Cold Appetizers are always the best kind of food to serve at parties because you can make them ahead of time. Pop them in the fridge and pull them out COLD. No messing with sterno cans or chafing dishes! Hooray to less stress for hosts like us!
Check out this list of make ahead appetizer ideas, all of which can serve a crowd!
The best appetizers are ones that don't require reheating! This allows us to stress less and focus on the party more.
Small bites that actually TASTE delicious when they are at room temperature or even cold, are hard to come by. But have no fear! I have a delicious list of cold appetizers waiting for you!
But before we dig in, here are some more popular COLD appetizers!
Most Popular Cold Appetizers
- Shrimp Cocktail
- Taco dip
- Mini Sandwiches
- Deviled Eggs
- Fresh sliced baguette with cold dips
- Caprese skewers
- Proscuitto skewers
- Cheese and crackers
- Hors D'oeuvres
Don't know how many appetizers to make? Let me help you determine the approximate number of finger foods to prepare!
These individual charcuterie appetizer cups are the perfect snack to serve guests at any party. They are easy to take on the go and super fun to nosh on! I love setting them up the day before and tenting plastic wrap over to keep them fresh. (Add the crackers last minute to maintain their crispness!)
2. Mini Cheese and Caramelized Onion Fig Toasts
I found these mini crostini from the grocery store near the bread/bakery. They are pre-made so their crunchy and save loads of time when prepping! They are made with a sweet tangy cheese topping, caramelized onions and topped with fig honey. They are the perfect bite sized appetizer!
3. Pimento Cheese Celery Boats
Ideal for a brunch time get-together, these Stuffed Celery Sticks are so easy to make and can be made a day or two ahead of time! Stuffed with cream cheese and pimento peppers, I like to pair them with some carbs like crackers or mini bagels!
4. Pear n' Gorgonzola "Bruschetta"
Have you ever eaten a salad without a fork? It's SO fun!! In this cold appetizer, the pear is your "fork". It's topped with a light vinaigrette dressing, crunchy pecans, greens, onions and sweet craisins. So delicious and perfect for the fall or colder months!
5. Greek Cucumber Salad Cups
These cucumber cups are the best parts of a Greek salad all in one bite! The creamy feta is what gets me every time. They are a fun way to eat a salad without a fork! I love serving them as a cold appetizer in the warmer months!
6. Roasted Red Pepper and Ricotta Crostini
This appetizer was actually featured on Food Network's The Kitchen show! How cool?! It's simple but delicious!! Roasted red peppers and fresh ricotta cheese spread over crispy garlicky crostini. A delicious appetizer that is best served at room temperature!
7. Burrata Cheese With Roasted Peppers and Balsamic Glaze
This appetizer was inspired by Michael Simon's restaurant in Atlantic City! It's is so flavorful and meant to be served chilled with lots of crispy bread for dipping! The peppers and garlic are roasted ahead of time and then meant to chill to allow all the flavors meld. Guests will LOVE this one!
8. The Best Cream Cheese Spinach Dip
This spinach dip is made without mayo and with cream cheese and sour cream. Cream cheese freezes well so this dip is great to make ahead. It is super creamy and can be served with everything from crackers, to pita bread to veggies and more!
9. Cheesy Garlic Italian “Dunkers”
Cheesy bread sticks made with refrigerated pizza crust and lots of melty cheese! These can be frozen and reheated later on! Kids and adults will go crazy over them. They're great for the big game!
10. Three-Cheese Gougères
A classic French baked pastry that we don't see enough of! These are the perfect snack that pairs so well with wine! I love how easy they are to make considering how fancy they sound! Bake ahead of time and keep in a sealed container.
11. Roasted Pepper and Burrata Phyllo Bites
These phyllo cup bites are made using only THREE ingredients and can be whipped up in less than 10 minutes! They look super fancy too!
12. Mini Cheese Balls
Mini cheese balls are a fun and innovative way to serve cheese and crackers! These are made with cream cheese and cheddar cheese. The fun part is you can get super creative by adding any fresh herbs or spices to your cheese to kick it up a few notches!
13. Caesar Salad Parmesan Cups
These cups are made from melting Parmesan cheese in the oven for about 4 minutes to create these cute baskets! Then fill them with lettuce and Caesar dressing and serve! Easy, healthy and cute!
14. An Easy & Delicious Liver Pâté
Never tried pate before? You are missing out. This recipe is easy and so tasty! Serve cold with some mini crostini and some good wine.
15. Cheddar Garlic Biscuits
These biscuits are way too easy to make and technically are just 2 ingredients if you don't include marinara sauce. But why wouldn't you? Dipping is the best part!
16. 3 Ingredient Crab Dip
This crab dip is all about the crab. And when that's the case, how can it be bad? Simple is usually best. Serve with crackers, mini toasts, or veggies.
17. Baked Ham and Cheese Rollups
Yes just '3' ingredients! What a filling way to keep your guests tummies full! This appetizer is made with store-bought pizza dough so it is a simple shortcut that saves time and ingredients! I would serve this room temperature with a dipping sauce like ranch.
18. Andouille Sausage Appetizer Bites With Cranberry Cheddar
These appetizer bites are made with cranberry cheddar cheese! They are a flavorful and delicious appetizer, perfect for the cooler months since they are loaded with fall and winter flavors.
19. Blackberry Cucumber Caprese Skewers
These caprese skewers are a fun twist on the caprese salad! They are super easy to make and fun to eat! The flavor combination is unique and would go perfectly with drinks!
20. Pickle Roll Ups
If you love pickles, ham, and ranch dressing, these are for you! They are always a party hit especially when served alongside this delicious honey mustard dip! Serve cold!
21. Avocado Pesto BLT Bites
You can be sure that because these bites have bacon, they will not be lacking in flavor. Add the pesto, and I bet your guests wont stop at one. A refreshingly light bite for any occasion!
22. Beer Cheddar Cheese Pretzel Dip
This cheesy beer pretzel dip is best when made ahead of time! It allows all of those flavors to meld together resulting in a bold and robust dip!
23. Spicy Garlic Shrimp
This recipe is a simple way to prepare shrimp that’s also incredibly delicious. The shrimp are succulent, buttery and garlicky with a fantastic spicy finish. Make them a day ahead and serve chilled!
24. Smoked Salmon Dill Spread
Need a go-to appetizer that is fast and last minute? This is it! Ready in minutes but stores well in the refrigerator so you can make it a day or two in advance and serve it cold!
25. Cheesy Crescent Bites
These bites use canned biscuit dough as the base. Topped with a creamy cheese spread and some fresh herbs, you've got a deliciously easy appetizer that is perfect to serve at room temperature!
26. Garlic n' Herb Bread Dipping Oil
This bread dipping oil has been around my family for years. We never get sick of it especially because of how the flavors get better as the herbs infuse the olive oil.
27. Grilled Polenta with Mozzarella and Tomatoes
These grilled polenta cakes are topped with mozzarella cheese, balsamic vinegar and fresh tomatoes! The grilling step adds a huge flavor bonus here!
28. Stuffed Grape Leaves
These are a Greek staple. Grape leaves are stuffed with rice and herbs and lots of fresh lemon juice! Best when served cold, they transport incredibly well!
29. Grilled Bacon Peaches
These bacon wrapped peaches are so flavorful! Grilled and then drizzled with balsamic vinegar! Such as easy appetizer that is is delicious served at room temperature and even easy to transport!
30. Chicken Avocado Salad Roll Ups
These roll ups are perfect for transporting! Just roll them up, cut and stack them in layers separated with parchment paper! Perfect!
31. Fennel Seed Taralli (Italian Olive Oil Crackers)
Crisp, biscuit-like Italian crackers! These are called "Taralli" and are similar in texture to a breadstick or a pretzel and are totally addicting! Transportation? No problem!
32. Grilled Corn and Bean Salsa
It's all about the grilled corn here. Your best bet is making the salsa ahead of time and keeping it in a separate container. Add the pre-sliced bread in a separate bag and set out when you arrive! Guests can serve themselves!
33. Everything Bagel Stuffed Celery Sticks
These every bagel stuffed celery sticks are one of the easiest breakfast or brunch appetizers! Made with just 3 ingredients, they are hard to mess up and hard to resist!
Final Cold Appetier Tips
I hope you were able to find at least one cold appetizer that made you drool just a little. Remember, the appetizers that are served on top of bread or crackers are meant to be served crispy.
So if you let them sit with cold, wet food on top for more than an hour or so. They may get soggy! With that said, even though your making most of these recipes ahead of time, you may want to finish assembling some last minute!
Don't run out of appetizers! Read how many appetizers you should be serving!
I am a big believer in WHITE dishware as it seems to make food look more appetizing and clean.
Here are my favorites!!
Shallow Porcelain Serving Bowls
Porcelain Serving Platter with Handles
All check out my list of Tortilla Roll-Up Ideas!
Hungry for more?
These 24 Appetizers You Can Make 24 Hours in Advance are my tried and true recipes that everyone will love! If you're ready to host like a BOSS, this recipe book is for you!
Love these delicious appetizers , super excited to try this one. Thanks for sharing with us.
These finger food (appetizers ) shared really wow!! thanks for sharing