Whether you’re hosting an all-out dinner party or just gathering friends for cocktails, you’re going to need something to nosh on—preferably with your fingers. But beyond the usual crudités and dip (yawn), what’s a hostess to serve? Easy: any one of these 40 appetizers for a crowd, all of which are easy to make and even easier to eat.
40 Appetizers for a Crowd That Are Easy and Unexpected
1. Mini Chicken And Waffles
Whether it’s a barbecue, movie night or brunch, these adorable bites will undoubtedly be a hit. Serve them with maple syrup for dipping and watch them disappear.
2. Avocado Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are always a crowd-pleaser. Why not dress them up for the party? Avocado and chives add a little something that will have everyone coming back for seconds.
3. Roasted Mixed Nuts
These aren’t just any old bar nuts. They’re tossed in a mix of spices and herbs before roasting, making them completely irresistible. Even better, you can use whatever nuts suit your fancy. Feel like adding pistachios? Go for it.
4. Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
Name a better combination than buffalo and anything. We’ll wait (with blue cheese dressing in hand).
5. Italian Pinwheels
It’s like an entire charcuterie board in one bite-size package, and it takes less than 30 minutes to make a full batch. What’s not to love?
6. The Classiest Cheese Balls In The Universe
If your idea of a cheese ball is straight out of 1975, this recipe is for you. The secret? A trio of modern toppings keeps the cream-cheese-based app feeling fresh.
7. Mozzarella Bites
They’re just like mozzarella sticks, but smaller. That means you can eat more of them, right? (The things we tell ourselves for cheese…)
8. Spinach Artichoke Squares
We’re artichoke dip fans through and through. Add puff pastry, and we’re positively swooning. They’ve got the same cheesy goodness as the retro dip, without the need for crackers or chips.
9. Cranberry-brie Pie Crust Bites
In a room full of store-bought crackers and cheese, be a homemade cranberry-sauce-and-Brie-topped pie-crust bite.
10. Goat Cheese And Honey Bites
Once again, cheese proves itself to be a no-brainer dinner party snack. These guys are creamy, salty, crispy and a little bit sweet (and the best pairing for a glass of wine).
11. Brussels Sprouts Sliders
Behold, the cutest crudités you’ve ever seen. Aside from roasting the Brussels sprouts, they take about five minutes to put together—and even less time to be gobbled up.
12. Mini Peach Tarts With Goat Cheese And Honey
No one will even suspect that you used store-bought puff pastry in these sweet and savory beauties. (You might want to make a second batch; they’re that good.)
13. 7 Layer Dip
Sour cream, guacamole and salsa all in one dish? Pass the tortillas chips, please.
14. Bacon-wrapped Cheese Straws
How many appetizer recipes can you name that require only three ingredients? Add this one to your short list.
15. Spicy Ricotta-stuffed Phyllo Rolls
If you want something fancier than cheese dip but equally low-effort, reach for these unexpected dippers instead. They’re practically foolproof.
16. Crispy Bacon-wrapped Brussels Sprouts
Finally, we have definitive proof that the ultimate party app is one part green vegetable, one part crispy bacon.
17. Pull-apart Bread With Caramelized Onions And Goat Cheese
Each bite has layers of buttery dough and a creamy filling. Serve it straight from the oven and prepare for oohs and ahhs.
18. All-green Crudités Platter
If you’re going to do crudités, up the ante with this stunning monochromatic board. It takes any spread from blah to brilliant.
19. Fruit And Cheese Board
A traditional cheese plate is always a good idea, but why not switch it up with this drop-dead gorgeous “fruicuterie” platter? Not only is it tasty, it’s also a classy way to mind the vegetarians in the room.
20. Delicata Squash Rings With Garlic-lemon Sauce
Onion rings better watch out: These easy, elegant squash bites are certain to steal the show. And about that dipping sauce: It’s just three ingredients, plus salt and pepper.
21. Mozzarella-stuffed Pizza Bread
Say hello to the snazziest way to serve pizza at your next get-together. The cheese is stuffed inside and the sauce is swirled around the exterior for an impressive presentation.
22. Roasted Poblano And Corn Guacamole
Fans of chunky guac, this one goes out to you. Spicy, zesty and sweet, it’s just the update your tortilla chips are looking for.
23. Rainbow Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta
You’re 15 minutes away from an Instagrammable appetizer. Heirloom tomatoes not in season? Not a problem—swap them out for cherry tomatoes.
24. Cheesy Polenta Bites With Brussels Sprouts And Pancetta
The beauty of these guys—which taste like the deliciously crispy parts of cornbread—is that the toppings can be customized to your heart’s desire.
25. Pimento Cheese Stuffed Shishito Peppers
These are like the jalapeño pepper’s hip and trendy younger sibling. They also take less than 30 minutes to make, hint hint.
26. Ultimate Cheese Plate With Roasted Grapes
If you’ve never had roasted grapes before, you’re in for a treat. They’re tossed with salt and pepper, and come out of the oven like no salty-sweet snack you’ve had before.
27. Mexican Street Corn Deviled Eggs
If elote and deviled eggs had a very delicious baby, it would be this entertaining-ready take on a classic.
28. Carrot Pigs In A Blanket
Introducing the vegetarian version of everyone’s childhood favorite. Serve these with green goddess dressing and you may never go back to the original.
29. 15-minute Mezze Plate With Toasted Za’atar Pita Bread
Homemade herby pitas? Check. All your favorite Mediterranean small bites? Check. Yep, this all seems in order.
30. Baked Mac-and-cheese Bites
Some appetizers just make sense. Serve them hot or at room temperature—either way, they’ll be gone by the end of the night.
31. Crispy Baked Cauliflower ‘wings’
We love a sneaky vegetable snack, especially when it’s doused in hot sauce and paired with a dipping sauce. (We’re partial to ranch.)
32. Sweet Potato Crostini
Swap the usual toasted bread for thinly sliced roasted sweet potatoes, then go wild with the toppings. Might we suggest smoked salmon and cream cheese?
33. Bacon, Fig And Ricotta Tartines
They’re irresistibly sweet and salty, not to mention a breeze to whip up. (We suggest making extra.)
34. Crudités With Romesco Sauce
This platter is so pretty, we might have a crush on it. Our advice? If you use store-bought roasted peppers for the sauce, you’ll cut the assembly time down to almost nothing.
35. Vegan Arancini
The only thing tastier than cheesy, creamy risotto is cheesy, creamy risotto that’s been fried into these rice balls. Even the non-vegans in the roomwill devour them.
36. Italian Deli Pinwheel Sandwiches
Pick and choose your favorite Italian cold cuts—we like prosciutto and Genoa salami, but the choice is yours. Whatever you do, don’t forget the pepperoncini.
37. Chicken Parmesan Bites
They’re fancy, homemade chicken nuggets. Need we say more?
38. Maple-candied Bacon
Bacon as an appetizer? Yes—especially when it’s this sticky, salty-sweet candied version. You’re going to want extra napkins.
39. Mini Skillet Pizzas With Mushrooms And Roasted Tomatoes
Two things everyone loves: pizza and mini food. Voilà, the most fool-proof appetizer ever. Use store-bough pizza dough and your guests will be none the wiser.
40. Serena Wolf’s Boss Bean Dip
You’re 20 minutes and two steps from chip-dip heaven.