40 Cheese Appetizers That Are Ooey, Gooey and Oh So Easy to Make

·8 min read

There's one thing everybody at any party can agree upon: cheese. But it's time to go beyond a basic cheese plate, people (yawn). Instead, serve one (or several) of these drool-worthy cheese appetizers. We're talking decadent baked Brie, savory goat cheese dip and more.

RELATED: The 27 Most Delicious Brie Recipes

1. Baked Brie with Figs, Pistachios and Orange

We've tasted many baked Bries in our day, but none compares to this recipe. And despite how fancy it looks, it only takes 30 minutes to cook to melty perfection.

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2. Skillet Mushroom and Gouda Fondue

Skillet fondue, we think we love you. Scratch that—we know we love you. Dip your heart out with sliced baguette, apples or soft pretzels.

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3. Honey Ricotta Dip

Orange zest gives this simple dish a touch of citrusy brightness. Serve it warm with plenty of French bread or crackers or dipping (natch).

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4. Boursin Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Bacon

All you have to do here is buy the cheese at the store and whip up the easy topping: zingy balsamic onions and shatteringly crisp bacon.

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5. Cranberry-Brie Puff Pastry Pops

It's basically the grown-up version of a lollipop. There's no better time to dole them out than at the start of Christmas dinner.

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6. French Onion Cups

And you thought the world's coziest soup couldn't get any more comforting. Think Gruyère-topped French onion soup baked into doughy clouds of puff pastry.

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7. Bacon-Wrapped Cheese Straws

We abide by a golden rule: Everything tastes better with bacon. The recipe calls for frozen puff pastry dough, so you'll only need three ingredients total to pull these off.

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8. Rodney Scott’s Pimento Cheese

A quintessential Southern dish that will blow your guests away. The key to its silky texture is shredding the cheese yourself, since pre-shredded cheese contains additives to prevent clumping.

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9. Baked Brie with Cranberries and Pomegranate

Proof that a flourish of pomegranate arils can make any dish look sophisticated (even one that only takes a few minutes to bake).

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10. Apple Focaccia with Blue Cheese and Herbs

Want to up the charcuterie-inspired ante? Crown the bread with delicately placed slices of prosciutto.

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11. Bacon, Onion and Asiago Fondue

This simple one-pan fondue doesn't require any special burners or equipment to come together. It might tempt you to eat a skillet full of cheese for dinner every night.

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12. Baked Goat Cheese Marinara Dip

Trading mild mozzarella for earthy, funky goat cheese is a substitute you never knew you needed. Think of this appetizer as baked ziti minus the pasta...but equally satisfying.

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13. Cheddar Biscuits with Caramelized Onion Gravy

Skip the gravy or serve a little on the side for dipping to make this dish less filling. (BTW, the gravy is sausage-free, so even your vegetarian guests can get in on it.)

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14. Brie-Stuffed Pretzel Bites

This dangerously poppable snack has game day written all over it. Not only are they filled with melted Brie, but we're betting they'd taste even better dunked in nacho cheese.

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15. Pimento Cheese Stuffed Shishito Peppers

Aka the fanciest jalapeño poppers you'll ever eat. Creamy, rich pimento cheese is just the cooling match for smoky, spicy shishitos.

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16. Baked Gorgonzola Bites

Store-bought pizza dough does it again. It's basically a savory version of monkey bread that you won't be able to stop snacking on.

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17. Cheesy Polenta Bites with Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta

You know how the crispy corners on cornbread are the best part? That's what every polenta bite tastes like, only with the added bonus of grated Parmesan cheese.

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18. Julia Turshen’s Skillet Cornbread with Cheddar and Scallions

Tangy buttermilk, sharp cheddar cheese and nearly a full stick of butter make this app dangerously addictive. It's also prime for serving alongside all the barbecue mains you can imagine.

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19. Goat Cheese, Apple and Honey Tarts

They're as pretty as they are damn delicious. Use a sweet type of apple—like Royal Galas or Braeburns—to best complement the salty, tangy cheese.

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20. Holiday Baked Brie Bread Wreath

Looks like you're on the nice list this year. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, olives and pickled peppers for a festive finish.

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21. Pull-Apart Bread with Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese

It's just the conversation starter for your next alfresco dinner party. Use store-bought pizza dough if you want to save time—it'll be our little secret.

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22. Vegan Chili ‘Cheese’ Dip

Almond milk, raw cashews and vegan chorizo make this plant-based party dip possible.

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23. Two-Cheese Guacamole

The only thing better than homemade guacamole? Homemade guac topped with both shredded jack and goat cheese crumbles, of course.

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24. Easy Skillet Beer and Cheddar Fondue

Beer + heavy cream + cheese = a pot (or skillet) of pure magic. Use your favorite Pilsner, IPA or witbier.

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25. Cranberry, Brussels Sprouts and Brie Skillet Nachos

Ground beef and queso sit this round out for an autumnal spin on nachos. Think roasted sweet potatoes, charred Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce and a generous amount of both white cheddar and Brie cheeses.

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26. Kale and Cheddar Cheese Galette

Store-bought pie crust makes this stunning starter a total breeze. (And all that Parmesan and white cheddar make us actually *want* to eat our greens.)

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27. The Classiest Cheese Balls in the Universe

Behold, the most gorgeous no-cook appetizer of all time. Choose from everything bagel seasoning and goat cheese, lemon-dill topping and cheddar or pomegranate arils and blue cheese.

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28. Dairy-Free Butternut Squash ‘Fondue’

Canned coconut milk makes this vegan app just as creamy as the real thing. Serve it with anything from fingerling potatoes to mini sweet peppers.

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29. Ultimate Cheese Plate with Roasted Grapes

A charcuterie board doesn't need to be piled high with meat to be epic. This one stars herb-kissed roasted grapes, smoked almonds and fresh figs instead.

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30. Cheesy Pesto Chips

These macadamia-encrusted zucchini chips should honestly come with a warning for being so poppable. We dare you to stop at one handful.

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31. Grilled Cheese Crostini

Sweet, vinegary balsamic strawberries meet creamy Brie atop charred slices of crusty bread. All that's missing is a bottle of white.

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32. Homemade Cheese Crackers

Flaky, buttery cheddar-Parm crackers > bar nuts. It's just a fact. You just might never look at the store-bought kind the same way again.

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33. Roasted Garlic and Gruyère Fondue

If you've never roasted a whole head of garlic at home for pasta, sauce or fondue, you're seriously missing out. Its sharp flavor turns mellow, buttery and caramelized after a stint in the oven.

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34. Mini Peach Tarts with Goat Cheese and Honey

Bring these to a picnic once and you'll get requests for them year after year. Don't mind the store-bought puff pastry—the real star is the in-season peaches, after all.

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35. Cranberry-Brie Pie Crust Bites

All you need to pull off this party appetizer is store-bought pie dough, cranberry sauce and Brie. Oh, and 15 minutes.

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36. Pan Con Tomate and Mozzarella Bake

The Spanish classic has never been easier to whip up. We'll meet you in the yard with a bottle of Rioja (or better yet, a pitcher of sangria).

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37. Skillet Kale and Fontina Fondue

Who ever said eating your veggies couldn't involve dousing them in nutty, silky fontina cheese?

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38. Baked Mac-and-Cheese Bites

The fastest route to becoming the coolest mom on the block? Whip up a batch of these handhelds for your kid's next playdate.

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39. Mozzarella Bites

On that note, these toothpicked cuties are also a major hit with the kids. Of course, breaded balls of fried bocconcini will be right up your alley, too.

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40. Fruicuterie Board

Loading a charcuterie board with tons of fresh fruit (berries! melons! stone fruit!) is the simplest way to make it look beautiful without really having to do any work.

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RELATED: 23 Fondue Ideas to Try, Because There's No Such Thing as Too Much Cheese

For even more great recipes, check out our first cookbook, Only the Good Stuff.