Wedding Reception Appetizer Ideas

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Pickle RollupsAfter the build-up, the ceremony, and the trip to the reception venue, your guests are most likely famished. But the dinner you’re serving is still almost an hour away from being ready. How do you keep Aunt Bathilda from having a hypoglycemic fit, or the groomsmen from munching on the floral centerpieces? Here are some fun ideas for wedding reception appetizers.

Pickle Roll-ups

A few of your guests might turn up their noses at this Midwestern staple, but we guarantee before dinner gets served that they’ll be munching away on them. Spread out shaved ham, cover one side with mayo, and then roll up a dill pickle into the middle. Cut into bite-sized pieces, shove a toothpick through, and they’re like little breadless sandwiches. They may not have the social cache of pate and water crackers, but they’re delicious.

Chips and Homemade Salsa

This one has an extra layer of fun to it, because you’ll get to watch people try not to drip on their formal wear. For the homemade salsa, slice an onion and a jalapeno into rough chunks, toss them into a food processor with sprigs of cilantro, and run the processor until they’re diced. Add some minced garlic, a can of petite diced tomatoes a squeeze of lime and some salt, and you’ve got fresh, delicious salsa. Bonus points for serving the salsa in single-serving cups in the middle of a plate of chips.

Caprese Skewers

For a spring or summer wedding, these light but filling appetizers are fantastic. All you need are mozzarella cheese balls, fresh basil leaves, and cherry tomatoes. Combine all three on a toothpick, place all the toothpicks in a tray, and douse liberally with balsamic vinegar. It’s refreshing and savory, perfect to hold guests over until the main course.

Meatballs

Serve them Swedish-style with a creamy gravy, or Italian-style with marinara–they’re a perfect bite of protein and salt. You can make them fresh with a mix of pork sausage and beef, or just beef and spices. You could also make the trek to Ikea and buy them by the bagful, though they’re never quite as good as the ones you get at the Ikea cafeteria. Poke toothpicks through them for ease of handling, and to discourage guests from grabbing them by the handful.

If you’re willing to go the extra mile for the people you love, you can make these sausage cheese balls. They combine Bisquick, sausage, and plenty of cheese to make something like the Platonic ideal of a bite-sized breakfast sandwich. But they’re perfect any time of day. If you do make these, make twice as many as you think you need.

Bacon-wrapped Shrimp/Scallops/Bacon

The way to a perfect appetizer (at least for non-vegetarian, non-kosher or halal guests) is simple: take a meat. Wrap it in bacon. Insert toothpick. Bake. Whether it’s shrimp, scallops, a meatball, or another chunk of salted pork, there are few savory options that can’t be improved by being wrapped in bacon.

Providing appetizers at your wedding can keep your guests happily occupied until the meal service starts. You don’t have to splurge for a fancy cheese plate or a selection of artisanal stuffed olives; these simple, down-home recipes are sure to be a big hit.


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