Keep summer entertaining simple with these easy appetizer recipes that keep you on the porch–and out of the kitchen.
Green Pea and Parsley Hummus
Black Bean Hummus with Queso Fresco
Black Bean Hummus with Queso Fresco Recipe
Try this Mexican-inspired hummus instead of queso for taco night. Top with queso fresco, onion, and cilantro and serve with tortilla chips.
Everything Bagel Cheese Ball
Everything Bagel Cheese Ball Recipe
The mega-flavor of an everything bagel can be rolled into a savory, satisfying cheese ball that your guests are sure to love. Prep the cheese ball in advance and roll it in everything spice blend just before your friends arrive for an easy, crowd-pleasing appetizer.
Mini Cheese Balls
Almond milk cream cheese is delicately nutty, with a buttery-rich texture and zero grams of sat fat. Find it at Whole Foods stores nationwide. You can substitute 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, which adds 1.6g sat fat to each serving.
Smoked Salmon-Cardamom Spread
Smoked Salmon-Cardamom Spread Recipe
Dress up smoked salmon with cardamom's sweet, aromatic flavor. Add sour cream, fresh lemon, and green onions for a simple–yet elegant–appetizer that's worth sharing.
Spicy Crab-and-Caviar Pinchers
Spicy Crab-and-Caviar Pinchers Recipe
This 15-minute appetizer comes together in a snap. Simply mix together the creamy, crab-infused filing and stuff pre-made phyllo shells.
Pimiento cheese transforms into tiny little cheese truffles in this effortless recipe. These bite-sized cheese balls are perfect for your next party or get-together and are an easy no-cook solution to that appetizer spread. Roll each cheese ball into chopped toasted pecans, parsley or crumbled bacon for irresistible flavor in every bite.
This colorful dip can double as a side salad or topper for seared fish. It tastes even better the next day. Just swap in canned beans for dried.
There is a whole lot of flavor wrapped up in these colorful little pinwheels. You can serve them cold as appetizers or a fun snack.
Smoked Salmon Dip
This creamy dip is like your favorite smoked salmon bagel in a bowl. You can substitute 1 (7.5-ounce) can skinless salmon, drained, plus 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke for the smoked salmon.
White Cheddar-Chive Pimiento Cheese
White Cheddar-Chive Pimiento Cheese Recipe
Here's the secret to nice pimiento-cheese texture: Grate the cheese by hand, half on the large holes of a box grater and half on the small holes. Choose an aged sharp Cheddar cheese for extra bite. Chopped chives and Dijon mustard add piquant punch in place of grated onion.
Golden Beet Nachos
With their awesome crunch and yellow color, thinly sliced golden beets make a great stand-in for tortilla chips. A mandoline works beautifully for slicing; try to cut the beets between 1/8- and 1/16-inch thick. If you use a knife instead, aim to get the thinnest slices possible.
Black-eyed Pea Hummus
You can find this hummus in my fridge 24/7—it takes just five minutes to make. Once you’ve done it, you’ll forget about buying those pricey small containers at the store. Instead of chickpeas, I like subbing a classic Southern ingredient, black-eyed peas, which yields a hummus that is a bit darker in color and also nuttier in taste—both of which I find to be incredibly delicious.
Cucumber and Green Tomato Gazpacho
Cucumber and Green Tomato Gazpacho Recipe
Vibrant and refreshing, this is the soup you'll crave on summer's hottest days. Adding a little bread soaked in water, a traditional Spanish trick, thickens the soup without muting the flavors or making the final dish too heavy.
Bulgur-Stuffed Mini Peppers
Bulgur-Stuffed Mini Peppers Recipe
In the heat of summer, you'll be thankful for this raw, fresh, crunchy appetizer you can easily make ahead for guests. To keep things raw, we "cooked" the bulgur with a simple soak, where the grain is covered with warm tap water and sits for 30 minutes.
We loved the classic caprese salad so much, we transformed it into a vibrant summer “salsa,” so that we could top just about everything with it. The simple, but so satisfying, flavor combo of ripe, juicy tomatoes, fresh basil, and rich mozzarella cheese is the perfect path to amping up any number of your favorite summertime staples. Serve this fresh and flavor-packed topper over grilled steak or chicken, use it as a burger relish, or spoon it onto crostini or grilled bread for an awesome and easy appetizer.
Gulf Coast Crab-and-Flounder Ceviche
Gulf Coast Crab-and-Flounder Ceviche Recipe
Simply let the flounder fillets chill in a citrusy liquid and they'll cook on their own. The fresh addition of corn, lump crabmeat, and heirloom tomatoes makes this extra special. For extra flavor, grill the ears of corn before removing the kernels.
Vegetable and Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Miso Sambal
Vegetable and Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Miso Sambal Recipe
Impress guests by filling crisp, buttery Boston lettuce leaves with fresh cucumber, cilantro, peanuts, tofu, and avocados. Really bring the wraps to life with miso sambal, a spicy Indonesian condiment featuring chile paste, ginger, miso, rice wine vinegar, sugar, and dark sesame oil.
Date, Walnut, and Blue Cheese Ball
Date, Walnut, and Blue Cheese Ball Recipe
Cheese balls never go out of style, and this one has the added benefit of sweet dates and crunchy walnuts. Serve with crackers, shortbread wafers, or fruit slices.
Ginger-Marinated Shrimp Recipe
This superfast recipe is ready in less than 15 minutes and requires just 7 ingredients.
Craving the irrestible combination of sweet and salty flavors? These figs fit the bill. Slice each fig almost in half, fill with a a mixture of cream cheese, powdered sugar, and orange liqueur, and finish off with a salted almond.
Marinate blocks of fresh mozzarella in a Mediterranean-inspired mixture of olive oil and seasonings, then top with tangy sun-dried tomatoes and fresh rosemary. Since it needs to marinate for 8-24 hours before serving, this appetizer is a great make-ahead choice.
Rustic Jicama Appetizer with Red Chile and Lime
Rustic Jicama Appetizer with Red Chile and Lime Recipe
Cut crisp jicama into strips and toss in lime juice, chili powder and salt for a Mexican-inspired snack.
Caesar Salad Bites
Turn this classic salad into an appetizer by spooning the vegetable mixture into romaine lettuce hearts and topping with croutons and a creamy Caesar dressing.
Fruit, Cheese, and Herb Skewers
Fruit, Cheese, and Herb Skewers Recipe
Use any combination of your favorite summer berries and arrange them on skewers with small mozzarella balls and basil. You’ll get big points for serving the perfect summer appetizer at your next party.
A Caprese salad is a made from tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and olive oil. We've taken similar ingredients and threaded them onto wooden skewers to create handheld appetizers.
Ceviche is a popular Latin American appetizer where some type of seafood is marinated in an acid mixture, usually lemon or lime juice and combined with fresh veggies. The action of the acid on the raw fish changes the texture of the fish to make it more firm, but it does not actually cook the fish, so be sure to use very fresh seafood.
Creamy Pesto Pinwheels
Tasty pinwheel sandwiches are always popular at parties and are easy to make ahead and transport. All you need are 4 ingredients.
Chilled Salmon Appetizers
Chilled Salmon Appetizers Recipe
Spread a spicy mayonnaise-based sauce on pumpernickel bread and top with smoked salmon for an easy, stylish appetizer.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Pears Recipe
When you combine the sweetness of ripe pears with the saltines of prosciutto, the result is magic. Make this 5-ingredient appetizer your go-to recipe for last-minute entertaining.
Apricots with Basil-Goat Cheese and Almonds
Apricots with Basil-Goat Cheese and Almonds Recipe
For a simple pick-up appetizer that’s the perfect combination of savory and sweet, top dried apricots with a goat-cheese basil mixture, top with an almond and drizzle with honey.