53 Easy Summer Appetizer Recipes
Get your next picnic, potluck or backyard barbecue rolling with tasty small bites, dips and fresh summer starters.
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Basic Salsa Fresca
Try this versatile salsa fresca on grilled fish, sprinkled over kebabs, tucked inside sizzling tacos or as a fantastic filling inside avocado halves.
Get the Recipe: Basic Salsa Fresca
Every Herb Pesto
Seven fresh herbs give Kelsey's pesto ample flavor while ground Marcona almonds add subtle crunch. You'll want to put this every herb pesto on everything.
Get the Recipe: Every Herb Pesto
The Ultimate Crab Cakes
The secret to Tyler's crisp yet tender crab cakes is an equal ratio of meat to breadcrumbs. He pairs the iconic seafood starter with a unique celery-root aioli made with garlic and celery seed.
Get the Recipe: The Ultimate Crab Cakes
Grilled Corn Salsa
Simplicity is the secret in Michael Chiarello's fresh corn salsa. The sweet yellow kernels are mixed with red onion and vine-ripe tomatoes, and then topped with extra-virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Get the Recipe: Grilled Corn Salsa
Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs with Crispy Pancetta
Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott's Southern twist on deviled eggs mimics pimento cheese, with plenty of sharp cheddar and pimentos, plus a sprinkling of crisp pancetta on top.
Get the Recipe: Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs with Crispy Pancetta
Mini Corn Dog Muffins
This fun finger food is a nostalgic throwback for adults and an exciting treat for kids, and it's a cinch to make. Just mix together corn muffin mix — with a little added cheese — and pop hot-dog bites inside before baking.
Get the Recipe: Mini Corn Dog Muffins
SB Truck Street Corn
Cilantro, lime and mint add freshness to balance out a mix of creamy mayonnaise and salty feta cheese on grilled corn.
Get the Recipe: SB Truck Street Corn
Chicken Sate with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce
A spicy-sweet peanut dipping sauce turns chicken skewers into Asian-inspired party fare.
Get the Recipe: Chicken Sate with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce
Marinated Antipasti Bruschetta
Make Kelsey's marinated antipasti — a mix of briny olives, juicy grape tomatoes and artichoke hearts — ahead of time and simply toss the bread on the grill when guests arrive.
Get the Recipe: Marinated Antipasti Bruschetta
The combination of sweet, juicy mangos and spicy serrano chiles makes this salsa outrageously good, and it only gets better the longer you allow the flavors to macerate (if you can manage to wait at all).
Get the Recipe: Mango Salsa
Buffalo Chicken Lollies
Kelsey's baked chicken lollies are made with ground chicken and have all the spicy tang of Buffalo wings without the hassle of frying or the messy bones.
Get the Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Lollies
Kelsey's Signature Salsa
In addition to sweet plum tomatoes, Kelsey includes tart tomatillos in her salsa, which help to balance the rich, smoky spice of the adobe chiles.
Get the Recipe: Kelsey's Signature Salsa
Sweet Pepper Poppers
Sweet miniature peppers make colorful vessels for a rich mixture of ricotta and goat cheese. Topped with panko crumbs and baked until crispy, these poppers are easy-to-make crowd-pleasers.
Get the Recipe: Sweet Pepper Poppers
Alton's classic guacamole highlights velvety avocado with fresh, crisp chunks of tomato and onion.
Get the Recipe: Guacamole
Mark Bittman's Rice Paper Summer Rolls
These light, refreshing appetizers can be made up to two hours ahead of time.
Get the Recipe: Rice Paper Summer Rolls
Rachael's Grilled Polenta Crackers with Roasted Pepper Salsa
Grilling polenta brings out the cornmeal's distinct flavor, which is well matched by a garlicky, lightly fiery salsa.
Get the Recipe: Grilled Polenta Crackers with Roasted Pepper Salsa
Thai Deviled Eggs
By mixing classic Thai condiments like Sriracha and fish sauce into the yolk filling, Kelsey gives this party standby an extra edge.
Get the Recipe: Thai Deviled Eggs
Let this Spanish soup chill before serving to let the flavors of fresh tomato and peppers blend. Serve as shooters for refreshing starters at a summer party.
Get the Recipe: Creamy Gazpacho
Don't be fooled by this innocent-looking salsa, made with mango and pineapple chunks in lieu of standard tomatoes. A minced jalapeño pepper balances out all that sweetness with its raw heat.
Get the Recipe: Jalapeno-Mango Salsa
Impress your party guests with this creative crudo. Not only does the pink Himalayan salt block make for a stunning presentation, but it also infuses the raw scallops and shaved zucchini with a ton of flavor.
Saucy Hoisin Pork Roll-Ups
In this classic Asian appetizer, stir-fried pork and soy-marinated tofu are combined with crunchy water chestnuts and edamame.
Get the Recipe: Saucy Hoisin Pork Roll-Ups
Kelsey's Curried Deviled Eggs
Spice up this standby appetizer with a little curry powder and cayenne pepper.
Get the Recipe: Curried Deviled Eggs
Fry summer squash to a crisp golden brown and sprinkle with paprika for a restaurant-worthy appetizer.
Get the Recipe: Fried Zucchini
This homemade tapenade of finely chopped olives, anchovy and olive oil makes for a rich, salty appetizer when served on toasted garlic bread with slices of heirloom tomato.
Get the Recipe: Tapenade
Kelsey's Skillet Corn Cakes
Rethink serving corn on the cob and fry up some of Kelsey's sweet corn cakes as an appetizer instead.
Get the Recipe: Skillet Corn Cakes
Tyler finds the perfect balance between flavors with his chunky, amazing salsa and works in some sweet Serrano heat.
Get the Recipe: Guacamole
Blue Cheese and Walnut Tea Sandwiches
A simple blue cheese and cream cheese spread is studded with walnuts and dried cranberries, then smeared between hearty pumpernickel bread.
Get the Recipe: Blue Cheese and Walnut Tea Sandwiches
Grilled Clams and Oysters
Grilling clams and oysters is surprisingly easy. Just lay them on the grill grate, shut the lid and minutes later, they'll be popped open and ready to eat with a little lemon or hot sauce.
Get the Recipe: Grilled Clams and Oysters
Kelsey's Deviled Eggs with Candied Bacon
Why spoon same-old mustard and paprika yolks into your deviled eggs when you can take Kelsey's cue and top each half-moon with sweet candied bacon?
Get the Recipe: Deviled Eggs with Candied Bacon
Soft Asian Summer Rolls with Sweet and Savory Dipping Sauce
These cool summer rolls with fresh basil, mint and vegetables are extremely refreshing on a hot summer day.
Get the Recipe: Soft Asian Summer Rolls with Sweet and Savory Dipping Sauce
Fried Squash Blossoms
Try eating just one of these ricotta-filled zucchini blossoms, which are beer-battered and then fried to a golden-brown finish.
Get the Recipe: Fried Squash Blossoms
Green Goddess Crab Tapas
Kelsey transforms a classic dish — crab-stuffed avocado — into finger-friendly tapas by layering the crabmeat and a creamy avocado spread on slices of toasted baguette.
Get the Recipe: Green Goddess Crab Tapas
Pico de Gallo Fresh Tomato Salsa
Mix chopped tomatoes with plenty of cilantro, lime and chiles to make this fresh summery salsa.
Get the Recipe: Pico de Gallo Fresh Tomato Salsa
Chopped Caesar Salad Pizza
Kelsey Nixon reinvents the Caesar salad by topping leaves of romaine with homemade Caesar dressing and then layering them atop a cheesy pizza.
Get the Recipe: Chopped Caesar Salad Pizza
Smoked Salmon on Grilled Seven Grain Bread with Tomato, Shaved Onions and Dill
Pair smoked salmon with homemade honey mustard on hearty grilled bread to satisfy your craving for something salty.
Get the Recipe: Smoked Salmon on Grilled Seven Grain Bread with Tomato and Dill
Bobby's Spicy Guacamole
Bobby adds some heat to this guac with a jalapeño pepper.
Get the Recipe: Spicy Guacamole
Open-Faced Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches with Crab and Poppy Seeds on Pumpernickel
Make these surprisingly substantial egg salad sandwiches with tender lump crabmeat and nutty poppy seeds.
Antipasto Summer Lettuce Wraps
Whet your appetite with this fresh take on an antipasto platter. Wrap mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, artichokes and roasted red peppers in tender Bibb lettuce leaves.
Get the Recipe: Antipasto Summer Lettuce Wraps
Shredded Pork Summer Rolls
Spiced, slowly simmered pork, fresh herbs and vegetables are wrapped in rice paper for a lighter bite-sized take on the pulled pork sandwich.
Get the Recipe: Shredded Pork Summer Rolls
Green Papaya Salad in Lettuce Wraps
Bathe crisp, sweet strips of green papaya in a salty-spicy dressing for a unique, fruity appetizer.
Get the Recipe: Green Papaya Salad in Lettuce Wraps
Tarragon Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches
Set the scene at your next get-together with these delicate chicken sandwiches studded with chopped pecans and red grapes.
Get the Recipe: Tarragon Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches
Asian Lettuce Wraps
Guests will be entertained when they make their own lettuce wraps filled with ginger- and scallion-seasoned beef.
Get the Recipe: Asian Lettuce Wraps
Scoopable Chinese Chicken Salad
Mix chopped chicken breast with scallions, broccoli slaw, water chestnuts, Mandarin oranges and sesame dressing for a quick, easy and healthy summer starter or side.
Get the Recipe: Scoopable Chinese Chicken Salad
Molotes with Fresh Tomato Salsa
In this version of traditional Oaxacan street food, chorizo, potatoes and masa are wrapped in corn masa and fried. Serve them on a stick with salsa for the perfect party food!
Get the Recipe: Molotes with Fresh Tomato Salsa
Grilled Beef Tenderloin on Focaccia Toasts
Bite-sized open-faced sandwiches of grilled tenderloin and hot chili mayonnaise make for an elegant, savory starter.
Get the Recipe: Grilled Beef Tenderloin on Focaccia Toasts
Watermelon Vodka Gazpacho
Celebrate the warm summer weather by mixing juicy plum tomatoes and refreshing, sweet watermelon into a light, summery soup.
Get the Recipe: Watermelon Vodka Gazpacho
Soft Rice Paper Rolls with Prawns and Pork: Goi Cuon
Wrap pork and shrimp with fresh mint and vermicelli noodles in rice paper. The tangy, spicy dipping sauce completes this appetizer.
Get the Recipe: Soft Rice Paper Rolls with Prawns and Pork: Goi Cuon
Fresh Herb Salad with Burrata
Creamy burrata cheese and a variety of summer herbs top crostini for a light, flavorful summer appetizer.
Get the Recipe: Fresh Herb Salad with Burrata
Bacon and Corn Jalapeno Poppers, Two Ways
Crispy bacon and sweet corn transform ordinary jalepeno poppers into a filling, savory starter.
Get the Recipe: Bacon and Corn Jalapeno Poppers, Two Ways
Figs Wrapped in Prosciutto with Gorgonzola and Brie
Don't let the size of these bundles fool you: Sweet late summer figs are balanced perfectly by salty prosciutto and two sharp, tangy cheeses.
Get the Recipe: Figs Wrapped in Prosciutto with Gorgonzola and Brie
No party is complete without a classic hummus recipe, but this version, with Asian sesame oil and cumin, has extra nutty flavor and spice.
Get the Recipe: Hummus Dip
Cucumber-Dill Yogurt Dip
This creamy, tangy dip served with crudites makes a refreshing addition to any appetizer spread.
Get the Recipe: Cucumber-Dill Yogurt Dip
Green Goddess Dressing
Kelsey's twist on a classic green goddess dressing makes terrific use of fresh summer herbs, and is perfect as a dip for crudite during a summer party.
Get the Recipe: Green Goddess Dressing