8 Simple Summer Appetizers to Start Your Party Right

Adriana Velez | Jun 10, 2014 Food & Party


If you had to throw a summer backyard party, what would be your top five menu items. Ack -- are you drawing a blank? Trying to remember that stuff you had that one time at whatshername's place? Trying to think of something you actually feel like eating when it's hot outside? (So maybe not that artichoke spinach dip you've been eating all winter ...) Well, we've got you. 

Here's a collection of go-to summer party appetizers that are easy to whip up and serve. We've got treats for all kinds, adults and kids.

summer appetizers

Images via zalexandra/Flickr and iStock.com/cjm1


  • Caprese Bites



    It's caprese salad -- on a toothpick! Just spear mozzarella balls, cherry or grape tomatoes, and basil leaves.

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  • Prosciutto Wrapped Melon



    Wrap balls of cantaloupe with prosciutto. Honeydew is a good alternative. I love this presentation, serving it inside the hollowed melon rind!

  • Guacamole



    "I hate it when I find out they're serving fresh guacamole and chips" said no one ever. To make the best dip ever invented, chop about 1/2 a cup of red onion and 1 Serrano pepper. Smash with the back of your knife and add to a bowl. Peel 4 avocados and use a fork to smash in the bowl with the onions. Stir in a cup of chopped cilantro, some fresh lime juice, and salt to taste. You can add chopped tomatoes as well.

  • Watermelon Feta



    Spear cubes of watermelon and feta with leaves of fresh mint -- or, sprinkle with dried mint.

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  • Grilled Shrimp


    Mike McCune/Flickr

    Supposin' shrimp are on sale this weekend. And supposin' you know a lot of people who love shrimp ...

    Spear shrimp lengthwise, brush with olive oil or melted butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill on each side for about 2 minutes, just barely enough time for them to turn pink. Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice over before serving.

  • Chicken Satay


    Wen Tong Neo/Flickr

    Here's a fairly simple recipe for chicken satay with peanut sauce. These are so tasty, though, you could skip the peanut sauce if you want.

  • Cucumber Cups With Herbed Cream Cheese



    Everyone is making these. Everyone. You could whip cream cheese with chopped mint or basil for a filling, or you could use hummus. Or -- there are tons of recipes out there. Here's a video tutorial for how to make those cute cucumber cups.

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  • Easy Bruschetta



    Slice a couple baguettes crosswise. Brush with olive oil and toast in oven. Meanwhile, let chopped fresh tomatoes, minced garlic, torn basil leaves, salt, and a little drizzle of olive oil sit in a bowl for about 30 minutes. Top toasts with the tomato mixture. (Or follow this bruschetta recipe.) Even easier: Serve toasts with the bowl of tomatoes and let people dip themselves.

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