For party food that’s guaranteed to please, cheese appetizers are a must. Savory, melty, and versatile, cheese makes the dish in each of these appetizer recipes. Choose your favorite and watch the cheesiest appetizers disappear first.
1.Cheesy Mexican Fondue
Makes: 36 Servings
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 3 – 4 hrs (Low) or 1 1/2 – 2 hrs (High)
1 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
2/3 cup finely chopped onion
½ cup finely chopped roasted red sweet pepper
1 4 ounce can diced green chile peppers, undrained
3 cups cubed Monterey Jack cheese with salsa or jalapeno peppers or regular Monterey Jack cheese (12 ounces)
3 cups cubed American cheese (12 ounces)
Assorted dippers (such as cubed corn bread* or toasted flour tortilla wedges)
1.In a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, combine undrained tomatoes, onion, roasted sweet pepper, and undrained chile peppers. Add Monterey Jack and American cheese; toss gently to combine.
2.Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 3 to 4 hours or on high-heat setting for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Serve immediately or keep warm, covered, on warm-heat or low-heat setting for up to 2 hours.
3.Serve fondue with dippers, swirling pieces as you dip. If the fondue thickens, stir in a little milk. Makes 36 servings.
Nutrition Facts (Cheesy Mexican Fondue)
Per serving: 77 kcal cal., 6 g fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g polyunsaturated fat, 1 g monounsatured fat), 19 mg chol., 236 mg sodium, 1 g carb., 0 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 5 g pro. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
To make this creamy, cheesy dip vegetarian, omit the pork and double the arugula.
Makes: 12 Servings
Serving Size: 1/4 Cup Dip
Prep: 20 mins
Bake: 30 mins 350°F
Cool: 15 mins
1 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto or 2 slices bacon
1 cup arugula or fresh spinach, chopped
1 8 ounce carton sour cream
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup bottled roasted red sweet peppers, drained and finely chopped
¾ cup finely shredded Asiago cheese or Parmesan cheese (3 ounces)
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions (2)
Thinly sliced prosciutto or bacon, cut up and crisp-cooked (optional)
Assorted crackers, pita chips, flatbread, and/or toasted baguette slices
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place artichoke hearts in a fine-mesh sieve. To remove excess liquid, firmly press on artichoke hearts with paper towels. Chop artichoke hearts. Set aside.
2.Stack the 2 ounces prosciutto or the 2 bacon slices; snip or cut cut crosswise into thin strips. Separate pieces as much as possible. In a medium skillet cook and stir prosciutto or bacon over medium heat about 2 minutes or until brown and slightly crisp. Add arugula; cook and stir for 1 minute more. Set aside.
3.In a large bowl stir together sour cream and flour until combined. Stir in mayonnaise and roasted peppers. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese, the green onions, artichokes, and the arugula mixture. Transfer to an ungreased 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese (if desired, set aside 1 tablespoon of the cheese to sprinkle on just before serving).
4.Bake, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and mixture is hot in center. Cool for 15 minutes before serving. If desired, sprinkle with additional prosciutto or bacon and any reserved cheese. Serve dip with crackers and/or baguette slices.
Nutrition Facts (Asiago-Artichoke Dip)
Per serving: 157 kcal cal., 14 g fat (5 g sat. fat, 4 g polyunsaturated fat, 3 g monounsatured fat), 26 mg chol., 324 mg sodium, 4 g carb., 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 4 g pro. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
3.Baked Mozzarella and Tomato-Basil Antipasti
With only 15 minutes of prep time, this rich spread for toasted baguette slices is easy to make and hard to resist.
Makes: 4 Servings
Prep: 15 mins
Bake: 20 mins 350°F
2 cups pasta sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounces fresh bocconcini mozzarella or mozzarella cheese, cut in cubes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup torn fresh basil leaves
Parmesan-Toasted Baguette, (recipe below)
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In four 12- to 16-ounce or one 1-1/2-quart shallow ovenproof dish layer pasta sauce, garlic, and mozzarella. Bake 20 minutes or until mozzarella is melted. Remove from oven; drizzle olive oil. Top with basil. Serve with bread or Parmesan Toasted Baguette slices. Makes 4 servings.
8 1/2-inch slices baguette-style French bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1.Preheat broiler. Lightly brush one side of bread slices with oil. Place bread slices, oil sides up, on a baking sheet. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat about 15 seconds or until toasted (watch carefully to avoid burning). Sprinkle with cheese. Broil about 15 seconds more or until cheese is melted.
Nutrition Facts (Baked Mozzarella and Tomato-Basil Antipasti)
Per serving: 405 kcal cal., 17 g fat (9 g sat. fat, 40 mg chol., 929 mg sodium, 41 g carb., 3 g fiber, 19 g pro. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet