70+ Appetizer Recipes & Party Pleasers

I’m always on the lookout for new hors d’oeuvres to try and this list is going to keep me busy (and guests smiling). This Hit List is a packed bunch of crowd pleasing appetizers that I’ve handpicked from around the ‘net: some easy (some fussy), some cheesy, some healthy (some not!), some hot (some cold)–I’m confident you’ll find a few new favorites in this collection.

Wrapped Breadsticks==> Don’t miss the packed list of Bonus items at the bottom of this page, you’ll find a separate list for dips, meatballs, chicken wings, tips for making a cheese board and more–all perfect for entertaining. I’ll update the list again next year so you may want to bookmark this page ;).

==>Update: I’ve been receiving requests for the recipe to make prosciutto wrapped breadsticks (as seen in the image to the right). There’s no recipe, you simply wrap a single slice of meat (thinly cut) around the breadsticks (diagonally), making sure to leave an end uncovered for handling.

*Note: Descriptions below are quotes from the sources

  1. Chipotle Pork Quichelettes: The butter really is the star in these quichelettes. It’s important to use a butter that you love the flavor of, because it makes all the difference in the crust. The butter makes the quichelette crust buttery and flaky so that it melts in your mouth. The quiche filling has a wonderful smoky flavor with just a bit of a kick from the ground chipotle chili. These quichelettes are so good that you may just want to skip the meal altogether and fill up on apps! From La Fuji Mama.
  2. Spinach and Feta Triangles: I concocted my own version, and made little appetizer-sized pies. They’re perfect for freezing and reheating a few to supplement a meal, or to serve as appetizers. From A Bushel Of What?
  3. Gougeres: French Cheese Puffs: The best thing about this, aside from being easy to make from ingredients one normally has on hand, or that are easily found (except aged, extra-vieille Mimolette, on New Year’s Day, if you live in Paris), is that they can be made earlier in the day, which is a good thing for those of us who like to take a break before our guests arrive, and relax for a moment. From David Lebovitz.
  4. Homemade Baked Egg Rolls: These egg rolls are crazy-easy to make, and definitely a crowd pleaser. I brought them to a recipe swap and when I looked at the table a few minutes after everyone had started eating, they were GONE. From Joyful Abode.
  5. Pizza in a Bite: Pizza bites are awesome party food. This makes three trays which means you can pop them in the freezer and always have something quick on hand. Although, they are usually so popular that you’ll wind up baking all three trays in one night! When you are planning to make these grab a package of three disposable pie tins from the bakery aisle at the store, they are cheap and they will keep you from having to waste all of your good pie plates in the freezer. From Chaos In The Kitchen.
  6. Almond Cheddar: I always try to have a supply of these on hand in the freezer. If guests drop in, I just pull out and reheat some. You can serve them as a snack, for brunch or along with a lighter lunch. From Taste Of Home.
  7. Puff Pastry Meatball Marinara Bites: I came up with this little idea thinking it would be a quick and easy fix for all of those holiday parties we have coming up. Originally, I just made six of them (the beauty of this is that you can just as easily make six as you can sixty) and as I finished up the photographs I found my husband and my son waiting like vultures, drawn by the aroma. That plate emptied out quick as a wink and I was urged to make more, which I did. Those disappeared just as fast. I made more again…those were gone as well. Fair warning, that package of mini pastry shells comes with twenty four for a reason. You’ll need that many. From Southern Plate.
  8. Crabmeat-Avocado Quesadillas: This makes individual two-bite hors d’oeuvres, but you can make a full-sized quesadilla and simply cut it into wedges after frying—not as pretty, but quicker. From Fine Cooking.
  9. Brie en Croute: Puff pastry wrapped brie. By Paula Deen.
  10. Chipotle Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp: Serve this at your next party to get things started with a kick. From Rachael Ray.
  11. Shrimp Rillettes: Rillettes are a rich, pate-like spread served cold on bread or toast. To do ahead, freeze rillettes in jars or ramekins up to three weeks before giving. Make sure to place jars in freezer-weight plastic storage bags, or wrap ramekins well in foil before freezing. Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Include a French baguette or assorted crackers with the rillettes for serving. From Delish.
  12. Tomato-Pesto Tarts: 5-In-1 Cookie and Appetizer Dough is a perfect solution for busy schedules. This one basic dough can be changed to make five different cookie and appetizer recipes. Because the dough can be refrigerated (or frozen), it’s convenient to bake whenever guests drop in unexpectedly. From Wilton. See this page for the pesto filling directions.
  13. Smoked Salmon Spread: From Ina Garten, Food Network.
  14. Pimento Cheese: This delicious spread of sharp cheddar cheese and sweet roasted red peppers is all but ignored outside of the South. It is available as a mass-produced food in supermarkets but many southerners have their own recipes for this spread. My favorite version forgoes the traditional jarred pimentos in favor of freshly roasted red peppers. From Lottie And Doof.
  15. Stuffed Mushrooms: The filling is creamy and delicious, and the addition of cayenne pepper gives these a surprising kick at the end of the taste. I also love these because they can be prepped and stuffed in advance, and then baked when needed, which makes them perfect for entertaining! From Annie’s Eats.
  16. Lemon-Parsley Gougeres: From Martha Stewart.
  17. The Perfect Snack: Bacon Bites: The original recipe was an older one, and needed a little rearranging and updating, but the concept was brilliant. Spread cream cheese on soft bread, roll it up, wrap it in bacon, and bake. From King Arthur Flour.
  18. Chicken Parm Bites Stuffed with Mozzarella: I decided to use a ground chicken mixture to encase the little mozzarella balls and then coated the balls in panko so they would be crispy on the outside like chicken parm! Then I served them with a marinara dipping sauce. From Cake, Batter and Bowl.
  19. Miniature Napoleons with Eggplant Creme: Fancy idea from VeganYumYum.
  20. Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts: This is so easy to make, is super affordable, and trust me, it is a real crowd favorite. From The Comfort Is Always Here.
  21. Baked Brie with Rosemary, Almond & Cherries: From fresh365.
  22. Deep-Fried Risotto Balls: Although arancini are traditionally street food, you could serve them at a party, or a fairly filling first course. And although they are a bit labor intensive, you can prepare everything the day before so all you have to do at showtime is the actual rolling in breadcrumbs and frying. Found at Herbivoracious.
  23. Crunchy Zucchini Rounds With Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese: Makes 8 servings (serving size: 3 rounds). From Health.com
  24. Crispy Fried Wontons: So simple and makes a great afternoon or evening snacks. From Cooking Etcetera
  25. Spicy Banana Zucchini Balls: These are spicy with just the right amount of sweetness from the banana and honey. I would like to try this with a banana curry sauce as a dip. From Cafe Nilson.
  26. Crisp Onion Samosa: I experimented a great deal, making one samosa at a time. After three trials, the stuffing came out perfect. The dough was perfect from the start. From When Mia Cooks.
  27. Mini Brie Bites: I hesitated to post this because it’s soooo simple. So easy it’s almost like cheating. It’s also soooo yummy and perfect for a quick last minute appetizer. And with all the parties and get-togethers coming up during the holidays, anything quick and easy is good by me. From She Wears Many Hats.
  28. Tapenade: Tapenade is seriously savory, salty business. Think of it as a kind of pate made with black olives—with some anchovies, capers, and olive oil thrown in for good measure. Some recipes for this Provencal spread include lemon juice. Some are a extra pungent from the addition of a little tuna and mustard powder. From The Hungry Mouse.
  29. Couscous and Chickpea Tartlettes: Found at Palachinka.
  30. Crab Rangoon & Peach Sauce: You can make about 50 of these for about $5, which is a lot cheaper and tastier than any restaurant version that I’ve had. The cold and a little tart peach sauce is the perfect compliment. Enjoy! From Gourmet Mom On The Go.
  31. Olive Tomato Squares: Yield: Makes 24 hors d’oeuvres. From epicurious.
  32. Pretzel Bites with Cheddar and Country Ham (aka “American Prosciutto”): These pretzel bites freeze beautifully, so don’t be afraid to make the full batch and freeze any leftovers for tailgating, snacking while waiting for trick-or-treaters, holiday entertaining, PMS, serving as an alternative to grilled cheese for Soup Night, keeping your hands warm and rewarding pets. From Ezra Poundcake.
  33. Sage And Chicken Liver Pate: Serves approximately 16 as an appetizer. It’s excellent served on sprouted grain or sourdough toast points, with apples and grapes or alongside naturally fermented cornichons. It also makes a good addition to the holiday table. From The Nourished Kitchen.
  34. Pumpkin Butter Crostini with Walnut Goat Cheese: Here is a recipe I put together this weekend for a sweet and savory crostini using homemade pumpkin butter and marinated goat cheese. From Looks Good To Me.
  35. Spinach-Cheese Swirls: From Pepperidge Farm.
  36. Crispy Marinated Mozzarella: First, I marinated sliced mozzarella in a mixture of olive oil, dried basil and fresh garlic. Next, I dipped each slice in flour, then egg and finally a panko/dry bread crumb mixture and fried until golden brown. The result was crunchy, melty, garlicky goodness. From Life’s Ambrosia.
  37. Southwestern Eggrolls: They were soooooooooo yummy. Just like any restaurant you would go to. I made two dips to go along with them Spicy Sour cream and creamy avocado. From The Hungry Housewife.
  38. Goat Cheese Tarts: These tarts use one of my favorite cheater ingredients, phyllo dough shells. From Figs, Lavender And Cheese.
  39. Spicy Rice Balls: They are easy to make, very economical AND they are so delicious. They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The lime leaves are really the key for these rice balls. You can roll them up and freeze them until you are ready to fry. I like to use jasmine rice because they are fragrant and a little softer than other rice without being too sticky. From Jam’s Thai Food And Cooking Blog.
  40. Ricotta Spinach Cups: Guests will adore these and most of the work can be done ahead. Pre-bake the wrappers and store them in an airtight container once cool. Make the filling and chill in the fridge until ready to serve. These are good hot or room temperature. From Eating Well Living Thin.
  41. Marinated Cheese: This looks much more labor-intensive than it actually is, making it ideal for dinner parties or the holidays. Of course, you can make as much or as little as you like, so don’t rule it out as an “at home” dish, either. If you celebrate Christmas, you can make this dish especially festive by adding chopped red pimentos to complement the green onions. From Blue Jean Gourmet.
  42. Sherried Mushroom Cups: They’re delicious and satisfying without being too filling. They’re easy to make and travel well. From Chez Maggie And Jeff.
  43. Prosciutto-Wrapped Greens: So easy and so good, these pretty bundles can be assembled in minutes. From Tomatoes On The Vine.
  44. Hanky Pankies: These are easy and they can be made ahead and kept in the freezer until needed. They’re also one of the first things to disappear from the food table every time I make them. With the holidays approaching, you can be sure that I will have at least two gallon baggies of these in my freezer at all times. From The Other Side Of Fifty.
  45. Cherve’: Whenever I host a family get-together, it’s one of the first things that my niece and son scans the buffet table for. I have no idea how my mother spelled this cream cheese spread, but she called it “SHARE-VEE”. I served this at my Oktoberfest party, and it was a hit…as always. From A Feast For The Eyes.
  46. Chipotle Chicken Cups: It’s been my appetizer “default” for many years, and is always a crowd-pleaser. Truly! I’ve never thrown or been to a party where each of these did not disappear!! So if you’re looking for classy, charming presentation with big flavor and minimal prep — these chipotle chicken cups are for you! From Gimme Some Oven.
  47. Kenny Lao’s Rickshaw Dumplings: Kenny, who owns Rickshaw Dumpling Bar in New York, cooks a mean dumpling and I felt like I was in great hands for my tutorial. We worked together to write up a recipe — as Kenny says, dumplings are not an exact science — with the hope that you might give it a whirl. Wouldn’t tonight would be a good night for dumplings? Found at The Kitchn.
  48. Chinese Scallion Pancakes: A great appetizer when served with a dipping sauce. They can be made ahead, wrapped in foil and heated up in the oven. From Black Girl Chef’s Whites.
  49. Mediterranean Stuffed Mushrooms: These are a nice light vegetarian version that would be great at any get together. From Aggie’s Kitchen.
  50. Salmon Puff Tarts: Puff pastry tarts filled with dill cream, smoked salmon and butter fried shallots! From ChatN’chow.
  51. Stuffed Piquillo Peppers: The spicy smokiness of the Piquillos is a fantastic foil for the creaminess of the goat cheese. Because they arrive already roasted and peeled, the Piquillos are exceptionally easy to work with. From The Splendid Table.
  52. Apple Sausage Balls: They’d be great for holiday entertaining, either served with a brunch or as an appetizer. From Stolen Moments Cooking.
  53. Avocado Fries: Crunchy on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside… I dusted them with a little parmesan cheese, which was so unnecessary. But wow. From Circle B Kitchen.
  54. Angels On Horseback: Briny, minerally oysters just barely cooked, surrounded by smoky bacon and lightened with the zing of fresh lemon juice. From Simply Recipes.
  55. Sweet & Savory Prosciutto Cups: Delicate, sweet & salty little bundles of deliciousness I tell you! From Wenderly.
  56. Jalapeno & Cheese Stuffed Olives: This calls for jalapeno stuffed olives, which may be difficult to find. Instead, feel free to use pimento stuffed olives or plain pitted olives (green or black). From Joelen’s Culinary Adventures.
  57. Hoisin & Honey-Glazed Chipolatas: They smell gorgeous – salty and sweet. From Greedy Gourmet.
  58. Herb Butter Mushrooms With Smoked Mozzarella: Plump stuffed garlicky mushrooms topped with mozzarella cheese and grilled under the broiler until just done. From Purple Foodie.
  59. Balsamic and Thyme Roasted Portabella Mushrooms: If you want to go above and beyond, stuff the centers with a little bit of goat cheese after they come out of the oven. From Craftzine.
  60. Parmesan Crusted Baked Zucchini Sticks: The zucchini sticks were tasty by themselves but they were even better when dipped in the marinara sauce. From Closet Cooking.
  61. Prosciutto Rolls: From Saveur.
  62. Whipped Brie Puffs: Light, fluffy and just a little bit sweet, but decadent and rich at the same time. From Sugarlaws.
  63. Bacon Pinwheels: They are so cute! And tasty! And full of bacon and cheese! From Buns In My Oven.
  64. Spinach Fillo Cups: The inspiration for this is a traditional Greek spanakopita, or spinach pie, that’s typically served as a triangle of fillo stuffed with spinach and cheese or as a large pie cut into squares. From Fete & Feast.
  65. Herbed Olives: Dried herbs and crushed garlic dress up your favorite olives. From Eating Well.
  66. French Onion Soup Stuffed Mushrooms: You’ll love these! Make them for a Thanksgiving appetizer or (fast forward!) holiday party. Watch them disappear before your eyes. From The Pioneer Woman.
  67. One Bit Pepperoni Pizza Puffs: Light, fluffy puffs of filled with melty italian cheeses and mini pepperoni that you can dip in marinara sauce and pop right into your mouth. From The Family Kitchen.
  68. Hot Caprese Dip: You only need three ingredients to make this fabulous snack! From How Sweet It Is.
  69. Popcorn Chicken: It is simply chicken breasts cut into little bite-size pieces, dredged in seasoned flour and fried until golden. From Life’s Ambrosia.
  70. Sweet Roasted Tomato Bruschetta: Yields about 3 – 4 cups of topping. Can be cut in half. From The Nourishing Gourmet.
  71. Baked Vegetable Egg Rolls: The egg rolls were extremely easy to make and took no time at all. From For The Love Of Cooking.

Bonus Ideas

Related Posts


    • Sharon

    Thanks for the great recipe ideas.
    Sorry, but I can’t find the Prosciutto Wrapped Grissini Breadsticks that are pictured on this page.

    • jenny

    looking for the wrapped breadstick recipe in the picture 🙂

      • Smc

      Take thin bread sticks found in cookie isle and wrap with prosciutto…that’s it, don’t really need a recipe 🙂

    • Valerie

    Hahaha. I was going to ask the same breadstick question. Now that’s my kind of recipe. They look delicious and festive. Thanks!

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