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These Are the Best Tailgate Food Ideas for Finger Food

Get ready to throw the tastiest tailgate in the parking lot! These tailgate food ideas for finger food let you keep the utensils at home and focus on the grub.

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Antipasto Kabobs

My husband and I met at a cooking class. We have loved creating menus and entertaining ever since. These make-ahead antipasto skewers are always a hit. —Denise Hazen, Cincinnati, Ohio
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Buffalo Wing Poppers

These buffalo chicken poppers combine the flavor of hot wings and jalapeño appetizers to make a snack greater than the sum of their parts. —Barbara Nowakowski, Mesa, Arizona
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Hot Cheese Dip

When a colleague brought this cheesy dip to school for a teachers potluck, I immediately gave it an A+. I had to have the recipe for this irresistibly creamy recipe to make for my family! —Ardyce Piehl, Poynette, Wisconsin
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Sausage Wonton Cups

Here’s a tasty hot appetizer for all those parties that feature fun finger foods. I’ve made this recipe several times, and these bites always disappear so fast. It’s really easy. —Shirley Van Allen, High Point, North Carolina
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Swiss Mushroom Loaf

I'm always prepared for recipe requests when I serve this outstanding stuffed loaf. It's excellent not only as an appetizer but also as a side for pasta or chili. —Heidi Mellon, Waukesha, Wisconsin
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Layered Hummus Dip

My love for Greece inspired this fast, easy Mediterranean dip. It is fabulous for parties and a delicious way to include garden-fresh veggies on your menu. —Cheryl Snavely, Hagerstown, Maryland
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Mini Mac & Cheese Dogs

We wanted to get creative with hot dogs, so we made a mac-and-cheesy one. Pile on the extra cheese, relish and even bacon. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Bacon-Ranch Spinach Dip

During the hectic holiday season, my slow cooker works overtime. I fill it with a savory bacon dip and watch everyone line up for a helping. Keep the recipe in mind for tailgating, too. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Ham Pickle Pinwheels

My mom introduced me to this ham pickle pinwheels appetizer a number of years ago, and I've been making them for parties ever since. They are easy to make and are always well received by guests. —Gloria Jarrett, Loveland, 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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Fresh Fruit Salsa

This salad has all the bright colors and fresh flavors of summer. —Mary E. Relyea, Canastota, New York.
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Parmesan Mushroom Tartlets

My easy tartlets loaded with a cheesy mushroom filling take advantage of refrigerated crescent roll dough. I think they’re best warm from the oven with a sprinkling of green onion.—Betsy King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Broccoli & Chive Stuffed Mini Peppers

There's plenty of both crunch and cream in these party appetizers. Fresh chives help them really stand out. —Jean McKenzie, Vancouver, Washington
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Grilled Loaded Potato Rounds

My go-to recipe for outdoor potlucks is an awesome potato side. I prep everything and grill at the party. Pass with sour cream, cheese, bacon and chives. —Fay Moreland, Wichita Falls, Texas
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Hot Dog Sliders with Mango-Pineapple Salsa

For parties, we shrink lots of foods to slider size, including these quick hot dogs. Pile on the easy but irresistible fruit salsa for a burst of fresh flavor. —Carole Resnick, Cleveland, Ohio
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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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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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Championship Bean Dip

My friends and neighbors expect me to bring this irresistible dip to every gathering. When I arrive, they ask, "You brought your bean dip, didn't you?" If there are any leftovers, we use them to make bean and cheese burritos the next day. I've given out this recipe a hundred times. —Wendi Wavrin Law, Omaha, Nebraska
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Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos

Sunday is grill-out day for my husband, Cliff, and these bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapenos are one of his specialties. We usually feature them at our annual Daytona 500 party. They disappear from the appetizer tray in no time.
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Caramelized Ham & Swiss Buns

My next-door neighbor shared this recipe with me, and I simply cannot improve it! You can make it ahead and cook it quickly when company arrives. The combo of poppy seeds, ham and cheese, horseradish and brown sugar makes it so delicious. —Iris Weihemuller, Baxter, Minnesota
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Salami Roll-Ups

These bite-size appetizers are a cinch to make with just four ingredients—even your kids can help you with them! —Jean Baffuto, Apache Junction, Arizona
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Simple Guacamole

Because avocados can brown quickly, it’s best to make this guacamole just before serving. If you have to make it a little in advance, place the avocado pit in the guacamole until ready to serve. —Heidi Main, Anchorage, AK
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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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Sausage Bacon Bites

These tasty morsels are perfect with almost any egg dish or as finger foods that party guests can just pop into their mouths. Try them as an accompaniment to fondue. —Pat Waymire, Yellow Springs, Ohio
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Cheesy Beef Taco Dip

Try this recipe for a warm, hearty snack with a bit of a kick. It's a hit with my family, and guests rave about it, too. Ideal for parties, it makes a big potful. The only "utensil" you'll need to serve it with is a brimming bowl of tortilla chips. —Carol Smith, Sanford, North Carolina
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Pastrami Roll-Ups

For a book club event, I created pastrami roll-ups with cream cheese and a pickle. Those tasty bites quickly pulled a disappearing act. —Merritt Heinrich, Oswego, Illinois
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Chicken Parmesan Slider Bake

Sliders are the perfect finger food for any get-together, and this flavorful chicken Parmesan version won’t disappoint. —Nick Iverson, Denver, Colorado
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Bacon Cheddar Potato Skins

Wondering how to make potato skins taste great? I top my restaurant-worthy loaded potato skins with cheese, bacon and a dollop of sour cream. Have them at lunch, snack time or cocktail hour. —Trish Perrin, Keizer, Oregon
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Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip

Everyone will simply devour this savory and delicious dip with shredded chicken throughout. The spicy kick makes it a perfect football-watching food, and the recipe always brings raves. —Janice Foltz, Hershey, Pennsylvania
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Veggie Ranch Tortilla Pinwheels

These terrific bite-size appetizers are always a hit wherever I take them. They're easy to make ahead of time, and are a great addition to other party fare! —Lori Kostecki, Wausau, Wisconsin
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Marinated Mozzarella

I always come home with an empty container when I bring this dish to a party. It can be made ahead to free up time later. I serve it with pretty frilled toothpicks for a festive look. —Peggy Cairo, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Roasted Vegetable Dip

While my children were always very willing eaters, I came up with this recipe to get them to eat more veggies and enjoy it. The dip doesn't last long in our house. —Sarah Vasques, Milford, New Hampshire
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Mini Sausage Quiches

These bite-sized quiches are loaded with sausage and cheese—and all nestled into easy crescent roll dough. Serve the cute muffinettes at any brunch or potluck gathering. —Jan Mead, Milford, Connecticut
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Guacamole Appetizer Squares

For ages, my brother's family and I have gotten together on Christmas Eve, and always eat snacks while we open our presents. This Tex-Mex spin on classic appetizer pizza is one we have again and again. —Laurie Pester, Colstrip, Montana
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Layered BLT Dip

When I throw a party for friends, I whip up this addictive layered three-cheese dip. Somehow, it’s always gone within the first 20 minutes. —Jade Bennett, Kingwood, Texas
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Pineapple Chicken Sliders

For fun appetizers that tide over even the hungriest of guests, try these mini sandwiches. My youngest daughter likes their small size and the tangy sweetness of the pineapple.—Maria Vasseur, Valencia, California
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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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Baked Pot Stickers with Dipping Sauce

Twisting these wonton wrappers like little candies makes them fuss-free, and the dipping sauce is packed with sweet heat. —Taylor Marsh, Algona, Iowa
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Beer Dip

Ranch dressing mix flavors this easy dip packed with shredded cheese. It's perfect paired with pretzels. Be forewarned, though—it's hard to stop eating once you've started! The beer cheese dip can be made with any type of beer, including nonalcoholic. I've taken it to many parties and I am always asked for the recipe. —Michelle Long, New Castle, Colorado
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Mini Pizza Cups

Served hot or cold, these little pizzas are wonderful. Their small size makes them ideal for an after-school snack or a kid-friendly party. Plus, they’re so easy to make that little ones can help you in the kitchen! —Jane Jones, Cedar, Minnesota
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Calzone Pinwheels

Once you try these mini-sized calzones, you may never go back to the large ones. Not only do these pretty bites take advantage of convenient refrigerator crescent rolls, but they can be made ahead and popped in the oven right before company arrives. No one can eat just one and people love the cheesy, fresh taste! —Lisa Smith, Bryan, Ohio
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Dill Dip

Be prepared—you'll likely need to make a double batch of this delightful dill dip recipe. One is never enough when we have a get-together! It tastes fantastic with just about any vegetable, so you can use whatever you have on hand as a dipper. —Kathy Beldorth, Three Oaks, Michigan
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Antipasto Bake

Stuffed with savory meats and cheeses, these hearty antipasto squares would satisfy an entire offensive line! The dish comes together quickly and bakes in under an hour, making it the perfect potluck bring-along. Introducing the all-stars in this ooey gooey appetizer: salami, Swiss, pepperoni, Colby-Monterey Jack, prosciutto and provolone. A crisp topping finishes it off. —Brea Barclay, Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Garbanzo-Stuffed Mini Peppers

Mini peppers are so colorful and are the perfect size for a two-bite appetizer. They have all the crunch of pita chips but without the extra calories. —Christine Hanover, Lewiston, California
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Quick Tortilla Pinwheels

Prepare these easy, cheesy rollups several days in advance if desired. Serve with your choice of mild or hot salsa or picante sauce. —Barbara Keith, Faucett, Missouri
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Dijon-Bacon Dip for Pretzels

With just four ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry or fridge, this quick appetizer comes together in a snap. If you like the zip of horseradish, start with a teaspoon or two and add more to taste. —Isabelle Rooney, Summerville, South Carolina
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Southwest Spanakopita Bites

I'm a big fan of the Southwest-style egg rolls served at restaurants and wanted to re-create them without the fat of deep frying. Phyllo dough was the solution! For a main dish, I fill small flour tortillas with the filling and bake. —Marianne Shira, Osceola, Wisconsin
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Brat & Bacon Appetizer Pizza

Chopped bratwurst and maple bacon are a fabulous way to start a pizza. I jazz up this treat even more with apricot preserves and honey mustard. The snack-sized slices win over even the toughest critics. —Colleen Vrooman, Waukesha, Wisconsin
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Ham & Brie Pastries

Growing up, I loved pocket pastries. Now, with a busy family, I need quick bites. My spin on the classic ham and cheese delivers as a snack or for supper. —Jennifer Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California
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Loaded Turkey Sliders

What these sliders lack in size they make up for in flavor! They're great for little hands and you can customize the toppings to suit kids' tastes. Serve them as an appetizer or as a main dish along with sweet potato fries and fresh fruit. —Kathy DeRousie, Port Angeles, Washington
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Mandarin Turkey Pinwheels

Curry, smoked turkey and mandarin oranges give these pinwheels their unique flavor. My cousin and I made them for an open house and people came back for seconds...and then thirds! —Lorie Miner, Kamas, Utah
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Jalapeno Popper Spread

I've been told by fellow party-goers that this recipe tastes exactly like a jalapeno popper. I like that it can be made without much fuss. —Ariane McAlpine, Penticton, British Columbia
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One-Bite Tamales

Clever little meatballs deliver the flavor and rich sauce of a traditional tamale in a bite-sized portion. They’re a delightfully different addition to a holiday spread. —Dolores Jaycox, Gretna, Louisiana
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Creamy Chicken Enchilada Pizza

This is a twist on a family favorite. We wanted the taste of my chicken enchilada recipe, but we wanted it even faster. This kicked-up pizza is the fun creation we came up with. —Crystal Jo Bruns, Iliff, Colorado
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Banh Mi Skewers

I love banh mi sandwiches but wanted to make them a little easier to serve for a party. These skewers are a really fun twist! For easier prep on the day of the party, make the meatballs in advance and freeze them. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Fresh Corn & Avocado Dip

I alter my sister's dip recipe by adding finely chopped jalapeno for a little heat. It's a different way of serving corn as a dip that can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until serving. —Pat Roberts, Thornton, Ontario
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Chicken & Bacon Roll-Ups

My children like these so much that they ask for them every day for lunch during the summer. Whenever I have leftover chicken or turkey breast, this is a delicious way to use it up. —Patricia Nieh, Portola Valley, California
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Barbecue Sliders

When company dropped in by surprise, all I had was sausage and ground beef defrosted. We combined the two for juicy burgers on the grill. —BJ Larsen, Erie, Colorado
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Creamy Taco Dip

You'll know this snack is a hit at your next gathering when you come home with an empty pan! —Denise Smith, Lusk, Wyoming
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Parmesan-Bacon Bubble Bread

When I needed to put some leftover bread dough to good use, I started with a recipe I often use for bubble bread and substituted savory ingredients for the sweet. —Lori McLain, Denton, Texas
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Pizza Oyster Crackers

This quick and easy snack is a favorite of my kids. I always include a baggie in their lunch boxes. —Carol S Betz, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Ravioli Appetizer Pops

Ravioli on a stick is a tasty appetizer everyone talks about. They’re simple and fun to make and eat. Use packaged dipping sauces, or make your own. Get my recipes on my blog, thehopelesshousewife.com. —Erika Monroe-Williams, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Chicken Sliders with Sesame Slaw

Everyone loves barbecue chicken sliders. My version has an Asian twist, with spicy, tangy flavors. At our potlucks, they quickly vanish. —Priscilla Yee, Concord, California
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Blue Cheese-Stuffed Shrimp

Cooked shrimp become something more extraordinary when stuffed with blue cheese. The mild flavor has mass appeal.—Amy Dollimount, Glace Bay, Nova Scotia
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Dilly Veggie Pizza

Always popular at special events and a cinch to prep, this is one of my favorite ways to use leftover veggies. You can change the mixture to match your kids' tastes, and it's just as yummy the next day. —Heather Ahrens, Columbus, Ohio
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Spruced-Up Cheese Spread

A neighbor who’s a wonderful cook gave me the recipe for this zippy cracker spread. It’s easy to shape into a Christmas tree for a festive occasion, but it looks enticing in a bowl or on a plate, too. —Judy Grimes, Brandon, Mississippi
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Bacon Roll-Ups

This family recipe dates back to the 1930s, when my grandmother started making her clever breakfast roll-ups. —Janet Abate, North Brunswick, New Jersey
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Easy Taco Cups

These zesty little cups rank high on my list of favorites because they combine three things I look for in a recipe: fast, easy and delicious! They make a simply fantastic finger food for parties, and my guests have fun selecting their desired toppings. —Ashley Jarvies, Manassa, CO
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Cheesy Pizza Rolls

The cast-iron skillet browns these delicious rolls to perfection. My family can't get enough. Use whatever pizza toppings your family likes best. —Dorothy Smith, El Dorado, Arkansas
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Tex-Mex Dip

Sit back and relax with your family while enjoying this creamy dip. Colorful and festive, it's easy to put together ahead of time, which makes it perfect for game day. — Mary Anne McWhirter, Pearland, Texas
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Ham and Cheese Puffs

These tasty little bites go over well with kids. They're also delicious with soups or as party appetizers. —Mrs. Marvin Buffington, Burlington, Iowa
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Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs

Here's a juicy, delicious and savory meal in a bun! I make these bacon-wrapped hot dogs for picnics, barbecues and tailgate parties, and they always get compliments. To transport, wrap the hot dogs in foil and then in paper. —Peter Halferty, Corpus Christi, Texas
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Ham N Cheese Quiches

When I need a festive finger food, this quiche recipe is the one I reach for. With cheese in both the crust and the filling, eating one quiche naturally leads to another. —Virginia Abraham, Oxford, Mississippi
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Turkey & Swiss Biscuit Sliders

One of my favorite things to whip up in the kitchen is homemade buttermilk biscuits. Simple sandwiches are a wonderful way to showcase these melt-in-your-mouth treats. —Cindy Esposito, Bloomfield, New Jersey
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Black Forest Ham Roll-Ups

We love to entertain at home and the office. Ham and cheese rolled in tortillas make a quick and easy appetizer that's easy to transport. —Susan Zugehoer, Hebron, Kentucky
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Caribbean Chipotle Pork Sliders

Our favorite pulled pork sliders combine the heat of chipotle peppers with cool tropical coleslaw. The robust flavors make these a big hit with guests. —Kadija Bridgewater, Boca Raton, Florida
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Mini Phyllo Tacos

For a winning appetizer, serve crispy phyllo cups filled with taco-seasoned ground beef and shredded cheese. These handheld bites will be a surefire hit with a hungry crowd. —Roseann Weston, Philipsburg, Pennsylvania
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Secret-Ingredient Stuffed Eggs

My take on deviled eggs is full of surprises. The down-home appetizer Mom used to make gets an upscale touch from mango, goat cheese and pecans. People love these tempting treats. —Beth Satterfield, Dover, Delaware
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Taco Crackers

One handful of these crispy oyster crackers is never enough. Taco seasoning and chili powder give the munchies a fun southwestern flavor. Partygoers always come back for more. - Diane Earnest Newton, Illinois
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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

Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.
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