Ideas for the Easiest Appetizers You'll Serve

  • 01 of 10

    Easy Antipasto Appetizer

    Simple Antipasto
    Simple Antipasto Appetizer. Donna Pilato

    Few people have time to fuss in the kitchen when preparing for a party. You want good food that will make a good impression on your guests. Well, with a combination of good ingredients, and attractive presentation, you can put together a selection of appetizers that will wow your guests with their variety, color, and  a combination of different flavors. Any or all of these appetizers will be a good lead into a dinner party. They can also stand alone at a cocktail party or holiday open house.

    Start...MORE with a mini antipasto. Pile good quality prosciutto on a cheese board. Add two or three varieties of your favorite cheeses. Finish with a bunch of grapes or chunks of melon. The sweet and salty combination will be irresistible.

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  • 02 of 10

    An Update to the Classic Cheese Ball

    Cheese and Jam Cocktail Party Snack
    Cheese and Jam Cocktail Party Snack or Appetizer. Donna Pilato
    Put a twist on the classic party cheese ball. Take a block of cream cheese (the light variety works fine). Spread your favorite jam on top, and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Stonewall Kitchens makes a variety of jams that go well in savory snacks. Their Fig and Ginger Jam is shown in this photo.
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  • 03 of 10

    Hummus Appetizer

    Hummus and Celery
    Hummus and Celery Appetizer. Donna Pilato
    You can easily make your own hummus, but you can just as easily purchase high quality hummus in places ranging from specialty food stores to regular supermarkets. Sabra makes different types of readily available hummus with several varieties of flavor and texture.

    You can serve your hummus in a traditional flat bowl with pita bread triangles. Or just offer a small, appealing dollop of the spread dusted with paprika, along with cut up veggies such as celery or carrots. The plates used to serve it...MORE in this photo come from a Japanese dinnerware set.

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  • 04 of 10

    Marcona Almonds as an Easy Appetizer

    Marcona Almonds
    Marcona Almonds as an Easy Appetizer. Donna Pilato

    There are cocktail peanuts, and then there are Marcona Almonds. These incredibly delicious almonds can stand alone without the accompaniment of other nut varieties. Don't they look yummy in this blue bowl? They can be found in specialty food stores, although they aren't cheap. But can you put a price on a wonderful cocktail party snack that requires nothing more than pouring it into an attractive bowl?

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  • 05 of 10

    Herbed Green Olives as an Appetizer

    Herbed Green Olives
    Herbed Green Olives as an Appetizer. Donna Pilato

    Green olives always add just the right touch of saltiness combined with a satisfying texture. Purchase or make the herbed variety of these olives to expand the flavors at your cocktail buffet. Note how attractive they look served in a mini ice cream sundae dish.

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  • 06 of 10

    Prosciutto and Bread Sticks as an Appetizer

    Bread Sticks and Prosciutto
    Bread Sticks and Prosciutto as an Appetizer. Donna Pilato

    Here's a salty, crunchy alternative to pretzels. Take bread sticks or grissini, the extra skinny ones, and wrap prosciutto around them. Make the prosciutto "stick" by spreading a thin layer of boursin cheese on the ham before wrapping it around the bread stick. Serve in a tall glass or other appropriate piece. An antique silver, sugar bowl is show in this picture.

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  • 07 of 10

    Radishes and Sea Salt as an Appetizer

    Radishes and Sea Salt
    Radishes and Sea Salt as an Appetizer. Donna Pilato
    Here's a stripped down version of a classic veggie tray. Trim a bunch of radishes and serve with coarse sea salt for dipping. For extra color, experiment with different color sea salts. sells sea salt from around the world, directly online and in specialty food stores.
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  • 08 of 10

    Sopressata Slices as an Appetizer

    Sopressata Slices
    Sopressata Slices as an Appetizer. Donna Pilato
    Sopressata is a type of Italian salami that is dry-cured. It usually comes in rolls that are thicker than pepperoni, but skinnier than genoa salami. Serve slices on an attractive plate for a delicious, savory appetizer.
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  • 09 of 10

    Tortellini Skewers and Dip as an Appetizer

    Tortellini Skewers and Dip
    Tortellini Skewers and Dip as an Appetizer. Donna Pilato
    This appetizer is as easy as the others, although it will take a tiny bit longer to prepare. You'll need to boil a package of cheese tortellini (find a package of mixed colors), following the timing on package. Once cooked and drained, toss them with a few tablespoons of olive oil to keep them from sticking together. Next, thread the tortellini on wooden skewers and lay them on a tray. Serve with your favorite creamy Italian or Caesar dressing. In this photo I serve the dressing in a crystal...MORE milk pitcher.
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  • 10 of 10

    Wasabi Peas as an Appetizer

    Wasabi Peas
    Wasabi Peas as an Appetizer. Donna Pilato
    Once upon a time these tantalizing dried peas could only be found in Asian specialty markets. Now I find them in most of the food markets in my area. As spicy as these peas are, most people find themselves going back for more. They definitely beat cheese puffs in my book.