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17 Party Appetizer Ideas and Recipes – From Cheese Penguins to Devils

party snack recipes

Cream Cheese Penguins – A Surprisingly Easy Appetizer! (photo from tres.jolie flickr)

I rounded up these 17 ideas for appetizers and recipes for party snacks because I’m throwing two parties soon and don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute!

Plus, November is Party Month on Quips and Tips 🙂

The recipe for the Cream Cheese Penguins is at the bottom of this article – it’s an easy party snack, though it looks kinda complicated. It’ll take some time to prepare (30 minutes or so, depending on how many you make), but it’s fun to make with kids or partners who like to make stuff out of their food.

The other night, I served roasted garlic baguette slices (from a bag) with melted cheddar and mozza cheese, and my guests loved them. They were unbelievably easy to make. Iif I wanted to spend 30 more seconds on this easy appetizer I could’ve put chunks of tomato, red pepper, cucumber, or pear on them.

Another idea for a quick appetizer is guacamole. We almost always have an avocado lying around, and it’s super easy to smush it up with lemon, salt, garlic, and cumin. Serve with rice crisps, chips, or those roasted garlic baguette slices mentioned above. This is my favourite appetizer because it’s healthy and low-fat.

Here’s a round up of recipes for party snacks people will love…

15 Appetizer Ideas – Quick, Easy, O So Delicious

Smoked salmon and crackers

“Crackers (unsalted) with smoked salmon and a dash of creme fraiche or horseradish cream,” says my Facebook friend, Martin. “Very cheap if you can get smoked salmon trimmings (My local supermarket has them, I use them a lot in cooking where I don’t need nice neat slices).”

I eat salmon at least twice a week, and love how healthy this appetizer idea is (in addition to being quick and easy!).

Cream cheese and salsa tortilla wraps

“Cream cheese and salsa mixed up together and spread on a soft flour tortilla,” says Naomi, another FB friend. “I don’t know the exact proportions — just add salsa and taste until it’s delicious. Very easy. Use colored tortillas to be fancy.”

Red and green flour tortillas would be a fantastic appetizer for a Christmas party!

Baked brie and a fresh baguette

“Baked round of brie with chopped garlic and sun dried tomatoes on top, served with a sliced baguette,” says Denise, a friend from Bowen Island and Facebook. “Mmmmmmm…”

Another version of this is pear or apple slices on cheddar cheese on baguette slices, rice crisps, or even saltines (if you’re desperate for appetizer).

Sweet potato or yam chips

One of my favourite veggies is the orange yam (not the lighter coloured sweet potato).You can turn a yam into an easy appetizer by slicing it thinly, spraying the slices and baking sheet with olive oil, sprinkling with cinnamon, and baking at 400 until crispy.

Another appetizer idea that’s healthy – I’m all over that.

Cucumbers or tomato slices with cheese on top

“Cucumber slices with a dilly cream cheese mix piped on top and a sprig of fresh dill to garnish,” says Miranda, a friend from Facebook.

This elegant party snack reminds me of the appetizer a friend brought over on Sunday: tomato slices, buffalo mozzarella cheese (I think), a sliver of cilantro, and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette. Of course, it helps if the tomatoes are super fresh and flavourful.

Goat cheese stuffed peppers

Here’s an appetizer idea for bachelors (and wives like me who don’t like to spend time in the kitchen) from All Around Tim:

“All you need for this appetizer is goat cheese, peppadew peppers (the kind that are already gutted and bottled with oil) and a knife (or spoon). Take the goat cheese with the knife and fill each pepper with the cheese (clear the inside of the pepper of excess oil first).”

I’ve tried these party snacks, and they’re yum. But I don’t like eating that much oil on an appetizer, so I’d substitute the oily peppadew peppers with fresh green, red, orange, and yellow pepper slices. Granted, the fresh pepper slices aren’t as easy as the bottled peppers….but at least no cooking is required!

Cheese Dip in a Bread Bowl

Here’s an appetizer recipe from Barbara Shema at Suite101 (where I used to write!):

This rye bread shell filled with cheese dip can be served on a large bread board or large platter surrounded by pieces of the hollowed out bread and slices of party rye.


  • 24 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz. blue cheese
  • 1 t dry mustard
  • 2 T soft butter
  • 1 t Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 T grated onions
  • 1 12oz bottle beer
  • 1 large round loaf rye bread
  • 1 package sliced rye (for extra pieces to dip)

Cut large circle in top of loaf of rye bread and hollow out leaving the crust as a shell; retain the cut out bread for dipping. In mixing bowl add all ingredients except beer and allow to soften. Add beer slowly and beat until smooth. Fill hollowed out bread with cheese mixture, and garnish with parsley. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve this party snack! – From Easy to Make Super Bowl Party Food Appetizers.

Cream Cheese Penguins (pictured at top of these ideas for appetizers)

Ingredients and directions:

  • 18 jumbo black olives, pitted
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 18 small black olives
  • 1 carrot
  1. Cut a slit from top to bottom, lengthwise, into the side of each jumbo olive. Carefully insert about 1 teaspoon of cream cheese into each olive. Slice the carrot into eighteen 1/4 inch thick rounds; cut a small notch out of each carrot slice to form feet. Save the cut out piece and press into center of small olive to form the beak. If necessary cut a small slit into each olive before inserting the beak.
  2. Set a big olive, large hole side down, onto a carrot slice. The, set a small olive into the large olive, adjusting so that the beak, cream cheese chest and notch in the carrot slice line up. Secure with a toothpick.

– from tres.jolie on flicker,  who I believe got the recipe from AllRecipes.com.

A few more appetizer ideas

  • Hummus
  • Baba Ghanoush
  • Spinach Dip
  • Shrimp tray (my favourite appetizer because it’s healthy and SO easy)
  • Meat and cheese trays
  • Veggies and dip
  • Peanut butter or Cheez Whiz on celery
  • Traditional Deviled Eggs (which are is easy if you know how to boil eggs without cracking them, and you have time to chill them, peel them, scoop out the yolks, mash them with mayo and seasoning, and stuff the eggs with the mixture).

If you’re going to your parents’ Christmas party and still haven’t found a gift for your father, read 10 Christmas Gift Ideas for Dads Who Love Food and Beer.

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