Let’s Start With Something Savory
Like little dinner entrees, many of the new appetizers are now miniature versions of full size favorites and treats. I like this one for spaghetti and meatballs. then try some of the healthy ones with mainly veggies, or dig into one of the many that feature cream cheese. Even some that serve as little desserts.
1. Tiny Spaghetti And Meatballs
Spaghetti and Meatball Appetizers
- 6 ounces spaghetti
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- Cooking spray
- 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese grated, divided
- 1 1/2 cups tomato-based pasta sauce
- 12 meatballs 1 ounce size, cooked
- Cook spaghetti in the boiling water,until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain and toss in a bowl with olive oil; refrigerate until cooled, about 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
- Toss cooled spaghetti with 1 cup Parmesan cheese. Divide spaghetti between the 12 prepared muffin cups, arrange noodles in each cup to create "nests".
- Top with 1 tablespoon pasta sauce, 1 meatball, and 1 more tablespoon pasta sauce for each one. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese over the tops of all meatballs.
- Bake in the preheated oven until pasta and meatballs are heated through and cheese melts, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly before transferring muffin bites to a serving platter
2. Grilled Zucchini AndÂ Smoked Salmon Rolls
Grilled Zucchini, Cream Cheese, and Smoked Salmon Rolls
- 3 small Hungarian or other pointed pepper more or less
- 1 spicy chili pepper
- 4 oz. container cream cheese Philadelphia brand preferably
- 4 oz smoked salmon
- 3 small zucchini squash
- 9-12 chive leaves optional
- roast red pepper halves,cool, mince
- mix with chili pepper and cream cheese
- spread cream cheese mixture on smoked salmon strips
- slice thin zucchini strips, lightly grill
- place salmon and cream cheese strips on top of grilled zucchini strips, roll up and secure with toothpicks
- Top with a couple sprigs of chive leaves
3. Gussied Up Cream Cheese
Here is an idea from helloluvvy.com with just three ingredients:
- Flattened and cutout cream cheese
- Red pepper jelly
- Jalapeno slivers
Just serve with a selection of crackers.
That sounds really yum, but I have a secret ingredient I like that would be perfect with this:
Harry and David’s Pepper and Onion Relish. Yes, that is what I would slather on top of the darling little cream cheese shapes (which btw, you could use cookie cutters to make any shape you wanted).
Just in case you need an easy access, try this link to the original ( there are other flavors for this popular relish)
I really think you should get it in bulk because over the year you will find all sorts of things that taste better with a dollop of this relish: eggs, sandwiches, cold meats, etc.
4. Lapsang Souchong (Tea) Eggs
Tea Egg Appetizerss
- 12 eggs hardboiled
- 3 cups water
- 3 tbsp lapsang souchong tea
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 2 star anise
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp fennel
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- rice crackers
- Cover eggs with water; bring to simmer; let sit for four minutes. Darin and rinse. Lightly crack the outside shell all over.
- Add all ingredients to the peppercorns in saucepan. Bring to boil then low simmer for 30 minutes. cool. Steep in liquid overnight.
- Take one cup of liquid and reduce by half. Mix 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise, sliced green onions, and cracked pepper in with reduced liquid.
- Peel 6 eggs, and slice. Chop the remaining peeled eggs and mix with the mayonnaise mixture to make an egg salad.
- Assemble appetizers: Put slices on rice crackers, top with a dollop of egg salad mixture, a sprig of cilantro and a bit of cracked black pepper.
5. Caramel Grapes
Cute AND sweet! These make a nice change from the savories. Little fresh fruit bites are simply large juicy grapes dipped into caramel and then into chopped nuts (just like their big sister caramel apples). Make and serve right on the toothpicks.
6. Little Piglets
Making pigs in a blanket look like the real thing.
Use this recipe for dough, and assemble around the pieces of sausage.
Dough For Sausage Piggies
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 1/4 cups flour set aside 1/4 cup of the flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Mix together the milk, sugar, and vegetable oil in a saucepan. Heat until the mixture is just below boiling. Let cool until lukewarm.
- Sprinkle the yeast over the liquid, waiting one minute
- Stir in 2 cups of flour, allow sticky, wet dough to rise for about 1 hour.
- After rising: Stir in the 1/4 cup flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add in a little more flour til workable.
- Divide into 13 sections. Flatten dough balls into 4 inch rounds. Surround each 2 in. piece of sausage like a dumpling, making slightly oblong shape. Place on greased baking sheet, seam down. Finish al twelve sausage pieces.
- Let rise, covered, for 20-30 minutes; or until puffy.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Beat the egg and brush 3 of the dough balls with the egg wash. Take 13th ball of dough and make marble sized balls into snouts for pigs. Add to pig body and pierce with two toothpicks (which remain in while baking). Place eyes and then teardrop shaped ears.
- When all piglets are assembled bake for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Remove toothpicks.
7. Zucchini Parmesan Crisps
Zucchini Parmesan Crisps
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup Panko crumbs
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 2 zucchini squash thinly sliced into rounds
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 large eggs beaten
- Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet on medium heat
- Combine Parmeson cheese and Panko in a flat bottomed bowl.
- Dredge zucchini rounds in flour, dip into eggs, then dredge in Panko mixture,
- Cooked breaded rounds in oil until evenly crisp and golden. (About a minute each side). drain on paper towels.
8. Mini Waffles And ?
Southern Living has them topped with chicken, but there are oodles of other things to make an appetizer that really stands out.
Topping could include:
- Dipped in chocolate and sprinkles
- Fruit and whipped cream
- Bacon and scrambled egg with touch of salsa
- Shredded BBQ pork or Chicken
9. Mini Potatoes
Your favorite potato, baby sized. Cook til golden brown, slice open and fill with your favorite topping. This one is simple sour cream and chives.
10. Fairy Toadstool Eggs
Hard boil small or pullet sized eggs, peel. Prepare cherry tomato halves. either construct using hardboiled eggs or slice off top and scoop out yolk to mix with mayonnaise and mustard. Cap with cherry tomato half. Arrange on bed of Alfalfa sprouts. Crumble some feta cheese and apply to caps.
I hope these cute appetizer ideas get you inspired to add something special to the start of your holiday meals and parties.
The beginning image is from the recipe for tiny lemon tarts on The 350 Degree Oven made from 3 simple ready-made ingredients:
pie crust, lemon curd, and a dusting of powdered sugar.