20 Vegetable Appetizers Everyone Will Enjoy

Crostini with Grilled Sweet Onions and Blue Cheese Recipe
Photo: Johnny Autry

Vegetable-based appetizers are a smart choice for entertaining. They provide beautiful pops of color on your platter, showcase the flavors of the season, and are light enough to leave room for your main course. From dips to toasts to fritters, our roundup of vegetable finger foods has plenty of recipes to please the palates of all your guests.

01 of 20

Zucchini and Pepper Gratin with Herbs and Cheese

Zucchini-and-Pepper Gratin with Herbs and Cheese
© James Merrell

Switzerland has been making Sbrinz — a hard, aged cow's-milk cheese — for centuries. Chef Daniel Humm uses the pleasantly salty Sbrinz to top a gratin made with a ratatouille-like mix of sautéed zucchini strips, bell peppers, and tomato. Parmigiano-Reggiano, another hard, aged cow's milk cheese, is a fine substitute.

02 of 20

Vaghareli Corn Flautas with Chutney Crema

Vaghereli Corn Flautas with Chutney Crema
Photo by Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

The corn in this recipe gets a punch of flavor by being sautéed in oil that has had spices bloomed in it. The spiced kernels are combined with mild cheese, rolled up in tortillas, and deep-fried. Serve the flautas piled high with colorful garnishes alongside a ginger-lime avocado crema for a vibrant summer entertaining staple.

03 of 20

Squash Blossoms with Pimento Ricotta

Squash Blossoms with Pimento Ricotta

Brothers and cookbook authors Matt Lee and Ted Lee created this twist on classic Tuscan squash blossoms stuffed with ricotta. They mix the ricotta with pimientos — an homage to pimiento cheese, a Southern favorite — and serve the blossoms raw instead of fried.

04 of 20

Feta and Radish Toasts

Feta-and-Radish Toasts. Photo © John Kernick
© John Kernick

Chef Steven Satterfield says you can use any assortment of radishes for these toasts, like watermelon, pink beauty, cherry belle, or d'Avignon. If you slice the radishes ahead of time, keep them in a bowl of ice water, which makes them extra cold and crispy.

05 of 20

Crudités and Fermented Soybean Dip

Crudites and Fermented Soy Bean Dip
Greg DuPree

Chef Katianna Hong keeps this appetizer simple, pairing just-picked vegetables with a thick, tangy soy dip. Her dip is the perfect way to show off whatever fresh vegetables you can get your hands on. You can find soybean paste and fermented soybeans in syrup at Korean markets or online.

06 of 20

Stuffed Jalapeños

Stuffed Jalapeños
Abby Hocking / Food & Wine

Perfect served with cold beers, these stuffed jalapeños are a great snack for your next get-together. Halved jalapeños are packed with a cheddar and cream cheese filling flavored with garlic, cilantro, and scallions.

07 of 20

Roasted Tomato-Basil Hummus

Roasted Tomato Basil Hummus
© Sarah Bolla

With familiar flavors of a classic pizza sauce, roasted peak-season tomatoes make all the difference in this hummus. Serve alongside warm pita, or spread it over a flatbread with some toppings for a unique spin on your favorite slice.

08 of 20

Leek and Mushroom Croquettes

Leek-and-Mushroom Croquettes
© Joseph de Leo

Fresh shiitake mushrooms and herbs flavor these crisp, creamy-centered croquettes, which chef Jerry Traunfeld likes to shape in walnut-size balls. The croquette mixture can be prepared a day ahead and refrigerated overnight.

09 of 20

Mushroom Toasts with Délice de Bourgogne

Mushroom Toasts with Delice de Bourgogne
Eva Kolenko

Délice de Bourgogne, a triple-crème cheese that's even more luscious than Brie, is topped with pan-roasted mushrooms and herbs in this elegant appetizer from Top Chef winner Kristen Kish.

10 of 20

Lumpiang Sariwa (Fresh Filipino Spring Rolls)

Lumpiang Sariwa
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

For this recipe, 2021 F&W Best New Chef Carlo Lamagna skips the deep fryer and instead makes these tender spring rolls by wrapping delicate homemade coconut crêpes around lettuce leaves filled with fresh vegetables. Topped with a lightly sweetened soy sauce and sprinkled with crunchy chopped peanuts, these rolls make a nice appetizer or light meal.

11 of 20

Herbed Zucchini Feta Fritters

Herbed Zucchini Feta Fritters
© Michael Turek

"When I was a kid, my mom fried zucchini fritters when I got home from school; I would steal a couple while they were still hot," says chef Didem Senol. "When I started cooking, I decided to work on my childhood recipe. I added herbs and feta and reduced the amount of flour to make them fluffier."

12 of 20

Crostini with Grilled Sweet Onions and Blue Cheese

Crostini with Grilled Sweet Onions and Blue Cheese Recipe
Johnny Autry

On the river, chef Andrae Bopp wraps whole sweet Walla Walla onions in foil and tosses them into the coals of the campfire to roast and caramelize; here we've adapted his recipe for your home grill. Don't skip the zippy honey-vinegar drizzle — it coaxes out even more flavor from the sweet onions and balances the blue cheese.

13 of 20

Brussels Sprouts Baba Ghanoush

Brussels Sprouts Baba Ghanoush
Greg DuPree

After a whirl in the food processor, brussels sprouts and tahini come together to form a creamy dip in this riff on baba ghanoush. Chef Michael Solomonov serves it topped with more roasted brussels sprouts and hazelnuts alongside warm pita for dipping.

14 of 20

Carrots en Croûte

Carrots en Croute
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

This tasty appetizer stars roasted carrots wrapped in flaky puff pastry. For best results, look for carrots that are five to six inches in length. Pre-roasting carrots with curry, honey, and thyme balances their natural sweetness with rich, savory flavor, making them a satisfying stand-in for sausages.

15 of 20

Summer Radishes with Chèvre, Nori, and Smoked Salt

Summer Radishes with Chèvre, Nori and Smoked Salt
© Anna Williams

In this very simple appetizer, chef Jeremy Fox combines slivers of nori with bits of goat cheese — a clever, tantalizing mix of salty and creamy — then serves the dish with radishes and a sprinkle of smoked salt.

16 of 20

Herbed Chickpea Bruschetta

Herbed Chickpea Bruschetta
© John Kernick

The key to these delicious bruschetta from chef Nancy Silverton is lots of olive oil. After she bakes the chickpeas with a variety of flavorings — including onions, carrots, and herbs — she purees them with a good amount of oil, spreads the puree on toasts, and drizzles with a little more oil. Omit the small amount of pancetta in the recipe to make a vegetarian appetizer.

17 of 20

Provençal Vegetable Tart

© Christina Holmes

Chef Julianne Jones makes this savory rectangular tart with the ingredients typically found in ratatouille: eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes. "You arrange the vegetables nicely in the flaky crust, then tuck in thinly shaved cheese," she says.

18 of 20

Palestinian Spinach Pies

Palestinian Spinach Pies
© Zubin Schroff

The spinach filling in these fatayer, inspired by a recipe from Palestinian-born baker Maha Ziadeh, isn't flavored with feta, as it is in the more common Greek spinach pies. Instead, it's spiked with lemon and sumac, a tangy Middle Eastern spice. The pies can be made a bit smaller to serve as appetizers.

19 of 20

Goat Cheese-Stuffed Mushrooms with Breadcrumbs

Goat Cheese-Stuffed Mushrooms with Bread Crumbs
© Frances Janisch

For these texturally satisfying bites, creamy chèvre is stuffed into cremini mushrooms and topped with crispy herbed breadcrumbs. You can make these a day ahead and refrigerate them without the breadcrumbs, then sprinkle the topping on before serving.

20 of 20

Parmesan Tuiles with Heirloom Tomato Salad

Parmesan Tuiles with Heirloom Tomato Salad
© Con Poulos

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.

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