Easy-Easy Triscuit with Cheddar & Basil

A quick last-minute appetizer, just a cracker and cheese with a leaf of fresh basil, a small bite that won't ruin appetites. So simple but oh my, that basil is surprising!

Easy-Easy Triscuit with Cheddar & Basil ♥ KitchenParade.com. A quick last-minute appetizer.

Real Food, Fresh & Inventive. Mere Minutes to the Table. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Potluck & Party Friendly. Scales from Small Plates to Large Platters. Easy DIY.

What's Your Style with Appetizers?

When it comes to appetizers, three styles sum up the usual options.

DEFINITE EFFORT My husband's niece Laura's appetizer spreads are a-m-a-z-i-n-g! She puts out a dozen dishes, hot and cold, snacky and substantial, cheesy and vegan, old favorites and something adventurous plus everybody's favorite hot buttery popcorn. There's a full bar and an event cocktail! This definitely takes effort, even if in her own inimical way, Laura makes it appear effortless.

MINIMAL EFFORT Then there's me, who looks in the fridge ten minutes before people are scheduled to arrive, wondering, Hmm, whadda we have? This approach requires no forethought and far less effort but it lacks a certain sense of, what, hospitality? generosity?

EFFORTLESS Me again, oops, ran out of time so no appetizer at all, just a glass of something cold and let's eat!

All this adds up to always being on the look-out for a simple appetizer that takes minimal effort.

  • But slightly more intentional!
  • And definitely more hospitable!
  • And won't "spoil dinner" as my mom used to say.

Putting a piece of cheese on a cracker fits that bill.

What makes this special, however, is the addition of fresh basil. There's just something about adding a tiny bite of herby freshness to a salty-crunchy-cheesy combination.


Easy-Easy Triscuit with Cheddar & Basil ♥ KitchenParade.com. A quick last-minute appetizer.

More Easy Triscuit Toppings

  • (Pictured Above) A small spoonful of ricotta topped with a basil leaf and a wedge of roasted tomato, sprinkled with a little good salt. If you like, try making Homemade Ricotta and Roasted Roma Tomatoes, as pictured.
  • Boursin stirred together with a little tart jam, maybe raspberry or apricot. You could even use my Basil Cream Cheese Dip instead of pricey Boursin.
  • A pub cheese topped with a sliver of fresh apple. I love the pub cheese from Trader Joe's.
  • A slice of cucumber topped with a small pat of fresh feta, sprinkled with a little fresh pepper.
  • A smear of European butter, topped with a little good salt and a sprig of fresh dill
  • A simple meat salad, ham and chicken appeal for a Triscuit but don't forget about egg salad!
  • A square of pepper jack cheese topped with a thin round of Quick Jalapeño Pickles.
  • So many choices! Let me know if you have a favorite!

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How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this idea for an easy last-minute appetizer hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...

Easy-Easy Triscuit with Cheddar & Basil ♥ KitchenParade.com. A quick last-minute appetizer.


Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time-to-table: 5 minutes
Makes as many as needed, 1 to 100 or 1000 or ...
  • 1 Triscuit cracker, preferably Original Triscuit
  • 1 small bright-green leaf of fresh basil (or a medium-size leaf, clipped to fit)
  • 1 piece (about 7g) sharp cheddar cheese, cut like a pat of butter

A few minutes before serving, place the basil leaf across the Triscuit, then place the pat of cheddar cheese on top.

I know, that's it!

TIMING TIP The basil and cheddar's moisture will seep into the Triscuit, hence it's best to assemble as close to serving time as possible, especially if a cracker tray might sit out for a bit during a gathering hour or on an appetizer buffet.

A COLORFUL VARIATION To add a little festive color to a tray, here's another option. Top a Triscuit with about a teaspoon of ricotta, a leaf of fresh basil, a sliver of roasted tomato and a sprinkling of good salt such as Maldon or fleur de sel. I use Homemade Ricotta and Roasted Roma Tomatoes, both of which can be made two or three days ahead of time for quick, last-minute assembly.

ALANNA's TIPS We have best luck with Triscuit Original: the saltiness is important, the rough texture is critical and there are no competing flavors such as garlic, etc. Triscuits are definitely a "processed food" but are manufactured with only three ingredients, whole-wheat, canola oil and sea salt. And besides, one cracker = 20 calories! A box isn't cheap but compared to other appetizers ... it's a good start. This is a no-brainer appetizer for anyone who grows basil but in the off-season, it's easy to find fresh basil in the produce section of the grocery store, often near the fresh tomatoes rather than with other packets of fresh herbs. The only trick is to find packaged basil with bright-green small-ish or medium-ish leaves . For a recent gathering it took two packets from two different stores to get enough. Choose a sharp, dry cheddar or another dense, salty cheese, fresh Parmesan and Gruyere come to mind.

FOR MORE INFO If you "skipped straight to the recipe," please scroll back to the top of this page for ingredient information, ingredient substitutions, tips and more. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See https://www.kitchenparade.com/2022/11/easy-easy-triscuit-with-cheddar-basil.html .
NUTRITION INFORMATION Sorry, due to technical issues during a laptop conversion, nutrition info will be added later. But for now, know that a single Triscuit has only 20 calories and a 7g piece of cheddar the size of a butter part has just 30 calories. A satisfying bite of crunchy-salty-cheesy-basily goodness for 50 calories? That's a win.

More Easy Appetizers

~ appetizer recipes ~
Three Easy Italian Appetizers ♥ KitchenParade.com, make ahead then quickly assemble. Low Cal. Low Carb. Pretty on a Plate. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Savory Roasted Pecans, a great last-minute appetizer or hostess gift ♥ KitchenParade.com, just pecan halves roasted with Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and savory spices.

Cucumber Dip with Feta ♥ KitchenParade.com, super easy, great for serving with vegetables and grilled steak.

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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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.