Italian Party Appetizers

Italian party appetizers are varied, delicious and simple. The tradition of appetizers dates back to the earliest of Roman times and has been cultivated in Italy ever since.  Italian party appetizers recipes are easily adapted from almost any antipasto recipe. Antipasto literally means "before the meal," thus an Italian appetizer is an antipasto. Traditionally the antipasto, or Italian appetizer, dishes are comprised of snacks made with cheeses, olives, tomatoes, vegetables, meats and breads. Here are five simple Italian appetizers that can be made before your party and served with bite-sized slices of fresh Italian bread.


  • 2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, olive oil, oregano, basil and parsley.
  2. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
  3. Have guests put a spoonful of the bruschetta on top of the bread.

Marinara Dipping Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large skillet, heat oil and saute garlic until light brown and softened.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, sugar, water, basil, and salt and pepper.
  3. Bring contents of the pan to a boil.
  4. Cover and simmer on low heat for approximately 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Serve warm as a dip for the Italian bread.

Tomato and Mozzarella Bites

  • 20 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 20 fresh basil leaves
  • 20 small balls fresh mozzarella cheese (often labeled bocconcini)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 20 toothpicks
  1. Using a toothpick, spear a half of a tomato, a piece of basil, a mozzarella ball, and another half of a tomato.
  2. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  3. Place on a serving dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Mix the vinegar and oil together in a small bowl to serve as a dipping sauce for the bread.


  • 2 bunches fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 (2 ounce) can anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. In a medium bowl, toss together the parsley, anchovies and garlic.
  2. Stir in the tomato paste, vinegar and olive oil.
  3. Serve at room temperature. Have guests spoon onto the Italian bread.

Prosciutto Wrapped Melon balls

  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 honeydew melon, fruit removed with a melon baller
  • 9 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 36 sprigs fresh mint
  1. Place melon balls into a bowl, and sprinkle with lime juice.
  2. Stir gently to coat.
  3. Wrap each ball with a slice of prosciutto, and secure with a sprig of mint.
  4. Arrange on a serving tray. Refrigerate until serving.

Use any or all of these delicious Italian party appetizers for a winning combination at your next party!


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