Easy Dinner Party Canapés
When guests arrive, I think it’s always that bit extra special if you can greet them with a taste of the culinary delights to come, particularly if you’re hosting a more formal dinner party occasion or celebration.
I’m often whipping up new ideas in the kitchen, but these are my firm three favourite canapé recipes that I return to time and time again.
They look great, taste even better, but won’t have you over a hot stove for hours, so you can tend to your guests.
Hope you enjoy them!
Prawn & Cucumber Lettuce Cups with Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce
Lettuce cups are so simple to make, but look incredible. These Asian-inspired canapes are virtuous too, but packed with flavour; topped with peanuts, coriander and of course a drizzle of spicy chilli sauce.
Prep Time: 15 mins | Serves: 4
- 1 tsp grated galangal or ginger root
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp white soy sauce*
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 red chilli pepper, deveined and diced finely
- 1 spring onion, chopped finely
- 1 small carrot, peeled and diced finely
- 100g cucumber, diced into 1cm cubes
- 150g cooked tiger prawns (approximately 12)
- 2 Cos lettuce, leaves separated, tops cut off into a 6cm by 6cm “cup”
- 3 tbsp chopped peanuts
- Garnish: coriander leaves
- Sweet chilli sauce (to dip)
- Mix together the sugar, wine vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl
- Toss the chilli, spring onions, carrot, cucumbers and prawns together in bowl with the sauce (from step 1)
- Divide the mixture evenly amongst the lettuce cups and sprinkle with peanuts
- Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve on a tray with the chilli dipping sauce
*White soy sauce is milder than traditional soy sauce and can be found in most specialist Japanese stores. You can substitute for light soy if preferred.
Watermelon & Mint Cubes with a Pomegranate Glaze
The ideal canape recipe for summer (or even as a snack) these little cubes of joy take less than 15 minutes to make. Fresh, colourful and totally Instagrammable.
Prep Time: 15 mins | Serves: 4
- 100g feta cheese, cut into 2cm wide and 1cm deep cubes
- ½ small watermelon, cut into 3cm cubes
- Pomegranate reduction
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Handful of fresh mint leaves (the smaller ones)
- ½ tsp fresh cracked pink peppercorns
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- A few pinches of sumac powder
- Assemble; with a melon cube on the bottom, topped with a feta cheese cube. Skewer with a toothpick
- Place on a serving tray and drizzle with the pomegranate glaze and a light drizzle of oil
- Sprinkle delicately with mint leaves and then season with pepper and sumac
Tiny Fish Tacos on Corn Tortilla Chips
Like a grown-up fish cake, I just love the texture of these tiny fish tacos, and John loves them too! Just be careful not to make them too spicy for little ones.
Prep Time: 30 mins | Cook Time: 8-10 mins | Serves: 4
- ½ medium red onion, sliced thinly
- 2 tbsp lime juice for onions, plus 1 tbsp for mixture
- 200g swordfish steak, cooked and sliced thinly
- ½ avocado, diced
- ½ whole jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced finely
- 100g yellow or red cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander
- 1 lime (zest)
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Garnish, coriander leaves
- 12-14 large tortilla chips
- 4-5 tsp cholula hot sauce
- 4 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- Generous pinch of sea salt
- Dash of tabasco
- Mix the sliced onions with the lime juice and set aside
- Cook fish for 3-4 minutes per side. Slice thinly (note: it will shred a bit)
- Toss the avocado, jalapeño, tomatoes and chopped coriander with lime juice, zest and sea salt in a bowl and set aside
- Mix the hot sauces, mayonnaise and lime juice together and season
- Place a slice of fish on a tortilla chip and then top with a generous tsp of your avocado, jalapeño and tomato mixture. Drizzle your sauce over the top and sprinkle with coriander
- Repeat until all of your filling created is used
If you’re really spoiling your dinner party guests, why not opt for my Rose & Lychee Martinis as a welcome drink too? They’re a real palate cleanser. Or else, I opt for Champagne or a British Sparkling Wine like Hattingley Valley or Gusborne.