From Gluten-Free to Veggie, There’s a Summer Appetizer for Everyone on Our List

Featuring all the seasonal produce.

By Lourdes Avila Uribe

Looking for a way to jazz up your weekly meal plan? Then why not add some of the season’s most delicious ingredients to your next dinner. The dog days of summer are officially here, and with it, an abundance of delicious fruits and vegetables that are in their prime. Take advantage of the season’s incredible ingredients with these 17 summer appetizer recipes that will seriously elevate your next meal—whether it’s a casual mid-week dinner or a fun-filled outdoor gathering with loved ones.

But first, I have a strange confession to make. Despite always having a relatively balanced and healthy diet, I didn’t start (mindfully) eating seasonally until I moved to New York City almost eight years ago. Having grown up in Southern California, I had access to pretty much any fruit and vegetable my heart desired, year-round. When I relocated to the East Coast, I started shopping the city’s gorgeous Greenmarkets and I realized the benefits and joys of eating seasonally.

Now, I always make a point to fill my reusable totes with apples and sweet potatoes in the fall and stone fruits, berries, and corn in the summer. I am so much more appreciative of in-season produce and genuinely find joy in making recipes that can only be eaten during a specific season. These summer appetizer recipes turn the very best of this season’s offerings into delicious dishes. Enjoy them for a long, relaxing meal on a warm summer evening. Read on for our favorite 17 summer appetizer recipes, from dairy- and gluten-free, to vegetarian.

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Gluten-Free Appetizers

Grilled Peach and Asparagus Salad - Camille Styles

Grilled Peach and Asparagus Salad With Spicy Pepitas from Camille Styles

I didn’t realize what a difference grilling peaches made to enriching the flavor. The juxtaposition of these sweet peaches with crisp asparagus and spicy crunchy pepitas makes this salad an absolute gem.

Classic Gazpacho - Foodie Crush

Classic Gazpacho from Foodie Crush

Keep it cool with a timeless gazpacho recipe. It couldn’t be easier to whip up and it’s full of nutrient-dense, tasty veggies.

Grilled Romaine Salad and White Beans - Minimalist Baker

Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad With Herbed White Beans from Minimalist Baker

Put a spin on your next Caesar salad with this grilled romaine and white bean version. It’s satisfying, delicious, and the perfect accompaniment to any meal.

Strawberry and Arugula Salad - Camille Styles

Strawberry & Arugula Salad With Spring Herbs & Goat Cheese from Camille Styles

Doesn’t this salad just scream summer? Gorgeous berries, fresh arugula, and fragrant herbs topped with goat cheese—it simply cannot be beaten.

Grilled Peaches Wrapped in Bacon - Foodie Crush

Bacon-Wrapped Grilled Peaches With Balsamic Glaze from Foodie Crush

It couldn’t be easier to make this incredibly tantalizing appetizer. You’ll think you’re at a high-end restaurant!

Dairy-Free Appetizers

Mango salad - Minimalist Baker

Vibrant Mango Salad With Peanut Dressing from Minimalist Baker

This salad is as gorgeous as it is delicious. Find the ripest mango you can and go to town with this healthy, colorful salad.

Black bean salsa - Brown Eyed Baker

Black Bean Salsa from Brown Eyed Baker

Sometimes, chips and salsa are exactly the kind of appetizer you need. This black bean salsa recipe is light, delicious, and the perfect thing to munch on while the rest of the meal comes together.

Chicken Wings - Erren's Kitchen

Chicken Wings from Erren’s Kitchen

There’s something so festive about chicken wings, don’t you think? Enjoy this delicious and simple recipe next time you need some protein to feed the family while your main dish is prepared.

Smoky grilled eggplant - minimalist baker

Smoky Grilled Eggplant from Minimalist Baker

Add a little spice to your grilled eggplant with this smoky version from Minimalist Baker. Drizzle with some tahini and you’re ready to go.

Vegetarian Appetizers

watermelon, tomato, and caprese salad - camille styles

Watermelon Tomato Caprese Salad from Camille Styles

I love a twist on a Caprese, especially when it involves one of my favorite melons of the season.

Jalapeno Corn Cakes from Spoon Fork Bacon

Jalapeño Corn Cakes from Spoon Fork Bacon

Treat yourself to some fresh corn and enjoy these absolutely divine corn cakes. Just be sure to squirrel away enough for yourself if you’re serving them to a group because they’ll be gone in a flash.

Tomato Avocado Cucumber Salad from Camille Styles

Tomato, Avocado, and Cucumber Salad from Camille Styles

It doesn’t get much more refreshing than this lovely salad. It’s one of those easy summer dishes that I turn to again and again.

Burrata, fig and pesto appetizer - Camille Styles

Burrata, Fig, and Pesto from Camille Styles

If you’re a fig lover, then this is the summer appetizer recipe for you. It’s the perfect flavor profile for anyone looking for a quintessential summer-inspired meal starter.

Meat Appetizers

Pesto, chicken, corn, avocado, pasta salad - Half Baked Harvest

Pesto Chicken, Corn, and Avocado Bacon Pasta Salad from Half Baked Harvest

If you’re serving a crowd, this hearty pasta salad is the perfect opener for a day of grilling. It’ll tide everyone over till the burgers are ready and are full of rich flavors and textures.

prawn and israeli couscous salad - Stuck in the Kitchen

Prawn & Israeli Couscous Salad With Harissa Mayo from Stuck in the Kitchen

Feeling like you need some seafood in your life? Try this prawn salad from Stuck in the Kitchen. It’s a great showcase for this delicious shellfish.

Grilled flatbreads with peach, prosciutto, and cheese - Spoon Fork Bacon

Grilled Flatbreads With Peach, Prosciutto, and Burrata from Spoon Fork Bacon

Flatbreads are an easy way to hand out appetizers that are deliciously satisfying, feel high-end, and don’t take too much time to put together.

BBQ chicken skewers - Half Baked Harvest

Spicy Beer BBQ Chicken Skewers With Avocado Corn and Feta Salsa from Half Baked Harvest

Pre-game your next feast with bbq skewers, they mouth-wateringly tantalizing!

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