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Our Favorite Summertime Party Appetizers

Skip fussing over fancy appetizers. These summer-ready snacks can be prepped in advance, tossed on the grill, or whipped up as guests are walking in the door. You'll be able to enjoy the party and your guests will be well-fed before the main meal—it's a win-win!

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Grilled Mushroom Kabobs

Earthy grilled mushrooms taste like flame-kissed goodness. The balsamic vinegar adds just enough tanginess to the savory side. —Melissa Hoddinott, Sherwood Park, Alberta
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Fried Chicken and Pulled Pork Cornbread Poppers

These fun little apps are an instant conversation starter wherever they're served. We love them on game day, but they'd be a hit at brunch, too. —Crystal Schlueter, Babbitt, Minnesota
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Grilled Guacamole

If you’re a guacamole lover, try this fun grilled version that has a smoky flavor. The veggies tend to darken a bit when heated, so stir it gently to prevent further discoloration. —Lindsay Sprunk, Noblesville, Indiana
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Smoked Pimiento Cheese Crostini

Pimiento cheese has long been a favorite in our family, so these bite-sized appetizers are a treat! I add Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce to give them a little kick. Caramelized onions create another layer of flavor. You can make the cheese and onions three to five days in advance; they store well. If you need to save time, you can use premade jalapeno pimiento cheese. —Caitlyn Bunch, Trenton, Georgia
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Hot Dog Sliders with Mango-Pineapple Salsa

For parties, we shrink lots of foods to slider size, including these quick hot dogs. Pile on the easy but irresistible fruit salsa for a burst of fresh flavor. —Carole Resnick, Cleveland, Ohio
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Sweet Sriracha Wings

Serve my fiery hot wings on game day or any time friends and family gather. If you don’t like a ton of sweetness, add the honey slowly and taste as you go. —Logan Holser, Clarkston, Michigan
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Buffalo Chicken Deviled Eggs

My daughter Sara loves spicy Buffalo chicken and deviled eggs, so I combined the two. Make and chill a day ahead so the flavors mingle. —Robin Spires, Tampa, Florida
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Southwest Hummus Dip

Not your ordinary hummus, this dip is a combination of two things I love—chick peas and Southwestern flavors. You can substitute 3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed, for the grilled corn. —Cheray Buckalew, Cumberland, Maryland
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Bruschetta Melts

I made this awesome bruschetta for my daughter’s baby shower, but I should've planned for more. We ran out right away! —Coleen McCrea Katz, Havertown, Pennsylvania
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Italian Sausage and Provolone Skewers

My husband made sausage and veggie kabobs when we didn't have buns to make classic sausage bombers. Grill ‘em up, then add cheese cubes. —Cindy Hilliard, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Grilled Cheese & Tomato Flatbreads

This is a combination of grilled pizza and a cheesy flatbread recipe I discovered years ago. It's a great appetizer or main dish. —Tina Repak Mirilovich, Johnstown, Pennsylvania
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Grilled Pineapple with Lime Dip

Serve this dish as an appetizer or a dessert—the choice is yours! If desired, the pineapple spears can be rolled in flaked coconut before grilling. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Roasted Vegetable Dip

While my children were always very willing eaters, I came up with this recipe to get them to eat more veggies and enjoy it. The dip doesn't last long in our house. —Sarah Vasques, Milford, New Hampshire
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Lemony Shrimp & Tomatoes

I created this recipe for my family because they love grilled shrimp. I love it because it's quick, delicious and good for us. —Lisa Speer, Palm Beach, Florida
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Grilled Potato Skins

It's easy to love these delicious appetizers. They're nice to serve outside when you invite friends over for a grilled meal. They remind me of the potato skins I have had in restaurants—only better! —Mitzi Sentiff, Annapolis, Maryland
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Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This recipe is so flavorful and fresh tasting. The teachers and staff at my school love it because it's fun to put together. —Laureen Pittman, Riverside, California
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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
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Cucumber-Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Besides being tasty, these little tomato poppers are extra awesome because you can make them ahead of time. At parties, I often triple the recipe because they disappear fast. —Christi Martin, Elko, Nevada
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Maryland Corn Pops

Fresh-picked sweet corn is a big thing in Maryland. Here’s my homespun version of Mexican street corn that brings in local bay flavors. —Kristie Schley, Severna Park, Maryland
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Sweet Chipotle Pretzels

Pretzels are a great snack food. I love this recipe because it is sweet as well as spicy, but not too spicy. It's a great combination for munching. —Geraldine Saucier, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Cola Hot Wings

These delectable wings are so easy to make, and they offer year-round versatility, from summer cookouts to autumn tailgates. My husband likes them so much he'll stand out in the snow to grill them! —Lisa Linville, Randolph, Nebraska
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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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Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls

One of my favorite slow-cooker recipes is this impressive buffalo chicken egg rolls appetizer. You can wrap the filling in egg roll wrappers and bake, or, for a bite-size version, use smaller wonton wraps. —Tara Odegaard, Omaha, Nebraska
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Teriyaki Shish Kabobs

When I was a teenager, my father worked for an airline, and my family lived on the island of Guam in the South Pacific. A friend of my mother gave her this tangy-sweet recipe, and we enjoyed it often. Now I make it for my family, and they're big fans as well. —Suzanne Pelegrin, Ocala, Florida
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Grilled Nectarine & Cheese Crostini

At our house, we love the summer tastes of sweet grilled nectarines and fresh basil over goat cheese. I can usually find all the ingredients at the farmers market. —Brandy Hollingshead, Grass Valley, California
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Layered Salsa Bean Dip

If you need a quick appetizer, look no further. This is my go-to for any type of party. —Charlotte Kennedy, Galena, Illinois
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Grilled Fig and Honey Pizza

I had figs I needed to use up, so I made a batch of dough, tossed the figs on the grill and created a scrumptious dessert pizza. —Aaron Reynolds, Fox River Grove, Illinois
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Spicy Lemon Chicken Kabobs

When I see Meyer lemons in the store, it must be spring. I like using them for these easy chicken kabobs, but regular grilled lemons still add the signature smoky tang. —Terri Crandall, Gardnerville, Nevada
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Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

Flaky salmon and creamy sauce go so well over hard-boiled eggs. Drizzle the sauce or serve it on the side; it's great either way. —Marinela Dragan, Portland, Oregon
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Strawberry Corn Salsa

This recipe makes art in a bowl! All the colors of summer are captured in this salsa with a fresh, light flavor perfect for snacking between swims or to kick off a backyard barbecue. This can be served with chips or alone as a side dish. —Catherine Goza, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Blue Cheese & Bacon Stuffed Peppers

Whenever I put out a plate of these cute little appetizers, people come flocking. Good thing there are lots of peppers in each bag. —Tara Cruz, Kersey, Colorado
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Rosemary Walnuts

My Aunt Mary started making this recipe years ago. Each time we visited, she would have a batch ready for us. The use of cayenne adds an unexpected zing to the savory combo of rosemary and walnuts. When you need a good housewarming or hostess gift, double the batch and save half for yourself. —Renee Ciancio, New Bern, North Carolina
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Vegetable Beef Kabobs

This is a main dish that makes good use of our delicious Kansas beef. I like to grill outdoors, so this dish is especially popular in our home. —Mynie Lou Griffith, Hutchinson, Kansas
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Blue Cheese-Stuffed Strawberries

I was enjoying a salad with strawberries and blue cheese when the idea hit me to stuff the strawberries and serve them as an appetizer. It worked out great, and the flavors blend so nicely. —Diane Nemitz, Ludington, Michigan
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Apple Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

Apple Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

Both my husband and I were raised on farms, and we prefer home cooking to eating out. That works out fine since I love trying new recipes! I've served this apple salsa as an appetizer and a snack. Plus, it's sweet enough to be a dessert. It's easy to transport besides. —Carolyn Brinkmeyer, Golden, Colorado
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Mini Shrimp & Sweet Potato Kabobs

Roasted sweet potatoes and marinated shrimp combine for a delicious party starter—especially when you thread them onto skewers and pop them on the grill!—Paul Wargaski, Chicago, Illinois
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Zesty Salsa Verde

Last year was the first time I had ever grown tomatillos. They were so abundant that I had enough to eat fresh, give away and freeze for future gatherings. What I didn't expect was how well the salsa would freeze. I do like to add an extra zip by juicing a fresh lime into the salsa after it has thawed. —Kim Banick, Salem, Oregon
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Classic Hummus

We love hummus, and this version is really amazing. If you have a pressure cooker, this is an easy, tasty reason to pull it out! We pair hummus with fresh veggies for a meal or snack. —Monica and David Eichler, Lawrence, Kansas
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Honey-Glazed Chicken Kabobs

This is one of my husband’s favorite meals. I serve it with rice pilaf, salad and grilled garlic bread. —Tracey Miller, Aiken, South Carolina
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Spicy Chunky Salsa

Vinegar adds a refreshing tang to this sweet tomato salsa. It's wonderful as is, but for more heat, leave in some hot pepper seeds. —Donna Goutermont, Sequim, Washington
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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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Grilled Leek Dip

Smoky leeks from the grill add punch to this creamy appetizer with veggies and chips. If baby Vidalia onions are available, I use those. —Ramona Parris, Acworth, Georgia
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Zesty Marinated Shrimp

These easy shrimp look impressive on a buffet table and taste even better! The zesty sauce has a wonderful spicy citrus flavor. I especially like this recipe because I can prepare it ahead of time. —Mary Jane Guest, Alamosa, Colorado
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Fontina Asparagus Tart

This lemony tart is loaded with fontina cheese and fresh asparagus. It's a snap to make but looks really impressive. Be advised…your guests will be vying for the last tasty slice. —Heidi Meek, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Crunchy Vegetable Dip

I love to try new recipes, and this one was a big hit with my family. It's great as an appetizer or for a light lunch. —Dottie Miller, Jonesborough, Tennessee

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.

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