5-Minute appetizers

Dec 1, 2011 at 4:36 a.m. ET

Whether you’re feeding a party or a few starving kids before dinner, appetizers are a nice precursor to a meal. Snacks also buy you more time to prep the meal as they hold over hungry bellies -- at least for a short time. Here are a few quick, five-minute appetizers that please.

Quickie bruschetta

Quickie bruschetta

Usually, a good bruschetta requires a ton of chopping and prep, but you can cut a few corners without compromising taste. Dice a tomato and some basil, then toss in a balsamic vinaigrette. Cut a store-bought baguette into 1/2-inch slices, and then set the oven to broil. Butter each slice and place in the oven until crispy-brown. Take out of oven, then top with tomato mixture and serve.

Pesto croissants

Using packaged croissant dough, fill each croissant with jarred pesto and deli chicken slices. Roll and cook as per the package's directions. It's a flaky, tasty twist on Italian and French traditions.

Pigs in a blanket

Perfect for kids, this is an accessible, tasty, classic appetizer that requires little prep. Simply cut a hot dog into three even slices, and then roll each one in packaged roll or croissant dough. Bake until golden brown. Serve with several dipping sauces such as ketchup.

Caesar salad slices

Similar to the quickie bruschetta, Caesar salad slices require a baguette and broiled, buttered bread. As the bread is broiling to a golden brown, chop lettuce and toss in Caesar dressing with Parmesan cheese. When the bread is finished broiling, place a small amount of salad atop the bread and serve. It's a savory, tasty snack that's perfect before any Italian meal.


Simply peel, pit and mash four avocados, then sprinkle in garlic powder and salt to taste. For more flavor, add lemon juice, tomatoes and cilantro. Serve this quick appetizer with your favorite tortilla chips.

Pico de Gallo

Nothing could be easier than pico de gallo. Chop up some cilantro, tomatoes and onion; place in a bowl, and stir. For more depth, add a sprinkle of lemon juice, salt and pepper.

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