10 Crowd-Pleasing Snacks & Appetizers for Any Occasion

published Sep 30, 2022
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korean corn cheese dip in a casserole dish, a chip dipping
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jessie Yu Chen

Whether you’re watching the big game or hosting a happy hour, having a solid lineup of snacks and appetizers is key. Although they’re typically served in smaller portions to bridge the gap between meals, the rules are pretty lax. In other words, you can serve them whenever and however you want — even if that means setting out a big spread of small bites and calling it dinner. As part of Kitchn 100, our collection of the recipes you need right now, we’re sharing 10 of our favorite dips, wings, poppers, and more.

1 / 10
The Deviled Egg | Togarashi Deviled Eggs

If you don't have a bottle of Kewpie mayo in your fridge, this is your sign to remedy that ASAP. The Japanese mayo, a touch of honey, and a sprinkling of savory-spicy togarashi take this classic starter from good to eggs-ellent. These simple swaps add a depth to the eggs that you can't quite put your finger on, which is the perfect excuse to go back for seconds. Research!

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2 / 10
The Wings | Lemon Pepper Baked Chicken Wings

The not-so-secret key to the crispiest oven-baked wings: baking powder. We love this recipe as is, with a simple but flavorful lemon-pepper seasoning, but swapping in your favorite spice blend (think: Cajun seasoning, za'atar, or curry powder) is also highly encouraged.

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3 / 10
The Cheesy Dip | Korean Corn Cheese Dip

Inspired by Korean corn cheese, this dip relies mostly on pantry ingredients and comes together in less than 30 minutes. Chopped scallions add freshness, pickled jalapeños bring a hum of heat, and a combo of mayo and mozz provide the creamy cheesiness.

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4 / 10
The Creamy Dip | Smoky Avocado Mutabal

Mutabal, a staple dip in the Arab world, is most commonly made with eggplant. Here, chef Mohammad Abutaha does a version of avocado mutabal with bursts of lime. "Even without the smoking (which I skip), this creamy, savory dip is good enough to eat with a spoon," says Executive Editor, Adriana Velez.

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5 / 10
Credit: The Kitchn
The Happy-Hour Snack | Ina's Puff Pastry Batons

If Coastal Grandmother summer taught us anything, it was that we should have puff pastry stashed in our freezer so we're cocktail-hour ready at all times. These delightfully simple puff pastry snacks from Coastal Grandmother icon, Ina Garten, are easy to prep and feature a generous layer of Dijon and showering of grated Gruyère and Parmesan that you measure with your heart. And, as Senior Contributing Food Editor and pastry-baton fan Sheela Prakash can attest, they're wildly good with happy-hour drinks.

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6 / 10
The Nachos | Okonomiyaki Nachos

Inspired by the ever-versatile Japanese pancake, this umami-packed snack by Recipe Production Coordinator, Justine Lee, checks all the nacho boxes. There's cheese (cheddar and Monterey Jack), crunch (sautéed cabbage), protein (shrimp), heat (shichimi togarashi), and fun toppings (tonkatsu sauce, Kewpie mayo, and bonito flakes).

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7 / 10
The Jalapeño Popper | Dynamite Lumpia

These Filipino-style jalapeño poppers are stuffed with ground pork and cheese and wrapped in lumpia wrappers, which get shatteringly crispy when you fry them up.

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8 / 10
The Bar Snack | Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower

We know, we know: You've seen Buffalo-flavored air-fried cauliflower before. But does your recipe prompt you to toss the sauced cauliflower in a garlicky mix of flour and cornstarch, thus creating an irresistibly crunchy coating? We rest our case.

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9 / 10
The Easy Crowd-Pleaser | The Ultimate Charcuterie Board

This is more of a guide than a recipe, but let Food Editor-at-Large, Christine Gallary, take you step-by-step through your next charcuterie board build. We guarantee your snack spread will be better for it.

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10 / 10
The Super-Quick Dip | Dad’s Blender Salsa Fresca

This amazing four-ingredient recipe (from Executive Editor, Adriana Velez's, dad!) comes together in 15 minutes from start to finish. The just-chunky-enough salsa is a natural with tortilla chips, of course, but you're going to want to have it in the fridge for spooning over eggs and tacos, too.

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