Whether you are hosting or heading off to an event, it’s always nice to have an arsenal of go-to party appetizers. These seven party appetizers are my absolute favorite. Honestly, just writing this post is getting me hungry 😝
1. Oysters Rockefeller
This recipe is by far my favorite of the party appetizers on this list. Oysters Rockefeller, initially, was like paella or bread for me: something that I thought would be way too hard to make at home. (One of my goals this year is to make both bread and paella. Woot! Woot!) The truth is the most difficult part of this recipe was googling where to find oysters to buy. Well, except for that one time my husband picked the oysters up, but then forgot to ask them to shuck them for us 😳. Luckily, he’s wonderful and shucked them himself…but that was pretty difficult and took a ton of time.
All to say, ask them to shuck the oysters for you. If you do that, you basically sauté some toppings and bake. And they are CRAZY delicious. Like, now I want to have one hundred fancy parties just to continuously serve and eat these. Also, if you happen to be in Santa Barbara, we get ours at the Santa Barbara Fish Market (super fresh!).
Lastly, Pernod is not cheap. You may be able to find a travel-size bottle—if so, go with that. If not, I bought Ouzo instead, and it works great. Even if you don’t like licorice flavor (which my husband doesn’t), it still tastes amazing in the recipe.
Oh, and the mignonette sauce, we’ve done with and without. Honestly, I don’t think you need it. The flavor profile is already wonderfully complex as is 😉.
Find the recipe for Oysters Rockefeller here.
2. Bacon-Wrapped Dates
YASSSS!! I bring these to parties all the time. This is my go-to, heading-to-a-party appetizer. I like to add candied pecans inside with the goat cheese. And I recommend using thin-sliced bacon (cooks easier) and cutting the bacon into thirds, not halves. Otherwise, it wraps too much around the date and doesn’t cook fully.
Also, I put tin foil at the bottom of the baking sheet and raise the tin foil edges up. This helps keep the grease contained and is easier to clean at the end.
Grab recipe for bacon-wrapped dates.
3. Guac + Chips
I’m a Californian, so this kind of has to be on the list. Avocados may be one of our four major food groups 😉. And everyone has an opinion on how to make the best guacamole. But seriously, here is the secret: use good avocados and make the recipe mostly avocado.
The truth is you can make guacamole out of avocados that are going bad, have brown spots, etc. (And we often do at my house, because why waste an avocado!) But if you want to make really good guacamole, use beautifully ripe, green avocados.
Then, add your favorite salsa. I personally like roasted salsas. Add about a tablespoon for every avocado used. Crack some salt and pepper over, and eat! So simple and so delicious.
People talk about adding onions, and garlic, etc., etc. But just let the salsa do the work. If you already have a salsa you like, and the salsa company already spent time on getting the best proportions for the ingredients, trust me; it will be uh-maz-ing 😊.
I couldn’t decide between bruschetta or caprese for this one. Because I really do love both, but they happen to be pretty similar. I went with bruschetta because I am addicted to small toasts 😍.
This recipe is a great one. And once you do it, you pretty much get the feel for the right proportions and can make it without the recipe.
My only recommended change is to purchase Balsamic Glaze from Trader Joe’s. Then instead of mixing in balsamic, drizzle a little of the glaze of the top. Adds a little sweetness. Yum!
5. Pigs in a Blanket
Confession: this recipe I have not made myself. But I had to track it down and add it because I have been dreaming about these little fancy sausages ever since I ate them. Seriously. I had them at a bridal shower and may have to tried to single-handedly take down the whole plate. #sorrynotsorry 😬
Find the recipe for fancy Pigs in a Blanket here.
6. Cheese Plate
Can we just start with the fact that cheese plates are awesome? Cheese, meat, bread. How can you go wrong? This is another go-to whenever I am hosting. Also, because if I am making more than one appetizer, there is very little prep work with a cheese plate.
My recommendation is to always have a few cheeses that are crowd pleasers and easy to eat for the less adventurous. Brie, a hard cheddar, gouda and asiago are easy options. Then get something that is unique or fun. Maybe something that you just want to try, like a merlot-infused cheese or whatever 😜.
Did you know I have a DIY tutorial on how to make the marble cheese plates pictured above? Super easy and inexpensive.
7. Mushroom Fontina Flatbread with Crispy Sage
I had a similar flatbread at a local restaurant, and it was SO good! Love the mushrooms with the crispy sage.
I highly recommend using naan bread to make this recipe. Long-story short, I wrote a whole post about how ridiculously delicious and easy using naan bread as crust is. It ends up being a fun dinner party, if you want to do flatbreads as the main course instead of just an appetizer. (You can see the results in the photo below.)
Recipe for Mushroom Fontina Flatbread with Crispy Sage.
And there it is! My seven favorite party appetizers!
Do you have any go-to recipes for these sorts of occasions? ☺