When you need some epic inspo for what to serve at your next pool party, picnic, or cookout, we have the best list of cold appetizers for you here!
There are plenty of delicious make-ahead appetizers you can serve directly from your refrigerator like fresh veggies and cheese.
Or use fun floating ice pack platters like these. You can keep these chilled appetizers in coolers, serve straight out of the fridge, or on a chilled buffet server like this one.
Fun foods like portable Caprese Salad Skewers, refreshing Watermelon Feta Bites, cute single servings of the popular seven-layer dip: Individual Seven-Layer Dips, and so much more.
- Use ice. One of the easiest ways to keep cold appetizers cold is to use ice. You can put ice in a bowl or tray and place your appetizers on top. You can also use ice packs to keep your appetizers cold.
- Keep them covered. When you’re not serving your appetizers, it’s important to keep them covered. This will help to prevent them from drying out or absorbing any flavors from the air.
- Serve them promptly. Once you’ve prepared your no-cook finger foods for parties, it’s important to serve them promptly. This will help to ensure that they stay cold and fresh.
- Choose the right containers. When choosing containers for your cold appetizers, make sure that they are airtight and sealable. This will help to prevent the food from drying out or absorbing any flavors from the air.
- Store them properly. When storing your cold appetizers, it’s important to keep them in a cool, dark place. This will help to preserve their freshness.
- Check them regularly. It’s important to check your cold appetizers often to make sure that they are still cool, no bugs have gotten to them, and haven’t spoiled. If they start to look or smell off, it’s best to discard them.
By following these tips, you can keep your cold appetizers fresh, chilled and that your guests will enjoy.
These cold appetizer ideas will keep your guests happy and their stomachs full, from deviled eggs times two to delightful finger foods. In this list of my favorite cold appetizers, we’ll go over the Best Cold Appetizer Recipes to give you more ideas of what to serve at your next party.
Best Cold Appetizers
This tried-and-true recipe has been coming up a lot for us while we have been writing about appetizers. These are gorgeous, ruby-red and sweet tomatoes, tiny and crammed with seasoned goat cheese. While it may seem like a taste of one would be enough, it’s best to have three to make sure.
These delicious Goat Cheese-Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes will make your mouth water, especially if you love goat cheese. They’re easy enough to prepare too, just have to scoop out the insides and stuff them with the filling. The soft and creamy texture of the cheese mixes well with the acid of the tomatoes, making a tangy treat.
Use fresh basil with the recipe to make it even more refreshing and delightful.
Do you like Caprese salad? Well, your guests won’t need a plate for these convenient Caprese Salad Skewers! The mozzarella and tomato are scrumptious. Just make sure you don’t put too much balsamic vinegar glaze. Otherwise, there will be stains all over your carpet!
Use red and yellow cherry tomatoes to add some color and finesse to the dish.
Deviled eggs are a classic appetizer at any party. They’re easy to make and contain simple ingredients that everyone universally loves. These Avocado-Deviled Eggs take that recipe to the next level! The avocado adds a nice layer of texture and flavor, plus it’s healthy!
These avocado-deviled eggs are zesty with lemon and vinegar in the mix.
If the avocado deviled eggs please any vegetarians at the party, this dish will undoubtedly appease the meat lovers. Deviled eggs are great, but after one or two, the taste can get a little boring. Bacon Deviled Eggs are heavier but richer in flavor. Try making them with smoked bacon to add another sensation to the mix.
5. Taco Dip
Everyone loves tacos, but keeping the meat hot throughout the party can be a pain. Try this cold Taco Dip if you want some Tex-Mex flavors in your appetizers. For this Taco Dip, we recommend buying corn tortilla chips. They will mimic a taco shell and blend well with the other flavors found in the dip.
A remarkable Italian-style snack, Italian Pinwheels are one easy summer appetizers to please them all. Instead of regular bread, the cold hors d’oeuvres are wrapped in a flour tortilla. Using roasted red pepper and banana peppers will add some kick. Try subbing in a spicier pepper if you want even more kick to the dish.
If there’s one thing they understand in the South, it’s how to make easy cold appetizers out of corn. From hush puppies to cornbread, there’re tons of excellent apps you can include with your comfort food. Southwest Corn Dip is one of the best options for a cold corn appetizer or a flavorful dip for a summer party. It has tasty blends of cheddar cheese and green onion, and you can prepare it in less than five minutes.
Lighter options around the party will encourage more movement from your guests and keep their bellies empty for the main course. These Cucumber Bites are the perfect blend of light and fresh. The cucumbers have a wonderful flavor already, and adding the cream cheese, walnuts, and herbs make them more delectable.
Here’s a Cooler Table made for holding ice and all your favorite cold appetizers and drinks.
Beyond its fun name, Cowboy Caviar is a tasty and surprisingly filling appetizer you can make in less than a half-hour. This appetizer is perfect for backyard barbecues or other outdoor celebrations.
There’s nothing quite like a blend of salty and sweet when it comes to cold finger foods. These Prosciutto Wrapped Pears will have your guests complimenting you on originality and taste. Consider sticking a toothpick into the wraps, so they don’t become unraveled.
11. Antipasto Kabobs
Antipasto Kabobs are one of the most popular and easy cold appetizers. The delightful plate full of Italian cheeses and meats make for easy prep—grab a kitchen helper for cubing your meat and cheese and another for the skewering, and you’re set. Now you can add your flair to these no-cook appetizers by putting them on a skewer and serving it with a cheese board.
You can also stack them in a bouquet style out of a clean vase.
Easy skewers, indeed!
We love including walnuts in our salads because they add a nice protein and nutty crunch into the mix. Plus, they’re tasty! Now you can make a more wholesome chicken salad with walnuts included. The cranberries will provide a hint of sweetness to go along with all that savory.
You won’t have to worry about double dippers with these genius Individual Seven-Layer Dips. All you need to prepare are sour cream, taco seasoning, refried beans, guacamole, Mexican blend cheese, salsa, and tomatoes.
The process is the same as making a traditional seven-layer dip, but you will do it several times in tiny single-serving cups, like these biodegradable options.
Everyone at your party will love this easy appetizer. With only a few ingredients needed, you can make this appetizer in less than 30 minutes! The Cranberry & Prosciutto Crostini also have a blend of savory and sweet, which will surprise your guests. Buy some fresh bread from your local Italian bakery for a more authentic taste.
16. Spicy Hummus
Hummus is great, but some people might find it a little bland. No one is going to find this Spicy Hummus bland. It has all the spicy punch necessary to get people back for rounds two, three, and four.
17. Peach Salsa
You’ve heard of mango salsa. How about peach? Blend sweet and spicy together perfectly for this fabulous dish that’s one of our no cook appetizers on this list.
Note: Add some extra jalapeños if you want more heat.
If you want low-carb appetizers, then celery is one of the best replacements for bread. These cream cheese celery sticks are such delicious cold appetizers you’ll forget you even miss bread.
Are you or your family salami lovers? Now you can indulge yourselves with this salami cornucopia. The plate will look like a work of art, but it will disappear fast, especially during a game day!
Spreads are one of the best cold appetizers. They are easy to make and don’t cause much of a mess. This Pesto Cream Cheese Spread is awe-spiring and delicious, while the sun-dried tomatoes give it a robust taste. Layering them all together is a great presentation for parties.
Fresh mozzarella is a fantastic light ingredient for cold appetizers. These sit in olive oil to add some additional richness to the cheese balls. The best part: you can make them in less than 15 minutes but the longer they sit, the tastier they will get.
Goat cheese is a great ingredient to work with. It’s easy to spread and marinate and pairs well with almost everything. Try a nice blend of savory and sweet by combining some Goat Cheese With Honey plus.
If you haven’t noticed, a lot of the recipes we recommend contain cream cheese. That’s because it makes excellent appetizers, and it’s easy to use. We recommend frozen spinach for this easy recipe because it’s accessible and less expensive.
Plus, the whole recipe can take you just seven minutes to prepare.
You can have one of the prettiest appetizers with these tasty goat cheese truffles that would surely be a crowd-pleaser. You’ll encrust your goat cheese with a layer of nuts, fruit, herbs, and honey to make them look more like a festive Christmas tree ball than an appetizer.
Have a fresh and sweet snack with these watermelon and feta bites. The watermelon and feta together is the combination no one expected, but everyone will love.
Ranch dressing enhances the flavors of this dip that are packed with shredded cheddar cheese. It is so good that you will find it difficult to stop eating once you’ve started. It is an excellent pair for pretzels and crackers, and it is a fun addition to parties.
Here’s our version of easy beer cheese dip, too!
Ingredients include: Cheddar cheese, light beer, cream cheese, garlic powder and onions.
If you are tasked to host a cocktail party or fancy dinner, we’ve got delicious finger food appetizers that you can make to keep your guests entertained.
The Phyllo Cup with crab and cream cheese will delight everyone. These bites of goodness are easy to make because frozen miniature tart shells are used, so all you need is to prepare the creamy crab filling and serve it cold and fresh.
Ingredients include: Cream cheese, tart shells, crab meat, green onions and lemon juice.
Fill mini tart shells with shrimp and cream cheese mixture and top it with seafood sauce. These picture-perfect, simple finger foods for a party taste as good as they look. It also has a bit of spice to give a satisfying kick. Not only can you enjoy it as an appetizer, but you can also eat it as a fast and light meal.
Ingredients include: Puff pastry, cream cheese, dill, taco seasoning and whipping cream.
Submarine sandwiches, or sub sandwiches, are named for underwater vessels of the same shape. This Italian-American appetizer goes by different names in different places. In some areas, it is called grinders, while in some cities, it is called hoagies or heroes.
It is easy to pull together, and you can make it your own by adding your favorite zingy or savory toppings.
Ingredients include: Submarine buns, mayonnaise, provolone cheese, cold cuts and lettuce.
30. Antipasto Salad
Antipasto is a certified crowd-pleaser. It is filled with cheeses, sliced meats, olives, and tomatoes that are tossed together and mixed with a light dressing. This Italian salad will definitely work on your appetite.
Ingredients include: Green olives, romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, salami cuts and mozzarella cheese.
31. Cold Crab Dip
Cold Crab dip is both tasty and addicting. Even if you are not a fan of seafood, you will undoubtedly like this recipe. The combination of cream cheese, crab meat, and yogurt is already so delectable, but it does not end there. Flavored with lemon juice, seasoning, pepper and green onions, this is the most mouthwatering dip your guests can ever ask for. It is a great appetizer for game day, holiday feasts or parties, and you can serve it with celery, bell peppers, bread or crackers.
Ingredients include: Cream cheese, lemon, crab meat, garlic powder and parsley.
Perfect for cheese lovers, these are adorable and fun to munch on. You can serve them on a pretzel stick or on crackers, but they are better to just pop directly into your mouth. Each bite is an explosion of flavor as it is creamy, savory, and incredibly good.
Ingredients include: Cream cheese, white cheese, dried fruit, seasoning, and mixed nuts.
The ranch dressing is punched up with green salsas, chiles, cilantro and jalapenos for more color and spice. It is a bit spicy and a whole lotta good cold finger food. You can enjoy this dip with sausage balls or your favorite wings.
Ingredients include: Jalapenos, ranch dressing, mayonnaise, buttermilk, and cilantro.
34. Cucumber Salsa
This is a fantastic way to use cucumbers. It is a decadent alternative to regular salsa as it is crisp and fresh, plus you will love the crunchy texture and unique flavors. You can pair it with nachos, taco shells or pita bread.
Ingredients include: Cucumbers, tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro, and ranch dressing.
These cold sandwiches are one of the true upper crusts for classic and elegant appetizers. In fact, no garden party, bridal shower, baby shower, or brunch is complete without them, as the dish is fit for royalty.
You can also eat these sandwiches as a light lunch or a quick snack.
Ingredients include: Bread, cucumbers, and mayo.
36. Salami Roll-ups
The hard salami is a popular cold meat because each single thin slice is packed with so much flavor. It is wrapped around a mozzarella cheese stick or rolled up with provolone cheese. It is perfect for grazing at holiday get-togethers, these appetizers can be made a couple of days ahead of time and are delicious when cold.
Ingredients include: Hard salami and cream cheese.
Turn your meals into celebrations with this Olive and Cheese Ring. It is almost too pretty to eat, especially when it is decorated with parsley, basil and pimientos.
Ingredients include: Cream cheese, white cheese, olives, pepper, and pimientos.
38. Crab Puffs
Flaky and buttery puff pastry cups are filled with the tastiest crab filling that is creamy and packed with immense flavor. If you are heading to a large party, double this recipe. These appetizers go pretty quickly because it is nearly impossible to only have one.
Ingredients include: Crab meat, mayonnaise, mustard, paprika, and parsley.
If you need a simple and crowd-pleasing cold salad for your next cold party food ideas buffet, then this recipe is for you. These Cold Tortellini Salad Kabobs will make you the talk of the neighborhood. This amazing pasta salad is served simply on a stick.
Ingredients include: Spinach, cheese tortellini, vinegar, and tomatoes.
40. Marinated Shrimp
There is nothing like a bold and zesty marinade to infuse your dish with loads of flavor. This shrimp marinade contains savory ingredients that blend well together to make the most incredible seasoning for fresh shrimp.
Ingredients include: Large shrimp, honey, soy sauce, mustard, and black pepper.
Shrimp appetizers are so addictive. Forget the fireworks; bring on these incredible Firecracker Shrimps. They have a garlic and spicy kick that will instantly blow your mind. You can even make them in advance and keep them stashed in your fridge until your guests arrive, so when the party starts, you can set them out and serve them cold.
Ingredients include: Shrimp, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, garlic sauce, and jalapenos.
42. Curry Shrimp
These bite-size wonders are elegant, colorful and beautiful on the plate. Not only are they tasty, they are flexible too. You can enjoy them casually as a dip with crackers, celery or carrots.
Ingredients include: Cream cheese, mayonnaise, curry powder, shrimp, and garlic powder.
43. Cucumber Bites
Crunchy cucumbers are filled with a savory dill and cream cheese mixture and topped with tomatoes and sprinkled with pepper. These simple cold appetizers are quite refreshing and will stand out if you place it strategically next to the main course.
Ingredients include: Cucumbers, tomatoes, cream cheese, mayonnaise, and ranch dressing.
These cucumbers are filled with flavor thanks to the bagel seasoning. The savory cream cheese matches the toasted sesame seeds and poppy seeds that gives a satisfying crunch in every bite.
Ingredients include: Cucumber, cream cheese, sesame seeds, poppy seeds and butter.
Cucumber strips are gently rolled up with a creamy and delicious filling that features tomatoes, herbs, cheese, and olives. These appetizers might look fancy and sophisticated but it is easy to prepare. It will make for a great addition to any holiday party appetizer spread.
Ingredients include: Cucumbers, yogurt, cheese, tomatoes and olives.
These spicy, inexpensive cold appetizers for a crowd are excellent morsels that combine sweet, sour, savory, and spicy flavors all in one bite. Crisp and refreshing, these bites make for a fun appetizer, especially if you are craving something with a bit of spice.
Ingredients include: Cucumber, vinegar, sea salt, red pepper flakes, and soy sauce.
These cups are a fun and decadent way to enjoy tuna salad. The cucumber cups are light but filling enough to be eaten as a light lunch. You can make them your own by adding your favorite toppings like tomatoes, sesame seeds or cheese cubes.
Ingredients include: Tuna, mayonnaise, garlic powder, and onion powder.
Do you want a dish you can pair with your tea or coffee? These roll-ups are the one for you. The beautifully styled combination of produce, fancy sauce, and cured meat are irresistible.
Ingredients include: Ham, tortillas, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and ranch dressing.
This fresh salsa is a refreshing one that everyone loves to dive into. It is colorful and bursting with zest and creaminess.
Ingredients include: Kiwi, mango slices, strawberries, lime, and olive oil.
Fun, flavorful and pretty, you will never run out of wonderful things to say about these Salami and Cheese Skewers. This is the tastiest appetizer that you will ever have but in bite-size form. The cheese is skewed with folded deli salami and olives.
Ingredients include: Deli salami, olives, and cheddar cheese.
51. Shrimp Ceviche
This ceviche recipe is made with shrimp marinated with red onions, cucumber, avocado, cilantro, and jalapenos. It is full of bold and zesty taste. You can have it as an appetizer or a light meal, and it is perfect for any occasion.
Ingredients include: Shrimp, jalapenos, avocados, cilantro, and lime juice.
Shrimp takes center stage as these finger foods for party. It is gently poached in water then seasoned with cilantro, lemon and peppercorns then steeped in sauce full of flavors and textures.
Cucumber and onions add crunch, while the ketchup and Worcestershire sauce adds depth and sweetness. The lemon juice adds tang and the hot sauce adds some satisfying spice.
Ingredients include: Shrimp, avocados, lemon juice, ketchup, and cucumbers.
We are particularly proud of this delectable and hearty cold finger food recipe. Just a few minutes of assembly, some block feta, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and olives with a seasoning blend, these Greek Salad Skewers make a delicious and memorable presentation!
- Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
- Caprese Salad Skewers
- Avocado Deviled Eggs
- Bacon Deviled Eggs
- Taco Dip
- Italian Pinwheels
- Southwest Corn Dip
- Stuffed Cucumber Bites
- Cowboy Caviar
- Prosciutto Wrapped Pears
- Antipasto Skewers
- Cranberry-Walnut Chicken Salad
- Individual Seven-Layer Dips
- Cranberry & Prosciutto Crostini
- Guacamole Cups
- Spicy Hummus
- Peach Salsa
- Italian Cream Cheese Celery
- Cornucopia Salami Roll Ups
- Pesto Cream Cheese Spread
- Olive Oil Mozzarella Balls
- Goat Cheese Appetizer with Honey and Fig
- Spinach Cream Cheese
- Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Truffles
- Watermelon Feta Bites
- Beer Cheddar Cheese Pretzel Dip
- Phyllo Cup
- Spicy Shrimp Cream Cheese Tartlets
- Classic Cold-Cut Sub Sandwiches
- Antipasto Salad
- Cold Crab Dip
- Mini Cheese Ball Bites
- Jalapeno Ranch Dip
- Cucumber Salsa
- Cucumber Sandwiches
- Salami Roll-ups
- Olive And Cheese Ring
- Crab Puffs
- Cold Tortellini Salad Kabobs
- Marinated Shrimp
- Firecracker Shrimp
- Curry Shrimp
- Cucumber Bites
- Everything Bagel Cucumber Bites
- Cucumber Roll Ups
- Cold Spicy Cucumber Bites
- Tuna Cucumber Bites
- Ham And Cheese Roll Ups
- Fresh Kiwi Mango Strawberry Salsa
- Salami And Cheese Skewers
- Shrimp Ceviche
- Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
- Greek Salad Skewers
- Pick a date and plan your festivities!
- Pull up this list of Cold Appetizers.
- Choose your favorites.
- Enjoy, and tell your friends where you found them!
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.