Quick and Easy Appetizers:
Fast and Simple Recipes

Quick and easy appetizers allow you to do more playing than working... and focus on spending time with family and friends instead of slaving away in the kitchen!

Whether you are holding off the starving hordes on a weeknight, or prepping for a special event, take a few minutes to prepare these bites ahead of time... and enjoy a few minutes peace the day of your event.

Choosing Simple, Quick Appetizers

Appetizers are often underappreciated, but there are two real goals when you serve a before meal snack. You are trying to set the stage for the meal that will follow and to ease hunger pangs in your guests so they slow down and enjoy the flavors you have created. Themed meals often lend themselves easily to quick appetizers like guacamole and chips for Mexican, or dim sum for Chinese dishes.

Mexican Layered Dip Easy Party Recipe

Mexican Layer Dip for an Easy and Quick appetizer
While there are many variations on this quick and easy appetizer, the best is one that caters to your family's tastes. Use jalapeƱo peppers if you have a spice hound or add ground beef if you want to make this a meal on its own. Season the ground beef with cumin, garlic, onion, oregano, and a little chili powder to give it an authentic taste.

This nod to Mexico can be served before any meal, but it goes especially well with enchiladas and carne asada.

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16 ounces refried beans
4 ounces chopped green chilies
1/2 cup black ripe olives, sliced and pitted
1/2 sweet Spanish onion, chopped finely
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 large tomato, chopped and seeded
1 cup low-fat sour cream
8 ounces salsa
2 scallions, chopped
Tortilla chips

Directions: 1. Prepare all ingredients as described and set aside separately.

2. In a 10-inch glass baking dish begin layering the ingredients in the order they are listed. If you are using ground beef, place it in between the beans and chilies.

3. Cover and chill for 30 minutes before serving with tortilla chips. To make this a quick and easy appetizer recipe that you serve warm, hold the tomato, sour cream, salsa and scallions until after heating the dip in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Spinach and Orzo "Under Glass" Salad Recipe

Appetizer recipe quick and simple with orzo
Cool and refreshing pasta salads are tasty year-round, but these sorts of quick and easy appetizers are particularly appealing in the hot summer months.

Orzo is an oval rice shaped pasta that comes in multi-colored varieties for a bright splash of color and is very flavorful served chilled.

To make this a very pretty, quick, and easy appetizer recipe, serve it in a little glass cup or even a shot glass. Hence the "under glass" in the name.

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1 cup uncooked orzo pasta, tri-colored
10 ounces baby spinach leaves, chopped fine
8 ounces crumbled feta cheese
2 Tablespoons fresh basil, finely sliced
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup black ripe olives, finely minced
Cracked black pepper and salt, to taste
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions: 1. Prepare spinach and basil and set aside.

2. In a small bowl combine the vinegar and mustard. Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking vigorously to create vinaigrette.

3. Cook orzo pasta according to package directions. For additional flavor, add chicken broth to the pasta water before cooking. Drain pasta and toss with spinach, basil, pine nuts, black olives and the vinaigrette.

4. Chill for no less than two hours before serving. Serve prettily in small wine glasses or even coffee mugs with small spoons to encourage portability and getting every last bite.

Making the Most of Your Party Appetizers

When you make quick and easy appetizers, they can really be as simple or complex as you wish. But it never hurts to have a few ready recipes for those times when you need something on the fly. Items in your pantry or your vegetable bin can be served with dips or dished out in small bites anytime. The key to a successful appetizer is to provide just a few mouthfuls for each person and to leave room for the real meal.

An appetizer can also come in handy if you are trying to introduce new flavors or new foods. The small bites can have a big taste without overwhelming guests. Instead of creating a whole meal with new items, make individual samples of the dish and serve them as an appetizer at one of your favorite meals. You might even add a few more vegetables to your diet with the right recipe. These quick and easy appetizers can help you build complex layers of flavor in a meal without complicating the cooking.

More Goodies!

More Appetizer Recipes

If you're looking for quick and easy appetizers for any occasion, you'll find tons of 'em here at Appetite4Appetizers. Check out:

Easy Crock Pot Appetizers


Sweetly Simple Finger Sandwiches




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