63 Simple Summer Appetizers Made for Sunny Skies

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

Longer days mean more time to eat outdoors, and who doesn't love an easy outdoor appetizer you can enjoy at barbecues, picnics, and tailgates? Perfect for entertaining outside, this collection of al fresco finger food features meats served straight off the grill and cool dips with no-fuss presentations. Many of these summer appetizers are make-ahead, too, helping you check one more thing off your hosting to-do list.

We've got a smorgasbord of options to suit any and all taste buds, kids and adults alike. There are easy recipes for seafood lovers, like our Smoked Fish Dip, or if you're a TexMex fan, spice it up with our ever-classic Rotel Dip. Sliders and crackers make for satisfying bites at cocktail hour, and you'll find that even the simplest recipes, like Crack Crackers, will draw in a crowd. One thing is consistent though: These are all super easy outdoor recipe ideas that are sure to take summer entertaining up a notch.

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When Entertaining Moves Outside, Call on These Easy Apps

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Mini Tomato Sandwiches With Bacon Mayonnaise

Mini Tomato Sandwiches With Bacon Mayonnaise
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Tina Bell Stamos; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe: Mini Tomato Sandwiches With Bacon Mayonnaise

A Southern spin on a BLT, these heirloom tomato sandwiches are effortless.

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Tomato, Peach, and Corn Salad

Tomato, Peach, and Corn Salad
Photo: Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Cat Steele

Recipe: Tomato, Peach, and Corn Salad

Vibrant, freshly tossed fruits and veggies are sure to draw a crowd to the appetizer table.

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Tropical Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Tropical Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Photo: Jennifer Causey; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Tropical Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Easier than your average app but still impressive enough for a party, this no-cook dish has a tropical twist.

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Southwest Black-Eyed Pea Dip

Southwest Black-Eyed Pea Dip
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Christina Lane; Food Styling: Tina Bell Stamos

Recipe: Southwest Black-Eyed Pea Dip

Serve this hot and bubbly baked mix of summer flavor with plenty of your favorite tortilla chips.

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Classic Pimiento Cheese

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

Recipe: Basic Pimiento Cheese

This classic Southern recipe is foolproof for a reason. Whether you serve it as a dip, spread, or all by itself, this recipe belongs at every summer gathering.

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Queso-Filled Mini Peppers

Queso-Filled Mini Peppers
Antonis Achilleos

Recipe: Queso-Filled Mini Peppers

Who needs chips for queso? These peppers are bite-sized and brimming with cheese.

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Cheeseburger Egg Rolls with Special Sauce

Cheeseburger Egg Rolls with Special Sauce
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Cheeseburger Egg Rolls with Special Sauce

Two party favorites collide in this reimagined takeout dish.

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Ham Salad

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

Recipe: Ham Salad

Give your typical warm-weather chicken salad a break with these mini ham salad sandwiches.

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Rotel Dip

Rotel Dip
Caitlin Bensel

Recipe: Rotel Dip

In this recipe, simplicity (and Velveeta) is key. Just make sure you have enough chips on hand.

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Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Fried Green Tomatoes

A Southern summer classic, this recipe's not-too-heavy batter is the key to getting this appetizer just right.

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Mini Shrimp Rolls

Mini Shrimp Rolls
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Mini Shrimp Rolls

Mini but mighty, these cute little sandwiches are packed with shrimp, celery, and pickled jalapenos.

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Deviled Egg Salad and Asparagus Tartines

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

Recipe: Deviled Egg Salad and Asparagus Tartines

Fresh asparagus and egg salad make this laid-back finger sandwich a summertime staple.

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Golden Corn Fritters

Golden Corn Fritters
Southern Living

Recipe: Golden Corn Fritters

These crispy poppers are reminiscent of hush puppies, just lighter and richer in taste.

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Egg Salad Sandwiches

Egg Salad Sandwiches
Jen Causey

Recipe: Egg Salad Sandwiches

A summer picnic staple, these finger sandwiches are made with the usual suspects—celery, pickle relish, and mayonnaise—but they have a few unexpected additions, too.

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Spinach-and-Vidalia Dip

Spinach-and-Vidalia Dip
Photo: Greg Dupree

Recipe: Spinach-and-Vidalia Dip

Take a moment to meet your new favorite appetizer. This twist on the classic spinach dip is sure to please even the most particular guests. Just like classic spinach dip, the recipe mixes together spinach, sour cream, and chives to achieve that cool onion flavor with a kick.

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Fried Deviled Eggs

Fried Deviled Eggs
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Fried Deviled Eggs

Who says a classic can't be fried? Amp up your everyday deviled egg this summer with a fried crispy coating.

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Mini Potato Skins

Mini Potato Skins
Photo: Greg DuPree; Prop styling: Claire Spollen; Food styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Mini Potato Skins

Oh-so-poppable and made for summer crowds, this five-ingredient recipe is a no-fail with guests of any age.

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Pork Tenderloin Sliders

Bacon-and-Sweet Onion Jam
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Pork Tenderloin Sliders

Mustard-and-thyme-marinated pork tenderloin on dinner rolls makes for a hearty handful ready for any al fresco affair.

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Tuna Pasta Salad

Tuna Pasta Salad
Caitlin Bensel

Recipe: Tuna Pasta Salad

This fresh take on an old-school tuna pasta salad is as bright as the season.

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Easy Catfish Tacos with Slaw

Crispy Catfish Tacos with Slaw
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Tina Bell Stamos

Recipe: Easy Catfish Tacos with Slaw

You can't go wrong with a tortilla topped with slaw, avocado, and catfish.

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Baked Brie with Jezebel Peaches

Baked Brie with Jezebel Peaches
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Baked Brie with Jezebel Peaches

Pepper jelly and peaches pair with brie for a dish that was made for the outdoors.

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Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad

Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: Lydia Pursell; Food Styling: Toni Brogan

Recipe: Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad

Tossed in a simple vinaigrette, this multicolored mix of cherry tomatoes and small fresh mozzarella balls comes together in a snap.

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Hush Puppies

Hush Puppies Recipe Still Image

Recipe: Hush Puppies

One of the ultimate Southern finger foods, these hush puppies were made for an outdoor party.

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Tomato Salad with Grilled Shrimp

Lemon-Mint Sparklers
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Tomato Salad with Grilled Shrimp

Look for beautiful and tasty heirloom tomatoes in a rainbow of colors at your local farmers' market, and keep them at room temperature until you're ready to slice and serve.

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Grilled Cajun Shrimp Kabobs with Sausage

Grilled Cajun Shrimp Kabobs with Sausage
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Lydia Pursell; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Grilled Cajun Shrimp Kabobs with Sausage

Grilled to perfection and ready to party, these Cajun skewers come together in under 20 minutes.

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Pickled Tiny Tomatoes

Orange-Basil Yogurt Dip
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Pickled Tiny Tomatoes

Use a mixture of baby tomatoes such as 'Sweet 100,' 'Yellow Pear,' or 'Sun Gold'—all are available at farmers' markets in summer months. This dish uses 3 pints of tomatoes, but feel free to halve the recipe.

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Fresh Fruit Salad

Fresh Fruit Salad
Jen Causey

Recipe: Fresh Fruit Salad

This classic fruit salad is an essential (and super easy) part of any summer spread.

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Deviled Crab Melts

Deviled Crab Melts
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Deviled Crab Melts

Kick off a summer party with these loaded, crunchy crostinis.

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Corn and Jalapeño Dip

Corn and Jalapeño Dip
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Corn and Jalapeño Dip

With sweet corn, spicy jalapeño, and bacon, this loaded dip needs a sturdy chip.

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Buttermilk-Ricotta Cheese Dip

Buttermilk-Ricotta Cheese Dip
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Buttermilk-Ricotta Cheese Dip

If you've never tried homemade ricotta, then you're in for a tasty surprise. This will change the way you think about the store-bought kind. Be sure to stir only when indicated in the recipe.

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Bacon Bow Tie Crackers

Bacon Bow Tie Crackers
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: Lydia Pursell; Food Styling: Tami Hardeman

Recipe: Bacon Bow Tie Crackers

With just two ingredients, this salty-buttery app is the ultimate hostess party hack.

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Creamy Overnight Fruit Salad

Creamy Overnight Fruit Salad
Abigail Wilt

Recipe: Creamy Overnight Fruit Salad

You won't have to worry about bananas browning before guest arrive with this nostalgic overnight recipe.

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Fig Flatbread

Fig Flatbread
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Cat Steele

Recipe: Fig Flatbread

Turn store-bought pizza dough into a crowd-worthy flatbread that's anything but typical.

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Party Poppers

Party Poppers
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Party Poppers

This quick and easy appetizer, with just a few ingredients and even fewer steps, will make entertaining easy without the hassle of fussing over the oven all day and night. For those who like it hot, swap mini sweet peppers for spicy jalapeños.

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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

It's cocktails and appetizers rolled into one. Set out a big bowlful on the picnic table, and it won't last long.

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Buffalo Chicken Sliders

Buffalo Chicken Sliders
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Sliders

With the help of the Southerner's favorite King's Hawaiian Rolls, you'll have tender little sandwiches that serve as the best individual appetizers on the table.

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Hot Crab and Shrimp Dip

Hot Crab and Shrimp Dip

Recipe: Hot Crab and Shrimp Dip

Celebrate the summer season with a big batch of seafood dip. Lump crabmeat, fresh shrimp, smoked cheese, and spices promise to be a crowd-pleasing combination.

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Shrimp-and-Andouille Gumbo

Shrimp-and-Andouille Gumbo Dip
Brian Woodcock; Styling: Rachael Burrow

Recipe: Shrimp-and-Andouille Gumbo

Sure, warm weather might not call for a steaming bowl of stew, but transform the beloved gumbo into a dip and it slides perfectly onto the appetizer table.

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Ranch Snack Crackers

Ranch Snacker Crackers
Sheri Castle

Recipe: Ranch Snack Crackers

They may look simple, but don't be deceived. Our Ranch Snack Crackers might just be the most popular appetizer at the cookout.

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Carrot-Tahini Dip

Carrot-Tahini Dip
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Carrot-Tahini Dip

Any great gathering has a gaggle of dips lining the appetizer table. Instead of traditional hummus, try this summer-hued Carrot-Tahini dip instead. Serve with crackers or veggies and prepare to wow.

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Hot Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Hot Spinach-Artichoke Dip
Iain Bagwell; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl

Recipe: Hot Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Pepper Jack cheese gives a beloved dip a little kick.

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Ann Taylor Pittman's Kale-Citrus Salad with Bacony Pecans

Ann’s Kale-Citrus Salad with Bacony Pecans
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Margaret Monroe Dickey; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Ann Taylor Pittman's Kale-Citrus Salad with Bacony Pecans

Bright pops of orange and watermelon radish slices make this sunny salad a delight at the next cookout.

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Baked Pimiento Cheese Dip

Baked Pimiento Cheese Dip
Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lydia DeGaris Pursell

Recipe: Baked Pimiento Cheese Dip

It turns out the Southern sandwich staple makes a mean, velvety dip. Be sure to serve with plenty of buttery crackers—you won't be able to keep up with the demand.

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Field Pea Salad with Tomatoes and Feta

Field Pea Salad with Tomatoes and Feta
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Recipe: Field Pea Salad with Tomatoes and Feta

This simple salad takes the humble field pea and elevates it to something special. Serve as an appetizer or alongside the main meal.

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Grilled Peach Salad with Chipotle-Raspberry Vinaigrette

Regina Charboneau's Grilled Peach Salad with Chipotle-Raspberry Vinaigrette
Courtesy Regina Charboneau

Recipe: Grilled Peach Salad with Chipotle-Raspberry Vinaigrette

Start any al fresco meal off on the right note with juicy summer peaches and a spicy vinaigrette to keep everyone on their toes.

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Grilled Sweet Pepper Salad with Ricotta and Summer Herbs

Grilled Sweet Pepper Salad With Ricotta And Summer Herbs
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Grilled Sweet Pepper Salad with Ricotta and Summer Herbs

Charred peppers, creamy ricotta, herby marinade…consider this the easy outdoor appetizer you didn't know you needed.

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Cucumber-Chickpea Salad with Feta-Mint Vinaigrette

Cucumber-Chickpea Salad with Feta-Mint Vinaigrette
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Cucumber-Chickpea Salad with Feta-Mint Vinaigrette

Here's the ultimate refresher for a summer luncheon. Crisp rounds of cucumber, hearty chickpeas, and a fresh, minty vinaigrette will please everyone while leaving room for the main meal.

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BBQ Egg Rolls

BBQ Egg Rolls
Southern Living

Recipe: BBQ Egg Rolls

Crispy, crunchy, and barbecued? Throw in some Alabama White Sauce and you'll be the talk of the town.

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Tangy Rainbow Slaw

Tangy Rainbow Slaw
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe: Tangy Rainbow Slaw

Sweet apples, crisp cabbage, and cilantro create a vibrant slaw that aims to please, while being packed with nutritional value, too.

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Creamy Avocado Dip

Creamy Avocado Dip
Johnny Autry; Prop and Food Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Recipe: Creamy Avocado Dip

If your crowd loves guacamole, try serving them this creamy, tangy take. The secret? Sour cream and mayonnaise make for a rich, irresistible dip.

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Kimchi-Sesame Slaw

Kimchi-Sesame Slaw
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen

Recipe: Kimchi-Sesame Slaw

While kimchi and sesame oil put a definitive spin on the classic slaw, the creamy mayo dressing adds the familiar richness and consistency of a beloved side and appetizer.

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Shrimp on Seasoned Crackers with Pepper Jelly Cream Cheese

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

Recipe: Shrimp on Seasoned Crackers with Pepper Jelly Cream Cheese

Hosting an elegant outdoor summer soirée? Make sure prepare these sophisticated bites.

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Pickled Watermelon Rind Slaw

Fried Catfish Sandwich With Pickled Watermelon Rind Slaw
Southern Living

Recipe: Pickled Watermelon Rind Slaw

This slaw is a great companion to anything salty and fried—one of the South's main food groups.

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Warm Mustard Potato Salad

Warm Mustard Potato Salad
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe: Warm Mustard Potato Salad

It's not really a Southern gathering without some form of potato salad. Though it's lacking mayonnaise, this rendition still packs on the flavor and richness by way of soft-boiled eggs and warm mustard dressing.

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Crack Crackers

Crack Crackers Recipe
Alison Miksch; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Anna Hampton

Recipe: Crack Crackers

It's all in the name. If you manage to stop yourself from eating an entire bowlful, then you might be the only one.

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Deviled Egg-Potato Salad

Deviled Egg Potato Salad
Antonis Achilleos

Recipe: Deviled Egg-Potato Salad

Deviled eggs and potato salad are two undeniable Southern mainstays. Well, we've combined the two into a decadent appetizer. Serve it and your guests are in danger of filling up before the burgers arrive.

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Southern-Style Potato Salad

_Southern-Style Potato Salad
Southern Living

Recipe: Southern-Style Potato Salad

Cover your bases with a traditional potato salad. Mayonnaise? Check. Hard-boiled eggs? Check. Celery, sweet pickle relish, mustard, and bacon? Check!

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Easy Egg Salad

Easy Egg Salad
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Easy Egg Salad

The great thing about egg salad is that it makes a fantastic appetizer or complete meal. Just serve with your favorite sandwich bread.

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Smoked Fish Dip

Smoked-Fish Dip
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke

Recipe: Smoked Fish Dip

It's a one-bowl dip that'll keep hungry hands away from the grill until the patties are ready.

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Hot Brown Party Rolls

Hot Brown Party Rolls
Victor Protasio; Food Stying: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Hot Brown Party Rolls

Guests will be enjoying these little sandwiches well after the Kentucky Derby is over.

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Roasted Fennel-and-Prosciutto Flatbread

Roasted Fennel-and-Prosciutto Flatbread
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Roasted Fennel-and-Prosciutto Flatbread

No prosciutto? Feel free to substitute for country ham instead. Don't forget a generous drizzle of balsamic glaze for a tangy-sweet touch.

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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 is the appetizer that'll bring you straight to the beach. Test Kitchen pro Ivy Odom developed it with memories of her family's beach house on St. George Island in mind.

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