Quick and Easy Gourmet Hors D'oeuvres

Bluecheese is delicious.
Learn how to make other tasty hors d'oeuvres.

Quick, easy hors d'oeuvres recipes include both cold and hot appetizers. Many of these can be whipped up in a jiffy if guests pop over for cocktails or you've got a spur of the moment party going on.

What are Hors D'oeuvres?

The term hors d'oeuvres comes from the French and refers to small, prepared foods served before a meal. While similar to an appetizer, hors d'oeuvres are generally served when there's a time gap between the time guests arrive and the time a more robust meal is served.

Hors d'oeuvres may be passed or served, which is called butler-style or butlered hors d'oeuvres. They may also be served during a sit-down meal or left out on a buffet table for guests to help themselves. Generally speaking, hors d'oeuvres should be tasty and portions small.

Quick Easy Hors D'Oeuvres Recipes

Quick, easy hors d'oeuvres recipes require minimal preparation. Some ideas for quick, easy hors d'oeuvres recipes include:

  • Cold Cuts: Simple slices of deli ham, salami, turkey breast and cheese can be rolled into tubes and arranged in a circle around a platter. Place a bowl of toothpicks (or those cute toothpicks with the decorative fringe on them) in the center of the plate and a stack of small plates nearby. Guests can spear the cold cuts they wish and place them on a plate. It's quick, easy and relatively inexpensive.
  • Crudités: Crudités refers to cut up vegetables. Generally crudités are served with a dip. Carrots, celery, radishes, and zucchini are often sliced using a knife with a serrated edge to add a decorative touch and arranged on a platter with hummus, spinach dip or another tasty dipping sauce in the center. While crudités may be picked up with the fingers, place a spoon near the dip to allow guests to place a dollop of dip on individual plates.
  • Packaged hors d'oeuvres: Gourmet hot hors d'oeuvres sometimes taste prepackaged, but they do come in handy in a pinch. Trader Joe's makes many small cheese and savory popovers that are baked in the oven and served piping hot as hors d'oeuvres. Many people include a mustard sauce or another sauce for dipping.

Cold Hors d'Oeuvres Recipes

A quick and easy cold hors d'oeuvre favorite is deviled or stuffed eggs. These are hard-boiled eggs in which the center is scooped out, mixed with ingredients, then placed back into the eggs.To make a deviled egg hors d'ouevres, you'll need:

  • 6 hard boiled eggs
  • Sharp knife and cutting board
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon white vinegar

Salt, pepper and paprika to tastePeel the hard boiled eggs. Slice them in half. Scoop out the yellow inside into a clean bowl and add the mayonnaise, ground mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mash it with a fork until everything is well mixed. Place each half of the hard boiled egg with the inside facing up so there's a little pocket showing. Scoop the mixture into the center, creating a little mound if you can. Be as artistic as you like! Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika and if you have fresh parsley, a little sprig of fresh parsley.

Many people may even have a deviled egg serving platter at home. While you can buy them new, vintage platters can also be found at dollar stores, antique stores and on auction sites. They typically have little egg-shaped compartments for each half of the deviled egg plus a salt and pepper set in the middle shaped like chickens. If you have such a set, use it - it's a fun way to serve deviled egg hors d'oeuvres.

Another very simple and quick cold hors d'oeuvres recipe is stuffed celery. All you need is cream cheese and celery. Cut the ends off the celery, wash and pat dry with a paper towel. Spoon the cream cheese into the center well of the celery stick. Cut into small pieces and serve.

Fruit and cheese kabobs are very easy to make. Peel and chunk pears or apples and cheddar cheese. Place them on a skewer, alternating fruit and cheese. If using apple chunks, sprinkle with lemon juice to avoid browning. Grapes and strawberries can also be used.

Other ideas for quick and easy cold hors d'oeuvres include serving a variety of olives. Choose gourmet olives whenever you can to give your guests a taste of the Mediterranean and offer at least three or more choices. Provide a discrete bowl to discard pits.

Other Fast Hors d'Oeuvre Ideas

There are many other ideas for hors d'oeuvres. Small meatballs are easy to make and can be baked in advance, then heated with a little gravy or sauce. These make a quick passed entrée. Tiny cocktail franks can be served like this too. Fancy dips are also a classic quick hors d'oeuvres recipe. Seven layer dip, bean dip, spinach dip….every host has his favorite!

Try the following recipes for dips and serve with elegant crackers, snacking chips with scoopable shapes, or sliced vegetables:

  • Cheese and Crackers can be as simple or as elegant as you like. With fine crackers and Maytag Blue Cheese or brie you can turn the fine into the sublime.
  • Baked Brie is a standard appetizer or hors d'oeuvre.
  • Seven Layer Dip is a party classic.
  • Artichoke Dip is also an elegant favorite for pre-dinner snacks.

Whatever you choose, keeping hors d'oeuvres light and simple ensures that guests won't fill up on finger food before you wow them with the main course.

Quick and Easy Gourmet Hors D'oeuvres