For some of us, the idea of providing a platter of canapés is a daunting prospect, but they don’t have to be fiddly or complicated. Our 10 easy canapé cheats are delicious and super easy to prepare, allowing you to enjoy more of the festivities.
Use pre-made mini pastry cases to enable you to focus on making the filling. Goat's cheese and caramelised onion or Parma ham work well, or you could try something sweet such as these tropical Eton mess tartlets.
For substantial canapés to keep guests going at a drinks party, hearty bread-based bites are the way to go. Take inspiration from the Italians and try grilling thinly sliced bread to make crostini and bruschetta – any baguette or bloomer-style loaf will work and can be topped with any combination of cheese, meat, fish and veg you fancy, such as these vibrant smashed pea bruschetta. For a super simple cheat, these three-ingredient Brie and cranberry foccacias have bags of flavour in every bite.
Buy a pack of ready rolled puff pastry and you're halfway to flaky, golden sausage rolls already. Go traditional with these ultimate sausage rolls, add a festive twist with this cranberry and leek sausages roll recipe, or go vibrant and veggie with these green spinach and ricotta sausage rolls.
Try another DIY canapé and make a large pâté or terrine that guests can spread over oatcakes or crusty bread. Follow our easy step-by-step guide to making a terrine; it needs to chill overnight before serving, so is a great make-ahead option. For vegan guests, this 'meaty' mushroom pâté is a great alternative that everyone will love.
Sausages on sticks are always popular but a few simple tricks can make them into something extra special. Add a sweet sticky glaze with these jammy chipolatas, try extra meaty bacon or chorizo-wrapped sausages, or add a retro twist by turning them into cute mini toad-in-the-holes.
Combine store cupboard staples with a few fresh ingredients for impressive canapés that don't mean last-minute trips to the shops. These sweet-and-spicy pineapple satay skewers are the perfect example, using just peanut butter and sweet chilli sauce to give fresh pineapple an Asian-style makeover. You get roughly 30 skewers from one pineapple, so it's great for feeding a crowd.
Not only easy to prepare, these canapés served on skewers mean no sticky fingers. Try these fuss-free sticky pork belly skewers for meat-lovers, dukkah-crusted halloumi bites for vegetarians, and Middle-Eastern spiced aubergine rolls for vegans.
For casual party food, put a big bowl of homemade dip on the table with a selection of breadsticks, savoury cheese straws, strips of toasted pitta or crunchy veg. This creamy feta and pesto dip is quick to whip up with just four ingredients, or similarly this red pepper dip makes the most of tinned and jarred ingredients from your cupboard.
Mini mince pies make a fab festive canapé for Christmas parties but there's no need to stress out with baking tins and pastry making. Try this easy twist with these mincemeat pop tarts which just use a pack of ready rolled shortcrust pastry and a jar of mincemeat to make cute little parcels instead of the traditional pies. Simply cut, fill and bake.
Sushi makes an elegant party snack, and nigiri, California rolls and maki rolls look really impressive when arranged on a serving platter. Sushi can be time-consuming to make from scratch, but these Japanese-inspired salmon roll-ups, flavoured with fiery wasabi paste, are super easy-to-make and ready in just 15 minutes.
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