Our Favorite Summer Appetizers

Summer's bounty of garden-fresh produce stars in these warm-weather appetizers. Packed with tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, and more, our summer party snacks include seasonal flavors and bright ingredients.

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  • 1 of 22

    Crab Cakes with Apricot Sauce

    Plump crab cakes coated with crunchy bread crumbs and drizzled with a sweet-and-spicy apricot sauce are an indulgent way to snack. Serve them on a bed of heirloom tomatoes for a vibrant garden-fresh finish.

  • 2 of 22

    Spicy Shrimp and Sugar Snap Pea Kabobs

    Brushed with a spicy Sriracha mayo, these sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, and shrimp combine on the grill for one tasty summer skewer. Double or triple the recipe according to the number of guests.

  • 3 of 22

    Tomato Pizza Rolls

    Brimming with fresh-from-the-vine cherry tomatoes, these pizza rolls embody the crisp flavors of summer. Try them with Parmesan, prosciutto, and basil for a fun take on pizza from cookbook author Ian Knauer.

  • 4 of 22

    Grilled Cedar Planked Brie

    Take the party outside with this grilled brie appetizer. The warm cheese is topped with a spicy-sweet peach relish that can be prepared a day in advance.

  • 5 of 22

    Mini Summer Meatballs

    Two types of cheese and an array of fresh herbs help keep these mini meatballs extra moist and flavorful. Pair the meatballs with a homemade garlic-tomato sauce or your favorite jarred sauce.

  • 6 of 22

    Garden Vegetable Tart

    In about 30 minutes, ordinary puff pastry can be transformed into a bright, vegetable-packed tart. Cover the dough with a thin layer of tomato paste, then pile on fresh sweet corn, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes.


    Summer Appetizer Tip: To switch things up, replace the tomato paste with Alfredo sauce and use provolone cheese.

  • 7 of 22

    Plank-Smoked Portobello Mushrooms

    Enliven stuffed portobello mushrooms by grilling them on a cedar plank. Filled with a blend of baby spinach, bread crumbs, cheddar cheese, and pecans, the appetizer gains mellow, fruity smoke flavor from the plank.

  • 8 of 22

    Grilled Banana Bites

    For a sweet party starter, grill bananas for 4 to 6 minutes, then stack the fruit with chocolate-hazelnut spread, butter cookies, and whipped dessert topping. The summer delights won't last long at your next cookout.

  • 9 of 22

    Crunchy Parmesan Sugar Snap Peas

    Crisp sugar snap peas get even crunchier when coated with Parmesan cheese and panko bread crumbs. The baked veggie appetizer is low in calories, so you can snack guilt-free.

  • 10 of 22

    Sweet Potato Quesadillas with Cucumber Relish

    For a new spin on quesadillas, fill tortillas with mashed sweet potato and chile-lime navy beans. Pair the melty appetizer with a cool cucumber-cilantro relish and creamy Greek yogurt.

  • 11 of 22

    The Ultimate Party Appetizer

    Classic bruschetta combines fresh vegetables and light spices for a party-ready appetizer. Find out how to make a simple yet fancy bruschetta recipe perfect for those warm summer get-togethers.

  • 12 of 22

    Caramelized Salmon Skewers

    The secret to these bite-size salmon skewers? Caramel-flavor ice cream topping! Blended with soy sauce, Dijon mustard, and lime juice, the topping provides a sweet-and-spicy tang to miniature grilled salmon fillets.

  • 13 of 22

    Fresh Vegetable Chips with Caramelized Onion Dip

    A sprinkle of paprika transforms fresh slices of radish, daikon, and jicama into flavorful vegetable chips that are ready in just 30 minutes. Dunk them in our homemade caramelized onion dip -- the easy party appetizer can be made a day in advance.

  • 14 of 22

    Bacon Chocolate Bark

    Thick-cut bacon, caramel sauce, and bittersweet chocolate are all it takes to achieve this party favorite. The melt-in-your-mouth chocolate bark is the ultimate pairing of sweet and salty.

  • 15 of 22

    Lemony Ricotta Summer Squash Galette

    Filled with three types of cheese and a sprinkle of lemon juice, this flat pastry makes for a pretty potluck centerpiece. Use garden-fresh summer squash and refrigerated piecrust to take the work out of the light appetizer.

  • 16 of 22

    Pineapple-Black Bean Guacamole

    A fruity combination of fresh pineapple and savory black beans gives new life to classic guacamole. The much-loved Mexican party dip uses salsa verde to spice things up a notch.

  • 17 of 22

    Strawberry-Goat Cheese Bruschetta

    For a fresh summer snack, layer toasted bruschetta with juicy strawberries, creamy goat cheese, and peppery greens. The summer take on the traditional Italian appetizer takes just 20 minutes from start to finish.

  • 18 of 22

    Fresh Corn Cakes with Garden Relish

    A mixture of red sweet pepper, fresh corn, onion, and basil tops these easy-to-make corn cakes. Filled with fresh summer sweet corn, the tasty appetizers are just as excellent prepared on the stove as they are in a cast-iron skillet on the grill.

  • 19 of 22

    Spicy Melon Skewers

    Chile peppers add kick to this salty-sweet appetizer recipe featuring three kinds of fresh fruit and baked prosciutto. For extra-spicy skewers, substitute ancho chile pepper for cayenne chile pepper.

  • 20 of 22

    Blueberry-Peach Focaccia

    This salty-sweet bread is great served as a side or starter. To bring out the flavor of the fruit, blend vanilla with olive oil and drizzle over the focaccia before baking.

  • 21 of 22

    Avocado Pesto Stuffed Tomatoes

    Juicy cherry tomatoes filled with a mix of avocado, cream cheese, pesto, and lemon juice are a proven party appetizer. For a fresh touch, sprinkle with snipped basil before serving.

  • Next Slideshow Delicious Asparagus Recipes

    Delicious Asparagus Recipes

    Whether grilled, roasted, or baked, asparagus adds flavor and nutrients to any meal. Here are our favorite asparagus recipes, including roasted asparagus, grilled asparagus, and baked asparagus. There's certain to be an asparagus recipe for everyone.
    Begin Slideshow »
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