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61 Impressive Apps That Will Get the Party Started

If this year's holiday bash is an upscale affair, don't sweat it. It's easy to impress with these festive finger foods.

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Mini Beef Tourtieres

Here's a twist on the traditional tourtiere recipe. Ground beef replaces pork, and cream cheese pastry takes the place of pie pastry. The filled mini cups make a melt-in-your-mouth addition to a buffet. —Cheryl Bruneau, Winnipeg, Manitoba
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Easy Smoked Salmon

A magazine featured this recipe years ago, and it's still my favorite salmon. Just add crackers for a super simple yet elegant appetizer. —Norma Fell, Boyne City, Michigan
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Ham 'n' Cheese Biscuit Stacks

These finger sandwiches are filling enough to satisfy hearty appetites. I've served the fun little stacks at every event, including holiday gatherings, showers and tailgate parties. —Kelly Williams, Forked River, New Jersey
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Honey-Mint Lamb Skewers

My hearty lamb bites are delicious and convenient. Assemble them the day before, then pop them under the broiler when the party starts. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Shrimp Tartlets

Fill mini tart shells with a cream cheese mixture, then top with seafood sauce and shrimp for a picture-perfect look and delightful taste. This recipe makes a fantastic appetizer, and several make a fast, light meal. —Gina Hutchison, Smithville, Missouri
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Steak Blue Cheese Bruschetta With Onion Roasted Tomato Jam Exps Sddj17 154021 C08 25 2b 2

Steak & Blue Cheese Bruschetta with Onion & Roasted Tomato Jam

An appetizer bursting with flavor from bleu cheese, caramelized onion, jam and balsamic vinegar—tasty bites that vanish in a hurry. —Debbie Reid, Clearwater, Florida
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Marinated Olive & Cheese Ring

We love to make meals into celebrations, and antipasto always kicks off the party for Italian dinners. This one is almost too pretty to eat, especially when sprinkled with pimientos, fresh basil and parsley. —Patricia Harmon, Baden, Pennsylvania
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Spicy Crab Salad Tapas

I served these at a party and everyone went wild! These delicious morsels have a crispy flaky outside filled with creamy sweet crab that has a little kick. I used scalloped-edge cookie cutters to cut my pastry, but you can use a small biscuit cutter. —Vanessa Mason, Summerdale, Alabama
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Snow Pea Holiday Wreath

Santa himself might stop to sample this pretty-as-a-picture finger food! Crunchy green pea pods and juicy red tomatoes add a natural fresh, festive holiday note to my buffet table. —Carol Schneck, Lodi, California
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Smoked Salmon & Dill Deviled Eggs

Take this perennial party food and give it an upscale twist with smoked salmon. Your guests will be delighted with the results. —Jan Valdez, Chicago, Illinois
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Savory Party Bread

It's impossible to stop nibbling on warm pieces of this cheesy, oniony bread. The sliced loaf fans out for a fun presentation. It's one of the best savory appetizers I've found. —Kay Daly, Raleigh, North Carolina
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Chocolate Covered Cheese With Black Sea Salt Exps Thca18 164088 B11 03 3b

Chocolate-Covered Cheese with Black Sea Salt

Every time I make these for guests or for a cooking demo about real food made simply, people rave about them. They're surprising as an addition to an appetizer table—or even served after dinner paired with a nice cabernet or port. —Dorothy McNett, Pacific Grove, California
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Fruit and Cheese Board

Who says cheese and sausage get to have all the fun? Make this a party go-to with any fruits that are in season. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Oysters Rockefeller

My husband and I are oyster farmers, and this classic Oysters Rockefeller dish always delights our guests. It's deliciously simple! —Beth Walton, Eastham, Massachusetts
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Cheese/Grape Appetizers

These small bites are well worth the time they take. Serve them as part of an antipasto platter or as a cheese course alongside your favorite wine. —Eleanor Grofvert, Kalamazoo, Michigan
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Chicken Pot Stickers

Chicken and mushrooms make up the filling in these pot stickers, a traditional Chinese dumpling. Greasing the steamer rack makes it easier to remove them once they're steamed. —Jacquelynne Stine, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Holiday Appetizer Meatballs

These beefy meatballs are a perennial favorite at our holiday parties. You won't believe how easy these holiday appetizers are to make. —Pat Waymire, Yellow Springs, Ohio
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Tortellini & Shrimp Skewers with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

These fresh skewers and tasty sauce will have guests nibbling all night! —Cacie Biddle, Bridgeport, West Virginia
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Greek Veggie Tartlets

The mixture in this recipe was originally a salad I made after a trip to Greece. When my husband suggested I serve it in phyllo cups, it became my most-requested appetizer!—Radelle Knappenberger, Oviedo, Florida
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Cucumber Party Sandwiches

This is one of my favorite appetizers. We have lots of pig roasts here in Kentucky, and these small sandwiches are perfect to serve while the pig is roasting. —Rebecca Rose, Mount Washington, Kentucky
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Mini Burgers with the Works

I started preparing these mini burgers several years ago as a creative way to use up bread crusts accumulating in my freezer. They're delicious. —Linda Lane, Bennington, Vermont
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Tuscan Truffles

For holiday potlucks, I make an appetizer truffle out of prosciutto, figs and toasted pine nuts. Mascarpone and goat cheese make them melt-in-your-mouth creamy. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
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Garden-Fresh Seafood Cocktail

For something cool on a hot day, we mix shrimp and crabmeat with crunchy veggies straight from the garden. Look for adobo seasoning in your grocery’s international section. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
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Goat Cheese & Onion Pastries

A flaky puff pastry crust holds sweet caramelized onions and creamy goat cheese for an easy yet upscale appetizer. The recipe is a must on all our entertaining menus. —Heidi Ellis, Monument, Colorado
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Smoked Trout Pate

This tasty spread is easy to make in a food processor, and it’s a guaranteed winner at any party. The recipe is versatile, so feel free to substitute other favorite smoked fish.—Judy Walle, Toledo, Ohio
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Caprese Salad Kabobs

Trade in the usual veggie platter for these fun kabobs. In addition to preparing these for get-togethers, I often make these as snacks for my family. And because assembly is so easy, the kids often ask to help. —Christine Mitchell, Glendora, California
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Kalamata Cheesecake Appetizer Exps Thca19 146229 C08 22 2b

Kalamata Cheesecake Appetizer

It's believed the Greeks served cheesecake at the first Olympics, so why not rewrite history with a Greek cheesecake appetizer? Ingredients in this version "tame" the kalamata olives, so even if you shy away from kalamatas, you'll be glad you tried this one. For a milder flavor, use the more common black or green olives. —Theresa Kreyche, Tustin, California
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Champion Chicken Puffs

My guests peeled rubber getting to the table to munch on Champion Chicken Puffs. These tender bites are made with hassle-free refrigerated crescent rolls and a flavorful chicken and cream-cheese filling. —Amber Kimmich, Powhatan, Virginia
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Artichoke & Spinach Dip Pizza

When I'm making this pizza and I have garlic oil in my pantry, I swap it for regular oil. It adds a little something without overpowering the toppings. —Shelly Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon
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Stuffed Asiago-Basil Mushrooms

Even if you don't like mushrooms, you will have to try them again with these pretty appetizers, which taste divine. For a main dish, double the filling and use large portobellos. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Ginger-Tuna Kabobs

I find myself making this recipe again and again. It's a hit at parties and potlucks. —Mary Beth Harris-Murphree, Tyler, Texas
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Baked Brie with Mushrooms

My sister craves this appetizer so much that I made a batch and carried it on the plane when I flew to New Mexico to visit her. The combination of creamy Brie with earthy sauteed mushrooms is scrumptious. —Melody Ansell, Portland, Oregon
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Heirloom Tomato Galette with Pecorino

I found beautiful heirloom tomatoes and had to show them off. In this easy galette, the tomatoes are tangy and the crust is beyond buttery. —Jessica Chang, Playa Vista, California
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Balsamic-Goat Cheese Grilled Plums

Make a bold statement with this simple yet elegant treat. Ripe plums are grilled and then dressed with a balsamic reduction and tangy goat cheese. —Ariana Abelow, Holliston, Massachusetts
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Ricotta Sausage Triangles

Savory pockets filled with cheese, sausage and seasonings...what's not to like? This recipe makes a lot so it's ideal for parties or potlucks. If you don't need the entire amount, they do freeze well. —Virginia Anthony, Jacksonville, Florida
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Appetizer Blue Cheese Logs

Three kinds of cheese and some curry powder make this cheese log a little more lively than most. Swipe it on your favorite cracker with a drizzle of honey for a sensational snack. —Ethel Johnson, North Saanich, British Columbia
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Grilled Zucchini with Peanut Chicken

Zucchini slices make perfect finger food. It’s fun to make a topping for zucchini and a good solution for a never-ending crop. — Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grv, Utah
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Beef Spiedini

An Italian favorite, spiedini are great for holidays and other special occasions. The hearty skewers hold marinated steak pinwheels stuffed with a marinara-and-crumb filling.
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Fried Asparagus

This battered asparagus is a favorite at events. It's fun to eat with a side of ranch dressing for dipping. —Lori Kimble, Montgomery, Alabama
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Shrimp and Cucumber Canapes

These cute stacks really stand out in a holiday appetizer buffet. Tasty, cool and crunchy, they come together in a snap. —Ashley Nochlin, Port St. Lucie, Florida
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Herbed Leek Tarts

This savory, nontraditional tart is a favorite among our family and friends! —Jean Ecos, Hartland, Wisconsin
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Korean Wontons

Korean wontons (called mandoo) are not hot and spicy like many of the traditional Korean dishes. Filled with inexpensive vegetables and beef, the fried dumplings are very easy to prepare and so tasty!. —Christy Lee, Horsham, Pennsylvania
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Pickled Pepperoncini Deviled Eggs

It's hard to resist these adorable deviled trees on our buffet table. The avocado filling has pepperoncini and cilantro for extra zip. —Carmell Childs, Clawson, Utah
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Crab Cake Stuffed Mushrooms

These tender mushrooms with their crispy golden topping are always popular at parties! The crab filling is a delicious special occasion treat. Serve them while they're warm. —Nancy Aiello, Bloomery, West Virginia
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Bacon-Wrapped Apricot Bites

I love bacon-wrapped recipes, and these sweet-smoky snacks are easy to make and fun to eat, so be prepared with an extra batch. For a change, sprinkle them with a bit of blue cheese or toasted almonds. —Tammie Floyd, Plano, Texas
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Pork Satay

Cilantro layers on the freshness, while the sesame oil and Thai chili sauce add Asian flavors that pair perfectly with peanut butter. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Cucumber-Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Besides being tasty, these little tomato poppers are extra awesome because you can make them ahead of time. At parties, I often triple the recipe because they disappear fast. —Christi Martin, Elko, Nevada
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Shrimp Salad Appetizers

This refreshing hors d'oeuvre has gained a big following since a friend shared her family recipe with me. My son says it best: The celery and shrimp are so good together. —Solie Kimble, Kanata, Ontario
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Bee My Honey Fruit Dip

Orange, cinnamon and nutmeg round out this creamy spiced dip. I serve it with apples, pineapple and strawberries. —Carol Gillespie, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
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Baked Oysters with Tasso Cream

I love nothing more than a cold beer and a shucked oyster, so when my partners and I opened Saw’s Juke Joint in Birmingham, Alabama, we wanted to add them to the menu. We love making them, we love serving them and our guests love eating them. —Taylor Hicks, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Polenta Mushroom Appetizers

Simple ingredients—in fact you probably have most if not all in your kitchen— are used to create a fantastic, but different appetizer.—Meta West, Abilene, Kansas
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Cold Chicken-Cheese Kabobs

These appealing kabobs will add pizazz to any party—and you don't even have to get out the grill! —Sherine Gilmour, Brooklyn, New York
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Almond-Bacon Cheese Crostini

For a change from the usual toasted tomato appetizer, try this baked crostini recipe. If you like, slice the baguette at an angle instead of making a straight cut. —Leondre Hermann, Stuart, Florida
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Bacon-Wrapped Blue Cheese Shrimp

Blue cheese, bacon and basil pack big flavor into a couple of bites. To save time, you can assemble the skewers the night before and then serve them hot from the broiler on the day. —Vivi Taylor, Middleburg, Florida
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Cranberry Meatballs and Sausage

Years ago, I found a version of this sausage and meatballs recipe in a cookbook. At first taste, my family judged it a keeper. The tangy, saucy meatballs are requested by our friends whenever I host card night. We also take the yummy dish on camping trips. —Marybell Lintott, Vernon, British Columbia
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Ricotta Puffs

Roasted red peppers and ricotta cheese give these pastry puffs delicious flavor, while parsley and oregano add a little spark. —Maria Regakis, Somerville, Massachusetts
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Italian Steak Bruschetta

This recipe combines my favorite things to eat: toast, steak, bruschetta topping and delicious pancetta. It's looks so pretty on the plate! This five-ingredient appetizer is easy to prepare but will have everyone thinking you spent a long time in the kitchen. —Devon Delaney, Westport, Connecticut
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Chive Crab Cakes

These tasty crab cakes are perfect for appetizers, or try them with a salad for a light meal. —Cindy Worth, Lapwai, Idaho
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Fresh Shrimp and Avocado Nachos

I'm a fan of shrimp, and my family loves nachos. When I combined those favorites and added fresh avocado, the result was a cool yet satisfying snack. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
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Steak Prosciutto Skewers With Creamy Basil Tarragon Sauce Exps Tohca19 89789 E03 12 4b Rms

Steak & Prosciutto Skewers with Creamy Basil-Tarragon Sauce

These flavorful bites of marinated steak layered with prosciutto can be cooked on the grill or under the broiler, so they're ideal for holiday parties no matter what climate you live in! The thick sauce is lovely and creamy—use it as a dip, or smear it on a plate and set the skewers over the top. —Elizabeth Nutt, Alpharetta, Georgia
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Apricot Wraps

I accumulated a large recipe collection from around the world while my husband served in the Air Force for 25 years. This mouthwatering appetizer is one of our favorites, and we enjoy sharing it with friends. —Jane Ashworth, Beavercreek, Ohio

Amy Glander
Amy is a book editor at Taste of Home where she gets to pour her passions for food and storytelling into trade and series cookbooks. When she’s not writing or editing, you’ll find her antiquing, cooking and baking from her favorite vintage cookbooks and exploring Milwaukee’s urban beauty with her digital SLR in hand.
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