Pasta always makes a wonderful, filling dinner. But have you ever tried pasta appetizers?
They’re just as delicious but more suited to serve as starters than meals.
Many people make toasted ravioli, tortellini, and orzo as appetizers.
However, not everyone realizes that there are plenty of other pasta appetizers.
So, how would you go about turning pasta into an appetizer? After all, things like lasagna and spaghetti aren’t exactly starter dishes.
As it turns out, if you cook them correctly, they certainly are! And these 23 recipes will show you how to do that.
Bite-sized spaghetti and meatballs with all the robust flavor and none of the mess? Yes, please!
These are the perfect one- or two-bite appetizers for any occasion.
Each one features a thick, succulent meatball and a tender nest of spaghetti noodles.
Plus, there’s parmesan, Alfredo sauce, and marinara. It’s like a tiny spaghetti dinner in one convenient appetizer.
If you’re not a big Alfredo fan, use this recipe for mini-meatball spaghetti bites instead.
They’re practically the same as the spaghetti nests, only without the Alfredo.
Crispy toasted ravioli is another crunchy snack option that’s super simple to make.
You flavor them with garlic, parmesan, Italian seasoning, and Panko breadcrumbs.
The outsides are well-seasoned and crunchy. The insides are a cheesy, gooey delight. You won’t find many people who don’t love these.
Fritters made from spaghetti sounds ludicrous, right? Just wait until you try them. They’re crunchy, garlicky, and herb-flavored.
The insides stay soft and tender, just like spaghetti should be. Despite their odd, sea creature-like appearance, these are always a hit.
So far, we’ve had lots of fun and unique pasta ideas. However, if your pasta is light enough, you can serve it as an appetizer just as it is.
That’s the case with this cheese tortellini dish. It’s warm, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth scrumptious.
The simple garlic butter sauce gives it lots of flavor, but the dish won’t weigh you down. It works well as an appetizer or a light lunch.
Of course, serving crunchy tortellini is an option, too.
Tortellini party snacks are a great way to bring some Italian flair to your next party.
They’re easy to prepare and feature all your favorite Italian flavors.
Plus, they’re mess-free and make excellent finger foods.
Want tortellini but don’t want them crunchy or in a pasta dish? Stick them on skewers instead!
Along with tomatoes, pesto, mozzarella, and more, these are incredible.
They’re like Caprese salad skewers but with pasta.
Here’s another fantastic recipe for toasted ravioli.
They’re just as crunchy and well-seasoned as the ones above. However, they take a little less time to make.
Picture the creamiest, cheesiest macaroni and cheese you’ve ever had. Now, imagine it bite-sized and stuffed into a crunchy, herb shell.
That’s what these little mac and cheese bites are.
They’re the easiest and safest way for a group of people to enjoy macaroni and cheese. Also, they’re just plain fun.
10. Pasta Chips
These five-ingredient pasta chips prove that air fryers are a must-have kitchen appliance.
You can turn your favorite pasta into well-seasoned, crispy chips in about 15 minutes.
Add some chili flakes for heat if that’s your thing. If not, that’s okay, too!
Serve them with a side of marinara (or Alfredo sauce) for dipping, and you’re all set.
Chips and salsa have nothing on these tasty treats.
These croquettes are indescribably perfect. They’re delicious and comforting, like a hot ham and cheese sandwich and pasta in one.
The fried breading on the outside is delightful. However, the strange-looking mix of noodles, ham, and cheese on the inside will steal the show.
Make them as appetizers or a tasty, on-the-go lunch option.
Either way, everyone will love them. Plus, they’re a convenient way to use up leftover pasta.
These pasta appetizers are as pretty as they are yummy. They almost look angelic with their bowtie pasta wings.
The earthy basil and sweet and savory meatballs perfectly complement the mild pasta.
They can be a bit messy. Luckily, the sauce is so good that most people won’t mind.
St. Louis-style toasted ravioli features beef ravioli instead of cheese. Otherwise, the recipes are pretty similar.
You can use any of the three recipes on this list. They all give you crispy, flavorful snacks perfect for dipping.
These pasta chips take a little longer to make than those above. However, they’re just as simple to make and taste phenomenal.
If you’re craving something a bit saltier, use this recipe. Both options are supremely crispy and flavorful, though.
Baking your mac-n-cheese balls is one way to do it. But did you know you can also make them in the air fryer?
This recipe yields the crunchiest macaroni and cheese balls possible.
You’ll also add some bacon to them for extra flavor. These might be the world’s most perfect pasta appetizer.
They’re so good that you won’t even need to dip them in anything.
No matter how you slice it, lasagna doesn’t make a great appetizer. These mini-lasagna rolls are an entirely different story, though.
Each one is a tangy, saucy, cheesy bite of yum. The lemon ricotta filling is bright and wonderful. You’ll want to use it for your real lasagna, too.
More importantly, these are perfect for eating while standing around chatting with friends.
And if you think the rolls are easy to eat, wait until you try these cups!
Believe it or not, they’re even more convenient and still have all the flavor!
These don’t feature the lemon ricotta filling, so they’re not as light and bright.
They’re meatier and heartier. However, you could substitute that filling if you prefer.
Furthermore, the wonton wrappers make these so good. You’ll love how thin and crispy they are.
The sauce’s freshness and the richness of the cheese are also delicious.
I’ve already shown you how to turn pasta into chips. The next logical step is turning those chips into nachos!
You actually start with toasted ravioli for these, but pasta chips would work, too. Prepare them according to the recipe.
Then, load them down like you would any favorite nacho dish. Go as crazy as you like. It all tastes good.
Sorry, I can’t help myself. I don’t think you can have too many recipes for pasta chips. These are baked, so they’re relatively healthy.
And they use lasagna noodles, so they’re closer to the size and shape of regular chips.
With their overwhelming herb flavor, every bite is a genuine delight.
Try this if you want a more filling appetizer. It has a robust, zesty flavor and takes just 17 minutes to make.
It’s not as easy or convenient to eat as other options on the list. However, it’s vegetarian-friendly and an easy crowd-pleaser.
Serve it the next time you need a quick summer appetizer that everyone will love.
21. Lemon Orzo
This lemon orzo is a fantastic option, too. It has a bright, springy taste and a fluffy, creamy texture.
It’s perfect as a starter dish, but it also pairs well with any protein.
It doesn’t matter if you need a side dish or appetizer. It works well for both.
Take all the comforting, heartwarming flavor of chicken Alfredo and stick it in a jumbo shell. This creamy, cheesy treat is sure to be a hit.
Just think about it. Do you know anyone who doesn’t like chicken Alfredo? They’ll enjoy this single-serve version just as much.
These skewers feature mild, chewy pasta, fresh basil, and hearty meatballs.
They’re a lot like the bowtie pasta skewers above. However, these aren’t as saucy, making them easier to eat.
They still have plenty of flavor, though. And you can whip up a dozen in less than an hour. It’s hard to beat that, especially if you’re in a hurry.
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