Italian Appetisers

Savour the Flavors: 10 Easy Italian Appetisers to Wow Your Guests

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Updated on February 4, 2024

Italian cuisine is celebrated worldwide for its delectable flavours, fresh ingredients, and exquisite simplicity. When it comes to appetisers, or “antipasti” in Italian, there’s a wide variety of options to choose from. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or a family gathering or just looking for a scrumptious snack, these ten easy Italian appetiser recipes are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Italian appetisers are as varied as the regions of Italy itself, showcasing an array of flavours, textures, and ingredients. Commonly, antipasti consist of a selection of cured meats, cheeses, olives, and marinated vegetables, providing a symphony of salty, savoury, and tangy notes that awaken the palate. 

Bruschetta, with its toasted bread rubbed with garlic and topped with ripe tomatoes and basil, is a classic example, embodying the simplicity and freshness that Italian cuisine is renowned for. Other favourites include arancini, crispy fried rice balls with a gooey cheese centre, and stuffed mushrooms filled with a rich mixture of herbs and cheeses. Overall, Italian appetisers set the stage for the meal, offering a glimpse into the regional flavours and culinary traditions that make Italian cuisine so beloved worldwide.

10 Easy Italian Appetisers to Make at Home

Appetisers and finger food are always a great addition to any house party or family gathering. They give your party a little oomph and a fancy vibe that, thankfully, doesn’t take much money or effort to acquire. You can easily make Italian appetisers at home with whatever ingredients you have in your fridge! To prove that to you, we have ten recipes of easy Italian appetisers you can make for a group of people or even for a late-night snack!

Let’s get started on these delicious recipes that we can bet will become a staple on your dinner table!

Caprese Salad Skewers

Italian Appetisers
Caprese Salad Skewers

Caprese salad is one of the most popular Italian dishes you can find in almost any respectful Italian restaurant. It’s refreshing, cool, delicious and full of flavour. If you’re not into pizza and pasta and are looking for something light to eat, Caprese salad is always there for you! For a dinner party, you can elevate this dish by turning it into skewers! Caprese salad skewers are one of the easiest Italian appetisers that require zero cooking!

What you need

Cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella balls, fresh basil leaves, balsamic glaze, olive oil, salt, and pepper

How to make it

  1. Start by washing the cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves under cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel.
  2. If your mozzarella balls are stored in brine, drain them well.
  3. Take a small skewer and thread a cherry tomato, followed by a basil leaf, and then a mozzarella ball.
  4. Place the assembled skewers on a serving platter.
  5. Drizzle with a good quality olive oil and balsamic glaze.
  6. Finish by seasoning with a sprinkle of salt and a pinch of black pepper.
  7. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to an hour before serving.

Bruschetta al Pomodoro

Italian Appetisers
Bruschetta al Pomodoro

If you ask anyone to name one Italian appetiser they know, they will say, “Bruschetta!” because Bruschetta is the go-to Italian appetiser. It’s delicious, full of flavour, easy to make and easier to devour! The mix of flavours a single Bruschetta slice has can stand against the best-made dishes in the world and give them a run for their money! This easy Bruschetta recipe will make you look like a professional Italian chef.

What you need

Sliced baguette, diced ripe tomatoes, chopped fresh basil, garlic cloves, olive oil, and salt

How to make it

  1. Preheat your oven’s broiler setting.
  2. Slice a baguette diagonally to create more surface area for the toppings.
  3. Place the slices on a baking sheet and toast them under the broiler for 1-2 minutes on each side or until they are crispy and lightly browned.
  4. Peel a garlic clove and cut it in half. Rub the cut side of the garlic over the toasted side of each bread slice.
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine diced ripe tomatoes with chopped fresh basil. Add a drizzle of olive oil and mix well.
  6. Spoon the tomato mixture onto the garlicky side of each bread slice.
  7. Finish with a sprinkle of salt before serving.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Melon

httpss://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdJgoHVQnhM

If what you want is a refreshing appetiser that requires almost zero effort but tastes amazing, then Prosciutto-Wrapped Melon is the appetiser for you! Just like its name, all this appetiser needs to be ready is delicious, refreshing melons and Prosciutto slices. This one is really one of the simplest and easiest Italian appetisers out there!

What you need

Cantaloupe or honeydew melon and prosciutto slices

How to make it

  1. Start by choosing a ripe cantaloupe or honeydew melon. Cut it in half and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Slice the melon into wedges or cut into bite-sized cubes, removing the rind.
  3. Take a slice of prosciutto and wrap it around a piece of melon. If you’re using wedges, you can wrap the prosciutto around the wider end, leaving the pointed end exposed for easy eating.
  4. Arrange the wrapped melon on a serving platter and serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to an hour before serving.

Garlic Knots

httpss://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPZhKPlHtCg

Italians sure love garlic! If they could add to their drinks, they would! But there is no need to get that far; just pick up some garlic and make these delicious, fluffy and soft garlic knots that will make you droll. Garlic bread is good, but garlic knots are a step above using pizza dough instead of bread slices. This Italian appetiser may require a little more work, but trust us, it is worth it! And we’re still talking about easy Italian appetisers, so you know it will be a breeze to make.

What you need

Pre-made pizza dough, olive oil, fresh minced garlic, Italian seasoning, and grated parmesan cheese

How to make it

  1. Preheat your oven according to the pizza dough package instructions and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Roll out the pre-made pizza dough on a floured surface.
  3. Cut the dough into strips approximately 1-inch wide.
  4. Tie each strip into a knot and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together olive oil and minced fresh garlic.
  6. Brush the garlic oil mixture over the top of each knot.
  7. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and grated Parmesan cheese.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven until the knots are golden brown and cooked through for about 10-12 minutes.

Arancini (Rice Balls)

Italian Appetisers
Arancini

When you think of rice balls, you probably think about Asian cuisine, but Italians have their own twist on rice balls, and it is called Arancini. The best thing about Arancini (besides its awesome taste) is that it uses the leftover risotto you had for dinner to make the most delicious appetiser! So, if you’re one of those people who always cook way too much risotto, this easy Italian appetiser recipe will save your life.

What you need

Leftover risotto (cooled), cubes of mozzarella cheese, bread crumbs, eggs, and vegetable oil (for frying)

How to make it

  1. Use cooled leftover risotto for this recipe, as it will hold together better when forming the balls.
  2. Cut a block of mozzarella cheese into small cubes.
  3. Take a tablespoon of risotto, flatten it in the palm of your hand, and place a cube of mozzarella in the centre.
  4. Enclose the cheese with the risotto, forming a ball.
  5. Roll the ball in beaten eggs, then coat it with breadcrumbs, ensuring an even layer.
  6. Heat vegetable oil in a deep frying pan over medium-high heat.
  7. Fry the rice balls in batches until they are golden brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  8. Use a slotted spoon to remove the arancini from the oil and drain on paper towels.

Marinated Olives

Italian Appetisers
Marinated Olives

If there is one thing all countries in the Mediterranean have in common, it’s their ultimate love for all things olives. Italians, Greeks, Egyptians, Palestinians, wherever you go on the Mediterranean, olives are the number one ingredient. This easy Italian appetiser is for the olive-lovers. If you are not one for the tangy taste of olives, you might want to skip that one or suck it up and give this a taste!

What you need

Mixed olives, olive oil, sliced garlic cloves, orange zest, and rosemary sprigs

How to make it

  1. Choose a mix of your favourite olives and place them in a bowl.
  2. Add a generous drizzle of olive oil.
  3. Slice a few garlic cloves and add them to the bowl.
  4. Add strips of orange zest and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary.
  5. Toss everything together until the olives are well-coated.
  6. Cover and let the olives marinate for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.
  7. Serve the olives with a slotted spoon to drain off any excess oil.

Pesto Dip

Italian Appetisers
Pesto Dip

Millennials love pesto! They put it on toast, as a salad dressing, with tacos, or as a dip. For Italians, pesto is a superior dip that can be used with crackers as an appetiser. Children and adults alike will swarm your table to get their hands on this amazing pesto we’re about to show you! This easy Italian appetiser is about to become one of your favourites.

What you need

Fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, grated parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic clove, and lemon juice

How to make it

  1. In a food processor, combine fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, grated Parmesan cheese, and a garlic clove.
  2. Pulse until the ingredients are finely chopped.
  3. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil until the pesto reaches your desired consistency.
  4. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and pulse to combine.
  5. Transfer the pesto to a bowl and serve with sliced bread or crackers.

Fried Zucchini

Italian Appetisers
Fried Zucchini

Do you know how to get your children to eat veggies without complaining? Fry them! Once they see the crunchy layer of bread crumbs, they will devour your veggies without even asking what it is. Fried zucchinis are one of the most tasty appetisers out there—gooey and crunchy, all in one!

What you need

Sliced zucchini, flour, eggs, bread crumbs, and vegetable oil (for frying)

How to make it

  1. Wash and slice the zucchini into rounds or sticks.
  2. Set up a breading station with three shallow dishes. Place flour in the first, beaten eggs in the second, and breadcrumbs in the third.
  3. Dredge the zucchini slices in the flour, shaking off any excess.
  4. Dip in the beaten eggs, then coat with breadcrumbs, pressing the breadcrumbs onto the zucchini to adhere.
  5. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
  6. Fry the breaded zucchini in batches until golden brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  7. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Antipasto Platter

Italian Appetisers
Antipasto Platter

Sometimes, you just do not want to cook at all! No frying, no baking, no wrapping, no using the food processor. Nothing. When these moods hit, and you need to prepare an appetiser, then antipasto platter, it is. Just grab a handful of ingredients, add them to a nice plate and ask people to dig in! If anyone asks what this is, say, “It’s an antipasto platter” to sound fancy!

What you need

A variety of cheeses (mozzarella, gouda, cheddar), cured meats (salami, prosciutto, pepperoni), olives, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, and crackers or bread

How to make it

  1. Choose a variety of cheeses, such as mozzarella, gouda, and cheddar, and slice or cube them.
  2. Arrange the cheeses on a large serving platter.
  3. Add a selection of cured meats like salami, prosciutto, and pepperoni.
  4. Fill in the platter with olives, roasted red peppers, and artichoke hearts.
  5. Add some crackers or slices of bread.
  6. Serve with small forks and knives for easy eating.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Italian Appetisers
Stuffed Mushrooms

Another vegetable that is going to sneak its way into your dinner table! Mushrooms are generally loved veggies because they are great with anything! Put them on your pizza, and they work. Add them to your salad; they elevate it. Make them into soup, delicious! Today, we’re going to stuff them with cheese and have them as appetisers!

What you need

Large mushrooms without stems, cream cheese, minced garlic, grated parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning

How to make it

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Clean the mushrooms with a damp cloth and remove the stems.
  3. In a bowl, mix together cream cheese, minced garlic, grated Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning.
  4. Using a spoon, fill each mushroom cap with the cream cheese mixture.
  5. Place the stuffed mushrooms on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and the filling is golden brown.

That’s all, folks! Italian cuisine is so much more than classic pizza and a variety of pasta recipes. Appetisers are a main part of what makes Italian dinners as amazing as they are. You don’t need to go to fancy restaurants to eat them, though, because these recipes will do the job. Just make an inventory of what you have in your fridge and get right to cooking!

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