Make French appetizers for an elegant and sophisticated way to start any special meal you have planned! Isn’t it time to treat yourself to a French appetizer, like easy French canapés or delightful cheese gougere?
As you plan your international meal, keep in mind the staples of French cuisine like olive oil, dijon mustard, truffles, shallots, bread, wine, and cheese.
It may be a little intimidating to venture into these exquisite recipes but as long as you take your time and read the recipe carefully, you will be in good hands!
You don’t have to be a master French chef in order to make all of these hors d’oeuvres.
Even if it takes you a few tries to perfect these appetizers, that gives you more opportunity to enjoy these tasty dishes.
Baked Cranberry & Brie Bites and Salad Nicoise are great choices for getting your feet wet into the world of French starters.
If you are up for a challenge with a more intricate recipe, try your hand at Smoked Salmon Rye Canapés or Moules Frites.
Some of these are more authentic as to what you would see in French kitchens, others may have a more American twist on the French favorites.
Regardless of which appetizers you decide to try out, this list of 24 French appetizers will have something that will please everyone!
1. Mini Croque Monsieur
Traditional Croque Monsieur sandwiches are delicious but can be very messy and not always suitable for finger food.
These mini versions are a great way to enjoy the French sandwich as a bite sized twist on the classic dish.
Top each bite with a bit of rich bechamel sauce and everyone will be reaching for more and more of these!
The name “Tuna Rillettes” may sound intimidating but this is essentially a tuna pate.
It is full of flavor from the créme fraiche and the herbs mixed in.
All of it tops some crusty bread.
Keep reading if you want to make your own French bread at home to go with this French styled spread.
This recipe will make a fancy French appetizer that will win the hearts and stomachs of all who try them!
Black truffle has a luxurious flavor that mixes so well with the taste of the foie gras.
Even though cream puffs are usually sweet, this French twist makes delectable savory puffs.
This French delicacy is sure to pleasantly surprise everyone who is doubtful about trying snails.
This classic French appetizer is much simpler to make than you may think.
If you haven’t had a chance to get an escargot pan, you can use a mini muffin tin and simplify this process even more.
Even if you decide to go the canned snail route, you will have a restaurant quality appetizer.
Perfect for accompanying your French dips and as a side for your soup or salad, socca is a five ingredient gluten free bread that is often enjoyed as a street food in southern France.
The French version of socca is typically very thin and crispy unlike its Italian counterpart, farinata.
All you need is some chickpea flour, salt, pepper, water, and some olive oil; all simple ingredients!
Although this is a simple way to make bread, it is so versatile and goes with so many French dishes!
If you have a party coming up, these simple French cheese puffs are way fancier than the effort it takes to make them!
These puffs will come out of the oven crispy and cheesy with a light and airy inside.
This recipe makes 22 puffs but you will not be disappointed if you make many, many more.
These can also be made a little bit ahead of time and refrigerated for a couple of days or frozen for up to a week.
Imagine a cheese stick but with the bold and sharp flavors of blue cheese inside of it.
That is what these blue cheese fritters entail.
Roquefort, a popular cheese from southern France, is a very good choice to use for this recipe, but you can use plenty of different kinds to make these fritters.
These French finger foods go great with so many dips or even as a side to a simple salad.
When it comes to easy French appetizers, what is better than spending one minute with preparation and putting it in the oven to cook?
Baked camembert is so easy since the oven does all of the cooking for you!
Once the cheese is golden and bubbly, serve it with sliced pears or some toasted sourdough for a very easy yet delicious appetizer that everyone will love!
French canapes will become your new go-to when you are looking for French appetizer recipes to satisfy everyone.
The smoked salmon in this recipe pairs wonderfully with the lemon-dill yogurt base for a nice balance of flavors.
Add some thinly sliced radishes, capers, or some microgreens for a colorful starter that takes so little time to prepare!
10. Cheese Soufflé
Souffles may be intimidating for those who have yet to master the art of making them at home but there is no need to fear!
This recipe makes it as simple as could be!
Gruyere cheese is the star of this recipe but the dijon mustard deserves special recognition, especially for its many uses in French cuisine.
Follow this recipe for a golden and pillowy souffle ready for your guests to enjoy!
Galettes are French tarts without a top crust, but rather the edges folded over, similar to a pizza.
Although these can be a meal in itself, it makes a great French-style appetizer to share before your main meal.
You can use whatever tomatoes or sharp cheddar cheese you like, but make sure to use some parmesan in the crust for extra flavor in every bite!
French onion soup is a delicious way to start your meal but can be difficult to serve as a party appetizer or finger food.
Luckily, these soup bites make it way more accessible and portable!
When these are fresh from the oven, they are hot with a crispy dumpling shell and full of a rich French onion soup flavor combined with the shredded cheese.
This recipe is very easy to follow and if you have an Instant Pot, it is that much easier!
Baking your own bread is so rewarding and it certainly doesn’t hurt when your kitchen fills with the fresh aroma as it bakes in the oven.
This French bread requires only five ingredients and will give you a fresh loaf with a crispy crust and chewy center.
Bread is a staple for so many meals and when you want to make a French-style meal, this goes great as a side or appetizer with your French dips.
14. Salad Nicoise
Salad Nicoise is far from just another plain salad.
It is packed full of vegetables like lettuce, seasonings, and dressings to make every bite an explosion of flavor.
This recipe calls for a “sunburst” formation of the ingredients which will grant you a beautiful salad that will convince everyone to get a serving of vegetables before their meal.
15. Olive Tapenade
Your collection of French hors d’oeuvres needs the addition of tangy, tasteful olive tapenade in it!
It is a simple dip to make featuring kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, and anchovy filets.
Blend all of your ingredients together until you get a smooth paste and serve it on crostini, with a side of bread, or as a key part of your charcuterie board.
These simple wontons filled with mushrooms and French goat cheese will satisfy all of your dinner guests!
The use of French goat cheese rather than fresh goat cheese will give you a more mild flavor but so much creamy goodness in every bite.
This simple recipe will impress everyone and guarantee that there are no leftovers by the end of the night!
Similar to a pizza, pissaladiere makes a great shareable appetizer to get your evening started on a tasty note.
The caramelized onions have a bit of sweetness while the anchovies add some saltiness to the mix.
All of that lays on a buttery golden crust that can also be made by hand very easily!
18. Tarte Flambée
This is another traditional French appetizer that resembles a pizza but is perfect for sharing with your loved ones while you are waiting for dinner to be ready.
Often, the toppings include bacon, onions, creme fraiche, and nutmeg but in German variations, people are known to include Caraway seeds.
If you are unfamiliar with creme fraiche and want a simpler alternative, sour cream can be used but it will add a more sour taste to the tarte flambee.
You can also use store-bought pizza dough to make it even easier but it is so fun to make your own dough by hand!
Popular in southern France, panisse is a Mediterranean style chickpea fritter.
These are fried in a small “bath” of oil so they are not necessarily coated or soaked in oil.
Your panisse will be great served fresh with some salt and pepper but it has been known to be dipped into some harissa mayonnaise.
These vegan appetizers will become a special French treat for your guests.
Making your own cheese board is great because you can include or omit whatever ingredients you want!
Many of the other French appetizers on this list will be great additions to your board but including a large variation of cheeses, breads, and dips will give you a beautiful and flavorsome board.
Most aspects of your board won’t need to be cooked so you can have a cold French appetizer for everyone to nibble on during a hot day or night.
Have fun with your board and play around with colors, textures, and tastes.
Whatever combination you choose to display, you will have a delicious appetizer that will provide something satisfying for everyone.
With its origin in France, baking brie is a great way to bring a taste of France to your appetizers without going through a complicated cooking process.
The creamy cheese has a mild flavor which helps accentuate the dash of sweetness sun dried tomatoes bring to this dish.
A bit of chopped basil on top adds some freshness to this appetizer.
Serve with crackers for a simple yet delicious appetizer that is table ready in about 15 minutes!
22. Moules Frites
Moules frites are an elegant way to serve some seafood as an appetizer to keep everyone happy until dinner time.
Mussels are steamed with some dry white wine and a bit of parsley for about five minutes to go along with some baked golden potato wedges.
Make your own aioli to go with the mussels by blending egg yolk, parsley, lemon juice, shallots, and mustard.
If cooking mussels is new to you, this recipe features some tips on how to prepare your mussels so you can get the most out of this tasty appetizer!
These mini French tarts are perfect as an appetizer for your Sunday brunch or for your breakfast for dinner meal!
Using store bought pie crust makes this recipe so simple but if you want, you can make your own pie crust at home!
The addition of crumbled bacon goes amazing with the spinach but there are so many options for changing the quiches up so you are always trying something new.
The amazing thing about this mini quiche recipe is that it can be baked in under an hour and can be made ahead or frozen so it makes serving your guests that much easier!
All it takes is five ingredients and half an hour for a sweet and creamy French-tasting appetizer that will disappear before you know it!
If cranberry isn’t your favorite flavor, you can switch out the sauce for your favorite jam or even a savory spread like pesto or tomato chutney.
You will want to serve this immediately when it is out of the oven but your guests will love it so much, they will ensure there are none left sitting to lose their freshness.
The bottom line
No matter what your level of expertise is, these French appetizers will impress all of your guests and add a touch of elegance to your next dinner party.
If you are not familiar with some of these dishes, have some fun and start exploring with the unique and delicious starters from France.
- Mini Croque Monsieur
- Tuna Rillettes
- Foie Gras Cream Puffs With Black Truffle
- Socca (Farinata)
- Cheese Gougeres
- Blue Cheese Fritters
- Baked Camembert
- Smoked Salmon & Rye Canapes
- Cheese Soufflé
- Herbed Tomato Galette With Parmesan Crust
- French Onion Soup Bites
- Homemade French Bread
- Salad Nicoise
- Olive Tapenade
- Mushroom & French Goat Cheese Triangles
- Tarte Flambée
- French Cheese Board
- Baked Brie With Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Moules Frites
- Mini Spinach Quiches
- Baked Cranberry & Brie Bites
- Take a look at the variety of ingredients from each recipe in our French Appetizers list.
- Choose the ingredients you like the most.
- Create a new favorite recipe you can enjoy!
- Have fun and tell us what you think on our Facebook page.