Last-Minute Appetizers You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less
Whether we admit it or not, every appetizer spread is like an impromptu pageant of bite-sized snacks. Everyone can tell which appetizers are scoring high by how quickly they’re disappearing and how frequently they’re being raved about by partygoers. Every self-respecting cook knows, however, that when it comes to appetizers, you don’t ever want to come off like you’re trying too hard. That’s where it’ll get you. We’d pick homemade pimiento cheese topped with Wickles over crème fraiche drizzled with caviar every single time.
Quick appetizers, easy-to-make appetizers—those are the real winners of the party-snack pageant. Because the best appetizers are those we can make in under an hour, and the hardest-working are those that save us when we only have a spare 20 minutes. Next time you’re in panic mode, try these last-minute appetizers that steal the show every time.
Whip Up These Appetizers and Impress Last-Minute Company
Baked Brie with Jezebel Peaches
Recipe: Baked Brie with Jezebel Peaches
Melty cheese? At a party? It's a no-brainer. This peach-topped Brie bakes for only 15 minutes, making it the express route to party success.
Blue Cheese-and-Pecan Stuffed Cherry Peppers
Imagine a perfect hot-and-sweet, crunchy-and-creamy appetizer wrapped up into a single bite. That's exactly what these stuffed cherry peppers offer. It's a well-spent 20 minutes before any gathering, to say the least.
Creamy Feta-and-Herb Dip
Recipe: Creamy Feta and Herb Dip
There's always room for a creamy, tangy dip on the appetizer spread. This dip is packed with feta cheese, fresh lemon juice, and plenty of herbs; and it goes perfectly with a tray of colorful veggies.
Buttery Garlic Shrimp
Recipe: Buttery Garlic Shrimp
The fastest way to make a show-stopping seafood appetizer? Coat shrimp with melted butter, garlic, and white wine; and serve with crusty garlic bread. That's the best 15 minutes you've ever spent.
Prosciutto-Asiago Pimiento Cheese
We'll allow a little experimentation on the classic pimiento cheese front as long as it's as tasty a version as this. With crispy prosciutto and Asiago cheese, it's definitely worthy of stepping up your game.
Baked Brie Bites
Recipe: Baked Brie Bites
Five ingredients and 18 minutes later, these melty baked Brie bites will start showing up every other appetizer around. Red pepper jelly, pecans, and flaky sea salt add major texture and flavor.
Recipe: Bacon-Pimiento Guacamole
Any party deserves three standout ingredients: bacon, pimiento, and avocados. This fresh guacamole recipe combines all of them and turns a classic dip into something special.
Smoky Snack Mix
Recipe: Smoky Snack Mix
Good thing it's easy to double or even triple this smoky mix recipe. Because it's a snack that people just can't stop snacking on. From game days to birthdays, it fits in anywhere.
Smoky Black-Eyed Pea Hummus
Recipe: Smoky Black-Eyed Pea Hummus
We can justify adding black-eyed peas to just about anything, and this hummus is no exception. It blends a country-cooking staple with a traditional Middle Eastern dip and turns it into a real crowd-pleaser.
Recipe: Ham-Wrapped Figs
Get ready for something sweet, salty, and oh-so-nice. This trio of figs, ham, and cheese is practically a revelation for the taste buds. For a decadent finishing touch, drizzle the baked figs with a little bit of honey.
Garlic Butter-Roasted Shrimp Cocktail
Skip the expected chilled shrimp ring for warm roasted shrimp cooked in a lemon-garlic butter. We're not kidding when we say it's the sleeper hit at every single holiday party and disappears crazy-fast. Serve with toothpicks and cocktail sauce.
Creamy Crab Dip
Recipe: Creamy Crab Dip
We're revisiting an old classic with this creamy crab dip. Fresh lump crabmeat, Old Bay seasoning, lemon juice, and scallions combine for a cool, no-cook dip for any Southern soiree.
Mini Caprese Bites
Recipe: Mini Caprese Bites
On a table of dips and spreads, these fresh skewers will stand out with the combo of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and balsamic. They're almost too easy to pop into your mouth without missing a beat at the party.
Stuffed Endive with Herbed Goat Cheese
Trade in the carby crackers for crisp endive lettuce. It plays the vessel for creamy herbed goat cheese in this cool appetizer that'll save room for more snacking.
Grilled Watermelon with Blue Cheese and Prosciutto
This isn't your typical party snack—but man, will it impress your guests. The savory-meets-sweet appetizer pairs grilled watermelon with blue cheese, salty prosciutto, and tangy balsamic.
Recipe: Beef-and-Asparagus Bundles
Make a quick appetizer that feels a little fancy with these fresh bundles with beef and asparagus. Garlic-and-herb cheese gives the cool, creamy touch that pulls it all together.
Basic Pimiento Cheese
Recipe: Basic Pimiento Cheese
Is it really a party without pimiento? We think not. The two game-changing steps to perfect pimiento cheese: hand-shredding the cheese and using diced jarred pimientos (not sliced).
Melon, Mozzarella, and Prosciutto Skewers
A skewer-sized snack with juicy melon, salty prosciutto, and creamy mozzarella hits all the right flavor notes in a single bite. They're easy to make (and even easier to take) for last-minute get-togethers.
Olive Oil Popcorn with Garlic and Rosemary
Flavored with olive oil, fresh rosemary, Parmesan cheese, and minced garlic, this popcorn is a sophisticated take on a classic snack. Set out a fresh batch of these herby popped kernels, and it'll be an easy favorite at casual affairs.
Recipe: Texas Caviar
This classic party-perfect dip gives a little twist with green tomatoes. They bring a bright, almost citrusy note to the mix. This 20-minute appetizer is always an easy option when in a pinch.