5-Ingredient Appetizers

Impress your guests with these sophisticated five-ingredient-or-less appetizers. They're elegant, easy, and, because they have so few ingredients, won't break your budget.

  • Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus
    Karry Hosford

    Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus

    Get the party started with easy 5-ingredient appetizers, such as a homemade hummus dip. This flavorful appetizer recipe skips the tahini (an ingredient commonly used in hummus) and combines chickpeas, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Blue Cheese and Honey Bruschetta
    Photo: Mark Lund

    Blue Cheese and Honey Bruschetta

    When you need a last-minute appetizer, you can't go wrong with this easy bruschetta. All you need is half a baguette, some honey, and a little blue cheese, and you've got something elegant and impressive.
  • Goat Cheese-Stuffed Dates

    Goat Cheese-Stuffed Dates

    Use only five ingredients for this easy and elegant appetizer. The tangy goat cheese and sweet dates create a perfect flavor combination.
  • Potato Nests with Sour Cream and Smoked Salmon

    Potato Nests with Sour Cream and Smoked Salmon

    Just a small amount of smoked salmon is needed to highlight the flavor in the creamy filling of these bite-sized potato nests. Because each serving costs only 52 cents (roughly 13 cents per piece), you can treat your guests without hurting your pocketbook.
  • Cheddar Cheese Straws
    Photo: Lee Harrelson

    Cheddar Cheese Straws

    Savory and rich with a little peppery bite, these cheese wafers are great party snacks. They're easy to make, they travel well, and you can freeze them.
  • Ham-and-Cheese Skewers
    Charles Walton IV

    Ham-and-Cheese Skewers

    Thread blue cheese wedges, apple slices, cubes of deli ham, and fresh watercress leaves onto wooden skewers for a super fast, super easy appetizer. Arugula and spinach are less expensive than watercress, so try one of those options if desired.
  • Cherry Tomato Toasts
    Photo: William Meppem

    Cherry Tomato Toasts

    This simple bruschetta tastes best on sourdough bread, but feel free to use whatever bread you have on hand to cut down on cost. Also, choose dried oregano over fresh for an inexpensive option.
  • Peach-and-Blue Cheese Bites
    Photo: William Dickey; Styling: Rose Nguyen

    Peach-and-Blue Cheese Bites

    Don't skip the Gorgonzola cheese because of cost. It has a strong flavor, so only a small amount is needed to top each tartlet. The flavor combination of the tangy cheese with the sweet peach spread is sure to impress your guests.
  • Garlic Pita Chips
    HOWARD L. PUCKETT

    Garlic Pita Chips

    Pita rounds, garlic powder, and cooking spray are all you need for these homemade pita chips. This recipe yields 4 dozen chips from only 6 pita rounds, so the cost is considerably less than purchasing them ready-made. Pair with your favorite dip, or skip the garlic powder and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar instead for a sweet treat.
  • Blue Cheese Shortbread Leaves
    Ralph Anderson; Mindi Shapiro Levine

    Blue Cheese Shortbread Leaves

    The distinctive flavor of blue cheese and the crunch of pecans earn these tasty leaf-shaped wafers rave reviews. Use star-shaped cutters for another holiday variation.
  • Monster Meatball Sandwiches
    Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lisa Powell Bailey, Rose Nguyen

    Monster Meatball Sandwiches

    These 5-ingredient, money-saving mini sandwiches will satisfy the heartiest of appetites. Using premade frozen meatballs keeps preparation swift and simple.
  • Warm Rosemary Olives
    Photo: Melanie Acevedo

    Warm Rosemary Olives

    A bowl of olives is a classic addition to any appetizer buffet. Choose your favorite inexpensive variety and dress them up with fresh rosemary and red pepper flakes. Note that this recipe serves 30 guests, so if you are entertaining a smaller group, decrease the ingredient quantities.
  • Pizza Sticks
    Photo: Beth Dreiling; Styling: Cari South

    Pizza Sticks

    Jarred bruschetta topping, chock full of flavorful herbs and veggies, saves both money and prep time for these cheesy pizza sticks. Simply top a refrigerated thin pizza crust with the bruschetta topping and a shredded cheese blend, bake, and cut into bite-size strips.
  • Mini Caprese Bites
    Photo: William Dickey; Styling: Rose Nguyen

    Mini Caprese Bites

    Serve these mini tomato and mozzarella skewers in individual glasses as an appetizer at a seated dinner party, or arrange on a platter for your buffet. The price of grape tomatoes rarely fluctuates, making these caprese bites a cost-effective option.
  • Spicy Chipotle Barbecue Sausage Bites

    Spicy Chipotle Barbecue Sausage Bites

    Coat cocktail-sized smoked sausages with a homemade glaze featuring barbecue sauce, cherry preserves, chipotle peppers, and adobo sauce for an easy party appetizer that's sure to be gobbled up in no time.
  • Gazpacho Shooters
    Photo: Beth Dreiling; Styling: Cari South

    Gazpacho Shooters

    Serve this easy, 3-ingredient gazpacho in tall shot glasses garnished with cucumber sticks for an eye-catching appetizer.
  • Pancetta Crisps With Goat Cheese and Pear
    Ralph Anderson; Mindi Shapiro Levine

    Pancetta Crisps With Goat Cheese

    Top Bartlett pear slices with baked pancetta, crumbled goat cheese, and a drizzle of honey for an easy, salty-sweet hors d'oeuvre that tastes delicious and looks gorgeous.
  • Red Pepper Jelly-Brie Bites
    Photo: Jennifer Davick, Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Lisa Powell Bailey, Lyda Purcell

    Red Pepper Jelly-Brie Bites

    Use frozen mini phyllo pastry shells as the base for this colorful holiday appetizer. Keep these shells on hand so that you can always throw together a last-minute appetizer.
  • Cream Cheese-and-Olive Pecan Bites
    Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Marian Cooper Cairns

    Cream Cheese-and-Olive Pecan Bites

    These little cream cheese-filled pecan bites are the perfect combination of creamy and crunchy. You'll have a hard time stopping with just one bite.
  • Crispy Baked Ravioli

    Crispy Baked Ravioli

    You need 15 minutes and 5 ingredients to make a tasty alternative to fried cheese sticks for your crowd.
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