Quick & Easy Party Foods

From spicy chicken fingers to beefy empanaditas, these recipes are sure to dazzle your crowd.

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Ricotta, Gorgonzola, and Honey Spread

    Sweet honey is a wonderful complement to the sharp Gorgonzola cheese in this pretty party appetizer.

Serving size: 36 appetizer servings
Prep   25 mins 
Chill  1 hr  to 24 hrs 

    In this easy recipe from Sandra Lee, strips of sirloin are marinated in pineapple and orange juices, soy sauce, and mustard, and then grilled.

Makes: 8 servings
Serving size: 8 appetizer servings (2 tablespoons sauce each)
Prep   20 mins 
Marinate  2 hrs  to 3 hrs 
Grill   2 mins 
Four-Cheese Pimiento Dip

    Make this jalapeno-spiked cheese dip your own by stirring in bacon, pecans, chopped green onions, or diced tomatoes.

Serving size: 5 cups
Start to Finish   35 mins 
Avocado Quesadillas

    This four-ingredient recipe from food celebrity and cookbook author Nigella Lawson is an appetizer you can pull together in a snap.

Serving size: 24 wedges
Prep   15 mins 
Cook   2 mins 
Caramelized Salmon Skewers

    Caramel sauce and soy sauce combine to create a salty-sweet glaze for salmon in this fun party recipe.

Makes: 12 servings
Prep   20 mins 
Grill   6 mins  to  8 mins 
Stand   30 mins 
Coconut Shrimp with Mango Sauce

    For a quick meal your family will love, dip shrimp in our zippy mango sauce and shredded coconut.

Makes: 4 servings
Start to Finish   30 mins 
Bake   8 mins  to  10 mins  425°F 
No-Knead Focaccia Tiles

    This fancy bread only looks tricky. The recipe starts with an easy dough you stretch into shape by hand then dress with colorful toppers -- briny olives, olive-packed tomatoes, zesty citrus, and roasted pumpkin seeds.

Makes: 12 servings
Serving size: 6 tiles, 12 servings
Stand  12 hrs 
Rise  1 hr 
Avocado Pesto-Stuffed Tomatoes

    Fresh cherry tomatoes are filled with a flavorful mixture of avocado, cream cheese, and pesto for a delicious, bite-sized appetizer.

Serving size: 30 appetizers
Prep   40 mins 
Stand   30 mins 
Bacon-Peach Pinwheels

    A mixture of crisp bacon, sauteed onion, peach preserves, and pecans baked into refrigerated crescent dough create a scrumptious dinner side.

Serving size: 20 appetizers
Prep   30 mins 
Bake   15 mins  to  18 mins  375°F 
Sonoma Toast

    Melted cheese, juicy tomato, fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, and a touch of olive oli top toasted sourdough bread.

Makes: 4 servings
Start to Finish   15 mins 
Cherry-Pomegranate Chutney

    This versatile recipe is sure to be a hit. Serve it alongside crackers and a wedge or two of cheese.

Serving size: 1-3/4 cups
Prep   15 mins 
Cook   35 mins  to  36 mins 
Mexican Meatballs

    For the flavors of meaty chili -- on an easy-to-manage toothpick -- try these quick and easy meatballs. They're ideal for cocktail parties.

Serving size: 6 to 8 dozen meatballs
Prep   40 mins 
Bake   20 mins  350°F 
Cook   15 mins 
Thai Chicken Wings with Peanut Sauce

    A peanut sauce mixed up from sugar, peanut butter, soy sauce, and garlic makes these wings unbeatable.

Makes: 12 servings
Serving size: 12 servings (2 pieces per serving)
Prep   25 mins 
Cook  5 hrs  to 6 hrs low or High 2-1/2 to 3 hours
Mini Puffs with Goat Cheese and Herbs

    You can bake and freeze the pastry for these little puffs in advance -- but wait to add the filling until just before serving.

Makes: 20 servings
Prep   35 mins 
Bake   20 mins  375°F 
Beef and Olive Empanaditas

    This Mexican-inspired starter is sure to be a hit. Press down around the edges of the turnovers with a fork (before baking) to keep the filling from oozing out.

Makes: 36 servings
Prep  1 hr 
Bake   15 mins  425°F 
Teriyaki Beef and Lettuce Wraps

    Bundle a couple of the mini meatballs in a lettuce leaf along with some carrot-sweet pepper relish.

Makes: 16 servings
Start to Finish   40 mins 
Smoky Cheese Ball

    Unlike some cheese balls, this one freezes beautifully -- and its smoky cheddar taste is sure to be a hit.

Makes: 56 servings
Serving size: 3-1/2 cups
Prep   20 mins 
Cheese Triangles

    These little pastries are rich and cheesy, with sharp cheddar cheese baked in the dough and sprinkled on top.

Makes: 32 servings
Serving size: 32 triangles
Prep   25 mins 
Bake   12 mins  400°F 

    A gougere is a French puff pastry flavored with Gruyere cheese. Pipe the little morsels with a pastry bag or dollop the dough from a spoon.

Makes: 60 servings
Prep   30 mins 
Cool   10 mins 
Bake   20 mins  400°F 
Focaccia Breadsticks

    These savory appetizers start with refrigerated pizza dough so they're quick to fix -- and easy to freeze.

Makes: 20 servings
Prep   20 mins 
Bake   12 mins  350°F 
Cheddar Cornmeal Sticks

    Cayenne pepper adds a spicy kick to these cheesy sticks. You'll find it hard to stop with just one.

Makes: 48 servings
Prep   20 mins 
Bake   15 mins  350°F 
Stand  1 hr 
Mandarin Beef Buns

    These Asian-inspired delights are ideal for an appetizer buffet.

Serving size: 24 buns
Prep   35 mins 
Rise   20 mins 
Bake   15 mins  325°F 
Parmesan Pastry Spirals

    The crisp, flaky layers of puff pastry make these cheesy treats delightfully tempting.

Makes: 24 servings
Prep   10 mins 
Freeze   30 mins 
Bake   12 mins  350°F 
Lamb and Goat Cheese Strudel

    For a starter your guests will love, fill layers of phyllo dough with ground lamb and creamy goat cheese.

Makes: 16 servings
Prep   30 mins 
Bake   15 mins  400°F 
Stand   15 mins 
Chicken and Peach Wontons

    Fry up these wontons before you freeze them. Reheat them in the oven -- not the microwave -- for crispness.

Makes: 36 servings
Prep   30 mins 
Cook   15 mins 
Asiago Wafers

    Asiago -- a nutty-tasting Italian cheese -- makes the perfect partner for rosemary-seasoned thin crackers.

Makes: 54 servings
Serving size: 54 crackers
Prep   30 mins 
Chill  24 hrs  to 48 hrs 
Bake   18 mins  325°F 
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