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Roast Pumpkin Bruschetta & Caramelized Onions Recipe

So pumpkin bruschetta. Oh my god, yes. Smear with creamy fresh ricotta (I used buffalo), slowly oozed caramelized onions and a few flakes of crispy sage bits and you have yourself probably one of the most orgasmic, delicious, sultry, vegetarian friendly dishes you could ever hope for. I suggest eating them for breakfast, a quick …

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Sweet & Earthy Red Beet Crostini (with Beet Greens) Recipe

Is there anything more salt of the Earth than farm fresh, tenderly sweet, just picked beets? You know, except salt. And maybe Texans. But chances are, most good Texans don’t enjoy being plucked from their homes, chopped up and roasted to 425 degree oven perfection so we’ll stick with beets. And salt. Mmmm…. salt. We’re …

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20 Best Jalapeno Popper Chicken Recipes (All Types)

One of my true passions in life is spicy peppers. While jalapenos are pretty tame in comparison to other hot peppers out there, they still pack quite a punch when you pair them with the right flavors. I love jalapeno poppers, and making them with chicken is a great way to bring out an explosive …

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Thai Coconut Curry Steamed Mussels Recipe

All you really need are a few seasonal ingredients and some fish. A Note on Your Fish: Clams are pretty much always Ocean wise. Farmed mussels are typically a good choice when it comes to inhaling seafood – just make sure they’re “off-bottom culture” and not dredged from the seabed. If you have them in your area, the ones from …

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Sauteed Calamari with Smokey Spanish Romesco Sauce Recipe

If anything gets made this weekend, it should be this: Sautéed calamari with crispy pancetta, wilted radicchio, and Moroccan black olives all tucked in nice and cozy like with a smokey Spanish Romesco sauce. Oh yeah, with lots of lemon too, And wine, And damn good friends. Because really, is there any other kind?

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Deconstructed Mexican Hummus Dip Recipe

It’s smooth. It’s crunchy. It’s classic. It’s spicy. It’s smoky. It’s sweet. It’s pretty much an awesome fiesta of Mexi-yum. This dip is loaded with flavors and textures that are going to make your mouth sing and your feet do a little dance. I won’t lie – this deconstructed Mexican hummus dip is my new …

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13 Killer Corn Dip Recipes (All Types)

On a hot summer day, there’s nothing quite like serving up a bowl of cool, delicious corn dip. By combining cream cheese, sour cream, cheddar and jalapenos, you can create a variety of mouth-watering dips. There are hundreds of different options based on what you have in your refrigerator when you decide to make corn …

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25 Best Mouthwatering Crepe Recipes (All Types)

Crepe has been around for centuries and will be going nowhere, well other than in our mouths and those of many generations to come. Think fillings like Nutella, strawberry, banana, blueberry, cream cheese…you get the point! If you enjoy sweet and savory as I do, then you’ve come to the sweet spot where I’ll walk …

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No Knead Roasted Garlic and Herb Bread

When most people think of baking bread, they picture someone standing in the kitchen with one’s hands in the dough, kneading the bread. The kneading of bread dough allows it to form gluten, a structure of stretchy proteins that trap bubbles and help the bread to rise. Kneading can take time, but it helps the …

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Irish Potato Farls Recipe

Potato bread, potato pancake, potato farls–all of these are favorite mealtime components of the Irish. Potato farls are fried cakes simply made from mashed potatoes and flour. The dough is patted into shape, divided into fourths, and pan-fried until brown and crispy. There are versions of this tasty bread in other countries. In Scotland, these …

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29 Best Stuffed Mushroom Recipes (All Types)

Shroom stuffing, am I right? As I develop a recipe book for my fans in the cookbook work, I always start with a single ingredient. This time around, that ingredient is mushrooms for party foods. Fortunately, this ingredient has endless varieties of flavors, textures, smells, and tastes. You can use mushrooms to boost vitamin D …

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20 Best Cheese Bread Recipes (All Types)

Cheese bread is one of those foods you never would think could have so many variations. But they start with cheese bread on the bottom, as in the Parmesan Bread Bowls, or cheese bread for a topper with cheese bread dumplings. Then there is the quick bread that is semi-homemade, followed by the slow-rising cheese …

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6 Different Types of Appetizers

Special occasions call for special foods. Small, quickly eaten foods that are savory or sweet can be eaten in a couple of bites. In addition, a spread of appetizers can help keep crowds satisfied for cocktail parties, wedding receptions, and other events.

You can serve appetizers as the only food at an event, or they can proceed with dinner as a first course. Food makes people happy and can help keep them busy while mingling and waiting for the main event.

What are the flavors of appetizers?

Appetizers are small bites of food with distinct flavors and can be savory or sweet. In addition, appetizers can include foods that are salty, pickled, and dairy, meat, and vegetables.

The Different Types of Appetizers

There are several different types of appetizers. You will serve some during the cocktail hour before dinner, while others you can serve as a first course.

Many occasions call for appetizers, including weddings, anniversaries, gatherings before a holiday or business meal, and other celebrations.

Some appetizers are classic favorites; some are new creations, while others are used because they are easy. For example, picking up five dozen wings from the local grocer or fast food restaurant saves time and work when you need appetizers for an event.

You can also get cheese and crudité platters from the grocery. Taking shortcuts is quite acceptable if time is of the essence, and you must put out an appetizer spread in the next few hours. Transfer the food from the plastic trays to your china, and no one will ever know.

Appetizer Cocktails

Shrimp cocktail topped with parsley.

These are recipes for foods that are often served as a first course before a meal. The shrimp cocktail is a prime example. However, other appetizer cocktails include:

There are many other recipes for starters, as first courses are often called, as well as appetizers. Gator tail and fried green tomatoes are typical appetizers on menus in the south. Some areas of the Midwest prefer appetizers like Swiss-artichoke dip, a cheese ball made with ripe olives, or turkey pesto sliders.

Northeasterners may prefer spinach, artichoke dip on a wonton, lobster, and corn fritters, with a truffle sauce and other local foods. The point is that every part of the world has an appetizer typical of the locals. So the appetizer menu in Seattle may be very different from what is served as appetizers in Virginia.

Canapes are the most elegant appetizers.

Assorted canape snacks in a box.

A canape is a bite-sized portion of finger food usually made from a base, like a cracker, crust, toast, or a slice of vegetable with a topping and garnish. Bruschetta is a classic canape that is very flavorful.

Canapes can be as simple as cheese on a cracker with a sprig of a fresh herb. On the other hand, they can be very decorative, have layers of spread, meat, and garnish piled high, and they can be sweet or savory.

Recipes for canapes may be savory.
Or canapes can be sweet!

With canapes, you have many choices of what to serve. Some of these items are easy to make, and you can find more than one recipe for each with a quick search. However, many canape items in the bakery and freezer section of many grocery stores can help you make short work of an appetizer menu.

Whether you buy finished items or use shortcuts such as premade tart shells, bake and serve spanakopita or baklava. These shortcuts can help you make an impression on your guests while making your job easier. Also, do not forget the local bakery if you are stumped on what to serve as an appetizer.

They may have fresh bread, spinach dip already made, and small pastries that will also be suitable.

Using French baguettes for bruschetta, crostini or filling a scooped-out round loaf of pumpernickel bread for a dip is a fast and easy way to make an appetizer for your guests.

Hors d’oeuvres

Baked mushroom caps with spices.

The line gets thin between types of appetizers because the heading covers all kinds, and hors d’oeuvres recipes do. Common hors d’oeuvres include recipes from around the world, like

Mini-quiche – made in tiny tart shells; you can make them or buy a frozen product. They are perfect for an appetizer buffet or for passing around on trays to your guests.

Escargot – these are snails cooked in garlic butter, and although chewy, they do not taste too bad, and many people love them.

Bruschetta – an antipasto (starter dish) is grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with olive oil and salt. It can have tomatoes and cheese to give it more substance and flavor.

Pigs in a blanket most of us have had or made these at one time, and they are still an easy-to-make finger food that you can serve alone or with ketchup and mustard.

Cocktail sausages in a grape jelly sauce are also standard fare on appetizer menus, especially around the winter holidays.

BBQ Meatballs with this recipe, you can make your meatballs or grab a bag from the market’s freezer section. However, homemade food is better and easier to make and will not be full of preservatives.

Crostini – like bruschetta, crostini is thinly sliced toasted or grilled bread. You then top it with cheese, meat, veggies, and condiments. However, you can serve crostini with a brush of olive oil, a few herbs, or a little tomato sauce.

Mini-pizza – bite-size pizzas are welcome at any event. You can buy frozen pizzas and cook them quickly in the oven—these work well for adults and the younger crowd.

Spring rolls, also called dim sum, are rolled appetizers filled with vegetables and flavors such as chicken, shrimp, or pork. Egg and spring rolls are not hard to make. The biggest challenge is ensuring you have all the necessary ingredients before you start. Once you learn to make them fresh, you will never want anyone else’s again.

Kebabs and other skewered foods

Grilled meat skewers with dip on the side.

Items served on a skewer add a visual effect to an appetizer selection. Whether served alone or with different appetizers, they are time-consuming to make. However, they are worth the wow factor when your guests try them. Kebabs can be made from meat and vegetables or fruit.

Satay – is an Asian dish that resembles kebabs. However, made with strips of meat skewered and then grilled, you serve this appetizer with a spicy sauce that is often made with peanuts.

Stuffed mushrooms – are a classic and can be filled with cheese, crab meat, and cheese brushed with garlic butter and topped with parmesan. They are easy to make and can be made with various mushrooms. However, button mushrooms that are an inch or more in diameter will work well.

Fried chicken wings – are another appetizer you can serve right before a meal. Or, they can be a meal and often are. However, they are often seen on appetizer buffets, and you can serve them with different dips.

Chicken nuggets – are as popular as chicken wings as an appetizer and do not have bones you have to deal with. You can serve them with dipping sauces, but they will not last long. So, be sure to buy or make plenty.

Chimichanga with toppings – on the side is an interesting appetizer choice. A Chimichanga is a deep-fried burrito. Frying adds a different flavor profile that is very appealing.

Chimichanga can be made in a bite or full size and served with shredded lettuce, sour cream, salsa, shredded cheese, cheese sauce, tomato, and olives if you want to go all out.

Potato croquettes – are mashed potatoes mixed with bacon, cheese, and a little flour for binding, then deep-fried. You can serve potato croquettes with sour cream, chives, and other toppings. However, they are delicious all by themselves.

Fish fingers or nuggets  are a great addition to an appetizer menu if kids are involved. However, I like fish almost any way I can get it and would be glad to see this item in a display of appetizers.

Coconut shrimp – these are common on menus in many restaurants and are great as a first course or on an appetizer buffet. Add dipping sauces; be sure you have enough because shrimp is popular on any menu.

Crudité and Relishes

One of the most often served appetizers is veggies with ranch or blue cheese dip. It is easy to make and not as expensive as some of the appetizers listed here. You can take advantage of precut veggies from the market and make or buy ranch dressing for dipping sauce.

Fruit trays are as popular on appetizer menus as veggies. Sliced fresh fruit with a flavored yogurt dip is healthy and refreshing on a warm day. For winter events, change the menu to seasonal fruits like apples and pears, and change your dipping sauce to chocolate or caramel.


Although we seldom consider salad an appetizer, a small salad served before the main course can stimulate your appetite. The same is true for most appetizers. They are not supposed to be a meal but a repast in anticipation of a meal or soak up the cocktails you consume at a party.

Fruit salad, green salad, or composed salads, such as Waldorf or Watergate salad, are suitable to serve as appetizers. These dishes offer your guests something a little on the lighter side.

FAQs about the types of appetizers you can make

How do I know if I have enough appetizers for everyone?

The standard formula for estimating how much food you need is to allow 12 pieces per person. Multiply the number of people by 12 and divide by the number of different appetizers you are serving.

Can you make appetizers ahead of time?

You can make some appetizers ahead of time. Prep work for other recipes you need to cook before serving can be made and refrigerated until you need them.

Are appetizers expensive to serve?

You can serve simple canape menus, such as cheese and crackers, platters of veggies and dip, and fresh fruit for a reasonable price. However, the cost per serving can double or even triple when adding proteins such as fish, shrimp, or charcuterie meat to appetizers.