Armenian appetizers are a sure-fire way to get your guests excited about your party.
So, whether you’re holding a casual get-together or a formal celebration, these 11 Armenian appetizers will make everyone want to dance and sing!
We all know that appetizers are the best part of any party.
They’re what get you in the mood to party.
But you know what?
We want more than just a little something to nibble on before dinner.
We want something that will take us through all the stages of a celebration: from the excitement of waiting for it to the joy of having it.
That’s why we’ve compiled this list of Armenian appetizers that will make you want to throw a party so you can serve them.
However, we’re going, to be honest here.
When we started writing this list, we thought it would be easy.
But then we realized that Armenian appetizers are more like Armenian entrees, and things got interesting.
We were surprised by the number of options available as we explored this topic and just how many different types of food you can make out of simple ingredients.
Even #10 could not hold us back from coming for more.
So, relax and get ready for a mouth-watering experience as you read through these tasty appetizers!
Have you ever had a Cheese Borek?
If not, we can tell you that it’s one of the most delicious things you’ll ever taste.
It’s a little bit flaky, a little bit crispy, and 100% drool-worthy.
And it’s got a crispy puff pastry crust that crunches in your mouth with every bite.
Then you get hit with the creamy feta cheese and parsley, too.
Cheese Borek is so good that when we ate some at our favorite Armenian restaurant, we couldn’t help but ask: “Why don’t we have this at home?”
And now we do!
Meet Baba Ghanoush, a smoky, savory dip that tastes like the perfect combination of roasted eggplant, garlic, and tomato.
It’s creamy but not too heavy.
It’s smokey but not overbearing.
And it goes great with pita crusts or just by itself in a bowl on your cocktail table while you’re enjoying your time with friends.
It’s one of those foods that really makes us feel like we’re exploring a new culture when we eat it.
There’s something so comforting about the idea of sitting down with our friends and family to enjoy this tasty dish together.
Imagine taking a perfectly cooked piece of roasted chicken, cutting it open, and finding a creamy layer of chickpeas inside.
Imagine that same chicken, but instead of the chickpeas alone, there is an additional layer of red potatoes with just enough seasoning to make your mouth water and your tongue dance.
It sounds pretty unusual, right?
Well, this is how Topik (Layered Garbanzo Bean Pâté) tastes!
It is made of chickpeas and red potatoes that are cooked down into a flavorful spread with spices, tahini, chopped pine nuts, and berries for extra sweetness.
The result is a dish that’s rich in flavor, and it’s perfect for any occasion, from casual get-togethers at home to festive celebrations with friends!
Ghapama (Armenian Stuffed Pumpkin) is a sweet, savory dish usually served as part of a larger meal.
It’s made with cooked rice, dried fruits, chopped nuts, spices, and honey.
You can also add raisins or pistachios if you want to get creative!
However, the pumpkin is the star of this show—it’s stuffed with all those tasty ingredients and baked until it’s soft and tender.
It even has a texture similar to mashed potatoes or bread pudding, but it doesn’t taste quite like either one of those things.
If you’ve ever had pumpkin pie before then, you’ll be able to think back on that flavor when you try Ghapama (Armenian Stuffed Pumpkin).
Zhingyalov Hats (Armenian Flatbread) is a flatbread that has a flavor that would make you want to go to Armenia.
The first thing that you’ll notice about Zhingyalov Hats (Armenian Flatbread) is the smell.
It’s like spring onions, fenugreek, mint, kale, and spinach all had a baby and named it “the smell of Armenian Flatbread.”
When you take a bite of Zhingyalov Hats (Armenian Flatbread), your mouth will be filled with a burst of flavors.
The sharpness of the spring onions, the sharpness of the fenugreek; the minty freshness of it all; followed by the earthiness of kale and spinach.
You’ll think to yourself: “Wow! I can’t believe this is so good!”
Bulgur Dorma and Sarma is such a warm, comforting dish.
The aroma is so intense that you can’t miss it as soon as it’s served in front of you.
The scent fills your nostrils with an intoxicating mixture of meat and spiced seasonings.
The juice from the tomatoes also helps give this dish its flavor: it’s wonderfully tart, with just enough sweetness from the grape leaves and bell peppers to balance out its acidity.
Plus, the meat that’s sauteed with onions, garlic, and spices gives Dorma and Sarma their rich depth of flavor.
You can practically taste them before you’ve even sat down at the table!
We’ve had some pretty good pizza.
But nothing compares to the taste of Lahmacun.
If you’re unfamiliar with Lahmacun, it’s a thin, flatbread baked on top of a stone oven and topped with minced meat, onions, tomatoes, parsley, and spices.
It’s traditionally brushed with olive oil on top—just enough to make your fingers sticky when you pick up its crispy edges from your plate!
If you ever get to try it, you’ll be blown away by how unique it tastes.
Your mouth will be filled with flavors you’ve never experienced before.
The sweet tomato sauce mixed with savory lamb meat will make you feel like you’re eating something right out of your grandma’s kitchen.
Combine that with the crispiness of the bread contrasted perfectly with the softness of the toppings.
It sounds enticing, isn’t it?
Manti or Armenian Dumplings are like a really good joke: they’re savory on the outside and juicy on the inside, but they’re also kind of a pun.
You see, dumplings are typically made with dough similar to pasta.
But not Manti (Armenian Dumplings).
They’re more like ravioli—they have a filling you put in the middle and top with a sauce.
The filling is beefy and savory, with lots of herbs and spices that give it a kick.
And the yogurt-garlic sauce is luscious and creamy.
It will even make you think about licking your plate clean at first, but then you’ll remember it’s considered rude in most cultures.
They’re so indulgent that we think they should be served at a fancy event
There’s a flavor that is so unique, so special, that once you taste it, you can never forget it.
That is the flavor of Basturma.
The air-dried beef, which has been seasoned with garlic and a mix of pungent spices, is heavy on fenugreek and paprika.
The meat’s center is a deep, rich red and appears fresh and expertly cured.
And the spice coating is fragrant and flavorful but not overpowering.
When you bite into this dry meat, your mouth comes into contact with its intense savoriness.
A new world of sensations opens up to you: softness and crunchiness, sweetness and sourness, smoothness and crunchy chewiness.
All those things together make up this incredible taste experience!
Hummus with Soujok is the best hummus!
We know this because we have tasted all other hummuses, and none of them are as good as Hummus with Soujok.
We have tried a lot of hummus in our time—so much that if it were a person, we would have to legally recognize it as a dependent on our taxes.
But we don’t just say, “Hummus with Soujok is good,” and leave it at that.
We’ll tell you what makes Hummus with Soujok so delicious.
The hummus has a velvety texture, smoothness, and subtle salty sweetness.
And the soujok is “meaty.”
It’s chewy and tender, with just enough bite to make it enjoyable (and ensure you don’t choke).
Plus, the overall flavor isn’t overpowering.
Instead, it pairs nicely with the tangy hummus and gives your mouth just enough spice without overwhelming your palate.
If you’ve ever had a cheese ball that was so creamy and tangy that it practically blew your socks off, then you know what we’re talking about.
These Armenian Yogurt Cheese Balls are like that, but with a little extra flavor from the chives, Aleppo peppers, garlic, and dill.
And we’re not only saying that because we have a vested interest in this recipe; we promise you, it’s true.
It’s got a little piquancy from the yogurt and a little kick from the Aleppo peppers and garlic, but the real kicker is that layer of flavor from the chives and dill.
These goodies will bring you to a world where cheeseballs can taste like pieces of paradise on earth.
We guarantee you that!
The bottom line
No matter the season, it’s always a great time to throw an Armenian feast!
And to help you with that, we’ve put together this list of the best Armenian appetizers to help get your party started.
Whether you offer them at a party or enjoy them with a glass of wine, these appetizers are the perfect way to brighten up your Armenian cuisine repertoire.
And the best thing is that most of them require little more effort than chopping and sautéing.
So, go on, gather your family and friends, start cooking, and enjoy!
- Cheese Borek (Cheese Turnovers)
- Baba Ghanoush
- Topik (Layered Garbanzo Bean Pâté)
- Ghapama (Armenian Stuffed Pumpkin)
- Zhingyalov Hats (Armenian Flatbread)
- Bulgur Dorma & Surma
- Lahmacun (Armenian Pizza)
- Manti (Armenian Dumplings)
- Basturma (Armenian Cured Meat)
- Hummus With Soujok
- Armenian Yogurt Cheese Balls
- Skim through our Armenian Appetizers list.
- Select the recipe you’re looking for.
- Prep the ingredients as instructed.
- Spill your thoughts on our Facebook page!