22 Easy Appetizer Recipes with 5 Ingredients (or Less!)
Don’t let the apps be an afterthought — these 5-ingredient options are fast, easy fan favorites.
Typically, if we’re having people over, I get so engrossed in the main meal that I completely forget about the apps until the very end. My go-to is a simple charcuterie board (meat, cheese, and pickles never do you wrong) or crudité platter (whatever veggies you have on hand, cut pretty, with a potentially store-bought dip of some sort) — and no one has ever complained. But with a handful of these easy appetizer recipes in your back pocket, it doesn’t have to be so … basic. And with just five ingredients (or less!), these are pretty easy to manage.
Set out one or more of these easy appetizers before people arrive, or pick one from each category to create a whole spread suited for cocktails, snacks, and chit-chat.
Beyond salsa, guacamole, and hummus
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Yes, I am that person who will stand next to the spinach artichoke dip until it is completely gone. This creamy dip recipe is a crowd-pleaser for a reason.
5 Layer Mediterranean Dip
(I count six ingredients, but shhhh! we don’t have to tell anyone). This recipe, from What’s Gaby Cooking, tastes like all your favorite Greek things, combined in one bite. Best served with baked pita chips.
Lemon-Chive Cheese Dip
Recipe Girl's lemon-chive dip features three different types of cheese: ricotta, cream cheese, and sour cream.
I cannot resist deviled eggs of almost any kind, even the ones with waaaay too much mayo. Skinnytaste keeps these classic finger foods simple with Hellman’s (light ... but you do you, I say), dijon, and paprika, but I say riff to your heart’s content.
Baked Crab Rangoon
Crab Rangoon is so fun and retro (and whoever thought to put cream cheese in a wonton wrapper was a genius). This version, from AllRecipes, leverages sensible, store-bought ingredients for the perfect one-bite canapé.
Apple Endive Appetizer
This super easy app, from the Reluctant Entertainer, is just about shopping and chopping — and that’s it. The results are surprisingly chic on the platter, and who can resist the combination of apples and blue cheese?
Prosciutto Wrapped Apple Bites
Another eye-pleasing bite that is dead-simple to make — think gluten-free apple and cheddar roll-ups. Fans sometimes opt to add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or olive oil.
Caprese Salad Skewers
Put down the crumbly bruschetta and try this dinner party classic — on a stick!
Crock Pot Glazed Party Meatballs
Sure, you could make your mini-meatballs from scratch. Or you could buy frozen, break out your slow cooker, and have these addictively sweet party meatballs hot and ready when people arrive.
Four Ingredient Stuffed Mushrooms
There are lots of stuffed mushroom recipes out there, but this one keeps it easy with just breadcrumbs, olive oil, and parm.
Beyond the cheese ball
Pomegranate Pecan Party Appetizer
Cream cheese gets fancy and festive with a sprinkling of toasted nuts, rosemary, and pomegranate seeds (feel free to substitute dried cranberries if you can't find pomegranate seeds where you are).
Baked Feta With Olives, Thyme & Honey
As Vanessa at The Cheerful Kitchen puts it: Fancy as all get out, but oh so easy to put together. Slice a baguette, brush with olive oil, and stick it under the broiler for a few minutes to make your own crostini to serve alongside.
Honey Walnut Baked Brie
Baked brie is so easy and so decadent. Here, the honey makes it sweet and the nuts add texture.
Yes, bacon gets its own category. Fight me.
Holiday Bacon Appetizers
You can make this flavorful recipe from The Pioneer Woman with parmesan or brown sugar to take it in either a sweet or savory direction.
Chipotle Lime Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp
From Simply Recipes, this classic appetizer recipe gets an added kick from the chipotle powder.
Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Peppers Stuffed With Cream Cheese
What can’t you wrap in bacon? These jalapeño poppers are sliced in half for a more elegant bite. Garnish with fresh cilantro for a dressed-up look.
Bacon-Wrapped Dates With Parmesan
I know these as "riders on horseback." Whatever you call them, bacon-wrapped dates are that perfect mix of savory and sweet.
More familiar, more filling.
Easy Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings
Buffalo chicken wings aren't just for game day!
Another winner from The Pioneer Woman: potato skins. Careful with how many you make of these — people might not be hungry for dinner! Use sweet potatoes for a colorful twist.
Ground Beef Sliders on Brioche
Not serving a sit-down meal? For a cocktail party or a giant grazing table, these easy sliders from Martha Stewart make for a filling snack. Not a fan of onions? Use your favorite burger toppings instead (avocado and swiss, anyone?).
Imminently snackable companions
The perfectly crunchy — and healthy — snack for your next party: roasted chickpeas.