You have a few friends coming over, so naturally you want to serve a bunch of photogenic starters that everyone will be dying to share on Instagram. Don’t fret: It’s easier than it seems if you pick a few foolproof recipes. From a Pinterest-ready bruschetta bar to an impressive array of savory crostini and tarts, here are 27 fancy appetizers that are secretly really easy to make. Bring them to a potluck, whip them up for your annual holiday party and keep your faves in your back pocket for a special occasion.
27 Fancy Appetizers That Are Secretly Really Easy to Make
2. Baked Brie With Figs, Pistachios And Orange
Sweet and savory with melted cheese? Count us in (and everyone else). Baked Brie is perfect for serving at Christmas Eve dinner.
3. Scallion And Chive Flatbread
Sorry, but we'll never be over garden focaccia. A flourish of edible flowers makes this starter even fancier.
4. Smoked Salmon Crostini With Herbed Mayonnaise
Ten minutes and a food processor gives you Katie Workman’s herbed mayonnaise, the best base for these savory smoked salmon crostini.
5. Brussels Sprout Sliders
The first rule of fancy apps: They all taste better on a stick. Here, it’s Brussels sprouts, prosciutto and mozzarella balls. Serve them with balsamic glaze for dipping.
6. Vegetarian Sushi Cups
Impress your friends by making your own sushi. This vegetarian version is surprisingly easy to pull off, but feel free to add cooked shrimp or raw fish if you're feeling ambitious.
7. Roasted Green Bean Salad With Navy Beans And Preserved Lemons
Want to transform green bean salad into something très chic? Easy. Just call them haricots verts (and top them with preserved lemon-caper dressing).
8. Sweet Potato Crostini
Toppings are everything when it comes to this iconic finger food. We’re partial to dried cranberries and roasted almonds atop a layer of crème fraîche.
9. French Onion Cups
The coziest fall soup of all time, wrapped in a blanket of easy store-bought puff pastry. Each bite is packed with the essentials, like buttery sweet onions, beef broth and Gruyère.
10. Baked Mac And Cheese Bites
Dress up comfort food by serving it in bite-size portions. Feel free to dress the macaroni up with crumbled bacon, fire-roasted canned tomatoes, greens or Buffalo chicken.
11. Coconut Shrimp
We know, deep frying coconut shrimp sounds intimidating. But we promise it’s easier to manage than you think (and so worth the work).
13. Crisp Fall Green Salad With Benne Seed Ginger Dressing
Heirloom benne seeds gussy up this simple dressing and seasonal salad, starring baby kale, kohlrabi, lettuce and Brussels sprouts.
14. Melon Caprese Skewers With Herb Oil
A melon baller is the secret to making Liz Harris’s impressive-looking watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew skewers with mozzarella.
15. Roasted Mixed Nuts
Serve a ramekin of these homemade roasted nuts to give pre-dinner cocktails a five-star touch. The recipe calls for a mix of almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews and pistachios.
16. Boursin Cheese With Caramelized Onions And Bacon
Need to dress up a package of cheese from the grocery store? Top Boursin with caramelized onions and chunks of bacon, then serve it with crackers, bread and crudités for dipping.
17. Whipped Feta Dip
Sure, you can share the nine-ingredient dip with your guests...but we’re actually just going to inhale a batch ourselves, thank you very much.
18. Prosciutto And Fig Salad Board
It'll take you 15 minutes tops to assemble this stunning salad. Best part? All the toppings will be easily accessible on the board instead of trapped at the bottom of a bowl.
19. Split Pea Soup With Bacon And Beer
Split pea soup may sound old-school and unappetizing, but hear us out. With fresh croutons, a can of your favorite pale lager, sherry vinegar and a ton of bacon, it's far more exciting than what you ate as a kid.
20. Feta Wrapped In Phyllo With Sesame And Honey
You first fell for this briny cheese when you made TikTok's baked feta pasta. Reinvigorate your love for it with this 25-minute recipe that only calls for six ingredients.
22. Caesar Pasta Salad
Never choose between creamy pasta salad and crisp salad again. Feel free to serve it post-summertime, too—the omega-rich avocado Caesar dressing tastes divine year-round.
23. ‘frycuterie’ Board
How can such a simple side look so damn fancy, you ask? By plating four different varieties of it (sweet potato, crinkle-cut, curly and tater tots) with four equally delicious dipping sauces.
24. Cheesy Polenta Bites With Brussels Sprouts And Pancetta
Each polenta bite is like a crispy corner piece of cornbread. As if that wasn't drool-worthy enough, factor in salty goat cheese and crispy pancetta.
25. Five-minute Bean Salad
Guests are arriving in ten and you have nothing to feed them. Before you panic, check your pantry for canned white beans—they're bound to save the day.
26. Spanish Tapas Board
Manchego cheese, Ibérico ham and cured chorizo are expected. But everyone will be floored by the heirloom pan con tomate and patatas bravas with saffron aioli.
27. Vegan Miso Caramel Dip With Pretzels And Granny Smith Apples
For those who go gaga for any sweet-and-salty appetizer. The caramel isn't as sugary as you might expect, thanks to umami-rich miso paste.
For even more great recipes, check out our first cookbook, Only the Good Stuff.