The 45 Best Summer Appetizers

These summer apps bring the heat

Mini Taco Bites

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Be the most popular summer party host on the block with recipes for our 50 best summer appetizers. From beer battered oysters, to our best bruschettas, dressed-up deviled eggs, savory seafood and satays, and the ultimate guacamole recipe, there are summer starters here for everyone to love.

  • 01 of 45

    Bruschetta With Tomatoes and Basil

    Bruschetta with tomatoes and basil

    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Top crusty, grilled, garlicky bread with fresh, juicy tomatoes and aromatic basil leaves to make this simply delicious summer appetizer. Be sure to read below the recipe for great ideas and tips for variations.

  • 02 of 45

    Chile and Cheese Flautas

    Chile and cheese flautas

    John E Kelly / Getty Images

    Flautas are crispy, flute-shaped rolled and stuffed tortillas that make a great summer party appetizer. In this version, fill flour tortillas with green chiles, corn, and tangy cheese for a tasty array of summery flavors.

  • 03 of 45

    Spanish Ham and Melon Bites

    Spanish ham and melon bites

    oksanab / Moment Open / Getty Images

    The salty, meaty taste of Serrano ham is a natural match for sweet, mild honeydew melon in season. Assembled simply on toothpicks, this is a super easy appetizer to prepare, with zero cooking required.

  • 04 of 45

    Garlic Knots

    Garlic knots

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Do you have lots of garlic growing in your garden? Bake up a big batch of pizzeria-style garlic knots in your oven. This easy recipe is made with prepared pizza dough, so it's fast and easy enough for kids to help with.

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  • 05 of 45

    Salmon Ceviche With Mango

    salmon ceviche

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    Ceviche is a refreshing seafood dish made with raw fish that is cured with citrus juices. This easy, stunning, no-cook appetizer recipe uses chunks of buttery salmon, blending it with orange, lemon, and lime juices, slices of mango, red onion, soy sauce, rice wine, jalapeños, for an explosion of summery flavors.

  • 06 of 45

    Jalapeño Poppers

    Jalapeño Poppers

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

    Hosting happy hour at your house? Serve up this well-loved crunchy, creamy, spicy restaurant-style appetizer. Stuff hot jalapeño peppers are stuffed with cheese, rolled in a crunchy breadcrumb coating, and deep-fried until golden brown.

  • 07 of 45

    Baked Thai Coconut Shrimp

    Baked Thai coconut shrimp

    Iain Bagwell / Getty Images

    Easy, oven-baked Thai coconut shrimp are always a hit with guests. Shrimp are simply coated in coconut flakes and seasoned panko breadcrumbs, then baked on a cookie sheet, for serving with store-bought Thai sweet chili sauce.

  • 08 of 45

    Crispy Fried Oysters With Cornmeal Batter

    Fried oysters with cornmeal batter recipe

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    Crispy, golden fried oysters with a cornmeal coating are a welcome addition to any backyard or cottage party and taste fantastic enjoyed with a cold beer. Serve them with the zingy tartar dipping sauce.

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  • 09 of 45

    Beach Bread

    Beach bread

    The Spruce / Peggy Trowbridge Filippone

    Beach bread is a popular South Florida appetizer recipe that takes garlic bread to a new level of indulgence. Thick baguette slices are topped with blue or Gorgonzola cheese, tomatoes, chives, mozzarella, and parsley, and baked until melty. Yum!

  • 10 of 45

    Classic Guacamole

    Simple guacamole recipe

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    Guacamole is one of the best-loved appetizer dips, and this is the classic recipe everyone will love. Make it to your tastes, with or without optional cilantro and chopped tomatoes. Just don't forget the lime juice!

  • 11 of 45

    Pineapple Cheese Ball

    Pineapple cheese ball

    Alan Richardson / Getty Images

    Hello, is it cheese you're looking for? This retro-inspired cream cheese ball gets delicious sweetness from pineapple chunks and tons of crunch from the chopped pecan coating. Serve with raw veggie sticks or crackers on the side.

  • 12 of 45

    Oven-Fried Zucchini

    Oven-fried zucchini

    The Spruce

    This recipe makes great use of zucchini from your garden. Slice vegetables into rounds, coat them in parmesan and breadcrumbs, and crisp in the oven, for a healthy, crispy appetizer.

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  • 13 of 45

    Tomato and Asparagus Fattoush Salad

    Fattoush

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

    Fattoush is a warm, Middle Eastern bread- and vegetable-salad, similar to Italian Panzanella. This tasty version includes garlicky sauteed asparagus spears and tomato chunks, along with lightly toasted pita pieces, zesty lemon juice, and tangy ground sumac.

  • 14 of 45

    Beer Batter Hush Puppies

    Beer batter hush puppies

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Southern cookouts call for hush puppies! These fried balls of cornmeal goodness are made with beer in the batter, for a light and crisp texture. Add some diced jalapeños, or a few dashes of hot sauce, if you like your puppies with extra spice.

  • 15 of 45

    Gluten-Free Corn Fritters

    Gluten-free corn fritters

    The Spruce / Darlene Schmidt

    Scrumptious, golden-brown corn fritters are an essential summer barbecue snack. This gluten-free, vegetarian recipe makes the best fritters ever, with tons of flavor and creaminess in the filling from fresh corn, tofu, green onions, coriander, bell pepper, chili, and turmeric.

  • 16 of 45

    Thai Style Fried Calamari

    Easy Thai Style Fried Calamari

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

    Crispy fried calamari is even more delicious with Thai flavorings. It's fairly easy to prepare, even if you've never made squid before—just slice, dip, and dry. Serve with store-bought Thai sweet chili sauce for dipping.

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  • 17 of 45

    Fig Crostini

    Fig crostini

    The Spruce / Molly Watson

    Fig crostini is an elegant appetizer that's worthy of special gatherings. Toss chopped fresh figs with high-quality balsamic vinegar and black pepper, and eat them on slices of toasted baguette.

  • 18 of 45

    Grilled Corn Salad

    grilled corn salad

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

    Your outdoor grill brings out a fantastic, smoky flavor in sweet summer corn. Here, the kernels are tossed with tomato, red onion, avocado, fresh herbs and seasonings, and optional feta cheese, for a scrumptious salad.

  • 19 of 45

    Pineapple Salsa

    Pineapple Mango Salsa

    Kristina Vanni

    With only 5 ingredients and no cooking required, this easy pineapple salsa is sure to become a go-to recipe. Use it for topping grilled fish or scallops, as a condiment for barbecue pork, or a relish for chicken burgers.

  • 20 of 45

    Prosciutto-Wrapped Pears With Candied Balsamic Drizzle

    Prosciutto-wrapped pears with candied balsamic drizzle

    Matthew O'Shea / Getty Images

    Sweet, juicy pears make a great partner for salty, cured ham. Wrap pear wedges in prosciutto and broil them briefly to crisp the meat and soften the fruit, for a lovely, warm bite. Serve with this balsamic candy drizzle.

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  • 21 of 45

    Watermelon Caprese Salad

    Easy Watermelon and Mozzarella Salad Recipe
    Mozzarella Watermelon Salad. bk1bennett

    Create a different kind of Caprese salad by replacing fresh tomatoes with juicy watermelon in season. Crunchy watermelon cubes mingle with creamy, soft fresh mozzarella and aromatic basil leaves, all slathered in a rich balsamic syrup.

  • 22 of 45

    Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Bites

    Bacon wrapped chicken bites
    Megan Chromik/Flickr CC 2.0

    Wrap strips of salty bacon around bite-sized, Creole-seasoned chicken cubes, secured on toothpicks, and bake them in the oven. Soak the toothpicks in water before load them and put them in the oven, to avoid scorching them.

  • 23 of 45

    Thai Basil Chicken Lettuce Wraps

    Thai basil chicken lettuce wraps

    The Spruce / Darlene Schmidt

    Thai basil chicken lettuce wraps are a fresh, tasty, hand-held appetizer. When serving a crowd, place the lettuce leaves on their own plate, beside the delicious chicken filling, and let guests assemble wraps themselves.

  • 24 of 45

    Vegan Cucumber Spring Rolls

    Vegan cucumber spring rolls

    sbossert / Getty Images

    Vegan cucumber spring rolls stuffed with crunchy vegetables and fresh herbs are a refreshing cold appetizer for hot summer days. Serve with some peanut sauce, chili sauce, or soy sauce on the side for dipping.

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  • 25 of 45

    Watermelon Gazpacho Soup

    Watermelon Gazpacho Soup

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

    Watermelon gazpacho is a wonderfully sweet, no-cook, cold soup that makes a refreshing starter for summer meals. Serve it in a pitcher for guests to pour into glasses, or pour into martini glasses for a festive presentation.

  • 26 of 45

    Honey, Ginger, Lime, and Rum Glazed Shrimp

    Honey, ginger, lime, and rum glazed shrimp

    SherSor / Getty Images

    Tasty shrimp appetizer skewers are great for enjoying with a glass of rum punch at summer backyard events. They cook quickly in just minutes on the grill, after marinating for an hour or more in a delectable rum, honey, ginger, garlic, and lime sauce.

  • 27 of 45

    Copycat Auntie Anne's Pretzels

    Auntie Anne's Pretzels

    Leah Maroney 

    Soft, yeasty, and salty with a crisp exterior, homemade pretzels are a real treat any time of year. They're a fun appetizer for game day or a kid's party. Serve with your favorite mustard for dipping or try a cheese sauce.

  • 28 of 45

    Thai Green Mango Salad

    Thai green mango salad

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    Sweet, sour, spicy, nutty, and crunchy, this delicious, refreshing Thai green mango salad will please every part of your palate. Wrap it in radicchio or romaine leaves for a hand-held party app, or serve in bowls for a more traditional starter.

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  • 29 of 45

    Greek-Style Eggplant Dip (Melitzanosalata)

    eggplant dip in bowl with vegetables and pita for dippping

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

    Grilling the eggplant takes this garlicky, Greek-style appetizer dip to a whole new level of intense flavor. Serve it with crackers, bread sticks, or raw vegetables for dipping.

  • 30 of 45

    Southern Pickled Shrimp With Fresh Dill

    pickled shrimp in a large jar
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Quick pickling brings out the natural sweetness in plump, low-calorie shrimp, and you can vary the herb mixture to suit your tastes (or to use whatever is growing in your garden). Serve on toothpicks for an easy, hand-held appetizer.

  • 31 of 45

    Grilled Oysters

    How to grill oysters at home

    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

    Grilled oysters have a fabulously rich, smoky flavor that is out of this world. This recipe walks you through how to cook oysters easily on your grill. Serve topped with compound butter, fresh relish, or a splash of hot sauce.

  • 32 of 45

    Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms

    Crab-stuffed mushrooms

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Impress family and friends with these elegant little stuffed mushrooms. They are filled with a delectable, buttery crab meat and breadcrumb stuffing, and spiced up with Cajun flavorings.

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  • 33 of 45

    Spinach and Artichoke Dip

    spinach and artichoke dip with chips

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 

    Please a crowd with a big bowl of creamy, gooey, garlicky, warm spinach and artichoke dip. Make it a day ahead to make party prep easier, and bake it just before guests arrive. Serve with crackers and baguette slices.

  • 34 of 45

    Smoked Potato Skins

    Smoked potato skins

    Lauri Patterson / Getty Images

    Wow guests with these smoky, cheesy, well-seasoned, restaurant-style stuffed potato skins. They start in your oven, and you finish them in your BBQ smoker. Add a crumble of bacon on top, if you like, for extra meaty flavor.

  • 35 of 45

    Southern Fried Green Tomatoes

    Southern fried green tomatoes

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    You don't have to wait for tomatoes to ripen to cook this classic Southern appetizer. Dip tangy green tomato slices in eggs and coat them with cornmeal, then fry them until they are crispy and golden.

  • 36 of 45

    Parmesan Zucchini Squares

    Parmesan zucchini squares

    manyakotic / Getty Images

    Zucchini is abundant in summer, and these easy, quiche-like appetizer squares make delicious use of the nutritious vegetable. They are a snap to bake up in your oven, with biscuit mix, parmesan cheese, eggs, onion, and pantry spices.

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  • 37 of 45

    Buttery Garlic Crab Bruschetta Recipe

    Buttery Garlic Crab Bruschetta Recipe

    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Everyone loves crusty grilled bruschetta, and this sophisticated version with buttery, garlicky chunks of crabmeat, salty parmesan cheese, and fresh chopped parsley is sure to wow your summer party guests.

  • 38 of 45

    Crispy Eggplant Fries

    Crispy eggplant fries

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Crispy eggplant fries are crunchy, tasty, and make a healthier alternative to French fries for serving with grilled burgers. Coat eggplant strips in a breadcrumb crust, and deep fry them until golden and crispy.

  • 39 of 45

    Vegan Black Bean and Mango Salad

    Black bean and mango salad recipe

    ​The Spruce Eats / Emily Hawkes

    You don't have to be a vegan to enjoy this tasty, protein-packed, gluten-free summer salad. Black beans and mangoes mingle with chopped bell pepper, jalapeños, and fresh cilantro, in a simple, zesty lime and olive oil dressing.

  • 40 of 45

    Greek Spinach Pie With Feta Cheese (Spanakopita)

    Greek Spinach Pie With Feta Cheese (Spanakopita) Recipe

     The Spruce

    Classic Greek spanakopita is made with store-bought flaky phyllo dough, layered with a savory, seasoned mixture of spinach, onion, feta and ricotta cheeses. Cut it into wedges or triangles to make a tasty, hand-held appetizer.

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  • 41 of 45

    Chicken Satay With Peanut Sauce

    Chicken Satay With Peanut Sauce Recipe

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

    Chicken satay with peanut sauce is a favorite party snack that's simple to make at home. The secret to great flavor is letting the chicken marinate in the spice mixture for at least 3 hours before loading it onto skewers and grilling.

  • 42 of 45

    Beet Hummus

    Beet Hummus Recipe

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    With its vibrant red color and sweet and nutty flavor, this nutritious, protein-rich beet hummus recipe will be a stand-out on your summer buffet table. Serve with crackers or tortilla chips for dipping, or as a bright crostini topper.

  • 43 of 45

    Southern Pimiento Cheese Spread

    Southern Pimento Cheese Spread

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    Pimiento cheese spread is a popular Southern appetizer that you can make at the last minute, whenever guests are dropping by. Combine sharp cheddar cheese with cream cheese, pimientos, mayonnaise, and your favorite hot sauce.

  • 44 of 45

    Mini Taco Bites

    Mini Taco Bites

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

    Crunchy, irresistible Tex-Mex style taco bites are made by tucking your favorite taco ingredients into muffin-tin tortilla cups, and baking them until they're piping hot. Omit the ground beef to make them vegetarian.

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  • 45 of 45

    Esquites: Mexican Corn off the Cob

    Esquites (Mexican Corn Off the Cob)

    The Spruce/Kristina Vanni

    Dig into one of summer's absolute pleasures with this traditional Mexican street food. This recipe uses sweet, toasty kernels shaved from grilled corn that is seasoned with sour cream, brightened with lime and enriched with lard (but you can use butter if you want.)