My Favorite Easy, Make-Ahead Appetizer: Veggie & Hummus Cups (With 3 Tips)

Gatherings from The Kitchn

Several of you asked me about the crudité and hummus cups I served at the wedding I've been sharing with you this week. These are one of my favorite make-ahead appetizers for a big group; it's so nice to have some fresh, crunchy vegetables in an easy-to-eat format.

Here are a few tips for making these really stand out.

Cutting up mini bell peppers.

1. Get the right container.

I look for small, narrow cups that will keep skinny slices of vegetables standing upright, but also hold the right amount of hummus or dip (I usually put 1 to 2 tablespoons of dip in the cup).

I used these cups: Incline Shot Glasses - Clear, 3 Ounces, $44.99 for 100 at Restaurantware

The cups with just the cucumbers in place.

2. Buy small vegetables, and cut them up.

It's best to use small veggies for these little cups, and to cut them in easily-handled sizes. This time around each cup got:

  • 1 or 2 red or yellow bell pepper slices (I bought these at Costco)
  • 1 mini Persian cucumber slice
  • 1 or 2 sugar snap peas

All of these are of a similar size and shape and looked nice in the cup.

3. It's fine to use store-bought hummus!

I was initially going to make hummus from scratch (you know, pressure cook the chickpeas and DO THE WHOLE THING) and then suddenly I was all, oh look at these nice tubs of hummus at Costco! Done. I was going to doctor up plain hummus with smoked paprika just for that homemade touch, but even that went out the door when I found red pepper hummus that was quite delicious.

→ If you do want to make your own hummus, though: How To Make Hummus from Scratch

This is seriously one of my favorite appetizers — fresh, yummy, and healthy. The cups can be left at room temperature for several hours without worries, and with a few helping hands they're easy to set up.

Of course, I wouldn't go to the trouble for a smaller party where a bowl of dip and a platter of vegetables would suffice, but when you have a large crowd, this kind of presentation lets people grab a serving and move on instead of holding up the line picking out veggies and scooping dip.

(Image credits: Faith Durand)