40 Party-Perfect Appetizer Recipes

Only the best appetizer recipes to wow your guests

This roundup will give you all the inspiration you need to keep your guests coming back for more. After all, a party is only as good as its food (in our opinion).

We’ve covered all our bases, from dips to bacon-wrapped things to seafood, there’s so much to choose from. Curate your own hors d'oeuvres bar or make one dish to let it shine alone. Either way, we guarantee you won’t have leftovers.

Acadian Salt Cod Cakes
Acadian Salt Cod Cakes
Salt cod is mashed with fluffy potatoes to make these bite-size pan-fried cakes from Prince Edward Island. Get the recipe for Acadian Salt Cod Cakes »Gemma and Andrew Ingalls
Sfiha (Flatbread with Ground Beef and Tahini Topping)
Sfiha Flatbread with Ground Beef
Drawing the tines of a fork over the savory topping of these flatbreads creates ridges that caramelize as they bake. This recipe first appeared in our December 2013 issue along with Nancy Harmon Jenkins' article Heart of Palestine. Get the recipe for Sfiha (Flatbread with Ground Beef and Tahini Topping) »Ariana Lindquist
Tuna Melt Canapes
tuna, party appetizers, elegant appetizers, entertaining
Curry powder, raisins, and chutney pair nicely with cheddar cheese in this dressed-up tuna melt. Get the recipe for Tuna Melt Canapes »Todd Coleman
Creamy Watercress Dip
watercress dip, easy dips, party appetizers
Creamy cottage cheese combines with watercress, lemon, chive, and parsley to make a bright dip for raw vegetables or chips. Get the recipe for Creamy Watercress Dip »Helen Rosner
Pan-Fried Salt Cod Chips (Fritas de Bacalhau)
Pan-Fried Salt Cod Chips (Fritas de Bacalhau)
A thin batter of salt cod, garlic, and onions is shallow-fried to make fine, crisp chips. Get the recipe for Pan-Fried Salt Cod Chips (Fritas de Bacalhau) »Todd Coleman
Angeli Caffe's Focaccia
Angeli Caffe's Focaccia
Evan Kleiman, the chef and owner of Angeli Caffe (see Family Style) in Los Angeles, gave us this recipe for Italian flat bread, which she tops with 'nduja, a spreadable Italian cured meat. You can buy 'nduja from the San Francisco-based pork store, Boccalone. Get the recipe for Angeli Caffe's Focaccia »André Baranowski
Roasted Carrot and White Bean Dip
Roasted Carrot and White Bean Dip
Carrots are roasted with rosemary and garlic until tender and slightly caramelized before being puréed with cannelini beans and coriander to make a vibrant, sweet, and earthy dip for raw veggies or pita chips. Get the recipe for Roasted Carrot and White Bean Dip »Helen Rosner
Beef Empanadas
Empanadas de Carne (Beef Empanadas)
The classic Argentine empanada is shaped like a half-moon, but the pattern of its seal differs to indicate the unique flavors inside. This recipe, with a braided crimp and a spicy beef filling, is baked rather than fried in Argentine style. Get the recipe for Empanadas de Carne (Beef Empanadas) »Landon Nordeman
Ricotta and Roasted Pepper Frittata (Frittata con Ricotta e Peperoni)
Ricotta and Roasted Pepper Frittata
Calabrians in Italy sometimes add sliced cured sausage to this popular frittata on Easter, to celebrate the end of Lent. Get the recipe for Ricotta and Roasted Pepper Frittata (Frittata con Ricotta e Peperoni) »Andre Baranowski
Lemon Parmesan Dip
Lemon Parmesan Dip
Creamy and bright-tasting, lemon parmesan dip makes for an excellent accompaniment to a chip or crudité platter. Get the recipe for Lemon Parmesan Dip »Helen Rosner
Champiñones Rellenos de Chorizo (Chorizo-Stuffed Mushrooms)
Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms
Roasted mushrooms are stuffed with a chorizo, onion, and cheese filling in a popular snack enjoyed at asados in Buenos Aires. Get the recipe for Champiñones Rellenos de Chorizo (Chorizo-Stuffed Mushrooms) »Landon Nordeman
Marinated Sardine Crostini with Salsa Verde and Fennel
Marinated Sardine Crostini with Salsa Verde and Fennel
These little sandwiches have a big range of flavors, from the salty sardines to to the tangy flavors of tarragon and chive salsa verde. Get the recipe for Marinated Sardine Crostini with Salsa Verde and Fennel »Maxime Lattoni
Beet and Goat Cheese Napoleons
Beet and Goat Cheese Napoleons
These elegant appetizers come from Wolfgang Puck's Los Angeles restaurant Spago. Laurie Ochoa wrote about the groundbreaking chef in "The King of LA," part of our special Los Angeles issue (March 2010). Get the recipe for Beet and Goat Cheese Napoleons »Penny De Los Santos
Fried Chicken Livers
Fried Chicken Livers
Former deputy editor Beth Kracklauer traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, with her father for her survey of the best bar foods in that city. These fried chicken livers topped the list and make a stellar accompaniment to an ice-cold beer. Get the recipe for Fried Chicken Livers »André Baranowski
Feta Tart (Alevropita)
Feta Tart (Alevropita)
Made with a simple egg batter, this feta-studded tart hails from the region of Epirus. Get the recipe for Feta Tart (Alevropita) »James Oseland
Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolmades)
Stuffed Grape Leaves
A meze of stuffed grape leaves is served with a cucumber-yogurt sauce. Get the recipe for Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolmades) »Penny De Los Santos
Tarta de Jamón, Huevo y Tomate (Ham, Egg, and Tomato Pie)
Ham, Egg, and Tomato Pie
A semolina crust encases a savory filling of ham, cheese, tomato, and eggs, perfect for a quick filling lunch. Get the recipe for Tarta de Jamón, Huevo y Tomate (Ham, Egg, and Tomato Pie) »Landon Nordeman
Fried Cucumbers with Sour Cream Dipping Sauce
Fried Cucumbers with Sour Cream Dipping Sauce
Sour cream and fines herbes make a great sauce for cooling down a spicy snack like our fried cucumbers. Get the recipe for Fried Cucumbers with Sour Cream Dipping Sauce »Maxime Iattoni
Zucchini Fritters (Kolokitho Keftedes)
Zucchini Fritters (Kolokitho Keftedes)
Based on a recipe from author Nancy Harmon Jenkins, this Cretan meze dish can be served hot or at room temperature. Get the recipe for Zucchini Fritters (Kolokitho Keftedes) »Todd Coleman
Flatbreads with Two Toppings (Laganes)
Flatbreads with Two Toppings (Laganes)
In Greece, these flatbreads are traditionally cooked on a hearthstone set over hot coals (a cast-iron skillet on the stove works well, too) and served with tomato sauce or sautéed zucchini and feta. Get the recipe for Flatbreads with Two Toppings (Laganes) »Penny De Los Santos
Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta (Garides Saganaki)
Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta
The term saganaki refers to the skillet in which Greeks cook ingredients with cheese. In this appetizer, shrimp is topped with crumbled feta and broiled. Get the recipe for Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta (Garides Saganaki) »Todd Coleman
Fennel and Herb Phyllo Pastries (Hortopita)
Fennel and Herb Phyllo Pastries
These Greek pastries unite a buttery crust with bright-tasting fennel and feta cheese. We featured this recipe—from home cooks Ruth Honegger and Marino Pascal—as part of our special LA issue (March 2010). Get the recipe for Fennel and Herb Phyllo Pastries (Hortopita) »James Oseland
Yankee Fish Cakes
Yankee Fish Cakes
These lemon-and-dill-flavored fish cakes are a favorite of northeastern Massachusetts. Get the recipe for Yankee Fish Cakes »Todd Coleman
Prosciutto, Chile, and Onion Pizza
Prosciutto, Chile, and Onion Pizza
Spicy and salty, with just the right amount of earthy sweetness, this homemade pizza makes a perfect appetizer or main course. Get the recipe for Prosciutto, Chile, and Onion Pizza »André Baranowski
Grilled Green Onions with Romesco
Grilled Green Onions with Romesco
Traditionally, this recipe calls for Spanish calçots and ñora peppers. Scallions and ancho chiles are good substitutes. Get the recipe for Grilled Green Onions with Romesco »Tim E. White/Alamy
Fried Onion Rings
recipe for onion rings
These are the perfect accompaniment to any burger. Get the recipe for Fried Onion Rings »Maura McEvoy
Montasio Cheese Crisps
Montasio Cheese Crisps
Lidia Bastianich, who owns New York's Felidia and operates a restaurant, called Frico, with her son, grew up eating this irresistible fried-cheese snack in her hometown of Pula, Croatia (once part of Italy). Frico may be stuffed with a variety of fillings. When making this simple version, we added a little flour to help the frico to hold its shape. Get the recipe for Montasio Cheese Crisps »Christopher Hirsheimer
Crab-Stuffed Jalapeños
Crab-Stuffed Jalapeños
This dish is based on the crab-stuffed jalapeños found on menus throughout southeast Texas. We found that chilling the chiles after stuffing them makes them easier to coat with bread crumbs and fry. Get the recipe for Crab-Stuffed Jalapeños »André Baranowski
Bacon Wrapped Dates with Almonds
bacon appetizers, bacon recipes, party appetizers
At the Red Cat in New York City, these are a popular choice on the bar menu. Get the recipe for Bacon Wrapped Dates with Almonds »Meredith Heuer
Bacon Wrapped Dates with Almonds
Bacon Wrapped Dates with Almonds
Hot sauce and worcestershire sauce season the cheesy filling for this dish. Get the recipe for Bacon Wrapped Dates with Almonds »André Baranowski
Stuffed Mushrooms
Stuffed Mushrooms
These pillowy mushrooms surprise those who eat them with flavors that turn from delicately sweet to sharp. Get the recipe for Stuffed Mushrooms »Paolo Destefanis
Caramelized Green Beans
aramelized Green Beans
This recipe is borrowed from cookbook author Anne Willan, who developed it at her cooking school, La Varenne, in Burgundy, France. Willan calls them "burnt beans" in her book From My Chateau Kitchen (Clarkson Potter, 2000), noting that they are "a revelation to those familiar only with crisp beans". Get the recipe for Caramelized Green Beans »André Baranowski
Italian Stuffed Clams
Italian Stuffed Clams
Foriana sauce makes a great alternative for the bread crumb stuffing often used on baked or broiled clams. Get the recipe for Italian Stuffed Clams »André Baranowski
Duck Pate
Duck Pate
Patience is the key to making this flavorful pate. Before it is assembled, the ingredients should marinate overnight, and the finished pate should set for at least a day after it's cooked so that the flavors meld. Get the recipe for Duck Pate »Landon Nordeman
Hot Onion Souffle
Hot Onion Souffle
More a dip than a souffle, this delectable dish is a favorite at potluck dinners and tailgating parties. Get the recipe for Hot Onion Souffle »Chris Granger
Salmon Croquettes
Salmon Croquettes
It's important to chill the patties for these sumptuous croquettes (from Atlanta's Watershed) before frying them so that they hold together in the hot skillet. Get the recipe for Salmon Croquettes »André Baranowski
Guatemalan Tamales with Ancho Chile Sauce
Guatemalan Tamales with Ancho Chile Sauce
These banana leaf-wrapped tamales are covered with an outer layer of foil, which ensures that they stay closed when steamed. Alternatively, the foil may be omitted and the tamales tied with kitchen twine. (Parchment paper may be substituted for the banana leaves, as well.) Get the recipe for Guatemalan Tamales with Ancho Chile Sauce »André Baranowski
Mexican Seafood Cocktail
Mexican Seafood Cocktail
This dish is a favorite at Goode Company Seafood in Houston. It goes perfectly with fried tortilla chips and cold beer. Get the recipe for Mexican Seafood Cocktail »Landon Nordeman
Peppers Stuffed with Feta (Piperies Gemistes me Feta)
Peppers Stuffed with Feta
This meze is made in Macedonia with sweet Florina peppers, though Fresno or Anaheim chiles (the former being hotter than the latter) can be substituted. Get the recipe for Peppers Stuffed with Feta (Piperies Gemistes me Feta) »Todd Coleman
Prosciutto Rolls
Prosciutto Rolls
These savory rolls have it all—salty prosciutto, sweet figs, and creamy goat cheese. Get the recipe for Prosciutto Rolls »Ben Fink