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Quick & Easy Party Appetizers

Updated on May 18, 2009

Ready to Party?

You can easily throw a party without spending a lot of time on the appetizers. Don't get me wrong, I love checking out Martha Stewart's awesome ideas...but... They are time intensive and often cost a lot of money.

To be honest, you don't have to put a lot of work into the party appetizers for them to be tasty. In fact, the easiest way to prepare appetizers for a party is to purchase simple foods, and then add one or two ingredients to personalize the dish. It is that simple.

I love cooking, but sometimes buying prepared foods can be easier when you don't have time to cook yourself. And, you can have the convenience without losing out on flavor.

Chips & Salsa

I know what you are thinking: this is too common! Well, maybe it is, but you can make it more unique by adding your own little twist.

First, pick out different kinds of tortilla chips. Get the blue corn tortilla chips, or those neat looking multi-colored ones. Get different sizes and shapes. Have fun with it.

Next, buy a couple of different kinds of salsa – hot, mild, sweet, red, green – there are a lot of choices. Now, personalize the salsa. Throw in some chopped cilantro. Squeeze some fresh lime juice and stir it in. Throw in some diced mango. People are going to be convinced that you served homemade salsa at your party.

Bite Sized Finger Foods

Totally raid the freezer section at the store. I admit that I’m partial to Trader Joe’s because their frozen selection is awesome. Some of my favorite Trader Joe’s items that make perfect party appetizers:

  • Gyozas (I like the veggie, but they have meat ones too)
  • Shu Mai (most delicious little dumplings ever)
  • Mini Quiche (yum yum)
  • Sweet Potato Fries (mouth watering)
  • Garlic Fries (maybe NOT so party friendly)

Just heat them up, put them on pretty serving dishes, and let the partiers devour. These things are small, tasty, and look great. Serve these foods with sauces and fresh vegetable slices to personalize the dishes.

Don't want to spread germs? Put out serving utensils or chop sticks. Giving everyone chopsticks means they won't be using their fingers for the finger foods.


I do make my own sushi sometimes, but unless you have a lot of practice, it is not quick and easy. But buying it already made sure is quick and easy! Plus, you can get so many different kinds, from fresh spring rolls to California rolls, the varieties are endless.


From simple versions of garlic and olive oil to variations with tomatoes, red peppers, and meat, brushetta is a yummy addition to any party. You can find some recipes you like and make it ahead of time, or buy some already prepared. Want to freshen the bruschetta up? Add some freshly crushed garlic or tomatoes. It is that easy - just add a fresh version of one of the ingredients in the prepared bruschetta.

Bruschetta is great on toasted bread (mmm...baguette), tortillas, and crackers.

Easy Desserts

Sweets at a party are always appreciated, but they can also be very easy to prepare. Sure, desserts aren't often considered appetizers, but start your own trend!

Meringues - These are easy to make (egg whites, sugar, and vanilla extract), but even easier to buy. Sprinkle them with cocoa powder, surround with fresh fruit, or drizzle with a pureed fruit.

Cookies & Brownies - You have two choices here: buy them or bake them. The nice thing about baking them is that you can do it ahead of time, and just put them out when the party time comes. Having an assortment of different cookies or brownies with different toppings will your guests lots of options.

Fresh & Dried Fruits - Fruit makes a great dessert. Want to mix it up a bit, provide dried fruits too. One of my favorite dried fruit mixes also has dried flowers in it. Whenever I serve this, it always starts up interesting conversation. You can eat flowers? Yup. Also, people like to try out the different kinds of dried fruits - just be careful with dried ginger because some people really don't like it.

My favorite, and easy, fruits to serve are watermelon and grapes. They are popular and easy to prepare (washing and cutting is all that's required). If you choose to serve other melons, serve them on their own dishes because melons can overwhelm the flavors of other fruits.


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    • eventsyoudesign profile image

      eventsyoudesign 7 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

      I like your article. You have made me hungry too! I am new to this site. I will have to follow your site!

    • mwatkins profile image

      mwatkins 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC

      I love these kinds of recipes and am ALWAYS looking for something like this for our next party. I look forward to seeing more of these! Thanks again!

    • justemailme profile image

      justemailme 8 years ago

      Nice job. Excellent. Have you seen ?

    • profile image

      oceania05 8 years ago from Massachusetts

      I have a quick and easy dessert you can bring to any party. It's a jello cake, simply buy angel food cake and two boxes of your favorite jello. Bake the angel food cake as directed on the book, once that is complete, let it cool for a few minutes, then make the jello and make sure to poke holes in the cake so the jello can seep through. Then pour the liquid over the cake and immediately put into the refridgerator, let it set up for an hour. Serve with whipped cream (Cool Whip is the best) and some fruit and you have a delicious dessert!


    • ohwhatfun profile image

      ohwhatfun 8 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA

      Thanks for posting. Frankly, it's not a party without chips and salsa

    • Kushal Poddar profile image

      Kushal Poddar 8 years ago from Kolkata,India

      Save some Shu mai for me.

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 8 years ago from India

      I used vegetable sticks with a mayo based dip.

      Nice and easy.

    • profile image

      Nancy's Niche 8 years ago

      More great recipes and ideas; thanks for sharing...