Canape Recipes

Create these simple but oh so tasty canapé recipes in a jif!

Canape tray

Canapés are appetizers that are based on fried or toasted bread, crisp crackers or pastry, and topped with a seasoned spread of fish, meat, cheese or relish.  That's it! These canapé recipes are probably the easiest hors d'oeuvres to prepare for a cocktail party menu.


Make a Canapé Base

Use these easy to find supermarket products to make canape bases.  Use a round, triangular or fluted cookie cutter to make pretty cut-outs from the sliced bread, tortillas, flatbread, polenta or puff pastry sheets.    

Crackers, all varieties
Toasted bread slices; white or wheat bread slices; baquettes 
Puff pastry
Shortbread, sweet or savory
Tortillas, flour or corn
Tortilla chips
Flatbread, plain or flavored

Pita bread, split in halve
Naan, split
Thin dinner roll halves
Biscuits, refrigerated style also
English muffins
Large potato chips or kettle chips
Sautéed polenta rounds

Also use the cutters to cut out shapes from food items like ham slices, thin steak fillets, thin fish or chicken fillets or cucumber or apple slices

Here are more ways to make simple and delectable canape bases. 

1 day old baguette, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices. Use French bread or any plain or flavored baguette

Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet . Brush with olive oil. Bake until crisp and lightly golden, about 10 minutes. 

Use slices of white, wheat, rye, pumpernickel or other sliced bread. Cut out each slice into 3-4 rounds using a 2-inch pastry or cookie cutter of any desired shape. Use seasonal or holiday shapes where appropriate

Preheat oven to 300ºF. Place cut rounds on a baking sheet . Bake until crisp, about 15-20 minutes. 

Do not bake the bread slices. Use fresh, fine-textured breads to form a stable base for cheeses, meats and firm-textured spreads.

Toasted Tortilla Chips

Makes about 24 chips
3 6-inch flour tortillas
vegetable oil and salt
Preheat oven to 400F. Brush tortillas on one side with the oil. Cut each tortilla into 8 even-sized wedges with kitchen scissors or a serrated knife.

Arrange oiled side up in a single layer on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Bake until crisp, 5-7 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to retain crispness. Tortilla chips can be made up 3 days in advance. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

Canapé Recipes


Ginger Orange Chicken on Curried Canape
Makes about 20 canapes. Recipe easily doubles

3/4 to 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
Grated peel of 1 orange
juice of 1/2 orange
2 teaspoons creamy Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoon soy sauce
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
About 20 pre-made crostini or other base

Cut chicken into 20 or more 1-inch cubes. Combine the marinade ingredients in a
non-metallic bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat broiler. Cook chicken until no longer pink and slightly charred. Serve hot or at room temperature

Serve with apple or mango chutney on Curried Crostini (recipe follows)

Curried Crostini
1 French bread baguette, large enough to yield 20-25 slices, sliced thinly
Butter, softened
Curry powder

Preheat broiler. Brush the bread slices generously with the soft butter. Sprinkle with the curry powder. Place bread on a broiler pan and broil briefly until lightly browned. Be careful not to burn

Make Ahead
Cut chicken up to 1 day in advance. Cover well and refrigerate. Cook chicken up to 6 hours ahead. Cover well and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature or lightly warm in very low oven. Top crostini up to 1hour in advance

Broiled Beef Fillet with Salsa Verde
Makes 20 canapés

3/4 cup parsley
10 basil leaves
5 mint leaves
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon drained capers
2 drained anchovy fillets
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and black pepper
3/4 pound beef fillet steak, about 3/4 inch thick
About 20 pre-made croutes or other base

For Salsa Verde
Place herbs, garlic, mustard, capers, anchovies, and oil in a food processor or blender. Pulse to a thick paste. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cut steak fillet into about 20 rounds, using a sharp pastry cutter. Preheat grill pan or other pan to high heat. Sear steak round, about 3 minutes per side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place one steak round on each croute and top with salsa. Serve warm or at room temperature

Make Ahead
Prepare Salsa Verde 1 day in advance. Cover and refrigerate. Cut beef rounds up to 1 day in advance. Cover and refrigerate. Top croutes up to 1 hour in advance

Scallop Canapés with Sweet Chili Sauce and Crème Fraiche
Makes 20 canapés

10 sea scallops
Olive oil, if needed
Salt and black pepper to taste
4 tablespoons of your favorite sweet chili sauce
6 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
About 20 pre-made croutes, crostini or other base
Cilantro leaves for garnishing

Cut each scallop in half. Preheat grill pan or skillet over high heat. Use oil if needed. Sear scallops, until slightly charred. Remove from pan. Toss with chili sauce and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place 1 scallop half on each bread or base. Top with creme fraiche or sour cream. Serve at room temperature.

Spicy Shrimp Crostini Canape Recipe
Makes about 20 canapés

1/2 pound medium cooked shrimp, chopped into 3 pieces
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
About 20 pre-made crostini

Combine shrimp, onion, garlic, red pepper, oil and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir in parsley. Spoon on crostini. Serve at room temperature

Make Ahead
Prepare shrimp topping 1 day in advance, but add salt, pepper and parsley just before serving. Cover and refrigerate. Top crostini up to 1 hour in advance

Smoked Salmon with Cucumber and Cream Cheese
Makes about 20 canapes

About 1/2 slim, seedless cucumber
20 crackers, crostinis or other base
6 ounces cream cheese or herbed soft cheese
1/4 pound smoked salmon
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped dill

Cut cucumber into 20 1/4-inch thick slices. Place slices on paper towels to drain and dry. Season lightly with salt.

Spread each cracker with cream cheese and place slice of cucumber on top of cheese. Top each canape with a small piece of salmon. Top with black pepper and garnish with chopped dill. Chill 1 hour and serve

White Bean and Sage
Makes about 20 canapés

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 sage leaves, finely chopped
1 15½ ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and well drained
2 tablespoons water
Salt and black pepper to taste
About 20 crackers or other base
1-2 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely diced
Olive oil for drizzling
Finely chopped chives or parsley, for garnish (optional)

Heat oil in a saucepan. Add onion, garlic and sage and cook over low heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add beans, water and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 10 minutes. Mash the beans with a spoon to make a rough puree.

Spread bean puree on cracker. Top each with a little of the diced tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve warm or at room temperature

Make Ahead
Prepare the beans up to 3 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate. Warm before serving. Top crostini up to 1 hour in advance

Ham with Dijon Butter Canapés
Makes about 20. Recipe easily doubles or triples

6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
10 fresh, fine-textured white or rye bread slices
1/2 pound ham, thickly sliced
20 small gherkin fans, for garnish**

Mix butter and mustard. Spread mustard butter on one side of bread slices. Cut about 20 rounds from the bread slices using a 2-inch pastry cutter. Cut out about 20 rounds of ham with the pastry cutter. Top each canapé with a ham slice and garnish with a gherkin fan

**To make the fans, cut gherkins in half lengthwise. Cut fine slices through each half, leaving slices attached at one end. Press slightly to shape fan

Make Ahead
Prepare canapés up to 3 hours ahead. Cover well and refrigerate


Tortillas with Toasted Corn Salsa
Makes about 24

Scant 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels,partially thawed
1/2 red pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/2 green chili, seeded and finely diced
1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 recipe tortilla chips

Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add corn, red and chili peppers and onion. Cook, stirring frequently until vegetables are slightly softened and charred in spots. Remove to a small bowl and combine with the cilantro, juice, oil and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Cover and chill for 1 hour to blend flavors. Top toasted tortilla chips with salsa. Serve at room temperature.

Make Ahead
Prepare salsa, without cilantro, lime juice and salt and pepper, 1 day in advance. Cover well and refrigerate. Add these ingredients up to 1 hour before serving.

Easy Pissaladière
Serves 10-12 as an appetizer

The traditional pissaladière calls for a fresh pastry crust. Instead of making and rolling out a from scratch crust, make it easy on yourself by using one the alternative crusts following this recipe. Filling can also be made into canapes by placing on any canapé base as described above

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 pounds onions, thinly sliced (about 8 cups)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small bay leaf
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon drained capers
20 Niçois olives
16 anchovy fillets

Make the Filling:
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions, garlic, bay leaf and thyme; stir to blend. Cover and cook until onions are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. Uncover and sauté until most liquid evaporates and onions are golden, about 10 minutes longer. Stir in capers. Season mixture with salt and pepper. Discard bay leaf and cool completely.

Arrange onion mixture on bread/crust of choice. Decoratively arrange olives and anchovies atop filling. Bake as directed below. Transfer to platter and serve.

Make Ahead
Filling can be prepared 1 day ahead; cover and chill.

Crusts for Easy Pissaladière

One can of refrigerator pizza dough
Follow package instructions for baking

One large or two small French or Italian baguettes - Plain or seasoned
For fresh bread: Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly oil a large baking sheet. Arrange recipe filling on top of bread and finish as described. Bake 12-15 minutes or until topping is heated and bread is slightly crisped. Slice into fingers to serve

One large fresh or frozen pre-cooked pizza rounds
Arrange recipe filling on top of bread and finish as described. Follow package instructions for baking fresh or frozen pizza dough

Large-size pita pockets/breads
Use at least 4-5 pitas split in two. Preheat oven to 325º. Arrange recipe filling on top of bread and finish as described. Bake about 10-12 minutes or until topping is heated and pita bread is slightly crisped. Slice into wedges to serve

TIP: To assure the bread does not get overly crisp, briefly microwave the filling before placing on the bread

Caramelized Onion Pizza
Serves 16

2 medium onions thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 package (10 oz) refrigerated pizza crust dough
1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Optional Ingredients
Shredded fresh basil
Crushed dried basil
Chopped sun-dried tomato
Minced red bell pepper

In large skillet over medium to medium-low heat, cook onions in butter about
20 minutes until soft and lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Cool.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Unroll pizza dough. Cut in half. Shape each half in 8-inch circle on ungreased cookie sheet. Top each with half the onions, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with toppings if using.

Bake in preheated oven about 15 minutes or until crust begins to brown lightly and cheese is melted. Cut each pizza in 8 wedges. Serve warm.

Make Ahead
Refrigerate and cover cooked onions up to 2 days. Let onion come to room temperature before proceeding with recipe.

Top of Canapés Recipes


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