These Dinner Appetizer Ideas are easy to make and a delicious way to start your evening.
Whether you’re planning a full-on dinner party or just want to nibble away while you are preparing your meal, these quick appetizers are delicious and great for a crowd.
Starting with a dinner appetizer is a fun way to make the night feel more special without a ton of extra work. While most of our dinners during the week are simple and fast, the weekend is when I can take my time and make it more of an event.
Easy Appetizer Recipes to Make Before Dinner
It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, dinner appetizers are always needed! I like to keep my food and drinks simple, especially when I’m just cooking for the family.
The best appetizers are the ones that taste great, don’t take a ton of time or effort to make, and aren’t fussy.
These classic appetizer recipes and ideas are perfect for a family meal or a festive dinner party with your best friends.
There’s no set rule on what can be an appetizer which leaves the possibilities endless. An appetizer is basically a pre-meal snack that helps stimulate the appetite.
Quick Appetizers to Serve Before Dinner
These quick appetizers are perfect for a last-minute party where you need to feed a crowd or even just to serve before a family dinner. From classic recipes to unique finger foods, these little bites make the perfect pre-dinner snack.
Quick Appetizers with Cheese
Cheese is always a crowd-pleaser, so one of these quick appetizers, is a great thing to have on hand for your guests to snack on as they please.
Yes, the ingredients of this Goat Cheese Appetizer log with dried rose petals and sumac are a little different but the taste is truly magical! I first decided to make this for a bridal shower because it's pink. But the flavor is unique and addicting! Once you buy the special ingredients you'll have them on hand so you can make this recipe several times. And you'll want to! No idea why there's a "u" on top of that photo...Just roll with it.
This Cheetos and Rosemary Crusted Goat Cheese Log is a fun appetizer for people who like junk food like I do. It's a creative appetizer idea that will put smiles on all your friends faces. With the creamy yet tangy goat cheese and the slight cheese taste from the crushed Cheeto's, this easy appetizer is one you have to try.
This Roasted Tomato Appetizer recipe is ridiculously easy and one that I get the most compliments on! It has a short list of ingredients, like cherry tomatoes, garlic and burrata cheese, but the flavor is BIG! Serve it warm with toasted, sliced baguette for an easy party appetizer that you'll want to make all the time.
Because burrata cheese is so delicious, here is another recipe for a creamy party starter. Garlic and basil give the cheese a ton of flavor. You'll find your guests huddled around this plate for sure. Serve it on crostini or crackers and sit back and watch how fast it's eaten.
Easy Horderves You'll Love
These easy horderves are just 1-2 bites and a great way to ensure that your guests don't starve until dinner.
These Baked Salami Chips are one of the best party appetizers to serve for a casual party. The salty chips are made by roasting individual salami chips until they crisp up with curly edges. Serve them with dip or eat them on their own. These delicious finger foods can be made a bunch at a time!
These easy Bacon-Wrapped Dates are quicker than they seem! Using pre-cooked bacon ensures these sweet and salty finger foods bake up fast. The creamy filling inside the sweet date is what dreams are made of.
I've always loved to serve warm Artichoke Dip at parties so I decided to try it out in a new way and put it in a slider! This basically turns my favorite cheesy dip into finger food. Or like a really gooey grilled cheese sandwich. Either way, you'll love it!
You've probably never heard of these Dried Beef Roll-ups before but you NEED to make these! They are made from dried beef slices, cream cheese and a touch of horseradish. No one ever leaves the party without asking for this recipe. It's the perfect little salty bite!
My family loves a good taco night so we figured out how to turn those flavors into an easy appetizer (although we eat these for dinner too!). These Salsa Chicken Taco Cups use shredded chicken, made in the Instant Pot, and premade shells make these cups fast and crunchy!
These Blue Cheese Steak Bites are tangy and delicious. With a cracker base and hearty steak stips, this yummy appetizer is great for a girl's night or dinner party. Blue cheese and balsamic are a perfect pair.
Warm Appetizers are Absolutely Delicious
Along with some cold options, these warm appetizers are full of flavor and a great pre-dinner snack.
My husband loves stuffed jalapenos but they take so long to make. I figured out how to get that similar flavor and make it into a dip. This easy Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip Is super tasty! The dried beef adds the perfect amount of salt.
Tator Tots are totally underrated. These Loaded Tater Tots are a warm appetizer idea that is full of potato goodness. The Buffalo Aioli sauce and blue cheese give this easy finger food idea a little bit of a kick.
If you're looking for appetizers for a crowd you definitely need to try this delicious warm dip. This Bacon Cheese Dip is creamy, cheesy and full of bacon flavor. This easy recipe is always a good idea!
I am a HUGE fan of nachos but sometimes I like to switch things up and use potato chips instead. With an easy blue cheese sauce, and crunchy bacon, these Blue Cheese Potato Chip Nachos are crunchy and salty and creamy and wonderful.
Quick Snack Recipes are Essential
These easy quick snack recipes are perfect for sharing with friends while they wait for dinner to be ready.
This Avocado Hummus Recipe is a delicious twist on the classic appetizer. The avocado is a great way to take basic hummus and make it extra special for your party guests. This recipe has a nice creaminess and is one of my favorite snacks to serve.
Sage is for more than just your turkey dressing. This Bacon Sage Dip takes your basic chip dip and gives it even more flavor. I LOVE the smell of fresh herbs and it adds a nice savory component to this bacon dip. Serve it with crackers or sliced baguette for a great party appetizer.
Cheese balls always make great tailgate appetizers or snack idea. This recipe is for the Best Cheese Ball ever. I've been making for years. With the cheddar and blue cheese means your guests will love it and if there is any leftover you'll find yourself eating it for lunch the next day…
If you like regular cheese balls, you have to try this Chicken Cheese Ball. With a little ranch and bacon, this flavorful appetizer is coated in pecan pieces for a crunchy bite. Serve it with crackers or eat it with a spoon. You know you'll want to.
Dried beef is not a common ingredient but it's one of my favorite ways to add a savory and salty note to a dish. This Dried Beef Cheese Ball is great for crackers and a great pairing if you are serving a lot of sweet dishes at your party.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different types of appetizers?
There are a lot of different types of appetizers you can serve before dinner. And while there are technical terms, we common folk don’t really know the true meanings of the words. I would say that you can sort them into crudite (think fresh veggies with a dip of some kind), chip and dip, hot or cold hors d’oeuvres (a bite-sized snack) or a small soup or salad.
How many different appetizers should I serve?
If you are making a dinner appetizer for your family meal on a regular night, one is fine. If you are hosting a dinner party you may want a few more. One or two is always a great option. Or a super casual cheese ball keeps things easy.
How many appetizers would you serve at a cocktail party?
If you want to do appetizers for a dinner party, I would serve at least, 6 different bites and party hors d’oeuvres. Serve a variety of flavors and make sure that you have enough to help people put a little food in their bellies to combat the effects of the cocktails.
If you are doing an appetizer-only shindig, go hog wild! Especially if this falls around dinner time. I always try to be mindful of what time I’m having people over and make sure that I am giving them what they need.
How do you set up an appetizer buffet?
An appetizer buffet can have a mix of easy dips, finger foods, meat and cheeses, etc. It’s also a good idea to have a mix of warm appetizers and cold items so you don’t have to fuss over the temperature of everything.
How do you calculate the actual number of pieces per person?
Our Everyday Life has an appetizer calculator to help you figure out how many pieces you should make for each person.
This list of quick and easy appetizers are here to give you some unique ideas to serve your guests and keep you from spending more time in the kitchen than you need to. These recipes are simple and delicious!
Sharon lives in Southern California with her adorable family. She loves to share easy recipes and ideas to make mom life easier and encourage gathering friends at home! Sharon's "me" time often includes watching spy shows, sipping sauvignon blanc, trying not to eat Salt and Pepper potato chips, and planning girlfriend getaways.