Summer is the time of year when people have the most gatherings so that means infinite opportunity to please crowds of all shapes and sizes with your culinary ninja skills on a plethora of yummy little treats. When planning a gathering the host often wonders whether or not there will be enough food, whether or not their menu will impress the guests, and what are the guests going to do while waiting around for dinner or for the event to begin. Appetizers are the solution to most of the questions here and honestly appetizers are probably everyone's favorite part of every gathering. People just love to snack and appetizers are basically snack sized meals. They can be so small and cute, they are fun to eat with your fingers, fun to share, fun to make with your family and friends, whats not to love about this perfect little treat? The recipes included here have everything from savory to sweet and are ready at any given moment to be tossed out on a carefully decorated table to break the ice at your next get-together. Alter them and make them your own according to what you have on hand, or use the recipe as your shopping list for some of these snacks.
20 Peachy Jalapeño Guacamole
Let's start off with this little twist on a party classic from Taste of Home. Guacamole is at pretty much every party, and its one of the simplest recipes on earth to throw together last minute.
If you are not big on cooking then this is the perfect way to add a little jazz to this dish at your next party.
The sweet summer peaches with creamy smashed avocados just can't go wrong and are sure to please all the guac' lovers in attendance. Grab your chips and don't stop eating until someone is licking the bowl clean.
19 Bacon Wrapped Shrimp With Basil-Garlic Stuffing
If a savory explosion sounds right for you then give this dish a try. These hit all the high points of what an appetizer needs to have to win over all the guests. Bacon? Check. Shrimp? Check. Cheese? Check. There are no downsides to this one. If you are thinking of serving this at a fancier party than the general super bowl that snacks like these are served at, then Coastal Living suggests serving them in some upscale soup spoons to dress them up in fancier clothes, even though most people probably won't see anything past the bacon...
18 Savory Cherry Crostini
You might think "whats so special about cherries on toast?" but seriously do not let the simplicity of the recipe from BonAppetit fool you because the ingredients are flavor packed and ready to punch you in the taste buds.
You have the salt and the funk of the goat cheese and the sweet and tartness of the cherries.
These flavors compliment each other and sing a beautiful harmony and will be sure to go over well with your guests. These are the perfect appetizer for an event with some high-end drinks.
17 Melon Prosciutto Skewers
If you are looking for a recipe that won't add any extra heat to your house this summer, then give these skewers from delish a try. There is no cooking required, just assembly. This is a fun finger food that looks a bit higher end and has a higher complexity flavor combination than your typical cold appetizers. This is also a good recipe for special diets because its just simple ingredients and even picky eaters, like kids, would like this fruit and meats stick if you saved a few without the balsamic drizzle.
16 Warm Cranberry And Walnut Brie
I know we typically see appetizers like this more around fall time, but this lighter version from myrecipes.com is a great alternative to the super fatty traditional version of this recipe. Besides, its melted cheese, what more could you want? This is the kind of thing you'd slap some crackers around, the recipe suggests whole grain ones but really anything could work, and start scooping it up while it's still warm.
Take time to enjoy the chewy berries and the crunchy walnuts with the buttery mild cheese.
If you did want to make the fattier version then just put the cheese and fruit and nuts all inside a puff pastry and bake to make a delicious brie en croute for your guests.
15 Teriyaki Meatballs
Here is a great recipe from melskitchencafe.com for some meatballs. We all know that one house that always has a crockpot of meatballs simmering away in the corner for every party they host. This is a bump up from that comfort food with a delicious homemade teriyaki glaze and a healthier meatball with its ground turkey. This is a great idea as well because if you are having last minute guests and cant put together all the ingredients there are many options for substitutions and shortcuts here. Make meatballs with whatever meats you have on hand, and purchase your favorite pre-made glaze at the supermarket.
14 Grilled Tomato Basil Pizzettes
When you're waiting for guests to arrive to begin throwing on the meats at your backyard barbecue then try having some of this pizza dough on hand and a few little fresh toppings set up to get your guests involved in whipping up these lovely little pizzas as their appetizers.
Getting them interactive in choosing their toppings and tasting other guests creations will make an awesome memory for everyone and keep everybody entertained while having to wait for the food to cook.
The grilled meats will most likely become an afterthought after this little gem from myrecipes.com.
13 Marinated Mozzarella
Your guests will think you spent big bucks on this lovely artisanal cheese when in reality you spent 5 minutes making the marinade for it with ingredients you already had in your fridge. Mozzarella on its own is very mild and has a creamy texture, these both lend to mozzarella being the perfect sponge for many other flavors, and you don't need to soak this in a marinade very long at all for it to absorb everything you are trying to give it. I like to call this recipe, from marthastewart.com, the leftover appetizer spectacular because you can use the last bits of leftover fresh herbs and put the last little bits of bread and crackers and olives or deli meats around this cheese to amp it up and use up whatever you have left around the pantry.
12 Brownie Batter Dip
When talking about crowd-pleasers, it is always a good idea to throw in one or two things for the guests with a sweet tooth.
This brownie batter dip is totally delectable and different than your average party dip.
Although the recipe from Taste of Home calls for mini M&M's as an add-in, they could potentially bleed their colors off so it might be a good idea to throw in other brownie mix-ins like nuts or peanut butter chips. You can add on fruits like apples or strawberries, or graham crackers, or pretzels...pretty much any snack item you have in your pantry.
11 Grilled Herbed Chicken Drumettes With White Barbecue Sauce
Here is a fun twist on a game day favorite. If you're tired of the regular old buffalo wings then take a spin with these herbed drumettes. Since they aren't spicy and are served with white barbecue sauce rather than buffalo, this is an appetizer that even children will love. This recipe from myrecipes.com is great too because it serves 12 people for it is perfect for those big game day gatherings. All of the ingredients for this one are extremely inexpensive and probably already in your pantry, so this one is an all around win from the get go!
10 Shrimp Carrot And Cabbage Potstickers
This would be a great appetizer for a movie night. These pot stickers do take quite a bit of time to prepare but myrecipes.com includes freezing instructions so you can make them days ahead of time and just heat them up come movie time.
It also makes A LOT of potstickers so you could make them into 2 separate occasions if you'd like.
These have shrimp but you could put in other meats you already have or you could make them vegetarian if you need to create something for a special diet.
9 Mediterranean Antipasto Platter
This is the area of the party that I do not leave. Nothing any of the guests have to say could possibly be as entertaining as the joys and trickery of a great antipasto platter like this treasure from halfbakedharvest.com. This is the area where all the serious savory foodies gather in silence to worship the deli gods who have created such pleasures as marinated olives and feta. There is no room for wrongdoing on platters like these because even marinated cheeses can be made cheaply and easily at home so there is no reason to turn to the ready-made trays of your local Walmart.
8 Greek Feta Dip
This is the dip that puts hummus to shame. Who would want pureed beans when you could have whipped cheese? delish offers us this great dip that is Greek inspired and just waiting to be paired up with some pita chips or bagel chips even.
If you were looking for a no carb option then you could use cucumber slices or carrots or other veggies to dip into this pot of deliciousness.
There are only 2 steps to this process and none of them are cooking so its the perfect summer crowd pleaser for your next party.
7 Sausage Mushrooms
I know mushrooms are either a hit or a miss for most people. This recipe is good for people who don't love mushrooms because the filling is intense enough to take over some of that earthiness. But still, if you couldn't get past that part, you could always use this filling in tomatoes or peppers or even small potatoes. Use your imagination but don't lose this tested recipe for the wonderful sausage filling from Taste of Home. This is a recipe that could be snazzy enough to be passed around on trays or low key enough to be served in the dish they were baked in.
6 Nacho Bar
Whatsgabycooking.com is probably a genius for this great idea that could be used as appetizing entertainment or as a whole meal concept. She has guests build their nachos on small sheets of tin foil so they can easily be heated up, you could heat them in the oven, or on the grill or even in a skillet.
If you are looking for something a little sturdier then you could get aluminum pie pans or pizza pans.
This nacho bar can have a variety of toppings if you have a certain theme in mind, the possibilities are endless. You could even swap out the chips for tortillas and make it a taco bar if you're looking to make it more meal friendly.
5 Healthy Dessert Platter
Here is another appetizer idea for those sweet tooth guests from dossierblogs.com. This healthier version uses dark chocolate, nuts, and fruits to offer the nostalgic flavors we love with chocolate in a lighter fashion. This would be great for a brunch and could be paired with yogurt or oatmeal, tea, and coffee. If you just like dark chocolate and aren't as concerned with the health aspects this has to offer then throw in some waffles or french toast during your brunch. Some mimosas wouldn't hurt either for the unhealthier version if you live on the wilder side of brunch.
4 Roasted Garlic And Beetroot Hummus
There are several things to mention to this beautiful twist on the traditional hummus from Taste of Home. First, this is an extremely healthy version that is super flavor packed.
It is worth the extra work and time it takes to whip this dip up and serve with veggies, or any crackers you would use with regular hummus.
Secondly, This hummus has beets in it which offer that lovely color, but along with that color comes the fact that beets have a tendency to dye everything they touch including work surfaces and hands, so wear gloves and work on a nonstaining surface.
3 Turkey Sliders With Sweet Potato Buns
Sliders are often served as an appetizer but these, in particular, are pretty special because they include potato buns, it's basically a meal in a bite. These little meat loaves by Taste of Home have bacon on them as well giving them that extra layer of salty smoky flavor. This is definitely a slider that people will not be expecting to be at your party, but are sure to be a crowd favorite. If you wanted to you could also bump these up to a meal if you are eating gluten-free, just lose the panko.
2 Prosciutto Wrapped Caprese Salad
People would eat just about anything wrapped in prosciutto and this is no exception because the "salad" is my favorite kind of salad where it really isn't a salad at all. Savoringtoday.com suggests serving this at bridal showers, but really any shower or delicate lady function would be full of guests more than willing to devour these treats in a very unladylike fashion.
This appetizer is fresh and salty and creamy with that pop of balsamic vinegar.
This salad the perfect balance for your palate and a welcome treat throughout the year.
1 Cheese Fondue
Is there a better way to end any list than melted cheese? Probably not. Get your forks ready to dunk into a melting pot of cheese with all the bread, meats, and veggies you can think of. In the fondue game pretty much anything goes and the challenge is just to be as creative as you can. This is the kind of appetizer that your guests will have fun eating and chatting around, and something they will be talking about for years to come. I know fondue seems out of date, but thanks to A Pretty Life In The Suburbs we remember that it is so much fun and that it's time for a major come back!