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
Easy Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings; photograph by Olga Ivanova
When I'm having folks over, I want to create appetizers that won't distract me too much from cooking the main meal. 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 if you choose a few easy appetizer recipes wisely, you can put out a spread without too much trouble. With just five ingredients (or less!) in the recipes here, these are pretty easy to manage.
Set out one or more of these easy appetizers before a big family holiday meal, or pick one from each category to create a whole spread suited for cocktails, snacks, and chit-chat.
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Beyond salsa, guacamole, and hummus
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. And the options for what to dip are endless: carrot sticks, celery sticks, pretzels, bread cubes, jicama, tortilla chips, you name it.
(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.
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. Riff to your heart’s content.
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.
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?
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.
Put down the crumbly bruschetta and try this dinner party classic — on a stick!
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 ahead of time.
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
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).
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.
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.
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.
From Simply Recipes, this classic appetizer recipe gets an added kick from the chipotle powder.
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.
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
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 potato chip alternatives — people might not be hungry for dinner! Use sweet potatoes for a colorful twist.
Not serving a sit-down meal? For a get-together of any size, 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?).
Extras for the snack table
Imminently snackable companions
The perfectly crispy, crunchy, and healthy snack for your next celebration: roasted chickpeas.
On a similar note, these simple sweet-and-savory nuts (with a secret ingredient: garam masala) fill out a charcuterie board just as well as they do on their own in a snack bowl.
Easy recipes galore
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