5 Best Easy Appetizer Recipes

Black Bean Dip

Black Bean Dip
Packed with flavor, this south-of-the-border dip is easy on your waistline! For the ultimate low-fat snack, serve with fat-free tortilla chips.

  • 2 tablespoons Old El Paso® chopped green chiles (from 4.5-oz can)
  • 2 small onions, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) Progresso® black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Tortilla chips or crackers, if desired


  1. Place chilies, onions, garlic and beans in blender or food processor. Cover and blend on medium-high speed until almost smooth.
  2. Spoon mixture into small bowl. Stir in yogurt, cumin and salt. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, or heat in 1-1/2-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until hot. Serve with tortilla chips.

Nutrition Information
Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 35, carb. (g) 8, fiber (g) 2, pro. (g) 2, sodium (mg) 145, calcium (mg) 20, iron (mg) 1, Starch () 1, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Potato Crisps with Chive-Sour Cream Dip
Grace Parisi makes brilliant use of throw-away potato peels: She deep-fries them until they’re crispy, then sprinkles them with Parmesan. An utterly addictive snack, they’re great with cocktails, beer, or wine.

  • 3 cups canola oil
  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold or russet potatoes, thickly peeled into roughly 1-by-3-inch strips
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large saucepan over moderately high heat, heat the oil to 360 degrees. Fry the potato skins in batches, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer each batch of potato strips to paper towels to drain, then sprinkle with salt immediately.
  2. Transfer the potato strips to a baking sheet and sprinkle them with the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake for 3 to 4 minutes, just until the cheese is melted. Let the crisps cool, then transfer to a bowl.
  3. In a blender or processor, puree the sour cream with the chives and a pinch of salt and pepper until the chives are finely chopped. Transfer the dip to a bowl and serve alongside the potato crisps.


  1. The chive-sour cream dip can be refrigerated overnight.
Antipasto Platter

Antipasto Platter
An Italian favorite! A lively lemon-and-oil mixture lightly dresses an assortment of meats, olives and vegetables.

  • 12 slices prosciutto or thinly sliced fully cooked ham (about 6 oz), cut in half
  • 12 slices provolone cheese (about 3/4 lb), cut in half
  • 24 thin slices Genoa salami (about 3/4 lb)
  • 24 marinated mushrooms
  • 24 marinated artichoke hearts
  • 24 kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1/3 cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 12 slices hard-crusted round Italian bread or 24 slices French bread (1/2 inch thick)


  1. On large platter, arrange all ingredients except oil, lemon juice, oregano and bread.
  2. In small bowl, mix oil, lemon juice and oregano. Drizzle over meats, cheese and vegetables.
  3. If using Italian bread, cut each slice in half. On large plate, arrange bread. Serve with meats, cheese and vegetables.


  1. High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change.

Nutrition Information
Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 180, Fat, total (g) 13, chol. (mg) 25, sat. fat (g) 5, carb. (g) 7, pro. (g) 10, vit. A (IU) 97, sodium (mg) 610, calcium (mg) 101, iron (mg) 1, Starch () 1, High-Fat Meat () 1, Fat () 1, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Layered Mediterranean Tuna Spread

Layered Mediterranean Tuna Spread
Cream cheese spread and canned tuna helps a colorful layered dip come together in 15 minutes.

  • 1 container chives-and-onion cream cheese spread (8 ounces)
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup pitted nicoise or kalamata olives, cut in half
  • 1 can albacore tuna, well drained, broken into chunks (6 ounces)
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded, coarsely chopped
  • 1 hard-cooked egg, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 48 crackers


  1. In small bowl, mix cream cheese, shallot and Italian seasoning until well blended. Spread in 8-inch circle on serving plate.
  2. Top with olives, tuna, tomato, egg and parsley. Serve with crackers.


  1. High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change.

Nutrition Information
Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 110, Fat, total (g) 7, chol. (mg) 30, sat. fat (g) 3, carb. (g) 7, pro. (g) 5, vit. A (IU) 292, vit. C (mg) 1, sodium (mg) 220, calcium (mg) 20, iron (mg) 1, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Five-Spice Turkey & Lettuce Wraps

Five-Spice Turkey & Lettuce Wraps
Based on a popular Chinese dish, these fun wraps also make appealing appetizers for entertaining. Make it a meal: Serve with chile-garlic sauce and rice vinegar for extra zip; toss diced mango and strawberries with lime juice for a quick dessert.

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup instant brown rice
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 large red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 8 ounce can water chestnuts, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, (see Note)
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder, (see Note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 heads Boston lettuce, leaves separated
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as cilantro, basil, mint and/or chives
  • 1 large carrot, shredded


  1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add rice; reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add turkey and ginger; cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until the turkey is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice, bell pepper, water chestnuts, broth, hoisin sauce, five-spice powder and salt; cook until heated through, about 1 minute.
  3. To serve, spoon portions of the turkey mixture into lettuce leaves, top with herbs and carrot and roll into wraps.


  1. Notes: Hoisin sauce is a spicy, sweet sauce made from soybeans, chiles, garlic and spices. It will keep in the refrigerator for at least a year.
  2. Often a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns, five-spice powder was originally considered a cure-all miracle blend encompassing the five elements (sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, salty). Look for it in the supermarket spice section.
  3. MAKE AHEAD TIP: Prepare the filling (through Step 2), cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Serve cold or reheat in the microwave.

Nutrition Information
Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 285, Fat, total (g) 11, chol. (mg) 66, sat. fat (g) 3, carb. (g) 24, Monounsaturated fat (g) 1, fiber (g) 5, pro. (g) 26, vit. A (IU) 7288.53, vit. C (mg) 82.67, sodium (mg) 543, Potassium (mg) 390, iron (mg) 4.5, Vegetables () 2, Starch () 0.5, Lean Meat () 3, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.




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