5 Easy Party Appetizers

tarte flambee“I can make a meal out of these appetizers!”

How many times have you heard someone say that?

If we’re friends in real life, then you probably hear it from me every time we’re out for dinner. I love appetizers, especially party appetizers. And I love throwing dinner parties with multiple apps, lots of wine, and dessert. The main course is typically simple, almost like an afterthought (although I do make some mean entrees too, like this sangria chicken), but I take great joy in preparing – and eating! – these little bites.

I put together five of my favorite appetizers. These are all easy to prepare, with simple ingredients and few instructions. I guarantee they would be a hit at your next dinner party.

(Or if you want to just make a bunch and eat it for dinner, let me know and I will come over!)

tarte flambe wholeTarte Flambee – this is also known as flammekueche, but I prefer a recipe title I can pronounce. It’s an Alsatian dish of a rolled out dough and traditionally topped with creme fraiche, onions, and lardons. It’s essentially a fancy French pizza. My version is make with frozen puff pastry, and I also add a little gruyere on top for extra cheesy goodness. Cut it in squares to serve at your next party, and your guests will be saying “oui!”

goat cheese and hot pepper jelly bruschettaGoat Cheese and Avocado Bruschetta with Hot Pepper Jelly – make bruschetta from slices of a French baguette: brush generously with olive oil, then toast in a hot oven. Then mash an avocado, season it with salt, pepper, and a pinch of chili pepper flakes, and slather it on. Top the bruschetta with goat cheese and finish it with hot pepper jelly, which has the perfect balance of sweetness, tartness, and spice.

stuffed mushroomsStuffed Mushrooms – I can’t have an appetizer round-up without this classic! If you’re thinking, “Ooooh, stuffed mushrooms! A vegetarian appetizer! I wonder if it’s healthy…” I’m sorry, sweet friend, but this is neither vegetarian nor healthy. These are roasted white mushrooms caps stuffed with Italian sausage, two kinds of cheese, and crunchy breadcrumbs. Indulgent and delicious.

cheese plateCheese Plate with Homemade Pimiento Cheese –  cheese plates are the best. I like having two or three kinds, some sort of jam, and crackers or mini pita rounds. Then I add fresh berries, dried fruit, and some nuts. I also like adding a little homemade touch, and in particular my pimiento cheese has always been well received. It’s creamy and mildly spicy, the cheese spread of my childhood. Just combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well, that’s it.

ricotta toast with strawberriesStrawberry Ricotta Crostini –  who says you can’t serve chocolate as an appetizer? Fine, if you really want to save chocolate for dessert, then drizzle this crostini with a balsamic vinegar reduction, and top with freshly cracked black pepper. But I definitely prefer the sweet version: crunchy crostini, creamy ricotta, sweet strawberries, and a dark chocolate ganache. You can make these in minutes and even if your drizzling skills (not to be confused with Drizzy) are atrocious, nobody ever complains about thick rivers of chocolate.

Do you have a signature dinner party dish? What’s your favorite appetizer?


18 Responses to “5 Easy Party Appetizers”

  1. #
    Emily aka The Three Bite Rule posted May 15, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Yum! Appetizers for dinner is always a hit and that Tarte Flambee sounds to die for!

  2. #
    cquek posted May 15, 2014 at 9:14 am

    very impressive

  3. #
    Colleen @ What's Baking in the Barbershop?! posted May 15, 2014 at 9:21 am

    I would happily eat appetizers for a meal…especially these awesome looking ones! The goat cheese and avocado bruschetta looks soooo good to me. I’d love some right now even though it’s breakfast time! :)

  4. #
    The Squishy Monster posted May 15, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    How does one choose through such an amazing array…make everything = solution!

  5. #
    Michelle Lahey posted May 15, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    I could always eat a bunch of appetizers for a meal! I get bored easily, so little bites/plates for a meal is always my favorite.

  6. #
    Sues posted May 15, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    Appetizers are the best!! And all of these (especially the cheese platter) look like perfection!

  7. #
    ATasteOfMadness posted May 15, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    It’s surprising how little experience I have with appetizers. I’m getting hungry just looking at these!

  8. #
    Denise | Sweet Peas & Saffron posted May 16, 2014 at 12:46 am

    These all look great! I also love appetizers, and have found myself over-full for the main course on more than one occasion :)

  9. #
    Lail | With A Spin posted May 16, 2014 at 12:50 am

    I am all for making a meal out of appetizers! Scrumptious list.

  10. #
    Lawyer Loves Lunch posted May 16, 2014 at 1:19 am

    I’d never heard of a Tarte Flambee before this post but have totally bookmarked it for the future because it looks fantastic!

  11. #
    Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen posted May 17, 2014 at 8:59 am

    I love appetizers, and that Goat Cheese and Avocado Bruschetta with Hot Pepper Jelly is calling my name. Yum!

  12. #
    Monica posted May 17, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    These are all great apps but that tarte flambee is just screaming my name! Must be insanely good by the looks of it.

  13. #
    Joanne posted May 18, 2014 at 7:16 am

    I very frequently just order a whole dinner of appetizers when out to eat. It’s the best!! Loving these app ideas. Now I need to hold a party to try them all out!

  14. #
    Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes posted May 18, 2014 at 11:52 am

    I love all these ideas!! That brushetta ! Mmmm

  15. #
    Megan posted May 20, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    I could definitely make a meal out of all appetizers too. Great suggestions!

  16. #
    Molly Galler posted May 21, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    I am with you on apps! That’s why the Super Bowl is my favorite celebration of the year.

  17. #
    Amy @ Elephant Eats posted May 28, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    I’m ALWAYS looking for appetizers to serve when we have friends over for dinner and can never think of anything…so i will be marking these down! I happen to adore stuffed mushrooms :)

  18. #
    Sarah @ Running On Brie posted June 4, 2014 at 9:47 am

    I want to make myself one of those tarte flambees for breakfast right now! Looks totally delicious! (They all do!) I’m with you on the appetizer idea…way more fun to try different little bites of goodness than one large boring meal.

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