Recipes > Appetizers

Appetizers

Before folks sit down at the table or perhaps in place of a full-course meal entirely, antipasti—your appetizers and starters comprising everything from Carpaccio to Crostini—set the stage for anything and everything that comes next. And since love starts at first bite, whether it’s a luscious dip or a simple stuffed date, the appetizers you serve should be spectacular.

Now, spectacular doesn’t have to mean hard. Frankly, when you’re cooking with a versatile ingredient like Parmigiano Reggiano® cheese, making favorites like Carpaccio, Crostini, Hot Crab Dip, Stuffed Dates and especially Artichoke Parmesan Dip is far from difficult since Parmesan cheese is an ingredient that takes most of the guesswork out of your planning. How? Any appetizer with Parmesan will be mouthwatering thanks to the cheese’s balanced flavor profile. Even when eaten out of hand, it’s delicious, so when an appetizer contains an ingredient that’s that good, your toughest decision will be which Parmesan cheese starter to make.

Appetizer Lesson No. 1: It’s Hard to Make Just One

When building an appetizer menu, variety is your friend. A little order to your madness will go a long way.

First, consider the meal you’re planning. Will your appetizers lead to a heavy main course? Will the main course be light? Will there even be a main course? Will you want guests picking up bites and popping them into their mouth, or will you offer plates and cutlery?

Once that’s sorted out, pick Parmesan cheese-prominent appetizers that offer a variety of temperatures, textures and flavor profiles. The best way to do this is to think in opposites: Carpaccio is soft when you bite into it; Crostini with a variety of toppings is crunchy and satisfying; hot dips with crab or artichokes and Parmesan are rich and creamy, while a sweet bite like a Parmesan cheese-stuffed date is an unexpected savory-sweet surprise that keeps you reaching for one more.

In fact, you can serve all five of those recipes since they mix hot, cold, salty, sweet, soft, and crisp, and can easily be held in one hand while deftly balancing a drink in the other (never make your guests work too hard to eat).

On the other hand, if you are serving a full meal, make only one or two standouts that won’t compete with your entrée.

Appetizer Lesson No. 2: First Comes Variety, Next Comes Quantity

Next is knowing (roughly) how many of those mouthwateringly delicious bites each person will likely eat. A good rule of thumb is that if appetizers will be your meal, folks will eat between 10 and 15 pieces. If they are served as a precursor to a full dinner, assume three to five bites per diner.

Appetizer Lesson No. 3: Your Recipe Options

Here comes the best part: Menu planning! Of course, a perfect appetizer is a freshly cut wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano on a plate with crisp apples and pears. But for more variety, try velvety Carpaccio, crisp Crostini that can be made with a head-spinning number of toppings, creamy Hot Crab or Artichoke Parmesan Dips, or the appetizer that’s part savory, part sweet: Stuffed Dates. Served alone or all together, these recipes are a spot-on sample of just how versatile Parmesan cheese can be.

Don’t limit yourself to only those recipes. Poke around Parmesan.com and if something catches your eye, think about how you could serve it as a starter. If you find other recipes that feature other cheeses you like, think about how you could add Parmesan cheese to the mix for an exciting new recipe that’s all your own.

(Learn More About Appetizers)


Parmesan and Truffle Oil Radish Chips

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Parmesan and Truffle Oil Radish Chips

Posted by logansw

(1)

If you are craving the crunch of potato chips but you follow a low-carb diet,  try this Italian-insipred snack using radishes. You will be surprised at how delicious they are. 


Prosciutto-wrapped Fruit Recipe

25 min

Prosciutto-wrapped Fruit Recipe

Posted by Parmesan.com

(1)

Prosciutto-wrapped fruit is the perfect cocktail appetizer. It can be made to fit any number of guests. It’s best to make this Prosciutto-wrapped fruit appetizer when fresh figs are in season, but you can use kiwis instead. Whether yo...


Fish Crudo with Parmigiano Reggiano Zabaglione

30 min

Fish Crudo with Parmigiano Reggiano Zabaglione

Posted by aliciawalter

(0)

The star of this recipe is the sweet and savory zabaglione sauce with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Serve over delicate raw fish, or if raw fish is not you, use with sauteed scallops instead.


Frittata with Radicchio and Parmigiano Reggiano

50 min

Frittata with Radicchio and Parmigiano Reggiano

Posted by aliciawalter

(0)

A frittata with wilted radicchio, sweet onion and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Eat warm, cut in wedges, for a weekday supper, or cut into small pieces at room temperature as an appetizer.


Polenta and Parmigiano Reggiano Cakes with Pork Sugo

4 hours, 30 min

Polenta and Parmigiano Reggiano Cakes with Pork Sugo

Posted by jordanschachter

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You can serve these cakes in small bites as appetizers, or make the portions larger and serve them as a main course. Make the pork sugo and the polenta in advance and put the two together at the last minute.


Deconstructed Pizza

2 hours, 30 min

Deconstructed Pizza

Posted by jordanschachter

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These little "deconstructed pizza" appetizers are beautiful to look at and good to eat too. The pizza bases of baked Parmigiano Reggiano cheese are topped with roasted tomato, Mozzarella cheese and basil. Serve these little pizzas at your n...


Sliced Pear with Hazelnuts, Rosemary and Parmigiano Reggiano Foam

40 min

Sliced Pear with Hazelnuts, Rosemary and Parmigiano Reggiano Foam

Posted by jordanschachter

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A wonderful winter appetizer or even dessert of slices of sauteed pear, served on Parmigiano Reggiano foam, with a sprinkling of hazelnuts. Drizzle the slices with just a little of your best balsamic vinegar before serving.


Parmesan Cheese Straws Recipe

1 hour, 20 min

Parmesan Cheese Straws Recipe

Posted by Parmesan.com

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Parmesan Cheese Straws are savory spritz cookies made with Parmigiano Reggiano® cheese. Make them ahead and refrigerate or freeze them right on your baking tray, then bake them frozen. The secret to the best spritz cookies is good butte...


Shrimp Parmesan Recipe

2 hours, 25 min

Shrimp Parmesan Recipe

Posted by Parmesan.com

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Parmesan Shrimp are marinated shrimp, rolled in panko breadcrumbs and Parmigiano Reggiano® cheese, and oven baked to crunchy perfection. They are a wonderful finger food for your next cocktail party, but you can also serve them as an ap...


Parmigiano Reggiano Martini Recipe

10 min

Parmigiano Reggiano Martini Recipe

Posted by Parmesan.com

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Believe it or not, Parmigiano Reggiano® cheese is not just good with your drinks, it’s also good in your drinks! For the ultimate Parmigiano Reggiano fan, this Parmigiano Reggiano Martini is made with gin or vodka that has been ma...


Parmesan Twists Recipe

1 hour, 5 min

Parmesan Twists Recipe

Posted by Parmesan.com

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Parmesan Twists are puff pastry cheese straws on steroids! Because we use two strips of puff pastry per twist, you get double the crispy edges and double the cheese per bite. And it’s the Parmigiano Reggiano® cheese in every bite...


Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe

1 hour, 30 min

Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe

Posted by Parmesan.com

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Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms are a classic party staple given a savory twist.The seasoning in Italian sausage makes Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms especially flavorful. and using hot Italian sausage really gives the mushrooms zing. If you don&rsq...


Parmesan Shortbread Recipe

40 min

Parmesan Shortbread Recipe

Posted by Parmesan.com

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Parmesan Shortbread is the savory cheese variation of delicate shortbread cookies. The rich buttery taste interwoven with that of the Parmigiano Reggiano® cheese makes our Parmesan Shortbreads irresistible. Add chopped fresh rosemary an...


Parmesan Puffs Recipe

50 min

Parmesan Puffs Recipe

Posted by Parmesan.com

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Parmesan Puffs are a mouthful of air surrounded by a light cheese pastry. The addition of Parmigiano Reggiano® cheese to the pastry dough is what makes these Parmesan Puffs so subtly distinctive and mouthwateringly delicious. Made like...


Parmesan Fondue Recipe

60 min

Parmesan Fondue Recipe

Posted by Parmesan.com

(0)

Parmesan Fondue is a recipe blending Italian cheese with Swiss tradition. Our hot bubbling Parmesan Fondue served with bread cubes, vegetables, and apple slices for dipping is sure to be a hit at your next cocktail party. The savory Parmigi...


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