How to Prepare Make Ahead Appetizer Recipes 

Learning how to prepare make ahead appetizer recipes as well as make ahead entrees and side dishes are a necessity if you are planning to entertain. This is the busiest time of the year but also the time when family and friends want to share time together. When you are cooking for a crowd, it is always best to prepare as much as possible in advance. This allows time for you to do the necessary things without stress and to be ready enjoy your visitors when they arrive.Enjoy these two recipes below and the two sauce recipes make these extra special.

You always want to prepare the best tasting appetizers that you can and a nice presentation. The difference with party appetizer recipes is that it is NECESSARY to make your presentations look like a party. Make sure each one has a little extra touch for the occasion.

When you learn how to prepare make ahead appetizer recipes you will find they can be prepared with a variety of meats and other ingredients. The following two chicken appetizer recipes can be completely finished and place in the freezer as far as 1 week ahead of time. When you are ready for them, throw them in the microwave to heat and they are ready.

How to Keep things organized? When I am preparing make ahead appetizer recipes or any make ahead recipes I want to make sure to mark everything. I decide which dishes, platters and bowls that I will put each recipe on. Then I use sticky notes and mark them with the recipe. I do the same with the food. If I fix something that only needs to be heated, I might make a note which says “microwave for 15 minutes” and I stick the note on the container. Also helpful is putting all the notes on a tablet so you can run down the whole list to see what and when things need to be done. Organization is key to success!


  • ½ Cup Teriyaki sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • 2 Whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 Teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Combine the Teriyaki sauce and the sugar in a small bowl.

Cut the chicken into 1 inch pieces; stir into the Teriyaki sauce mix.

Marinate for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

Remove the chicken from the marinade recipe and reserve 2 tablespoons of the marinade.

Combine the 2 tablespoons of the marinade with the cornstarch and water in a small bowl; set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat

Add the chicken and sesame seeds; stir fry 2 minutes.

Stir in the cornstarch mixture; cook about 1-2 minutes or until chicken is done and sauce is thickened.

Move to platter and garnish with fresh parsley sprigs and cherry tomatoes.

NOTE: For crowd size cooking, this recipe makes 6 servings so multiply for your guests. If you are preparing ahead of time, cool and place in sealed freezer bags. Refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze up to 1 week.

CHICKEN SKEWERS RECIPE with a peanut sauce recipe

  • 1 ¼ Pounds chicken breasts halves, boned and skinned
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ Cup sherry
  • ¼ Cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 Teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 Teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1/8 Teaspoon hot sauce
  • Spicy peanut sauce

Cut the chicken into 3 x ½ inch strips

Combine lemon juice, sherry, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and hot sauce; add the chicken and marinate in refrigerator for 1 ½ hours turning once.

Drain chicken from marinade and thread the chicken onto 8 inch wood skewers

NOTE: I use this as a make ahead appetizer recipe and at this point I place skewers in a plastic freezer bag and either refrigerate or freeze. I take a sticky note on the bag saying “bake at 375F degrees for 10 minutes and serve with spicy peanut sauce”. A day before serving I mix up the Spicy peanut sauce to go with it. A Note goes on the sauce “chicken skewers”. If not preparing ahead of time, then proceed with directions.

Place skewers on a greased baking pan and bake at 375F degrees for 10 minutes or until done. Serve with spicy peanut sauce recipe. This recipe makes about 24 appetizers so multiply if cooking for a crowd.


Sauces are always great for make ahead appetizer recipes. Just heat up right before serving.

  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 Teaspoons sesame oil
  • ½ Cup purple onion finely chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon fresh minced ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ Cup hot water
  • ½ Cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ Teaspoon coriander
  • 1/8 Teaspoon hot sauce

Heat oils in a small saucepan over medium high heat.

Add onion, garlic and ginger; cook until tender stirring often.

Add brown sugar and vinegar; cook over medium heat stirring until the sugar dissolves.

Remove from heat; add hot water, peanut butter, soy sauce, ketchup, lemon juice, coriander and hot sauce; stir until peanut butter melts.

COCKTAIL MEATBALL RECIPE the perfect make ahead appetizer recipe

Make Ahead Meatball AppetizerCocktail Meatball Recipe

Many make ahead appetizer recipes consist of flavorful meatballs. Usually after cooking the meatballs (with or without sauce) they can be placed in freezer containers and refrigerated or placed in the freezer. With the following cocktail meatball recipe, I finish it completely, let it cool and then package them for the refrigerator or freezer. This recipe makes about 60 so adjust if you are cooking for a crowd.

  • 2 Pounds ground beef
  • 1 Cup corn flake crumbs
  • 4 Tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¼ Teaspoon pepper
  • ½ Teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/3 Cup ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons instant minced onion
  • 1 Can jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1 bottle chili sauce (12 ounces)
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Heat oven to 375F degrees.

Combine beef, corn flakes, parsley, eggs, soy sauce, pepper, garlic, ketchup and minced onion; blend well.

Shape into balls the size of walnuts and arrange in a shallow baking pan.

In a medium saucepan combine the cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar and lemon juice; stir over medium heat until mixture is smooth and cranberry sauce is melted.

Pour mixture over the beef balls and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Serve in a chafing dish with toothpicks.

Make Ahead Cocktail Meatball RecipeMake Ahead Cocktail Meatball Recipe

Make ahead appetizer recipes are easy to prepare if you just do a little organizing. Always start your party planning with a pen and paper. List what you need and when you need it done by!