The majority of my summer has been spent snacking on BBQ appetizers and I’m not mad about it. However, as an admitted meathead with few kitchen skills, I always panic when I need to bring an appetizer dish to the BBQ and head to google for an easy and quick recipe. I’m also not ashamed to say I have brought a bowl full of cooked bacon on more than one occasion and it goes over quite well. Bacon goes with everything and not a single person complains, but I digress. Here are 3 of my favorite, go-to easy appetizer recipes that even I can make successfully.
Confession: I don’t own a cookbook. Shocker, I know.
(That’s what Tornadough Allie calls them and I like it)
Actual Ingredient List:
- 24 Triscuits
- 4 oz. goat cheese
- 12 chopped strawberries
- 1/4 basil, julienned (I don’t know what the F that means and didn’t julienne anything)
- Balsamic glaze
Macros: 3 cracker. Calories: 111 C: 13 F: 5 P: 4
My first quick appetizer challenge included triscuits, strawberries, goat cheese, basil and balsamic. That’s it! If a recipe has under 6 ingredients, bonus for some of which I already own, I can commit. Also, according to this version on Delish, only 3 tiny instructions to follow. I got this.
I had strawberries in the fridge and balsamic in the cupboard. I made my short list and headed to the store where I couldn’t actually find plain triscuit crackers and settled on generic. I can barely cook as is so I don’t like to deviate from instructions people! But I carried on.
I don’t discriminate against cheese except if it’s blue cheese. However, I’m rarely a buyer of anything fancier than mozzarella so finding the goat cheese was a bit trickier for me and I probably debated the 2 options offered for 12 minutes longer than needed but I made it home with all ingredients in tow, a small feat in itself (seriously).
The instructions in a nutshell:
Grab a generic triscuit cracker (still a little salty I couldn’t find original triscuits), smear goat cheese on top to your liking, add a slice of strawberry and a small leaf of basil before dribbling a dollop of balsamic on top (light handed, Kelli, light handed!)
Easy enough and I whipped these up in literally 15 minutes as I was naturally running behind. Yet I still managed to taste test one (or 6, whatever) and was pleasantly surprised at the cracker/fruit/cheese fresh combo flavor. Definitely will be keeping this recipe in my back pocket for future reference. Super easy, super quick to make and a tasty appetizer. If I could make one suggestion I would recommend waiting to add the balsamic to your appetizer dish until you arrive at the BBQ. After the first hour they got a bit soggy. Still tasty but a lot less pretty. Word to the wise.
Actual Ingredient List:
- 24 cherry tomatoes
- 1 package (3oz) cream cheese
- 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup finely chopped peeled cucumber
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh dill (I didn’t even attempt to buy this)
Macros (if you are me and skip the dill but add half a ranch packet):
3 tomatoes: Calories: 214 C: 15 F: 19 P: 1
-Side note: also calling slight bullshit on these macros as you can barely fit any cream cheese in the damn tomato.
For my 2nd BBQ on the same weekend I felt I got a bit more daring and went with these cucumber-stuffed cherry tomato fillers, obviously because I had cucumbers in my fridge already and onion that needed dealt with, and was left with only 4 ingredients to secure. I’m all about quick and easy!
I glanced at the directions found at Taste of Home and then winged it. My version of directions:
Step 1: Thaw my cream cheese by throwing it on the table outside in the sun to soften it because you again are in a pinch for time.
Step 2: Scour fridge for the mayo you thought you had.
i.e. Naturally, I didn’t actually double check we had any but found this fancy looking stuff in the fridge instead (thanks Kolby!) and it wasn’t expired. Bonus.
Step 3: Combine the sun thawed cream cheese with a hastily eye balled 2 tablespoons of my new found fancy mayo and some haphazardly chopped cucumbers and green onions which I measured neither of. My gram doesn’t use measuring cups, so do I really need them? Ok yes, but I kept going. I also randomly threw in half a ranch packet because I’m from the Midwest and ranch goes with everything. #dontjudge
Step 4: Through trial and error I realized cutting a thin slice off the top of the tomatoes is crucial so your cherry tomato will sit upright. Also, scoop out the guts the best you can to make room for your filling.
Step 5: Jimmy rig your filling into a plastic bag with a tiny hole cut in the corner and squeeze into the tomato the best you can, no judgments made.
Hindsight: 24 cherry tomatoes do NOT come in one of those cute little cherry tomato containers you buy in the produce section. It’s more like 12 and you will have a crap ton of leftover filling with nothing to do with it (because you actually used all the generic triscuit crackers from the previous appetizer). But the 12 tomatoes you do take to your BBQ will be a cool and tasty treat and a hit with the guests. Also, they are really impressed by that little green onion on top so don’t skip that part!
Actual Ingredient list:
- a block of cream cheese
- jar(s) of pickles, whole or speared. Your call chef, your call. (I always over/under estimate my pickle needs)
- pre-sliced deli ham (not the thin shit). Do not ask me how much.
Macros: One entire roll up, heavy on the cream cheese: Calories: 56 C: 3 F: 6 P: 5
Lastly, my Midwest go-to BBQ appetizer is always, always, ham and pickle roll ups. Stay with me here. I don’t even like ham or pickles for that matter but when combined with creamed cheese I can not stop eating them! I also happened to buy too much cream cheese from the afore mentioned stuffed cherry appetizer (you see how I roll here?). I already had that on hand. So I collected my ham and pickles and got to work.
I have zero pickle recommendations as I only ate my first plain pickle in my 32nd year of life recently. So I grabbed some store brand jars. You can make these with whole pickles but as I’m still adjusting to eating pickles I go with pickle spears as I prefer the cream cheese to be the main ingredient. It does say “cheese” after all. But I do recommend getting a thicker, pre sliced ham that will stand up to a little rubbing and rolling.
No fancy recipe instructions here. You grab a slice of ham, lather in cream cheese (I cover the entirety of the ham slice), add your pickle spear to one side and roll it up. And I sometimes eat this for a snack but in the name of appetizers I slice it into cute little bites. If you are fancier than me you can add toothpicks to each one. To each their own, I say. I would have pictures of my final tasty gems but accidentally hit delete with my fat fingers. Bare with my crap blogging here.
Pro ham pickle roll up tip: paper towels! Use one to dry each of you ham slices a bit and use another to dry off each pickle spear. This will help the cream cheese spread better and it’s all about the cream cheese for me.
I haven’t quit figured out the ham to pickle to cream cheese ratio and will no doubt end up with a ton of ham or jar of pickles or an extra brick of cream cheese when I’m done. In this case, it was the ham that did me in but my roommate enjoyed a lot of ham sandwiches after the fact. I also didn’t realize these made the “it’s a Midwest thing” list and perhaps Iowa’s favorite appetizer until my boyfriend was appalled at this creation upon the first time, but they are delicious and weirdly addicting and I encourage you to spread the Midwest ham pickle roll up vibes. You won’t be disappointed.
What’s your favorite easy and quick appetizer recipe?
-The Meathead #GuiltyIowan