Spring in the South welcomes back sunny weather and gardens in full bloom. Easter egg hunts and outdoor barbecues are suddenly on the calendar. Make plans to capture the spirit of the season and host a lunch or potluck featuring some fabulous spring appetizers. Whether an Easter dinner or Mother’s Day brunch, this lineup of spring appetizer recipes will give hostesses some great choices for satisfying a hungry crowd before the main meal. Just because you are time-challenged doesn’t mean you can’t impress friends with a show-stopping Easter appetizer; many of the following recipes are very easy to prepare, yet delicious enough to keep guests returning to the table for a second helping. From traditional appetizers such as stuffed eggs and pimiento cheese, to new twists like deviled potatoes and goat cheese bites, there is something for every taste. So when warm weather hits and everyone wants to take the party outside, check out these easy outdoor entertaining tips, whip up some tasty spring appetizers, and enjoy a comfortable, laid-back gathering.
Cured Salmon with Dill-Horseradish Cream
"People don't think salmon is a Southern thing, but my mom made salmon croquettes every Sunday before church." - Chef John Hall
Hands-on time for this recipe is only 15 minutes, but the salmon will need to chill for 36 hours. As a recipe that has less than 10 ingredients, it is a great make-ahead option when entertaining for breakfast or brunch. Fresh bursts of citrus with lemon, lime, and orange zests give it a refreshing kick perfect for kick starting a dinner party. This no-cook dish is also perfect for saving time and headaches when entertaining because of its very little use of the oven. Serve the thinly sliced salmon with Dill-Horseradish Cream and toasted sourdough bread slices and wow guests with this easy, yet delectable, party appetizer.
Recipe: Deviled Potatoes
Two Southern classics, deviled eggs and potato salad, join forces to create these two-bite wonders. Scooping out the middle of the potato, filling it with flavor, and it stuffing it back in make it reminiscent of a deviled egg, but it taste just a like a scoop of bite-sized potato salad goodness. The pulp is mixed with sour cream, capers, mustard and a few other key ingredients that will not leave guests missing a traditional potato salad. Make them a day before your get-together, and chill until you head out. When you arrive, they'll be the right serving temperature and little clean up will be required once the party is over.
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. The secret? Sweet Vidalia onions add an unexpected, sweet twist to the creamy, savory dip. Pair with chips or a fresh veggie medley of bell peppers, cucumbers, and radishes and watch guests scoop up every last drop. This appetizer is perfect for a small gathering or the big game and requires little clean up.
Lemon-Dill Chicken Salad-Stuffed Eggs
Give this Southern favorite fresh flavor by adding dill and shredded chicken. Stacked white cake stands decorated with colored paper napkins create a snappy yet casual centerpiece.
Buttermilk-Ricotta Cheese Dip
Classic Pimiento Cheese
Recipe: Classic Pimiento Cheese
Coarse, freshly grated cheese works best, so get out your box grater.
Split Pea Hummus
Recipe: Split Pea Hummus
This is a fun Southern twist on traditional Greek hummus that is inexpensive and tasty. Serve it as an appetizer with fresh vegetables and pita chips for your Easter celebration.
Smoked Egg Salad Toasts
Recipe: Smoked Egg Salad Toasts
Liven up egg salad with the distinctive Lowcountry flavor of smoke. (Think hardwood-roasted oysters and pulled pork barbecue.) Serve these also as an open-face afternoon sandwich.
Herbed Goat Cheese Bites
Recipe: Herbed Goat Cheese Bites
When we asked South Carolina native Tyler Florence to share a few of his favorite appetizers from his cookbook Tyler's Ultimate this was one of his answers. His easygoing style will come through at your gathering.
Shrimp-and-Blue Cheese Spread
Recipe: Shrimp-and-Blue Cheese Spread
Serve this rich-and-creamy dip with French bread baguette slices, pickled Jerusalem artichokes, and crunchy baby vegetables like carrots, celery, cucumber slices, and radishes.
Herbed Dip with Baby Vegetables
Recipe: Herbed Dip with Baby Vegetables
Showcase the first signs of springs with tender spears of asparagus and haricots verts serving as crudites for this creamy fresh herb dip.
Vegetable Medley Tea Sandwiches
Recipe: Vegetable Medley Tea Sandwiches
Top your sandwiches with crisp and colorful seasonal vegetables like cucumber, yellow squash, and radishes.
Spicy Roasted Bell Pepper Pimiento Cheese
Liven up Spicy Roasted Red Bell Pepper Pimiento Cheese by serving it in eggcups (available at most import stores). Thin breadsticks and parsley sprigs, or butterfly cracker halves and chives make fun garnishes.
Mini Caprese Bites
Recipe: Mini Caprese Bites
Fresh basil and tangy balsamic vinaigrette awaken the simple flavors of Mini Caprese Bites.
Mustard-Dill Tortellini Salad Skewers
When served on skewers, this pasta salad makes a beautifully presented appetizer for your Easter brunch . If you are pressed for time or want to make it a meal, skip the skewers and toss all of the ingredients in a bowl with dressing just before serving.
Cream Cheese-Olive Spread
Recipe: Cream Cheese-Olive Spread
Create a snappy but casual feel at your Easter get-together with this fresh idea.
Recipe: Gorgonzola Truffles
These make-ahead cheese truffles are better than the classic cheese balls. They are just the right size and ready to pop into your mouth.
Feta Cheese Truffles
Recipe: Feta Cheese Truffles
Serve these cheesy truffles with cucumbers, tomatoes, almonds, and olives. For lighter truffles, use low fat feta and cream cheese.
Pancetta Crisps With Goat Cheese and Pear
Save the final step of drizzling honey over Pancetta Crisps With Goat Cheese and Pear for each guest to do. Garnish, if desired.
Yogurt Cheese Appetizer
Recipe: Yogurt Cheese Appetizer
This fresh appetizer is a great choice for a light spread before your main meal. One online reader suggests using yogurt made out of whole milk to add to the flavor and texture of the recipe.
Recipe: Beef-and-Asparagus Bundles
Show your guests how to tie Beef-and-Asparagus Bundles with a fresh chive.
Recipe: Basil-Cheese Roulade
Creamy Basil-Cheese Roulade is as delicious with crisp French bread or crunchy vegetables as it is with crackers.
Mini Caviar Parfaits
Recipe: Mini Caviar Parfaits
To pull this sophisticated dish together fast, purchase peeled, boiled eggs in the deli or dairy section of your grocery store. Use leftover caviar and purchased boiled eggs to make extra-special deviled eggs.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Mango Bites
Recipe: Prosciutto-Wrapped Mango Bites
Ask for paper-thin slices of meat at the deli counter. This will make the bites lighter and less chunky. Also, we do not recommened jarred mango slices- they're too soft.
Cheddar Cheese Straws
Shrimp is a light and flavorful spring appetizer. Guests will enjoy this zesty recipe without filling up before your Easter brunch celebration.
Black Pepper-Goat Cheese Log
Recipe: Black Pepper-Goat Cheese Log
Keep a few logs of goat cheese in the refrigerator during the holidays and you'll always be ready with a quick appetizer. All you have to do is sprinkle the cheese with pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with bread slices or crackers.
Bruschetta-Goat Cheese Cups
Recipe: Bruschetta-Goat Cheese Cups
Perfect for a host who is running low on time, these cups can be prepared in just 20 minutes!