Hosting on a budget or short on time? These 10 super quick appetizers are perfect for your next no-fuss gathering.
I love entertaining and I love having people over, but now that I have kids, I am often short on time. Before kids anyone could come over with a moment’s notice. Now, I need at least a day or two to pick up the clothes, the toys and all the goldfish crumbs. I always find myself short on time and no matter how early I start, I feel like I am running behind. So today, I thought I’d share 10 super quick appetizers. These appetizers are quick to make and generally don’t take a ton of ingredients.
Boursin on Baguette
If you’ve never had Boursin cheese, you’re missing out. Boursin is a French spreadable cheese similar to cream cheese. Although garlic and herb is the classic version, it comes in a variety of flavors like:
- Fig & Walnut
- Cranberry & Spice (seasonal)
- Red Chili Pepper
- Shallot & Chive
- Basil & Chive
No recipe needed. Buy your cheese and let it come to room temperature. Cut your baguette and brush a little bit of olive oil on each side and toast on a grill pan. Spread your cheese once the toast is cooled and serve!
Baked Brie and Chutney
Baked brie is one of my favorite appetizers. This mild cheese can be found in the “nice cheese” part of your grocery store and typically comes in a wheel. It isn’t the cheapest, but it’s always a crowd-pleaser and has always been considered an upscale appetizer. I love to wrap the Brie in puff pastry or phyllo dough but if you want to keep it simple, you can bake it naked for about 7 to 10 minutes at 350. If you don’t have time to get all fancy with chutney, consider just spreading with preserves or thick jam. Even cranberry sauce or honey pairs well with it.
Cheese and Grapes or Cheese and Olives Skewers
This is definitely an easy appetizer. In fact, many grocery stores will even cube the cheese for you at the deli so you don’t have to do all the cutting. Anthos or Kalamata olives pair nicely with cheese, just make certain that grapes are seedless and olives are pitted. All you need is cubed cheese, seedless grapes and pitted olives. The skewer them using cocktail picks and place them out. You can help keep cheese cool by serving on a marble pastry or cheeseboard.
Cheeseboard (Charcuterie Board)
For this, you can leave cheese whole in wedges and serve with cheese knives for easy cutting. Pair with a cracker variety and/or grapes. Three or four wedges should be plenty. A great cheeseboard has a variety of hard and soft cheeses. Stick to classic cheeseboard cheeses like:
- Blue Cheese (Roquefort, Blue Stilton, Gorgonzola, Maytag, Danish Blue)
- Cheddar (Farmhouse, Longhorn, Extra Sharp, Aged)
- Goat Cheese
- Other Cheeses (Havarti, Swiss, Provolone, Parmesan-Reggiano, Gouda, Gruyere)
Of course I love turning this into a charcuterie board full of fruits, nuts, and salami (see pic below). But if you need to keep it simple and don’t want to spend a lot of time putting it together, a few wedges of cheese and crackers does the trick! Be sure to read my post How to Make the Ultimate Charcuterie Board for a large scale version of a cheese board.
Brushetta is a simple salad that uses Roma tomatoes, fresh basil, Parmesan, and olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. You may need to add a little salt to it. But it doesn’t take much to whip up this five-ingredient appetizer up. You will need to help cut up a baguette to serve it on. You can even let guests spread it themselves if you are worried about the bread going soggy. To prevent this, toast your baguette with a little brushed olive oil and grill it until golden brown.
Caprese Salad Skewers
Caprese Salad is a three-ingredient salad – tomatoes, fresh basil, and fresh mozzarella. A simple dressing of balsamic vinaigrette and extra-virgin olive oil is drizzled on top. For parties, I love putting it on skewers or toothpicks or putting it in small cups. If preparing in advance for a party, don’t drizzle the dressing until you are ready to serve or keep it on the side. To serve on the side you can put the dressing in a small bowl for dipping. Or if you are offering the appetizer on small plates you can keep the dressing in a small creamer pitcher for guests to drizzle.
About fifteen years ago, I found a fabulous recipe for pimento cheese. I was not a pimento cheese fan. Of course, I had only ever had it in a processed variety that you get in a jar from the grocery store. No wonder I didn’t like it. Try my recipe for a fresh version of pimento cheese. I know you will love it. The recipe uses Monterrey Jack cheese. I really recommend you use that instead of cheddar which can be overpowering. It then combines fresh dill, minced garlic, mayonnaise, and of course pimentos.
You can serve it with crackers and a spreader or you can purchase some nice artisan bread from your local supermarket and spread it on finger sandwiches. Either way, it’s an easy appetizer that whipped up quickly for guests.
Monterrey Jack Pimento Cheese
- 8 Oz Monterrey Jack Cheese shredded
- 2 Tbsp Garlic Minced
- 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Dill Chopped
- 2 Oz Pimento Strained
- With a food strainer, strain the pimentos until all the liquid is gone.
- In a medium bowl, add cheese and Pimento.
- Mince garlic and add to mixture.
- Add dill and mayonnaise. Stir well until fully combined.
- Refrigerate for one hour before serving.
Hot Goat Cheese Fondue
I first tried this hot goat cheese fondue at a local farm-to-market style restaurant here in San Antonio where I live. Once I got home, I was determined to make it myself. If you are a goat cheese fan, this Mediterranean-inspired dish is delicious and it is super quick to make. You will need a log of goat cheese (at least four ounces), cherry tomatoes, pitted kalamata olives, fresh rosemary, and extra-virgin olive oil. Baked together, it is bubbly, cheesy, goodness. You can serve it with warmed or grilled pita bread or baguette. This recipe is easy with only a handful of ingredients and is done in less than half an hour.
Goat Cheese Fondue
- 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3-4 Small Sweet Tomatoes
- 4 Oz Goat Cheese
- 1 Tsp Fresh Rosemary
- 6-8 Kalamata Olives Pitted
- Preheat oven to 350
- In a small dish, place goat cheese and place in the over for 5-10 mins until softened.
- While in the oven, pit olives (if not pre-pitted) and separate rosemary from stem.
- Once goat cheese is semi soft take out of oven and spread the cheese to fully cover the bottom of the dish.
- Sprinkle fresh rosemary. Add 3-4 tomatoes and add olives
- Turn broiler on low and place cheese in oven
- Melt under broiler for approximately 5 mins. Pay close attention to the cheese as things can burn quickly under the broiler.
- Once melted, remove from oven. Drizzle olive oil on the top. Best served with warm bread.
Fried Ravioli with Marinara
Can we just agree that most things taste better fried? Okay, well maybe not everything. I definitely enjoy things fresh, but for an appetizer, fried ravioli is really good and it is a little more refined than say that fried cheese sticks that grace every sports bar in America. You will need fresh ravioli. It does not matter if it is cheese or meat filled. Heat up some vegetable oil to 365º F and fry your ravioli for 2 minutes. Drain on a paper towel. Sprinkle salt and a small amount of grated parmesan on it. Plate a small bowl of marinara sauce for dipping. Easy peasy!
Maybe it’s because I’m Hispanic, but quesadillas are so good! Sure you can always do chips and salsa if you want to really make it easy, but if you are looking for something a little more filling for your guests, you can always warm up some quesadillas. You can do a wide variety of different kinds. You can keep it simple and just do cheese (The best Mexican cheeses for quesadillas are Oaxaca, Asadero, Chihuahua, and Manchengo) or you can add meat or pico de gallo. You can keep them warm in a tortilla warmer until guests arrive. Then serve with guacamole, sour cream and salsa for dipping.
I hope you enjoyed this 10 super easy appetizers. Don’t forget to pin this post for later (you may need it). What is your favorite appetizer? Do you have a go-to dish? Tell me in the comments.