Last-Minute Appetizers

Choose one of these super-easy appetizer recipes when you've got unexpected guests or if you forgot to make a dish to take to the party.

  • Instant Italian Cheese Tray
    Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Lisa Powell Bailey

    Instant Italian Cheese Tray

    When you need an appetizer in a hurry, see how to transform storebought items into impressive party foods. For example, you can make a ho-hum cheese tray spectacular with a few unexpected additions like a quick olive sauté, sliced persimmons, and prosciutto.
  • Citrus Olives
    Photo: Maura McEvoy

    Citrus Olives

    Olives are always a great addition to an appetizer buffet, and these are enhanced with a bit of orange zest. Serve with breadsticks and roasted almonds.
  • Goat Cheese Bruschetta
    Photo: Dana Gallagher

    Goat Cheese Bruschetta

    You can whip up this quick appetizer with ingredients you may already have on hand: bread, goat cheese, balsamic vinegar, and any type of herb. The recipe is ideal for pairing with a crisp wine such as sauvignon blanc.
  • Tiny Pizza Pies
    Photo: Caren Alpert

    Tiny Pizza Pies

    It sort of feels like cheating, but this is such a fun idea for a party appetizer. All you need are a couple of frozen pizzas and a biscuit cutter. Then you just top the rounds with whatever ingredients you have on hand such as olives, mushrooms, or fresh herbs.
  • Black Pepper-Goat Cheese Log
    Photo: Ralph Anderson

    Black Pepper-Goat Cheese Log

    Keep a few logs of goat cheese in the refrigerator during the holidays and you'll always be ready with a quick appetizer. All you have to do is sprinkle the cheese with pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with bread slices or crackers.
  • Cheese Platter
    Photo: Melanie Acevedo

    Cheese Platter

    Nothing is easier and more sophisticated than an assortment of artisanal cheeses, fresh fruits, and bread. It's a bonus for your guests if you put "nametags" on the cheeses so they'll know which ones they're enjoying.
  • Holiday Salsa
    Jennifer Davick

    Holiday Salsa

    No cooking required for this colorful 3-ingredient appetizer. Serve with tortilla chips for an appealing contrast between salty and sweet. If you have any left over, you can use it as a topping for fish or chicken.
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