Hot Appetizer Recipes You Need for Your Next Party

Photo: Anna Williams

A satisfying spread of hors d'oeuvres is essential to any cocktail party, family get-together, or holiday open house. This collection of hot appetizer recipes has something for everyone, from the traditional to the adventurous. We're talking dips, toasts, fried foods, and so much more.

01 of 25

Chesapeake Crab Cakes

Anna Williams

Crab cakes might be the ultimate luxe appetizer. Serve them warm alongside a refreshing celery and cucumber salad dressed with lime juice.

02 of 25


Martyna Szczesna

Our take on the deep-fried Filipino spring rolls is stuffed with a mixture of tofu, shrimp, garlic, scallions, celery, and mung bean sprouts, and served with a vinegar-garlic dipping sauce. The best part? They can be assembled up to a month in advance and stored in the freezer.

03 of 25

Ham-and-Spinach Dip

Armando Rafael

Black Forest ham and Manchego cheese make this hot spinach dip extra rich. To save time, use frozen spinach in place of fresh. This appetizer can be assembled up to eight hours in advance and baked off shortly before you're ready to serve it.

04 of 25

Chorizo, Parsnip, and Olive Bites

Bryan Gardner

The trick to these crowd-pleasing skewers? The perfect balance of flavors. Roasted parsnips, dried chorizo, and Castelvetrano olives fit the bill beautifully.

05 of 25

Gluten-Free Potato Latkes

Johnny Miller

We've swapped out flour for potato starch to make these Hanukkah favorites gluten-free. They're just as delicious, especially when paired with one of our irresistible toppings: honey pomegranate, creme fraiche with pear and cinnamon, and beet and salmon with horseradish.

06 of 25

Persimmon and Brie Crostini

Bryan Gardner

You don't need much to make persimmons and Brie shine -- just toasted baguette slices, a sprinkling of sugar and freshly ground black pepper, and a quick turn under the broiler.

07 of 25

Romesco-and-Bucheron Dip

Armando Rafael

Bucheron is a ripened goat cheese with a fluffy, lemony center and edible white rind. It makes a delicious foil for romesco, the classic almond-and-red pepper sauce hailing from Spain.

08 of 25

Sweet-and-Sour Korean Cocktail Meatballs

Meredith Jenk

What makes these bite-size meatballs Korean? Gochujang, of course! The sweet-spicy fermented chili paste is amped up with ginger, garlic, ketchup, rice vinegar, and sesame oil.

09 of 25

Spicy Shrimp Dip

Armando Rafael

Tender shrimp, fiery serrano chiles, and plenty of fresh lime juice and cilantro take this creamy dip to the next level. A crunchy panko topping is the perfect finishing touch.

10 of 25

Fried Macaroni-and-Cheese Bites

David Malosh

How do you take a classic white-cheddar mac and cheese from good to great? Deep-fry it! These bites will be the first to disappear at any party, guaranteed.

11 of 25

Bacon-Wrapped Peppadew Poppers

Meredith Jenks

A three-ingredient wonder! Thin slices of bacon enclose delectable little packages of Peppadew peppers stuffed with cream cheese.

12 of 25

Antipasti Pizza


Top these mini pizzas with olives, artichoke hearts, mozzarella, and red-pepper flakes. You can use store-bought or homemade dough to make this scrumptious appetizer.

13 of 25

Clams & Oysters Casino

Meredith Jenks

Pancetta, garlic, bell pepper, vermouth, and cheesy herb breadcrumbs dress up clams and oysters on the half shell. Broil just until crisp and golden brown, then serve on a platter lined with rock salt to wow your guests.

14 of 25

Polenta Squares with Wild Mushrooms and Fontina

David Malosh

If you make the polenta squares in advance, putting the rest of this dish together is a breeze. Just sprinkle with fontina, top with mixed mushrooms tossed with shallots and thyme, and roast.

15 of 25

Fondue Bites

Meredith Jenks

Everyone loves fondue, but it's tricky to make for a big group. We've transformed the crowd-pleasing dish into a killer utensil-free appetizer by dolloping the cheese sauce into bread cups and topping with cornichons.

16 of 25

Baked Lemon and Feta Artichoke Dip

Marcus Nilsson

This might be the easiest appetizer on the block. Surround feta with artichoke hearts, oregano, and lemon peel, then douse the whole lot in olive oil and heat through. It's fast and delicious!

17 of 25

Sausage-Cheddar Balls

Sausage-Cheddar Balls
John Kernick

While these look like meatballs, they’re really bite-size biscuits generously studded with sausage and cheddar cheese. Serve them with your choice of dipping sauces, such as mustard or barbecue sauce.

18 of 25

Fried Mozzarella


A favorite pub snack goes upscale when you coat bocconcini (bite-size fresh mozzarella balls) in panko breadcrumbs. Accompany them with a dish of warm tomato sauce for dipping.

19 of 25

Pancetta-Wrapped Figs


Simmer dried figs in spiced red-wine vinegar to make them plump and tangy, then wrap in pancetta and bake. Serve them with Campari, Gin, and Orange cocktails -- a twist on the negroni.

20 of 25

Artichoke Turnovers


The cheesy, lemon-kissed artichoke mixture in these pastry pockets is inspired by a holiday classic, hot artichoke dip. Serve them with Rosemary Vodka Tonics.

21 of 25

Pomegranate-Fontina Rice Balls


Fried breadcrumb-coated rice balls, also known as arancini, are a popular Italian appetizer. Here, juicy little pomegranate seeds offset the richness of the Parmesan and fontina cheeses.

22 of 25

Bacon-Wrapped Potatoes


This recipe couldn’t be easier: Simply wrap strips of bacon around baby potatoes and bake until the spuds are tender. Serve them with mustard or Lemon Aioli if you like.

23 of 25

Goat Cheese-Stuffed Mushrooms

stuffed mushrooms
José Manuel Picayo Rivera

Goat cheese seasoned with garlic, parsley, and red-pepper flakes is stuffed into button mushroom caps, topped with fresh breadcrumbs, and baked until lightly browned. This easy appetizer recipe can be customized to your liking -- consider adding bacon, shallots, chopped olives, or toasted nuts.

24 of 25

Baked Brie with Pecans

David Loftus

This easy holiday appetizer begins with a wheel of Brie or Camembert, baked until soft. A combination of maple syrup and toasted pecans makes a sweet and crunchy topping.

25 of 25

Croquettes with Serrano Ham and Manchego Cheese


Manchego cheese sauce mixed with chopped serrano ham is cooled so that it can be formed into balls. The mixture is then dipped in beaten egg and breadcrumbs and fried until golden, creating tapas that are warm and creamy on the inside and crisp on the outside.

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