Quick Vegetarian Appetizers
Appetizers are a must for any get-together, whether it be a backyard barbecue, casual game night, elegant cocktail party, or holiday get-together. These vegetarian appetizers are quick and easy to prepare so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your guests. Mashed avocado and grape tomatoes make a colorful, delicious topping for crostini. Try roasting the tomatoes for an extra-special touch.
Everyone's favorite hot artichoke dip gets a healthy makeover, using modest amounts of light mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese. Serve this party appetizer with fresh vegetables and whole-wheat pita chips.
Upside-Down Mushroom Tartlets
Frozen puff pastry is the secret to these easy, elegant Gruyere and mushroom tartlets. Bake them in jumbo muffin tins to give them their shape.
Baked Brie with Pecans
This easy holiday appetizer begins with a wheel of Brie or Camembert, baked until soft and melting. Maple syrup and toasted pecans combine to make a sweet and crunchy topping.
This classic recipe for hummus combines canned chickpeas with garlic, tahini (sesame seed paste), and a pinch each of cumin and nutmeg. Serve as part of a meze platter with stuffed grape leaves and marinated olives.
Stuffed Piquillo Peppers with Goat Cheese
Roasted piquillo peppers, sweeter and spicier than bell peppers, are available in jars. Stuff the peppers with a mixture of goat cheese with chopped mint, scallions, and lemon juice.
Whether it's a backyard barbecue, game day, or a birthday party, you can't go wrong with this layered taco dip. Refried beans, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, avocado, scallions, canned green chiles, sour cream, and shredded lettuce comprise the enticing layers.
Eggplant and Mint Bruschetta
An alternative to ratatouille, the combination of roasted eggplant, plum tomatoes, and red onion gets a refreshing edge from fresh mint. Sprinkle feta cheese over the bruschetta and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice before serving.
Cremini mushrooms absorb the bold, tangy flavors of oregano, lemon juice, and white-wine vinegar in a 20-minute marinade. Serve these marinated mushrooms with olives, roasted peppers, and pickled vegetables as flavorful accompaniments to a cheese platter.
A chunky relish of green olives and diced celery is spooned over creamy chickpea dip on toasted baguette slices. The relish and the dip can be made up to three days in advance; assemble this appetizer just before you are ready to serve it.
Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
Cumin seeds and cayenne pepper give alluring flavor to this easy snack. The chickpeas become crisp when roasted in a hot oven.
Creamy Deviled Eggs
Light mayonnaise lends creaminess to these deviled eggs, while Dijon mustard, white-wine vinegar, minced shallot, and a dash of hot sauce add zing. Sprinkle each egg with paprika for a traditional touch.
Red onion, thyme, oregano, and hot pepper enliven the flavor of Bucheron (or any other ripened goat cheese). Drizzle the seasoned cheese with olive oil and red-wine vinegar and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving with crackers or bread.
Hot Spinach Dip
Mozzarella and cream cheese make this hot spinach dip extra rich and flavorful. To save time, use frozen spinach in place of fresh. This appetizer can be made up to three days ahead of time and baked shortly before you are ready to serve it.
Coriander-Chile Pinto Bean Dip
This spicy spin on white-bean dip combines a can of pinto beans with coriander, paprika, garlic, and a splash of red-wine vinegar. Serve it with flatbread crackers or tortilla chips.
Easy Goat Cheese Appetizer
To make this easy appetizer, marinated goat cheese or feta is baked until soft and golden brown. Serve the warm cheese with crackers, sliced baguette, or blanched broccoli and red bell pepper strips for dipping.
Fresh Vegetable Quesadillas with Corn Relish
Tuck Monterey Jack cheese, yellow summer squash, and orange bell pepper between flour tortillas and toast them on the grill. Serve the quesadillas with fresh corn and scallion relish.
Goat-Cheese Crostini with Fig Compote
Creamy, tangy goat cheese and sweet, chewy dried figs make a great pair on top of toasted baguette slices. The fig, red wine, and thyme compote can be prepared a few days in advance.
Two favorite party dips unite in this creamy recipe. Three cups of cilantro leaves give the dip its vivid green color.
Edamame with Chile Salt
Blend coarse salt, sugar, and crushed red-pepper flakes in a spice grinder to make an easy, irresistible seasoning for edamame. This appetizer can be put together in about five minutes.
Summer Squash Tart with Olives
Six sheets of phyllo dough create the light, crisp crust for this savory tart. Brush the top layer of phyllo with garlic and herb-infused olive oil and top with Kalamata olives and slices of squash before baking.
Fried Herbed Almonds
Pan-fry blanched almonds with fresh thyme to make an addictive, crunchy cocktail-hour snack. Serve the nuts alongside Manchego cheese and roasted red peppers.
Beet, Cheddar, and Apple Tarts
Sliced beets add brilliant color to these sweet-savory appetizers. Cut puff pastry with a round cookie cutter to make the mini tart shells.
Mash feta cheese with olive oil and lemon juice to make a spreadable topping for toasted baguette. If you like, add minced red onion or chopped olives to the mixture. Top the cheese-spread toasts with thin slices of cucumber.
Reduced-fat cream cheese and a modest amount of Parmesan cheese add richness to this crowd-pleasing party dip without adding loads of fat. Lemon juice, galrlic, scallions, and a pinch of cayenne pepper add plenty of flavor to the blend.
Kiwi Summer Roll
Kiwifruit is the star in these cool, colorful vegetarian summer rolls. Make a dipping sauce from honey, lime juice, and tart-spicy Aleppo chili powder.
Stuff halved, seeded jalapenos with cheddar and cream cheeses and roast until browned and bubbly. These will be a hit at any casual get-together.
Caramelized red onions add a rich, sweet dimension to these musroom, spinach, and pepper Jack cheese-stuffed tortillas. The quesadillas can be assembled up to three hours ahead of time and baked just before you're ready to serve them.
Cucumber-Mint Yogurt Dip
Inspired by Greek tzatziki sauce, this cool, refreshing dip combines chopped cucumber and mint with thick plain yogurt. Serve it with raw vegetables such as carrots, bell pepper strips, cherry tomatoes, and radishes.
White-Bean and Caper Crostini
Capers and minced red onion liven up cannellini beans in this easy appetizer. If you like, add garlic or fresh herbs to the mixture.
Creamy Peanut Dipping Sauce
Peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, and sugar combine to make an easy peanut sauce. Keep this on hand for dipping spring rolls, tofu kebabs, or grilled vegetables, or for dressing cooked noodles.