Appetizers are like tiny jewel boxes of flavor, small bites meant to stimulate the palate -- not fill your stomach. That's what makes looking for appetizer recipes so much fun - since you don't have to fill the plate, you can concentrate on putting together ingredients in ways that sing. And they don't have to be fancy to pack a punch - spicy wings, deviled eggs, easy bruschetta, or even a nicely presented dip can be a winner. The classic combination of melon and prosciutto is a perfect example: Just two ingredients that play off of each other perfectly, the salty richness of the ham contrasting with the tropical sweetness of the melon. Perfection. When you're planning for a holiday party, you want quick and easy appetizers that play nicely with what you're serving as a main course. You want to compliment the dish without repeating ingredients - serving marinated mozzarella before plating up a cheese-heavy lasagna is definitely overload. Try to keep things light, and remember - you're going for flavor, not quantity.

Nacho Potato Skins

Midwest Living

Set out the toppers for the potato skins and let guests create their own appetizers.

Total: 1 hr

3-Bean Caprese Salad

Family Circle

A trio of beans are combined with fragrant basil leaves, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese in this delicious salad recipe that can be ready in less than 30 minutes.

Buffalo Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dressing

Midwest Living

Love wings? Try this heart-healthy way to make them (don't worry, they taste just as good). Serve them as an appetizer or snack on game day.

Total: 30 mins

Cheese Crackers

Better Homes and Gardens

Make the dough for these cheesy, savory appetizer crisps as much as three days before baking. Serve them fresh from the oven.

Pistachio-Chive Crisps

Better Homes and Gardens

Savory nut-topped crackers are an impressive but easy appetizer served with a sour cream and caper mustard dip.

Thai Spinach Dip

Diabetic Living

This stir-together appetizer delivers big peanut flavor with a hint of heat. The dip recipe is quick to make.

Easy Vegetable Dip

Better Homes and Gardens

This simple appetizer dip can be made ahead so it's ready when you head to a party.

Fig and Prosciutto Pate

Better Homes and Gardens

When dried figs appear in the produce aisles of supermarkets, it's time to make this appetizer recipe. Pair it with fresh pears for a doubly popular seasonal treat.

Sweet & Spicy Snack Mix

Family Circle

This low-calorie snack mix is filled with all kinds of goodies--cereal, popcorn, pretzels, and dried cranberries. Cinnamon-sugar makes it sweet; chipotle pepper sauce makes it spicy.

Grilled Tomato & Cheese

Family Circle

Slices of fresh tomato jazz up plain grilled cheese sandwiches. This kid-favorite recipe uses just five ingredients and can be ready in less than 30 minutes.

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Family Circle

The convenience of the microwave reduces the start-to-finish time of these sweet and sour meatballs to less than 30 minutes. Serve this recipe as an appetizer or spoon over cooked noodles for a main dish.

Safari Snack


Stuff celery with this peanut butter and honey dip, or serve with crunchy vegetables or fruits.

Total: 10 mins

Berry Blue Cheese Spread

Midwest Living

Dried blueberries and blue cheese are the stars of this creamy appetizer recipe that credits its crunch to pecans added just before serving.

Big Cheese Appetizer

Midwest Living

Feta Custard in Phyllo Cups

Midwest Living

These savory appetizers have a custard filling and an olive topper.

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