Last-Minute Appetizer Recipes

These simple snacks are great for guests and afternoon nibbles

Simple bacon wrapped shrimp recipe

The Spruce Eats/Julia Hartbeck

Whether for a last-minute get-together or a pre-dinner snack, having a few quick and easy appetizer recipes you can throw together can be a lifesaver. And we mean more than cheese and crackers or chips and store-bought dip. These recipes may be simple, but they are far from basic. From bacon-wrapped shrimp to olive tapenade to Buffalo chicken dip, there is a wide range of choices to please every palate.

Do yourself a favor and keep your pantry, fridge, and freezer well-stocked with ingredients so you can easily whip up some savory snacks that friends and family will love.

  • 01 of 22

    Baked Brie With Fig Butter and Walnuts

    Baked Brie

     The Spruce / 

    This recipe is a good example of how pairing just the right ingredients together can make a big impact. A wheel of Brie cheese is spread with fig butter and baked until soft and beginning to ooze, and then topped with a generous amount of toasted chopped walnuts. Serve the baked Brie with crackers and a side of honeycomb for extra sweetness.

  • 02 of 22

    Devils on Horseback

    Devils on horseback recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt

    This easy and flavorful devils on horseback appetizer can be made in minutes, and the combination of salty and sweet will satisfy both of those cravings. Dates are stuffed with asiago cheese and wrapped in bacon and then broiled until crispy.

  • 03 of 22

    Mini Pizza Bites

    Mini Pizza Bites
    Foodcollection/Getty Images

    These mini pizza bites are delicious, quick to make, and can be made with almost any pizza topping. Frozen mini filo shells and jarred pizza sauce mean these mini pizza bites come together quickly. The sauce and toppings are mixed together, spooned into the shells, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, and baked until melted and bubbling.

  • 04 of 22

    Stovetop Apple Kielbasa

    Juanmonino/E+/Getty Images

    This super easy five ingredient stove top apple kielbasa recipe has the most marvelous aroma and taste—and it takes only three minutes to put together. The sausage is cut into pieces and cooked along with brown sugar, mustard, garlic, and applesauce until glazed.

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  • 05 of 22

    Cauliflower Hummus

    Cauliflower Hummus

    The Spruce / Jennifer Perillo 

    Unlike its traditional counterpart made with chickpeas, cauliflower lends a lighter mouthfeel, while the tahini and olive oil still give it that classic silkiness. Use it as a dip with veggies, crackers, tortilla chips, or pitas. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, sumac, pine nuts, fried garlic, or parsley to add another layer of flavor and texture.

  • 06 of 22

    Ripe Melon With Serrano Ham

    Pieces of jamon and green melon for snack.
    Jamon and melon. oksanab/Moment Open/Getty Images

    This appetizer is a perfect example of how a recipe can be more than the sum of its parts. Ripe honeydew is simply wrapped with Spanish Serrano ham, making for a sweet and salty bite that is sure to satisfy.

  • 07 of 22

    Creamy Guacamole

    Simple guacamole recipe

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    Take a typical guacamole recipe to the next level with this creamy and spicy version. The ripe avocados are both mashed and cubed, creating an interesting texture, and the Mexican crema (or sour cream) helps make a smooth consistency. Serrano chili adds heat while the chopped tomato and onion, cilantro, and lime juice round out this classic dip.

  • 08 of 22


    Quesadillas. Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman /

    If you have tortillas, cheese, and a few fillings and toppings, a variety of quesadillas can be made in just minutes. Keep it simple with just cheese and salsa, or try a more sophisticated version with blue cheese, bacon, and pickled onion. Take the opportunity to clean out the fridge and fill with various cheeses, vegetables, and leftover cooked meat.

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  • 09 of 22

    Sour Cream Pesto Dip

    sour cream dip in bowl on wooden board

    Handmade pictures/Getty Images 

    This three-ingredient sour cream pesto dip is so easy to make, you may wonder why you haven't thought of it before. Sour cream, pre-made basil pesto, and grated Parmesan cheese are simply mixed together. Chill or serve immediately with chips or crudites for dipping.

  • 10 of 22

    Watermelon and Mozzarella Salad With Basil

    Easy Watermelon and Mozzarella Salad Recipe
    Mozzarella Watermelon Salad. bk1bennett

    When the heat of summer is on and watermelon is at its best, this refreshing salad will hit the spot. Cubes of watermelon are gently tossed with fresh mozzarella and basil leaves, and then drizzled with a simple balsamic vinegar reduction.

  • 11 of 22

    Crescent Roll Pizza Pinwheels

    Pizza Pinwheels

    Diana Rattray

    A fun twist on typical pizza, these pinwheels made with crescent roll dough are quick to assemble and completely customizable. The dough is covered with favorite toppings and cheese, rolled up, sliced into pinwheels, and baked. Serve a bit of marinara or pizza sauce on the side for dipping.

  • 12 of 22

    Beach Bread

    appetizer, recipes, beach, bread, blue, cheese, receipts
    Beach Bread Appetizer Recipe - How to make beach bread appetizer recipe. © 2009 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to, Inc.

    A popular appetizer in South Florida restaurants, beach bread is basically a souped up garlic bread. Crumbled blue cheese, chopped tomato, and fresh chives are added on top of the typical garlic bread butter mixture, sprinkled with shredded mozzarella, and baked until crispy and melted.

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  • 13 of 22

    Slow-Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip

    Buffalo Chicken Dip


    bhofack2 / Getty Images

    All of the flavors of Buffalo wings are melded together in this easy-to-make dip. Rotisserie chicken, hot sauce, ranch dressing, and celery go into the slow cooker, are topped with cream cheese and blue cheese, and left to cook for several hours. Serve with tortilla or pita chips.

  • 14 of 22

    Olive Tapenade

    High Angle View Of Tapenade In Jar
    Michael Möller / EyeEm / Getty Images

    A simple blend of kalamata olives, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and garlic turns into a flavorful paste, perfect for spreading on bread and crackers. Tapenade is also delicious when combined with other spreads and soft cheeses and fits in nicely on a tray of meze (Mediterranean appetizers).

  • 15 of 22

    Tortilla Roll-Ups

    Tortilla Rolls
    Tortilla appetizers with spinach wraps. Eric Isaac Moment / Open/Getty Images

    This recipe is great for a crowd since the tortillas are quick to assemble and each is sliced to make seven appetizers apiece. A mixture of cream cheese, sour cream, green chilies, green onion, red bell pepper, and cheddar cheese is spread onto the tortillas which are then rolled up tightly and chilled. When ready to serve, the rolls are sliced and presented with salsa for dipping.

  • 16 of 22

    Crescent Roll Pigs in a Blanket

    Crescent Roll Hot Dogs "Pigs in a Blanket"
    Crescent Roll Hot Dogs "Pigs in a Blanket". Diana Rattray

    A perennial favorite, pigs in a blanket are loved by even the most sophisticated of palates. This version includes a bit of cheese nestled inside the hot dog, making for a gooey center and additional layer of flavor. After wrapping in crescent pastry, the dough is brushed with an egg wash and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Feel free to use mini hot dogs for a bite-sized treat.

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  • 17 of 22

    Jalapeno Appetizer Squares

    Jalapeno Peppers
    Jalapeno Peppers. Scott Olson/Getty Images

    Chili peppers, cheese, and eggs are all you need to make this spicy appetizer not for the faint of heart. Jalapenos and canned chili peppers are layered with cheese and eggs in a baking dish and cooked until set. Cut into squares and serve.

  • 18 of 22

    Creamy Crab Dip

    Creamy Crab Dip

     The Spruce

    Always a hit at gatherings, this creamy crab dip is quick to make and requires few ingredients. Canned crab (or fresh, if you like) blends with cream cheese and mayo along with a dash of garlic powder and cayenne pepper for seasoning. Serve chilled with crackers, chips, or raw veggies.

  • 19 of 22

    Mini Crustless Spinach and Mushroom Quiches

    mini crustless quiche

    These mini quiche are so delicious—sauteed onion, mushrooms, and spinach are mixed along with beaten eggs and cheese and poured into mini muffin tins. Bake until set and puffed up.

  • 20 of 22

    Slow-Cooker Four-Ingredient Appetizer Meatballs

    easy meatballs

    If you have a bag of meatballs in the freezer, turn them into a sweet and sticky appetizer that is destined to become a favorite. Minced onion, current jelly, and bottled barbecue sauce are mixed together and poured over the meatballs where it's all left to cook for 3 to 4 hours in the slow cooker. Garnish with green onion or cilantro if desired.

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  • 21 of 22

    Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

    Simple bacon wrapped shrimp recipe

    The Spruce Eats/Julia Hartbeck

    The saltiness of the bacon is the perfect counterpart for the shrimp's sweetness. If you buy raw shrimp that are already peeled and deveined, this recipe comes together in a snap. Simply wrap a piece of bacon around each shrimp and broil until crispy.

  • 22 of 22

    Bruschetta With Tomatoes and Basil

    Fresh bruschetta with ingredients
    Westend61/Getty Images

    Quality ingredients are what make this appetizer special. A good crusty bread cut to just the right thickness is broiled or grilled, rubbed with garlic, and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. The toasts are topped with perfectly ripe tomatoes and basil, making an ideal treat when tomatoes are at their best. Feel free to change up the bruschetta with a variety of toppings.