Party in style with these classic cocktail party appetizers, from crab dip and cocktail wieners to stuffed mushrooms and tiny toasts.

By Carl Hanson
Updated February 08, 2021
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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

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
Baked Crab and Artichoke Dip | Photo by stacy

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."

bacon and date appetizer
Photo by Jessica

"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
Bacon Jalapeno Popper Puffs | Photo by Chef John

"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
Crab Rangoon | Photo by Chef John

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.'"

Blue Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms
Photo by Anasooya

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
Coconut Shrimp I | Photo by Yan

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!

Breaded Toasted Ravioli
Photo by footballgrl16

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.

Slow Cooker Cocktail Smokies
Photo by Angelica Violet

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
Shrimp Toast | Photo by Chef John

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."

Perfect Pot Stickers
Photo by Chef John


Check out our collection of Appetizer and Snack Recipes.


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