Easy hors d’oeuvres so good, you’ll want to make a meal out of them! Fast crowd pleasing hors d’oeuvres recipes to kick off your cocktail party!

As a former event planner, caterer and entertaining enthusiast, I believe food should look as good as it tastes. Hors d’oeuvres are easy to serve, easy to eat and an effortless way to elevate parties, holidays and everyday get togethers.

Spinach and artichoke cups on a white platter in an hors d'oeuvres recipe collection
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What are Hors d’oeuvres?

Hors d’oeuvres are one bite cold or hot appetizers (pronounced or-DERVS) that are passed or displayed on platters. These small starters often served prior to a meal with cocktails or in lieu of a formal dinner. They are also called passed appetizers.

What does Heavy Hors d’oeuvres Mean?

Typically that indicates 3-5 bites, intended to be more filling than a simple snack.

What is the Difference Between a Canapé and an Hors d’oeuvres?

Hors d’oeuvre is an umbrella term than includes canapés. Canapés are an appetizer with a bread or toast base, traditionally topped with items like caviar or cheese. 

Mini cheddar cheese tarts on a white platter in an hors d'oeuvres recipe collection

How many appetizers do I need for guests?

If you’re serving heavy hors d’oeuvres (with no entree later) offer 4-6 per person. For heavy hors d’oeuvres only (during the dinner hour), plan for up to 10-12 per person.

25 Easy Hors d’Oeuvres

Whether you’re hosting an intimate party or large event, these small bites will impress your guests. They’re so good and filling, you can skip the main course! Each fast and flavorful recipe includes make ahead instructions, simple shortcuts and tips for picture perfection presentation (simply click on the photo).

Choose from 25 favorite creative, caterer created and curated hors d’oeuvres recipes!

Baked Brie Bites

This easy hors d’oeuvre is one of the simplest bite sized eats to make! Simply fill store bought phyllo shells, bake and serve. They can be served warm or at room temperature.

Brie Bites

These Baked Brie Bites are a super simple appetizer that’s made with just four ingredients and they are ready to serve in less than 20 minutes. Brie is baked in puff pastry sheets or pre-made phyllo shells, and topped with an incredible array of options for an easy but crowd pleasing appetizer. Read More

18 mins

Little Smokies

This classic recipe is always a hit! Adults and children alike love bacon wrapped little smokies! The brown sugar caramelizes with bacon to add amazing flavor.

Little Smokies

Little Smokies are the easiest appetizer! They’re made with just three ingredients in just minutes of hands on time. These bacon wrapped smokies are the perfect party food to serve a crowd.  Read More

35 mins

Pear Crescent Rolls

It’s one of the most delicious fall appetizers, and an easy hors d’oeuvre that will have everyone talking – just four ingredients and you’re all set!

Jalapeño Poppers

Jalapeño Poppers

Learn how to make easy and delicious baked jalapeño poppers. These are an excellent game day appetizer, and always one of the most popular hors d’oeuvres to serve for any occasion. Read More

28 mins

Guacamole Bites

Guacamole Bites take less than 20 minutes and are no bake, freeing up precious oven space. They’re packed with protein, making them filling, too!

Guacamole Bites

Looking for an easy appetizer that can be made in a flash? These guacamole bites are just the ticket.  Read More

10 mins

Handheld Endive Salad

This easy endive salad is not only gorgeous to serve, but it’s easy to make, and healthy, too! This is an easy and delicious hors d’oeuvre you can feel good about serving!

Handheld Endive Salad

This easy endive appetizer is everything you crave for entertaining! It’s healthy, gorgeous, and simply bursting with fresh flavor. Bonus? Endive lettuce is naturally so easy to hold… your guests will keep coming back for more!  Read More

10 mins

Spinach and Artichoke Bites

Next, a crowd pleasing family favorite in our house. It’s your favorite dip in easy to eat form! Rich, creamy and so delicious – and these come together easily. Foolproof!

Spinach and Artichoke Bites

These spinach and artichoke bites are crispy, savory and filling – and the serving style means they are perfectly pretty for serving at parties, too! Read More


Mac and Cheese Cups

It’s everyone’s favorite comfort food in the perfect bite-sized portion! Easy to make and even easier to eat, I dare you to try and stop at just one mac and cheese cup!

Mac and Cheese Cups

These little Mac and Cheese Cups are the perfect bite-sized hors d’oeuvre the whole family will love! They’re beyond easy to make, using a mini muffin pan. Read More

45 mins

Mini Cheese Tarts

Cheese Tarts are bite sized cream cheese pastry filled with rich cheddar cheese and your choice of additions including herbs and caramelized onions.

They are packed with protein making them suitable to serve for a heavy hors d’oeuvres gathering. They come together effortlessly in minutes!

Mini Cheddar Cheese Tarts

These little cheddar cheese tarts are delicious and perfectly portioned for entertaining! They are exploding with rich cheddar flavor and so easy to make – ideal for brunch or served as an appetizer. Read More

25 mins


Jarcuterie are single servings of charcuterie in a jar. These bites offer balance with fruits, cheeses, meats, crackers and herbs perfect for parties of all sizes. They’re easy to display, pass and devour!

Charcuterie Jars

Jarcuterie is the cutest spin on the ever-popular charcuterie boards that are forever loved by families and party-goers across the world! Charcuterie Jars make for the most delicious way to entertain.  Read More

10 mins

Onion Tartlettes

Onion tartlets are one of my absolute favorites from my catering days. Pillowy puff pastry is topped with caramelized onions, goat cheese and thick flakes of fresh ground black pepper.

You can cut them into shapes using cookie cutters to fit your cocktail party theme or season, too! Serve them warm or at room temperature.

Individual Onion Tarts

These classic onion tarts are made with a bite sized blend of flaky puff pastry, caramelized shallots, goat cheese and pepper.  Read More

30 mins

Pear Slice Hors d’Oeuvre

When serving hors d’oeuvres it’s important to have a variety of options to accommodate various diets. These pear, blue cheese and walnut bites are perfect for gluten-free guests!

Easy Pear Appetizer with Blue Cheese and Walnuts

This easy pear appetizer takes just five minutes to make and no clean-up necessary! Light, crisp and refreshing, it will keep your friends and family going back for more. It’s an elegant bite-sized snack and the perfect start to your holiday meal! Read More

5 mins

Gnocco Fritto

Gnocco Fritto is so easy to make! Puff pastry is brushed with extra virgin olive oil, topped with prosciutto and a few thick flakes of salt. They bake into heavenly pillows that are hard to resist. Serve room temperature or warm, either way, they’re delicious to dive into!

Gnocco Fritto

Gnocco Fritto is an easy 10-minute appetizer when made with the ultimate shortcut: puff pastry! These light and fluffy puff pillows are topped with olive oil, prosciutto and sea salt for heavenly bites. Fried to golden brown perfection in a matter of seconds, this classic Italian dish is always a favorite. Read More

10 mins

Deviled Eggs

Classic deviled eggs are the ultimate hors d’oeuvres. They’re beautiful, easy to eat and packed with protein.

The Best Deviled Eggs Recipe

Get the secrets to the best deviled eggs recipe. Once you try this fluffy, creamy, tangy recipe, you’ll never go back. They are devilishly good, and perfect for parties, picnics, Easter and so much more.  Read More

30 mins

Stuffed Dates

Stuffed Dates are sweet and savory. They’re surprisingly easy to make, too.

Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon

These bacon wrapped dates are stuffed with decadent cream cheese… it’s the ultimate combination of sweet and savory flavors. Textural, creamy and oh-so-delicious, you’re going to love this incredible appetizer!  Read More

40 mins

Bacon Skewers

Bacon can be a little more elegant and elevated, too! Serve it in these skewers for an easy hors d’oeuvre your guests will clamor over.

Caramelized Bacon Skewers

If there was ever a perfectly simple bacon appetizer that guests will love to grab, it’s this one! Caramelized bacon skewers are so easy to make, and so incredibly delicious to eat. It’s hard to stop at just one – I dare you to try!  Read More

35 mins

Mini Cheese Ball Bites

This is another fresh take on a classic appetizer. Everybody loves an old-fashioned cheeseball, but why not make it more poppable?

Mini Cheese Ball Bites

Made with cream cheese, seasonings, nuts, bacon and often dried fruit, these delectable little bites are a surefire crowd pleaser! Serve them with pretzel sticks and watch them disappear from your spread of hors d’oeuvres.  Read More

15 mins

Stuffed Mushrooms

These bacon and cream cheese stuffed mushrooms simple and easy to make. They’re so easy to customize to your tastes, and they’re low carb, too!

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms are an easy crowd pleasing appetizer made with just a few simple ingredients. They are perfect for parties and perfectly poppable! You can’t stop at just one! Read More

45 mins

Mozzarella Bruschetta

While this is delicious all year long, it’s especially wonderful in the summer. Celebrate the season with fresh tomatoes, basil and more!

Mozzarella Bruschetta

Start your dinner off in style by serving Mozzarella Bruschetta for an incredible appetizer. In just a few minutes, you’ll have the cutest little toasted bruschetta with mozzarella… topped with arguably the best combination of flavors ever invented!  Read More

14 mins

Cheese and Crackers

Cheese and crackers is a classic appetizer. While often arranged into a charcuterie display, this can also be created in bite sized servings for an easy hors d’oeuvre. We’ll show you how!

Cheese and Crackers

Cheese and crackers are a classic snack with so many fun variations! This timeless combination is so easy to customize. It’s fast, easy and nutritious, and makes an effortless appetizer. Read More

5 mins

Mini Tacos

If you love tacos, you’ll love these mini ones – they make the perfect party food!

Mini Tacos

Mini tacos are such a fun and festive party food! They are easy to customize and easy to eat in multiples – because who doesn’t love a miniature version of their favorite food? Make these mini chicken tacos or mini beef tacos and put some serious fun back into your next gathering! Read More

30 mins

Shrimp Skewers

Shrimp make the ultimate party pick. They’re light and easy to serve. They’re great passed, but also pretty on a platter. Even more, they’re incredibly simple to make.

Tequila Lime Shrimp

If you love the zesty fresh citrus flavor of a good margarita, you’ll love this incredible tequila lime shrimp recipe! It’s the essence of your favorite summertime cocktail, in the form of incredible shrimp skewers – perfect for throwing on the grill. Read More

16 mins

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

Serve shrimp cocktail in a pretty little jar for a classic appetizer with a twist!

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

If you love a classic shrimp cocktail for a party appetizer, you’re going to be so excited about this roasted shrimp cocktail recipe! This is an appetizer that is truly timeless, and loved by so many – but now you can make your own in the simplest possible way. Read More

15 mins

Fruit Skewers

These are so fun to customize for various holidays, and they are great for kids and adults alike!

Fresh Fruit Skewers

These darling fruit skewers are the ultimate way to serve festive fruit for every occasion! Perfectly bite-sized and oh-so-charming, you’ll have your guests oohing and aahing over your clever display.  Read More

10 mins

Peach Crostini

Crunchy crostini are topped with fresh cheese, peaches and thyme and drizzled with honey.

Peach Crostinis

These peach crostini are a great summer appetizer that are easy to make and a real crowd pleaser. They are perfect for entertaining and best served with a glass of chilled prosecco in the garden! Read More

11 mins

Baked Artichokes

These make a wholesome, nutrient packed vegetarian appetizer that are a great way to balance your more decadent options.

Baked Artichoke Hearts

Baked Artichoke is one of the easiest side dishes and ways to get your veggies in! These roasted artichoke are so delicious on its own or tossed into a salad. It’s not only delicious, but a good source of fiber, Vitamin C and Vitamin K! Read More

17 mins


Julie’s Tips

A few notable tips I learned from catering small parties, to planning and executing weddings and events for over 300 guests:

  • Mix it Up – When selecting what to serve, consider dietary needs and preferences. Offer a variety of gluten-free, dairy-free, seafood, and meat options so there is something for everyone.
  • Label – If they are not passed, I recommend labeling with the name and primary ingredients to reduce waste.
  • Consider Time and Conditions – If you are serving in lieu of a meal, select protein packed options. If it will be really hot outside, consider including a couple lighter options.

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  1. 5 stars
    These orders look beautiful. I am going to make them this Saturday for the party. I’m going to thank you so much.