Our 25+ BEST BBQ Appetizers

Want to find the best bbq appetizers to tide your guests over until the main dishes are ready?

We’ve put together 24 of the most delectable cookout appetizers that are sure to satisfy and warm everyone up for the main event!

Every area of the country claims to have the best BBQ, but the fact is, BBQ is delicious whether you’re eating it in Kansas City, Austin, New Orleans, or Los Angeles. What makes BBQ appetizers so amazing is the versatility. You can serve them with nearly anything and have an instant hit.

Homemade Cheeseburger Sliders with Lettuce Tomato and Cheese

As the warm weather approaches, there’s nothing quite like gathering friends and family for a backyard barbecue. While the main course often steals the spotlight, appetizers play a crucial role in setting the tone and satisfying guests’ appetites before the main event. In this article, we explore a variety of scrumptious BBQ appetizers that will help make your next outdoor gathering a culinary success.

From meat lovers to vegetarians, there is an appetizer to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. Finger foods and small bites offer guests the opportunity to mix and mingle while trying out different flavors. With plenty of creative options available, your BBQ appetizers will set the stage for a memorable meal experience.

Consider incorporating a mix of sweet, spicy, and savory dishes to appeal to a wide range of palates. Think beyond the traditional chips and dip, and opt for a variety of barbecue-friendly appetizers that highlight fresh, seasonal ingredients. The possibilities are endless, making your next BBQ one to remember

BBQ appetizers are a great way to kick off a backyard barbecue. There are so many wonderful options to choose from, such as potato skins, grilled shrimp, stuffed jalapenos, and even BBQ chicken wings.

You could even make some delicious homemade dips such as ranch, guacamole, and salsa to dip your favorite veggies in. Other easy and delicious BBQ appetizers include stuffed mushrooms, grilled corn on the cob, and mini quesadillas.

If you want something a little more indulgent, you could try pulled pork sliders or BBQ rib bites. No matter what you choose, your guests will be delighted with the variety of appetizers you have to offer.

Barbecues are all about delicious grilled food, from savory meats to tasty fruits and fresh veggies.

And if you’ve got a bit more time to spend on the grill, these barbeque appetizer ideas will keep your guests from turning cannibal.

Don’t order overpriced and overcooked fried chicken wings, make your own fun appetizers at home for a fraction of the cost.

Also, unlike side dishes and entrees, appetizers may not take as long to make. For example, something as simple as pineapple salsa or chips and guacamole take no time at all.

And even the more advanced appetizers like parmesan zucchini fries and loaded nachos won’t keep you in the kitchen very long.

Satisfying your guests with delicious appetizers is a crucial ingredient to make your bbq cookout one to remember!

Source: auntbeesrecipes.com

1. Spicy Brown Sugar Little Smokies Wrapped in Bacon

Kick your bbq party off with a bang. This recipe for spicy brown sugar bacon-wrapped smokies is sure to satisfy your guests until the main dishes.

These meaty treats combine crispy, chewy bacon with tender sausage. But, you also have the sweetness of the brown sugar working its magic with the chili powder.

Plus, add in some brown sugar and spices, and you’ve got yourself a sweet and feisty little treat!

Now, just include a bowl of your favorite warmed barbecue sauce, and you’re in business!

Source: hungryhealthyhappy.com

2. Easy Pineapple Salsa

Start your bbq party with one of the sweetest bbq appetizer ideas in town. Your guests will think they’ve teleported to Hawaii when you serve this deliciously tropical pineapple salsa recipe.

You’ve got the taste of fresh tomato, peppers, cilantro, onions, and, of course, fresh pineapple all in one bite!

You won’t have to spend a lot of time preparing this easy dish and the salsa tastes great as a topper on other dishes such as grilled fish and pork chops!

This salsa makes for a great sweet and spicy treat but, be warned. Your guest might tire out their arms scooping if you make too much.

Use the pineapple as a bowl to complete the tropical look.

Source: gatherforbread.com

3. Easy Cheesy Party Bread

There’s nothing like that taste of chewy, soft, garlicky bread oozing delicious melted cheese.

If you’re looking to get the party started, this is the right bbq appetizer for the job!

Plus, this recipe couldn’t be easier to make. All you need is a fresh roll of sourdough (or some other type of round bread). And about five ingredients!

Your guests will “ooh” and “ahh” when they pull a piece of this scrumptious appetizer.

And try dipping your bread in barbecue sauce, trust us, you won’t regret it.

Source: bhg.com

4. Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork Sliders

When simple fair just won’t cut it as appetizers, it’s time to bring out pulled pork sliders.

This pulled pork slider recipe gives you some of the most tender and savory appetizers on the planet!

When you’ve got pulled pork and delicious coleslaw between two buttery buns, you’re holding magic in your hands.

These sliders are so good and hearty. They can be your main course should it start to rain.

Source: shewearsmanyhats.com

5. Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs

Keep the tropical theme going with these incredible Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs.

The tinder-glazed grilled chicken, bell pepper, onion, and pineapple in this bbq masterpiece will dazzle your taste buds!

Serve them up on a plater or stick them out of the pineapple shell for a very cool and exotic presentation.

Also, no one would complain if you wanted to add some grilled bacon to the mix.

Best of all, these grilled appetizers are simple to make, leaving you plenty of time to brush up on your limbo game.

Source: twopeasandtheirpod.com

6. Chips and Guacamole

If someone says they don’t absolutely love chips and guacamole, you might want to check their pulse and call a doctor.

This easy guacamole recipe only has a few ingredients: avocados, jalapeno (optional), cilantro, red onion, lime juice, freshly ground black pepper, and kosher salt.

Just make sure you’re using the ripest avocado troops for this mission.

The taste is out of his world and is sure to satisfy even the pickiest guac snob.

You can also top with some fresh salsa or use it as part of a loaded bean dip recipe.


7. Grilled Garlic & Herb Potato Chips

Don’t waste your money on greasy store-bought potato chips. For a bbq party, you need to try these grilled garlic & herb potato chips.

Now, what’s the key to making fantastic homemade chips? First, you need to ensure your spuds are evenly sliced and thin. The best way to accomplish this is using a mandolin slicer. Trust us, this nifty little kitchen tool is a real lifesaver!

Once you’ve taken care of the slicing, next, you just have to season and grill your chips. Grill them on each side for about five minutes, and that’s it!

When your guests smell these savory chips fresh off the grill, they won’t be able to help themselves!

Source: noshingwiththenolands.com

8. Mexican Corn Dip

This delicious Mexican corn dip is one of the best dips you can pair with your grilled garlic & herb potatoes chips.

Dips are a staple for any get-together, and this recipe so outclasses store-bought dips, it’s not even funny!

Corn dip is simple to make and filling enough to ward off rumbling tummies while you prepare the main course.

Your hungry party guests won’t be able to get enough of this creamy, spicy, delectable dip.

Source: kathrynstitchenblog.com

9. Parmesan Zucchini Fries

Finding tasty healthy fare for your bbq party doesn’t have to be a chore. For those watching what they eat but who still want to indulge a bit, this parmesan zucchini fries recipe is perfect!

These fries don’t have the pound-adding starch found in potato-based fries and taste amazing.

The parmesan seasoning on these veggie fries makes all the difference and gives them that addictive crunchy texture we all love.

These zucchini fries also go great with many different dips, including aioli, marinara, and ranch.

Source: cookingclassy.com

10. Homemade Loaded Potato Skins

One of the best party appetizers of all time is homemade loaded potato skins.

Loaded with bacon, sour cream, green onions, and melted cheddar cheese, this classic is a sure-fire hit.

Unlike recipes that call for deep-frying, these tasty taters bake right in the oven for unbeatable crispy skin and fluffy insides.

Who’s got all that time to spend frying potatoes when there’s food to grill, right? With this amazing recipe, the only thing you need to do is throw these spuds in your oven and let it handle the rest.

Source: spicysouthernkitchen.com

11. Jalapeno Poppers

For an appetizer with some kick, you’ve got to offer these jalapeno poppers.

With their insanely crunchy crust and cheesy, gooey insides, and overall spice, jalapeno poppers are ideal for guests who need a bit more excitement in their lives!

The secret is the cream cheese, which helps tone down the spiciness of the peppers.

Put it all together, and you’ve got yourself one of the best party appetizers in town!

You can also add some crispy bacon around or inside your poppers.

Source: reluctantentertainer.com

12. Easy Watermelon Skewers

For a sweet, cool, and refreshing treat, nothing beats this recipe for easy watermelon skewers.

You get a variety of delicious flavors from ingredients such as fresh blueberries, watermelon, fresh mint leaves, and fresh mozzarella balls.

However, you can also substitute or add other ingredients such as mango and cantaloupe.

This recipe tastes amazing with drizzled balsamic vinegar, and you can also grill it for even more flavor. However, grilling mozzarella can get messy. But here’s a tip.

Wrap the mozzarella balls in your favorite meat, such as bacon, then pop them in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Once they’ve firmed up, you can throw them on the grill. The meat will help prevent a big mess.

Source: modernhoney.com

13. Green Chile Queso Blanco Dip

As much as we all love chips and salsa, when it comes to choosing between salsa and hot, cheesy, queso dip, there’s really no contest, folks.

But, of course, having both is the best of both worlds.

With this green chile Queso Blanco dip recipe, you’ve got more than enough cheese to please, with up to four to choose from. Or you can use all four kinds of cheese if you want!

Garnish with hot sauce, cilantro, and cotija cheese for a queso dip that will leave you licking your plate!

Source: princesspinkygirl.com

14. Easy Sheet Pan Loaded Nachos

Nothing gets a party started like a massive batch of loaded nachos!

When it comes to incredible appetizers, there’s no way you can go wrong with salty, crispy tortilla chips piled with all kinds of delicious fixings on top.

Best of all, this nacho recipe’s super quick and straightforward. You can use whatever type of ground meat you want; turkey, ground beef, steak, chicken, you name it.

With all that melty cheese, veggies, and savory meat, hunger doesn’t stand a chance.

This recipe’s totally customizable, so add them or sub them for something else like black olives if you love onions. Or, pile everything on if you want. The sky is the limit!

Just top your nachos with creamy sour cream, delicious tomato salsa, and, of course, guacamole.

Source: thecookierookie.com

15. Super Cheesy Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders

Another delicious appetizer that can also double as a main course is cheeseburger sliders. But while regular cheeseburger sliders are great and all, super cheesy cheeseburger sliders are where it’s at!

These melty, cheesy bundles of juicy beef, bacon, and cheese are sure to have your guests stretching out strings of cheese from their lips with pure pleasure.

We also love this recipe, aside from the tons of cheese, because it only takes a few minutes to put together and cook.

One thing you can add to spice up the recipe is a bit of barbecue sauce.

When it comes to BBQ appetizers, these little burgers will always go over bigtime!

Source: kitchenswagger.com

16. Buffalo Chicken Dip

When it comes to dips that are eaten like a meal, you can get much more heavy-duty than spicy, cheesy buffalo chicken dip.

And with this buffalo chicken dip recipe, you’ve got more cheese than you can shake a stick at – try three different kinds of cheese, such as sharp cheddar, mozzarella, blue cheese, all blended with cream cheese.

Then, of course, you have your tender, juicy shredded rotisserie chicken along with other remarkable ingredients to give it that extra kick!

Source: threeolivesbranch.com

17. Jalapeno Popper Pinwheels

When you think of pinwheel sandwiches, maybe you think of the ones put in your school lunchbox when you were a kid or those “blah” store-bought pinwheels served up at company parties.

Well, this jalapeno popper pinwheel recipe will wipe away all memories of those uninspired pinwheels – we guarantee it!

Filled with a delicious cream cheese mix with spicy jalapenos and Monterey Jack cheese, your guests will know right away that these are no ordinary pinwheels.

And a spoonful of creamy avocado dip is the perfect topper!


18. BBQ Meatballs

If there’s anything you can put in the middle of a table full of lively guests debating about last night’s football game to shut them up (at least for a few seconds), it’s a bowl full of steaming hot bbq meatballs.

One of the best things about this recipe is that you use fully-cooked frozen meatballs, which, despite not being fresh, always taste amazing when cooked in savory bbq sauce.

Also, if you can find them at your local store, try grabbing a bag of all-beef frozen meatballs for an incredible flavor.

source: momsdinner.net

19. Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip

For many folks, spinach isn’t exactly their favorite veggie, but this baked spinach artichoke dip will definitely make them see spinach in a whole new light.

The creamy, rich cheese flavor in this dip is to die for, and the fact that it has two very healthy veggies makes you feel a little less guilty about indulging.

And the fact that this dip is so easy to make from scratch, there’s no way you’ll ever go back to store-bought -ever!

Source: smalltownwoman.com

20. Pigs in a Blanket

Despite its rather unappetizing name, pigs in a blanket are among the best party foods ever invented.

Now some folks go with more biscuit-type dough, but with this recipe, your little sausages are wrapped in a buttery, flakey, croissant crust that melts in your mouth.

And these meaty treats also have melty cheddar cheese and are topped with poppy and sesame seeds.

Or you can substitute in your own blend of spices for an appetizer that will disappear faster than a cheapskate friend when your table’s check arrives.

Source: thecookierookie.com

21. Loaded Deviled Eggs with Bacon

An all-time greatest hit at any party, deviled eggs has been in fashion at get-togethers for generations.

But, you can take your deviled egg game to a whole new level with this appetizer recipe for loaded deviled eggs with bacon.

As the name suggests, these little eggs are packed with deliciousness that’ll make you do a double-take!

You’ve got bacon, chives, cheddar cheese, sour cream, and salt and pepper, making this sinfully decadent dish something that will take your taste buds to seventh heaven!

Source: closetcooking.com

22. Cajun Butter Garlic Grilled Shrimp

Just say “cajun butter garlic grilled shrimp,” now, doesn’t every word in this shrimp recipe make your mouth water?

Now, imagine all these beautiful words transformed into the perfect appetizer recipe dreams are made of, and you’ve got yourself a winner!

Now, for something as delicious-looking as this dish, you would think it would involve lots of ingredients and special preparation, right?

Well, please don’t think that because it’s wrong. All you’ll need is six ingredients for the shrimp and three for the cilantro-lime avocado sauce – which, believe us is well worth making with this dish!

Prep time is about ten minutes, and grilling also takes around the same amount of time. In 20 minutes, you’ve got yourself a platter of delicious grilled shrimp guaranteed to leave shirts wet with drool!

Source: easyweeknightrecipes.com

23. Easy Garlic Bread Bruschetta

A bruschetta appetizer recipe is always a fantastic option that’s sure to impress your guests with a light, delicious, and healthy appetizer.

While this dish looks fancy, it’s surprisingly easy to make, and this special easy garlic bread bruschetta recipe is no exception.

The mixture for the salad is effortless, consisting of grape tomato, parmesan cheese, basil ribbons, minced garlic, salt & pepper, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

And for your toasted bread, you just need a fresh roll of Italian bread, olive oil, and garlic.

Easy-peasy one-two-threesy!

Now, just throw on your favorite black turtle neck, black beret, and your worst French accent. Let the show begin!

Source: kalynskitchen.com

24. Grilled Halloumi Cheese and Mushroom Skewers

We all love cheese and that grilled taste, but the two seem destined to never be together like Romeo and Juliet since most cheese can’t handle the heat.

However, halloumi cheese isn’t like most cheeses. Not only can it take the heat, but it also tastes terrific and retains some beautiful grill marks and an authentic grilled smoky flavor.

Halloumi cheese is a very unique cheese hailing from the Mediterranean paradise known as Cyprus. Due to its high melting point, you can quickly grill, bake, and fry this cheese without it melting into a gooey mess.

You add some seasoned mushrooms and onions, and now you’ve got a party on a stick!

Oh, yeah, and did we mention that the highest carb in this recipe is the onions? However, we found that the cherry tomato makes for an awesome substitute.

Also, here’s a video with a few more delicious bbq appetizer recipe ideas for your next cookout.

BBQ appetizers

Our 25+ BEST Show-Stopping BBQ Appetizers + Guacamole Recipe

These recipes are sure to please. So, gather your family and friends and enjoy. Let us know your thoughts!
5 from 10 votes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 200 kcal


  • 3 large ripe avocados
  • 1/2 cup red onion diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper


  • Remove pits from avocados.
  • Squeeze the fruit into a bowl.
  • Add all the ingredients and use a fork to mash.


Select your favorite recipe.
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.


Calories: 200kcal
Keyword BBQ appetizers
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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