Whether it is the holiday season, barbecue season or you are hosting a formal dinner in your rarely used dining room, those of us who will be entertaining or be a guest will need quick, easy, and cheap appetizer recipes. Who said that entertaining can needs to be expensive? The most important thing for any host or guest to do is make something delicious.

Inexpensive and easy to make party appetizers are so much more than chips and dip! There is also no need to go to the expense of buying prepackaged frozen party appetizers. While they are quick and easy to make, they certainly are not cheap! In addition, many contain extra preservatives and artificial colors that are not good for you.

Another thing about these quick, easy and cheap party appetizer recipes is that you can accommodate them to your way of eating. For example, in the first recipe, you can use any kind of bread or a low fat cream cheese. Be creative and reconfigure switch up the ingredients to suit your tastes and way of eating.

If you do not live near a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, many grocery stores are carrying healthier alternatives to mass produced processed food. Large companies like Pillsbury and Kraft have created new lines of food that are all natural and have no artificial ingredients.

Here are some tried and true quick, easy and cheap party appetizer recipes that you can make anytime!

Cream Cheese Blintzes


One loaf of potato bread

1 8 ounce container soft cream cheese (you can do flavors if you'd like)

1 stick melted butter

Bowl of cinnamon sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.

Take the crusts off the bread. With a knife, spread the soft cream cheese onto each piece of bread and fold it in half. Cut into halves and dip into melted butter and roll into cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake for 10-15 minutes in the oven until outside is golden brown.

Cheese Ball Party Appetizer

16 ounces of soft cream cheese

1 small can crushed pineapple, drained thoroughly

2 Tablespoons chopped onion

2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans (reserve one cup)

1/4 cup chopped green pepper

1 teaspoon garlic salt

Mix all of the ingredients together except the reserved nuts. Shape into a ball and chill for one hour. Roll the ball into the remaining nuts. Wrap in foil and either chill or freeze. This recipe is easily doubled.

Nana's Cocktail Knishes

Healthy alternatives to all of these ingredients are available! This is from my family's cookbook.

Instant mashed potatoes-cook enough for eight servings

2 - 3 cans of crescent rolls

One can fried onion rings


Mash the fried onion rings into the cooked and cooled potatoes. Refrigerate this mixture for one hour. Roll out crescents as much as you can, with flour. Cut in half. Take potatoes and roll into the half. Close up each end. Cut pieces into one inch chunks. Put flour into your hand and roll and shape into a ball. Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, watching that the crescents do not get burned.

Tangy Tuna and Sour Cream Dip

Two cups of sour cream

2 teaspoons horseradish

2 cans flaked tuna packed in water

1 package of onion soup mix

Small splash of Worcestershire sauce

Combine all of the ingredients and chill for at least two hours. Serve with crackers.

Shrimp Dip

1 can Cream of shrimp soup

1 can minced shrimp

8 ounces of cream cheese

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

Dash of garlic powder and paprika

Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly EXCEPT paprika. Place in a pretty serving bowl and garnish with paprika. Serve with chips, vegetables or bread sticks.

Spiced Nuts

1 egg white

1 teaspoon cold water

1 pound of nuts-your choice

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Beat egg white and water until frothy, but not stiff. Add all other ingredients, then nuts that you chose. Bake on a lined cookie sheet at 225 degrees for one hour. Make sure to stir every fifteen minutes.

Homemade Hummus

A simple appetizer alternative to store bought hummus!

1 19 ounce can chick peas

1/2 small onion

1 clove of garlic, chopped

2 ounces lemon juice

2 ounces water

1 Tablespoon olive oil

6-8 Tablespoons of Tahini (sesame paste)

Drop of soy sauce

Put all of the liquid ingredients into the food processor, followed by the solid ones. Puree for 2-3 minutes and serve.

Fruit Dip Appetizer

2 8 ounce containers of cream cheese

10 Tablespoons sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla

2-4 Tablespoons confectioners sugar

Combine the first three ingredients. Add sugar one bit at a time to get desired sweetness. Serve with strawberries, cubed melons, or any other seasonal fruit.

Hot Broccoli Dip

You can make this easy party appetizer healthier by using low fat or no fat products. It can also be made more colorful by using red, orange or yellow peppers.

1 cup fresh broccoli, chopped

2 Tablespoons onion, chopped

2 Tablespoons bell pepper, chopped

1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese

1 garlic clove

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup sour cream (can be low fat or fat free)

1/2 cup mayonnaise (can be low fat or no fat)

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the sour cream and mayonnaise in a bowl. Add garlic, onion, pepper, black pepper, Parmesan cheese and 3/4 cup of the shredded Cheddar cheese. Add broccoli and mix. Put in a baking dish and top with remaining Cheddar cheese. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve with pita chips.

Sweet Cinnamon Dipping Sauce

15 ounces ricotta cheese

2 Tablespoons orange juice

3 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Place all of the ingredients in a blender until well mixed. Great for fall fruit!

Pigs in a Blanket

A classic quick, easy and cheap party appetizer recipe!

1 package hot dogs (turkey, soy, beef-whatever you like)

2 packages crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove crescent rolls from the tube and separate into triangles. Roll each hot dog up in a roll. Slice into small, bite sized pieces. Cook for 15-20 minutes on a lined cookie sheet or until the crescent roll is golden brown.

Enjoy these quick, easy and cheap appetizers!