Tips for serving appetizers

Everyone loves a great (and simple) appetizer recipe – especially if it’s easy.

From cheesy dips (like our Spinach & Artichoke Dip) to finger foods (like our Bacon Wrapped Smokies), we are sharing all of the best and easiest appetizers to help make your next party not only amazing, but delicious too!

For any get together or holiday, the first question I like to address is,  “How many appetizers do I need?” 

If I am serving appetizers before a dinner I will need far less than if I am having a party and only serving appetizers. You also need to take into account how many guests you will have so you know how many different appetizers to provide..

  • Before a dinner: Appetizers are great to set out about an hour before the main meal will be served. Plan for guests to be able to have 3-5 pieces/servings total.
  • Appetizer only Party: For a two hour event plan to serve about 10-12 pieces per person. Add about 5 more pieces per person for every hour after.
  • Different Dishes: Plan to provide 2-3 different appetizer dishes for 10 or fewer guests. Add another dish to the menu for every 5-8 more people.  
  • Chips and Salsa: Plan 1 qt salsa and 1 pound of chips for every 10 people.
  • Sweet and Savory Dips: If you are offering both types, then plan for guests to have 2 oz (¼ cup) per person. If you are only serving one type, then plan for guests to have about 3 oz (⅓ cup) per person.

Our Top Picks

What to Serve?

Now that you know how many different appetizer dishes you will be making and the amounts you will need it’s time to decide which recipes to choose. 

Variety: I like to offer both warm and cooler appetizers. I also like to be sure to provide a mixture of heavy and light proteins and produce. You might even want to consider different textures and colors. 

New Recipes: I stay away from making too many new recipes for one event. For less stress I limit myself to making only 1 new recipe and use favorite recipes that I could make in my sleep. 

Timing: Be aware of what kitchen appliances you will need to make your appetizers and if it interferes with dinner. Use a mix of appetizers you can make ahead of time, ones that can be made in a crock pot and ones that are best served freshly made.

Display: If you have a large venue you can divide the appetizers and place them in different areas throughout the space. Be sure each space includes plates, napkins and utensils. And don’t forget to have fun with festive decorations to dress up the serving tables.

For more Appetizer Dips

Who here loves a good dip?!

I am all about a quick, simple and delicious dip recipe for any get together – birthday, BBQs, potlucks, holidays…

Not only can many of them be made in the slow cooker, but many can also be thrown together in minutes. Whether they are hot or cold, I love that the are so many easy, delicious dip recipes that never let me down!

Dip Tips:

  • Make sure that the dips are complementary to the other flavors being served as appetizers and/or what is being served for dinner.
  • Keeping dip warm: The easiest way to keep dip warm is to use a small slow cooker. They are typically 1 ½ qts and keep the dip warm throughout. 
  • Keeping dip cold: If you are serving dip inside, at room temperature, then the dip should be fine for a couple of hours. However, if you are serving it in a warmer environment like an outside BBQ, then you’ll want to keep it on ice. You can place ice inside a bowl, or on a tray, then place a smaller bowl of dip on top of the ice..
  • For use with dips:
    • Savory: crackers, various vegetables, pretzels, baguette/bread slices, chips
    • Sweet: sliced fruits, cookies, cubed cake, marshmallows, pretzels

Don’t Forget the Holidays!

Whether it’s a family get together or large gathering with friends and neighbors, the holidays are another great reason to make some delicious appetizers.

We wanted to make it as easy as possible for you and rounded up our Top Holiday Appetizers.

TOP 10 Appetizers


1 hr 26 mins

Recipe Video

All Appetizers