Party Appetizers That Will Have Everyone Asking for the Recipes

rose summer rolls
Photo:

BHG / Cara Cormack

Ready to step up your hosting game? These are the party appetizers that will do it. Each appetizer idea was a proven winner in our Test Kitchen and is highly rated by home cooks so you know your friends and family will love them too. You'll find a mix of 15-minute-fast easy party appetizers and perfection-takes-time more complicated dishes that really wow. Choose whichever of these best party appetizers fits your schedule and menu and let the snacking commence.

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Make-Ahead Dilled Onion Cheese Balls

Mini Cheese Balls
Andy Lyons

We adore cheese in any form so kicking off a gathering with these mini cheese balls is a guaranteed win. Because this savory starter can be made and frozen for three months it's one of our favorite hors d'oeuvre ideas to get a head start on menu prep. After thawing roll in your choice of topper—spices, herbs, seeds, bacon, chopped peppers, crushed chips from that almost-empty bag—or choose several to offer guests a variety.

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Lemon-Dill Artichoke Dip

Lemon-Dill Artichoke Dip
Carson Downing

Spinach-artichoke dip is one of the all-time best party appetizers (take a look at a classic artichoke dip further on!). But if you're looking for a new twist on that classic, shake things up with a creamy lemon-infused fennel-artichoke spread. Because it's cooked in a cast-iron skillet, it stays warm longer on your appetizer table.

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Pickle Poppers

Pickle Poppers
Hannah Bigot

Think of this party appetizer idea like a jalapeño popper with a tangy twist. Stuff pickles with a cheese blend, wrap with ham, and bake. If you prefer a cold party appetizer—or you're in a hurry—skip the baking step. Whichever temp you choose, serve these pickles with a side of hot pepper jelly. No one will be able to resist.

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Cheesy Skillet Artichoke Dip

Cheesy Skillet Artichoke Dip
Andy Lyons

Rich creamy artichoke dip will always be considered one of the best party appetizers ever created (yes, we have strong feelings here). But add warm, flaky rolls on top of the classic appetizer recipe and there is zero chance of refraining from sampling a taste. Using yeast rolls adds time for rising, but because the dough is purchased, this is still a low-lift dinner party appetizer.

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Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp
Andy Lyons

These cocktail party appetizers are marinated in a lemon and chili-garlic sauce combo to infuse each ounce with a hint of spice. And the bacon wrap makes them darn delicious. Each batch broils to perfection in less than 10 minutes, so you can get them prepped and ready early then pop under the broiler just before serving time.

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Four-Cheese Pimiento Dip

Four-Cheese Pimiento Dip
Blaine Moats

For a casual gathering that doesn't require a fancy cheese board, stir together this Southern-inspired cheesy snack. The easy party appetizer comes together in about 35 minutes from start to finish. Diced pimientos perk up the ridiculously creamy cheese dip that will disappear in a flash when scooped up with crackers, veggies, or chips.

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Jalapeño Popper Deviled Eggs

Jalapeno Popper Deviled eggs

Mash-up two classic party appetizer ideas (jalapeño poppers and deviled eggs) with this creative recipe. They're made like a usual deviled egg recipe with a few extra stir-ins added to the filling. The crowning finish is a baked cheese crisp to hint at the fried texture of your favorite restaurant poppers.

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Parmesan-Ranch Sweet Potato Snack Mix

close-up of Parmesan-Ranch Sweet Potato Snack Mix
Carson Downing

Those purchased snack mixes have nothing on a home-baked cheesy, salty, buttery mix like this one. And it's so simple to make, you may never go store-bought again. Pile chips, crackers, pretzels, and nuts into your sheet pan with a ranch-butter drizzle and bake. Add in Parmesan cheese the last 10 minutes for the final flavor punch, and let it cool before noshing. Or make the mix up to a week ahead and store in an airtight container.

Buy It: Nordic Ware Sheet Pan ($12, Target)

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Tex-Mex Cheese Dip

board of Tex-Mex Cheese Dip with salsa, guacamole, and various chips
Jason Donnelly

So delicious yet so simple, all this hot dip recipe requires is adding the ingredients to a saucepan and heating through. It's hands-down one of our easiest appetizer recipes. If you're toting the dip to a gathering or want to make it ahead, just put it in a small slow cooker to keep warm.

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Mini Quiches

Mini Quiches
Blaine Moats

If you're hosting a brunch gathering, you can't get much better than this appetizer idea. Not only are they downright delicious, but they also take advantage of store-bought ingredients (refrigerated pastry crust) and clean-out-the-fridge options (add any combo of chopped meats and veggies you desire) for easier assembly.

Test Kitchen Tip: Assemble, bake, and freeze a batch of mini quiches on a weekend when you have extra time. Then, when unexpected drop-in family and friends arrive, you're only about 20 minutes of oven time away from snacks.

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Rose Summer Rolls

Rose Spring Rolls
Victoria Pearson

These vegan party appetizers are a showstopper! Edible rose petals tucked into rice paper give a beautiful floral look, while fresh herbs and veggies paired with rice noodles fill out the rolls. Herbs add loads of flavor, but the real flavor star of this cold party appetizer is the Rose Dipping Sauce made of soy sauce and rose vinegar.

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Cheese-Stuffed Pretzel Bites

Cheese-Stuffed Pretzel Bites
Rachel Marek and Emily Hemmingsen

Warning, once you try one of these pretzel appetizers, you'll keep going back for more. The homemade pretzel dough is so tender and beautifully golden, these bites entice with one glance. But the best part is the cheese and pickled jalapeño filling. The pretzel and cheese combo makes these a perfect game-day appetizer, but we'll serve 'em up for any occasion.

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Classic Stuffed Mushrooms

Classic Stuffed Mushrooms

Unsure of everyone's food preferences? This is the cocktail party appetizer for you. The stuffed mushroom recipe comes with three flavor variations—classic garlic-Parmesan, dressed-up blue cheese-walnut, and comforting bacon-cheddar—so you can choose your flavor adventure (or offer all three to ensure there's something for everyone).

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Party-Ready Potato Skins

Party-Ready Potato Skins
Matthew Clark

Potato skins aren't just for game days. (Although we'll happily devour them then!) These easy appetizers are one of our entertaining go-tos because both kids and adults gobble them up—and you can prep everything prior to the baking step up to a day in advance.

Buy It: Rectangular Plate ($4, Crate & Barrel)

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Baba Ganoush

Baba Ganoush
Jacob Fox

Take taste buds on a trip to the Mediterranean with this vegan party appetizer. This Baba Ganoush, a cold party appetizer made with roasted eggplant, tahini, garlic, and olive oil, is a nice change of pace from hummus. Offer it with toasted crostini, sliced vegetables, or fluffy pita wedges.

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Baked Jalapeño poppers

Baked Jalapeno Poppers
Carson Downing

If jalapeño peppers pack too much heat for your liking, make this popper appetizer using mini red and/or yellow bell peppers instead. Either choice tastes great filled with our cream cheese and queso fresco mixture. Add just a hint of heat (or more heat if using jalapeños) with a drizzle of hot honey to garnish.

Buy It: Mike's Hot Honey ($10, Target)

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Crab Rangoon Mozzarella Sticks

Crab Rangoon Mozzarella Sticks
Hannah Bigot

Nothing gets our mouths watering like a great cheese pull (when you pull a piece of food apart and the cheese just keeps stretching). If you feel the same, you've got to try this appetizer recipe. Thanks to the addition of mozzarella in the cream cheese filling you get the luscious mouthfeel of the cream cheese with that stretchy cheese pull. Yum!

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Cinnamon Nuts

Cinnamon Nuts
Andy Lyons

We're nuts about these stadium-reminiscent snacks. The cinnamon-sugar-dusted walnuts are irresistible, but what we also love about this cocktail party appetizer is how it infuses our whole home with warm, cozy aromas. (Bonus points are awarded for how this recipe can be stored in an airtight container at room temp for up to two weeks so we can get a jump on party prep.)

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