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Appetizer Ideas Around the World: How to Make Them

These world appetizer ideas evolved from the platters we created while watching Rick Steves Monday Night Travel. After several weeks of creating European appetizers we wanted to branch out and find world appetizer ideas from other parts of the globe. Although some of these still carry over from our European endeavors, most are from Asia and the Americas.

Australian Appetizer Ideas

Australian appetizer ideas including stuffed mushrooms, bacon quiche, meat pies, shrimp with mango avocado salsa, and gravlox
Shrimp with Avocado/Mango Salsa, Australian Gravlox w/tomatoes, Meat Pies, Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms, and Crustless Bacon Quiche

Here are some tasty treats from Down Under. The Gravlox is made the same way as Scandinavian Gravlox except using a tablespoon of black pepper instead of dill and Rye Whiskey instead of Gin. You can use the recipe below from American appetizer ideas for the stuffed mushrooms. Here we left out the shrimp and peppers and added some chopped mushroom stems instead. Then for the mini quiche, you can use your favorite quiche recipe and pour it into well greased mini muffin tins. We cut back on the amount of milk and used egg whites for a lighter version.

For the salsa we made our basic salsa recipe but added a few small ripe chopped mangoes and a chopped avocado. Cook the jumbo shrimp and chill ahead of time.

Ingredients for Meat Pies

  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp flavored butter
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 chopped small carrot
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • Box of mini pastry shells

Begin by cooking vegetables, seasonings, and ground beef in butter until beef is browned. Once the beef is browned mix in the flour. Then stir in the broth. Continue cooking until most of liquid is absorbed and only a slight gravy is left. Then scoop desired amount into prepared pastry shells.

World Appetizer Ideas from Mexico

world appetizer ideas from Mexico: a platter with chips, homemade salsa, guacamole, shrimp with spicy sauce and oat crackers with Mexican cheese

Of course no Mexican platter would be complete without traditional chips and salsa. We also made some simple guacamole here. In addition we served shrimp with a spicy cocktail sauce. However, we did make some Irish oat crackers to serve with some Mexican cheese, but you can use queso dip and serve with additional tortilla chips or fresh vegetables. Read on for Tequila drink recipes to go with your Mexican platter.

Appetizer Ideas from Scandinavia

Scandinavian appetizer of gravlox, pickled beets, potato salad, pickled mushrooms, and Danish cheese
Scandinavian Platter

Here we made some homemade gravlox which is salmon cured with salt, sugar, dill, and a light brushing of gin. Since we didn’t have any gin on hand we used vodka. We cut up some Danish cheese to serve on the side.

Then we made some potato salad. This version called for pickled beets so we decided to try making our own. I don’t normally like beets, but the combination of sweet and tangy in the pickled beets was delicious. As a result, we served some pickled beets on the side of the potato salad.

In addition we made some pickled mushrooms which also had some cut up peppers and onions with them.

I have included these sponsored links for serving items in case you don’t already have one.

Yugoslavian Appetizer Ideas

We served pickled beets, coleslaw, hot ham canapes, and salmon in herb sour cream.

shows appetizer ideas from Yugoslavia: pickled beets, coleslaw, salmon in creamed herb sauce, and hot ham canapes
Yugoslavian Menu

Hot Ham Canapes

We mixed 1 tbsp. sour cream, 1 oz. cream cheese, 3 tbsp. canned ham, 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 tsp. sweet smoked paprika. Then we spread the mixture on melba toasts and heated them in a 350 degree oven for 6 minutes.

Ingredients for Salmon Fillet in Herb Sour Cream

  • 1/2 cup chopped or sliced onion, whichever you prefer
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 lb. skinless boneless salmon fillets


  1. Cook onion in butter until onion is soft.
  2. When the onion is soft add the seasonings.
  3. Then break up the fish into smaller pieces and add to the pan, stirring often until cooked. Salmon will be a light pink when cooked.
  4. Once the salmon is cooked stir n the sour cream.
  5. Serve with crackers or toast. We used triscuits.

Asian Appetizer Ideas

We serve tasty spring rolls with salmon, cabbage, cucumber, bell pepper strips, green onion, and cilantro with peanut sauce. To the right we have salmon sashimi with soy sauce, pickled ginger, and wasabi.

salmon sashimi and salmon spring rolls with peanut sauce and soy sauce great appetizer ideas
Salmon Spring Rolls and Salmon Sashimi

Read here for more recipes for Asian appetizers and how to make Vietnamese spring rolls.

Below we have Salmon Cucumber Bites with a side of Ginger Lo Mein. To make the cucumber bites, mix sushi grade salmon with a little soy sauce, sesame oil, and oyster sauce. Stir in some chopped avocado and a little lime or lemon juice. Spoon onto slices of cucumber and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

 cucumber slices with salmon and avocado and lo mein
Salmon Cucumber Bites

American Appetizer Ideas

American appetizer ideas: loaded tater tots, stuffed mushrooms, buffalo chicken bites, celery, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower with blue cheese dressing, and red grapes
Tater Tot Bites, Buffalo Chicken Nuggets, Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms, Veggies & Marie’s Blue Cheese Dressing, Red Grapes

This platter is super easy. Just cut up veggies of your choice into snack size pieces and place on the platter with a cup of Marie’s Blue Cheese Dressing. Then place stuffed mushrooms, chicken nuggets, and tater tots on the platter. Most importantly, you need something sweet. We often use grapes as they are light and healthy.

For the chicken nuggets you can either use nuggets from the store and serve them with hot sauce or make your own. To make your own, begin by dipping nugget size chunks of raw chicken in about a tablespoon of hot sauce mixed with about 1/4 cup water. Then dip them in breading and place in a greased baking pan. We like to use almond flour mixed with sweet smoked paprika for our breading. The almond flour is no carb and gives extra flavor. Of course you can use bread crumbs and whatever seasoning you prefer. Once the chicken is prepared, cook for about 15-20 minutes at 425 F flipping half way through cooking. Most importantly make sure chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165F to avoid food poisoning.

Originally I found this tater tot recipe on Pinterest from On the other hand if you want an easier version, just cook some tater tots according to package directions. Once they are done pile them up on a baking sheet, top with shredded cheese and cooked crumbled bacon. Then return to the oven for about 2 minutes to melt the cheese. Just before serving, add a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with green onions.

Ingredients for Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 16 mushroom caps
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup caramelized chopped onions
  • 2 tbsp. chopped cooked peppers
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 4 large cooked shrimp, chopped

After preheating your oven to 425 F wipe off mushroom caps and place in a greased baking pan. While oven is heating, combine the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl. After that use a spoon to stuff caps with filling. Once oven is heated, cook mushrooms for about 15-20 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned on top.

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Donna Emperador is a travel and food blogger and copywriter. Donna believes in learning about different cultures while sharing good food and cocktails. She has lived in South Florida for over 20 years and enjoys spending time exploring the road to find unique places to share with readers. She can be found on FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.

5 thoughts on “Appetizer Ideas Around the World: How to Make Them”

  1. I must admit that many times I could live just on appetizers. Fill up a plate and I can have a little taste of everything. Reminds me of eating tapas for dinner every night when we go to Spain. I love all the mix of flavours and colours in these plates.

  2. Wow, it looks delicious – I am now SO HUNGRY! I love seafood. The blue cheese – the shrimps, the mushrooms – all of it is just awesome! Thank you so much for the recipe and tips. Guess what am I going to do now LOL

  3. This is such an appetizing list! The Mexican tortillas with some Mexican cheese or dip and fresh veggies sounds delicious! The tator tot bites look delicious to, I would just have to leave out the bacon, being a vegetarian. Sometimes my whole meal consists of just appetizers. I always love reading your recipe posts!

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