Quick Appetizers

Three recipes for easy, quick make-ahead appetizers.

Three quick appetizer recipes including the retro Cheddar-Olive Spread (pictured), Spinach Puffs and Cream Cheese-Chutney Spread.

This week’s Kitchen Parade is dedicated to cooks who want quick-to-make and quick-to-serve appetizers on hand when family and friends stop by unexpectedly. With offerings like these, you’ll have regular company!

CREAM CHEESE-CHUTNEY SPREAD Mix 8 ounces light cream cheese, 1/2 cup mango (or other) chutney, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (or parsley) and 1/2 teaspoon curry powder. Place in covered container and refrigerate 24 hours to meld flavors. Serve on crackers. Makes one cup.

CHEDDAR-OLIVE SPREAD Stir together 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 4 ounces sliced canned black olives, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon curry powder and 1/2 bunch chopped green onions (bulbs and green tops). Place in covered container and refrigerate 24 hours to meld flavors. Serve on crackers or baguettes sliced thin on the diagonal. Makes two cups.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Have a favorite make-ahead appetizer? Share it via recipes@kitchen-parade.com.


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Baking: 30 minutes
Makes 3 dozen, easily doubled
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 egg whites, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Squeeze liquid from spinach. Place garlic and onion in food processor and process until loosely chopped. Add spinach and remaining ingredients. Pulse two or three times, leaving spinach in distinct pieces but the mixture well combined. Chill 2 – 3 hours or overnight. Roll into 1-inch balls and place on baking sheet. Freeze. When frozen, transfer to freezer bags.

To serve, bake at 300F for 30 minutes.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per ball: 29 Calories; 1g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 3g Carb; 0g Fiber; 113mg Sodium; 3mg Cholesterol; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points .5 & WW PointsPlus 1

SPINACH PUFFS In a last-minute rush, I once made these with Kraft Parmesan and matzo - not recommended. Use salted butter if you can, otherwise, add more salt to the mixture. After baking, if they need more salt, just sprinkle flakes of a finishing salt like fleur de sel over top.
CREAM CHEESE-CHUTNEY SPREAD I once substituted ricotta for cream cheese for the chutney spread. The texture is a tad grainier but boy, this stuff is good.
CHEDDAR-OLIVE SPREAD Definitely a retro recipe! If you have to buy olives, do choose canned olives instead of softer olives from the olive bar, those tight slices are just more dramatic in appearance. No skimping on the timing here, it really takes a full day for flavors to develop.

These Three Quick, Appetizer Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Spinach Puffs Cream Cheese-Chutney Spread Cheddar-Olive Spread

More Easy Appetizer Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Game-Day Pretzels Cucumber Dip with Feta Bacon-Wrapped Dried Apricots

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~ Spinach Puffs ~
~ Cream Cheese-Chutney Spread ~
~ Cheddar-Olive Spread ~

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.