14 Appetizer Recipes Packed with Summer Produce

Skillet Sun-Dried Tomato Dip
Photo: Photography / Caitlin Bensel, Food Styling / Ruth Blackburn

Make the most of your farmers' market haul or garden bounty with these healthy appetizers. Not only are these appetizers delicious, but they highlight some of our favorite summer fruits and vegetables like watermelon, tomatoes and corn. Recipes like our Chunky Black Bean Salsa with Corn & Bell Pepper and Smashed Cucumber Salad with Lemon & Cumin are light, refreshing and the perfect start to any meal.

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Smashed Cucumber Salad with Lemon & Cumin

bowl of Smashed Cucumber Salad with Lemon & Cumin

Don't skip salting the cucumbers in this quick cucumber salad recipe—just 10 minutes pulls out some of their excess moisture, concentrating the flavor and keeping the salad from being watered down. Serve this smashed cucumber salad at a summer cookout alongside burgers and hot dogs.

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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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Chunky Black Bean Salsa with Corn & Bell Pepper

chunky black bean salsa with corn & bell pepper
Fred Hardy

This TikTok-trending, veggie-packed salsa gets inspiration from Texas caviar (aka cowboy caviar), a dish created in 1940 to ring in the New Year by Helen Corbitt, who was a chef at Neiman Marcus. Scoop it up with tortilla chips or try it as a topping for grilled meat or fish, or as a filling for a quick quesadilla.

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Watermelon with Mint Gremolata

watermelon with mint gremolata

This flavor-boosting combo of mint and lime, inspired by the traditional Italian herb-and-garlic gremolata recipe, livens up juicy watermelon. Put a platter out at your next cookout and watch it disappear in an instant.

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Air-Fryer Eggplant

air fryer eggplant
Jacob Fox

This air-fryer eggplant is crispy on the outside with a tender middle. You can fit more slices in the basket when you use smaller eggplant. Dip these crispy slices in marinara or pesto, or drizzle with balsamic glaze.

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Fennel, Radish & Cucumber Salad


This supremely crunchy, quick side salad is best when spring vegetables are sliced as thinly as possible--a great excuse to pull out the mandoline or the slicing disk of your food processor, if you have one.

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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.

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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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Spiced-Yogurt Tomato Salad & Naan

Spiced Yogurt Tomato & Naan
Ted & Chelsea Cavanaugh

Here we make a creamy tomato salad perfect for scooping up and eating with your favorite naan, or any flatbread you have on hand will do.

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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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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.

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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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Lemon-Garlic Green Beans

Lemon-Garlic Green Beans
Will Dickey

These tender-crisp lemon-garlic green beans have tons of flavor from shallots, garlic and the tangy lemon. It's the perfect simple green bean side dish that pairs well with everything.

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Skillet Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Skillet Sun-Dried Tomato Dip
Photography / Caitlin Bensel, Food Styling / Ruth Blackburn

This skillet sun-dried tomato dip is creamy, but also gets a hit of sweetness from roasted bell peppers to complement the sun-dried tomatoes. It's cooked and served all in the same skillet, cutting down on dishes. Serve it with crackers, toasted bread or fresh-cut veggies.

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