Whether you are hosting a full-blown dinner party or a casual get-together with a few friends and family members, making complicated appetizers can limit the amount of time you get to spend chatting with -- and entertaining -- your guests. The solution: Choose appetizers that are fast and easy to make. Despite being quick and simple, such appetizers can still be delicious.
Roll up combinations of cheeses, vegetables and fruits in flour tortillas, then slice your rolled-up creations into bite-sized circles. These small circle appetizers, known as pinwheels, are not only tasty, but also aesthetically pleasing. Some pinwheel filler options include cranberries, cream cheese and feta cheese; black olives, green onions and cheddar cheese; and spinach, sweet red pimiento peppers and Parmesan cheese.
Bring on the Bread
While bread and butter is a quintessential premeal snack, you can get a bit more creative with bread-based appetizers without wasting time. One option is to make simple bruschetta, which you can accomplish by topping some toasted bread with extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic and diced tomatoes. An alternate bread-based appetizer option is to make cheesy garlic bread. Just pile some cheese and garlic powder on top of bread slices, pop them in the oven on a baking sheet and pull them out when the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted. To optimize the healthiness of these appetizers, use whole-grain bread and low-fat cheese.
Meatballs are perfect appetizer options for eating with toothpicks. To keep prep as simple as possible, buy premade meatballs in the frozen food aisle of the supermarket. Making the meatballs from scratch, however, is still an easy process. Just mix together breadcrumbs, egg and ground meats and they’re ready to cook. Make flavorful sweet and sour meatballs by coating them in a mixture of chili sauce and grape jelly or Italian meatballs, topped with fresh herbs and ricotta cheese.
Set out some chips and dip and watch your guests dig in. Some simple dip options include spinach dip, which you can make by combining low-fat yogurt, sauteed onions and chopped spinach; lemon-yogurt dip, which includes low-fat yogurt, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest; and ranch dip, which you can make by combining low-fat sour cream and a packet of ranch dip mix.
Set and Forget
If you have absolutely zero time for slicing, dicing or cooking before your guests arrive, choose appetizer options that require no preparation, apart from setting out items on plates. For example, create a cheese platter by setting out brie, blue cheese, cheddar and goat cheese, along with some grapes and crackers. Or serve antipasti by plating some sliced deli meats, mozzarella balls and olives.