Hors d'oeuvres ideas (photo: Westend61/Getty Images)

Here are 10 passed hors-d'oeuvres to kick off your next easy-peasy dinner party.

Jillian Kramer
Updated February 26, 2019

There is nothing better than gathering your friends and family for a dinner party—and nothing worse than washing dozens and dozens of plates, bowls, and utensils after those loved ones leave. But a passed hors-d'oeuvres dinner party allows your guests to try a plethora of small plates without ever needing plates—and at the end of the night, the only dishes to wash are the trays on which you've served each treat.

1. Greek Salad Skewers with Anchovy Aioli

Who said you have to fork-and-knife every salad? This Greek salad recipe is served on skewers, so guests can enjoy the essential flavors of cucumber, tomato, and feta in a single bite. Bonus: The skewers can be prepared up to four hours before a party.

2. Sunflower Seed & Rosemary Crackers

Crackers can act as a palette cleanser for more flavorful hors-d'oeuvres—but these sunflower seed and rosemary crackers are anything but flavorless. Stack them on a tray, or make them easier for guests to grab by collecting them in tall, clear glasses.

3. Smoked Shrimp

With its heavy read sauce, a shrimp cocktail might not be the most practical passed hors-d'oeuvre. But you can still serve shrimp that packs a punch with this smoked shrimp recipe, which gets its flavor from red chili peppers and a light tea-smoking mixture. (Just skewer each shrimp with toothpicks so your guests can grab-and-go.)

4. Pancetta-Wrapped Peaches with Basil and Aged Balsamic

We're willing to bet anything wrapped in pancetta—Italian-cured belly of pork—is sure to delight your guests. But this pancetta-wrapped peaches with basil and aged balsamic recipe combines sweet and savory flavors, making it the best of all worlds.

5. Deviled Egg Toast

A twist on traditional deviled eggs, this deviled egg toast could be the toast—excuse the pun—of your dinner party, offering up a salty, spicy, tangy flavor in a single bite. But you can spice up this classic snack more with a side of hot sauce or even truffles.

6. Cauliflower Fritters

Cauliflower is (still) having a moment. Embrace it by offering these bite-sized tapas treats—made with caviar and a healthful yogurt sauce—at your next dinner party.

7. Shrimp and Pork Spring Rolls

Assemble these shrimp and pork spring rolls up to three hours before your dinner-party guests arrive, then drop them in the fryer just before you're ready to pass 'em out. Serve chili sauce on the side, if you want, but these rolls are flavorful without it.

8. Three-Cheese Mini Macs

As this recipe points out, anything big made small is ultra-fun for any party—and especially for one with passed hors-d'oeuvres only. No one will expect to indulge in macaroni-and-cheese, but these three-cheese mini macs are the perfect passed food.

9. Goat Cheese-Stuffed Mushrooms with Bread Crumbs

Stuffed mushrooms are a beloved hors-d'oeuvres—and for good reason. They're creamy, mouth-watering, and these goat cheese-stuffed mushrooms with bread crumbs are even (sort of) healthy. By using goat cheese, you're choosing a cheese that is lower in cholesterol, calories, and fat, helping any health-conscious guests.

10. Lobster Sliders

Lobster of any kind is a decadent addition to a dinner party. These lobster sliders are easy to make in just two steps—and easy to eat while your guests are standing.

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