10 Delicious Dutch Appetizers

Favorite Festive Foods from the Netherlands

Entertaining can get overwhelming, and there's nothing worse than being stuck in the kitchen while everyone's having a good time in the other room. These hassle-free Dutch-inspired appetizers will help you throw a great party, from soups and cheese plates to croquettes and sandwiches.

  • 01 of 10

    Croquettes (Kroketten)

    Kroketten
    Franklin Heijnen / Flickr / CC By 2.0

    Croquettes are breaded sausage-shaped snacks with a ragout center. There are almost endless varieties of croquettes, but the most popular include beef croquettes, veal croquettes, and pulled pork croquettes.

    The idea of the dish is to use any meat, spice it with fresh and dry herbs, and then mix it with a roux giving it a sausage shape. Finally, you bread it and deep-fry it until golden brown. Follow our recommended recipes or try your own version with leftover chicken or cubed ham and cheese.

  • 02 of 10

    Broodje Rookworst

    Dutch smoked sausage sandwich
    Broodje rookworst. Photo © Karin Engelbrecht

    This isn't your everyday sausage sandwich. It starts with a buttery sauekraut concoction sitting on Italian-style bread spread generously with a mayo-mustard mix. Then cook a Dutch-style sausage and thinly slice it to fill the sandwich.

    Try this broodje rookworst recipe. Double or triple it for multiple baguettes. Slice each baguette into 10 small sandwiches to entertain guests.

  • 03 of 10

    Bacon and Cheese Pancake

    dutch baby pancake
    Diana Rattray

    This simple recipe for an omelet-inspired dish is great for a party. The fluffy, savory pancake features eggs, bacon, spices, and cheese – use Gouda instead of Fontina to increase the Dutch factor.

    Slice like you'd slice a pizza or leave it in the skillet, let it cool down until warm, cut it in small squares and place toothpicks in each to make it easy to grab.

  • 04 of 10

    Shrimp-Cucumber Sandwiches

    Dutch Shrimp & Cucumber Sandwiches. Photo © Karin Engelbrecht

    These pretty sandwiches combine refreshing cucumber with delicious Dutch shrimp (Hollandse garnalen), those tasty greyish-pink morsels native to Dutch waters. Substitute the Dutch variety with whatever small shrimp or prawns are native to your area. Make sure to buy them deveined and cooked.

    Combine the cooked shrimp with mayo, grainy mustard, dill, parsley, salt, and pepper, using 2 parts of mayo per 1 part of mustard and adjusting the rest of the ingredients to your personal taste. Spread on white bread, cut the crust off, and serve!

    Use skewers to keep the sandwiches looking neat and tidy and present on large platters.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Fried Cheese with Cranberry Sauce

    Gouda Cookies. Photo © John Crow

    This quick appetizer will fly off the plate even before you're able to put it on the table. It consists of an herby egg and breadcrumb batter coating wedges of cheese (the recipe calls for Camembert, but any creamy cheese will do). Deep-fry the battered wedges and serve with a sweet-tangy cranberry sauce.

    Because it's a hearty appetizer, you don't want to offer too many more deep-fried foods or additional cheese dishes. But this fried cheese is a must at your next party. Double the amounts for a party of 15-20 people.

  • 06 of 10

    Leek and Mushroom Puff Pastries

    Puff Pastry Tart with Hard Dutch Goat's Cheese, Leeks & Mushrooms

    from_my_point_of_view / iStock / Getty Images Plus

    To make this wonderful leek and mushroom puff pastry recipe, you'll need leeks, bacon, mushrooms, and Dutch Gouda cheese to make a filling for puff pastry squares that are folded and baked until crispy and flaky. Size-down the puff pastry squares if desired to make it more like an appetizer.

    These pastries are quick to make and you can prepare them in advance.

  • 07 of 10

    Chicken Satay in Dutch Peanut Sauce

    Indo-dutch satay
    StockFood / Getty Images

    The Dutch have embraced the food of their former colony, Indonesia, as their own. Nowadays, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a Dutch town without an Indonesian restaurant. Indonesian ingredients are available at every supermarket and Indonesian meals have become a staple of everyday Dutch cooking.

    For our suggested appetizer, make mini satays by threading two blocks of chicken onto halved satay skewers. Grill until well done and use this Dutch satay peanut sauce to glaze them when cooked.

  • 08 of 10

    Dutch Cheese Plate

    How to Create a Dutch Cheese Plate
    A selection of Dutch cheeses. Photo © Karin Engelbrecht

    A Dutch cheese plate is a great appetizer for larger gatherings. If you want this cheese plate to be the main appetizer while having a drink before dinner, select cheeses amounting to 2-3 pounds per cheese per every 8 guests. Scale down to 1.5 to 2 pounds of cheese per 8 guests if you're planning to offer other appetizers. Include soft, aged, and firm cheeses.

    Once your selection is done, arrange the cheeses on a board and serve with fig jam, honey, crackers, nuts, seeds, grapes, cherries, and apple and pear slices.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Bitterballen

    Amy Neunsinger/Getty Images
    Meet the perfect partner for your IPA, Dutch beef bitterballen. Photo © Amy Neunsinger/Getty Images

    Similar to croquettes but shaped like a meatball, these small appetizers are commonly served in bars and restaurants. The bitterballen can take on many flavors and fillings but generally contain meat. These balls are easy to make and are always crowd-pleasers. You can make them ahead, and keep them in the fridge until it's time to fry.

  • 10 of 10

    Dutch Split Pea Soup

    Traditional Dutch Split Pea Soup
    A bowl of snert. Photo © Karin Engelbrecht

    This thick and hearty soup makes a great appetizer if you're planning to serve a light main like fish or seafood. Pork belly, sausage, split peas, pork chops, and vegetables shine in this flavorful split pea soup. It has a smoky, bold flavor that complements the sweetness of the peas. It's a filling appetizer, great for cold winter nights.