When I am entertaining at home, I am for easy. Easy appetizers, easy decor, easy cocktails. Also, I always have something non-perishable stashed in my pantry for times when people just happen to pop in or I am unable to make the pilgrimage to the grocery store (anyone who has preschoolers knows what a daunting task grocery store trips can be).
Here are 5 easy appetizers that you can stash in your pantry or freezer and have on hand for impromptu entertaining! Crostini is my go-to grub because it is no bake, easy for guests to grab and gab, and looks like I put a lot of effort in.
I have been on the hunt for a crispy cracker/toast that doesn’t take away from the flavor of the toppings but also doesn’t taste like cardboard. I found this Angelic Bakehouse Sprouted Mash Bread Crisps in my Degustabox this month. I would never have tried these, but the sea salt truly complements everything I pile on top without over powering. If you haven’t tried Degustabox, grab it for $19.99/month- you get 9-14 full size food/beverage/ingredient products each month. I usually discover a new favorite that I put into the rotation.
Artichoke Olive Tapenade
I adore our French Market in downtown Wilmette, and always try to support the vendors. Pretty easy because they offer incredible gourmet goodies! I tasted this Black Olive Paste mixed with Artichoke Cream, and it was heaven on a cracker. You can do each separately, but I think the saltiness of the olives balances out the creamy artichokes well. Mix equal amounts and drop a dollop on a cracker. Done.
Although hummus lasts quite a while in the fridge, I always seem to be on the dangerously decomposing end when people come over. I found this combo of Bush’s Garbanzos and Hummus Blend to make super fresh hummus, and I always keep it on hand. PS- top salmon with hummus and bake- my whole family gobbles it up.
I topped the hummus with the black olive paste, add parsley for garnish.
Sweet & Savory Honey Pears
I keep a slab of blue cheese in the freezer because it is such a universal ingredient- main dishes (put it in your mac n’ cheese), salads (I always make a wedge- so simple yet incredibly elegant) and appetizers like this.
Simply slice a few canned (or fresh!) pears, top with crumbled blue cheese and a drizzle of honey. The flavors melt together to create a sweet and savory masterpiece.
Thanksgiving on Toast
Pair turkey (lunch meat, leftovers, whatever you have…I also freeze lunch meat when I buy in bulk at Costco) with cranberry (the jar of the gelatinous stuff is a classic) and a dab of brie. Optional to pop in the oven and melt, but it tastes amazing as is.
Butternut Squash & Sage
Ok, this one takes a little effort but it is still easy compared to most appetizers. Grab the cubed frozen butternut squash from Trader Joes, drizzle some olive oil and add salt, pepper and fresh sage; roast in the oven until soft. Top a toast with ricotta and add roasted squash/sage on top.
What easy appetizers have you made? Do you go all out or keep it simple?
Cheers to not spending hours in the kitchen, and instead focusing on actually enjoying your guests!