5 Appetizers Using Ingredients You Already Have!

As I enter my mid-twenties, I’m starting to do something I used to never do… host actual dinner parties. Growing up, my parents would invite their adult friends to our house, stress about all the food they had to cook, talk about boring adult things with them, and then do it all over again a few weeks later.

Don’t listen to anyone that will tell you otherwise – dinner parties are the epitome of adulthood. BUT THEY DON’T HAVE TO BE BORING. I mean, they sound quite boring. But they don’t have to be!

This week, I’ve complied five different appetizers that will take you no time to whip up. Whether you’re a pro in the kitchen, or a complete beginner, these recipes will take your hosting abilities from zero to hero!


APPETIZER #1: Raspberry & Cucumber Bites


Probably the simplest appetizer of this post, these Raspberry & Cucumber bites will take you less than 5 minutes to whip up. Inspired by Martha Stuart’s Cucumber Feta Toasts, I’ve created a more accessible appetizer that’s tangy, fresh, and can be made with ingredients already in your fridge.

Here’s what you’ll need…

  • 1 large cucumber
  • 2 tbsp of tzatziki (or plain yogurt + lemon juice + dill)
  • A handful of fresh raspberries

Mix up a few raspberries into the tzatziki. Place a dollop of the raspberry tzatziki onto thickly cut cucumber slices. Garnish with 1/2 raspberry. Enjoy! While it seems simple, the sweetness of the raspberries pairs perfectly with the tangy taste of the plain yogurt in the tzatziki.

APPETIZER #2: Sweet Potato Triangles


really like these, because they work great as both an appetizer & day-to-day snack. My recipe calls for pita triangles as the base, but feel free to elevate the appetizer with an artisan cracker. But I figured most people have a bag of pitas in their pantry!

Here’s what you’ll need…

  • Pita triangles
  • 2 tbsp hummus (or mashed chick peas)
  • Cubed sweet potatoes
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Start by coating the sweet potato cubes in 1 tsp of olive oil, and bake in a 400F oven for about 10 minutes. Spread a generous amount of hummus or mashed chick peas onto pita triangles. Place 3-4 sweet potato cubes on top. Bake the triangles for another 5 minutes in the oven. Pour a few drops of balsamic vinegar onto the hot triangles. Serve immediately!

APPETIZER #3: Goat Cheese Stuffed Mini-Mushrooms


Inspired by Martha Stuarts’ recipe, I decided to break down her ingredients & make a more accessible version. These little guys are incredible, and SO easy to prepare. They’re a great appetizer before a  meal with steak or fish, or eat them all on their own with a glass of red wine!

Here’s what you’ll need…

  • Mini Cremini Mushrooms, with the stems removed
  • 3 tbsp of plain, reduced fat goat cheese
  • 1/4 of a red bell pepper, roasted
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic purée
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Start by roasting the bell pepper in a 400F oven for 15 minutes. Remove the stems from the mushrooms while your pepper is roasting. Once cooled, dice the roasted red pepper. In a bowl, mix the goat cheese with the diced red pepper, and add garlic, salt, and pepper. Stuff 1/2 tbsp of goat cheese into each mushroom. Roast in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.

APPETIZER #4Apple & Pecan Dream Bites


I call these dream bites because you’ll be dreaming of them for days after just one bite! They’re so simple to make, and will satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. They take a little longer to make, but are SO worth it!

Here’s what you’ll need…

  • 1 apple, peeled & cubed
  • Handful of chopped pecans
  • 3 tbsp of maple butter
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • Thin artisan crackers

Start by adding & stirring together your apple cubes, cinnamon, honey, and water into a small pot. Bring to a boil, then let simmer until the water is absorbed (this should take about 10 minutes). Remove the softened apple cubes & place them aside in a bowl. Spread a generous amount of maple butter onto each artisan cracker. I found a roasted pecan variety at my grocery store, but any cracker will work! Place your apple cubes on top of each maple buttered cracker, and garnish with chopped pecans. Serve warm.

APPETIZER #5: Pizza Rounds


Literally everyone likes pizza. So let’s say you have friends coming over in a half hour – make them these! BECAUSE EVERYONE LIKES PIZZA (it’s a rule, look it up).

Here’s what you’ll need…

  • Pita rounds
  • 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup of tomato sauce
  • 8-10 slices of pepperoni
  • 1/4 green bell pepper, minced

Place your pita rounds on a clean surface. Add sauce (tip: try using a marinade brush to keep things clean!). Add pepperoni. Add cheese. Add green peppers. Bake in a 400F oven for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

After thinking about it, this may have just been an excuse to make mini pizzas for lunch… 🙂

As always, I encourage you to try these recipes out! If you do, make sure to snap a pic & tag @mikerizzi on social media. Happy appetiz-ing.

– MR

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