(Family Features) Bringing an element of elegance to your holiday celebration is easy when you start with appetizers that use party-pleasing ingredients, and great tasting food often starts with dairy. Foods like milk, cheese and yogurt not only enhance the flavor and texture of dishes everyone loves, but they also add high-quality nutrients to support the health and well being of your guests.
Each of these recipes features a different variety of cheese as the essential ingredient for success. These decadent, elegant appetizers, which can be prepared in minutes, are sure to be party favorites. Find more ideas for serving up an elegant, yet simple menu your guests will love at MilkMeansMore.org.
Recipe created by Foxes Love Lemons on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 14 minutes
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
- kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- 1 Brie round (8 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
- 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
- crackers or toasted bread
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- In large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook 8-10 minutes, or until deep golden brown, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper; remove from heat.
- Place Brie on parchment paper-lined rimmed baking pan; drizzle with honey. Transfer to oven and bake 5-7 minutes, or until inside of cheese is softened, but outside remains intact.
- Transfer Brie to serving platter; top with pomegranate arils, pistachios and mushrooms.
Serve immediately with crackers or bread.
Butternut Squash Queso Dip
Recipe created by Rachel Cooks on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 12 ounces butternut squash puree, frozen
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 finely diced red onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 can (10 ounces) petite diced tomatoes and green chiles
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- Place unwrapped squash in microwave safe bowl and heat in microwave 5 minutes at 50 percent power, or until thawed.
- In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook 4-5 minutes, or until translucent. Add garlic and cook 1 minute, or until fragrant.
- Add squash, tomatoes, cumin and chili powder, and bring to boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to low and add cheese. Stir until melted and serve immediately.
Parmesan Crisps with Basil and Sun-Dried Tomato
Recipe created by Art From My Table on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 6 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 8 basil leaves
- 8 sun-dried tomatoes, jarred
- Heat oven to 375° F.
- On baking sheet, make eight flat circles out of 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese each. Bake cheese 5 minutes, or until just beginning to turn golden.
- Using metal spatula, remove crisps from pan immediately, placing on rack or plate to cool.
- Place vinegar and sugar in small saucepan and boil until mixture is reduced to about 1/4 cup and is thickened.
- Top each crisp with 1 fresh basil leaf and 1 sun-dried tomato. Drizzle balsamic reduction over top.
Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Mushroom Caps
Recipe created by The Lemon Bowl on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 24 large mushrooms, stemmed and reserved
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 1 can artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
- 2 cups crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 1 pinch chili flakes
- 1 pinch minced scallions
- Heat oven to 350° F and place mushroom caps in single layer on baking sheet lined with foil.
- Mince reserved mushroom stems and heat olive oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and mushroom stems to pan along with salt and pepper. Saute 2-3 minutes, or until mushrooms are softened. Add spinach and artichoke hearts to pan and cook until heated through, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and place mixture in large mixing bowl. Stir in feta cheese and onion. Adjust seasoning, to taste.
- Using small cookie scoop, add 2 tablespoons filling to each mushroom cap. Bake mushrooms 20-25 minutes, or until mushroom caps are softened. Sprinkle with chili flakes and minced scallions to serve.
For additional recipes for appetizers go to our recipe search option and type “appetizers’.