Cold Appetizer Recipes

Cold Appetizers

Whether it’s a dip or snack….


Garden Veggie Pizza Squares

Makes 48 squares (24 servings).

1 (8 ounce) package refrigerated crescent rolls
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (1 ounce) package Ranch-style dressing mix
2 carrots, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup fresh broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onions


1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

2 Roll out crescent rolls onto a large non-stick baking sheet. Stretch and flatten to form a single rectangular shape on the baking sheet. Bake 11 to 13 minutes in the
preheated oven, or until golden brown. Allow to cool.

3 Place cream cheese in a medium bowl. Mix cream cheese with 1/2 of the ranch dressing mix. Adjust the amount of dressing mix to taste. Spread the mixture over the cooled crust. Arrange carrots, red bell pepper, broccoli and green onions on top. Chill in the refrigerator approximately 1 hour. Cut into bite-size squares to serve.

Nutty Bacon Cheeseball

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup milk
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup finely minced green onions (white parts only)
1 jar (2 ounces) diced pimiento, drained
10 slices bacon, cooked, drained, finely crumbled and divided
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans, divided
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Beat cream cheese and milk in large bowl at low speed of electric mixer until blended. Add cheeses. Beat at medium speed until well mixed. Add green onions, pimiento, half of bacon and half of pecans. Beat at medium speed until well mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer half of mixture to large piece of plastic wrap. Shape into ball; wrap tightly. Repeat with remaining mixture. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until chilled.
Combine remaining bacon and pecans with parsley and poppy seeds in pie plate or large dinner plate. Remove plastic wrap from each ball; roll each in bacon mixture until well coated. Wrap each ball tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 24 hours. Makes about 24 servings


Tex Mex Dip
1 can (16 oz) refried beans
1/4 cup picante sauce
1-1/2 cups prepared guacamole
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4-1/2 tsp. Taco seasoning
1 cup (4oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1 can sliced ripe olives, drained
chopped green onions, shredded lettuce, and chopped tomatoes
tortilla chips

In a bowl, combine the beans and picante sauce. Spread onto a serving platter. Spread with guacamole. Combine the sour cream, mayo, and taco seasoning; spread over the guacamole. Sprinkle with cheese, olives, onions, lettuce and tomatoes. Refrigerate until serving. Serve with tortilla chips. Serves 12-14.

Macho Gazpacho
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

2 (32-ounce) cans diced tomatoes in puree
1/4 cup cayenne pepper sauce (for mild heat use 2 tablespoons)
1/2 European seedless cucumber, cut into chunks
1 small red onion, cut into chunks
2 jalapenos or serranos, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 ribs celery, from the heart of the bunch, chunked
Handful fresh cilantro leaves
1 lemon or lime, juiced
Coarse salt and black pepper
Lemon or lime wedges, for garnish
Working in batches, combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse grind into a thick soup. Adjust seasonings. Pour soup into a thermos and chill until ready to serve. Serve in chilled glasses with wedges of lime or lemon for garnish.

Tree-Shaped Crescent Veggie Appetizers
Veggie trays, move over! This colorful tree-shaped appetizer will add an interesting twist to your appetizer buffet.
2 (8-oz.) cans Pillsbury® Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
3 cups finely chopped assorted vegetables (bell peppers, broccoli, carrot, cucumber and/or green onions)
Prep Time: 30 Minutes (Ready in 1 Hour 15 Minutes)
Preparation Directions:
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove dough from cans in rolled sections (2 sections from each can); do not unroll. Cut each section into 8 slices (16 slices from each can).
2. Place slices, cut side down, on ungreased cookie sheets to form trees. To form each tree, start by placing 1 slice for top; arrange 2 slices just below, with sides touching. Continue arranging row of 3 slices, then row of 4 slices, ending with row of 5 slices. Use remaining slice for trunk. Refrigerate one tree.
3. Bake one tree at 375°F. for 11 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute; carefully loosen with pancake turner and slide onto wire rack to cool. Bake and cool second tree.
4. Place each tree on serving platter. In small bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, dill and garlic powder; blend until smooth. Spread mixture over both trees. Decorate trees with assorted vegetable pieces. Garnish as desired. Refrigerate until serving time. To serve, pull apart slices of tree.

2 trees; 32 appetizers

Quickle Pickles
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Yield: 4 servings

1/2 cup white vinegar, eyeball it
2 rounded teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon salt
1 clove cracked garlic
1 teaspoon dried dill or 2 tablespoons fresh dill leaves, chopped or snipped
1 bay leaf
4 kirby cucumbers, cut into 1-inch slices on an angle
Heat small saucepan over medium high heat. Add vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, salt, and garlic to the pan and cook until it begins to simmer and sugar dissolves. Toss the dill, bay leaf, and sliced cucumbers together in a heat-proof bowl. Pour the simmering liquid over the cucumbers and stir to evenly coat. Allow to cool to room temperature or chill before serving.

White Cheddar and Jalapeno Spread

1/2 pound white Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup sour cream
1/8 cup mayonnaise
3 scallions, minced
5 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
Pinch of salt
Hot pepper sauce to taste

Let shredded cheddar get to room temp while cutting and measuring other ingredients, so that it blends with other ingredients easily. Then, blend all ingredients until smooth.
Best when allowed to refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Makes about 1 1/2 cups


This dressing is delicious served over green salads.
Makes: 1 PINT
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. chopped cumber
2 tsp. chopped chives
1 tsp. chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp dill weed
Combine all ingredients and chill.

Tortilla Roll-ups

1 package ( 8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup chunky salsa
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
12 ( 6-inch) flour tortillas

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add salsa, onion, garlic salt and chili powder. Mix well. Spread a heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture on each tortilla. Rollup each tortilla fairly tightly, jellyroll fashion, and place seam side down on a baking sheet. Chill, covered, at least 2 hours. Slice each roll into 4 pieces. Top each with a small amount of guacamole. Makes about 4 dozen.


1 pkg of large flour tortillas, ( 1 pkg. of Sun Dried Tomato Tortillas and 1 pkg. of Spinach Tortillas are great)
2 8oz.pkgs. philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 small can sliced ripe olives, chopped
1 bunch green onions, sliced very thin, use the white and about 2 1/2- 3″ of the green.
1 # chipped boiled ham

Combine cream cheese and mayonnaise. Mix olives and onions into the cream cheese, mayo mixture. Thoroughly cover the tortillas with the mixture, spreading out to the edges, not too thick, but enough that they will hold together when rolled.
Lay the boiled ham on top, again all the way to the edges. Roll up tightly, wrap each roll in saran wrap. Refrigerate for several hours or better yet overnight.
Remove the saran, careful not to unroll the tortillas. Slice about 1/2″ thick with a serrated knife.
CRAB ROLL-UPS: Omit black olives and ham. Add 1/4 cup chopped red pepper, 1 cup shredded cheese and 1 can crab meat (or 5 ozs. chopped imitation crab) Continue as directed.
VEGGIE ROLL-UPS: use the cream cheese and mayo, and add1/2 cup chopped green onion, 1/4 cup chopped green olives, 1/2 cup each of finely chopped red and green bell pepper. Continue as directed.

Southwestern Black Bean Dip
Recipe courtesy Gourmet Magazine

1 1/2 cups dried black beans, picked over and rinsed
8 cups water, plus 1/4 cup
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped, reserving about 1 teaspoon for garnish
1 small red onion, finely chopped, reserving about 1 teaspoon for garnish
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 plum tomato, finely chopped
1 small red chile, finely chopped
Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Dollop sour cream, for garnish
Serving Suggestion: Tortilla chips

In a large saucepan, let the beans soak in enough cold water to cover for 1 hour and drain. Return the beans to the pan with the 8 cups of water and garlic. Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until tender, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat. Add the pepper, onion, and cumin and cook, stirring, until softened.

Drain the beans and reserve 1/2 cup of them. Add the remaining beans to the pepper mixture with the remaining 1/4 cup water, and simmer, covered, until very tender, about 15 minutes.

In a food processor, blend bean mixture with the vinegar and pulse until well combined but not pureed smooth. Season the dip with salt, pepper, and vinegar. Transfer to a serving bowl, and stir in the reserved 1/2 cup beans. Let the dip cool to room temperature or chill.

When to serve, garnish the dip with the reserved bell pepper, onion, tomato, chile, cilantro leaves, and sour cream. Serve with the tortilla chips.

Cook”s Note: This dip may be made 2 days in advance and kept covered and chilled
Yield: about 3 cups


16 Cherry tomatoes
1 pound Bacon; cooked — crumbled
1/2 cup Mayonnaise — or
Salad dressing
1/3 cup Chopped green onions
3 tablespoons Grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons Snipped parsley

Cut a thin slice off of each tomato top. Scoop out and discard pulp. Invert the
tomatoes on a paper towel to drain. In a small bowl, combine all remain
ingredients; mix well. Spoon into tomatoes. Refrigerate for several hours.



The Barefoot Contessa
Yield: 3 Cups
4 ripe Haas avocados
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
8 dashes hot pepper sauce
1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium tomato, seeded, and small-diced

Cut the avocados in 1/2, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh out of
their shells into a large bowl. (I use my hands.) Immediately add the
lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and
toss well. Using a sharp knife, slice through the avocados in the bowl
until they are finely diced. Add the tomatoes. Mix well and taste for salt
and pepper.

Guacamole 2
Recipe courtesy Food Network Kitchens

1/2 small yellow or 1/4 red onion, minced
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 ripe Hass avocados
1 lime, juiced
2 to 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 ripe plum tomato, cored and diced
1/4 to 1/2 jalapeno (with seeds), minced
Soak the onion in cold water for 15 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

On a cutting board, lightly sprinkle the garlic with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and smash it into a paste with the side of a cook”s knife. Transfer the paste to the bowl with the onion.

Using a knife cut the avocados in half, rotating around the seeds. Remove the seeds but place in bowl. Using the knife, carefully make several slashes in the avocado flesh. Using a spoon, scoop the avocado flesh into the bowl with the onion and garlic. Repeat with the remaining avocado. Keeping the pit in the bowl with the cut avocado will help lime/lemon juice to prevent the avocado from turning brown.

Add the lime juice, cilantro, tomato, and jalapeno, to taste, to the avocados. Using a rubber spatula or large fork, mix until just combined, keeping the guacamole chunky. Season with salt, to taste. Serve immediately.

If storing for use later on the day, cover with plastic wrap with the plastic directly on the surface of the guacamole preventing any oxidation. Be sure to dig out the pit before you serve.

Guacamole de Classico
Yield: 4 cups

4 ripe avocados, seed removed
2 green onions (white flesh only), chopped fine
2 Roma tomatoes, diced small
1/4 cup red onion, diced small
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1-1/2 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Scoop the flesh out of the avocado and into a large mixing bowl, using a fork, coarsely mash avocados, leaving some chunks
2. Add remaining ingredients and stir gently until well blended.
3. Spoon into serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Serve with TOSTITOS® GOLD™ Tortilla Chips.

Awesome Bacon-Tomato Dip

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup diced green peppers
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1 lb bacon, cooked crisp,cooled and drained
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
black pepper, to taste
shredded lettuce (, to garnish) (optional)

1. In medium bowl, with mixer, blend sour cream, mayonnaise, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, chopped onion and green pepper, garlic powder, and black pepper.
2. Crumble bacon into small pieces and add to mixture.
3. Add chopped tomato and stir well.
4. Garnish with shredded lettuce just before serving, if desired.
5. Serve with Townhouse crackers or Wheat Thins.
4. Also good served in a bread bowl with bread cubes to dip.

Fresh Tomato and Black Bean Salsa
4 cups chopped vine-ripened tomatoes
2 cups dried black beans, cooked in salted water until tender, cooled
1 cup small diced red onions
1 large fresh jalapeno, seed and cut into small dice
1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
Freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
80 crispy corn tortilla chips

Combine the first seven ingredients in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lime juice and olive oil. Mix well. Spoon into a serving bowl and serve with the chips.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Lemon Pepper Spread
1 1/2 cups spread

1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
4 teaspoons lemon-pepper (or to taste)
6 lemon slices
1 sprig fresh parsley
1 box Crackers

1. In medium-size mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and butter; stir in lemon-pepper. Spoon into serving bowl or mold; cover and refrigerate.

2. Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before serving. Garnish with lemon slices and parsley. Serve with Keebler® Townhouse® Crackers.

Note: To soften cream cheese and butter, cut into pieces and microwave on HIGH in microwave-safe container for 15 seconds.

Fiesta Cracker Spread

3 cups spread

1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
1 tablespoon seltzer water
1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon dry Mexican or taco seasoning
1 tablespoon salsa
2 tablespoons finely chopped red pepper
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup corn (optional)
1 tablespoon canned jalapeno pepper (optional)

1. In an electric mixer bowl, mix cream cheese, seltzer water, Cheddar cheese, and seasoning on medium speed until smooth.

2. Fold in the remainder of the ingredients. Cover and chill.

3. To serve, garnish with additional cilantro leaves, red pepper, or jalapeno slice. Serve with Crackers.

Strawberry Salsa


1 finely chopped cucumber
1 thinly, sliced green onion
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 finely chopped yellow bell pepper
3-4 Tbsp. seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and diced
Mix cucumber, green onion, cilantro, bell pepper and vinegar. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Just before serving, add strawberries. Excellent over fish.

The Olive Garden® Bruschetta
The Olive Garden”s recently redesigned bruschetta recipe improves on the Italian chain”s
previous version. The tomato salad is now served in a separate serving dish rather than on the bread. The tomatoes are finely diced before mixing with the other ingredients, and the ciabatta bread (thinly sliced Italian loaf bread will do) is sprinkled with a little parmesan cheese before it”s toasted. Try to find a nice, chewy loaf of bread for this dish — get the best bread in the store. The better your bread, the better your bruschetta.

3 firm roma tomatoes, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 to 10 slices ciabatta bread (or Italian bread)
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
pinch dried parsley flakes

1. Toss diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and salt in a medium bowl. Cover and chill 1 hour.

2. When you are ready to serve the dish, preheat oven to 450 degrees.

3. Combine parmesan cheese with dried parsley in a small bowl. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet. Sprinkle a couple pinches of the parmesan cheese mixture over each bread slice. Bake for 5 minutes or until bread is starting to crisp.

4. Pour tomato mixture into a serving dish, and serve alongside the toasted bread slices.

The Perfect Cheese Ball

Makes: 16 (2-Tbsp.) servings

1 tub (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese Spread
2 cups KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 Tbsp. port wine
1/2 cup PLANTERS Chopped Pecans
1/4 cup maple-flavored syrup

MIX cream cheese, cheddar cheese, cranberries and wine until well blended; cover.
Refrigerate 1 hour.

SHAPE into ball or other desired shape; coat with pecans. Place on serving plate;
drizzle with syrup.

SERVE with an assortment of cut-up fresh vegetables, such as carrot and celery
sticks, and NABISCO Crackers.


Variation -Truffles: Prepare cheese mixture as directed; shape into 1/2-inch balls.
Roll in Kraft 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese, Planters Ground Pecans, dry bread
crumbs or chopped fresh parsley.


Prepare cheese mixture as directed. Divide into 3 different-sized balls (1 small, 1
medium and 1 large). Coat balls with Kraft 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese. Place
largest ball at bottom of serving plate for base of “snowman.” Place medium-size
ball at top of large ball, and then smallest ball at top for “snowman”s head.”
Decorate with peppercorns or sliced pitted ripe olives for the snowman”s “eyes,”
“mouth” and “buttons.” Add a baby carrot for the “nose. ”

Decorated Christmas Tree

Prepare cheese mixture as directed; drop by spoonfuls onto small platter in
triangular shape. Smooth with spatula to resemble Christmas tree shape. Add a few
pretzel sticks for “tree trunk” and chopped red, green and yellow peppers for “tree


Prepare cheese mixture as directed; drop by spoonfuls around drinking glass on
serving plate to form ring. Smooth top with spatula; remove glass. Garnish with
finely chopped fresh parsley and red peppers to resemble Christmas wreath.

Holiday Cheese Truffles

Makes: 24 servings
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 pkg. (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
Dash ground red pepper
1/4 cup chopped roasted red pepper
1/4 cup chopped green onion

SOCIABLES Savory Crackers

BEAT cream cheese, shredded cheese, garlic powder and ground red pepper until
well blended. Divide in half. Add roasted red peppers to one half and green onions
to the other half; mix each half until well blended. Cover.

REFRIGERATE 2 to 3 hours for flavors to blend.

SHAPE cheese mixtures into 1-inch balls. Roll in finely chopped PLANTERS Nuts,
additional KRAFT Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, paprika, sesame seed or
chopped fresh parsley. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Festive Wreath: Alternately arrange different flavored truffles in a large circle on
platter to resemble a holiday wreath. Create a decorative bow out of green onion
strips. Use to garnish wreath.