13 Quick Appetizers for a Last-Minute Happy Hour

updated Nov 10, 2021
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(Image credit: Michael Wiltbank)

When it’s happy hour time, the apps you munch on just might be as important as the drink itself, since it’s a good idea to have a little food in your stomach while you sip your glass of wine. And as we slowly begin to gather with family and friends again, and are headed into holiday season, it feels like the perfect time to get a few quick and easy happy hour appetizer ideas in our back pocket. From garlic bread-inspired puff pastry pinwheels to cheese-stuffed bite-size peppers to citrus-marinated olives, here are 13 of our go-to picks.

1 / 13
Mozzarella-Stuffed Peppadew Peppers
The best thing about this 3-ingredient app is that it won’t tie you up in the kitchen, but *will* impress your guests.
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2 / 13
Flaky Garlic Bread Pinwheels
These two-bite garlic bread-inspired pinwheels are made with store-bought puff pastry, which means they come together without fuss.
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3 / 13
Fresh Veggies with Cumin-Lime Yogurt Dip
You very well may already have the three ingredients to pull this dip together in your kitchen. Feel free to buy pre-cut veggies to make it even easier.
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4 / 13
Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche Kettle Chips
Turn a bag of potato chips into a fast and fancy appetizer by adding smoked salmon and tangy crème fraîche to the equation and it's sure to be a win.
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5 / 13
Cacio e Pepe Popcorn
This popcorn, inspired by the classic Roman pasta dish, is tossed with lots of Pecorino Romano cheese and black pepper, which makes it both savory and irresistible.
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6 / 13
Creamy Avocado Dip
Avocados and goat cheese join forces to make one creamy, tangy dip that's awesome with not only crudité, but also tortilla chips and crackers.
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7 / 13
Pepperoni Chips
Bake pepperoni slices in an oven for less than 10 minutes and the result is salty, gluten-free chips that are great on their own or served alongside your favorite cheese.
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8 / 13
Hot Crab Puffs
These comforting bites are easy to make, thanks to store-bought puff pastry, and are filled with creamy, warm crab dip.
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9 / 13
Lemon-Garlic Whipped Feta with Pesto
A whirl in the food processor or blender turns a crumbly hunk of feta cheese into the creamiest dip you could imagine.
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10 / 13
Smoky Puff Pastry Stars
Cutting the puff pastry dough into stars makes these appetizers extra cute, but it's the smoked paprika that gives them a sophisticated twist.
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11 / 13
Maple-Tamari Roasted Almonds
Tamari gives a salty, umami-rich flavor to these roasted almonds, which is balanced out by sweet, nutty maple syrup.
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12 / 13
Butter-Baked Saltines with Chili Crisp Yogurt Dip
Butter-baked crackers pair delightfully with a spicy, garlicky yogurt dip, made with plain yogurt and chili crisp. It transports well and wows any crowd, making it the ultimate potluck side.
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13 / 13
Marinated Olives with Basil and Orange Peel
Bonus: When the olives are gone, you can drizzle the infused oil on crostini or use it to finish soups.
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