Our Best Portable Appetizers
Choose these easy, no-mess appetizers when you need to take a dish to the party and feel confident that it will be perfect when you arrive. The trick to bringing an appetizer to a party is making sure it arrives as beautiful, and as tasty, as when you left home. Save yourself the prepping, packaging, and hauling of food prep items and instead make a dish that travels beautifully. From basic dips to candied bacon, this collection of portable appetizer recipes has something for everyone.
Cheesy Sausage Roll-Ups
These southwestern-style roll-ups require just 5 ingredients.
Fingerling Potatoes with Avocado and Smoked Salmon
Potato halves serve as the base of savory Fingerling Potatoes with Avocado and Smoked Salmon appetizers.
Roquefort Cheesecake with Pear Preserves and Pecans
Make this savory cheesecake and let it chill overnight, or longer. It’s easy to transport to a party on a platter since there’s nothing to spill or jiggle. When you get to the party, top the cheesecake with preserves and pecans.
Basil Aïoli with Crudités
Make a simple, herbed aioli for dipping crunchy veggies. We like baby carrots, endive, and asparagus, but you could use any fresh seasonal vegetables.
Chicken Salad Pitas
Pepper jelly adds a sweet-hot note to Chicken Salad Pitas. And you'll love the extra zing from lemon zest and ground red pepper that's been added to these appetizer sandwiches.
Cheesy Masa Pancakes with Pico de Gallo
Masa harina adds delicate corn flavor to these bite-size pancakes. Look for it on the baking aisle.
Jalapeño Cheese Straws
Try this fancy-looking cheese straw recipe for a no-hassle appetizer you can take on the go. This subtly spicy recipe even impressed our Test Kitchen staff!
Pecan-Rosemary-Cheddar Buttons combine nutty pecans and earthy rosemary to create a robust riff on the average Cheddar cheese straw.
Pepper Jack Grits Poppers
Prep everything before you arrive, and then pop the peppers until the broiler for a few minutes just before serving.
Smoked Salmon Dip
Smoked salmon is always a special treat, and this creamy dip is a great way to feature its rich flavor. Since it’s a relatively thick dip, it’s easy to transport in a festive serving dish covered with plastic wrap. You can pre-chop some fresh veggies to serve with the dip, or just buy a package of breadsticks or crackers.
Contemporary Shrimp Cocktail
Revive this party staple by setting out a bountiful platter of shrimp with three bowls of zingy new sauces: Avocado Cream, Tequila-Lime Cocktail Sauce, and Ginger Rémoulade.
Spanish olives and blue cheese bring distinct flavor to each bite of savory Olive-Blue Moons.
Add festive holiday flavor to toasted mixed nuts with vanilla, cinnamon, allspice and cardamom. Spiced nuts are close to being the perfect portable appetizer: make-ahead, no liquids to spill during transport, no reheating required, and an empty, non-messy bowl guaranteed at the end of the party.
Country Chicken Pâté
You can't go wrong with an appetizer that's served at room temperature. This rich-and-creamy spread is best accompanied by a French bread baguette, coarse-grained mustard, and crunchy gherkins.
Mustard-Dill Tortellini Salad Skewers
Crunched for time? Nix the skewers, and toss salad with 1/2 cup of dressing just before serving. Spoon into a pretty bowl, and garnish with a dill sprig.
Millionaire's Candied Bacon
Offer guests sweet-savory bites of Millionaire's Candied Bacon at your next party. You'll be amazed at how quickly they disappear!
Savory Spiced Shortbreads
These savory shortbread rounds will be a welcome addition to any party and are sturdy enough to travel. In addition to the batch you're bringing for guest to enjoy, package a few extra in a decorative box and give as a hostess gift along with a bottle of wine.
Smoked Salmon-Cardamom Spread
Even though this make-ahead spread is super easy, the smoked salmon adds a bit of sophistication. You can't go wrong when you show up with this tasty salmon appetizer, and you an be assured that you won't be taking any back home.
Crostini with Cucumber, Smoked Salmon, and Dill
Top baked bread slices with cream cheese, cucumber, and smoked salmon to make this tasty appetizer.
Mini Bacon and Potato Frittatas
Our savory little frittatas can be prepared up to a month in advance and frozen until ready to use, when they'll just need a quick reheat in your host's oven.
Baked Beef Empanadas
You have a choice with these to-go appetizers – serve them at room temperature or reheat at your destination. Guests will devour them either way.
Olive and Onion Tapenade
Transform the party olive tray into a tasty, take-along tapenade. Serve this pungent, salty spread with baguette slices and crudités.
Cranberry-Pecan Cheese Wafers
These savory, buttery cheese wafers have just a touch of sweetness from the dried cranberries and are perfect for a holiday cocktail buffet. You can transport and serve them in a festive tin or put them in a heavy-duty plastic bag and arrange on a platter when you get to the party.
Garlicky Spinach Dip with Hearts of Palm
This thick, hearty dip is definitely travel worthy. If your trip is under 15 minutes, go ahead and bake it before you leave the house and it'll be fine when you arrive.
Alice describes these little bites as cheese straws with an olive stuffed inside. They were a special treat reserved for holidays and for whenever her parents hosted the supper club in their Birmingham, Alabama, home.
Offer a festive alternative to tomato salsa during the holidays with this make-ahead salsa featuring fresh cranberries and jalapeño pepper. You can make the salsa up to a month ahead and freeze. When it’s time to take it to the party, just thaw, spoon into a serving bowl, and bring along a bag of tortilla chips.
Chipotle Shrimp Cups
The components of this deceptively easy appetizer can be prepared the night before. Then, just assemble and heat before you hit the road or when you arrive at your destination.
Cranberry BBQ Meatballs
Cranberry jelly is the secret to these sweet and savory BBQ meatballs.
Artichoke and Fennel Caponata
Because this chunky vegetable spread can be served at room temperature or chilled, it's a great recipe to take to a party. Serve with sturdy crackers, pita chips, or toasted bread slices.
Make several batches of these easy cheese straws before the holiday season gets started, and freeze them in heavy-duty zip-lock plastic bags. When you need something to take to a party, just take some out of the freeze about 30 minutes before you leave. Take them to the party in the bag and arrange them on a platter or in julep cups after you arrive.
Green Pea Pesto Crostini with Prosciutto
Offering a bright pop of color and requiring next to no prep time, these tasty little toasts are equally ideal for special spring gatherings and casual afternoon snacking. You can assemble them up to 45 minutes before serving and they won't sog out.
Parmesan and Herb Cheese Puffs
These rich pastry bites can be baked right from the freezer so your guests can eat them warm.
Roasted Carrot Platter
Scoop up these spiced carrots and seasoned yogurt with freshly toasted pita chips.
Chilled Mussels with Saffron Mayo
A spicy Provençal sauce called rouille inspired the mayo for this easy, elegant platter; you'll have enough extra for sandwiches.