Whether you’re throwing a small get-together with friends, a semi-formal cocktail hour, or a full-on dinner party, amazing appetizers are an absolute must. So, what makes a great pre-meal bite? It’s gotta be easy to make and even easier to eat — something that doesn’t require a plate so guests can nibble and mingle. Because think about it: You really can’t hold a wine glass in one hand and eat off a plate with a fork in the other at the same time! Here are some of my go-to finger foods:
Halloumi Cheese Skewers
Dear halloumi cheese, I love you! In case you haven’t tried it yet, it’s a brined cheese made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk. These salty and delectable bites make for a great addition to salads, wraps, and kebabs. In this recipe, I’ve paired pan-fried halloumi bites with fresh veggies to create a light yet satisfying appetizer that simple to grab and bite!
Caprese Salad Pops
If you love Caprese salads then you’re in for a real treat with these fresh pops. They’re simply fresh mozzarella cheese balls, cherry tomatoes, and a basil leaf strung onto skewers. Bump up the flavor with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper. These are definitely a crowd-pleaser. And a cinch to assemble!
Rolled Lox Tortilla Chip with Sriracha Mayo
This is one of the easier party appetizers you’ll ever make! It’s a tortilla chip topped with rolled smoked salmon slices, a squirt of sriracha mayo (my recipe here), and a basil leaf (or any green herb). They take about a minute to throw together. Yes, seriously! Just watch:
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Cheese stuffed jalapeños topped with a layer of crispy bread crumbs … are you drooling yet? Not only are these poppers great on a game day, but they also make the perfect party finger food. To make them, simply slice jalapeño peppers in half (lengthwise), scrape out the seeds, stuff them with a cream cheese/cheddar cheese mixture, top with spiced up panko crumbs and bake to perfection (400ºF for about 20 minutes). Get flexible by using dairy-free cream cheese or cottage cheese and use gluten-free panko crumbs!
Cheesy Cauliflower Poppers
If you have a copy of my cookbook, FOOD YOU WANT For The Life You Crave, grab it and flip to page the Drinks and Nibbles With Friends chapter. This chapter is loaded with party food inspo that is bound to impress your guests. Just take these Cheesy Cauliflower Poppers on page 256, for example. Holy wowzers! The idea for these yummy, creamy, and crunchy mouthfuls came to me as I was menu planning for my five-year-old’s birthday party. I was looking for healthy finger food that both kids and adults would devour, and this recipe went beyond satisfying that criterion—it blew everyone’s socks off! Try it.
Spiced Beef Lollipops
And yet another recipe from my cookbook (page 268). Ground beef gets fancy here! Oohs and aahs are guaranteed when you present these spiced meatballs on top of cinnamon sticks. They are a ton of fun to eat (no fork needed) and look absolutely stunning on a party platter, served with bright green tahini.
Mini-Burger Sliders on a Stick
If you’re serving a veggie-filled dinner and looking for something a bit more filling for an appetizer, try mini beef patties, a lettuce leaf, and a cherry tomato strung onto skewers. They really are just mini burgers on a stick! Serve with a ramekin of ketchup and mustard for easy dipping.
Homemade Sushi Rolls
Okay, so this recipe isn’t the quickest. But, while it does take some time to prep, it’s well worth the effort. Promise! Raw salmon and cooked veggies are rolled in a combo of rice-paper wrappers and nori sheets, then seared and sliced to serve like sushi, in attractive, bite-size pieces. No rice cooking involved! Every bite is a masterpiece. Watch as I show you step-by-step how to make these:
For more party-worthy finger foods, grab a copy of my cookbook, FOOD YOU WANT For The Life You Crave! It’s filled with 100+ flexible recipes you can easily transform into 1,000 different dishes.