20 of Our Best and Brightest Summer Appetizers
Celebrate the arrival of warm weather, longer days, and vacation time with these summer appetizer recipes. They're easy to make, full of fresh flavor, and are perfect for open-air dining. Take a peek at your local farmers' market to see what seasonal produce looks best. You'll probably find bright green zucchini, plump tomatoes, sweet and firm peaches, berries galore, and big ears of corn on the cob. Make good use of all those in-season fruits and vegetables and make these bright, tasty summertime appetizers.
Perhaps one of the most stunning summer appetizer recipes is Tomatoes with Lightly Whipped Cream, pictured here. All you need are high-quality heirloom tomatoes, fruity olive oil, flaky salt, fresh basil, and heavy cream. The tomatoes feature a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream as a garnish—it's one of the simples yet most delicious summer bites you could put together.
Another one of our favorite ways to highlight fresh produce is with tartines. These open-faced sandwiches use thick slices of rustic bread as a bed for seasonal ingredients to be stacked upon. Our bright green Zucchini, Avocado, and Jalapeño Tartine combines crisp and creamy textures with mild and spicy flavors, and it's ready in just 25 minutes. Another option is our sweet riff on a Caprese salad. Instead of the usual tomato-mozzarella-basil combination, we piled tomatoes, peaches, buffalo mozzarella, and bresaola atop ciabatta bread.
No-Knead Tomato Focaccia showcases juicy tomatoes on top of the crowd-friendly bread. It's the perfect summer recipe to make over the course of a couple of busy days because it only requires 15 minutes of prep work, but it needs at least 12 hours to rise. Once the process is complete, the salted, savory dish is simply delicious. Enjoy this collection of summer appetizer recipes that you can make all season long.
Zucchini, Avocado, and Jalapeño Tartine
Hearts of Palm Dip
Citrus and Green Olives with Goat Cheese
Blistered Shishito-Pepper Salad with Chive Vinaigrette
Shishito peppers, which are mild in heat, become super crispy when grilled or sautéed. Here, we've dry-fried them in a hot cast iron pan to achieve a blistered exterior. They're then layered with bite-sized pieces of melon, cucumbers, and small tomatoes, plus fresh mint and a zesty lime dressing.
Boozy Melon Three Ways
Get the party started with this spirited fruit appetizer for summer. We have three boozy iterations for you to try—tequila-soaked watermelon, gin-soaked honeydew, and vodka-soaked cantaloupe.
Corn, Tomato, and Zucchini Galette
Arrange a stunning antipasto for summer with grilled zucchini, squash, and eggplants, plus assorted cured meats, burrata, goat cheese, and crusty bread.
Tomato, Peach, Buffalo Mozzarella, and Bresaola Tartine
Chesapeake Blue Crab Cakes with Fried Oysters
Enjoy the ultimate seaside appetizer at home. Crab cakes are formed and pan-fried until crisp, then are topped with freshly fried oysters and served with a briny tomato-cucumber relish.
Greek Layer Dip
Whip up a creamy bean spread with canned cannellini beans, garlic, Greek yogurt, and lemon juice. It's spread onto a platter and topped with juicy cherry tomatoes, cool cucumbers, olives, feta cheese, and herbs.
Grilled Bread and Chiles with Burrata
Build your own bite with this super simple and incredibly satisfying summer appetizer. Dip grilled chilled peppers into burrata, spread the cheese on the toast, or layer all three ingredients together.
Creamless Creamy Corn Soup
Every color and flavor of summer shines on this platter appetizer—cocktail tomatoes, mini cucumbers, bell peppers, feta cheese, and pepperoncini peppers.
Creamy Artichoke Ranch
Chilled Sour-Cherry Soup
Oysters on the Half Shell with Vinegar Sauce
No-Knead Tomato Focaccia
Creamy Edamame Dip
This healthy dip is deceivingly indulgent thanks to light and creamy cottage cheese. It's whipped with boiled edamame, cilantro, a serrano chile pepper, and lime juice. Serve drizzled with olive oil and alongside pita or crudité.