Appetizers, Tapas, and Mezes Recipes For Parties

This recipe list has an appetizer for everyone

Whether you're planning a small get-together with friends or a big, fancy bash, appetizers are the key to any good party.

Aside from these recipes, you might consider making mini, open-faced Reubens using cocktail rye bread, corned beef, Thousand Island dressing, kraut, and Swiss cheese. Whole water chestnuts, wrapped in a short bacon strip and skewered with a toothpick, then baked until the bacon is done are amazingly good. And mixed, spiced nuts are always popular for munching. 

  • 01 of 11

    Oyster Shooters

    Oyster Shooters on Ice
    Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

    Oysters have long been considered an aphrodisiac, so what better to serve as a simple and playful appetizer for a romantic meal for two? These oyster shooters should be made just before serving - or better yet, make an activity of it and make them together!

  • 02 of 11

    Smoked Salmon Bruschetta

    Canape Spreads

    Kevin D Weeks

    These smoked salmon bruschetta can be prepped hours in advance and refrigerated, but are quick enough to make and serve in 15 minutes. The smoked salmon brings rich deep flavor, which the brie lightens up making it suitable for an appetizer. Dill and red onion are optional but lend a remembrance of lox.

  • 03 of 11

    Saganaki (Fried Cheese): Small Bite, Big Taste

    Saganaki recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

    Saganaki sounds Japanese but is actually a Greek cheese dredged in flour, fried in olive oil and drizzled with lemon juice. It's a great appetizer to serve at cocktail parties, and it sure to be a surprise hit.

  • 04 of 11

    Tuna Deviled Eggs: a Spanish Tapas

    Tuna Deviled Eggs
    Kevin D Weeks

    Deviled eggs are a popular component of cookouts and picnics - not to mention being a great snack at any time of year. They can be made a day or two in advance, are perfect for eating with your fingers, and are almost universally loved. Tuna deviled eggs is a little unusual, but give it a chance. It's delicious.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11

    Hummus bi Tahini: a Middle Eastern Treat

    Humus bi Tahini
    Kevin D Weeks

    Hummus bi Tahini (Chickpeas with Sesame Paste) is wildly popular throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa. It is a great option as a vegetarian appetizer and is versatile enough to allow experimentation with different flavors. Serve it with warm pita, crudites or crackers. 

  • 06 of 11

    Tuna Tartare

    Tuna Tartare
    Elaine Lemm

    This tuna tartare recipe sticks closely to a traditional version without bold flavors, allowing the fresh tuna to sing with the other ingredients adding subtle back notes and texture. Use fresh sushi grade tuna for this dish.

  • 07 of 11

    Parmesan Crisps

    Parmesan Crisps
    Kevin D Weeks

    This recipe for parmesan crisps couldn't be any simpler. And because it's so simple, the quality of the ingredients is essential: use genuine well-aged Parmigiano Reggiano and shred it yourself. Rosemary should be freshly chopped, and the pepper freshly ground.

  • 08 of 11

    Fried Chickpeas

    Fried Chickpeas (Ceci Fritos)

    Kevin D Weeks

    These fried chickpeas (ceci fritos) are best straight out of the skillet, but they also keep for up to three days in an air-tight container. And they're much healthier than potato chips or cheese crackers as a mid-day snack.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11

    Gougeres: Savory Puffs

    Gougeres with Prosciutto

    Kevin D Weeks

    Gougeres are bite-size savory puff pastries generally made with cheese. Best of all, these can be frozen and reheated. The prosciutto makes it into a kind of French ham-and-cheese.

  • 10 of 11

    Buffalo Chicken Wings

    Hot Wings
    Michael Phillips / Getty Images

    There is a controversy about who actually invented these appetizers, but Buffalo chicken wings have become a staple pub food and pre-meal snack. This is the original Anchor Bar recipe (reportedly the place where the recipe was invented in 1964).

  • 11 of 11

    Spiced Nuts

    Bacon-Maple Spiced Nuts
    JacobVanHouten / Getty Images

    Use pecans, peanuts, cashews, or a mixture in this spiced nuts recipe for a crunchy, salty treat.