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20 Simple Gluten-Free Appetizers for Your Next Dinner Party

What’s the secret sauce to planning a perfect dinner?

Appetizers. 

Why? 

Because it’s like a food warm-up, prepping your mouth for all of the deliciousness to come. 

However, if you’re gluten-free, you tend to miss out on this important part of dining. Since most appetizers pertain to bread, you automatically start your meal on the wrong foot!

Ew.

Plus, everyone’s experienced that awkward moment at a party where there’s nothing for you to eat, so you just stand there in the corner pretending to really enjoy your drink.

No more! 

If you’re in the gluten-free club and are either hosting or attending a special dinner, then you need these recipes in your life. Read on for some appetizer inspo/ideas that will surely win over your gluten-free crowd.

P.S. Don’t forget to talk to your gluten-free friends about what they like, too! 

Table of Contents:

But First: How Do You Make a Magical App?

Store-Bought Gluten-Free Apps for ASAP Moments

Okay, But What If I’m the Host? HELP!

20 To-Die-For Gluten-Free Appetizers

  • Fun Finger Food for Everyone
  • Delish Dips for Your Gluten-Free Chips
  • Super Smashing Soups, Stews, & Chilis
  • Fabulous First-Class Fork Food

But First: How Do You Make a Magical App?

To nail down the essence of the perfect dinner experience, we have to define what makes appetizers so dang good.

  • It has to be easy to eat; the less fork action, the better.
  • It has to be convenient enough to transport in the car.
  •  It can’t be too sweet; no one wants a sugar coma before you get to the entree!
  • It needs to be yummy enough to act as a conversation-starter. “Have you tried the appetizer yet? It’s sooooo good!” 
  • It needs to be super simple to make, especially if you’re the host! You don’t want to spend the whole day on the app when you still have dinner and dessert to go.

Store-Bought Gluten-Free Apps For ASAP Moments 

On the slight chance you’re reading this in the car on the way to a dinner party right now, don’t panic. I’ve got you covered there, too. 

Here are a few naturally-gluten-free appetizers to pick up at the store real quick:

  • Fruit platter
  • Veggie platter
  • Charcuterie platter
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Corn chips
  • Hummus
  • Mixed nuts
  • Gluten-free pretzels
  • Mini crustless quiches
  • Bean dip
  • Cream-based dips

Bear in mind this list isn’t perfect! It’s always a good idea to check the ingredients first. 

Okay, But What If I’m the Host? HELP!

If you’re the host of the party and aren’t familiar with the wondrous ways of gluten-free, then there are a couple steps to take to ensure your gluten-free guests don’t have to worry about a thing.

Here’s what to do:

  • Avoid cross-contamination and always use separate kitchen equipment for the gluten-free stuff
  • Have a section of the table solely devoted to and labeled as gluten-free products, so other guest don’t accidentally move dishes around
  • Ask your friends what types of gluten-free food they enjoy, so you have an idea of what appetizers to make
  • Use this trusty list of gluten-free appetizers below! 

As the golden rule, always discuss with your gluten-free friends beforehand. I betcha they have amazing tips to ease your conscience, too!

20 To-Die-For Gluten-Free Appetizers

Appetizers set the stage for your gathering, which means they have to live up to the hype. 

Feeling the pressure?

It’s all good! 

These 20 gluten-free appetizers will get the people talking (in a good way!) and cater towards you or your guests’ gluten-free lifestyle. 

Fun Finger Food for Everyone

Okay, but seriously…Does it get any better than finger food?

You’re literally combining food and fun into one...yes, please! 

1. Nachos Pie

Introducing:

An amazing mash-up of lasagna, pie, and nachos into one– guilt-free! 

Make this at your next gathering, and everyone will be pining for the recipe! 

2. Polenta Cilantro Savory Bites

I wanted to make sure that you have a good combo of laid back apps and fancy apps, depending on the occasion.

This one fits the bill for a more classy party.

It looks like a lot of effort, but really? 

Easy as cake. 

3. Cheese-Stuffed Sweet Peppers

Is it really an appetizer without cheese?

Cheese is the ultimate safe zone for pre-dinner snacks, and these cheese-stuffed sweet peppers definitely take it up a notch.

To balance out the sweet creamy, try adding a pinch of red pepper flakes!

4. Shrimp Appetizers with Avocado and Cucumber

These are the cutest appetizers on the planet.

Little cajun shrimps top tiny rounds of cucumber and avocado– not to mention the amazing flavor from the cilantro. 

*chefs kiss!*

5. Bacon Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese

Sweet, salty, and creamy make up the stairway to food heaven.

No joke!

Bacon-wrapped dates are delish on their own, and when you add that hint of goat cheese, it takes your taste buds to a whole ‘nother, new level of yummy.

Delish Dips for Your Gluten-Free Chips

Life wouldn’t be the same without dip. It’s the only perfect complement to a chip!

It also happens to make some of the best appetizers in foodland. 

6. Easy Spinach Artichoke Dip

An undeniable staple:

Spinach and artichoke dip.

Typically thick dip like this is usually off-limits to celiacs, because they never serve anything gluten-free with it!

Not this time: everything here in the recipe is gluten-free and tasty. 

7. Classic Guacamole

Bring on the guac!

A classic guacamole is always a safe fan favorite, and it’s so easy:

Just a bunch of scooping, chopping, and mixing.

Pro tip: to prevent it from browning, cover it tightly with plastic wrap until it’s flat and completely pressed against the guac. Make it air-tight! The oxygen is what browns it.  

8. Baked Buffalo Chicken Dip

If it’s football time, then you can’t skimp out on a buffalo dish.

And watch out! This baked buffalo chicken dip will do the trick– it tastes exactly like buffalo wings without all the mess!

As a host, that’s a sure-fire win. 

9. Sausage Apple Cheese Dip

It doesn’t get any easier than a skillet.

With only a handful of ingredients and plenty of fall vibes to go around, this sausage apple cheese dip will spark some love. 

Deliciousness in mere minutes! 

10. Gluten-Free Baked Brie

I think we can all agree that we need a little more baked brie in our lives. It’s always the life of the party and has everyone throwing hands to get a taste. 

The problem?

It’s never been gluten-free… until now. 

Super Smashing Soups, Stews, & Chilis

Chili? For an appetizer?

You betcha!

If you’re preparing a long, drawn-out dinner, then you need a quality appetizer to hold everyone over until it’s feasting time.

A filling appetizer like a chili, stew, or soup is a fabulous idea, especially for fall gatherings. 

11. Crockpot Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Now, you’ll definitely want a vegetarian chili as an option. 

You have to cater to those meatless folks, too! 

And guess what? This one’s made in the slow cooker, so double points for convenience and easy transportation!

12. Creamy Vegan Potato Leek Soup

Ahhh, potato soup hits all the right spots. 

It’s creamy, vegan, gluten-free, and super easy. To top it off, the fresh herbal notes give it a special something you just have to keep eating. 

13. Vegan Pumpkin Soup Recipe

If a quick gluten-free recipe is exactly what you need, search no further– this one is ready in under 30 minutes. 

So say hello to vegan pumpkin soup! 

Pumpkin is incredibly cheap, meaning you can make huge batches for crowds without breaking your party budget! 

14. Taco Soup (Easy, Healthy, & Gluten-Free)

It’s taco time! 

You already know how delicious taco soup is, and thankfully, this recipe has a “set it and forget it” slow cooker version, too. 

Don’t forget the tortilla chips to dip! (And maybe some sour cream and cheese.)

15. Gluten-Free Beef Stew

I don’t know about you, but stew is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of a filling, robust meal. It’s so hearty!

Of course, this version is gluten and worry-free. 

Fabulous First-Class Fork Food

I know I mentioned it’s best to avoid needing a fork when it comes to appetizers, but some app recipes are too “forking” good to pass up. 

Allow me to introduce you to the 6 fork bite appetizers that will blow your mind. 

16. Spiced Gluten-Free Zucchini Fritters

Friiiitttterrrrssss!

You got the spice, chickpeas, zucchini, and yogurt that turn this dish into one of the best apps around town.

If you like falafels, you’ll love this one. 

17. Gluten-Free Caesar Salad with Herb Croutons

Caesar salad is the classic of all classics. It’s impossible to screw up!

However, sometimes the dressing, not to mention the croutons, can contain gluten ingredients.

Not this time! 

18. Italian Antipasto Salad

Pass the antipasto salad please!

This recipe is a go-to cold salad for any event’s starter.. Not to mention, as a crowd finisher, it’s also low-carb and keto-approved. 

Win!

19. Easy Caprese Salad

Simple, yet elegant: that’s caprese for you!

This salad is literally just tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. But don’t let the short ingredient list fool you- it’s packed with flavor!

20. Gluten-Free Potato Skins

Potato skins are like upgraded, futuristic chips.

They’ve got a little bit of a crunch but are brimming with crazy good fillings like cheese, beans, and salsa.

To make this vegan, use nutritional yeast in place of the cheese!

Bring On Those Amazing Apps: Time for a Gluten-Free Partay

Now you’re all caught up on what makes a wonderful app, how to cater towards your gluten-free friends, and most importantly, the appetizer recipes that will set your party up for success. 

Cheers to appetizers being the most important meal of the day! 

Enjoy!

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