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Favorite Party Appetizers and Hors d'Oeuvres

Find Recipes for the Appetizers Everyone Wants to Find at a Party


As with all things in the edible world, there will always be new recipes for appetizers and hors d'oeuvres. Whatever turns up as the latest fashion in cuisine from around the world, or makes an appearance as the hottest culinary darling on the cooking competition shows, you can be sure it will turn up at cocktail, business, and other parties you attend. And while guests enjoy trying new flavor combinations, there are just some appetizers that they secretly wish would turn up at the next party they attend. That's why I've compiled my picks for everyone's favorite party appetizers and hors d'oeuvres based on the interest I've seen from readers researching on this site, as well as personal experience from parties I've attended. Choose a few of these for your next party and watch how quickly they disappear.

1. Spinach Dip

Low Fat Spinach Dip
Copyright Fiona Hayes, Guide to Low Fat Cooking, licensed to About.com.
Spinach dip has taken the place of the previously popular onion soup mix dip. Whether it's because the spinach in the dip gives us comfort that there's something healthy going on in our party food, or because it's usually served in a giant bowl made from a round loaf of bread, this is one of the more popular appetizer searches on this site.

2. Stuffed Mushrooms

Creamy Stuffed Mushrooms
Copyright Donna Pilato, licensed to About.com.
You either love mushrooms or hate them. But if you fall into the love 'em category, then stuffed mushrooms offer a world of possibilities. Cheesy fillings, creamy fillings, seafood, meat, you name it, they provide the perfect bite size canvas for enticing fillings, and readers of this site clearly have figured that out by the number of recipe searches I see for this popular appetizer.

3. Bruschetta

Ham and Cheese Bruschetta
Copyright Donna Pilato, licensed to About.com.
Who can resist dressed up, toasted bread slices? Apparently, nobody can, based on the amount of interest I see in recipes for bruschetta, the very popular two bite appetizer/hors d'oeuvres that has really hit its stride in recent years. Think about it, they can go to your party with the classic tomato and basil topping, or they can go a little crazy with dessert type toppings such as nutella and berries. Really, you should invite them to your next event.

4. Pigs in a Blanket

Pigs in a Blanket
Copyright, Diana Rattray, Guide to Southern Food, licensed to About.com.
No matter how sophisticated the party is, when pigs in a blanket show up as the passed hors d'oeuvre, the waiters are in danger of being knocked to the ground. Maybe it's because they bring out the little kid in all of us, or perhaps they recreate a nostalgic moment from past parties, but this humble bite never goes out of style.

5. Mini Pizzas

Mini Pizzas
Copyright Diana Rattray, Guide to Southern Food, licensed to About.com.
Given the popularity of traditional pizza as a meal at any time of the day, it should come as no surprise that mini pizzas are popular as an appetizer. This recipe will give you the basic guidelines for building pizzas for your parties, but feel free to play with the toppings to suit the season. You might create a traditional tomato sauce and cheese variety for one event. Add pepperoni for a family friendly party, or wipe the slate clean and top your base with creme fraiche and caviar for a more sophisticated event.

6. Cold Shrimp

When a tray of cold shrimp appears at a party, you need to watch that you aren't trampled by the crowds racing to score a few for their appetizer plates. Try this spicy, garlicky variation to make your cold shrimp appetizer even more alluring.

7. Stuffed Potato Skins

Cheesy Stuffed Potato Skins
Copyright Kevin Weeks, licensed to About.com
Potato skins make a great canvas for all sorts of tempting toppings. They're perfect as a finger food, conveniently offering a no-mess base to hold as long as you don't overdo the toppings. Then again, who cares if they're messy?

8. Cheddar Cheese Balls

This video recipe for the always popular cheddar cheese ball appetizer shows you how to make them in bite size portions. That way, your guests can easily pop one in their mouths as they grab another to save for later.

9. Mini Quiches

Mini Mushroom and Cheese Quiches
Copyright Linda Larsen, Guide to Busy Cooks, licensed to About.com.
Mini quiches usually come across as an elegant appetizer. So tiny, they can usually work as single bites for most guests. Of course, you can play with the fillings by substituting other vegetables for the mushrooms in this recipe, mixing in chopped cooked seafood, or little bits of cooked sausage. Have fun with them - appetizers and hors d'oeuvres are meant to make your guests smile.

10. Spiced Nuts

Mixed nuts are a perennial party snack that are usually cleaned out by the end of the evening. However, it doesn't take much effort to take them from ordinary to special by mixing in a few extra spices and cooking them just a tiny bit. It's worth the extra effort, especially because they can be prepared days before your party.

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