Seven Quick & Delicious Summer Appetizer Recipes

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Mozzarella and Tomato Salad

This classically simple salad is perfect for entertaining family and friends on hot summer days. With only a few easy ingredients and a short prep time, the mozzarella and tomato salad is a great choice for keeping guests full with minimal effort required.  What you'll need:

  • Three large tomatoes
  • Nine ounces of mozzarella cheese
  • One-half teaspoon of pepper
  • One teaspoon of garlic salt
  • Two and a half tablespoons of virgin olive oil
  • 10 basil leaves


  1. Cut the tomatoes into one half inch thick slices.
  2. Cut the mozzarella into an equal number of one quarter inch thick slices.
  3. Arrange an equal number of tomato and mozzarella slices per plate; add one basil leaf to each.
  4. Drizzle on the olive oil.
  5. Sprinkle on the garlic salt and pepper.


Mozzarella and Tomato Salad

Mozzarella and Tomato Salad

Seven Layer Dip

A summer time standard, serve this seven layer dip at pool parties, barbeques, outdoor dinners or a variety of other summertime activities. The simple ingredients mean it's easy to make and easy to eat. Just add tortilla chips or whole grain crackers and your appetizer is complete. What you'll need:

  • One can of refried beans
  • Three quarters of a cup of sour cream
  • One-half cup of salsa
  • One-half cup of guacamole
  • One cup of shredded lettuce
  • One-quarter cup of green onions
  • One teaspoon of salt
  • One teaspoon of pepper
  • One-half cup of shredded cheddar cheese


  1. In a large serving bowl, combine the beans, salt and pepper.
  2. Spread the guacamole over the beans.
  3. Sprinkle the onions over the guacamole.
  4. Spread the sour cream over the onions.
  5. Sprinkle the cheese over the sour cream.
  6. Spread the salsa over the cheese.
  7. Last, add the lettuce on top and serve.


A great pairing with wine and summertime cocktails, bruschetta is the perfect appetizer for an evening outdoor dinner party. What you'll need:

  • One and a half cloves of garlic
  • One and a half pounds of tomatoes
  • Seven chopped basil leaves
  • One tablespoon of virgin olive oil
  • One teaspoon of garlic salt
  • One and a half teaspoons of pepper
  • One loaf of French bread


  1. Peel and chop the tomatoes into small pieces.
  2. Mince the garlic.
  3. Heat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  4. Slice the bread into one half inch thick pieces, then season with olive oil.
  5. Mix the tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper and basil in a bowl.
  6. Spread the mixture over the slices of bread, placed on a baking sheet, olive oil side down.
  7. Toast on the top rack of the oven for five minutes.
  8. Remove and serve.

Stuffed potato skins

Another appetizer favorite, stuffed potato skins are a great way to keep guests filled until your entrée is ready. Simple and fun, make potato skin appetizers a part of your summer menu. What you'll need:

  • Five russet potatoes
  • One tablespoon of salt
  • One-half table spoon of pepper
  • Three strips of bacon
  • One-half cup of grated cheddar cheese
  • One-half cup of sour cream
  • Four green onions


  1. Bake or microwave potatoes until cooked, then slice in half.
  2. Cook the bacon strips in a frying pan for about 10 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked.
  3. Scoop out the center of each potato half and place on a baking sheet.
  4. Sprinkle the cheese, salt, pepper and bacon, and bake for another 10 minutes at 450 degrees F.
  5. Remove potatoes from the oven when cheese has thoroughly melted.
  6. Place sour cream on top of each baked potato half.
  7. Sprinkle onions on top of the sour cream and serve.


A healthy Mediterranean favorite, hummus is the perfect dip for backyard parties. Serve with whole-wheat pita slices for a low fat and delicious snack. What you'll need: 

  • Three cloves of garlic
  • One-half cup of water
  • One-quarter cup of lemon juice
  • One-quarter cup of virgin olive oil
  • Three quarter tablespoon of salt
  • Two cans of chickpeas
  • Two-thirds cup of Tahini


  1. Mix the chickpeas, garlic, tahini, water, salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil in a blender.
  2. Place the mixture in a bowl and serve with pita slices  

Stuffed Jalapenos

Make this summer appetizer for anyone who loves spicy treats. What you'll need:

  • Three-quarters of a cup of cream cheese
  • One-quarter cup chopped green onion
  • 10 jalapeno peppers
  • One-quarter cup chopped cilantro
  • One and a half teaspoons of salt
  • Two and a half ounces of pepper jack cheese


  1. Slice each jalapeno in half, scrape out all of the seeds inside and place the halves on a baking sheet.
  2. Mix all ingredients but the cheese in a mixing bowl, then fill each jalapeno with the mixture.
  3. Place one slice of cheese on top of the mixture, inside the Jalapenos.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese has thoroughly melted.

Putting together tasty summer appetizers doesn't have to keep you in a hot kitchen all day. Use one of these simple recipes to whip up a party favorite like stuffed potato skins, or an elegant hors d'oeuvre like bruschetta or mozzarella and tomato salad. For a healthy and incredibly quick snack, blend some hummus and serve with slices of pita. 

Last Updated: July 28, 2011
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About Alexandra Kerr Through Ideal Home Garden, Alexandra covers topics ranging from interior design to home improvement, gardening and cuisine. Having a passion for cooking and entertaining in her own life, she hopes to communicate her love of home design and decorating with her readers. 

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