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70 Best Italian Appetizers to Make Tonight

Just because it's Italian, doesn't mean you have to spend all day in the kitchen. Try one of our easy Italian appetizer recipes for your next party.

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Roasted Eggplant SpreadTaste of Home

Roasted Eggplant Spread

Black pepper and garlic perk up this out-of-the-ordinary spread that hits the spot on a crisp cracker or toasted bread slice. —Barbara McCalley, Allison Park, Pennsylvania.

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Beef SpiediniTaste of Home

Beef Spiedini

An Italian favorite, spiedini are great for holidays and other special occasions. The hearty skewers hold marinated steak pinwheels stuffed with a marinara-and-crumb filling.

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Sweet Pea Pesto CrostiniTaste of Home

Sweet Pea Pesto Crostini

I made a healthier spin on my favorite celebrity chef’s recipe by subbing in vegetable broth for some of the oil and going easy on the cheese. To top crostini, use this recipe for a pastelike pesto. For use on pasta, add more broth for a saucelike consistency. —Amber Massey, Argyle, Texas

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Focaccia BareseTaste of Home

Focaccia Barese

This focaccia has been in my mom's family for several generations. It's one of my most requested recipes. In fact, some hosts tell me I can't attend their parties unless I bring this with me! —Dora Travaglio, Mount Prospect, Illinois

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Slow-Cooked Italian MeatballsTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Italian Meatballs

What I love about these meatballs is that they can be served as an easy holiday appetizer right out of the slow cooker, or alongside your favorite pasta. They also make a delicious sandwich. —Jason Romano, Downingtown, Pennsylvania

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Marinated Mozzarella & Tomato AppetizersTaste of Home

Marinated Mozzarella & Tomato Appetizers

Inspired by a dish I had at a restaurant, this simply sensational combination should marinate for at least three hours—the longer the better. —Mary Ann Lee, Clifton Park, New York

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Mom's Italian BreadTaste of Home

Mom's Italian Bread

I think Mom used to bake at least four of these tender loaves at once, and they never lasted long. She served the bread with every Italian meal. I love it toasted, too. —Linda Harrington, Windham, New Hampshire

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Balsamic Green Bean SaladTaste of Home

Balsamic Green Bean Salad

Serve up those green beans in a whole new way–with a green bean salad recipe! The tangy flavors and crunch of these balsamic green beans complement any special meal or holiday potluck. —Megan Spencer, Farmington Hills, Michigan

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Italian Meatball BunsTaste of Home

Italian Meatball Buns

These soft little rolls come with a surprise inside—savory Italian meatballs. They're wonderful dipped in marinara sauce, making them fun for my grandkids and adults, too. I love how easy they are to put together. —Trina Linder-Mobley, Clover, South Carolina

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Italian Steak BruschettaTaste of Home

Italian Steak Bruschetta

This recipe combines my favorite things to eat: toast, steak, bruschetta topping and delicious pancetta. It's looks so pretty on the plate! This five-ingredient appetizer is easy to prepare but will have everyone thinking you spent a long time in the kitchen. —Devon Delaney, Westport, Connecticut

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Antipasto PlatterTaste of Home

Antipasto Platter

We entertain often, and antipasto is one of our favorite crowd-pleasers. Guests love having their choice of so many delicious nibbles, including pepperoni and cubes of provolone. —Teri Lindquist, Gurnee, Illinois

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Chicken Florentine PizzaTaste of Home

Chicken Florentine Pizza

On pizza night, we like to switch things up with this chicken and spinach version. One taste of the ricotta cheese base and you won't miss traditional sauce one bit. —Phil Corder, Monroe, Louisiana

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Calamari SaladTaste of Home

Calamari Salad

This is one of the seven fish dishes we serve at Christmas time. It is easy to make and quite delicious! I enjoy it served both warm and cold. Either way, it has become one of our traditional dishes each year. The recipe has been passed down to me through my grandparents, who were excellent cooks. —Paul Rinaldi, Easton, Pennsylvania

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Tomato-Goat Cheese SpreadTaste of Home

Tomato-Goat Cheese Spread

A good friend shared this recipe with me. It is super easy and so delicious. Guests will love it! It's best served with crackers that aren't strongly seasoned. —Linda Alexander, Madison, Wisconsin

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Tuscan TrufflesTaste of Home

Tuscan Truffles

For holiday potlucks, I make an appetizer truffle out of prosciutto, figs and toasted pine nuts. Mascarpone and goat cheese make them melt-in-your-mouth creamy. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California

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Arugula PizzaTaste of Home

Arugula Pizza

This pizza is great served as an appetizer when family or friends get together. My girlfriends and I love it because it has that sophisticated gourmet touch, and it's healthy, too! This also serves 4 for a main course. —Annette Riva, Naperville, Illinois

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Garden Bounty Panzanella Salad

My sister gave me fresh tomatoes and basil, so I made a bread salad known as Panzanella. The longer it sits, the more the bread soaks up the seasonings. —Jannine Fisk, Malden, Massachusetts

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Turkey Bolognese Polenta NestsTaste of Home

Turkey Bolognese Polenta Nests

This delicious appetizer combines two of my favorite foods, polenta and bolognese meat sauce, uniting them into one incredibly tasty bite! —Lidia Haddadian, Pasadena, California

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Pesto Pull-Apart BreadTaste of Home

Pesto Pull-Apart Bread

I combined some of my favorite flavors in an easy bread to complement our Italian meals. I make the pesto, oven-dried tomatoes and roasted red peppers, but store-bought versions work too. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin (Field Editor),

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Slow-Cooker Pizza DipTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Pizza Dip

I created this dip for my daughter's pizza themed birthday party. It was an instant hit and I've continued to bring this along to other gatherings. Everyone loves it! —Stephanie Gates, Waterloo, Iowa

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Tomato FrittersTaste of Home

Tomato Fritters

I got the basic recipe for these fritters from a friend, then I tweaked it for my family's tastes. It's one of our very favorite things in the summer. We love them right after they've been fried, when they're still hot and crispy. —Pam Halter, Bridgeton, New Jersey

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Appetizer Tomato Cheese BreadTaste of Home

Appetizer Tomato Cheese Bread

I found this recipe a few years ago in a dairy cookbook, and it has become a family favorite. My husband, Wayne, and our two children are mostly meat-and-potato eaters, but I don't hear any complaints when I make this bread! —Penney Kester, Springville, New York

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Cheese/Grape AppetizersTaste of Home

Cheese/Grape Appetizers

These small bites are well worth the time they take. Serve them as part of an antipasto platter or as a cheese course alongside your favorite wine. —Eleanor Grofvert, Kalamazoo, Michigan

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Pizza FondueTaste of Home

Pizza Fondue

It's time to rethink the way your family does pizza night. I heard about this recipe on a talk show and then personalized it by using home-canned sauce. —Susan Carlson, Perry, New York

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Stromboli SandwichTaste of Home

Stromboli Sandwich

I've made this Stromboli sandwich many times for parties, and it gets great reviews. You can add ingredients and spices to suit your taste. The recipe is so good I just had to share it with you! —Leigh Lauer, Hummelstown, Pennsylvania

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Antipasto Appetizer SaladTaste of Home

Antipasto Appetizer Salad

Use a slotted spoon to serve this as an appetizer with baguette toasts, or ladle it over romaine lettuce to enjoy as a salad. —Tamra Duncan, Decatur, Arkansas

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Makeover Deviled EggsTaste of Home

Makeover Deviled Eggs

This updated version of a classic appetizer uses only half the egg yolks of the original recipe and calls for soft bread crumbs to help firm up the filling. We replaced the mayo with fat-free mayonnaise and reduced-fat sour cream. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Petite Sausage QuichesTaste of Home

Petite Sausage Quiches

You won't be able to eat just one of these mini quiches. Filled with savory sausage, Swiss cheese and a dash of cayenne, the mouthwatering morsels will disappear fast from the breakfast or buffet table. —Dawn Stitt, Hesperia, Michigan

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Italian Cheese LoafTaste of Home

Italian Cheese Loaf

Here's a deliciously different sandwich. It's yummy warm from the oven or off the grill at a cookout. The cheesy filling is complemented by a mix of garden-fresh ingredients and crusty bread. I usually serve it with a salad and onion rings. —Mary Ann Marino, West Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Pepperoni Pizza SpreadTaste of Home

Pepperoni Pizza Spread

Loaded with popular pizza ingredients, this cheesy concoction is wonderful on crackers of all kinds. —Connie Milinovich, Cudahy, Wisconsin

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Bruschetta from the GrillTaste of Home

Bruschetta from the Grill

Dijon mustard, mayonnaise and oregano make a savory spread for chopped tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil in this fun twist on a favorite appetizer. This grilled bruschetta gets rave reviews every time I serve it. —Mary Nafis, Chino, California

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Cheesy Sausage StromboliTaste of Home

Cheesy Sausage Stromboli

I've had a hundred requests for this recipe over the years. Perfect for brunch or as an evening snack, this sausage-filled bread is not tricky to make—and I never have to worry about storing leftovers! —Vada McRoberts, Silver Lake, Kansas

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Artichoke Caprese PlatterTaste of Home

Artichoke Caprese Platter

I dressed up the classic Italian trio of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil with marinated artichokes. It looks so yummy on a pretty platter set out on a buffet. Using fresh mozzarella is the key to its great taste. —Margaret Wilson, San Bernardino, California

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Party Pesto PinwheelsTaste of Home

Party Pesto Pinwheels

I took a couple of my favorite recipes and combined them into these delicious hors d'oeuvres. The colorful and impressive snacks come together easily with refrigerated crescent roll dough, prepared pesto sauce and a jar of roasted red peppers. —Kathleen Farrell, Rochester, New York

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Antipasto KabobsTaste of Home

Antipasto Kabobs

My husband and I met at a cooking class. We have loved creating menus and entertaining ever since. These make-ahead antipasto skewers are always a hit. —Denise Hazen, Cincinnati, Ohio

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Marinated Olive & Cheese RingTaste of Home

Marinated Olive & Cheese Ring

We love to make meals into celebrations, and antipasto always kicks off the party for Italian dinners. This one is almost too pretty to eat, especially when sprinkled with pimientos, fresh basil and parsley. —Patricia Harmon, Baden, Pennsylvania

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Ricotta PuffsTaste of Home

Ricotta Puffs

Roasted red peppers and ricotta cheese give these pastry puffs delicious flavor, while parsley and oregano add a little spark. —Maria Regakis, Somerville, Massachusetts

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Cilantro Tomato BruschettaTaste of Home

Cilantro Tomato Bruschetta

This is an easy tomato appetizer that all of my family and friends love. The garden-fresh ingredients capture summer and meld together for a delightful hors d’oeuvre recipe that goes well with many different main dishes. —Lisa Kane, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Crowd-Pleasing Party MeatballsTaste of Home

Crowd-Pleasing Party Meatballs

We served this scrumptious dish at our wedding. It went over so well that it’s been served at other weddings and family functions, and the requests keep coming! —Stefany Blevins, Portsmouth, Ohio

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Calzone PinwheelsTaste of Home

Calzone Pinwheels

Once you try these mini-sized calzones, you may never go back to the large ones. Not only do these pretty bites take advantage of convenient refrigerator crescent rolls, but they can be made ahead and popped in the oven right before company arrives. No one can eat just one and people love the cheesy, fresh taste! —Lisa Smith, Bryan, Ohio

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Creamy Artichoke DipTaste of Home

Creamy Artichoke Dip

My sister Teresa got this recipe from a friend and she passed it along. It's loaded with cheese, artichokes and just the right amount of jalapenos for a crowd-pleasing flavor. —Mary Spencer, Greendale, Wisconsin

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Quick Focaccia BreadTaste of Home

Quick Focaccia Bread

Green olives complement this cheesy, pizza-like bread from Ivy Laffoon of Ceres, California. With very few ingredients, it’s packed with flavor. Serve it as an appetizer or alongside pasta, soup or salad for a mouthwatering meal.—Ivy J Laffoon, Ceres, California

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Marinated MozzarellaTaste of Home

Marinated Mozzarella

I always come home with an empty container when I bring this dish to a party. It can be made ahead to free up time later. I serve it with pretty frilled toothpicks for a festive look. —Peggy Cairo, Kenosha, Wisconsin

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Stuffed Asiago-Basil MushroomsTaste of Home

Stuffed Asiago-Basil Mushrooms

Even if you don't like mushrooms, you will have to try them again with these pretty appetizers, which taste divine. For a main dish, double the filling and use large portobellos. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario

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Crowd-Pleasing Ravioli NachosTaste of Home

Crowd-Pleasing Ravioli Nachos

Lightly breaded and deep-fried, ravioli goes to a new level in this nacho-like appetizer. Kids and grown-ups can’t get enough of the crispy, cheesy, flavorful crowd pleasers.—Robert Doornbos, Jenison, Michigan

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Polenta ParmigianaTaste of Home

Polenta Parmigiana

“This warm, Italian-flavored appetizer also makes a quick, filling lunch. I prefer this veggie version, but my kids like to add pepperoni or sausage to create mini pizzas.” —Carolyn Kumpe, El Dorado, California

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Party ShrimpTaste of Home

Party Shrimp

The marinade for this dish makes the shrimp so flavorful, you won't even need a dipping sauce. Even those who claim they don’t like shellfish really dig this appetizer. —Kendra Doss, Colorado Springs, Colorado

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Polenta Mushroom AppetizersTaste of Home

Polenta Mushroom Appetizers

Simple ingredients—in fact you probably have most if not all in your kitchen— are used to create a fantastic, but different appetizer.—Meta West, Abilene, Kansas

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Caprese Salad KabobsTaste of Home

Caprese Salad Kabobs

Trade in the usual veggie platter for these fun kabobs. In addition to preparing these for get-togethers, I often make these as snacks for my family. And because assembly is so easy, the kids often ask to help. —Christine Mitchell, Glendora, California

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Garlic-Cheese Flat BreadTaste of Home

Garlic-Cheese Flat Bread

Unless you plan to make two, don't count on leftovers. As an appetizer or side, this cheesy flatbread will be devoured in less time than it takes to bake. And that's not long! —Suzanne Zick, Maiden, North Carolina

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Balsamic-Goat Cheese Grilled PlumsTaste of Home

Balsamic-Goat Cheese Grilled Plums

Make a bold statement with this simple yet elegant treat. Ripe plums are grilled and then dressed with a balsamic reduction and tangy goat cheese. —Ariana Abelow, Holliston, Massachusetts

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Breadstick PizzaTaste of Home

Breadstick Pizza

Not only do refrigerated breadsticks lend a fun twist to pizza, but they make this dish a weeknight staple at my house. Feeding kids? Slice pieces into small strips and let the kids dip each strip into marinara sauce. They’ll love it! —Mary Hankins, Kansas City, Missouri

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Salted Caramel & Dark Chocolate FigsTaste of Home

Salted Caramel & Dark Chocolate Figs

Here’s a special appetizer that won’t last long! Fruit, caramel and rich dark chocolate add a sweet touch to this grown-up dipped fruit. —Simple & Delicious Test Kitchen

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Pancetta-Wrapped Shrimp with Honey-Lime GlazeTaste of Home

Pancetta-Wrapped Shrimp with Honey-Lime Glaze

Requested every year by my family during the holidays are these shrimp appetizers. We're all familiar with bacon-wrapped shrimp bites, but our version uses pancetta and a honey-lime cilantro glaze. —Jenn Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California

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Herb-Roasted Olives & TomatoesTaste of Home

Herb-Roasted Olives & Tomatoes

Eat these roasted veggies with a crunchy baguette or a couple of cheeses. You can also double, or triple, the amounts and have leftovers to toss with spaghetti the next day. —Anndrea Bailey, Huntington Beach, California

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Tuscan Sausage & Bean DipTaste of Home

Tuscan Sausage & Bean Dip

This is a spinoff of a Mexican dip I had once. The original was wicked good, but since I was going through an "I’m-so-over-Mexican-dip" phase, I decided to switch it up. Take it to a party—I'll bet you no one else will bring anything like it! —Mandy Rivers, Lexington, South Carolina

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Lasagna DipTaste of Home

Lasagna Dip

My lasagna noodle chips turned out great and are out-of-this-world crispy. And the dip truly tastes like rich, cheesy Italian-American lasagna. —Linda Cifuentes, Mahomet, Illinois

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Zucchini & Cheese RouladesTaste of Home

Zucchini & Cheese Roulades

My husband enjoys this recipe so much that he even helps me roll up the roulades! You can change the filling any way you like—I have used feta instead of Parmesan or sun-dried tomatoes in the place of the olives. —April McKinney, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

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Muffuletta CheesecakeTaste of Home

Muffuletta Cheesecake

When I needed a party appetizer and couldn’t find a recipe I liked, I created my own. This savory spread boasts the flavors of a classic Italian muffuletta sandwich. —Helen Flamm, Dayton, Ohio

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Roasted Grape CrostiniTaste of Home

Roasted Grape Crostini

A trip to Spain introduced me to its culinary treasures, like Manchego cheese and sherry. This appetizer always impresses folks who’ve never tasted roasted grapes. They're amazing. —Janice Elder, Charlotte, North Carolina

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Antipasto CupsTaste of Home

Antipasto Cups

Turn salami slices into appetizer shells to fill with the veggies and cheese of your choice. —Melissa Obernesser, Utica, New York

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Marinated Almond-Stuffed OlivesTaste of Home

Marinated Almond-Stuffed Olives

Marinated stuffed olives go over so well with company that I try to keep a batch of them in the fridge at all times. —Larissa Delk, Columbia, Tennessee

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Italian Sausage BruschettaTaste of Home

Italian Sausage Bruschetta

Sometimes I garnish each slice of this bruschetta with a sprig of fresh basil. —Teresa Ralston, New Albany, Ohio

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Roasted Red Pepper TapenadeTaste of Home

Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade

When entertaining, I often rely on my pepper tapenade recipe because it takes only 15 minutes to whip up and pop in the fridge. Sometimes I swap out the almonds for walnuts or pecans. —Donna Magliaro, Denville, New Jersey

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Asiago Beef TartTaste of Home

Asiago Beef Tart

I love simple recipes that are fancy enough for guests. To get a velvety texture in this tart, I use creme fraiche, but sour cream works, too. —Veronica Callaghan, Glastonbury, Connecticut

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Heirloom Tomato Galette with PecorinoTaste of Home

Heirloom Tomato Galette with Pecorino

I found beautiful heirloom tomatoes and had to show them off. In this easy galette, the tomatoes are tangy and the crust is beyond buttery. —Jessica Chang, Playa Vista, California

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Pumpkin PinwheelsTaste of Home

Pumpkin Pinwheels

Cream cheese, mozzarella and roasted red peppers make these pumpkin-shaped pinwheels devilishly delicious. They were a hit at my last Halloween party. —Anndrea Bailey, Huntington Beach, California

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Antipasto BakeTaste of Home

Antipasto Bake

Stuffed with savory meats and cheeses, these hearty antipasto squares would satisfy an entire offensive line! The dish comes together quickly and bakes in under an hour, making it the perfect potluck bring-along. Introducing the all-stars in this ooey gooey appetizer: salami, Swiss, pepperoni, Colby-Monterey Jack, prosciutto and provolone. A crisp topping finishes it off. —Brea Barclay, Green Bay, Wisconsin

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Pancetta, Pear & Pecan PuffsTaste of Home

Pancetta, Pear & Pecan Puffs

I was recently at a wedding reception where the menu was all small bites. Here’s my rendition of the pear pastries they served. They're the perfect combo of savory and sweet. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois

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Rustic Tuscan Pepper BruschettaTaste of Home

Rustic Tuscan Pepper Bruschetta

If you love sweet red, yellow and orange peppers, pair them with fresh mint for a cold kitchen appetizer. Marinate for up to one hour before assembling. —Noelle Myers, Grand Forks, North Dakota

Rashanda Cobbins
When Rashanda’s not tasting and perfecting Taste of Home’s recipes, you’ll find this food editor sifting through our recipe collection, curating digital content or tracking the latest culinary trends. While studying for her bachelor’s degree in culinary arts, Rashanda interned in Southern Living’s test kitchen and later spent nearly a decade developing recipes and food content at ConAgra Brands. In her spare time, she loves scoping out local farmers markets and having picnics in the park.

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