Gluten-free appetizers are a must to have when it comes to preparing your dinner party menu for those with dietary restrictions. Depending on how many people you plan to serve, it is best to have a few options for the guests to choose from.
What is gluten-free?
Gluten-free means that whatever food you’re consuming doesn’t contain gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and several types of grains.
People might have a gluten-free diet for a number of reasons, including celiac disease, gluten allergies, or gluten intolerance. For those that can’t tolerate gluten, consuming the protein can trigger an immune response that causes inflammation in the small intestine.
Characteristics of Appetizers
Appetizers are often served before the main course and are meant to stimulate your appetite. While they can be loaded with flavor, they are generally small in size and inexpensive.
Most appetizers tend to be small portions of food that can be shared among a group of people. An ideal appetizer is one that will complement the entrée and connote what guests can expect about the dinner that will follow.
Types of Appetizers
Cocktails usually consist of several bite-sized pieces of fish or shellfish served with a sauce.
For hors d’oeuvres, aim for simplicity. Hors d’oeuvres tend to come in small portions and come before the main course. This type of appetizer can be hot or cold.
These bite-sized or two bite-sized finger food appetizers should be fresh, dainty, and full of color. This kind of appetizer tends to be savory. They usually have three parts, including a base, a spread, and a topping or garnish. These appetizers can be served hot or cold.
Relishes are pickled items alongside a type of vegetable. Raw celery pieces or carrots are often common choices to pair with a type of relish.
This category of appetizer includes two different kinds of salads. Both come in smaller portions than a salad as a main dish.
One kind includes a plain salad, such as a cucumber salad or a tomato salad, while compound salads, the second kind, include caesar salad for example.
Soups and Consommé
Soups and consommé are being served as an appetizer more often than before.
Chips and Dips
Chips and dips are appetizers that are easy to munch on before the main course is served. You can pick your favorite savory dip to accompany potato chips, crackers, or raw vegetables.
Common Ingredients in Gluten-Free Appetizers
- Almond flour
- Buckwheat flour
- Rice flour
- Oat flour
Gluten-Free Dairy Products
If you are choosing a kind of processed cheese or breaded meat product, check the label to be confident the item is gluten-free.
How to Choose Gluten-Free Appetizers
Step 1. Figure out how many people you’re serving
Before you make any final decisions on appetizers, make sure to know how many people will be attending the occasion.The number of people attending is important so that you can decide how many appetizer selections are needed.
If you have 10 or fewer guests, you should plan on preparing three appetizers. Moreover, if there are 10 to 20 guests, aim to prepare five appetizer selections, and if you have 20 to 40 guests, plan on having seven appetizer selections available.
But, if you are planning to serve more than 40 people, try and have nine appetizers for your guests to choose from.
Step 2. Select your menu of gluten-free appetizers
Once you know how many people will be attending the dinner party, you want to create a mix of appetizers people can enjoy before the main course. One tip is to keep it simple.
If you already have a dish you have made before that you know people will enjoy, you can include the dish as an appetizer selection. Also, plan ahead. Try and avoid preparing anything last minute so that you can avoid any necessary stress.
You also want to balance the choices available to the guests. You can alternate between appetizers that are rich in flavor and appetizers that are simpler and fresher.
Try to keep visual appeal in mind as you make your appetizer menu. Contrasting colors and shapes can make for a visually appealing spread.
Another thing to keep in mind is offering both hot and cold foods or crunchy and creamy foods. This can add variety to the menu.
Step 3. Finalize the details of gluten-free appetizers
Once you have finalized the appetizer menu, you can go ahead and plan the rest of the dinner party details. Some things to keep in mind include the drink selection, decor, seating arrangements, music playlist, and more.
Tips for Presenting Gluten-Free Appetizers
- Appetizers should have a bit of uniformity. You can do this by keeping your skewers, plates, tasting utensils, and more in the same color scheme.
- Select appetizers that are easy to eat. This can be done by providing appetizers that don’t require extra cutlery.
- Introduce color to your appetizer spread. You can use colorful fruits, glazes with color, or garnishes to add color to the spread.
- For some appetizers, if it is fitting you can put them into a small cup or a shot glass to serve as the base of your appetizers. By paying attention to detail, you can do small things that will enhance the presentation of your appetizer selection. This also adds variety.
- You can include custom extras. For example, you can use different picks or skewers to indicate the characteristics of the appetizers. If one appetizer is vegan, you can use a skewer or pick to indicate that.
30 Gluten-Free Appetizers For Your Next Party
1. Greek Salad Sushi Rolls
If you and your potential dinner guests love sushi, gluten-free Greek salad sushi rolls are quick and easy to make. Live Eat Learn shares a recipe for these Mediterranean-inspired Greek sushi rolls.
2. Caprese Skewers with Balsamic Drizzle
Caprese skewers with balsamic drizzle are a quick and healthy gluten-free appetizer you can prepare right at home. Iowa Girl Eats gives a recipe on how to make this healthy and fresh appetizer.
3. Cucumber Bites
If you are looking for an appetizer that is quick and easy to make, Veggie Inspired provides a recipe on how you can make cucumber bites. These one-bite appetizers are filled with a sun-dried tomato spread.
4. Gluten-Free Salsa
To make this gluten-free salsa, all you need is fresh vegetables and a food processor. Jennifer Fugo provides her 3-minute recipe.
5. Sweet Potato Bites with Avocado and Bacon
Sweet potato bites with avocado and bacon are one appetizer you could consider making for your next dinner party. Well Plated shares its recipe on how to make this yummy and addictive appetizer.
6. Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Made with sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, rice, vinegar, wine, and a touch of honey, Asian chicken lettuce wraps could be a huge hit with you and your guests. Gluten-Free on a Shoestring provides its recipe for making this recipe.
7. Bacon and Fontina Stuffed Mushrooms
For your next dinner party, bacon and fontina stuffed mushrooms can be a part of your appetizer selection. Taste of Home shares its recipe for making these tasty treats.
8. Texas Caviar (Cowboy Caviar)
Texas caviar, or cowboy caviar, is a mix of beans, corn, tomatoes, onions, and much more. A Couple Cooks gives its recipe for this dish that everyone can enjoy.
9. Cheesy Shrimp Polenta Bites
This cheesy appetizer is topped with shrimp, tomatoes, sun-dried tomato pesto, and feta. Healthy Nibbles shares its recipe on how to make this bite-sized, gluten-free appetizer.
10. Thai Cauliflower Salad Lettuce Cups
With cups made from pieces of lettuce, Thai cauliflower salad lettuce cups are a light and healthy appetizer option. Cooking and Beer provides its recipe and tips on how to make these for your next dinner party.
11. Vegetarian White Bean Chili
Vegetarian white bean chili is loaded with spices and flavor. Delish Knowledge shares its recipe for making this high-in-spice gluten-free appetizer.
12. Chopped Thai Salad with Sesame Garlic Dressing
Chopped Thai salad with sesame garlic dressing is quick and easy to make. Pinch of Yum gives its recipe for you to try at home.
13. Gluten-Free Crab Cakes
If you love crab cakes, this gluten-free crab cake option should be considered for your next dinner party. The Spruce Eats provides its recipe for making this gluten-free appetizer.
14. Prosciutto Wrapped Apple Bites
Prosciutto-wrapped apple bites are simple to make and only require four ingredients. The Nutrition Adventure gives its tips and recipe on making this bite-sized appetizer.
15. Sticky Sweet Chicken
An appetizer for any occasion, sticky sweet chicken can be a guest favorite at any occasion. EBL Food Allergies shares its recipe to make this dairy-, nut-, egg- and gluten-free appetizer.
16. Cajun Shrimp Sweet Potato Bites
A combination of crispy sweet potato fries, shrimp cocktail, and guacamole, Cajun shrimp sweet potato bites are healthy and easy to make. Joyful Healthy Eats gives its recipe on how to make this seafood starter.
17. Bacon Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese
These bacon-wrapped dates with goat cheese are sweet, salty, creamy, and perfect for anyone who loves bacon. Veggie Balance shares its recipe for making an appetizer everyone will want to try.
18. Loaded Potato Skins
Loaded potato skins provide a crunch and an explosion of flavors because of the toppings. A Couple Cooks provides its recipe on how to make this appetizer for your next dinner party.
19. Red Curry and Brown Sugar Tofu Spring Rolls
With a red curry sauce and tamarind paste, red curry and brown sugar tofu spring rolls are loaded with flavor and color. Healthy Nibbles shares its recipe for you to try.
20. Vegan Pumpkin Soup
This gluten-free and vegan pumpkin soup is creamy and has a rich flavor. Avocado Pesto provides its recipe so you can try it as well.
21. Baked Chicken Taquitos
Baked chicken taquitos are crispy and crunchy making for a delicious appetizer. One Lovely Life gives its recipe on how to make this gluten-free appetizer.
22. Cauliflower Cheese Bread
Taking around 40 minutes to prepare, cauliflower cheese bread can be considered as a substitute for garlic bread. The Spruce Eats provides its recipe.
23. Baked Chicken Wings with Tamarind-Ginger Glaze
Baked chicken wings with a tamarind-ginger glaze lead to these wings having a spicy, sweet, and tart flavor. Serious Eats shares its recipe on how to make this gluten-free appetizer for your next dinner party.
24. Italian Antipasto Salad
Italian antipasto salad is served on a base of lettuce with pepperoni, fresh veggies, cheese, and more on top. Whole Lotta Yum gives its recipe.
25. Tangy Glazed Meatballs
Taking about 20 minutes to make, tangy glazed meatballs are a bite-sized appetizer you can have on your appetizer menu. Taste of Home shares its recipe on how to make these tangy, glazed, gluten-free meatballs.
26. Bacon Wrapped Dates with Honey Herb Glaze
Bacon-wrapped dates with a honey herb glaze provide a crunch and sweet flavor. What Molly Made provides its recipe so you can try and make this gluten-free appetizer.
27. Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
Containing shrimp, avocado, vegetables, and a tomato sauce, this gluten-free Mexican shrimp cocktail takes less than 20 minutes to prepare. Wonky Wonderful shares its recipe on how to make this flavorful appetizer.
28. Simple Salmon Cakes
Simple salmon cakes are easy to make and can add a bit of color to the table during your next dinner party. Food by Mars gives its recipe to make these salmon cakes and shares a pineapple guacamole recipe to top off the salmon cakes.
29. Baked Buffalo Chicken Dip
Baked buffalo chicken dip pairs well with crackers or vegetables. Mama Knows Gluten Free shares its recipe for making this gluten-free appetizer.
30. Stuffed Mini Peppers
With a prep time of 32 minutes, stuffed mini peppers can be a hit at your next dinner party. The Spruce Eats gives its recipe for making this bite-sized, gluten-free appetizer.
Gluten-Free Appetizers FAQ
Can gluten-free appetizers be served hot or cold?
Yes, appetizers can be served hot or cold. For example, hor d’oeuvres can be hot or cold and eaten standing up. If you serve a cold appetizer, this can help with stimulating digestion and increase the eater’s appetite.
When do you serve appetizers?
You can start serving appetizers as soon as the guests have arrived. Appetizers can be great for when the guests are standing around chatting with friends or family before sitting down for the main meal.
When your guests are walking through the door, they are likely going to be hungry, so appetizers can fulfill a bit of the hunger.
How many appetizers should be on the menu?
The number of guests will dictate how many appetizers should be on the menu. You should plan on offering a variety of appetizers to make sure there is something everyone can enjoy.
If you are planning on only having a few guests, six to eight bites or taste portions per person is a good number to go by. A good rule of thumb for a dinner party is to allow six appetizers per guest. For a larger party, 12 bites or taste portions per guest should suffice.