22 Make-Ahead Hors d’Oeuvres for Stress-Free Entertaining
Make-ahead hors d’oeuvres not only help you plan, strategize, and work in advance, they let you really enjoy the event you’ve worked so hard to bring together. Here, we assembled our own easy hors d’oeuvres and appetizer recipes so you can pick and choose what fits your palate and preferences. We also offer up hors d’oeuvres ideas centered around very specific entertaining dilemmas, from no time to decorate to avoiding doing a lot of dishes. This list of delicious hors d’oeuvres offers a great variety of recipes so you can pick and choose exactly what you want and need.
Add a Surprising Twist to a Familiar Favorite
Gooey grilled cheese is refreshed with a dollop of fruit chutney.
Get the recipe: Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches With Chutney
Update a Stalwart
Crostini, a cocktail-party classic, gets an upgrade with fennel slaw.
Get the recipe: Prosciutto Crostini with Lemony Fennel Slaw
Skip Last-Minute Fussing
Ridiculously addictive stuffed pockets can go from oven to serving platter, with no additional prep needed.
Get the recipe: Spiced Beef Empanadas With Lime Sour Cream
Keep these seasoned chicken strips warm in the oven until you’re ready to serve.
Get the recipe: Peanut Chicken Skewers With Chili Mayonnaise
Use Shortcut Ingredients
A tasty nibble made with precooked shrimp proves that fancy hors d’oeuvres do not necessarily require fancy footwork.
Get the recipe: Mango Shrimp in Endive Leaves
Thick-cut potato chips make complex, flavorful bites fast.
Get the recipe: Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Crisps With Radicchio
And talk about convenient―apricots swathed in bacon can be assembled days in advance, then cooked straight from the freezer.
Get the recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Apricots With Sage
Minimize Dirty Pots and Pans
This luscious, oozy treat, seasoned generously with fragrant garlic and thyme, is baked right in the box it came in.
Get the recipe: Baked Camembert With Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Make These If You’re Short on Time
Look Like a Pro
Here, frozen puff pastry dough is spread with tangy crème fraîche and topped with a sweet and savory mix of onions and apples.
Get the recipe: Caramelized Onion Tarts With Apples
Pick Things That Get Better With Time
You can cook this nut mix up to a week in advance and keep it from-the-oven fresh in an airtight container stored at room temperature.
Get the recipe: Rosemary Pecans
Some spreads actually taste better when they’ve had a few days to sit and “meld.”
Get the recipe: Goat Cheese Spread
Mushrooms are little sponges and soak up all the great flavors of a marinade when made in advance for an easy hors d'oeuvres recipe.
Get the recipe: Marinated Mushrooms
Let the Oven Do the Work
Aside from stirring in cheese, herbs, and a few other ingredients, the magic of this dip happens in the oven, when eggplant roasts to tender and silky.
Get the recipe: Creamy Eggplant and Feta Dip
Roasting garlic takes time, but it adds an intense sweetness to any basic creamy dip.
Get the recipe: Roasted Garlic and Scallion Dip
Let the Sauce Shine
For an easy make-ahead hors d'oeuvres, thaw a few pounds of cooked peeled and deveined shrimp and partner the crowd-pleasing seafood bites with a stand-out cocktail sauce that can be made earlier in the day.
Get the recipe: Shrimp With Spiced Cocktail Sauce
Make Party Staples More Impressive
A quick roll in a combination of chopped nuts and dried fruit elevates a basic goat cheese to a special treat—and can be done two days in advance.
Get the recipe: Goat Cheese With Pistachios and Cranberries
Fruit and cheese trays can be cooked and assembled in advance—and on a skewer for a playful twist.
Get the recipe: Pluot and Cheese Skewers
Capitalize on Room-Temp Serving
Not everything needs to be served hot or cold to be delicious. Room-temp hors d’oeuvres that are baked in advance make the last-minute rush to assemble a non-factor.
Get the recipe: Eggplant, Feta, and Lemon Tart
Bake and Build Later
Make the savory buckwheat pancakes and cheese mixture a day in advance. Then all you have to do before serving is spread the cheese and drizzle with honey.
Get the recipe: Blini Bites With Blue Cheese and Honey
Toast baguette slices in advance and store. Slice cheese. Then top each bread round with the two high-power ingredients as guests arrive.
Get the recipe: Blue Cheese and Fig Crostini