By Carl Hanson

What makes a cocktail party classic? Exceptional drinks and lively chatter, for one and two. But also delicious bites that keep the conversation rolling and the booze from kicking a little too strong. Here are some of our favorite time-tested cocktail party appetizers to pair with your classic cocktails, including top-rated recipes for crab dip, cocktail wieners, coconut shrimp, stuffed mushroom, puffed poppers, tiny toasts, and much more.

Related: Check out our collection of Appetizer and Snack Recipes.

The Best Cocktail Party Appetizers

1. Baked Crab and Artichoke Dip

Cream cheese and sour cream pair up with Cheddar cheese, herbs, and seasonings in this true classic party snack. The best part of baking the dip in a bread bowl? You can devour the bowl! There's no serving dish to clean when you've eaten the delicious evidence.

Baked Crab and Artichoke Dip | Photo by stacy

2. Bacon and Date Appetizer

This top-rated appetizer perfectly balances smoky, salty, and sweet flavors. "It covers ALL the bases!," raves INDYJOANIE. "I used 1/2 piece thick sliced bacon and was perfect. I also baked at 400 for approximately 20 minutes, turning 1/2 way through. These wraps are good when hot, but I think even better after cooled a bit."

Photo by Jessica

3. Bacon Jalapeno Popper Puffs

"You'll love these puffs are shockingly light," says Chef John. "All the same familiar flavors are there, especially when served with the easy cream cheese dip, and the prep is much easier."

Bacon Jalapeno Popper Puffs | Photo by Chef John

4. Chef John's Crab Rangoon

"These crispy crab and cream cheese wontons are one of the most addictive, delicious, and crowd-pleasing appetizers ever created," says Chef John. "That is, if the filling has enough crab in it. I'm using a 1 to 1 ratio of crab to cream cheese." Fry up a bunch and serve with a super-simple ketchup-based sweet and sour sauce.

Crab Rangoon | Photo by Chef John

5. Blue Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

Mushroom caps make perfect little containers for delivering delicious cheese, bacon, and caramelized onions to your mouth! "Love it!" raves MsGracie. "My husband said, 'We are bringing this to every party we go to.'"

Photo by Anasooya

6. Coconut Shrimp I

Coconut shrimp are always a big winner at parties. Simply roll shrimp in a quick coconut beer batter and fry 'em up to a crispy golden brown. "For dipping sauce, I use orange marmalade, mustard, and horseradish mixed to taste," says LINDAV10.

Coconut Shrimp I | Photo by Yan

7. Breaded Toasted Ravioli

Packaged cheese raviolis are breaded and toasted in the oven until golden and crisp. Serve with a simple marinara sauce. "Fantastic Recipe!" raves Becky Spencer. "The ravioli are golden brown and crispy, just as if they were fried. It only takes a small spray of cooking spray to have this effect. All the taste of fried food without the drippy grease! Perfect!

Photo by footballgrl16

8. Slow Cooker Cocktail Smokies

This saucy cocktail smokies recipe could not be easier. Just simmer grape jelly, BBQ sauce, and cocktail sausages in the slow cooker. You'll love the sweet, savory, and smoky flavors. Make whatever subs you like: try a spicy BBQ sauce and apricot preserves; or use meatballs or cut up hotdogs instead of the little smokies.

Photo by Angelica Violet

9. Chef John's Shrimp Toast

These cocktail party toasts don't get the attention they deserve. "While virtually unknown compared to most other popular party snacks, these shrimp toasts are easy to make and every bit as delicious, and addictive, as Buffalo wings or jalapeño poppers," Chef John says.

Shrimp Toast | Photo by Chef John

10. Perfect Pot Stickers

Another perfect, nibble-size party bite. "Homemade pot stickers are so versatile," says Chef John. "You can fill them with anything you want and as full as you want. And the play between the crispy, crusty bottom, and the tender parts, makes for a truly unique dumpling. These are filled with ground pork, green onions, ginger, and cabbage."

Photo by Chef John

Check out our collection of Appetizer and Snack Recipes.