5-Ingredient Appetizer Recipes
Whether you're hosting an elegant supper club or a large and rowdy bunch of tailgaters, we have the recipes to get your party started.
How To Make Cast-Iron Salsa
Recipe: Cast-Iron Salsa
If there’s one appetizer that’s universally loved, it’s chips and salsa. The perfect introduction to a delicious meal, the Mexican-inspired starter pleases anyone and everyone who dips into the fresh, smoky sauce. If you’re looking for a Southern twist on this classic dish, we have you covered! This Cast-Iron Salsa recipe gives the traditional appetizer an upgrade with a kitchen tool you've likely got sitting on the stove right now – your cast-iron skillet. Slowly charring plump tomatoes, halved jalapeños, white onion, and garlic cloves gives the salsa layers of sweet, crisp flavors and a hint of smokiness. With only 20 minutes of hands-on time, you can make this crowd-pleasing appetizer quickly and painlessly. Simply throw all of your charred vegetables into a blender, and add kosher salt, lime juice, and fresh cilantro. Plus, you can also prepare this salsa recipe earlier in the day, letting the flavors marry in the fridge for a few hours before serving. Cast-Iron Salsa is ideal for an after school snack, family potluck, buffet-style dinner, or birthday celebration. Just add your favorite tortilla chips! If you're not into dipping, this recipe also makes a fresh garnish for tacos or chicken.
Rosemary Focaccia Bread
Turnip Green Pesto
Orange-Basil Baked Brie
Recipe: Orange-Basil Baked Brie
Serve on a pretty cutting board with a cheese knife, and let guests cut their own portions.
Caramel Apple Dip
Recipe: Caramel Apple Dip
A sugary spin on a cream cheese classic with a crisp bruléed topping.
Muffuletta Deviled Eggs
Recipe: Muffuletta Deviled Eggs
This easy appetizer melds the flavors of olives, egg, and salty salami.
Benne Seed Soft Pretzel
For a new twist on a hostess gift, try these buttery knots inspired by the Lowcountry. Pack pretzels in a decorative box or basket that the hostess can reuse, and line it with fabric. Mini country Dijon mustard jars (at worldmarket.com) round out the gift. Secure our custom label to a small wooden spreader ($19 for 4; table-matters.com).
Recipe: Benne Seed Soft Pretzel
Download the pretzel gift tag
Easy Summer Appetizer Board
Recipe: Easy Summer Appetizer Board
No Southern appetizer board is complete without spicy-sweet pickled okra. Our new obsession: Wickles Wicked Okra (wicklespickles.com). We also recommend Olli Salumeria salami, slow-cured in Virginia and found in gourmet grocery stores across the South, but you can choose any of your favorite cured meats.
Baked Brie with Jezebel Peaches
Recipe: Baked Brie with Jezebel Peaches
Indulgent, fresh, and easy as pie, this summer version of baked Brie won raves in the Southern Living Test Kitchen. Can't find Brie packed in a wooden box? Simply bake the cheese in a small pie plate or baking dish.
Grilled Watermelon with Blue Cheese and Prosciutto
Blue cheese and salty prosciutto are delicious with sweet melon. Grilling the watermelon enhances that sweetness and adds a touch of smoky flavor. Brushing the wedges with oil keeps them from sticking to the grill.
Crispy Sweet Potato-Green Onion Cakes
Crispy Sweet Potato-Green Onion Pancakes are a great choice for a Thanksgiving side dish. They bring a unique twist to the classic sweet potato, and create a nice crunch to complement the other items on the holiday lunch or dinner table. What’s so delicious about this recipe is that it blends the delicate flavors of the sweet potatoes and the green onions with the spicy zest of a couple of chopped red jalapeño peppers, meaning that it mixes the heat with the sweet. But it all mixes together to form a delicious sweet potato delight. Serve these savory little numbers with a dollop of sour cream and a squeeze of lime as a crunchy appetizer or a dish to accompany roasted or grilled meats or fish.
Pimiento-Stuffed Summer Squash
Recipe: Pimiento-Stuffed Summer Squash
Here's a cute idea: Hollow out baby pattypan squash and fill with goat pimiento cheese. Can't find pattypans? Pipe the filling on thinly sliced squash rounds, or stuff it into squash blossoms.
Pickled Tiny Tomatoes
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.
Buttery Garlic Shrimp
Recipe: Buttery Garlic Shrimp
Ready in just 15 minutes, this quick appetizer is perfect for last-minute company. When making the sauce in Step 2, whisk in the butter 1 Tbsp. at a time--the key technique in making the sauce velvety.
Grilled Balsamic-Molasses Bacon
Recipe: Grilled Balsamic-Molasses Bacon
Tie fresh rosemary sprigs to the handle of a wooden spoon with garden sisal or kitchen string, and use as an aromatic basting brush for the bacon.
Herbed Goat Cheese-Melon Party Bites
Indulge in the warm days of summer with this refreshing watermelon and goat cheese combination.
Pimiento Cheese-Stuffed Pickled Okra
Two Southern favorites come together to create one delicious recipe.
Recipe: Pimiento Cheese-Stuffed Pickled Okra
Store precooked okra in the fridge in a zip-top plastic bag. Wash just before using.
Recipe: Charred Okra
Mini Latkes With Salmon-Olive Relish
These mini latkes make a delicious bite-size appetizer. The key to the best latkes is patting the potato-and-onion mixture very dry on paper towels before adding eggs and matzo meal. Get everything ready, including the salt for sprinkling on the cooked latkes, before you grate the potatoes and onion.