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Easy Appetizers for a Crowd

Rimlee Bhuyan Feb 16, 2020
If you are planning to host a cocktail party and have invited a lot of guests, then you need easy appetizers that you can feed a crowd. Here, we are going to present some easy appetizer ideas for a crowd.
Hosting a cocktail party or a dinner party is not an easy task and more so if you have invited a lot of people. The food is the most important element of the party and you have to make sure that it is tasty and delicious.
The appetizers that you serve your guests should be dainty and bite-sized and they should taste absolutely divine. The appetizers you choose to make, depends upon the kind of party that you are throwing. If it is a cocktail party then you need a selection of about 8 to 10 cocktail party appetizers.
On the other hand, if you are throwing a dinner party with a main course and dessert course then 3 to 5 starters will suffice. Whatever the occasion may be, make sure that there is a balance in the flavors of the appetizers.
Since you have to feed a lot of people, it is best that you choose recipes which can be prepared a day or two in advance. This will ensure that on the day of the party, you do not have any trouble putting up good food on the table. Choose cold as well as hot appetizers to feed your guests.

Quick and Easy Appetizers for a Crowd

An appetizer to be a winner, should have great flavors, should be easy to pick up and should be bite-sized. Here is a selection of simple, easy and quick appetizers for a crowd.

Cranberry Meatballs

4 cups ground beef
▪ 2 large eggs
▪ ½ cup dry breadcrumbs
▪ ½ teaspoon onion powder
▪ ½ teaspoon garlic powder
▪ 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
▪ 1 can cranberry sauce
▪ 1 jar sweet chili sauce
▪ ¼ cup orange marmalade
▪ ½ teaspoon dried thyme
▪ 1 teaspoon salt
▪ ¼ cup water
▪ 2 tablespoons soy sauce
▪ 1 teaspoon chili flakes
▪ 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef with eggs, onion powder, garlic powder, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and dried thyme. Shape this mixture with your hands and make about 54 meatballs which are around 1 inch in diameter.
Cook the meatballs in a pan or skillet with a bit of oil until they are browned. Remove meatball from pan and place them on paper towels. In another pan, stir in the cranberry sauce, orange marmalade, sweet chili sauce, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, red chili flakes and water over medium heat.
Add the meatballs into this mixture and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes until the meatballs become soft. Serve meatball appetizers skewered in bamboo sticks.
This is one of the best easy appetizers to make for crowd since all the ingredients are pantry staples and the meatballs can be made a day in advance and then stored in air tight containers or zip lock bags in the refrigerator.

Grilled Stuffed Peppers

▪ ½ cup soft goat cheese
▪ ½ cup softened cream cheese
▪  ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
20 jalapeño peppers, cut half lengthwise and deseeded
½ cup chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons sliced spring onions
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped sage
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
Cooking spray

In a large bowl mix the soft goat cheese, Parmesan cheese, cream cheese, chopped tomatoes, spring onions, fresh sage and salt. Combine the mixture thoroughly with a spoon or with your hands and make sure that all the ingredients are well mixed.
With the help of a spoon, stuff around two spoonful of this cheese mixture into the pepper halves. When you are done stuffing all the pepper halves in this way, grill them in a moderately hot oven by placing them, cheese side up on the grill rack. To serve, place the peppers carefully on platters and sprinkle them with cilantro.
This easy party appetizer for crowds is great for your vegetarian guests. If you think that jalapeño chillies are a little too spicy, you can substitute them with bell peppers or any other kind of chilies.

Potato Nests with Smoked Salmon and Sour Cream

12 large russet potatoes
▪ 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
▪ ¾ cup sour cream
▪ ¼ cup thinly sliced smoked salmon
▪ ½ teaspoon salt
▪ ½ teaspoon black pepper

In a large saucepan, boil the unpeeled russet potatoes on high heat for 20 minutes. When the potatoes are cooked, remove the potatoes from water and refrigerate them for at least an hour.
In a food processor, whiz the smoked salmon slices and lemon zest and then pour in the sour cream. Transfer this mixture into a bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate until you need to serve them. Lightly grease muffin tin cups with a bit of olive oil and preheat the oven.
Peel the russet potatoes and grate them coarsely. Add salt and pepper to the grated potatoes and place 1 heaped tablespoon of this grated potato mixture into the greased muffin cups. Bake the potato nests in a moderately hot oven until the edges are crispy and golden brown in color.
Cool the potato nests for about 10 minutes and carefully remove them from the muffin cups. Place potato nests on a platter and spoon in 1 tablespoon of the chilled salmon and sour cream mixture into each nest. Serve with a sprig of parsley or a bit of smoked salmon on top.
This smoked salmon appetizer is one of the most elegant and easy appetizers for a crowd and you can make the potato nests as well as the filling a day in advance. Just bake the potato nests before serving and spoon in the filling.

Marinated Mozzarella

500 g mozzarella cheese
▪ 1 jar sun-dried tomatoes
▪ ½ teaspoon dried oregano
▪ 1 teaspoon onion powder
▪ 1 teaspoon garlic powder
▪ ½ cup olive oil
▪ ½ teaspoon salt
▪ 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

Chop the mozzarella cheese into 1 inch cubes. Next drain the sun-dried tomatoes and cut them into bite-size pieces. Arrange the cheese cubes and sun-dried tomato pieces in a single layer in a baking tray.
To make the marinade, pour the olive oil in a bowl. Add garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano and salt. Mix all the ingredients together and pour this marinade over the cheese cubes and sun-dried tomatoes.
Cover the baking tray with cling film and refrigerate for 24 hours. To serve, place a piece of sun-dried tomato over a marinated cheese cube and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
There are many other easy appetizer recipes that you can make to feed your guests. Starters like crab cakes, deviled eggs, smashed potatoes, bruschetta and mini quiches are ideal for feeding a lot of people. All that is needed is a bit of planning and creativity to prepare them.