Easy Dinner Party Canapés

Entertaining is one of my favourite things in the world; especially dinner parties where I get to share my other passion in life, cooking, with those that I love and new friends alike.

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)


  1. Mix together the sugar, wine vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl
  2. Toss the chilli, spring onions, carrot, cucumbers and prawns together in bowl with the sauce (from step 1)
  3. Divide the mixture evenly amongst the lettuce cups and sprinkle with peanuts
  4. 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


  1. Assemble; with a melon cube on the bottom, topped with a feta cheese cube. Skewer with a toothpick
  2. Place on a serving tray and drizzle with the pomegranate glaze and a light drizzle of oil
  3. 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


  1. Mix the sliced onions with the lime juice and set aside
  2. Cook fish for 3-4 minutes per side. Slice thinly (note: it will shred a bit)
  3. Toss the avocado, jalapeño, tomatoes and chopped coriander with lime juice, zest and sea salt in a bowl and set aside
  4. Mix the hot sauces, mayonnaise and lime juice together and season
  5. 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
  6. 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.

Comments (1)

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