Company is coming! Or worse, maybe they’re already here! In those moments where you want to be the “hostess with the mostess” and toss some quick appetizers together, it’s a smart idea to have some pantry staples on standby.
Here are five off-the-shelf recipe ideas you can turn to, with product recommendations for seamlessly pulling together each. Many ingredients can be ordered for quick Amazon Prime delivery too, so even if you’re not expecting guests (yet!), it may make sense to place an order and stock up today!
Tasty Stuffed Date Appetizers
Dates are delicious and may not be something you’d think to keep on hand. Dates are chewy and sweet and loaded with fiber and nutrition as well. We’re loving these Stuffed Dates Eight Ways from Cardamom and Tea. There are options from sweet to savory included, so you can stock up on a few different ones and try them all!
When making stuffed dates, you (of course) need to start with the best dates! These from Terrasoul are the right choice. Not only do they contain a decadent flavor, but they’re also pitted, which means less time in the kitchen prepping appetizers before guests arrive!
This Laughing Cow Spreadable Cheese makes a great base for any stuffed date appetizers. You can add nuts, herbs, or even fresh veggies, if you have them on hand. The delicate Swiss flavor pairs well with so many things, widening your choices when it comes to last-minute appetizers.
For some savory stuffed date appetizers, add some farm-fresh California ripe sun-dried tomatoes to the Laughing Cow or your favorite spreadable cheese. They’re already packed with fresh herbs and olive oil and will give your dish a deliciously rich, tart, and complex flavor.
Who would’ve thought to stuff pretzel nuggets inside of a date? We wouldn’t have, but we do think it’s a great idea! The sweetness of the date pairs great with the saltiness of a pretzel. And the soft texture of these unique appetizers is only enhanced by adding an extra bit of crunch.
Once you’ve got your pretzel-stuffed dates ready, if you really want to knock guests’ socks off, pick up these salted caramel candy melts. Just melt, dip and cool for an even more decadent date treat. Appetizers have never looked so sweet!
Spiced Party Nuts Appetizers
Another simple dish that still feels pretty special is spiced party nuts. These Sweet & Spicy Roasted Party Nuts from Cookie and Kate are perfect when you want to whip up your own variety instead of opening a boring can of mixed nuts. We provided a few suggestions, but this one offers a great amount of flexibility – add your family’s favorites. You’ll also need some butter, salt, and vanilla, which you likely already have on hand.
These whole almonds are essential in a great nut mix. Almonds contain good fats, fiber, and lots of nutrients, and are known to reduce hunger and promote weight loss, according to Almonds.com.
Pecans taste great and contain a nice amount of protein as well. There’s no salt added, which is a bonus, so you are completely in control of your seasonings and end result.
These 100% organic pumpkin seeds may be a less common addition to a nut mix, but they will definitely add a creative flair to your appetizers. Plus, fall is coming soon and who doesn’t love roasted pumpkin seeds?
Real, organic, Grade A dark maple syrup is the difference maker in these Sweet & Spicy Roasted Party Nuts. It gives this tasty snack the sweetness that you’re expecting, and it will make the house smell great while roasting as well!
While you can make this recipe with a variety of different spices to suit your tastes, Rosemary is recommended and adds that bit of earthiness and bite. Fresh is, of course, always best. However in a pinch, we find this one from Simply Organic to be a wonderful substitute!
Modern Relish Tray Appetizers
Another simple, yet delightfully tangy surprise when it comes to appetizers is a relish tray. So simple! Think beyond plain, boring olives and gherkins (although you can certainly add them also!), and get creative. You can serve them up in interesting ways also. What to Put on a Relish Tray from Sprinkles and Sprouts will give you some serving ideas.
These spicy buffalo blue cheese olives will give you our olive tray the perfect amount of kick. Sidenote: they also pair great with Bloody Mary’s – that is, if you have any left over.
Garlic stuffed olives are a classic as well. And everyone loves appetizers with garlic, don’t they?
These sweet sangria olives add a meow modern twist to a traditional relish tray. With a bit of sweetness from the tangerine, these delectable delights will likely take up residence in your pantry going forward after taking just one bite.
If you love blue cheese-stuffed olives, you’ll likely love these Feta-stuffed olives as well. They have more of a Mediterranean flair, so consider pairing with Kalamata olives, hummus, and pita chips, too.
For an unexpected surprise, a bit of extra tartness, and some bright, fun color, add these pickled beets to your relish tray. When the party is over, they’ll also make a great topping for your salads for the week.
Every relish tray need some pickles, and this one is no exception! Grab this interesting trio from Pacific Pickle Works. It’s a great way to try some interesting flavors and add variety to your pickle platter.
Savory Antipasto Appetizers
Antipasto is a traditional first course of an Italian meal. These Antipasto Skewers from Honey & Birch are a great updated take that you can make almost exclusively with pantry ingredients. Just grab some fresh mozzarella, (or don’t, if time doesn’t allow). Either way, guests are in for a treat with these antipasto appetizers!
When it comes to antipasto appetizers, marinated artichokes are a standard. Marinated in sunflower oil, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and spices, these will add a fresh flavor to your delectable skewers.
READ MORE: 25 BEST HARD SELTZERS TO DRINK YEAR ROUND
We love appetizers that include mushrooms, and with this two-pack variety from Jake and Amos, you get double the ‘shrooms. Keep things classic with marinated or spice it up with hot garlic.
Red peppers are often found in antipasto appetizers on their own, so with these unique red pepper stuffed olives, you get double the fun!
These whole golden peperoncini make a great addition to your antipasto skewers. They are juicy, tangy, and non-GMO project verified, so you can feel good about these appetizers, too.
When there’s no time to run out to the store before guests arrive, these Pepper Delights are wonderful as appetizers to have on standby. Cherry peppers are stuffed with prosciutto and provolone. They are ready to add to your skewers and eat. Best of all, no refrigeration is required until after they’re opened.
Slide all of your yummy ingredients above – plus any others of your choosing – onto these wooden skewer sticks. We love the paddle because it holds up to the heft of a fully-loaded antipasto combination. No sliding appetizers here!
Creative Crostini Appetizers
When there’s no time to prepare for an impromptu party, some other great appetizers to have on hand include a bag of crostini and several dips or spreads. You can go from simple to fancy – or better yet, have some of each for those pickier friends on the unexpected guests list.
We love these snack-sized bruschetta toasts as quick and easy appetizers. More substantial than a cracker, they provide the perfect palette for a variety of dips and spreads.
Black Truffles and Mushrooms, Porcini and Truffles, Pesto and Black Truffles – oh my! This delicious truffle trio is sure to impress your guests. Break one out at each party, or create a variety of mushroom appetizers so your guests can sample each of them.
Pesto makes a great topping for crostini, and this spread with basil, black olives and feta is no exception. It’s also fantastic on a Panini or spread across fresh fish.
When you feel like getting a little fancier, break out the lobster spread appetizers! It’s decadent and also shelf stable, so needs no refrigeration until it is opened. Add some fresh or dried herbs for a bit of extra flair.
Another unique find for your crostini appetizers is this grilled eggplant marinated in oil. You can easily sprinkle with sea salt and dried herbs if you’d like, but with a fantastic flavor, they can certainly stand alone.
We don’t know about you, but our mouths are watering just thinking about devouring all of these great appetizers! As you can see, all it takes is an initial idea and a tiny bit of advance planning, and you’ll have everything you need on standby to be ready to wow your impromptu guests. Bon appetit!
WANT TO READ MORE?
Need some new kitchen tools to prep these awesome appetizers? Check out 25 SMALL KITCHEN APPLIANCES & GADGETS THAT EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE.
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