Appetizers that you can make ahead are the best kind of appetizers. They can be cooked, baked or assembled way before guests arrive so you can spend more time getting the rest of the house ready!
Cold appetizers are easy to make ahead. They can be stored in the fridge for at least a day ahead and pulled out cold whenever your guests are ready! Easy, peasy.
Have you checked out my list of 97 Finger Foods for parties?
It’s the hot appetizers that are tough to make in advance. They usually will cool off within 30 minutes and lose any texture they had by becoming soggy. Keeping food warm takes some tricks and the proper equipment. Check out some tips for keeping food warm here.
With that said, the recipes I included below are perfect make ahead appetizers for a crowd or cocktail party all of which can be served at room temperature or even cold!
Make Ahead Finger Foods
These tortilla roll ups are the perfect make ahead appetizer that everyone will LOVE! They can be rolled the day before and kept cold in the fridge before slicing!
These mini triangles are a fun appetizer you can definitely make ahead! You can bake them up the night before or leave your triangles unbaked and then bake or reheat them the next day! These are just as delicious room temperature as hot.
These onion skewers are such a fantastic make ahead appetizer that can be served cold! In fact, the longer the onions marinate, the better! Serve these with a few different cheeses, pita bread, crackers, and some good wine!
These cubano skewers are one of my favorite make ahead appetizers! The pickles maintain their crunchiness and they are the best when cold making them ideal for pulling straight out of the fridge!
A delicious and super fast taco dip made with cottage cheese instead of cream cheese! Serve with tortilla chips and leave at room temperature for a few hours as your guests snack.
These cucumber cups are stuffed with all the ingredients a Greek salad is known for. Tomatoes, onions, olives, peppers and of course, feta cheese! It is the perfect healthy make ahead finger food that can easily be kept at room temp.
These Roasted Baby Peppers Stuffed With Feta are such an easy cold appetizer to serve at your next party! Roasted and stuffed, these baby peppers can be made the night before and served at room temp!
This truly is The BEST Olive Oil Dip For Bread you will find! It is something I have been making for years and is always a favorite when entertaining! What makes this bread dipping oil better than the others is the FRESH herbs and garlic!
Marinated Antipasto Skewers
If you’re looking for quick finger foods to serve at your next party, these fun Marinated Antipasto Appetizer Skewers could NOT be easier to prepare! They are a quick appetizer for any crowd, made mini sized and can be made ahead of time.
Pasta Salad Skewers with Creamy Herb Dressing
Easy and delicious Pasta Salad Skewers With Creamy Herb Dressing! A fun and festive way to eat pasta salad without utensils! For this pasta salad, I used mini ravioli and then dressed the salad with a creamy but light herb dressing!
Melitzanosalata is a Greek appetizer made from roasting whole eggplants, pureeing it, then adding garlic, olive oil and lemon juice! It is a simple yet delicious small plate tapas dish that everyone will love!
This Roquefort Cheese and Pear “Bruschetta” with Walnuts is a fun twist on your classic bruschetta. This recipe has everything I love in a colder weather salad but made into a bite sized appetizer that’s perfect for entertaining around the holidays!
This White Cannellini Bean Dip With Garlic is like hummus…but 100x BETTER! It is by far, the best cold bean dip recipe I have tried. Super creamy, full of flavor and so healthy, you will become addicted!
A delicious last minute 3 ingredient dip you’ll want to make over and over again! This Spicy Greek Feta Cheese Dip also knows as “Tirokafteri” is a traditional Greek spread made with feta cheese and spicy peppers. It is incredibly easy to make and has always been a family favorite!
These sweet and savory palmiers are a super easy appetizer to make when expecting last minute company! Rolled puff pastry dough filled with a creamy Dijon spread, bacon and spicy cheddar cheese finished with maple syrup! Your guests will rave over these!
A cold creamy spinach dip that is made without mayo and with cream cheese! It is one of my top party dips and so easy to whip up. I like to make it ahead of time and then add it to a freshly cut bread bowl when guests arrive!
A delicious twist on a caprese salad, this easy Italian Burrata Appetizer with Roasted Peppers is my new go-to when I have last minute company! Grab your freshest baguette and dig in!
These Pan Fried Zucchini Squash Chips are made without flour or breading so they are gluten free! They are so simple to make and require less than 4 ingredients! Paired with a good tzatziki sauce you will not be able to stop eating these!
A deliciously healthy and inexpensive crab salad made with yogurt, sour cream and fresh herbs! Serve it on potato bread for a fun open faced crab roll or as a dip with buttery crackers on the side!
These Italian Easy Ricotta Roasted Red Pepper Crostini are an easy yet delicious appetizer that can be served hours ahead of time! These crostini are made with only 5 ingredients so you can spend more time enjoying the party and less time in the kitchen!
These roll ups are made with ham, cream cheese, ranch dressing and pickles! They are perfect to prepare in advance and can be easily stored in the fridge.
Final tips for making appetizers in advance
Room temperature appetizers are appealing because no reheating is necessary. But keep in mind food safety regulations. You can leave food out for 2 hours before bacteria starts to grow. If you wish to leave your appetizers out longer than that, you should place the food over ice! The best way to do this is to purchase ice containers like this one. It is specifically for appetizers and will allow you to keep your food cold at a safe temperature for much, much longer!
Here are other containers I like to serve my cold appetizers in. They are all from Amazon!