The 25 Best Appetizers To Serve All Spring Long

Baked Goat Cheese Spread with Pepper Jelly
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

After a long winter, we're all looking forward to dining al fresco and hosting outdoor barbecues. As you're starting to venture outside more to soak up some sun for Easter dinner, Mother's Day brunch, a bridal shower, or upcoming graduation this spring and summer, don't neglect the most delicious start to any celebratory menu: the celebratory starters. These bite-sized appetizers feature the most colorful and juiciest fruits and vegetables of the bunch, as well as a lighter flavor profile to keep you and your dinner party guests satisfied (but not too full) until the second course. We guarantee that these tasty appetizers will cure your spring fever.

01 of 25

Deviled Egg Salad and Asparagus Tartines

Deviled Egg Salad and Asparagus Tartines
Alison Miksch; Prop Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller; Food Styling: Torie Cox

You can prepare the egg salad for this herbaceous appetizer one day in advance to save you time on the day you'll be serving. Fresh chives and dill liven up the egg mixture, and blanched asparagus tips adds spring color. For an elegant presentation, serve on toasted, crustless bread slices.

02 of 25

Shrimp on Seasoned Crackers with Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese

Shrimp on Seasoned Crackers with Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke

Upgrade the traditional cream cheese and pepper jelly duo by adding pan-fried shrimp to top off each cracker. Basic saltines get a makeover with an olive oil and spice blend coating, then layered with cream cheese, pepper jelly, and the herb-and-lemon seasoned shrimp. Assemble just before your guests arrive, but be prepared for this appetizer to disappear soon after.

03 of 25

Picnic Egg Salad

Picnic Egg Salad on Toast
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Cat Steele

No matter the occasion, egg salad is a great starter that comes together in just 15 minutes. We’ve refined this classic recipe with a peppery bite from radishes. Chopped eggs, mayo, scallions, dill, and salt make up the rest of this salad, but customize to your taste by adding a dash of paprika, cayenne, or pepper.

04 of 25

Collard Dip

Collard Dip Recipe
Southern Living

It’s time for the classic hot spinach dip to get a Southern spin with collard greens. Thaw and drain frozen chopped collard greens and fold them into a creamy cheese mixture and bake until bubbly, about a half hour at 375 degrees. Serving this dip with fresh colorful veggies will create a beautiful display to welcome spring.

05 of 25

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp Skewers with Chipotle Comeback Sauce

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp Skewers with Chipotle Comeback Sauce
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Make sure to use regular, not thick cut bacon, for these skewers so it'll cook evenly with the shrimp. Prepare the shrimp and sauce a day ahead, then they cook quickly on the grill with 3 minutes per side. The sweet and smoky comeback sauce, a Southern favorite, works great as a dip, sandwich spread, or salad dressing, so make extra, which will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.

06 of 25

Basic Deviled Eggs

Classic Deviled Eggs
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Sometimes going back to basics is the best approach to creating a crowd-pleasing appetizer like this classic deviled eggs recipe. Looking for an easy way to peel eggs? After cooking the eggs, lightly crack them and soak in an ice bath for 10 minutes, then peel under cold water. You may want to double the recipe for this no-frills appetizer, depending on how many guests you're serving.

07 of 25

Cheese Dreams

Cheese Dreams
Southern Living

Appetizers that can be made ahead are always a winner in our book. White crustless sandwich bread cut into squares gets smothered in a kicked up cheddar cheese blend and baked to create these addictive cheesy bites. Prepare a day ahead, or freeze for up to three weeks to have a party-ready snack on hand.

08 of 25

Mamau's Cheese Straws

Mamau’s Cheese Straws
Robbie Caponetto; Prop Styling: Mary Beth Wetzel; Food Styling: Pam Lolley

A bowl of cheese straws will start any gathering out on the right note. And nothing’s better than a favorite family recipe like this one cherished through the generations. This recipe makes a large batch, so store in an airtight container, and share extra straws as food gifts.

09 of 25

Mini Tomato Sandwiches With Bacon Mayonnaise

Mini Tomato Sandwiches With Bacon Mayonnaise
Victor Protasio

Choosing the ripest tomatoes is key to ensuring this 20-minute appetizer tastes its best. BLTs reduced to mini size may be less indulgent than a whole sandwich. but it will require restraint to have just one. This easy-to-transport app will be appreciated at a picnic or ladies brunch.

10 of 25

Our Favorite Pimiento Cheese

Classic Pimiento Chese
Hector Manuel Sanchez

With warmer weather around the corner, it's time to break out the pimiento cheese to make bite-sized, tea sandwiches or to enjoy with saltines. Our favorite tried-and-true pimiento cheese has toasted pecans for crunch and a kick from ground red pepper. Your cheese grater is essential for this one, pre-shredded cheese won’t cut it, hand-grated cheese’s taste and texture just can’t be beat.

11 of 25

Baked Goat Cheese Spread with Pepper Jelly

Baked Goat Cheese Spread with Pepper Jelly
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

A creamy, cheesy dip is a welcome addition to any menu. To spread the pepper jelly smoothly over the hot dip, stir the jelly in a bowl to loosen it up first. This starter can be served with the crudité or bread of your choice.

12 of 25

Pimiento Cheese Sausage Balls

Pimento Cheese Sausage Balls
Southern Living

This recipe combines two classic appetizers into one bite-sized savory treat. With just four ingredients this easy, cheesy, and meaty app also makes a large batch in just 30 minutes. These freeze well to use later for breakfasts, lunches, and apps.

13 of 25

Fried Deviled Eggs

Fried Deviled Eggs
Micah A. Leal

We always like to try a new twist on deviled eggs. Here we add a little crunch to deviled eggs by frying the egg whites before adding the creamy filling. Customize the panko-and-Parmesan breadcrumb mixture with your favorite flavors, from Cajun to Old Bay seasonings. 

14 of 25

Ham Delights

Ham Delights
Photographer: Jennifer Causey; Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer

This tried-and-true appetizer requires just 10 minutes of hands-on time and is sure to be loved by guests of all ages. Gouda cheese and everything bagel seasoning packs this updated version with flavor. These are best enjoyed hot out of the oven.

15 of 25

Mushroom-Stuffed Phyllo Cups

Mushroom-Stuffed Phyllo Cups
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Frozen mini pastry shells are a convenient base for a flavor-packed mushroom filling. If you’re putting a party spread together, these come together in 25 minutes and pair nicely with classic apps like deviled eggs and cocktail meatballs. The mushroom filling would be delicious on pizza or in pasta sauce if you have any leftover. 

16 of 25

Baked BLT Dip

Baked BLT Dip
Southern Living

This recipe transforms the classic sandwich into your new favorite dip. This decadent app is loaded with a pound of crispy bacon mixed into the creamy dip and also sprinkled on top. Our favorite way cook bacon is in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, it’s a lot less messy and can be done in one batch.

17 of 25

Deviled Potatoes

Deviled Potatoes
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Two Southern classics, deviled egg, and potato salad, collide to create these tiny delicacies. After baking petite red potatoes, the interior is scooped out to create the filling mixed with capers, fresh herbs, mustard, and sour cream. This party snack can be made a day ahead for easier prep.

18 of 25

Tex-Mex Deviled Eggs

Tex-Mex Deviled Eggs
Hector Manuel Sanchez

We elevated the typical deviled egg recipe with plenty of bold Tex-Mex flavor to really wow your guests. We hope they can take the heat. These eggs get their kick from fresh jalapeño (or go hotter with Serrano pepper) and chili powder. 

19 of 25

Spinach-and-Vidalia Dip

Spinach-and-Vidalia Dip
Photo: Greg Dupree

Say hello to a much improved and tastier version of classic spinach dip. The kicker here is the flavorful addition of sweet Vidalia onions. After combining the cooked onion-and-spinach mixture with the sour cream and chives, the flavors need to meld by chilling for at least 30 minutes.

20 of 25

Party Poppers

Party Poppers
Photo: Hector Sanchez

It wouldn't be a spring party without a little heat. These poppers are extra meaty—filled with a chicken cream cheese and wrapped in bacon. These can be prepared in 35 minutes with broiling for a few minutes at the end to crisp the bacon.

21 of 25

Baked Brie Bites

Baked Brie Bites
Laurey W. Glenn

Impress your guests with this sophisticated five-ingredient appetizer recipe. For easy prep, the store-bought ingredients simply get assembled and baked. These little bites hit all the flavor notes with creamy cheese, sweet pepper jelly, crunchy toasted pecans, all in a flaky crust.

22 of 25

Mini Caprese Bites

Mini Caprese Bites
William Dickey

These show-stopping party skewers will have you dreaming of long, warm nights spent outdoors with family and friends. Fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and balsamic is a crowd-pleasing combination. It’s always fun for kids to eat food on a stick, but skewers also makes eating this app easy and mess free.

23 of 25

Strawberry Caprese Salad

Strawberry Caprese Salad
IAIN BAGWELL

Fresh basil, strawberries, fresh mozzarella, and white balsamic create a spring version of caprese salad. The ingredients need to marinate and meld by chilling for two hours for the best flavor. This sweet and tart appetizer doubles as a fresh, crisp salad. 

24 of 25

Asparagus Ribbon Crostini

Asparagus Ribbon Crostini
Greg Dupree; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Christina Daley

This quick and easy appetizer celebrates spring with fresh and bright seasonal ingredients asparagus, lemon, and mint. We love the combination of the crispy bread, the creamy ricotta-Parmesan spread, and the lemony and minty asparagus ribbons. Other than toasting the baguette slices, the preparation for this 30-minute app is pretty effortless.

25 of 25

Cheese Puffs with Ham Salad

Cheese Puffs with Ham Salad
Alison Miksch; Prop Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller; Food Styling: Torie Cox

While these cheese puffs are delicious on their own, they're even better when filled with ham salad. These puffs are flavored with Gruyere, dry mustard, and cayenne. If you entertain a lot, these versatile puffs are good to have ready to heat up from your freezer.

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