Our Best Make-Ahead Appetizer Recipes

Spinach and Vidalia Dip
Photo: Greg Dupree Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Whether you're having guests over to your house or need an appetizer to take along to a potluck, there are times when you need to make an appetizer ahead of time. These recipes will allow you to serve up a delicious appetizer even if you're short on time the day of the gathering where you'll be serving them. Classics like deviled eggs, pimiento cheese, and more have always been favorites of Southern hostesses not only because of how delicious they are, but also because they can be made in advance.

In addition to being able to be made ahead, these appetizers are also easy to pull together. Many of these recipes have to be chilled overnight, which makes them the perfect appetizers for when you need a make-ahead option. Read on for our best make-ahead appetizers that'll come to the rescue on your busiest days.

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Bloody Mary Poached Shrimp

Bloody Mary Poached Shrimp
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe: Bloody Mary Poached Shrimp

Since this dish has to chill for at least 8 hours and preferably up to 24, it must be made ahead of time.

02 of 15

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Back Bean Corn Salsa
Antonis Achilleos

Recipe: Black Bean and Corn Salsa

This big batch salsa is made to serve 12, but can be easily doubled for even larger crowds. Plus, we bet you won't mind having leftovers which can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

03 of 15

Marinated Feta With Cherry Tomatoes

Marinated Feta with Cherry Tomatoes
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Marinated Feta With Cherry Tomatoes

Toasted baguette slices serve as an ideal base for a tomato and cheese mixture that marinates overnight before serving.

04 of 15

Old Bay Rémoulade with Crudités and Shrimp

Old Bay Rémoulade with Crudités and Shrimp
Johnny Autry; Prop and Food Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Recipe: Old Bay Rémoulade with Crudités and Shrimp

This remoulade can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week, so you can prepare it several days in advance of an event if needed.

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Basic Deviled Eggs

Classic Deviled Eggs
Lee Harrelson; Styling: Jan Gautro, Laura Zapalowski

Recipe: Basic Deviled Eggs

You can prepare deviled eggs a day in advance and store them in the refrigerator. If you'll be transporting them, keep the filling separate and top the eggs just before serving.

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Cheddar Cheese Straws

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

Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Straws

Both kids and adults will love this classic snack.

07 of 15

Basic Pimiento Cheese

Basic Pimiento Cheese
Jennifer Causey; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Basic Pimiento Cheese

Not only is this appetizer a Southern classic, but it also requires just a few stirs to pull together.

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Texas Caviar

Texas Caviar
Southern Living

Recipe: Texas Caviar

Although this dip is simple to pull together, we bet it'll be a bigger hit than most time-intensive appetizers.

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Benedictine Spread

benedictine spread dip
Photographer: Antonis Achilleos, Prop Stylist:Christine Keely Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Benedictine Spread

After it's prepared, this spread can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days.

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Buttery Toasted Pecans

Buttery Toasted Pecans
Photo: Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Buttery Toasted Pecans

This simple snack can be stored for up to a week and are great to have on hand for drop in guests.

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Spinach-and-Vidalia Dip

Spinach and Vidalia Dip
Greg Dupree Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Recipe: Spinach-and-Vidalia Dip

Both chips and veggies are great dipping options for this spinach dip.

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Orange-Basil Yogurt Dip

Orange-Basil Yogurt Dip
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Orange-Basil Yogurt Dip

You can refrigerate this dip in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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Buttermilk-Ricotta Cheese Dip

Buttermilk-Ricotta Cheese Dip
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Buttermilk-Ricotta Cheese Dip

Make sure to follow the directions for this recipe and stir only when instructed for the best results.

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Smoky Snack Mix

Smoky Snack Mix
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Smoky Snack Mix

Depending on how large of a crowd you'll be serving, it may be worth doubling this homemade snack mix recipe.

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Cheese Dreams

Cheese Dreams
Southern Living

Recipe: Cheese Dreams

These cheesy bites can be stored in the freezer, just add 10 minutes to the cooking time.

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