These Make-Ahead Appetizers Feed Your Guests & Let You Mingle Too

by SheKnows Food Recipe Editors
Aug 21, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. ET

We love entertaining. There really aren't too many things in life that are as satisfying as throwing one kick-butt party — it really is quite the buzz. The only problem? If you're busy making sure all the adorable little finger foods are ready on time when the guests are ready to snack, sometimes you miss out on the fun.

But when you prepare everything in advance, you have cute, tasty appetizers, well fed guests and you get to join in on the festivities. Perfection. 

All it really comes down to is a little creative planning and a wee bit of precooking to save yourself literal hours to spend with your friends. Because you deserve to kick back and have some fun too.

These make-ahead appetizers are perfect.

Originally published December 2014. Updated August 2017.

1 /18: Sausage-cheddar balls

1/18 :Sausage-cheddar balls

You'll be hooked on these sausage-cheddar balls from the first bite. 

2 /18: Buffalo deviled eggs

2/18 :Buffalo deviled eggs

Deviled eggs are a classic party appetizer. Amp things up with a Buffalo sauce and blue cheese combo that packs a flavorful punch. Recipe: Buffalo blue cheese deviled eggs

3 /18: Individual 7-layer dips

3/18 :Individual 7-layer dips

You won't have to worry about double dipping when you serve each guest their own individual container of dip. They can triple dip if they want to! Recipe: Individual 7-layer dips

4 /18: Cheesy mini quiche

4/18 :Cheesy mini quiche

Prepare these elegant miniature quiches ahead of time, and warm them in the oven later. With a recipe like this, you can say good-bye to those frozen boxes forever. Recipe: Spinach, cheese and green onion mini quiche

5 /18: Cocktail meatballs

5/18 :Cocktail meatballs

Make these meatballs the day before, then throw everything into a slow cooker before your party, and forget about them until you're ready to dig in. Recipe: Slow cooker cocktail meatballs

6 /18: Easy queso dips

6/18 :Easy queso dips

Nobody will be able to pass up these warm, melty dips. Not only are they super cheesy, but they're super easy to make. Win-win! Recipe: 3 Must-try super-cheesy queso dips

7 /18: Maple bacon-cheddar twists

7/18 :Maple bacon-cheddar twists

Puff pastry twists jazzed up with bacon and maple syrup are perfect for dipping into cheesy, beer-infused sauce. Recipe: Maple bacon cheddar twists with cheesy beer dip

8 /18: DIY marinated cheese

8/18 :DIY marinated cheese

Skip the expensive store-bought marinated cheese, and make your own at home. Fresh mozzarella and feta infused with olive oil, herbs and lemon zest make a simple but delicious bite. Recipe: DIY marinated mozzarella and feta cheese

9 /18: Sweet potato skins

9/18 :Sweet potato skins

Put a healthy twist on classic potato skins by using sweet potatoes. Fill these babies up ahead of time, and broil when ready to serve. Just remember to drizzle on the sour cream after you've reheated them. Recipe: Southwest loaded sweet potato skins

10 /18: Easy antipasto skewers

10/18 :Easy antipasto skewers

Thread your favorite antipasto bites onto a skewer for a super-easy portable snack. Because food on a stick is always more fun. Recipe: Easy antipasto skewers with basil pesto dip

11 /18: Parmesan and rosemary sables

11/18 :Parmesan and rosemary sables

These yummy little savory Parmesan and rosemary sable cookies are where simple and delicious meet. 

12 /18: Olive spread

12/18 :Olive spread

Make your own French olive spread at home, and watch the compliments roll in.

13 /18: Spicy roasted chickpeas

13/18 :Spicy roasted chickpeas

These spicy roasted chickpeas are so much tastier than bar nuts but just as easy to bake up and serve.

14 /18: Mozzarella, salmon and arugula appetizer

14/18 :Mozzarella, salmon and arugula appetizer

This mozzarella, salmon and arugula appetizer looks far more complicated than it actually is. 

15 /18: Bite-size turkey-bacon grilled cheese

15/18 :Bite-size turkey-bacon grilled cheese

Easy-peasy bite-size turkey-bacon grilled cheese will never go out of style. 

16 /18: Mini jalapeño-kielbasa cornbread muffins

16/18 :Mini jalapeño-kielbasa cornbread muffins

We can thank cornbread mix for making these mini kielbasa-jalapeño cornbread muffins a home run.

17 /18: Ranch cucumber bites

17/18 :Ranch cucumber bites

These ranch cucumber bites may be the easiest of them all — fresh, healthy, chic and still so delicious. 

18/18 :Pin it!