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This post contains a sponsored inclusion of La Crema, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board.

Our Editors’ Favorite Easy Appetizer and Snack Ideas for Any Gathering

plus, helpful hosting tips from an expert!
written by JULIA POULTER

This post contains a sponsored inclusion of La Crema, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board.

appetizer ideas"
appetizer ideas
Source: Alaina Kaz
Source: Alaina Kaz

When I picture myself hosting a perfect get-together with friends at my home, images of delicious food, refreshing wine lots of great conversation, and raucous laughter come to mind. Prepping the menu for any gathering is easy with a little planning, but one of our favorite parts of hosting is putting together a great appetizer. Whether it’s a game night with friends, a dinner party, or a girls’ night in, there are so many easy appetizer ideas that even the most amateur of chefs can put together.

We turned to an expert to provide helpful pointers on the best appetizers and beverages to serve at your next get-together and how much of each you need. And, for additional appetizer ideas, The Everymom editors are sharing their go-to snacks that are sure to please any crowd you’re hosting. Keep reading for hosting tips and yummy appetizer ideas!

Easy At-Home Hosting Tips

So much of hosting a memorable event lies in the food and drinks you serve your guests. We’ve all been to parties where the snacks are spot-on and beverages flow—and we’ve likely also been to a get-together where there weren’t enough appetizers to go around and you considered stopping for fast food on the ride home. To ensure the latter never happens when you’re having friends over, we asked La Crema’s Executive Chef Tracey Shepos Cenami to share her best hosting tips, particularly when it comes to what’s best to serve and what quantity to plan for.

In addition to providing guests with non-alcoholic beverages like sparkling water, iced tea or the group’s favorite soda, wine is a great option to serve on at any get together because of its versatility. Having a few bottles of La Crema’s crisp white wines and savory red wines on hand for hosting is ideal—not only because almost everyone loves a glass of red or white wine, but because either option pairs perfectly with the snacks you might be serving. 

Meet the expert
Tracey Shepos Cenami
Executive Chef, La Crema

As for the best types of wine to purchase, Tracey recommended bottles of La Crema’s Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to accompany snacks and appetizers. “In addition to being widely recognized, these are some of the best food-friendly wines to have on hand, so regardless of what’s on the menu, a good chardonnay or pinot noir will make a seamless pairing,” she said. When it comes to quantity, Tracey noted, “consider there’s approximately four glasses of wine per wine bottle, so plan to have a couple on hand for the evening, depending on how big your group is.” 

For specific wine and appetizer pairings, Tracey shared that a charcuterie and cheese board is always a classic party snack that’s great for crowds big or small. She suggested serving it with La Crema’s Sonoma Coast Chardonnay due to the wine’s delectable aromas of Meyer lemon, pear, and white flowers with subtle hints of oak. To accompany spreads and dips—like a warm mushroom dip, for example—she recommended La Crema’s smokey and refreshing Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir with flavors of red cherry, plum, and boysenberry.

And for “a colorful and easy to assemble” salad option, Tracey suggested pairing a seasonal fruit salad over arugula with La Crema’s rich-tasting Monetery Chardonnay that features a juicy and lingering finish. “Think strawberries in spring, peaches in summer, mandarins in fall, cranberries in winter. Sprinkle in some blue, gorgonzola or goat cheese crumbles, walnuts—and voila!” she said of preparing the salad. 

Shop our go-to La Crema wines below on InstaCart to ensure you have them on-hand for the next time you’re having friends over! 

la crema chardonnay
La Crema
2021 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Shop now
la crema wine pinot noir
La Crema
2022 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Shop now
la crema chardonnay
La Crema
2021 Monterey Chardonnay
Shop now
la crema pinot noir
La Crema
2021 Monterey Pinot Noir
Shop now

Easy Appetizer and Snack Ideas

For more party snack ideas that are easy to make and your guests will surely enjoy, we polled The Everymom editors. Below we’re sharing seven go-to appetizers that our editors have made again and again for parties and gatherings with friends—plus helpful tips on how to prepare them!

Hummus Platter

One of my favorite entertaining hacks is elevating crowd-pleasing favorites, like hummus, with an extra boost of flavor. Try adding feta cheese, cucumber, and halved cherry tomatoes for a beautiful and simple appetizer that everyone will enjoy. Start with a thin layer of hummus on a platter and surround the dip with sliced mini pita or naan bread. Sprinkle feta cheese, and then add your sliced veggies and garnish with pine nuts and salt and pepper. –Alexandra Pagar-Wolf, Chief of Sales

hummus platter
Source: Alaina Kaz

Charcuterie Board

A charcuterie board is my favorite appetizer to make and eat for any get-together. My sister-in-law is a master board maker, and she taught me a few tricks along the way—have to give credit where it’s due! To assemble my go-to snack board, start with the bigger items and then squeeze the meat in alongside other items where there’s room. Next, pick a variety of cheeses and slice some of the cheese to make it easier for guests to grab. Then, add small bowls to hold nibbles like olives, grapes, and nuts and, finally, add visual interest with different crackers and longer breadsticks. —Kathy Sisson, Editor

charcuterie board
Source: Kathy Sisson

Pizza Dip

Pizza dip is my go-to appetizer for nearly any gathering and every. single. time. it’s a major crowd-pleaser. The best part? It truly couldn’t be easier to prepare—it can be thrown together with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry and takes under 30 minutes to make. In a glass, oven-safe dish, spread an even layer of cream cheese as the dip’s base and top with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and your favorite pizza toppings like pepperoni. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted, and serve with baguette slices, breadsticks, crackers, or pretzels. —Julia Poulter, Senior Managing Editor

pizza dip
Source: Julia Poulter

Cowboy Caviar

This easy and flavor-packed appetizer is a party pleaser for its ‘dipability’ and healthy ingredients (most of which can be found in a household veggie garden, too!). My recipe includes one can of corn and one can of black beans, one diced red and green pepper, half of a diced white onion, and 1/2 cup of cilantro. For the marinade, mix in 1/3 cup of olive oil, 1/3 of red wine vinegar, the juice from two limes, and a dollop of dijon mustard. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and serve with tortilla chips! —Megan Kemp, Senior Sales Manager of Brand Partnerships

cowboy caviar
Source: Megan Kemp
game night appetizers
Source: Brett Nicole Hayden

Caprese Skewers

If you are looking for a crowd pleaser that requires minimal effort, zero cooking, goes with everything, and takes less than five minutes to put together, it does not get any easier than Caprese skewers. The only ingredients are cherry or grape tomatoes, basil, mozzarella balls and either toothpicks or skewers. I recommend topping with fresh ground pepper, a bit of salt, and a balsamic glaze for that special touch. I serve this at just about anything we host and the platter is always clear by the end of the party. –Alaina Kaz, Cofounder and CEO

caprese skewers
Source: Alaina Kaz

Dessert Board

game night appetizers
Source: Steph Alleva Cornell
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This post contains a sponsored inclusion of La Crema, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board.