What Are the Different Quick Appetizer Ideas?

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  • Written By: Amanda R. Bell
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  • Last Modified Date: 22 October 2019
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People often look for quick appetizer ideas to serve to last minute guests or to limit their time in the kitchen. Putting together a collection of cheeses is one of the most popular ideas, as there is typically little to no cooking involved and limited assembly time. Serving skewers made from a variety of meats, fruits. and cheeses that do not need to be cooked is one of the best quick appetizer ideas, as they are easily customizable and tend to look pre-planned without taking a lot of time. Providing guests with a collection of dips or spreads that can be made hours or a few days prior to the event can also help to save a fair amount of time.

One of the easiest quick appetizer ideas is to simply serve a small assortment of quality cheeses with two or three accompaniments. In most cases, two to four different cheeses are best, with at least one mild cheese and one strong cheese to suit most tastes. Depending on the cheeses, they can be served alone or alongside a variety of crackers and lightly-toasted bread. These types of quick appetizer ideas are not only easy to prepare, but also easy to clean up, as there are typically only two to three platters and some knives involved.


Nearly any food can be served on a skewer, which can make an appetizer look elegant without taking any more time than heating up store-bought frozen appetizers. For a savory skewer, chunks of cheese, deli meats, and fresh vegetables can be slid onto a wood or metal skewer and left out for guests to eat. Skewers made from a collection of fruit can also make a light dessert appetizer, especially if served with a chocolate or caramel sauce, or can be combined with deli meats for a sweet and savory hors d'oeuvre. Outside of being easy to prepare, these quick appetizer ideas also allow for easy clean up, as guests can eat directly off of the skewer, limiting the need for plates.

Dips and spreads are often crowd-pleasers, and make good quick appetizer ideas as they can typically be made well in advance of a gathering. Salsas and creamy dips can be made in hundreds of different ways, and often taste best when prepared a day or two in advance. Even warm dips or spreads can be made early and simply reheated in the oven or microwave prior to serving. There are also a variety of dips and spreads that can be purchased at a specialty store or even in some grocery stores to avoid having to make anything at home. Store-bought chips, breads, and crackers can be served alongside, making a quick and easy appetizer that is sure to go over well with company.


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Post 3

@pastanaga - I prefer that idea to be honest, because it allows people to pick and choose and generally means that there are going to be healthier options as well. It seems like people around here always take quick appetizers to mean they should make lots of little quiches and meat pies or cakes and cookies and if you are doing a round of meet and greets it gets boring after a while.

I much rather be able to choose bits and pieces for myself.

Post 2

@Fa5t3r - Baba ganoush isn't exactly a quick appetizer to make though. I think you can get it at a supermarket and there's always corn chips and dip which tend to be fairly universal.

Mostly if I have to serve appetizers I try to plan it out ahead a little bit (especially if it has to look fancy) so that it's not hard to put together on the day. If you have all the ingredients set up it's not that difficult to layer canapes onto bread or crackers.

You could also (depending on the occasion) just slice up meats, cheeses, fruits and so forth and let the guests put together their own little canapes.

Post 1

Make sure that you know the tastes and needs of your guests before you start making your appetizers, or at least make a wide range of different treats. Remember that people might be allergic to gluten or peanuts and they might be vegetarian which cuts out the vast majority of traditional appetizers.

But you can still use rice crackers and toppings like baba ganoush (which is made from eggplant) and include salsa and guacamole, roasted chickpeas and so forth.

You don't need to remove the other elements completely, just make sure that there are other options so everyone can feel included.

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