Canapés are small hors d’oeuvres that are often decorative and served on a small piece of bread or pancake. They are the ultimate fancy appetizer that is typically served during cocktail hour (my favorite hour in the world)! I especially love how they can be eaten with your fingers in just one bite no utensils necessary!
Here is a delicious round up of my favorite kinds of canapés! From puff pastry to breads to crackers, all of these savory bites are uber fancy and will make you feel like you are the creme de la creme of caterers!
What Is A Canapé?
A canapé is a small piece of bread, cracker, pastry or vegetable topped with something savory, and topped with a garnish. They are typically served at a formal event with drinks before dinner.
They are similar to hors d’oeuvres in that they are elegant, made to be eaten in one bite and can be eaten with your fingers. They are the perfect party food.
How To Make Canapés
An amuse-bouche is a fancy French term for a pre-course appetizer. Many are made bite sized so they are similar to canapés. With that said, canapés are usually made with three parts. A base, a spread and a topping.
To make your own canapés at home, you first need to select a base to serve it on. Some popular, classic bases are:
You can use any bread you have from white, wheat, rye or pumpernickel. You want to keep your bread sliced thin to keep your canapé bite sized. Sandwich bread is ideal since it is soft and already sliced thin.
Many caterers will cut out shapes in the bread to make them look fancier. You can cut rounds, squares, triangles or even star shaped.
Keep in mind that soft bread goes stale easily. So toasting your bread helps a lot. In fact, many caterers will serve canapés on STALE bread. Think crouton. This gives them a nice bite while allowing them to be made ahead of time without getting soggy.
Puff pastry dough is the perfect canvas for many different types of canapés. You can also cut puff pastry into any shape you want! The best way, in my opinion, is the serve your canapé in a vol-au-vent, or a hollowed out puff pastry cup.
Crackers are the easiest because they don’t go stale easily. Plus, they are ready to go out of the package and give your canapés a nice crunch factor!
Sometimes canapés are served on top of a thinly slices vegetables. Popular vegetables that are used are usually:
Party Canapé Ideas
Here are some fun and easy canapés you may want to serve your guests at your next party. Most can be made in advance, whether it be parts of the appetizer or the entire thing. Most are made to be served cold or at room temperature so you don’t have to heat them up in the oven.
These Classic French Gougères are the most delicious, light and fluffy party food. They are the perfect appetizer to serve at your next dinner party or to simply enjoy with a good glass of wine!
These buttery puff pastry cups are filled with a caprese salad which we all love! It is a yummy easy appetizer everyone at the party will love!
Smoked salmon cucumber bites with avocado pea smash make an easy and delicious finger food!
These Dynamite Salmon canapes are always a favorite – gorgeous, easy to prep, served room temperature and delish! What else can you ask for?
Ravishing. Stunning. Gorgeous. All words to describe these radish rose tea sandwiches. Made with lemon butter, these bite-sized, open-faced sandwiches are perfect for tea time.
These crisp and crunchy bread cases are the perfect base for an easily prepared, full of flavour appetizer. These are perfect for entertaining yet simple enough for your pre-dinner drinks.
Herbed Vegetable Potato Pancakes are perfect for brunch, party appetizers, or a side dish. Top them with Smoked Salmon and Lemon Chive Cream for an elegant appetizer.
These Pickled Beet Goat Cheese Tartlets are a quick and gorgeous appetizer, perfect for the Holidays as well as for any other winter celebration.
Delicious Spinach Dip Cups are the easiest way to enjoy the flavors of spinach artichoke dip in an individual serving. A fun canape that is crispy, savory and filling, perfect for parties!
These smoked salmon canapes may look fancy, but they’re pretty simple to assemble and will definitely impress company for any elegant event!
These wine-soaked apricot bites are the perfect canapé for your next party. Intrigue your guests with a range of exciting and surprising flavors and textures!
Need an easy make ahead appetizer for your next party? These mini toasts are one of the tastiest canapé recipes you’ll make! The topping is a mixture of , ricotta cheese, brie cheese, goat cheese, caramelized onions and honey. These minis are also great to make ahead!
These Mediterranean Sweet Potato Hummus Bites make a super flavorful and easy gluten free and vegetarian fancy finger food for entertaining.
This canape comprises of salmon and potato and are exquisite little mouthfuls that are preferably topped with creme fraiche and caviar. Your guests will remember this one!
These bites are a mini version of the popular Mexican dish. A fun bite-sized canape that’s crunchy, creamy and packed with flavor! You’ll want to save the recipe for any future get-together!
These canapes are very easy to put together with just 4 simple ingredients and are full of flavor! These handheld crostini are the perfect bite sized snack for any formal event.
These lamb polenta bites are a uniquely fancy appetizer! The combination of paprika, coffee, and red wine makes the lamb incredibly flavorful. It balances out well on simple discs of polenta with a sharp bite fromt the onion.
These puff pastry caprese bites, made using ready-rolled puff pastry, are quick, simple and eye-catching. Perfect for any party table!
These cracker canapes are a fun way to celebrate the return of warmer weather! Check out this spread of beautiful and colorfully topped RITZ crackers!
Canapes don’t need to take hours to assemble. These puff pastry chili squares are a modernized version brought to a fancier level. Surprisingly, they are super easy and quick to throw together! Your guests will love them!
Fancy But Easy Party Canapés
As you can see, most of these canapés look super fancy but they don’t require that much time to put together. Using crackers or store-bought mini toasts are a smart way to save time! There are no rules to choosing your toppings but going with colorful ingredients will help make your canapés look catering-worthy!
Looking for more finger foods to serve?