Easy Appetizer Recipes... Really?
Yes, there are such recipes... we like easy and really delicious!
Enjoying appetizers, usually supplied by everyone, is something we always look forward to at the start of the picnic.
The oohs and ahhs....
"oh, I have forgotten that one", or "that's a new one"... or, "can I have the recipe"?
Like this appetizer recipe for artichoke dip a friend brought to our last picnic... ooh so good!

A very delicious artichoke dip

Find a good selection of our easy appetizer recipes here...

They are wonderful to have with drinks from the wine basket while you set up lunch.

Have them near the top of the packing, ready for a great start.

Just sip and nibble and begin to relax...

But before that...

If you find you really are pushed for time, then something from my really simple appetizers list is quicker and easier.

We often use them for a last minute picnic... or just to add to any of these easy appetizer recipes we have made.

Mix them up, combine everything on a platter... sit them on  a few scattered fig, or vine leaves. 

Here are some of our favorite easy appetizer recipes... including those from friends and family.

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A lovely platter of picnic appetizers...cheese straws, nuts, pesto made from our recipe. Savory biscuits, chips...

A great spread of easy appetizers

Sometimes you can have a great picnic with just easy appetizers!

Add mixed crusty bread... including a French baguette...

a bunch of tangy rocket... as a table decoration you can eat!

Add a tasty cheese and big bowls of very delicious, tasty, easy appetizers you have made... Yum!

Just scroll down for these recipes...   Combine with easy appetizers.

A large platter of picnic appetizers

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So, easy appetizer recipes... to get you started... avocado with crunchy walnuts and chunky hummus.

Two very simple recipes, both healthy and very delicious.

You will find your friends will ask for the recipes!

Two of our favorite easy appetizer recipes....

Easy appetizer recipes with bowls of homemade hummus and avocado dip.

Bowl of avocado and crunchy walnuts… and a bowl of chunky hummus.

The first of the  easy appetizer recipes...

Bowl of Avocado, Crunchy Walnut and Feta.

Bowl of Avocado, Crunchy Walnut and Feta... to make a dip.

You will need...

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • Juice of 1-2 lemons
  • 2 large hands of Basil and parsley combined and chopped... if you don't like basil, use rocket, or all parsley
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts... dry toast in a saucepan for a couple of minutes, for a crunch... leave chunky. Watch they don't  burn.
  • 60gm feta roughly crumbled...not too fine
  • Approx 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes... adjust to taste... can be less

     To put this easy appetizer recipe together...

  • Scoop avocados out with a teaspoon
  • Mash with a potato masher or fork. I like it a bit textural with a few small lumps but if you like it smooth keep mashing.
  • Stir in lemons... mix really well... helps stop the avocado browning and adds a delicious tang.
  • Add all other ingredients... mix well... except walnuts and Feta
  • Stir in walnuts and Feta at end, fold in gently
  • Drizzle extra olive oil over and place a sprig of basil or parsley on top if you have it.

For the next of the easy appetizer recipes...

Bowl of Chunky Hummus

   This is enough to to take to a picnic and to leave a pot home for later... you will be glad you did!

Ingredients to make bowl of Chunky Hummus

Combine in food processor, or food blender...

  • 2x 400gm tins of chickpeas.... drained and well rinsed
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 8 teaspoons of Tahini
  • 12 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • 4 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground Cumin
  • Good pinch or two of salt
  • one teaspoon of Paprika
  • 6 tablespoons of water... adjust if looking a bit dry, or too moist
  • Pulse in food processor. I like it a bit chunky, but if you like a smooth Hummus, keep blending until it reaches the stage you like it.
  • An extra drizzle of olive oil and a teaspoon of Paprika...  to sprinkle across top when finished.

Then prepare something more from the recipes below, fun to do...

you'll find them really tasty and impressive to share with friends...
really tasty and delicious!

A bowl of Artisan olives, will go well with these simple easy appetizer recipes.

A large platter of appetizers... with smoked salmon, pate, olives and much more.

Enjoy putting these delicious recipes together... they will fly off the plate!
So, let's make a platter from these easy appetizer recipes.

 But first of all... a couple of basic, easy recipes to set you up.

These easy appetizer recipes do involve a little bit of preparation.

But really they're not complicated and will make great bases and add flavor to so many other recipes.                                                                                             

  • Croutons
  • Pesto... basil, or rocket.

Use them to go with these great easy appetizer recipes.

They are also very handy to have when making salads... even lunch ideas too.

Simple Croutons

Simple Croutons in a blue bowl

Really they are pretty simple to make and you will be so pleased. Make big croutons, or small, or long, depending on what you are needing them for.

If this is too much of a fiddle when cooking the picnic recipes then just buy a packet, sometimes when you're in a hurry it's best.

What you need and what to do...

  • French bread stick sliced fairly thin... or pita bread, or sliced bread (not fresh and soft), cut into whichever shape you want.
  • Melt 60gm(2oz) of butter and mix with 1 table spoon of olive oil. More for larger amounts.
  • Brush this onto bread... or toss all together in a bowl
  • Bake in moderate/hot oven for about 5 min, or until golden and crisp.

           Yay, its done, so easy!

Pesto… Basil or Rocket

Pesto ingredients ready to blitz.


  • 2 cups tightly packed with fresh basil, or rocket… or half and half of each
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, or walnuts
  • 5-6 tablespoons olive oil


  • Place basil, or rocket, garlic and nuts in blender. Pulse blender few times
  • Add cheese and continue to blend with olive oil pouring in slowly.
  • If you like a chunky pesto, don’t pulse, or blend, as long.

You will have a great tasty pesto which you can use as a dip with croutons.


Other suggestions for Pesto…

  • Chop fresh vegetables sticks and dip into pesto at your picnic.
  • Also, a dessertspoon mixed into a 1/2 cup of olive oil, or French dressing, can make a yummy salad dressing…
  • add more pesto for an even tastier dressing... just adjust to your taste.
  • Try covering chicken or fish with pesto and cook for extra special flavor!

Smoked Salmon

Here are some of the appetizer recipes which our family and friends find most popular.

There are so many things… yummy things… you can do with smoked salmon as an appetizer, or main course.

Please make sure these smoked salmon easy appetizers are kept cool.

Salmon on French Stick Slices, or in pastry cases… an old favorite from our picnic recipes.

Smoked salmon and cream cheese on slices of French stick.

Note the milder tasting, large caper berries, too... don't they look great!

To make smoked salmon canapes


  • A small French stick... or a packet of pastry cases... or thick brown bread cut into rounds
  • 250 gm (8oz) spreadable cream cheese
  • Prepared horseradish... approx 1 tablespoon… or more to taste
  • Packet sliced smoked salmon
  • Thinly sliced red onion rings
  • Caper berries
  • Finely sliced lemon cut into little triangles
  • To put together

  • Cut the French stick into rounds... or spread out the little pastry cases, or brown bread
  • Mix horseradish into cream cheese with a fork... Spread on base quite generously
  • Finely sliced lemon cut into little triangles pushed into the cream so they don't fall off.
  • Small slices of smoked salmon are placed on this… just as they come from the packet and with a little upward twist so they look appetizing… or flat if you prefer.
  • Top with an onion ring and a caper berry. If you have access to large capers with stems still on, they have quite a delicate flavor and look more exotic.
  • Finish with cracked pepper.
  • Makes about 10 pieces.

    Smoked Salmon Wraps...  and pesto, on this platter of easy appetizer recipes...
    Perhaps for a special occasion.

    Smoked Salmon Wraps...  and pesto, on this platter of easy appetizer recipes

    Smoked Salmon, stuffed, then tied up with a long chive!

    You should try this picnic recipe... smoked salmon wrapped around this filling... a really impressive looking appetizer recipe.

    For one

  • A teaspoon of cream cheese... just add a little horseradish to taste
  • Small wedge of finely sliced lemon
  • Thin slice of dill cucumber
  • Cut sliced smoked salmon into a long rectangular shape to carefully and gently, wrap around the filling
  • Tie together with a long blanched chive

  •    To blanch chives

    • Pour boiling water into a bowl or deep jug.
    • Dip chives into this for a few seconds.
    • Rinse under cold tap immediately. This makes them pliable for tying.                                                                                                            

       They look so good. Impress everyone!

    Smoked salmon and avocado go together very well too, for appetizer recipes.

    Just use avocado chunks instead of dill cucumbers and less cream cheese.

    Tie it with a blanched chive, or use a tooth pick.

      Top Tips...

    Dill and chives also go well with smoked salmon and you can add a little sprig in with the ingredients in these picnic recipes… or sprinkle chopped chives, or dill, over them.

    Make sure you squeeze lemon over avocado slices to stop oxidation and browning. This adds a lovely tang to the flavor too.

      Basil, Bocconcini Cheese and Cherry Tomato for the Picnic Recipes

    Basil, Bocconcini Cheese and Cherry Tomato for the Picnic Recipes.

    This is so easy and looks and tastes great, so do try it for one of your appetizer recipes.

    They also go well with a bowl of pesto, just drizzle a small amount over them.

    Basil, Bocconcini Cheese and Cherry Tomato for put together for the Picnic Recipes


    Pot of Bocconcini… those small mild cheese balls in brine... mozzarella cheese balls made from Buffalo milk.

    Cherry tomatoes… similar number and size as Bocconcini... can be the varied colors of Heritage tomatoes, if you have them.

    Bunch of fresh basil.

    Extra virgin olive oil... mixed with pesto preferably.


    • Cut small Bocconcini in halves
    • Cut cherry tomatoes of similar size, also in halves
    • Place a small fresh basil leaf… or part of if they are too big (or fold over)... between the cheese and tomato and hold together with a toothpick.
    • Make sure toothpicks are long enough, or they will fall apart.
    • I often use a skewer and cut them to size after putting cheese and tomatoes on.
    • Leave enough skewer length beyond the ingredients, to hold these picks.
    • They should be a good bite size with basil leaf showing out between the two.
    • Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over these just as they are served... or olive oil and pesto... yum!

    Try this Tasty Olive Dip from the easy appetizer recipes.


  • 1/2 red onion
  • ½ cup fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • Approximately 2 teaspoons of capers
  • 6 pitted green or black olives
  • Method

  • Chop the ingredients fairly finely, separately... and then combine in a bowl... or blitz quickly in a food processor making sure you don't over do it. Just blitz for a few seconds only!
  • Combine ¼ cup of good olive oil and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and pour over chopped ingredients and mix carefully.
  • You can make this the day before… cover and store in fridge.
  • This dip goes well with French bread, crackers, pita bread or croutons or  dipping vegetable sticks for picnic recipes.

    Also a drizzle in your salad dressing.... yum!

    Puff Pastry Squares

    Puff pastry squares for appetizers

    This is another of the easy appetizer recipes to add to the picnic recipes, simple but tasty… even very edible on their own... in fact it's hard not to just eat them before filling them.

    Ingredients and Method

    Purchase a good brand of puff pastry and cut into little 2”-3” rectangles or squares… easy to handle size.

    Follow instructions for cooking… but because they are such a small size they will only take a few minutes to cook... watch oven!

    Just let them go a golden color and take one out and taste to see if it is cooked... not raw in the middle.

    Split the pastry bits and fill with…

     Caviar Filling Mix ingredients together…

    • 250 gm (8oz) cream cheese
    • 2 tablespoons thick cream
    • 2 tablespoons sour cream
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 4 tablespoons red or black caviar

    Or… Horseradish and pastrami filling

    Mix ingredients together…

    • 250 gm ( 8oz ) cream cheese
    • 1/4 pint thick cream
    • 2 tablespoons sour cream
    • 3 teaspoons Horseradish cream
    • 6 slices Pastrami, chopped
    • 2 small gherkins, or dill cucumbers, chopped

    When taking these pastries to a picnic, you will find it best to cook them at home… but put the filling in just before eating... or let people fill their own.

    This easy appetizer recipe you can have hot, or cold, but obviously easier cold when you are picnicking.

    Another of the really yum picnic recipes.

     Lu Lu’s Bread Dip

    This recipe from my sister, is another to add to the easy appetizer recipes… great for hungry picnickers. I have doubled this picnic recipe if a crowd of people was expected at the picnic.


    • 1 Large round loaf of bread
    • 250gm Philadelphia cheese (1 packet)
    • 6 slices ham… chopped into small pieces
    • 1 Clove crushed garlic
    • 6 Spring onions chopped finely
    • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
    • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice… more to taste
    • Salt and pepper

    To put together

    • Cut “lid” off bread and tear inner soft bread into bite size pieces… put to one side
    • Leave bread crust/shell whole... like a bowl
    • Mix all other ingredients together and then put into bread shell
    • Put “lid” back on bread and wrap bread in foil
    • Warm in oven 150⁰C (300⁰ F ) for 1hour 10 minutes
    • For the last 20 min take foil off bread and also put soft bread bits in oven to toast. If you just peel foil back, leaving the bread to sit on it, will help if you want to carry it in foil... just wrap back when cooked.

    These crunchy bits are dipped into the bread bowl… Delicious! We like this picnic recipe either warm or cold.

    Avocado Dip


  • 2 ripe avocados
  • A good squeeze of lemon
  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Chili sauce (optional) to taste, or a few sprinkles of dried chili... gives a bite.
  • Method

  • Cut avocado in half lengthwise and remove stone
  • Crush with a fork into creamy chunky bits
  • Add lemon juice
  • Roughly chop tomato and onion… fairly fine
  • Crush garlic
  • Combine avocado with roughly chopped tomato and onion and garlic and chili
  • This dip is tasty with just these ingredients, but is also tasty with… lime juice added, instead of lemon juice.

    Serve these appetizer recipes with corn chips, or croutons, or pastry squares.

    TOP TIPS...

    To remove avocado flesh from the shell...

    • Cut the avocado in half and hold one half in the palm of your hand.
    • With your other hand, scoop out all the flesh with a dessert spoon, or teaspoon. Just keep as close as possible to the skin and it will pop out easily.
    • Check the outside of the flesh for any brown bits... they taste awful if left... just dig them out.
    • The seed will pop out easily too. Repeat with the other half unless you are saving it to use later.
    • If leaving for later, leave the seed in with the flesh and squeeze lemon juice on, to prevent oxidation and browning and cover the flesh tightly with a bio-degradable plastic wrap.

    Easy picnic artichoke dip

    Jo's delicious Artichoke Dip.

    You will need...

    2 tins of artichoke hearts

    1 cup whole egg mayonnaise

    2 teaspoons onion flakes

    3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

    To Make...

    • Squeeze juice from artichokes and chop
    • Mix all ingredients together and spread in a small shallow dish
    • Sprinkle with extra Parmesan
    • Bake 180 for 15 min

    Grab a crunchy bit of French stick, or a savory biscuit... spread with dip... ENJOY!

    Nance’s Cheese Toasties

    Nance's cheese toasties for a picnic

    This is an old family favorite from my Mother’s easy appetizer recipes... always popular with our picnic recipes.

    And was always requested by the family, for birthday gatherings too.

    For a spicier cheese toasties, try adding horseradish, or pesto, or even hummus.

    Crusts can be cut off, or left on. We like them left on, but they are equally tasty with the crusts off.

    Nance's cheese toasties for a picnic


  • 9 slices of bread
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups tasty cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Few drop Tabasco sauce
  • Pepper and salt
  • Pinch mustard powder... or ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard cream
  • 4-5 chopped rashers of bacon
  • Pinch Paprika
  • Method

  • Cut crusts off (optional) and butter bread (I usually only butter the side not having the topping)
  • Cut rind and excess fat from bacon and chop into small pieces
  • Beat eggs
  • Put bacon and Paprika to one side
  • Combine all other ingredients into egg mixture
  • Mix together until thick and creamy
  • Spread on the bread slices
  • Sprinkle chopped bacon on top
  • Sprinkle with a little paprika
  • Cook in oven 150°-160°C ( 300°-325° F ) on metal trays, until brown, approx 10-15 mins

    Simple appetizers for a picnic.

    Now you have the beginning of a good selection of easy appetizer recipes.

    This should help you when planning your picnic.

    They are easy appetizer recipes you can use any time.

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