There’s nothing quite like that look on your guests’ faces when they’re ravenous and waiting for dinner at your place. It only has to happen one time before you learn how to make the right appetizers for a crowd when you’re hosting. The trick is to rely on shareable items that are also fairly filling—this way, if your main course takes a little longer than normal, no one will be looking at you the way hungry vampires in Twilight look at humans. We’ve gone ahead and rounded up the top summer food to serve as appetizers at your next get-together. Scroll through to see which appetizers for a crowd we like best.
Caprese Burrata Garlic Bread
Bread and cheese and tomatoes, oh my! This elevated take on garlic bread relies on the best ciabatta, your favorite pesto, creamy burrata, and the freshest cherry tomatoes you can find. It’s so easy to make several of these if you’re expecting a lot of guests—you can even prep some in advance—plus, each loaf bakes up in around 20 minutes flat.
Bacon-Wrapped Grilled Peaches
This crowd-pleasing appetizer couldn’t get easier. All you need to do is wrap sliced fresh peaches and basil leaves in bacon. Once you brush each "packet" with olive oil, grill them on both sides until the bacon gets crispy. A drizzle of balsamic glaze finishes off the dish, and you can serve each bacon-wrapped peach with a toothpick. How’s that for finger food?
Watermelon triangles get the sushi experience when topped with avocado, red onion, and pickled ginger. A sprinkling of sesame seeds gives this dish just a bit of crunch while a homemade glaze made from sesame oil, tamari, and wasabi offsets the sweetness of the fruit. PS: You can make this dish up to a day in advance, and it’s perfect for guests on a plant-based diet.
Mexican Grilled Shrimp and Corn Salad
Grilled shrimp seasoned with taco spices packs on the protein in this yummy charred corn salad. Tomato, avocado, and green onion bulk up the base, and a homemade honey-lime dressing makes sure the dish is anything but dry. We also love it because it can be easily doubled—or tripled—to accommodate a larger crowd.
Zucchini Fritters and Goat Cheese
Everyone will love grated zucchini fritters seasoned with lemon zest, parsley, and chives. Fry them until crunchy, and then serve with a tangy dip whipped up from goat cheese, plain yogurt, and chives. By the way, they taste just as good when they’re cold.