My Top 5 Appetizers for Entertaining

I love appetizers! I am the kind of person that will go out to eat and order one or two appetizers in place of a meal. There’s just something so great about food that you can eat with your fingers and that usually involves dipping. To me, that’s the ultimate meal!

For most of our date nights at home, I’ll make an appetizer for my husband and me to snack while we watch a movie. So, my list of favorite appetizer recipes is pretty long and always growing. Some of our appetizers are a little more messy than most, or they require silverware, which makes them pretty much anti-entertaining friendly. At least in my book.

But, here are my top 5 favorite appetizers to make when entertaining.

1. RAMAKI (also spelled RUMAKI, depending on where you look)

  • 1 can whole water chestnuts (about 24)
  • 8 slices bacon, cut into thirds
  • 1 1/2 c. barbeque sauce

1. Soak about 30 toothpicks in a bowl of water for at least one hour. You will only need 24, but it is a good idea to have some extras on hand just in case some break in the process.

2. Wrap one section of bacon around each whole water chestnut and secure with a toothpick. Place in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until bacon has reached desired crispiness.

3. Place cooked bacon-wrapped water chestnuts in a small oven-proof dish. Cover with barbeque sauce and stir to cover. Return to oven for 15 minutes.

2. Cream Cheese Wontons

  • 1 8oz. block cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1 pkg. wonton wrappers
  • Oil for frying

1. Blend the cream cheese,  green onions, salt and garlic powder together.2. Heat 1″ of oil in a deep-sided skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat.

3. Add about 1 T. of filling in the center of each wrapper. Dip your finger in cold water, rub around the edges of wonton wrapper to moisten and seal.

4. Cook between 4-6 at a time, depending on the size of your pan. Cook on one side until lightly browned, flip and brown the other side. (Sorry I don’t have exact times for these. I always just wing it until they look right, and turn down the heat if they start browning too quickly.)

5. Drain on a towel and keep warm in the oven.

3. Stuffed Artichoke


  • 1 large artichoke
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • 1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 T. each salt, garlic powder, Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 t. black pepper
  • 1/4 c. olive oil

1. Cut artichoke stem so that it stands flat. Trim the pointy tips off of all the leaves. Place in a medium saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until artichoke is tender. To test the tenderness, stick a butter knife or the tines of fork into the stem. If it slides in easily, the artichoke is done.


2. While the artichoke cooks, combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl.

3. Carefully remove the center bundle of leaves from the artichoke and scoop out the choke with a spoon. Using a teaspoon or your fingers, stuff some filling in between all of the leaves. If there is any extra filling, put it in the center of the artichoke. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until the filling is golden brown.


4. Serve with melted butter and/or marinara sauce for dipping.

4. Tempura Fried Green Beans


  • 1 lb. fresh green beans
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 – 1 c. water
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 2 t. salt
  • 1 t. Chinese 5 spice powder, optional
  • Oil for frying

1. Trim and wash the green beans. Dry thoroughly with a towel.


2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, egg and 1/2 c. water. Add more water as needed so that the batter is smooth but still thick and not runny. Stir in sugar, salt and optional 5 spice powder. Add the green beans to the batter and stir to coat.


3. In a large skillet, heat about 1 1/2 inches oil over medium heat until hot. Add a few handful of beans to the oil at a time. Cook in the oil until lightly browned and crisped. Drain on paper towel.

5. Baked Green Olive Cheese Puffs


  • 1 1/4 c. finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 1/2 T. butter or margarine
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 t. cumin
  • 1/8 t. cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1 small jar of green olives (you’ll need about 25 – 30)

1. Combine cheese and butter or margarine until smooth. (I find it’s easiest to do this with my hands, although if you have a food processor, that would probably work just as well without being messy.) Work in flour and spices.


2. Using a teaspoon of dough, flatten and wrap completely around one olive. (Again, I just do this in my hand.) Repeat until done. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, until golden.

Don’t forget to stop in at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam where Jen is hosting the appetizer portion of our Bloggy Progressive Dinner.

Also stop by Blessed With Grace for Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.