With the weather warming up, I find myself browsing easy spring appetizers for dinner at home, because I love the idea of turning a few favorite party foods into a whole meal. These spring appetizers for dinner look delicious and easy enough for a fun movie night with the family, for a fast-prep meal when the grandparents drop by, or if we just need an easy dinner to take to the park for a picnic dinner outside with friends.
(Yay for vaccinations!)
They’re also a terrific idea if you have kids who don’t all eat the same things — just set out a bunch of items on the table and everyone can enjoy what they like.
My suggestion is that you bookmark a few favorites, then be sure to stock up on any ingredients on hand that you’re missing — filo dough, tortillas, jarred condiments to save you time, and of course wooden skewers, toothpicks which never go bad. That way you’re always ready to throw together a fun appetizer dinner, whether you plan it or it’s entirely unexpected.
At top: Cucumber and Dill Baguettes at Modern Meal Makeover; Buffalo Turkey Meatballs at Tastes of Homemade
Related: 7 delicious appetizers made easier with a smart store-bought shortcut
10 easy spring appetizers for dinner: So many ideas!
Appetizers for dinner: Crudité is always a solid start
Crudité (or uh, sliced veggies) always make me feel like I’m serving a better dinner than just placing out chips or crackers. Of course you can serve with your favorite guacamole recipe, or any dip really, but my tip: You must mix up a jar of this jalapeño pimento cheese from the recipe at Peas & Crayons. In fact, keep on hand at all times!
It’s such a great snack to stash in the fridge, because you can turn it into sandwiches for the kids, use it as a dip for veggies and crackers, smear it on your hamburger bun, or use it to stuff jalapeños for some easy jalapeño poppers. I swear by it!
For even more ideas, be sure to check out these 10 homemade dips and dressings that make an easy meal — just add veggies.
Appetizers for dinner: Pasta on a stick!
There’s something so fun about this pasta salad on a stick recipe at Meg’s Everyday Indulgence, and it’s one I love to get my kids to help me prepare. The brilliance is that you can customize them any way you want, swapping in the veggies or cheeses that everyone likes best.
I’d recommend making them all a little different, so guests can try different flavors, or stick with the ingredients they prefer.
Appetizers for dinner: A twist on cucumber sandwiches
We’re big on cucumber sandwiches down South, so I love the idea of these cucumber and dill baguettes at Modern Meal Makeover for a lighter, more appetizer-y twist. If you keep some frozen baguettes in the freezer and have fresh cucumbers on hand, this will be so easy to whip up.
Appetizers for dinner: Mini meatballs
Mini meatballs on fancy toothpicks are one of my favorite 80s-era appetizers to make and when the weather gets warmer, you can switch to ground turkey or chicken for a lighter appetizer that still has tons of delicious flavor.
The Buffalo Turkey Meatballs recipe from Tastes of Homemade is not just the most perfect, satisfying appetizer for dinner at home with the kids, it’s going to be on my next backyard cookout menu. Who could say no to that buffalo wing taste, without the finger-licking mess?
Appetizers for dinner: Everyone’s favorite wedding hors d’oeuvres
Admit it: We all look for the mini quiches when we’re at a party with pass-around hors d’oeuvres, but why wait for a party? These mini ham and cheese quiches at Wellness for Womanhood are so good, they’re dangerous. Make a big batch and everyone will be popping them in their mouths all night long.
If you’re expecting company, I’d make several extra trays to stash in the fridge, so I can have an easy make-ahead breakfast for busy mornings, too. And of course, quiche freezes so well!
(And okay, there is some debate around here about whether pigs in a blanket are actually best pass-around hors d’oeuvres, so feel free to serve either. Or both. Yes, both.)
Related: 7 freezer essentials you should always have to make family meals soooo much easier
Appetizers for dinner: Shrimp you can dip
I love the idea of setting out something a little heartier than chips to dip, if we’re going to turn our appetizers into a dinner at home, and this air fryer coconut shrimp at Holistic Foodie looks like the perfect fit for spring. Ooh, that coconut crust! As long as you have frozen shrimp and a bag of shredded coconut in the pantry, you should be good to go.
Related: 5 brilliant food bar ideas for last-minute entertaining
Appetizers for dinner: Deviled eggs by the dozen
A couple years back, Anne Wolf-Postic shared this fantastic deviled egg recipe for Cool MomEats and she’s right — it’s easy and perfect. And because it’s basically pure protein, it’s a smart addition to a spring appetizer for dinner menu, when you want to be sure everyone leaves the table satisfied. I mean, as much as we love our chips and dips, you might need something more substantial. Make a lot, these go fast!
Also be sure to check the post for her brilliant tip for turning failed deviled eggs into deviled egg salad, should it not come out perfectly.
Appetizers for dinner: Pretty much anything with puff pastry
I can’t think about spring without thinking about asparagus. And I can’t think about appetizers for dinner at home without thinking about puff pastry! These asparagus puff pastry wraps at Marilena’s Kitchen are a simple showstopper, and those of us who love it won’t be able to quit eating. Hey, maybe your kids will even learn to love asparagus this way.
Related; 3-ingredient appetizer recipes for an easy, last minute, or (ahem) just plain lazy party spread
Appetizers for dinner: Crepes as finger sandwiches
This recipe is like quesadillas, but better. Because, crepes. Crepes with prosciutto and cheese from Erica’s Recipes are such a fun, unexpected, hand-held spring appetizer for dinner that’s perfect for kids and adults alike. It feels fancy, but is actually really easy to make, especially if you use store-bought crepes. Just be sure to use the good prosciutto! And see her post for some terrific ingredient variations, because I imagine the kids will want this one again for dinner next week.
Appetizers for dinner: A little something sweet
A good rule of thumb for appetizers for dinner is to serve a variety of flavors — savory, spicy, citrus, herbal, fruity. And we haven’t really covered fruity yet! So if you’re doing a spread of several spring appetizers for dinner at home, I suggest you check this tangy strawberry basil bruschetta at Darn Good Veggies.
It’s a really nice option to give you a little something sweet along with the savory and make the whole appetizers for dinner plan feel complete. Her recipe is vegan — the “ricotta” is made from almonds. but you can always swap in store-bought ricotta, or even chèvre.
Of course mascarpone would turn it into a real dessert. And I wouldn’t say no to that, either.