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No-Cooking Appetizers: Quick, Easy, and Delicious Snack Recipes

Updated on March 22, 2013

Great Appetizers Without Cooking

With springtime events coming up, are you looking for easy recipes so that entertaining is simple and you have more time for fun with your guests? Summer means outdoor parties or maybe picnic or tailgate foods to prepare but shouldn't mean time spent in the kitchen. Here are some simple but delicious ideas for quick and easy appetizers. Most of these have only a few ingredients and require little or no cooking. Some I hesitate to even call recipes, but all are delicious. Whether you are an experienced cook looking for some quick and easy ideas or a novice cook needing simple no-cooking basics, you can find some great appetizer recipes here. Check out these suggestions and recipes for some quick but yummy food. So if you need to take something to a party (or even if you are having folks over for Scrabble or a poker night) but don't really want to cook, you are sure to find a quick, easy and delicious snack idea.


No-Cook Kabobs

Use some creativity for great combinations!

Use wooden skewers to combine several ingredients for an attractive and convenient appetizer. Try combining ham, olives, and your favorite cheese. You could also set out the ingredients and let guests have the fun of creating their own combinations. Kabobs work well for sweet treats also. Slices or segments of favorite fruits make a delicious, healthy, and colorful offering. How about strawberries, pineapple, and banana? Add some dipping sauces (how about a chocolate sauce for your fruit skewers?) and you are ready to serve with no cooking and only a few minutes of preparation time. You are only limited here by your imagination.

Kabob Recipe Video

See how quick and easy it is to make hearty no-cook appetizer kabobs. Make great snacks in a flash.

Peppered Crackers

(A.K.A. Redneck Crackers)

Don't be deceived by how simple these crackers sound. Trust me they are delicious and loved by almost everyone who tries them. I have eaten several variations but had never made these crackers until recently. Wow! They were super easy to make and were a major hit. You can't beat this for a simple no-cooking snack!

1 1/2 cups canola oil (or other vegetable oil)

1 pkg. dry ranch dressing mix (like hidden Valley)

2 Tbsp. ground red pepper

2-3 sleeves saltine crackers

Mix together the oil, ranch dressing mix, and red pepper. Using gallon ziplock bag or bowl with tight lid, add 2 sleeves of saltine crackers to oil mixture. Gently toss together in closed bowl or bag until crackers are well-coated. (If there's extra oil mixture left, add more crackers from 3rd sleeve and toss). Lay out in single layer on paper towels to dry. Check back in a little while and crackers will be ready to eat. Store in tightly closed container.

Cheese-Beer Dips--Find Your Favorite! - Great for Game Days

Some of these recipes do require melting cheese in the microwave (so technically we're cheating a little bit on the no-cooking theme), but these are easy and great recipes to serve with chips, crackers, or even cut-up vegetables.

Cream Cheese and .......

The Options are Endless

Cream cheese is a staple item on my grocery list. At holiday time I really stock up because with the addition of simple ingredients and crackers an appetizer is always at hand. My favorite is cream cheese and pepper jelly. Just spoon pepper jelly (red or green, mild or hot) over the block of cream cheese, surround it with crackers and you are done. (If you've never tried it, just give it a chance).

Another good snack: chop up a can of smoked oysters (you should drain these on paper towels first), and a small jar of drained pimentos. Mix with an 8 ounce block of cream cheese that has been brought to room temperature. Roll into a log in wax paper (you can also roll this log in chopped pecans if you want) and refrigerate. Serve with Triscuits or other snack crackers.

Or, you can top the cream cheese with salsa, or with Pick-a-Peppa Sauce (this may be regional), or with cocktail sauce. You might throw a can of salad shrimp on there before you pour on the cocktail sauce. You get the idea; use your imagination. You can't go wrong with cream cheese. Trust me.

Easy Chicken Cheese Ball

This is delicious and can be varied to suit ingredients you may have on hand. (This is my go-to recipe...I keep the ingredients on hand all the time and can put this together in under five minutes. While it is best after it sits a while in the refrigerator and the flavors have a chance to blend together, it is still pretty darn good as soon as it's made!)

1 can white chicken meat (about 5 oz)

8 oz. pkg. cream cheese

1 pkg. dry ranch dressing mix (like Hidden Valley)

1/2 onion diced very small

1/4 -1/2 cup pecan pieces

Mix all ingredients except pecans together. Once ingredients are well mixed, place on plastic wrap and use the wrap to help you shape into a ball. Roll the ball in the pecans to coat and you are done. Refrigerate till ready to serve. Add crackers and you are done. (If you like you can skip the making a ball stage and put it into a nice dish and serve as a spread. Sprinkle a few of the pecans on top, and provide crackers).

Spicy Black-Eyed Pea Dip

Also Known as Southern Caviar

There are numerous variations on this recipe, but this one is easy and delicious.

Can diced tomatoes, drained

Can black-eyed peas, drained

1 green pepper, diced

1 medium onion, diced

1 small bottle zesty Italian dressing

Jalapenos, chopped (to taste) ...Or you can skip this and use Rotel tomatoes (with green peppers) for the diced tomatoes

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate. Serve with Frito Scoops or other chips or crackers of your choice.


There are variations on this recipe, but this one is really good. This dip is always a favorite and can be put together in under 5 minutes.

2 cans Ro-tel tomatoes, drained

1 (8 oz.) cream cheese

1 cup mayonnaise

1 (8 oz.) sour cream

1 pkg.Oscar Mayer (or other) real bacon bits. (You can also fry a pound of bacon, crumble and use instead of bacon bits, but then you're cooking).

Mix all ingredients together and refriegerate. Serve cold with corn chips or tortilla chips.

Corn Dip

Super easy, but super good.

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1/2 tsp. salt

1 (12 ounce) shredded cheddar cheese

1 can Mexicorn (drained)

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate several hours. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.

Fun Chip-and-Dip Trays

Dress up your simple appetizers with fun serving dishes.

No-Baking Party Mix

This recipe is similar to the old favorite party mix recipes. However, it has one major difference----no baking required! Note that even though it calls for specific ingredients, you can easily vary the cereals, crackers, etc. to suit your own taste. The secret to this recipe is in the butter-flavored popcorn oil.

2 cups crispy rice cereal squares

10 oz. pkg. oyster crackers

9.5 oz pkg. mini cheese-filled sandwich crackers

6 oz. pkg. fish shaped crackers

16 oz. pkg. mini pretzel twists

16 oz. pkg. peanuts

12 oz. bottle butter-flavored popcorn oil

1 pkg. dry ranch salad dressing mix

Combine oil and salad dressing mix in a small bowl. Combine all other ingredients in a large bowl. Pour oil mixture in and toss with cracker mixture until evenly coated. Store in an air-tight container.

Homemade Hummus

Easy, Healthy, and Delicious

Hummus can be purchased in the deli and is a good and convenient party snack, but it doesn't compare to homemade. If you are not familiar with this, give it a try to you may be pleasantly surprised. Serve with pita bread and add dippers including baby carrots, asparagus, squash, bell peppers, or other fresh veggies. Yum!

1 garlic clove, minced

15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup tahini (this is what gives hummus its unique taste)

2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 tsp. salt

Pinch of smoked paprika

Extra-virgin olive oil

Using a food processor, pulse garlic until it is finely minced. Then add chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and salt, processing until mixture forms a smooth paste. Spoon the hummus into a deep dish, sprinkle paprika on top and then drizzle with olive oil. Serve with dippers. (Good at room temperature, but may be covered and refrigerated until ready to serve.)

Have a favorite? Share your easy recipe ideas here.

What is your favorite no-cook appetizer?

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    • FantasticVoyages profile image

      Fantastic Voyages 

      6 years ago from Texas

      I'm going to try several of these for my New Years eve party. Great suggestions!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks great recipes.

    • kristalulabelle profile image


      6 years ago from Wisconsin

      I am definitely going to pin this lens for future reference! So many great appetizer ideas!

    • Jadelynx-HP profile image

      Tracey Boyer 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      This is really a great lens ! Thanks so much for sharing, I have added all the recipes to my recipe box. :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Everything looks delicious! The no-cook part just makes it all the better. *blessed*

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 

      6 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      Perfect for the warm weather of summer and keeping cool.

    • SmBizGuru LM profile image

      SmBizGuru LM 

      6 years ago

      My favs are the No-Cook Kabobs and the Cream Cheese and ..... - I love cream cheese on or with just about anything. My friend makes a wonderful dip with shrimp cocktail over cream cheese as a dip for chips. Hard to stop eating this when it's around.

    • biminibahamas profile image


      6 years ago

      Everything looks great! My stomach is growling, LOL

    • Country-Sunshine profile image

      Country Sunshine 

      7 years ago from Texas

      These all sound a lot better than what I tend to serve! I'm going to try several at my next party. Thanks!

    • CruiseReady profile image


      7 years ago from East Central Florida

      Perfect dishes for the kitchen challenged like me! Love the Kebobs idea, think it is the simplest sounding one of all

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      No bake! A wonderful collection! In summer it will help keep the house cooler, and for Christmas with so many things to do, no-bake makes things a little simpler!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Enjoyed your recipes. Hard to choose just one!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      enjoyed my visit on your lens this morning, I think the one that surprised me most that I hadn't thought about before was your no-bake kabobs. great creative ideas here, squidliked it too!

    • norma-holt profile image


      7 years ago

      Lovely recipes and some great tips worth following up.

    • Sunflower Susan profile image

      Sunflower Susan 

      7 years ago

      I love these! Yes, I agree. Cream cheese and... everything!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      The no cooking part of the title got my attention. Nice lens.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      7 years ago

      I like to serve bruschetta on toast and different types of olives. I'm always looking for easy appetizer ideas so our frequent guests don't get too bored.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image


      7 years ago

      I really want to try that BLT Dip, it looks absolutely delicious :)

    • bames24 lm profile image

      bames24 lm 

      7 years ago

      ooohhh.... love the recipes.... :)

    • profile image

      Donnette Davis 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      delicious recipes, thank you!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      All sound yummy- especially like the "BLT dip" recipe! And your point on cream cheese is totally agreed upon!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Simple and very helpful. Great lens :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love the kababs is it delicious on any

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      These sound pretty fantastic - I like the no-cook kebab!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Your BLT Dip sounds like the perfect comfort food! This is one yummy uncooked lens.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      7 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Yum, these are my kind of recipes. I love the cream cheese ideas. You're right, you can't go wrong with cream cheese.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Ruth, the two recipes in this lens I particularly like are the Redneck Crackers and the Spicy Black-Eyed Pea Dip and thank you so much for sharing all of these. I have a recipe for No-Cook Fresh Tomatillo Salsa that I use frequently.

    • Tiddledeewinks LM profile image

      Tiddledeewinks LM 

      7 years ago

      Party mix looks good. Thanks for stopping by my lens about singers, Guy and Ralna.

    • Demaw profile image


      7 years ago

      The spicy black eyed-pea dip sounds very intriguing.

    • OrganicMom247 profile image


      7 years ago

      I can't pick a favorite here, they all look so good.

    • hlkljgk profile image


      7 years ago from Western Mass

      i love making a fresh vegetable crudite with a homemade dill dip. i'll have to try some of these out. :)

    • Wedding Mom profile image

      Wedding Mom 

      7 years ago

      Yum, No cook Kabobs, yummy I think this is my next new party favorite.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Assorted cheeses with fresh figs, olives and apples.

    • jackieb99 profile image


      7 years ago

      You have some excellent ideas. My favorite is hummus.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      7 years ago from Central Florida

      I love the ideas you have here and will be back the next time I have a party to plan.

    • profile image

      Pete Schultz 

      8 years ago

      they sound easy to do...and maybe I can impress some folks with snackies for the Super Bowl.

    • GonnaFly profile image


      8 years ago from Australia

      What great ideas! I love simple recipes so these look really excellent!


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