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20 Easy Appetizer Recipes (in 20 Words or Less)

Updated: Mar. 01, 2023

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Beyond Simple Chips

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

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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. designsponge.com

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isotck/Lauri Patterson

Avocado Crostini

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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istock/Cameron Whitman

Red-and-Green Shrimp

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

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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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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

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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

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest