Hors d’oeuvres come in all forms, but for our money the best finger foods are deep-fried. Whether you’re making game day snacks or party appetizers, you can’t go wrong with a spread of fried appetizers. From bar food staples like Buffalo wings, French fries, and tater tots to more refined options like anchovy-stuffed zucchini blossoms, artichoke hearts, and mushroom tempura, we’ve rounded up our favorite deep-fried finger food recipes.
When it comes to fried snacks, it doesn’t get more classic than French fries and onion rings. To give our French fries a deep, meaty flavor we fry them in a mixture of duck fat and canola oil. For our sweet potato fries we stick with vegetable oil, letting the flavor of sweet potato shine. For onion rings, we have two delicious optionsmdash;try battering the onions in a mix of honey, paprika, and lager beer or dipping them in buttermilk and crusting them with cornmeal.
A simple frying elevates all kinds of vegetables to comfort-food perfection. Check out our recipes for fried artichokes and mushroom tempura. Even vegetables that are typically garnishes become a satisfying snack when fried—try frying scallions, as well as parsley, basil, mint, and other herbs.
Fried seafood is crunchy, briny, and awesome. Fried oysters are a favorite of ours, especially when served with a spicy remoulade or a zesty dip made with butter and hot sauce. For something a little more substantial, stuff sardines with an herbaceous charmoula and fry until crispy.
Find all of these recipes and more in our collection of deep-fried finger food recipes.
An adaptation of the fried wonton, crab rangoon is one of the most enduringly popular appetizers at the posh Polynesian restaurant chain Trader Vic’s.
Get the recipe for Crab Rangoon »
Soft boiled eggs are encased in boudin sausage, tossed in bread crumbs, and then deep-fried in this recipe from chef Harold Marmulstein of Austin restaurant
Salty Sow. Get the recipe for Boudin Scotch Eggs »
Alaskan Shrimp Chips
Mother-daughter chef team, Kirsten and Mandy Dixon, turn this staple of Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine into an addictive snack and appetizer served at their rural Alaskan adventure lodges, Within the Wild. Get the recipe for
Alaskan Shrimp Chips
Crispy breading encases gooey melted mozzarella cheese in this classic appetizer.
Get the recipe for Mozzarella Sticks »
The chicken for this Japanese homestyle dish is traditionally coated in mochiko, sweet rice flour, before frying, but cooks at Ethel’s Grill in Honolulu, Hawaii, use Japanese potato starch to yield an extra-crispy crust.
Get the recipe for Hawaiian Fried Chicken (Mochiko Chicken with Ponzu) »
This recipe makes a party-size batch of chips, perfect as a snack (with or without a dip) or as a side dish—not only with sandwiches but also on the plate with roasted or grilled meats (or game). If there are chips left over, cover them loosely with aluminum foil and store in a cool, dry place.
Get the recipe for Potato Chips »
These spicy, crunchy fries are our take on the
classic packaged snack. Get the recipe for Hot Fries »
Using a traditional French confit method in which the potatoes are slow-cooked in duck fat, chef David Kinch, of Michelin-starred
Manresa restaurant in Los Gatos, CA, makes a particularly luxurious tot. Get the recipe for David Kinch’s Tater Tots »
Making for a substantial snack, Rosa Pepe stuffs olives with a simple beef and pork filling; then dredges them in breadcrumbs before crisping them up in the deep-fryer.
Get the recipe for Fried Stuffed Castelvetrano Olives »
For this simple hors d’oeuvre, delicate zucchini flowers are filled with salty fish and batter-fried.
Tender, braised beef brisket is combined with raisins, sherry, pine nuts, and spicy chile powder in the fragrant filling for sugar-dusted, savory-sweet empanadas.
Get the recipe for Beef Brisket and Picadillo-Stuffed Empanadas »
To make these crisp-crusted fritters, mashed potatoes blended with pan-fried shallots and freshly grated nutmeg are dipped in beaten egg and fried.
Get the recipe for Padang-Style Mashed Potato Fritters (Perkedel Kenteng) »
Crispy chickpea-battered vegetable fritters are a popular street-food snack throughout India. This recipe calls for potatoes and onion, but cauliflower florets, eggplant slices, or plantains can also be used.
Get the recipe for Indian Vegetable Fritters (Pakoras) »
Honey-Dill Dipping Sauce
With their golden, flaky shells and sweet aroma, Indian samosas are a crowd-pleasing classic.
Get the recipe for Indian Spiced Potato Pastries (Aloo Samose) »
Fried oysters are paired with a garlicky sauce in this toothsome appetizer served at Upperline, a restaurant in New Orleans’ Uptown neighborhood.
For this Mumbai street-food snack w, mashed potatoes are seasoned with cumin, mustard seeds, curry leaves, ginger, and chile; balls of the aromatic mash are then coated in a turmeric-accented chickpea-flour batter and deep-fried until crisp and golden.
Get the recipe for Indian Mashed Potato Fritters (Aloo Bonda) »
Barbecue chips’ smoky, tangy flavors are easy to create at home with a simple mixture that combines classic barbecue sauce spices such as chile powder, garlic powder, and onion powder, with the added kick of cayenne pepper.
A flavorful batter infused with honey, paprika, and lager beer is the secret to these crunchy onion rings.
Get the recipe for Beer-Battered Onion Rings »
A thin batter of salt cod, garlic, and onions is shallow-fried to make fine, crisp chips.
Oyster shells act as a natural serving platter for these crispy fried oysters with a creamy, spicy sauce.
Fried Chicken Livers
Fresh or canned sardines can be used in this spicy, crispy Moroccan snack. Eat ’em like french fries.
Get the recipe for Charmoula-Stuffed Sardines »
Broccoli Rabe and Italian Sausage Fried Ravioli
Based on a recipe from author Nancy Harmon Jenkins, this Cretan meze dish can be served hot or at room temperature.
Crab Spring Rolls
For this Mumbai street-food snack from Raghavan Iyer, chunks of potato are dredged in a light chickpea-and-rice-flour batter that is spiced with turmeric and chile powder. The potatoes are then deep fried until a golden crust forms and served with cilantro and tamarind chutneys. The spiced batter can be also used for other vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli florets, sliced plantain, and eggplant.
Crunchy on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside—this is eggplant at its best.
Get the recipe for Fried Eggplant »
The pale yellow, thin-skinned sweet potato and the moister, orange-fleshed American “yam” (which is not really a yam, but another kind of sweet potato) both work well for these alternatives to conventional french fries.
We found this recipe—a flavorful local favorite, in which tender artichoke bottoms are fried and served with an intense, tahini-based sauce—at al-Az, a casual but well-known restaurant in Damascus.
Get the recipe for Fried Artichoke Hearts with Taratur Sauce »
Earthy sage enhances the woodsy flavor of shiitake mushrooms in this simple fried appetizer.
A popular snack along Senegal’s coast where seafood is plentiful, these small fried hand pies are filled with a spicy herb and fish filling.
Get the recipe for Fried Fish Pies (Pastels) »
These classic wings are tossed in margarine and hot sauce, just like at
Anchor Bar where they were invented.
A decadent mixture of Gruyère, garlic, wine, and kirsch is scooped onto bread rounds and fried to perfection—golden and crisp outside, gooey inside.
Get the recipe for Swiss Fondue Fritters (Malakoffs) »
Crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside, potato croquettes filled with a combination of white cheddar and salty ham are the ultimate party snack.
Get the recipe for Virginia Ham and White Cheddar Croquettes »
Buttermilk-dipped and cornmeal-crusted onion rings are fried extra-crispy at Anthony’s Steakhouse in Omaha.
Get the recipe for Cornmeal-Crusted Onion Rings »
Crunchy, batter-fried parsley sprigs not only make a great appetizer, but are equally good as a garnish for grilled fish or soup.
Any way you make it, there is nothing like falafel’s first bite: the crisp-fried exterior giving way to a creamy center of seasoned mashed beans, garlic, and parsley.
In this take on a traditional Sephardic Jewish dish,
culupidia frita con limón, cauliflower are coated in a flour and egg batter, fried, and then bathed in lemon juice. As a side or a snack, it’s crunchy, tender, and brimming with fresh, tangy flavor. Get the recipe for Lemony Fried Cauliflower »
The secret to the stellar bistro fries? Duck fat, a superior frying medium that gives the potatoes a deep, meaty flavor.