15 Italian Appetizers to Make ASAP
Searching for a delicious way to start any gathering off on the right foot? Look no further than our best Italian appetizer recipes. Whether you're on the hunt for a classic dish worthy of a traditional bistro (you can never go wrong with classic focaccia bread—it's just a fact) or something a little more Italian-adjacent, we've got you covered with our best crowd-pleasing Italian appetizers.
Garlic Knot Chicken Parmesan Sliders
Garlic Knot Chicken Parmesan Sliders Recipe
Chicken Parmesan meets a garlicky, buttery roll in this super simple yet impressive recipe. Everything comes together quickly with the help of pizza dough, but you could also use dinner rolls like Hawaiian rolls to skip a step and save time.
Classic Focaccia Bread
Our classic, standard focaccia recipe yields an oily (but not overpowering!) and flavorful loaf that's super crisp on the bottom, just like a really good pizza crust. If you have the right tools, focaccia isn't difficult. Letting the dough sit overnight helps it relax and will make a better bread.
Fontina-And-Kale Mini Meatballs
Fontina-And-Kale Mini Meatballs Recipe
These easy, cheesy meatballs are perfect for anything from a holiday party to a tailgating get-together—especially if you need to have a keto-friendly appetizer in the mix. The blend of Italian sausage and lean ground beef provide a great, flavorful base that isn't overly greasy, and the kale and Fontina combo is a surefire crowd-pleaser.
Cheesy Stuffed Pizza Crust Ring
Cheesy Stuffed Pizza Crust Ring Recipe
You know how as soon as you grow into a fully formed adult human, you realize that the best part of a delivery pizza is the part you've been foolishly tossing aside (for your parents to eventually graze on)? Well we decided to make up for lost years by making this cheesy stuffed crust ring, no pizza necessary. Of course, we all know the only thing better than a standard hand-tossed pizza crust is a stuffed crust.
Spread pesto over country bread and top with bell pepper, tomato, and feta to prepare this flavorful bruschetta.
Rosemary Focaccia Bread
Rosemary Focaccia Bread Recipe
Pair flavorful Rosemary Focaccia Bread with Turnip Green Pesto for a mouth-watering appetizer.
Baked Italian-Style Cauliflower
Baked Italian-Style Cauliflower Recipe
We love a healthy twist on a hearty classic, and this cauliflower-centric recipe is no exception. This tasty Italian-style dish combines cauliflower with beef, tomato-based sauce, cheese, and more.
Arancini (Cheesy Italian Rice Balls)
Arancini (Cheesy Italian Rice Balls) Recipe
For perfectly fried, mozzarella Arancini, dip a rice ball into flour and shake off any excess. Dip floured ball into egg, allowing any excess to drip off. Finish by coating completely in breadcrumbs. Repeat.
Fried Calamari with Roasted Garlic and Lime Aïoli
Fried Calamari with Roasted Garlic and Lime Aïoli Recipe
Start with a package of frozen calamari, fry in peanut oil, and serve with a flavorful garlic and lime mayonnaise mixture for an impressive appetizer.
Roasted Asparagus with Walnuts, Parmesan, and Cherry Tomatoes
Roasted Asparagus with Walnuts, Parmesan, and Cherry Tomatoes Recipe
Serve with grilled flank steak or chicken breasts, and you'll have a fantastic weeknight dinner. Use asparagus that are medium-thick for this recipe--not pencil-thin spears. If you'd like to try this with a raw tomato sauce (especially when the fruits are at peak sweetness), just decrease water to 1 tablespoon and process all sauce ingredients together. For a less expensive and equally savory alternative to Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, try sheep's milk pecorino Romano.
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.
Mini Caprese Bites
Serve these mini tomato and mozzarella skewers in individual glasses as an appetizer at a seated dinner party, or arrange on a platter for your buffet. Fresh mozzarella bites, tomatoes, basil, and balsomic join forces for a summery, adorable appetizers that will have your guests swooning.
Caprese Tomato Salad
Make this crisp, fresh tomato salad for your next summer cookout. If you can't find smaller basil leaves, you can gently tear the larger leaves in half.
Herbed Goat Cheese and Ricotta Mini Pies
Herbed Goat Cheese and Ricotta Mini Pies Recipe
Why settle for a piece when you can have the whole pie? Filled with fresh herbs and cheesy goodness, these savory mini pies are the perfect dish for any brunch gathering. Using store-bought pie dough keeps this recipe super simple to make, but feel free to use your favorite homemade pie dough if you prefer.
Grilled Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Grilled Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms Recipe
If you're looking for an easy crowd-pleaser, grilled portobello mushrooms are the way to go. These giant portobello mushrooms are stuffed with some incredibly tasty ingredients like cheese, tomatoes, and fresh herbs, and are then grilled to absolute perfection.