The Best Appetizers From Grandma’s Recipe Box That We’ll Always Make

party cheese ball

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

No matter what your reason was for visiting Grandma's house was, or how long you'd be there, she probably always started offering food in the form of a snack or appetizer as soon as you walked through the door. From homemade snack mixes to warm dips to cheese in a variety of forms and more, it's easy to see why Southern grandmothers have long served these classic appetizers. They're easy to make while still delivering plenty of flavor, and many of them have a short ingredient list so she probably always had the ingredients on hand so she could whip up an appetizer at any time.

These classic appetizer recipes just like Grandma used to make are easy to pull together and are sure to be passed down for generations to come.

01 of 18

Sausage Balls

Sausage Balls
Emily Laurae/Southern Living

This classic, no-fuss appetizer comes together using just three ingredients.

02 of 18

Cheese Dreams

Cheese Dreams

Antonis Achilleos; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn

These cheesy treats can be stored in the freezer, so they're great to keep on hand for drop-in guests so you'll never be without a appetizer to serve, which we're sure would make Grandma proud.

03 of 18

Pimiento Cheese

Basic Pimiento Cheese

Jennifer Causey; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Torie Cox

When making homemade Pimiento Cheese, make sure to hand shred the cheese for this classic dip just like Grandma always did.

04 of 18

Classic Deviled Eggs

Classic Deviled Eggs
Photography: Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Grandma could probably whip up a batch of deviled eggs without even looking at the recipe.

05 of 18

Nuts and Bolts

Nuts And Bolts

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Homemade snack mix can be easily customized to be made with the ingredients of your choice. You can skip the nuts, use cayenne pepper for a little spice, or add a few more Cheez-Its. Just make sure the mixture is well-coated before baking.

06 of 18

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms

Alison Miksch; Food Stylist: Karen Rankin; Prop Stylist: Josh Hoggle

Stuffed mushrooms are a classic, easy appetizer but are slightly more elevated and will look great on the spread of any dinner party.

07 of 18

Slow-Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs

Grape Jelly Meatballs
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Ali Ramee; Prop Styling: Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland

The not-so-secret ingredient Southerners use to make the best slow-cooker meatballs is grape jelly.

08 of 18

Cream Cheese and Pepper Jelly

pepper jelly on a block of cream cheese
Emily Laurae

No cooking or prep is involved to pull together this two-ingredient appetizer that has long been a favorite of Southern grandmothers.

09 of 18

Ham-and-Cheese Sliders

Ham-And-Cheese Sliders
Photography and Styling: Karen Rankin

Southerners will always love Hawaiian rolls, and this classic slider recipe is just one of the reasons.

10 of 18

Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Spinach-Artichoke Dips
Caitlin Bensel

A good dip is a welcome appetizer for any occasion. Offer chips, vegetables, or a combination of both for dipping.

11 of 18

Party Cheese Ball

party cheese ball

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

This basic cheese ball recipe comes together in just 10 minutes.

12 of 18

Baked Brie In Puff Pastry

Baked Brie In Puff Pastry

Alison Miksch; Food Stylist: Karen Rankin; Prop Stylist: Josh Hoggle

Easily upgrade Brie into a warm appetizer by baking it in a prepared puff pastry from the grocery store.

13 of 18

Cheddar Cheese Straws

Cheese Straws

Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford

Pantry staples come together to create one of the South's favorite appetizers.

14 of 18

Buttered Saltines

Butter-Baked Saltine Crackers

Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Karen Rankin; Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen

You can keep both ingredients for this simple, two-ingredient appetizer on hand so you can easily pull an appetizer together even with short notice.

15 of 18

Texas Caviar

Texas Caviar Recipe
Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

This no-cook dip just requires some chopping and a little stirring to pull together.

16 of 18

Picnic Egg Salad

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

Whether served on top of a baguette, as a sandwich, or with crackers, you can't go wrong with egg salad as an appetizer for lunch.

17 of 18

Toasted Pecans

Buttery Toasted Pecans
Photo: Iain Bagwell

A bowl of toasted nuts is the perfect pre-meal snack that won't fill guests up before the main meal. Grandma even probably had a special bowl reserved for setting them out.

18 of 18

Rotel Sausage Dip

Rotel Dip
Caitlin Bensel

Rotel and Velveeta are a dynamic duo that Southerners will always love, For a lighter version, you can skip the sausage.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles