17 Classic Appetizers Everyone Will Love

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

Here’s a well-known truth that we tend to ignore: There’s no better way to please a crowd and keep your cool than with a spread of tried-and-true favorites. Yes, there are times to try out that new recipe you’ve been ogling, but a cocktail party is not one of them.

From creamy dips to bacon-wrapped dates to cheese puffs, you can rest easy knowing that your friends will gobble up these 17 essential appetizers. Bonus: They’re also easy to pull together without killing your food budget.

Bite-Sized Nibbles

Otherwise known as guaranteed hits, people love bite-sized apps, like olives and cheese, that they can dig into again and again. Even better, most of these recipes can be made ahead of time.

Dips and Spreads

Get the crackers, sliced baguette, pita chips, and veggie sticks ready, because when building any appetizer spread, dips and spreads are a must! It’s up to you whether you prep these quick recipes right before guests arrive, or make them in advance.

Fast & Fancy Appetizers Made with Puff Pastry

You know that package of puff pastry hanging out in the back of the freezer? There is no better time to pull it out than right now. It’s the power ingredient that makes appetizers instantly fancy.

Meaty Favorites

Don’t forget to include something meaty. These are crowd-pleasers that add a little more substance and bulk to the spread.