15 Hearty Chicken Appetizers

Appetizers often serve as dinner during the hectic holidays, so make your dinner worthwhile with these satisfying chicken starters.

  • Roast Chicken-Chipotle Nachos with Cilantro-Avocado Crema
    James Carrier

    Chicken-Chipotle Nachos with Crema

    Nachos are always popular, and this recipe is great for parties because it has several make-ahead steps. Using rotisserie chicken makes it even more convenient.
  • Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Peanut-Miso Sauce
    Randy Mayor; Mary Catherine Muir

    Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Peanut-Miso Sauce

    Wrap strips of cooked chicken, bean sprouts, carrot and cucumber in lettuce leaves instead of rice paper wrappers for a colorful Asian-style first course. The peanut sauce will rival that of your favorite Thai restaurant.
  • Honey-Ginger Chicken Bites
    Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Jan Gautro, Laura Zapalowski

    Honey-Ginger Chicken Bites

    These sweet and tangy bite-size chicken pieces are sure to be gobbled up quickly when you put them out on a holiday appetizer buffet. This glazy chicken is also great served over rice for a hearty main dish.
  • Haitian Chicken Pâté Puffs
    Photo: Kwaku Alston; Styling: Kevin Crafts

    Haitian Chicken Pâté Puffs

    Rather than a more traditional pâté, a chicken picadillo is first made and then whirred up for a filling in these little first-course puff-pastry packets.
  • Bean and Chicken Taquitos
    Photo: Andrea M. Gómez; Styling: Miranda Jones

    Bean and Chicken Taquitos

    A taquito is basically a “little taco" and consists of small rolled up tortilla filled with beef or chicken and beans and then fried. Serve these tasty tortilla bites with salsa and guacamole for a party appetizer a light dinner.
  • Chicken Potpie Empanadas
    Photo: Antonis Achilleos

    Chicken Potpie Empanadas

    Transform basic chicken pot pie ingredients—chicken, veggies, pastry crust—into savory Spanish-style turnovers that are great for parties or a light dinner.
  • Chicken and Lemon Pot Stickers with Soy-Scallion Dipping Sauce
    Photography: Karry Hosford

    Chicken and Lemon Pot Stickers

    Use ground chicken, bok choy and shiitake mushrooms for the savory Asian-flavored filling, and serve the pot stickers with the tangy sauce.
  • Grilled Herbed Chicken Drumettes With White Barbecue Sauce
    Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Melanie Clarke

    Grilled Herbed Chicken Drumettes

    If it's a little too chilly for grilling in your part of the country, you can broil these drumettes in the oven. The tangy white sauce is what makes this recipe distinctive, so don't shortchange yourself by using a bottled barbecue sauce.
  • Country Chicken Pâté

    Country Chicken Pâté

    Pâté is a classic appetizer that's typically fairly high in fat, but this one is lighter because of the skinless chicken, low-fat sour cream and fat-free cream cheese. Serve with baguette slices or sturdy crackers.
  • Baked Hoisin Chicken Buns
    Becky Luigart-Stayner; Melanie J. Clarke and Celine Chenoweth

    Baked Hoisin Chicken Buns

    This shortcut version of the steamed buns you often see at Chinese dim sum restaurants features frozen bread dough instead of a homemade dough and is baked instead of steamed.
  • Honey-Sesame Grilled Chicken Wings
    Photo: Leo Gong; Styling: Dan Becker

    Honey-Sesame Chicken Wings

    Cover your grilled wings in a sweet Asian-style sauce instead of a hot and spicy sauce and watch them disappear. They're great for appetizers as well as a casual dinner.
  • Saffron-Marinated Chicken Skewers (Kesari Malai Tikka)
    Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Saffron-Marinated Chicken Skewers

    Marinating the chicken pieces in a saffron-scented yogurt mixture gives this Indian-style chicken an exotic flavor, yet it's super-easy to make.
  • Honey Chicken Wings

    Honey Chicken Wings

    Start with a jar of salsa for this 4-ingredient appetizer wing recipe. Simply adding honey and ginger to store-bought salsa turns it into a super-flavorful coating.
  • Chicken-Artichoke-Cheese Spread Gift Box

    Chicken-Cheese Spread Gift Box

    Bring the retro appetizer that everyone at the party's talking about. Chill a chicken-cream cheese spread in a loaf pan, then make it into the shape of a box by cutting the loaf in half crosswise and placing one half on top of the other.
  • <p>Fancy Crescent Chicken</p>

    Fancy Crescent Chicken

    These easy chicken appetizers feature crescent dough rectangles filled with a creamy canned chicken mixture and topped with butter. They're great pick-up appetizers for parties or to serve with salad or soup at dinner.
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