Quick & Elegant Appetizers: Simple Yet Sophisticated Snacks

Don't spend all your pre-party time in the kitchen. We're here with some great appetizer recipes to help you bring easy elegance to your next party.

Updated December 28, 2023

If you're having a fancy party, you could hire a caterer. Or you could save a bunch of dough by making appetizers yourself. These easy and quick appetizers are elegant enough for your fancy party, but you won't spend hours in the kitchen making them. Sounds perfect to us!



Slice up some bread, chop some tomatoes, and mix in a few other ingredients. It's as easy as that to make these colorful appetizers that are packed with flavor. 


  • 1 baguette, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 1 garlic clove, halved lengthwise
  • 2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • ½ sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Place bread slices on a baking sheet and rub the surface with the garlic slices.
  3. Combine all other ingredients and top bread with mixture. Bake 8 to 10 minutes.

Ham and Melon Appetizer


What could be easier than wrapping melon in thinly sliced ham? Not much! Any melon and any ham will work for this sweet and salty treat. We love cantaloupe and Parama ham or honeydew and prosciutto.


  • 1 cantaloupe, rind removed and sliced into thin wedges
  • 1 bunch of arugula
  • Parma ham, sliced thin


Top each piece of melon with a sprig of arugula and wrap with ham.

Baked Brie


When you bake a brie in the oven, something magical happens. It gets gooey and delicious. We've got all kinds of ways to make baked brie. None take a ton of effort, and all of them will be huge crowd-pleasers. 

Prosciutto and Figs


Quarter figs. Wrap with prosciutto. Sounds simple, and it is, but it tastes amazing. It's that perfect bite of salty and sweet that your guests will love.

Caprese Salad


We love a colorful salad as an appetizer. For this one, you can either put it on a platter and allow guests to serve themselves or thread the cherry tomatoes and mozarella balls with the basil onto skewers so it is super portable. 


  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 (8-ounce) container fresh mozzarella balls, drained
  • 16 leaves fresh basil, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Arrange tomatoes and mozzarella on a plate.
  2. Mix all other ingredients, and pour over tomatoes and cheese.



Charcuterie boards are enjoying a moment as THE party centerpiece, and it's easy to see why. Give your guests a choose-your-own-adventure appetizer that only took a few minutes to put together. Looking for inspo? Try one of our charcuterie board ideas

Shaved Beef on Toast


Make these tiny open-faced sandwiches, and we promise your guests will eat them up. They're cute and delicious — perfect for your fancy party. 


  • Crackers or crispbreads
  • Cream cheese with chives, at room temperature
  • Thinly sliced or shaved roast beef
  • Arugula
  • Sea salt


  1. Spread each of the crackers with the chive-cream cheese.
  2. Fold a slice of roast beef onto the cream cheese.
  3. Layer with a few leaves of arugula and top with sea salt.
Helpful Hack

You can fancy these up any way you want. Caramelized onions, roasted peppers, cream cheese, Dijon mustard, and horseradish can all add tons of flavor to these fun apps. 

Crab and Sun-Dried Tomato Crispbread


Speaking of open-faced sandwiches, crispbread makes a great base for these yummy appetizers.


  • Crispbread or other crackers
  • Cream cheese, at room temperature
  • Lump crab meat
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Dill sprigs for garnish


  1. Spread cream cheese on each crisp.
  2. Top with crab meat, then tomatoes.
  3. Garnish with dill sprigs. 

Avocado and Caviar


Looking for something super colorful? This is it! Caviar makes it instantly fancy.


  • Avocados, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Red caviar
  • Fresh dill


  1. Arrange the avocado slices on a tray.
  2. Sprinkle with lemon juice.
  3. Spoon caviar over the top.
  4. Garnish with dill sprigs. 



Canapés can be as simple or as complex as you want. Essentially, you start with a base (cracker, bread, puff pastry), spread it with something flavorful (mustard, aioli), top it with something tasty (shrimp, smoked salmon), and garnish it with something pretty (herbs, capers). That's it.

We have a whole slew of canapé ideas and recipes we think your guests will love, and they're all pretty easy to make. 

Pan-Seared Scallops


Here's what we love about scallops (aside from how amazing they taste). They only take a few minutes to cook, and they're perfect as bite-sized appetizers.


  • Olive oil
  • Scallops
  • Salt and pepper
  • Salad greens


  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium-high until it shimmers.
  2. Add the scallops to the oil and sear on each side for three to four minutes.
  3. Place salad greens on a platter.
  4. Layer the scallops onto the greens.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Helpful Hack

Don't crowd the pan in your hurry to get them all done, or you'll wind up steaming the scallops. Leave space around each scallop. It may be best to work in batches to get that beautiful brown crust.

Beets With Goat Cheese


These are quick in terms of how much work you have to do, but it's going to take about 45 minutes to roast the beets. But you can be doing something else while that happens. 


  • Beets
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Greens
  • Goat cheese, crumbled


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Peel the beets and brush them with olive oil.
  3. Arrange them on a baking sheet and place them in the preheated oven.
  4. Roast until soft, about 45 minutes.
  5. Cool completely.
  6. Slice thinly and season with salt.
  7. Arrange on a platter with greens. Sprinkle crumbled goat cheese on top. 

Elegant Skewers


The great thing about skewers is that you can put pretty much anything bite-sized you want onto them. We're a fan of making skewers with something sweet (fruit), something salty (ham), and something creamy (cheese). Or you can try these. 


  • Muenster cheese, cut into cubes
  • Grapes
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese balls,d rained
  • Cooked shrimp


  1. Slide the muenster and grapes onto several skewers.
  2. Arrange the mozzarella with grape tomatoes and basil on a second set of skewers.
  3. Slide the shrimp onto a third set.
  4. Arrange all together on a platter.

Mini Shrimp Cocktails


Fill shot glasses with these tiny shrimp cocktails. They're easy for guests to carry around, and they're super tasty and quick to make, especially if you use pre-cooked shrimp.


  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 whole cucumber, diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 cup cocktail sauce
  • 12 cooked medium shrimp
  • Lime wedges and cilantro leaves for garnish


  1. In a small bowl, combine the celery, cucumber, red onion, and cocktail sauce.
  2. Spoon into 12 shot glasses. 
  3. Hang one shrimp from the side of each shot glass.
  4. Garnish with a lime wedge and cilantro leaves. 

Caviar on Pumpernickel


Cavier lends easy elegance to any appetizer it graces. These little pumpernickel rounds are perfect bite-sized apps. 


  • Pumpernickel crackers
  • Cream cheese, softened
  • Different types of caviar


  1. Spread cream cheese onto each of the crackers.
  2. Top with an assortment of different caviars.

Easy Elegance


We're all about easy elegance when we throw a party. With some fancy party drinks, great company, and good food, we can almost guarantee your party is going to be a success. 

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Quick & Elegant Appetizers: Simple Yet Sophisticated Snacks