Easy Appetizers from Sunset

Serve easy appetizer recipes inspired by the best flavors of the West coast.

  • Pear and Blue-Cheese Pastry Triangles
    Lisa Romerein

    Pear and Blue-Cheese Pastry Triangles

    Hosting an appetizer party doesn't mean you need to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen. Instead, start with store-bought ingredients that save you time, like puff pastry. The pastry is delicate, so don't overload it.
  • Crab Salad Cups
    Photo: Lisa Romerein; Styling: Valerie Aikman-Smith

    Crab Salad Cups

    Serve a chilled appetizer salad loaded with crab, avocado, and fresh parsley. It's light enough to balance the rest of your appetizer spread, but hearty enough to provide a solid base for the party's bar menu.
  • Brussels Sprout and Prosciutto Skewers
    Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Karen Shinto

    Brussels Sprout and Prosciutto Skewers

    Pickup appetizers are ideal for cocktail parties; they're individually portioned and don't require any plate balancing while your guests enjoy. Try this new spin on the prosciutto skewer. It's delicious and can be made ahead to save you time on the day of the party.
  • Salt-and-Pepper Cheese Puffs (Gougères)
    James Carrier

    Salt-and-Pepper Cheese Puffs (Gougères)

    When a party-sized cheese ball is too much for your intimate crowd, make miniature versions topped with delicious sea salt. Make them up to a month ahead of time and pull them out when unexpected guests arrive.
  • Herbed Yukon Gold Potato Latkes
    Leo Gong

    Herbed Yukon Gold Potato Latkes

    Serve a delicious potato-and-salmon appetizer that looks almost as good as it tastes. The salmon adds a bright pop of color to the appetizer buffet, and the potato base gives this appetizer top-rated portable ability.
  • Walnut Red Pepper Dip
    Annabelle Breakey, Karen Shinto

    Walnut Red Pepper Dip

    If you usually serve spinach dip at friendly gatherings, switch it up this year by serving a warm dip made with roasted red peppers, walnuts, and a dash of lemon juice. Serve with toasted bread slices or even sliced veggies for an easy appetizer station perfect for welcoming guests to your home.
  • Pesto Arugula Wraps
    Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Dan Becker

    Pesto Arugula Wraps

    This four-ingredient appetizer comes together in about fifteen minutes, making it a perfect after-party snack or last-minute recipe for unexpected guests.
  • Cowboy Caviar
    Norman A. Plate

    Cowboy Caviar

    Make a dish that only gets better as it sits. Mix it up the night before then pull it out of the fridge and pair it with tortilla chips for a savory, crowd-pleasing snack.
  • Hot Ricotta Spinach Loaf

    Hot Ricotta Spinach Loaf

    Whether you call it an appetizer or a light sandwich, this delicious warm dish is loaded with spinach, ricotta cheese, and Parmesan. Serve with warm marinara sauce, for dipping.
  • Green Grape Tomato Appetizer
    Christina Schmidhofer

    Green Grape Tomato Appetizer

    With bright yellow-green clusters that look like bunches of large Muscat grapes, Green Grape tomatoes have a sweet flavor and bright acidity that call for creamy cheeses and rich fillings. A chef's favorite.
  • Greek Spinach Dip
    Photo: James Baigrie; Randy Mon

    Greek Spinach Dip

    This savory Greek spinach dip takes its flavor cues from spanakopita. Serve it with warm pita bread or crisp crudités.

  • Mini Peppers Filled with Goat Cheese and Asparagus
    Photo: Iain Bagwell

    Mini Peppers Filled with Goat Cheese and Asparagus

    For easy entertaining, set out this elegant, quick appetizer created by Sunset reader Priti Malhotra of Los Gatos, California. Serve it with a crisp wine like Sauvignon Blanc.

  • Olive and Pistachio Bruschetta
    Photo: Jeffrey Cross; Food Styling: Karen Shinto

    Olive and Pistachio Bruschetta

    This combo has everything we love in a great appetizer--it's salty, crunchy, savory, and just a little decadent. If you're doubling or tripling the recipe for a party, you can set out the toppings and the grilled toasts brushed with olive oil to let your guests build their own.

  • Crab Croquettes
    Photo: James Baigrie

    Crab Croquettes

    Sunset reader Herbert Roebuck of Clovis, California, suggests chilling the formed crab balls for an hour or up to 1 day, if you have time, to make them easier to roll in panko. They're delicious served with tartar sauce in addition to the hot sauce.

  • Sesame Fried Artichokes

    Sesame Fried Artichokes

    This easy-to-eat appetizer borrows from Roman-style fried artichokes and adds Asian flavors. They're a snap to whip up.

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