17 Summer Appetizer Recipes to Jazz Up Your Next Meal

Looking for a way to jazz up your weekly meal plan? Then why not add some of the season’s most delicious ingredients to your next dinner. The dog days of summer are officially here, and with it, an abundance of delicious fruits and vegetables, that are in their prime. Take advantage of these incredible ingredients with these 17 summer appetizer recipes and seriously elevate your next meal—whether it’s a casual mid-week dinner or a fun-filled outdoor gathering with loved ones.

But first, I have a strange confession to make. Despite always having a relatively balanced and healthy diet, I didn’t start (mindfully) eating seasonally until I moved to New York City almost eight years ago. Having grown up in Southern California, I had access to pretty much any fruit and vegetable my heart desired, year-round. When I relocated to the East Coast, I started shopping the city’s gorgeous Greenmarkets and I realized the benefits and joys of eating seasonally.

Now, I always make a point to fill my reusable totes with apples and sweet potatoes in the fall and stone fruits, berries, and corn in the summer. I am so much more appreciative of in-season produce and genuinely find joy in making recipes that can only be eaten during a specific season. These summer appetizer recipes turn the very best of this season’s offerings into delicious dishes. Enjoy them for a long, relaxing meal on a warm summer evening. Read on for our favorite 17 summer appetizer recipes, from dairy- and gluten-free, to vegetarian.

Gluten-Free Appetizers

I didn’t realize what a difference grilling peaches made to enriching the flavor. The juxtaposition of these sweet peaches with crisp asparagus and spicy crunchy pepitas makes this salad an absolute gem.

Keep it cool with a timeless gazpacho recipe. It couldn’t be easier to whip up and it’s full of nutrient-dense, tasty veggies.

Put a spin on your next Caesar salad with this grilled romaine and white bean version. It’s satisfying, delicious, and the perfect accompaniment to any meal.

Doesn’t this salad just scream summer? Gorgeous berries, fresh arugula, and fragrant herbs topped with goat cheese—it simply cannot be beaten.

It couldn’t be easier to make this incredibly tantalizing appetizer. You’ll think you’re at a high-end restaurant!

Dairy-Free Appetizers

This salad is as gorgeous as it is delicious. Find the ripest mango you can and go to town with this healthy, colorful salad.

Sometimes, chips and salsa are exactly the kind of appetizer you need. This black bean salsa recipe is light, delicious, and the perfect thing to munch on while the rest of the meal comes together.

There’s something so festive about chicken wings, don’t you think? Enjoy this delicious and simple recipe next time you need some protein to feed the family while your main dish is prepared.

Add a little spice to your grilled eggplant with this smoky version from Minimalist Baker. Drizzle with some tahini and you’re ready to go.

Vegetarian Appetizers

I love a twist on a Caprese, especially when it involves one of my favorite melons of the season.

Treat yourself to some fresh corn and enjoy these absolutely divine corn cakes. Just be sure to squirrel away enough for yourself if you’re serving them to a group because they’ll be gone in a flash.

It doesn’t get much more refreshing than this lovely salad. It’s one of those easy summer dishes that I turn to again and again.

If you’re a fig lover, then this is the summer appetizer recipe for you. It’s the perfect flavor profile for anyone looking for a quintessential summer-inspired meal starter.

Meat Appetizers

If you’re serving a crowd, this hearty pasta salad is the perfect opener for a day of grilling. It’ll tide everyone over till the burgers are ready and are full of rich flavors and textures.

Flatbreads are an easy way to hand out appetizers that are deliciously satisfying, feel high-end, and don’t take too much time to put together.

Pre-game your next feast with bbq skewers, they mouth-wateringly tantalizing!

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