Our Favorite Summer Appetizers
Baba Ghanoush Flatbread
Pizza loaded with cheese can be a bit heavy on a scorching-hot day, so may we suggest a lighter Mediterranean swap? This colorful flatbread is fitting to share with vegans since it's topped simply with eggplant spread, cherry tomatoes, toasted hazelnuts, and fresh mint.
Spicy Shrimp and Sugar Snap Pea Kabobs
Brushed with a spicy Sriracha mayo, 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.
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.
Mini Pepper Tulips
We could eat about a dozen of these herby cream cheese-stuffed mini sweet pepper blooms. Arrange on a bed of green onions for the full bouquet effect. No vase required!
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 purchased sauce.
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.
Tip: To switch things up, replace the tomato paste with Alfredo sauce and use provolone cheese.
Zesty Fajita Bites
Keep your kitchen cool and your oven off—this fajita chicken comes together in your slow cooker. Stack atop tortillas with summery sweet peppers, roll, and prepare to accept all the rave reviews.
Grilled Banana Bites
For a sweet party starter, grill bananas 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.
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 snack. Serve them on a bed of heirloom tomatoes for a vibrant garden-fresh touch.
Roasted Cherry Tomato Pizza Poppers
No need to call for delivery! These fresh tomato and basil pizza poppers come together quickly and easily on the grill so you can keep enjoying the sunshine. Just plan to pop on another batch every hour or so and you will easily be able to refill the snack stations.
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.
Grilled Fruit Pizza
Reminder: The grill isn't just for barbecued entrees. This easy app calls for adding a bit of char to naan bread and melon slices for a sweet start to this snack that gets a savory touch from sliced prosciutto.
Meatballs and Stuffed Zucchini
While this beef meatball-stuffed zucchini recipe was originally designed as a main dish, it's ideal for sharing and serving on large toothpicks when you slice each squash into 1-inch coins. Serve with a side of fresh tomato sauce for dunking (simply follow our marinara recipe in the directions and trade chopped red ripe or heirloom tomatoes for canned tomatoes).
Lemony Ricotta Summer Squash Galette
Filled with three types of cheese and a sprinkle of lemon juice, this flat pastry makes a pretty potluck centerpiece. Use garden-fresh summer squash and refrigerated piecrust to take the work out of the light appetizer.
Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Salad
Fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes need little adornment come summer—they're absolutely delicious as-is. Plate them with creamy Burrata and a simple vinaigrette, plus a few oregano or cilantro flowers, and you have one showstopping salad.
Fried Green Tomato Banh Mi Toasts
One bite is all the proof you need that juicy, ripe, red tomatoes aren't the only variety of tomatoes worth picking. Unripe green ones are the star of this trendy bacon-loaded toast recipe that gets even more crunch via cucumber and pickled carrots.
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 bit.
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.
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.
Asian Lettuce Wraps with Chicken
Hunger is a wrap when you serve this well-balanced chicken app. In addition to chicken (which can be served warm or chilled), each lettuce leaf is filled with a scoop of coleslaw, green onions, and pineapple for a refreshing and light starter.
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.
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.
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.
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.