20 Easy Appetizer Recipes (in 20 Words or Less)

To kick off a season of merrymaking, we combed our favorite magazines and blogs for fast, crowd-pleasing ideas.

Pea "Hummus"

Yunhee Kin for Reader's Digest

Puree 1 cup thawed peas, 2 tbs. tahini, 1 minced garlic clove, and 2 tbs. lemon juice in food processor until smooth. Garnish with peas, olive oil.  —Whole Living

Baked Feta with Capers and Tomatoes

Yunhee Kin for Reader's Digest

Place feta cheese, chopped tomatoes, red onions, capers, oregano, and olive oil on foil. Wrap; bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. Lottie + Doof

Bacon-and-Pear Bites

Yunhee Kin for Reader's Digest

Cut just-ripe pears into ½-inch cubes; sprinkle with salt, sugar, and cayenne pepper. Put on a toothpick with crispy bacon. Mark Bittman  

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White Chocolate Grapes

Yunhee Kin for Reader's Digest

Melt white chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl. Dip grapes in chocolate and then sugar or sprinkles. Refrigerate until set.  Food & Wine

Spicy Maple Nuts


Mix 2 cups each pecans, almonds, and walnuts with ¼ cup maple syrup, 2 tbs. olive oil, 2 tbs. chopped herbs, and ¼ tsp. cayenne. Bake for 15 minutes at 350°F. Food & Wine

Roasted Chickpeas


Toss 1 can rinsed, drained, dried chickpeas with olive oil, salt, and spices (like Creole blend, cumin, paprika). Roast at 400°F, 30 to 40 minutes. steamykitchen.com

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Boil fresh or frozen edamame in pods 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with coarse salt. For this, they charge you eight bucks. Mark Bittman

Beyond Simple Chips


Buy decent tortilla chips; sprinkle with lime juice and chili powder. Eat fast, before they get soggy. Mark Bittman

Pimento Cheese Dip

istock/Catherine Murray

Combine ½ lb. grated sharp cheddar, ½ cup mayonnaise, 1 (4-oz.) jar drained and diced pimientos, and ½ tsp. horseradish (or hot sauce) in a bowl. designsponge.com

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Avocado Crostini

isotck/Lauri Patterson

Toast crusty bread; top with mashed avocado, olive oil, coarse salt, and pepper. Country Living

Hot Dog Bites


Broil a good hot dog, roll in a tortilla spread with brown mustard. Slice. You know everyone will eat them. Mark Bittman

Spinach-Artichoke Dip


Heat 1 cup frozen spinach and 1½ cups artichokes. Add 6 oz. warmed cream cheese, ¼ cup sour cream, ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1/3 cup Parmesan, ½ tsp. red pepper flakes, and ¼ tsp. garlic powder. Heat. Alton Brown

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Hummus Deviled Eggs


Mix 5 or more yolks from 12 hard-boiled eggs with 1 cup hummus. Pipe into eggs, garnish with parsley and smoked paprika.  food52.com

Salted Caramel Apple Dip


Combine 8 oz. cream cheese, ¼ cup brown sugar, ¾ cup caramel sauce, 1 tsp. vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Serve with apple slices. cooks.com  

Pistachio-Covered Cheese Log


Beat 1 bar cream cheese, 1 cup grated cheddar, 1 tbs. mustard, and 1 tsp. Worcestershire. Refrigerate. Shape into log; roll in chopped toasted pistachios. Chill. Everyday Food

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Buffalo-Style Celery Sticks


Mix together 2 oz. each blue cheese and cream cheese. Stuff 6 celery stalks with mixture. Top with cayenne pepper. Everyday Food

Red-and-Green Shrimp

istock/Cameron Whitman

Serve shrimp cocktail with cocktail sauce (red) and salsa verde or pesto (green). myrecipes.com

Popcorn with Parmesan and Thyme


Toss plain popped popcorn with olive oil, grated Parmesan, chopped fresh thyme, and lemon juice. kitchenetteblog.com

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Greek-Style Nachos

istock/Alena Dvorakova

Top pita chips with feta, roasted red peppers, pepperoncini. Bake until melted; top with chopped tomatoes, olives, Greek yogurt. Cat Cora  

Cheeseburger Dip


Combine 1 lb. cooked ground hamburger, 1 lb. American or Velveeta cheese, 1 can tomatoes with green chilies, and 1 cup shredded mozzarella. Microwave; top with chopped scallions. recipe.com

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