Cold appetizers--perfect for serving your guests at a picnic or dinner party--do not have to be elaborate, time-consuming or expensive to impress. A few delicious and fresh ingredients are all you need (no chef's skills required) to make these quick and simple cold appetizers.
Cold Stuffed Carrots
This quick and easy cold appetizer mixes it up for an inverted spin on the traditional raw carrots and ranch dip. Slice large, thick carrots into 2-inch angled chunks. With an apple corer, remove the centers. For stuffing, mix a package of ranch dressing mix into a pint of ricotta cheese. If you prefer not to waste food, grate the carrot cores, and toss them into the mixture--some chopped, cooked spinach would go well too. Spoon or pipe the mixture into the carrots for a crisp and creamy cold appetizer.
Deli Garden Tray
Green bell peppers, pitted ripe olives, mushrooms, artichoke hearts and cherry tomatoes are just a few of the fresh platter ingredients you can intermingle with a variety of cheeses and deli meats. Cover the tomatoes and mushrooms with Italian vinaigrette dressing before inviting them to the party of ingredients. Everything comes together over a bed of leaf lettuce. With such variety, this fresh platter is sure to offer a flavorful bite to please any palate.
Deli Pasta Kabobs
Deli meat works well on kabobs too. This simple combination of tastes and textures is bound to whet your guests' appetites. Simply combine sliced pepperoni and salami folds, pitted and stuffed olives and cold, cooked cheese tortellini to make mini kabobs. Drench the tortellini and olives with Italian dressing then sandwich them between appetizing deli meats on mini skewers.
Rolled tortillas filled with neufchatel and Mexican-style shredded cheeses and salsa will get those salivary juices going. Add chili powder to this simple cold appetizer recipe, bringing spice to any dinner party.
Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
If you are looking to serve your guests one-bite appetizers, try stuffed cherry tomatoes. Smoky bacon, feta cheese and mayo seasoned with chopped scallions, basil and ground pepper are the perfect filling for cherry tomatoes in a juicy, savory cold appetizer. Make enough for your weekend dinner party and a little extra to stick in Monday's lunch sack.
- Laine Girard/Demand Media