snack with tortilla chips and veggies.

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Garlic Hummus


This classic 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) makes this healthy dip extra smooth and creamy. Serve with veggie chips, pita chips or crudités.

25 of 25

Jason Mraz's Guacamole

Jason Mraz's Guacamole

In this easy guacamole recipe, musician Mraz prefers California Hass or Reed avocados because they are the creamiest. Adjust the heat, tang or other flavorings to suit your tastes.

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