Our Favorite Fall Appetizer Recipes for Any Kind of Gathering

From baked cheese and vegetable-packed tarts to warm dips, soups, and more, these dishes are all crowd pleasers.

beet, cheddar, and apple tarts
Photo: Bryan Gardner

Whether you're having friends over to watch a football game or throwing an impromptu Friday night pizza gathering, fall is a great time to entertain. In many places, the weather is cooler, so you can crank up the oven without overheating your guests—which opens the door to so many wonderful recipes.

That might mean baked Brie (or Camembert, or any mild, creamy cheese); you can also roast all manner of fall fruits and vegetables, from parsnips to grapes, and turn them into finger foods, dips, or spreads. Tarts and puffs are another lovely option for fall appetizers, and if you use store-bought puff pastry they're easy, too. Of course, you definitely don't need to bake or even cook: A crudité platter can be perfect any time of year, especially if you lean in to the season with darker-hued vegetables.

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Baked Camembert With Cherry Jam

Baked Camembert with Cherry Jam
Nico Schinco

Scatter herbs over a round of your favorite soft cheese—any mild, creamy Brie or Camembert is perfect—add a small pour of vermouth for flair, and bake for 10 minutes. To give it a fall spin, spoon on a pear jam or even concord grape after it comes out of the oven. Serve with bread or crackers.

02 of 15

Arancini With Sage

Anna Williams

Fried rice balls are a delicious treat. This particular version includes a cube of melted Taleggio cheese inside. Serve them with fried sage leaves for a warm, woodsy accent.

03 of 15

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup
David Malosh

Rich butternut squash soup is a lovely start to any fall meal. Thicken the soup by puréeing this favorite autumn vegetable with onions and chicken broth.

04 of 15

Chorizo, Parsnip, and Olive Bites

Chorizo, Parsnip, and Olive Bites
Bryan Gardner

This fall finger food is a cinch to make and even easier to eat, thanks to the skewers. It combines savory chorizo, sweet roasted parsnips, and salty green olives.

05 of 15

Roasted Grape and Burrata Crostini

Roasted Grape and Burrata Crostini
Gabriela Herman

Roasting grapes turns them soft and wilted, and some even burst, creating a jam-like liquid that's amazing with buttery-tasting burrata.

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Pears With Maple Walnuts and Gorgonzola

Pears with Maple Walnuts and Gorgonzola

The only cooking required for this fall appetizer is toasting walnuts you've dressed with sugar, salt, butter, and syrup. Once that easy job is done, just arrange the candied nuts on a platter alongside pear wedges and Gorgonzola. Together, they offer a fantastic mix of flavors and textures.

07 of 15

Caramelized Persimmons With Prosciutto

Caramelized Persimmons with Prosciutto
Raymond Hom

Persimmons, which are in season September through late November, have a delicate flavor that takes nicely to caramelizing—and the sweet taste is a great match for salty prosciutto.

08 of 15

Apple-Onion Tarts

John Kernick

These sweet and savory apple-onion tarts have a rosemary-infused, parsnip sweetened crust. Cut them into slices, and they are an elegant start to a special fall meal.

09 of 15

Gruyère, Anchovy, and Olive Straws

Gruyère, Anchovy, and Olive Straws
Paola + Murray

Crunchy and buttery, these puff pastry straws are wonderful with a glass of crisp sparkling wine or cider. There are three different ways to flavor them: Gruyère, anchovy, or olive.

10 of 15

Roasted-Carrot-and-Beet Tart

Roasted-Carrot-and-Beet Tart
Bryan Gardner

This stunning and savory tart celebrates the time in between summer and winter with sweet roasted vegetables, fragrant cilantro, and warm toasted spices.

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Crudités With Miso-Yogurt Dip

Crudites with Miso-Yogurt Dip
Chelsea Cavanaugh

Purple carrots and potatoes, red cabbage, and black radishes give this crudité platter a vibe that's perfect for Halloween—or anytime you feel like taking a departure from the usual orange carrots and pale green celery.

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Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts

Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts
Bryan Gardner

It's hard to go wrong when you wrap anything in bacon, and roasted Brussels sprouts are no exception. They're delightful with a zingy mustard dipping sauce.

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Savory Pumpkin Puffs

Savory Pumpkin Puffs

If you're hosting a fall party, this is a fun and festive hors d'oeuvre. Cut store-bought puff pastry into small pumpkin shapes, then fill with grated Gruyère and Parmesan cheeses and Dijon mustard.

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Warm Fennel-and-Parmesan Dip

Warm Fennel-and-Parmesan Dip
Marcus Nilsson

In season during fall and winter, fennel takes especially well to roasting, so its sharp notes soften and sweeten. This warm, golden dip uses Parmesan cheese to season caramelized fennel and garlic.

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Beet, Cheddar, and Apple Tarts

beet, cheddar, and apple tarts
Bryan Gardner

Thinly sliced beets add beautiful color to these small tarts, which are just the right size for appetizers. And using store-bought puff pastry for the rounds cuts down on prep time considerably.

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