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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.

Yunhee Kin for Reader's Digest

Pea “Hummus”

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

Yunhee Kin for Reader's Digest

Baked Feta with Capers and Tomatoes

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

15 minutes. Lottie + Doof

Yunhee Kin for Reader's Digest

Bacon-and-Pear Bites

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


Yunhee Kin for Reader's Digest

White Chocolate Grapes

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.



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

istock/Catherine Murray

Pimento Cheese Dip

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.

isotck/Lauri Patterson

Avocado Crostini

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


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.


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.



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


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

istock/Cameron Whitman

Red-and-Green Shrimp

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


Popcorn with Parmesan and Thyme

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

istock/Alena Dvorakova

Greek-Style Nachos

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.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest