No-Fuss Appetizers Anyone Can Make

by Scott Wagner

Because we all deserve an elevated evening in

When it comes time to decide what’s for dinner, there are days when you want to roast a chicken with all the fixings and there are some days when, well, you just don’t. Some nights you’re just not that hungry. Some nights, usually at the end of a hectic week, you just want a sensible drink and something to nosh along with it. And on those nights, a solid appetizer is the way to go. 

For most of us, appetizers aren’t part of a daily cooking routine and that’s what makes them so special. They’re what we make when there’s company coming or a potluck to go to—a food group reserved for special occasions. Obviously such special occasions are few and far between these days (and for good reason), but that doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of the fancy snacks served before the first course of a fancy dinner. The fancy dinner requires a full day over a hot stove, the fancy snack does not.  

Treat yourself. Indulge. Elevate your typical evening in. On the nights when you don’t need more than a little something to tide you over till breakfast the next day, consider making one of the appetizers below. Sourced from the Instagram accounts we turn to for food advice, we’ve made them all and can assure you that it doesn’t take much to make them happen. Plus, the feel good factor that comes from something tasty and, if nothing else, out of the ordinary, is well worth the effort. Trust us…you’ll feel better whipping one of these up than you would ordering a forty dollar salad and a side of five dollar fries from Uber Eats. Cheers to good food as self-care. 

Caviar, Sour Cream, and Yes, Fritos 

The folks behind The Capri restaurant in Marfa, Texas, teamed up with acclaimed photographer Douglas Friedman on a cookbook, which is where this recipe is from. Simple. To the point. A decadent balance of high and low. The hardest part? Opening the caviar. 


  • 1 tin of caviar
  • 1 bag of Fritos chips
  • Sour cream 


  1. Hit the sour cream with a chip and top with a dollop of caviar. 
  2. Repeat until there’s nothing left but sour cream. 

Healthier Than Most Latkes 

Chef du jour Molly Baz gained a loyal band of followers while working for Bon Appetit magazine due to her easy/tasty/cool recipes. She has since left BA, but continues to cook and share what she makes through her weekly recipe club (cookbook to come). You’ll have to join the club to score her full recipe for latkes with dill shown above, but the ones from Bon Appetit below are also a delicious winning ticket. 


  • 1 large Yukon Gold potato (8–12 oz.), scrubbed
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 2½ tsp. Morton kosher salt, divided; plus more
  • 2 large leeks (about 1½ lb.), white and pale green parts only, sliced into ½”-thick rounds
  • ¼ cup almond flour or meal
  • ¼ cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil (for frying; about 1¼ cups)
  • Tzatziki (for serving)


  1. Preheat oven to 250°. Place potato and 1 Tbsp. Diamond Crystal or 2 tsp. Morton kosher salt in a medium pot; pour in cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until potato is fork-tender, 25–30 minutes total. Remove potato from pot; let cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, return water in pot to a boil. Add leeks and cook until very soft, about 5 minutes. Drain well.
  3. Using your hands, remove skin from potato; discard. Coarsely chop flesh. Transfer to a food processor and add leeks; pulse until chunky and well combined (it shouldn’t be homogeneous and smooth). Transfer mixture to a bowl. Add almond flour, breadcrumbs, cumin, and 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt, season with pepper, and mix well. 
  4. Pour oil into a medium heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, to come ¼” up the sides; heat over medium-high. Working in batches of 3 or 4 and using a ¼-cup measure, scoop potato mixture into your hands and flatten into thin 3″-diameter disks. (Mixture may feel soft, but it will hold together.) Fry latkes, reducing heat if browning too quickly, until deep golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt. Keep warm in oven while you make remaining latkes. Serve with tzatziki.

Everything Under the Sea, Stacked

Long live the tower consisting of everything under the sea: An idea inspired by the Darling Oyster Bar in Charleston. Hit up your local fishmonger for oysters, shrimp, and crab. Shuck the oysters, steam the crab for ten to twenty minutes, and boil the shrimp for two to three. Let it all chill, then stack on two tiers of ice with some cocktail sauce, butter, and lemon. It’s so easy you don’t even need a full-fledged recipe. 

Editor’s Note: Top photo by Storiès on Unsplash 

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