With these summer appetizers, I’m about to show you right now; you don’t have to worry about losing your appetite because of the heat anymore. Regardless of the ingredients they’re made of; these recipes below can totally blow your mind with their freshness.
So if you are going to throw a big dinner in the summer to celebrate with your family and friends, you should not miss these starter ideas. Of course, everyone has their own preferences. That’s why I have divided my list into different categories based on these dishes’ main ingredients.
By this way, you can easily work up a menu satisfying anyone. So check it out now!
Have You Ever Made One Of These Summer Appetizers?
Since they’re all summer appetizers, these dishes only take less than an hour to make as no one wants to stay long in the kitchen on hot days, right? And most of them are still tasty when served at room temperature.
Fruit And Vegetable Dishes
- Watermelon Cups
- Watermelon Salsa
- Thai Green Mango Salad
- Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad)
- Guacamole (Avocado Dip)
- Gazpacho (Spanish Cold Tomato Soup)
- Fried Green Tomatoes
- Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper Dip)
- Jalapeno Poppers
- Fried Okra
- Zucchini Pizza Bites
- Potato Chips
- Crudite Platter
- Heirloom Tomato Tart
- Pimento Cheese
- Cheese Ball
- Chicken Flautas
- Buffalo Chicken Wings
- Deviled Eggs
- Coconut Shrimp
- Shrimp Campechana (Mexican Shrimp Cocktail)
- Mini Lobster Rolls
- Fried Oysters
- Crab Cakes
- Peruvian Ceviche
- Fried Calamari
- Garlic Knots
- Tortellini Skewers
- Orzo Pasta Salad
- Dahi Puri
More knowledge about each dish is waiting for you, so scroll down now!
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Summer Appetizers Are Fresher Than Ever With Fruits And Vegetables
When it comes to summer dishes, mostly everyone will look for something refreshing. And to me, on that aspect, nothing can beat these appetizers with fruits and vegetables!
Summer Meals Can’t Begin Without These Fruit Recipes!
Summer is the season for so many fruits: watermelon, mango, avocado, etc. But aside from turning them into some desserts, they can become outstanding appetizers with their flavor and texture as well.
It’s a whole summer in one bite! Nothing represents summer better than watermelon with its sweetness and juiciness. If you worry about whether watermelon can get spoiled if left alone for too long, these juicy cups will be a fantastic way to use up all your unfinished watermelon.
However, most people think of this fruit as a dessert while it’s still perfect as an appetizer for your summer party. More than that, it is an ideal fruit to create many refreshing side dishes to serve in summer meals. Whatever ways you choose to serve it, they are all special.
In this watermelon cup recipe, your seedless watermelon pieces will be topped with various ingredients from fruits, herbs to cheese and other spices. All the flavors will explode right when you pop them in your mouth.
If you grow bored of those traditional salsa with tomatoes, here is a summer twist on this overfamiliar sauce: Replace tomatoes with diced watermelon. This fruit isn’t only juicier and sweeter than the former choice, but it also represents summer.
Also, after you take out all the watermelon flesh, keep the remaining and turn it into a bowl for your salsa. Some extra garnishments can bring more appeal to your dish, right?
You’ll love this colorful watermelon salsa! Let’s see this video:
If you ask me what my favorite Thai appetizer is, this one is my answer. Some say Asian cuisine can change everything into a beautiful dish, even if it used to go unnoticed by numerous people, like green mangoes. They’re sour, they’re hard, nothing about them is like my favorite sweet ripe mangoes.
But with this salad, all of these unpleasant traits become its pluses. Combined with other ingredients, the tartness from green mangoes gets reduced, and their sweetness is much clearer. Also, their crunchiness makes a good feeling when eating.
Also known as corn in a cup, this well-loved street food will surely heat up your meal with its Mexican flavor. The reason for its strange other name is because it’s often served in a cup so people can enjoy it while walking without dirtying their hands.
If you have heard of Elote (Mexican street corn), Esquites is the identical twin with the only difference that it isn’t on the cob. This corn appetizer is often sauteed in butter before being seasoned with lime juice, chili powder for all kinds of flavors.
Originating from Mexico, this avocado-based dip is indispensable food in this country. It is also a perfect way to start authentic Mexican meals. Guacamole has become famous throughout America and other countries thanks to its fresh and rich flavor with the bright green color.
The secret to guacamole’s taste and appearance lies in how you choose your avocado. Make sure you choose ripe ones without any dark spots. But if you can’t find anything appropriate, you can pick a hard avocado and wait for it to mature at home.
This is what I call perfect guacamole! Let’s make Guacamole in the chef level with this video:
These Summer Vegetable Appetizers Will Provide You All Necessary Nutrients!
If you aren’t too fond of adding fruits’ sweetness to appetizers, these starters with veggies will satisfy you instead as they don’t lose in terms of freshness or nutrients.
Don’t count out this Italian recipe when it comes to appetizers. Hardly any restaurants in Italy don’t put it on their menu. But how can simply grilled bread with tomatoes be so appealing?
The reason lies right in its simplicity. Just like other Italian dishes, bruschetta favors ingredients’ quality over their number. So, a true bruschetta will use all the highest-quality components possible so the diners can have the best experience when eating it.
This starter recipe also comes with different versions from different countries, for example, you can find them in the menu of Greek appetizers. Of course, regardless of what version they are, you can barely say no to them because of their tastiness.
While hot tomato soup is perfect for chilling days, gazpacho is an ideal soup for hot summer days. Gazpacho is chilled until the moment it’s served, so you won’t have to worry about sweating or blowing when enjoying it to the last drop.
Also, gazpacho is full of summer vegetables, all cut and blended until they thicken enough, which helps retain their freshness. Of course, you can garnish them with diced ham, hard-boiled eggs for a heartier feeling.
While other vegetable appetizers prefer ripe tomatoes, this one asks explicitly for green ones. It’s because the former option has turned soft already, making the batter a soggy, mushy mess.
But how about the sourness of green tomatoes? Don’t worry! After frying, their flavor will become milder and sweeter. These tomatoes remain a bit tangy, making them more flavorful than other fried foods.
These fried green tomatoes may be simple, but they are tastier than you thought. You can see this video to know:
This Syria-originated dish is as hot as summer! Right from its look, muhammara screams that it’s going to be spicy! But don’t worry, it’s not so spicy that you can’t handle it. Moreover, aside from the heat, muhammara also contains sweetness from pomegranate molasses.
This ingredient, along with red pepper and paprika, also creates a vivid red color for this dip. If you’ve got some pita bread on your counter, this is the best option to go with it. Or other warm flatbread or soft cheese can make it just fine.
You want some crunchy appetizers but are tired of all those deep-fried ones? Well, let’s start with these Jalapeno poppers! Crispy with the breadcrumbs on top but still so cheesy and creamy inside with some extra heat, this dish is like a roller coaster of flavor!
However, when preparing these jalapeno peppers, make sure you have worn your gloves and never touch your glove-on hands on your face, especially the eyes, because the oil in these can cause severe damage. Don’t look down on these little guys!
There’s no summer party without okras. However, not many people love this vegetable as it can turn quite slimy after cooking. That’s why frying is the most suitable method to prepare okra.
This way, you’ll get a batch of crispy okras without a tiny hint of slime. Also, while their taste is somewhat similar to eggplants, their texture is silkier and more fibrous.
You don’t have to be a professional chef to make this fried okra! Check out this video:
Worried that your children devour too many pizzas without eating any vegetables? Let’s trick them with these zucchini pizza bites! These pieces look much more adorable and even contain more nutrients than regular pizzas.
With zucchini slices as their base, you get a crust that’s somewhat crunchy and chewy. Then, just top them with anything you like for a pizza, from tomato sauce, all kinds of cheese to ham and bacon.
I know many people think of potato chips as unhealthy junk food. However, that only applies to those commercially made with all the artificial additives. These homemade chips are much tastier and nutritious.
Have you tried this food as a starter in your BBQ gathering in the summer? If not, I think you should. Many people claim potato chips are unhealthy junk food, but it only applies to those commercially made with all the artificial additives. Homemade chips are tastier and nutritious.
If you wonder how to make your homemade chips as crispy as those store-bought, soaking them in cold water and vinegar for a long time is the answer. The vinegar helps your potato slices retain their bright color.
Your kids will never ask for those ready-made if you make these potato chips! Let’s see this video:
Having too many summer veggies in your fridge and not knowing where to start? Well, it’s time to take them out and make a massive crudite plate for your family or friend gatherings.
There are no rules on how you place your vegetables and dipping sauces. Just try and try and try until you are satisfied with your result. From my experience, crudite palates look beautiful no matter which order you set your food.
Top 3 Richest Summer Starters With Cheese
There’s no limit on when you can eat cheese. So, there’s no harm in combining some cheese appetizers at your summer party! Who knows, after trying them, you may want to make some more?
Ripe tomatoes are delicious when served raw. But do you know they taste even sweeter after getting some baking? If not, now is the right time for you to try this tomato tart.
I can speak all day about this tart, from the buttery crust to the filling full of rich cheese, not to mention all the beautiful tomato slices on top.
One thing to remember: Make sure you sprinkle some salt on the tomato slices so that there’s no moisture left. Or else your tart will turn into a soggy mess with tomato juice.
This tomato tart is one of the most gorgeous appetizers I’ve ever seen! Let’s see this video:
This dip is known as “the caviar of the South,” though it doesn’t contain any caviar. That name indicates how much Southern people love and treasure this Pimento cheese. It’s believed that every household in this region has a distinct way to make this dip.
But no matter what recipe you have on hand, standard Pimento cheese often contains the richness from cheese and mayonnaise and the heat from pimento peppers. Serve it with crackers or bread, and you’ll have a crowd-pleaser appetizer.
This cheese ball looks like you’ve taken hours to make, while in fact, it doesn’t even require up to 30 minutes. Most cheese balls contain cream cheese and cheddar cheese, all mixed together to create full richness.
After that, it all depends on your creativity. You can make your cheese ball full of colors with dried cranberries and chopped nuts. Or make it in a savory style by adding dried beef to the mixture.
Nothing can be easier than making this cheese ball! Let’s see this video:
Let’s Try These Flavorful Summer Appetizers With Chicken!
Chicken is a versatile ingredient as you can enjoy it no matter if it’s sunny or snowy. And when I mention chicken here, I don’t mean just its meat. What else can this animal provide to you? Keep reading to find out!
For those who are still wondering what flautas mean, they are just like rolled tacos but with flour tortillas instead, making these rolls much more crunchy. Typical filling choices for flautas are chicken, beef, or cheese. And I use the first option for this recipe since the majority of people can enjoy it.
Standard flautas are often fried to crispiness, but I feel that is somewhat too greasy, so I opt for the baking method instead. This way, your flautas will remain crunchy without being drenched with oil.
Who doesn’t love Buffalo chicken wings? At least, not my family, especially with this recipe! Baked-till-crispy chicken wings drenched in Buffalo sauce, sometimes my children can forget the main course just because of this irresistible American-style appetizer.
To gain this tastiness, you’ll need fresh chicken wings instead of frozen ones and a perfect dipping sauce with sour cream to accompany them. If you want more nutrients for this dish, feel free to swap sour cream for Greek yogurt.
These Buffalo chicken wings will light up your meal instantly! Let’s see this video:
Deviled eggs are a must-have cold appetizer at every summer party as they taste delicious even when served at room temperature. Not to mention, almost anyone I’ve met loves eggs, so why not include them in your menu?
And my favorite part about deviled eggs is you can easily alter their flavor to your likings. Feel free to follow the classic recipes with rich and creamy filling if you are the traditional ones. Or you can add tons of other ingredients like bacon, paprika, and many more to them.
Start Your Summer Party With These Fantastic Seafood Dishes!
Summer means beach, and beach means seafood, right? Of course, you don’t have to hold a beach party to enjoy these fresh and juicy seafood appetizers. They can appear right in your kitchen and be just as delicious if you follow the instruction correctly.
If you wonder what appetizers to make for a large gathering, this coconut shrimp is a safe choice as no one can refuse it. Seriously, what can you complain about this flavorful shrimp dish with a crunchy coating full of coconut flavor?
Some of you might say about the deep-frying method. However, you can solve it quickly by using panko for the crumbs, as it would help your shrimp retain crunchiness without being oily. Serve this shrimp with some sweet dipping sauce for a perfect appetizer.
The entire ocean is waiting for you in this glass. While this recipe only uses shrimp, you can add other kinds of seafood to this cocktail like scallops, baby octopus, oysters,…
But the flavor doesn’t come from shrimp only but also the heat of the zesty cocktail sauce. Other chopped vegetables like cilantro or onions provide this cocktail more freshness and flavors.
Don’t know which dishes to cook with your leftover lobster? You can use it to make these rolls in a mini size. And don’t think using lobster to make appetizers is too much. This way, it takes less effort to make, and all your bites are filled with lobster flavor!
Aside from the main ingredient, this recipe also needs some other components to be perfect, such as lemon juice and lemon zest for more tanginess. You can even add cayenne pepper if you like some extra heat.
These lobster rolls are 100% worth every effort you spend! Let’s make mini lobster rolls in the chef level with this video:
These fried oysters aren’t like anything you’ve tasted before. Crunchy on the outside and super chewy and juicy inside, this dish will make your mouth burst with flavor once you bite into it.
And don’t overthink about these oysters’ accompaniments. You can make a creamy tartar sauce to dip them in. Or, as I love the simple approach, just a few lemon wedges are enough as their tartness is a perfect complement for this recipe.
Seafood is suitable for all events, and that includes summer meals as well. These crab cakes are one of the superb choices if you want to make something that satisfies both adults and children.
With flaky, sweet crab meat as the filling and the crunchy exterior, you can’t stop when you have tried them once. And don’t be disappointed if you are allergic to shellfish! These crab cakes are still as delicious even if you switch their main ingredient with imitation crab.
These crab cakes will win every heart in the room! Let’s make crab cakes in the chef level with this video:
Summer means fresh and somewhat sour appetizers, and this Peruvian ceviche can meet both demands. A great dish to complement Peruvian sweet delicacies, ceviche uses fish marinated in citrus juice to deliver a zing in your mouth with all the flavors from the ocean.
One small note for you: this delicious Peruvian dish uses regional lime, which is a bit larger and has more acidity than regular key lime, thus making fish marinated easier. Typically, this dish is served with corn and boiled sweet potatoes.
Calamari is what Italian people call “squid.” But as this dish gets more and more popular, other countries also use this name instead of “fried squid.”
And why does this simple fried dish receive so much love? I think that’s precise because of its simplicity, so this appetizer can go perfectly with any following course.
Also, even on its own, fried calamari can still blow your mind with its flavor. And it tastes even better with some marinara sauce or lemon wedges.
You Can’t Refuse These Tempting Summer Appetizers!
These summer appetizers will catch you by the eyes and never let you go, especially after you’ve got a taste of them. You’ll soon want to recreate them again and again for your summer parties!
Summer parties need some quick yet delicious appetizers, and garlic knots are one of them. If you wonder about their weird name, you can just imagine these knots as a mini version of garlic bread, but richer and more buttery.
Why? It’s because you can coat them with another extra layer of butter before serving. Thus, garlic knots are usually served with marinara sauce, a tomato sauce with garlic and herbs, to balance the flavor.
Make these garlic knots for your appetizers, snacks, breakfasts, and everything! Check out this video:
Everyone loves pasta dishes, but seeing them all piping hot with their sauce really makes me not want to eat them in the summer. That’s why I usually opt for these tortellini skewers. Quick to assemble, these skewers taste delicious even at room temperature.
Aside from cheese tortellini, other ingredients are all on you. My preferred combination is often tortellini, tomatoes, and cheese. From there, depending on my guests, I’ll add more components like toasted bread cubes.
Here is another dish for pasta lovers when the temperature rises to the top. And even people who aren’t really fond of pasta can enjoy it since orzo salad looks more like mixed rice with all the fresh vegetables.
And since it’s for your summer party, let’s take this chance to combine all the summer vegetables like corn, zucchinis, and cucumbers into this salad. To emphasize the sweetness of these veggies, choose lemon vinaigrette to dress your dish.
Your summer party won’t complete without this orzo pasta salad! Watch this video to know more:
This lovely exotic appetizer would make anyone want to try it right away! And let me answer you right away: Dahi puri tastes just as good as it looks!
Imagine crispy, a fried flatbread topped with your favorite chutneys, yogurt, and boiled potatoes! It sounds both delicious and nutritious at the same time.
Apart from these center ingredients, you are free to flavor dahi puri based on your preferences. A little more salt, a little less chili powder,… that’s all according to your palates.
Are You Ready To Spend Your Summer With These Appetizers?
With these summer starters, your family’s stomach will always crave more with every meal you cook, even on the hottest days.
So, let’s show your friends this article as well so that they can also survive all summer with you. And, if you have any other appetizer recipes you want to share, feel free to write them down in the comment section below.
Table of Contents
- Have You Ever Made One Of These Summer Appetizers?
- Summer Appetizers Are Fresher Than Ever With Fruits And Vegetables
- Top 3 Richest Summer Starters With Cheese
- Let’s Try These Flavorful Summer Appetizers With Chicken!
- Start Your Summer Party With These Fantastic Seafood Dishes!
- You Can’t Refuse These Tempting Summer Appetizers!
- Are You Ready To Spend Your Summer With These Appetizers?
- 30+ Beautiful Summer Appetizers