Hors d’oeuvres are my favorite part of any party, wedding or cocktail hour. They have been around for years and are still served at many events today. If you’re looking for some hors d’oeuvres inspiration, you’ve come to the right place! Here you will discover everything you need to know about hors d’oeuvres such as examples, recipe ideas and how to serve them!
Hors d’oeuvres are small savory dishes served before a meal even begins. They are not considered PART of the meal itself and are typically fancier. They can be served cold or hot and can be eaten with your fingers. They do not require guests to be seated to consume them like most appetizers do and instead are passed around.
Appetizers are meant to “kick off” a meal and are served immediately before the main course. They can range from flatbreads to dips and everything in between.
What does hors d’oeuvres literally mean?
Hors d’oeuvres is French. It means “out of work” which translates to “outside the meal”. It is called outside the meal because they are not considered part of a meal. They are a meal in itself and have no connection to the main meal or main course.
Hors d’oeuvres recipes
These meatballs are a delicious skewered hors d’oeuvres idea that people will love. They are fun served on mini toothpick skewers are drizzled with a Greek yogurt sauce.
These bruschetta caprese are a deliciously filling and fancy appetizer you can serve to guests. Prep them in advance and bake them off last minute, they are always a hit at parties.
Wonton wrappers are a popular vessel for many appetizers because of how versatile they are. These cream cheese avocado filled wontons are a deliciously creamy and crispy hors d’oeuvres that everyone will go crazy for. They can be fried in advance and kept warm.
Bacon wrapped pork skewers make a deliciously hearty but easy hors d’oeuvres. Everyone loves dipping so serve these with some mini toothpicks and you will have people going for thirds.
If you want to wow your guests, this is it. Everyone loves grilled cheese, even kids, so this one never lasts when it comes out. Serve with a quality brand of canned tomato soup and you have an easy but impressive hors d’oeuvre that people will remember.
These cheeseburger skewers are a fun way to enjoy the classic American burger but made a bit more classy. They can easily be assembled in advance and kept warm. Serve with a delicious burger sauce on the side!
Stuffed mushrooms are a classic appetizer that has been served for decades. They are the perfect finger food and super versatile. This version is Italian inspired made with clam sauce and herbs.
If you want to serve heavy hors d’oeuvres, this crostini has to be on your menu. It is fancy, impressive and best of all, can be made in advance and kept warm in the oven before serving.
These cucumber cups are a deliciously refreshing finger food that is ideal for the warmer months. They are inspired by a traditional Greek salad and can be assembled the night before and stored in the fridge.
These mock bruschetta are how you turn a salad into a bite sized appetizer! They are ideal for the colder months made with craisins, pecans and roquefort cheese.
Serving your hors d’oeuvres
Serving hors d’oeuvres can be done one of two ways.
You can set up a buffet-style table with all of your hors d’oeuvres set up for guests to help themselves. This allows people to choose what they like and does not require servers.
The other option for serving hors d’oeuvres is hiring caterers to walk around with them. There is something fun and exciting about passed hors d’oeuvres that make a party so much more memorable. The cost would be more for this type of service so it is good to have a budget in mind.
You could also do a combination of both if you wish. Have a few caterers passing around hors d’oeuvres while some are also on a table for easy grabbing. Either way, your guests are sure to be happy!