38 Make-Ahead Appetizer Recipes to Always Have on Hand (2024)

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38 Make-Ahead Appetizer Recipes to Always Have on Hand (1)Taste of Home EditorsUpdated: Feb. 29, 2024

    Be prepared for parties and potlucks with make-ahead appetizer recipes that can be prepped the night before.


    Appetizer Tortilla Pinwheels

    A friend gave me this recipe, and whenever I serve these tortilla roll ups, people ask me for the recipe, too! The cream cheese pinwheels can be made ahead of time and sliced just before serving, leaving you time for other last-minute party preparations.—Pat Waymire, Yellow Springs, Ohio

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    Marinated Cheese

    This special appetizer always makes it to our neighborhood parties and is the first to disappear from the buffet table. It's attractive, delicious—and so easy! —Laurie Casper, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania

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    Antipasto Kabobs

    My husband and I met at a cooking class. We have loved creating menus and entertaining ever since. These make-ahead antipasto skewers are always a hit. —Denise Hazen, Cincinnati, Ohio

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    Baby Swiss Appetizer Cheesecake

    This beautiful cheesecake appetizer can be refrigerated up to 24 hours before serving, so it's the perfect make-ahead recipe for holidays, game days or special occasions. —Marilyn Edelman, Sabetha, Kansas

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    Make-Ahead Sausage Pinwheels

    Filled with sausage, sweet pepper and cream cheese, these roll-ups are excellent for unexpected visitors, Christmas appetizers, a co*cktail party or a halftime snack. Besides being easy to make, they can be done way ahead and kept in the freezer. All you have to do is pop them into a hot oven! —Cindy Nerat, Menominee, Michigan

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    Veggie Dill Dip

    I like to keep this good-for-you dip on hand, along with a variety of cut-up vegetables, for an easy snack.—Hazel Baber, Yuma, Arizona

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    Cheese/Grape Appetizers

    These small bites are well worth the time they take. Serve them as part of an antipasto platter or as a cheese course alongside your favorite wine. —Eleanor Grofvert, Kalamazoo, Michigan

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    Chicken Salad Caprese

    This unique, flavorful salad and bread combo will get rave reviews—guaranteed. —Frances Pietsch, Flower Mound, Texas

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    Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread

    This festive dip is a snap to make ahead for Thanksgiving, taking only 10 minutes from start to finish. Thanks to its hint of sweetness, both kids and adults will gobble it up. —Frankie Robinson, Lockhart, Texas


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    Herbed Cheese Wafers

    These bite-sized snacks are rich, buttery and full of flavor. You can serve them alone or with a dip.—Mildred Sherrer, Fort Worth, Texas

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    Layered Mediterranean Dip with Pita Chips

    Not your ordinary layer dip, the bold combination of hummus and Greek yogurt will be a new most-requested recipe at your next baby shower or gathering. —Elizabeth Dumont, Boulder, Colorado

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    Hot Crab Pinwheels

    I got the recipe for these crabmeat bites from a friend. What amazed me most is that my husband, who hates seafood, couldn't stop eating them. —Kitti Boesel, Woodbridge, Virginia

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    Mini Muffuletta

    People love these hearty little sandwich wedges. The recipe is great for a party and can be made the day before.—Gareth Craner, Minden, Nevada

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    Mediterranean Pastry Pinwheels

    These quick appetizers are irresistible. The flavors of sun-dried tomatoes and pesto balance beautifully. —Kristen Heigl, Staten Island, New York

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    Mini Grilled Cheese

    If you're looking for a fantastic make-ahead snack, try these miniature grilled cheese sandwiches. They're nice to have in the freezer for lunch with soup or a salad. My family loves to nibble on them anytime. —Anita Curtis, Camarillo, California

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    Crispy Sriracha Spring Rolls

    While in the Bahamas, friends suggested a restaurant that served amazing chicken spring rolls. When I got home, I created my own version. Such a great appetizer to have waiting in the freezer! —Carla Mendres, Winnipeg, Manitoba

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    Bacon Cheeseburger Slider Bake

    I created this dish to fill two pans because these sliders disappear fast. Cut the recipe in half if you want one batch. —Nick Iverson, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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    Ginger Pork Lettuce Wraps

    When I make Asian-spiced lettuce wraps with lean ground pork, I remind my family they’re meant to be an appetizer—but maybe I should just call it supper. —Mary Kisinger, Medicine Hat, Alberta

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    Mini Phyllo Tacos

    For a winning appetizer, serve crispy phyllo cups filled with taco-seasoned ground beef and shredded cheese. These handheld bites will be a surefire hit with a hungry crowd. —Roseann Weston, Philipsburg, Pennsylvania

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    Pork Taquitos

    These taquitos freeze very well, so you can make a big batch and enjoy them anytime. Microwave the tortillas before filling for easier rolling. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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    Buffalo Chicken Pockets

    Here’s my idea of pub food made easy: biscuits flavored with Buffalo wing sauce and blue cheese. They're my Friday night favorite. —Maria Regakis, Saugus, Massachusetts

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    Broccoli-Cheddar Tassies

    Our family adores broccoli casserole. I wanted to try it as an appetizer, so I used a pecan tassie recipe for the crust. The result? We’re talking scrumptious. —Gail Gaiser, Ewing, New Jersey

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    Warm Goat Cheese in Marinara

    Every family has a recipe they pull out time and again when the gang gathers, and goat cheese warmed in a marinara sauce is one of those household favorites. Minced basil and cracked black pepper give it that fresh and alive finish. —Jan Valdez, Chicago, Illinois

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    Bacon-Cheddar Potato Croquettes

    Instead of throwing out leftover mashed potatoes, use them to make this potato croquette recipe. The little baked balls are yummy with ranch dressing, barbecue sauce or Dijon mayonnaise for dipping. —Pamela Shank, Parkersburg, West Virginia

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    Chicken Crescent Wreath

    Here's an impressive-looking dish that's a snap to prepare. Even when my cooking time is limited, I can still serve this delicious crescent wreath. The red pepper and green broccoli add a festive touch. —Marlene Denissen, St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin

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    Potato Chip Chicken Strips

    This novel recipe is a fast and tasty change from fried chicken.—Sister Judith LaBrozzi, Canton, Ohio

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    My husband and I are both graduate students right now, so we don't have a lot of time to cook dinner. Our family loves coming home to this incredible nacho platter, and I love how easy it is to prepare. —Faith Stokes, Chickamauga, Georgia

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    Baked Egg Rolls

    These egg rolls are low in fat but the crispiness from baking will fool you into thinking they were fried! —Barbara Lierman, Lyons, Nebraska

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    Sweet 'n' Tangy Chicken Wings

    I love the convenience of slow-cooker recipes for get-togethers. Start these sweet and sour chicken wings a few hours ahead of time and you'll have fantastic appetizers ready when your guests arrive. —Ida Tuey, South Lyon, Michigan

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    Crispy Goat Cheese Appetizers

    Want an amazing party starter? Coat slices of goat cheese with seasoned bread crumbs, fry them until golden-brown and top them off with tomato, basil, vinegar and pine nuts. —Julia TenHoeve, Richmond, Virginia

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    Growing up, I loved pocket pastries. Now, with a busy family, I need quick bites. My spin on the classic ham and cheese delivers as a snack or for supper. —Jennifer Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California

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    Almond Cheddar Appetizers

    I always try to have a supply of these appetizers on hand in the freezer. If guests drop in, I just pull some out and reheat to serve. They work great as a snack, for brunch or along with a lighter lunch. —Linda Thompson, Southampton, Ontario

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    Dilled Mushroom Turnovers

    My bite-sized mushroom pastries are hard to resist. For parties, I prep and freeze them ahead, then pop them into the oven when guests are on the way. —Isabella Michel-Clark, Sparks, Nevada

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    Spanakopita Bites

    For an easy spanakopita, try this version that is made in a pan, then cut into squares. It has all the wonderful taste of the classic version—buttery phyllo with a spinach-cheese filling—but is so simple to do. —Barbara Smith, Chipley, Florida

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    Taste of Home

    Onion Brie Bowl

    Golden caramelized onions are paired with buttery, silky brie in this warm spread. Make sure to have enough bread cubes or crackers to use up every gooey bit. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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    Sausage Wonton Cups

    Here’s a tasty hot appetizer for all those parties that feature fun finger foods. I’ve made this recipe several times, and these bites always disappear so fast. It’s really easy. —Shirley Van Allen, High Point, North Carolina

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    Crispy Baked Wontons

    These quick, versatile wontons are great for a savory snack or paired with a bowl of soothing soup on a cold day. I usually make a large batch, freeze half on a floured baking sheet, then store in an airtight container. —Brianna Shade, Beaverton, Oregon

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    Originally Published: April 03, 2019

    38 Make-Ahead Appetizer Recipes to Always Have on Hand (2024)


    What are the most popular finger foods for parties? ›

    Some of my favorites: Deviled eggs, bruschetta, crackers with cheese and dried salami, artichoke & spinach dip with tortilla chips, stuffed mushrooms, mini-spanakopita, Chinese dumplings. What are some tasty but easy to make snacks or appetizers that don't involve any cooking? Salami cheese wraps.

    What appetizer is a known as crowd pleaser? ›

    Deviled eggs are always a crowd-pleaser, but the addition of buttery avocado makes the filling extra smooth and rich. In order to dress them up for the party, finish them with chives to add a little something that will have everyone coming back for seconds.

    What to cook for 20 guests? ›

    • Hearty Baked Penne Pasta. This recipe feeds an army. ...
    • Tasty Taco Bar. Everything you need to make your own Taco Bar at home. ...
    • Baked Potato Bar. ...
    • Crockpot Ham. ...
    • Killer Carnitas. ...
    • Chicken Spaghetti. ...
    • Ham and Cheese Sliders. ...
    • Shredded Beef Tacos.
    Apr 2, 2024

    What is a good meal to serve 20 people? ›

    Breakfast Burrito Buffet (great any time of the day!) Nacho or Taco Bar (This meaty cheese dip recipe is our favorite! It's easy to make in bulk and is always a crowd pleaser.) Baked Potato Bar (Bake potatoes in a crock pot or large roaster to make it easy.

    What are the 7 appetizers? ›

    What are the 7 appetizers?
    • co*cktails.
    • Hors d' oeuvres.
    • Canape.
    • Relishes/Crudité
    • Salads.
    • Soup & Consommé
    • Chips & Dips.

    What is the simplest appetizer that gives attractive appearance? ›

    Fresh Fruits and Vegetables – are the simplest appetizer. Fruits are good appetizers because they give an attractive appearance, fragrance, appealing taste and delicious flavor. For example, you could serve a platter of thinly sliced cucumbers, chunks of red bell pepper and baby carrots.

    What is finger food appetizer? ›

    Finger foods are small, individual portions of food that are eaten out of hand. They are often served at social events. The ideal finger food usually does not create any mess (such as crumbs or drips), but this criterion is often overlooked in order to include foods like tacos.

    How do you feed 40 guests on a budget? ›

    19 Ideas For Easy Meals For Large Groups
    1. Taco Bar. A taco bar is one of the best inexpensive meals for large groups. ...
    2. Meatballs. ...
    3. Butter Chicken. ...
    4. Lasagna. ...
    5. Chili. ...
    6. Homemade Pizza. ...
    7. Baked Pasta. ...
    8. Skewers.
    Apr 4, 2023

    What is the hottest appetizer trend? ›

    Dumplings, spring rolls, tempura and other Asian appetizers beyond egg rolls are having their star moment – even in non-ethnic restaurants.

    What is considered the simplest appetizer? ›

    Fresh Fruits and Vegetables – are the simplest appetizer. Fruits are good appetizers because they give an attractive appearance, fragrance, appealing taste and delicious flavor. For example, you could serve a platter of thinly sliced cucumbers, chunks of red bell pepper and baby carrots.

    What are the 8 appetizers? ›

    From wings, dips, cheesy goodness, and party snacks—these delicious foods can be enjoyed anytime!
    • Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Wings.
    • Chipotle Shrimp Taco Bites.
    • Chorizo Queso Dip.
    • Garlic and Goat Cheese Bites.
    • Baked Parsnip Chips.
    • Hot Crab, Spinach, and Artichoke Dip.
    • Frank's RedHot Wings.

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