28 Fast Hors d’Oeuvre Recipes
Squash Blossoms with Pimento Ricotta
Leigh Magar loves the fresh taste of edible flowers. For her, Matt Lee and Ted Lee created a new version of a Tuscan classic, fried squash blossoms stuffed with ricotta. They mix the ricotta with pimentos--an homage to pimento cheese, a Southern favorite--and serve the blossoms raw.
Chef Gerard Craft creates a very simple and delicious starter by tossing sweet crabmeat with fresh mint and lime juice, then spooning it over mashed avocado on toast. You can make the toasts or buy store-bought ones to save time.
One bite of these shrimp and a swig of vodka will instantly transport you to Scandinavia.
We like the variety here—the same toast spread with two different toppings. The green-olive tapenade, which uses pre-pitted olives, can be made in minutes with a blender or food processor. The sautéed mushroom topping is equally savory hot or at room temperature.
Gustav Klimt and strudel are two icons in chef Kurt Gutenbrunner and food writer Jane Sigal's Neue Cuisine. The book celebrates Austrian art and recipes like this.
Potato Crisps with Chive-Sour Cream Dip
Grace Parisi makes brilliant use of throw-away potato peels: She deep-fries them until they're crispy, then sprinkles them with Parmesan. An utterly addictive snack, they’re great with cocktails, beer or wine.
Tuna and Red Pepper Mousse Toasts
The mousse can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Warm Olives with Rosemary, Garlic and Lemon
Ready in just 10 minutes, these warm olives are accentuated by a lemony marinade.
Bruschetta with Mozzarella and Smashed Fresh Favas
Bright, lemony spring favas are topped with rich buffalo mozzarella.
Chef Katie Lee deconstructs the retro hors d'oeuvre, blending hard-boiled eggs with mustard and mayonnaise so it’s more like an egg salad that she can spread on toasts.
Smoked Salmon Crisps
Thomas Keller's salmon cornets (tuiles shaped into tiny cones and topped with crème fraîche and fresh salmon) are a famous kickoff to his luxe and whimsical meals. The original recipe appears in The French Laundry Cookbook (Artisan).
Shaping the tuiles into cones is tricky and involves working very quickly with a cornet mold. Instead, leave the tuiles flat, like crackers. Top them with store-bought smoked salmon and crème fraîche.
Caramelized Onion Dip
This savory onion dip, a classic addition to any gathering, can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to three days.
Greek Salad Skewers with Anchovy Aioli
For a playful presentation, slide a fat, flat slice of cucumber onto the bottom of each skewer so these hors d'oeuvres can stand upright on a serving platter.
Buckwheat-Cheddar Blini with Smoked Salmon
Sophie Dahl makes the classic blini with wonderfully earthy buckwheat flour and serves the salmon-topped hors d'oeuvres at parties throughout the year.
Sunflower Seed & Rosemary Crackers
A simple, sunflower seed–flecked cracker flavored with fragrant rosemary is the perfect holiday appetizer.
Chef Gail Simmons uses a food processor’s shredding disk to get long potato strands that fry up extra-crispy in this latke recipe.
This garlicky bread is perfect for dipping, or on its own.
Sardines with Jalapeño Cream Cheese and Cocktail Olives
If you're a fan of lox and bagels, then you'll love these rye toasts with cream cheese and sardines.
Pancetta-Wrapped Peaches with Basil and Aged Balsamic
Chef Stuart Brioza sears sweet summer peaches in pancetta with fresh basil leaves for a crispy, juicy hors d'oeuvre.
Grilled Squash Ribbons and Prosciutto with Mint Dressing
Grilling zucchini and summer squash ribbons on skewers is terrific because the edges become wonderfully charred and crisp, while the insides stay tender and juicy.
After baking flaky squares of puff pastry, Melissa Rubel tops them with sweet fig preserves and pungent blue cheese.
Parmesan Tuiles with Heirloom Tomato Salad
Chopped red, green and orange tomatoes are tossed with olive oil and herbs, then served on Parmesan tuiles. The result: a supremely colorful, incredibly easy hors d'oeuvre.
For this fast, flavorful appetizer, Paul Virant combines two of his favorite childhood memories about food. "During the summer, especially around the Fourth of July, we would pick chanterelles that grew around our property," he says. "And my grandmother made this amazing creamed corn. It turns out corn and chanterelles go very well together."
Inspired by the classic combination of bagels with lox and cream cheese, Tory Miller devised this variation using smoked, locally raised trout and homemade English muffins. It would be equally good on other breads, such as a baguette, or even the bagel that inspired it.
Caviar-Topped Deviled Eggs
Farm-raised sturgeon caviar from the University of Georgia takes traditional deviled eggs from traditional to top-notch.
Country Ham and Pickle Crostini
This four-ingredient snack couldn’t be simpler: Just top toasts with sliced country ham and pickled vegetables. Sommelier Matt Tunstall of Stems & Skins in South Carolina opts for a Vouvray with these crostinis.
Peaceburg Pimiento Cheese
Skip the classic mass-market cheddar and hit up your local dairy or cheese shop for a nice aged cheddar to take pimiento cheese to the next level.
This is a simple, classic Florentine chicken-liver pâté, which can be prepared in a coarse or smooth style.