Appetizers for a Crowd 

Appetizers for a crowd are always good to serve no matter what the occasion is that you are cooking for a crowd. They are great to serve as guests arrive and more are coming for a sit down dinner.

People love a variety of appetizers arranged on a buffet table whatever the occasion. Of course, for a cocktail party, they are absolutely essential and for this occasion serving a variety is recommended.

When making appetizers for a crowd, the first type we think of are the many dips. These can be seasoned with a variety of ingredients reflecting ethnic flavors, like oregano for Italian seasoning and cilantro for Mexican seasoning.

Do not think that appetizers for a crowd are only for parties and special gatherings. Many families I know use these recipes quite often as a meal. If you have four to six people in your family and nothing else is served, you will see how quickly one of these crowd size recipes will disappear.


Chop Salad in ShellsChop Salad in Shells

Learn how to make appetizers for a crowd with this recipe. These filled shells are very delicious but dishes should be available to place them on. They can be messy!

  • 1 Package (16 ounces) jumbo pasta shells
  • 4 Cups chopped Romaine lettuce (Chop small)
  • ½ Cup chopped basil leaves (Chop small)
  • 1 Cup chopped sun dried tomatoes (Chop small)
  • 1 Stalk finely chopped celery
  • 1 Finely chopped carrot
  • 1 ½ Cups chopped ham (Chopped small)
  • 1/3 Cup Italian garlic salad dressing
  • Salt/ pepper as desired

Cook pasta shells as directed on package; drain and cool.

In a bowl combine lettuce, basil, tomatoes, celery, carrot and ham.

Pour dressing over salad mixture; toss to coat.

Season if desired; stuff cooked shells.

Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours before serving.

Makes 36 appetizers.


When I am making appetizers for a crowd I will include this one frequently. It is great for game day parties and cookouts.

  • 2 Pounds cooked hamburger (Crumbled)
  • 2 Medium chopped onions
  • 2 Medium chopped green bell peppers
  • 2 Cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 Cans tomato soup
  • 1 Pound Mexican cheese
  • 10 Drops Tabasco sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ Teaspoon garlic salt
  • 4 Teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ Teaspoon onion salt
  • 1 Tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 Teaspoon seasoned salt

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Combine all ingredients and blend well; spoon into a deep baking dish or shallow roaster.

Bake about 30 to 35 minutes until hot and bubbly; serve with chips, crackers or tortillas.

Serves about 20.


  • 1 Container (16 ounces) sour cream
  • 2 Packages (8 ounces each) softened cream cheese
  • 2 Cups small cooked shrimp
  • 1 Cup crisply cooked bacon (Crumbled in bits)
  • ½ cup finely chopped green onion
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon prepared mustard

Combine all ingredients; mix until well blended.

Spoon mixture into a pretty dish; cover and place in refrigerator until cold.

Serve with corn chips, party crackers or vegetables for dipping.

Serves 15 to 20.

PIZZA DIP RECIPE Serves 20 guests

  • 2 Packages (8 ounces each) softened cream cheese
  • 1 Cup sour cream
  • 2 Teaspoons dried oregano
  • ½ Teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 Cup pizza sauce
  • 1 Cup finely chopped pepperoni
  • ½ Cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • ½ Cup chopped green onion
  • 1 Cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Crackers

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

In a small mixer bowl combine cream cheese, sour cream, oregano, garlic powder and red pepper flakes.

Spread evenly into a nice casserole dish (suitable for serving from to guests) about 9 X 13 in size.

Spread pizza sauce over the top; sprinkle with pepperoni, green onion and green pepper.

Top with shredded Mozzarella cheese; bake until hot and cheese has melted (about 15 to 20 minutes).

Serve with crackers.

MEXICAN BEAN DIP RECIPE This is one of the favorite appetizers for a crowd; Serves 20.

  • 2 Cups sour cream
  • 2 Packages (8 ounces each) softened cream cheese
  • 2 Cans refried beans
  • 2 Cups finely diced onions
  • ½ Cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 2 Jars (10 ounces each) spicy salsa
  • 4 Cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Cream together cream cheese and sour cream; blend in refried beans, onions, cilantro, and salsa.

Spread in a nice casserole baking dish (suitable of serving from to guests).

Top mixture with shredded cheese; bake until hot and cheese has melted.

Serve with tortilla chips.


Meatballs present one of the most versatile dishes in our culture, whether they are made with fish, lamb, pork or beef. They are served with many types of pasta and noodles, in soups, on sandwiches and as appetizers. I would guess that almost every cocktail party held here in the United States has some type of meatballs on the menu plan. When making appetizers for a crowd or cooking for a crowd at all, this cranberry meatball recipe is always popular. There is just something special about the added cranberry flavor.

  • 4 Beaten eggs
  • 2 Cups dry bread crumbs
  • 1 Cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2/3 Cup ketchup
  • 4 Tablespoons minced onion
  • 4 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ Teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 Pounds lean ground beef

Preheat oven to 450F degrees.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl except beef and mix well.

Add ground beef and blend well with other ingredients; shape in 1 inch balls.

Place balls on ungreased baking pans, cover and bake 8 to 10 minutes or until firm.

Reduce oven temperature to 300F degrees.

Transfer meatball to a shallow baking pan; prepare sauce and pour over meatballs.

Cranberry sauce

  • 2 Cans (16 ounces each) whole cranberry sauce
  • 2 Bottles (12 ounces each) chili sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ Teaspoon minced fresh garlic

Combine all sauce ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes.

Pour over meatballs and place in low oven until ready to serve.


When making appetizers for a crowd, you can never go wrong by adding a French pate recipe to your buffet table. This well flavored dish is usually served with small party breads and cornichons, which are small pickled cucumbers.

  • 8 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Pound fresh chopped mushrooms
  • 2 Minced shallots
  • 4 Tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 Tablespoons cognac
  • 1 Pound liverwurst
  • 2 Packages (8 ounces each) softened cream cheese
  • 2 Teaspoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 Teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 Teaspoons Spicy mustard
  • Salt/ fresh ground black pepper to taste

Melt butter in skillet; sauté mushrooms and shallots until soft.

Stir the bourbon and cognac into the mushroom mixture; cool.

Combine mushroom mixture with remaining ingredients; put in food processor or blender until smooth.

Put smooth mixture in a serving bowl and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving; garnish with sprigs of fresh dill.