Warm & Cheesy Appetizers

From tender pastries filled with creamy goat cheese to pesto-laced cheddar fondue, these recipes are just right for a cold-weather get-together.


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1/26
Gorgonzola & Pear Focaccia

    Creamy blue cheese mingles with walnuts and sweet pear slices on warm wedges of homemade focaccia.

Makes: 12 servings
Prep   45 mins 
Rise  1 hr 
Bake   10 mins  425°F 
2/26
Shrimp-and-Bacon-Stuffed Baby Potatoes

    Gouda and cream cheeses hold together the bubbly, flavorful potato filling in a bite-size version of this reinvented favorite.

Makes: 28 servings
Serving size: 28 appetizers
Prep   35 mins 
Bake   42 mins  425°F 
3/26
Cheese Wafers with Pepper Jelly

    Sharp cheddar cheese and cayenne pepper flavor these golden and toasty wafers. Spicy-sweet pepper jelly adds extra zip.

Serving size: about 80 wafers
Prep   15 mins 
Chill  2 hrs  to 24 hrs 
Bake   8 mins  400°F per batch
4/26
Tuscan Cheesecake Bites

    For a warm and savory twist on cheesecake, top a crust of panko bread crumbs, ground olives, and basil with a creamy feta filling. Sprinkle with olives and fresh oregano.

Serving size: 24 appetizers
Prep   25 mins 
Cool   10 mins 
Bake   12 mins  350°F 
5/26
Rosemary Bruschetta Stacks

    Skewer mini sandwiches of French bread, provolone, and tomatoes with a sprig of rosemary for an appealing appetizer.

Makes: 12 servings
Prep   25 mins 
Bake   4 mins  425°F 
6/26
Goat Cheese-Olive Bites

    Spoon leeks, fennel, goat cheese, olives, and thyme into refrigerated pie crust and bake for a warm appetizer your crowd will love.

Makes: 6 servings
Prep   25 mins 
Bake   30 mins  375°F 
7/26
Baked Mozzarella and Tomato-Basil Antipasti

    With only 15 minutes of prep time, this rich spread for toasted baguette slices is easy to make and hard to resist.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep   15 mins 
Bake   20 mins  350°F 
8/26
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 
9/26
Herb and Cheese Mini Quiches

    Accented with a hint of tarragon and adorned with a garnish of roasted red pepper and snipped chives, these quiches make a colorful flavor extravaganza.

Makes: 48 servings
Serving size: 48 mini quiches
Prep  1 hr 
Bake   25 mins  325°F 
10/26
Gougeres

    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 
11/26
Brie with Chutney

    Lightly baked brie and sweet mango chutney top crisp crackers, creating a quick and easy treat your guests will adore.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep   5 mins 
Bake   15 mins  325°F 
12/26
Feta Custard in Phyllo Cups

    A creamy blend of feta cheese, cream cheese, lemon juice, and flour fills store-bought or homemade pastry cups.

Makes: 30 servings
Serving size: 30 appetizers
Prep   30 mins 
Bake   15 mins  325°F 
13/26
Hot Fennel Dip

    Chock-full of fennel, this super-thick and chunky hot dip is reminiscent of hot artichoke dips, but with a mild anise flavor.

Makes: 6 servings
Prep   25 mins 
Bake   15 mins  400°F 
Cook   10 mins 
14/26
Bruschetta with Goat Cheese

    Red pepper strips, chopped olives, and sage leaves top a creamy goat cheese spread and toasted Italian bread.

Makes: 24 servings
Prep   45 mins 
Bake   13 mins  425°F 
15/26
Provencale Tarts

    For a fast, fancy edge, use a fluted pastry wheel to cut the puff pastry for these cheesy, first-course appetizers.

Makes: 16 servings
Prep   20 mins 
Bake   12 mins 
16/26
Artichoke and Pepper Toasts

    Toasted baguette slices perfectly complement this garlicky cheese spread. Have plenty of slices on hand, your guests won't be able to stop with just one.

Makes: 8 servings
Serving size: about 4 cups
Prep   20 mins 
Bake   25 mins  350°F 
17/26
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 
18/26
Ricotta Puffs

    Using puff pastry makes it easy to prepare these flaky appetizers oozing with creamy Italian ricotta cheese.

Serving size: 18 puffs
Prep   30 mins 
Bake   20 mins 
19/26
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 
20/26
Pecan-Crusted Artichoke Spread

    Chopped nuts add heartiness to this proven crowd-pleaser, while fresh spinach brightens it up.

Makes: 64 servings
Prep   25 mins 
Bake   40 mins  to  50 mins  350°F 
21/26
Pesto-Cheese Fondue

    A swirl of homemade pesto puts a festive spin on indulgent three-cheese fondue. For dippers, try herbed breadsticks, cherry tomato halves, fresh snow peas, Belgian endive leaves, or French-fried potatoes.

Makes: 16 servings
Prep   30 mins 
Bake   10 mins  450°F 
22/26
Feta Cheese Appetizers

    A lively spread made with two cheeses, Kalamata olives, roasted sweet peppers, and a touch of dill makes these pita bread triangles a surefire party pleaser.

Makes: 36 servings
Serving size: 36 appetizers
Prep   15 mins 
Cook   4 mins 
Broil   2 mins 
23/26
Hot Artichoke and Asiago Cheese Dip

    A blend of cream cheese and Asiago makes this dip rich and creamy; artichokes, red sweet peppers, mushrooms, and onion add a touch of texture.

Makes: 12 servings
Prep   20 mins 
Bake   45 mins  350°F 
24/26
Baked Brie

    It's hard to go wrong with a wheel of baked brie and crackers. A topping of tomato preserves and rosemary punches up the flavor.

Makes: 8 servings
Prep   25 mins 
Bake   10 mins 
25/26
Beer and Cheddar Fondue

    Looking for a simple, yet special, starter? Try this savory blend of cheddar and American cheeses, garlic, and light beer.

Makes: 6 servings
Start to Finish   20 mins 
26/26
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