Here's a well-known truth that we tend to ignore anyway: 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 marinated olives 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.
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.
- Herb-Marinated Mushrooms
- How To Make Deviled Eggs
- How To Make a Cheese Ball
- Garlic and Herb Marinated Mozzarella Bites
- How To Make Cheese Gougères
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.
- Slow Cooker Spinach-Artichoke Dip
- Lemon Garlic Whipped Feta with Pesto
- Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade
- How To Make Hummus from Scratch
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.
- How To Make Puff Pastry Cheese Straws
- How To Make Baked Brie in Puff Pastry
- Smoky Puff Pastry Stars
- Puffed Spirals with Leftover Greens
Don't forget to include something meaty. These are crowd-pleasers that add a little more substance and bulk to the spread.