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35 Amazing French Appetizers You’ll Love

There’s no denying that the french have a certain level of well-mastered je ne sais quoi when it comes to culinary arts. These traditional French appetizers will bring a fancy twist to any party.

We all know and love French food and associate it with a certain sense of elegance and finesse, so it’s not hard to see why people love serving french appetizers at gatherings and special occasions.

However, everyone knows it’s not easy figuring out what appetizer to make on a regular day, let alone deciding what appetizer to make from a foreign country well known for its food.  The great news is that there are numerous options to choose from.

So whether you’re looking for fancy hor d’ouveres for your next party or simply want to wow your friends and family with a french culinary delight before dinner, in this article, you’ll find a wide range of amazing French appetizer recipes from the super easy and quick to the more ornate and bougie.

Quick Table: French Appetizers

RecipesCalories Per ServingPreparation Time
Mushroom Gallete292 40 Min
Tomato and Garlic Confit128 1 Hour
Boursin Cheese And Ham Roll-Ups12110 Min
French Salmon Tartare 18420 Min
French Carrot Salad15010 Min
French Tian Provencal60 27 Min
Dukkah & Feta Wrapped Prosciutto60 1 Hour 5 Min
Zucchini Tomato Verrines77 45 Min
Fromage Fort120 10 Min
French Mushroom Duxelles70 30 Min
Bouchee A La Reine222 1 Hour 30 Min
Ham And Cheese Pastry379 30 Min
Smoked Salmon Canapes63311 Min
Roquefort Cheese Ball Appetizer20 15 Min
Tart Au Soleil With Pesto21540 Min
Mixed Olive Tepanade28 5 Min
Puff Pastry Caviar Canapes61 20 Min
Steak Tartare210 30 Min
Coquille Saint Jacques20540 Min
Mini Croques Monsieur Sandwiches110 30 Min
Ham Cheese And Olive Bread22040 Min
French Jarcuterie799 20 Min
Mini Quiche In Wonton15230 Min
Tuna Rillettes (Tuna Pate)12020 Min
French Tomato Mustard Tart245 40 Min
Easy Puff Pastry Cheese Straws26825 Min
Escargot80 25 Min
Parmesan Herb Palmiers51 35 Min
Mushroom Vol Au Vent94 60 Min
Baked Camembert278 17 Min
Cheesy French Pinwheels106 30 Min
Gougeres 85 35 Min
Socca151 17 Min
Lyonnaise Salad209 30 Min
Pissaladiere146 1 Hour 45 Min

1. Mushroom Gallete

A flaky pie-like appetizer filled with savory caramelized onions, mushroom, ricotta,  gruyere, and parmesan cheese, this mushroom gallete is the perfect appetizer to make if you love mushrooms and want something with a rustic look.

You’ll need homemade pie dough for the crust, although you can also use a sheet of store-bought pie dough.

It is also a super versatile dish that can be tweaked to suit your preference, so feel free to swap and replace the type of cheese used if you’re not a fan of gruyere cheese.

Calories Per Serving: 292

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes 

2. Tomato And Garlic Confit

If you’re looking for an appetizer you can make and store up to serve whenever you want, this tomato and garlic confit is the perfect dish for you.

The French term confit refers to preserved food that’s slow cooked in oil or fat for a long time. This version features a well-seasoned combination of tomatoes, garlic, pepper, thyme, and olive oil.

Serve the confit over some baguette slices, and you have an aroma-filled appetizer that’s easy to make and can be enjoyed in any season.

Calories Per Serving: 128

Preparation Time: 1 Hour

3. Boursin Cheese And Ham Roll-Ups

A creamy roll-up with a french twist, these Boursin cheese and ham roll-ups are so easy to make but also taste incredible.

You’ll need Boursin cheese and ham slices, but if you can’t get Boursin, feel free to use cream cheese or goat cheese.

Be sure to refrigerate the rolls before slicing them into sections, as that results in much cleaner looking slices and reduces the chances of the cheese getting messy while you cut.

Calories Per Serving: 121

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes 

4. French Salmon Tartare

If you’re a sushi fan who’s well on board the eating raw fish train, you’ll love this decadent french salmon tartare.

It features a combination of salmon slices, olive oil, parmesan cheese, french mustard, and basil.

You can also serve this appetizer with crostini or cut pieces of bread.

Calories Per Serving: 184

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

5. French Carrot Salad

A simple yet delicious salad you can throw together with little effort, this french carrot salad is a great appetizer you can serve in any season.

All you’ll need are shredded carrots and parsely tossed in a tangy lemon dijon dressing that features honey, cumin, dijon mustard, and olive oil

To ensure this salad stays crunchy all day, avoid using too much dressing or grating the carrots too finely as either of those mistakes can lead to a soggy salad.

Calories Per Serving: 150

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes 

RELATED: 15 Classic French Side Dishes

6. French Tian Provencal

This french tian provencal is a tart loaded with basic vegetables and is quite easy to make.

It features a baked puff pastry sheet layered with creme fraiche tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini, and drizzled with olive oil, parmesan cheese, and black pepper.

 It is a beautiful and delicious treat that’ll make your guest feel like they’re in a french boulangerie or cafe.

Calories Per Serving: 60

Preparation Time: 27 Minutes 

7. Dukkah & Feta Wrapped Prosciutto

An appetizer with two different flavors to wow your guests, this dukkah and feta wrapped prosciutto feature a Parisian and middle eastern mix of flavors.

It features creamy feta cheese wrapped in prosciutto with sage leaves and marinated in olive oil. The dukka is a blend of toasted nuts featuring a mix of sesame seeds, hazelnuts, black pepper, coriander, and pumpkin seeds.

Both appetizers can be served cold and are a great combination to add some versatility to your appetizer serving.

Calories Per Serving: 60

Preparation Time: 1 Hour 5 Min

8. Zucchini Tomato Verrines

A multi-textured salad served in a glass, verrines are delicious appetizers served in most Parisian bistros.

This one contains a mix of pine nuts, tomatoes, zucchini, garlic, and a mascarpone cream made from eggs, parmigiano, mascarpone cheese, and pepper.

You can easily make this salad ahead and refrigerate it until it’s ready to be served.

Calories Per Serving: 77

Preparation Time: 45 Minutes

9. Fromage Fort

Got leftover cheese bits you’re not sure what to do with? This Fromage fort will help you them into delectable appetizers you can serve on any occasion.

You can use almost any cheese bits you have. However, you’ll need to combine them with cream cheese, garlic, chives, parsley, and white wine in a food processor.

Spread the fromage fort over baguette slices and let them broil for a few minutes until the cheese is soft and melty, and you’ve got a mouthwatering easy appetizer on your hands. 

Calories Per Serving: 120

Preparation Time: 10 Min

10. French Mushroom Duxelles

A classic french spread with a lovely creamy texture and the right hint of flavor, french mushroom duxelles is an appetizer you can easily make ahead.

It features a mix of mushrooms, sour cream, butter, chopped shallot, and fresh herbs. 

Serve it with crispy crostini or crackers, and you’ll be shocked at how fast they disappear.

Calories Per Serving: 70

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes 

11. Bouchee A La Reine

Bouchee a la reine is a classic french starter that is both elegant and filled with a ton of flavor.

It features vol a vent pastry shells filled with a savory chicken mixture containing morel mushrooms, white wine, diced chicken, onions, and butter coated in a rich bechamel sauce.

This appetizer is quite easy to make as all you need to do is make the filling. You can use store-bought pastry shells.

Calories Per Serving: 222

Preparation Time: 1 Hour 30 Min

12. Ham And Cheese Pastry (Feuillete Au Jambon)

A beautifully braided pastry bake with a flaky exterior and soft, cheesy interior, feuilete au jambon is seriously going to take your appetizer game to the next level.

Honey ham, dijon mustard, and provolone cheese are perfectly tucked into a puff pastry sheet crisscrossed to look like a braid and baked till golden brown.

After baking, be sure to let this pastry cool down before cutting into slices to avoid messing with the shape and look of the braided exterior.

Calories Per Serving: 379

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

13. Smoked Salmon Canapes

An easy appetizer you can make in 10 minutes, these smoke salmon canapes are the perfect thing to whip up for a last-minute party.

Cream cheese and smoked salmon slices are placed over warm blinis and seasoned with peppers and lemon juice.

 Feel free to use rye bread squares or even cucumber slices in place of blinis when making this recipe

Calories Per Serving: 633

Preparation Time: 11 Minutes 

14. Roquefort Cheese Ball Appetizer

Also known as Amuse-gueule, these Roquefort cheese ball appetizers are great cold appetizers you can serve at outdoor parties.

With a mix of butter, roquefort cheese, chives, celery, and cognac coated in paisley bread crumbs, you’ll find these little bites hard to resist.

Be sure to let them chill in the fridge before serving to ensure the cheese stays firm throughout the duration of your event.

Calories Per Serving: 20

Preparation Time: 15 Min

15. Tart Au Soleil With Pesto

A simple yet fancy looking appetizer loaded with flavor, tart au soleil is a classic french appetizer, and this version is made better with the addition of pesto.

It is a flaky baked puff pastry dish with simple ingredients consisting of pesto, eggs, and puff store-bought puff pastry sheets

This appetizer can be assembled and frozen until you’re ready to bake, so it is a great starter to make ahead.

Calories Per Serving: 215

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes 

RELATED: What To Serve With French Dip Sandwiches: 10 Satisfying Sides

16. Mixed Olive Tapenade

A tasty appetizer filled with classic ingredients common in the Provence region of France, this mixed olive tapenade is a great dip-style dish you can serve with bread or crackers.

It is a fairly easy dish that features pureed olives, capers, anchovy fillets, garlic, lemon, olive oils, and fresh herbs for seasoning.

It is quite versatile and can be served on a crostini, used in a sandwich, or even included on a charcuterie board.

Calories Per Serving: 28

Preparation Time: 5 Minutes 

17. Puff Pastry Caviar Canapes

These cute puff pastry caviar canapes are stuffed with butter dill, and lemon juice and topped with delicious caviar.

They are quite easy to make and are the perfect appetizer to opt for when you’re in need of something fancy to wow your guests.

Feel free to stuff the puff pastry with any additional filling you like before adding the caviar topping.

Calories Per Serving: 61

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

18. Steak Tartare

A steak appetizer with fresh flavors, this steak tartare is another classic raw french appetizer that tastes amazing.

It features a well-mixed combo of lean minced steak, oil, red wine vinegar, and pepper. The tartare is topped with egg yolk, capers, and minced shallot before serving.

The mixture is best kept chilled until ready to serve, so don’t assemble the steak tartare until just when your guests arrive.

Calories Per Serving: 210

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

19. Coquille Saint Jacques( French Scallop Gratin)

These french scallop gratins are a tender and delicious appetizer that’ll surely get your guests excited for the party ahead.

It features a combination of sauteed leeks, onions, shallots , poached scallops, and a rich cream sauce made from flour, butter, and cream.

The entire delicacy is loaded on scallop shells and toppedwith bread crumbs and cheese.

Calories Per Serving: 205

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes 

20. Mini Croques Monsieur Sandwiches

Croque monsieur is a traditional french sandwich, and these mini appetizer versions are the perfect thing to treat your guests with.

It is an easy-to-make sandwich that’s loaded with ham and cheese and baked till golden brown.

This recipe uses gruyere cheese, but feel free to use any other cheese you prefer. 

Calories Per Serving: 110

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

21. Ham Cheese And Olive Bread

A savory cake that’s perfect for guests to snack on before dinner, ham cheese and olive bread is a common appetizer enjoyed for L’aperitif.

It is a crumbly cake consisting of rich flavors that come from olives, grated cheese, olive oil, and an herby spice mix of dried thyme and rosemary.

Gruyere cheese or Emmental are the best cheeses to use for this cake as they don’t get too melty when baked.

Calories Per Serving: 220

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes

22. French Jarcuterie

A charcuterie board is a classic appetizer spread that everyone loves. With this french jarcuterie, you can turn them into handheld appetizers served in cute jars.

You’ll need to include a rich combination of goat cheese, grapes, cashew, olives, sausage, camembert, and Parisian ham.

A charcuterie spread can include a wide variety of things so feel free to add any additional meats, fruits, and cheeses you prefer.

Calories Per Serving: 799

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes 

23. Mini Quiche In Wonton Wrapper

These mini quiche in wonton wrappers are crispy and egg-filled appetizers that are perfect for a brunch party.

They are loaded with cheese, ham,  spinach, onions, eggs, and a cream mixture that makes the entire baked combo moist and delicious.

You’ll need muffin tins to easily shape the wonton wrappers and ensure they hold their shape while baking.

Calories Per Serving: 152

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes 

RELATED: 15 Fantastic Sides To Serve With French Toast

24. Tuna Rillettes (Tuna Pate)

A delicious french spread that’s perfect for seafood lovers, these tuna rillettes are great appetizers to serve with baguettes or toast.

They feature a creamy and tangy blend of creme fraiche, tuna, chives, parsley, olive oil, and lemon juice.

It is best served cold, so feel free to make them an hour ahead and store them in the fridge.

Calories Per Serving: 120

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

25. French Tomato Mustard Tart

This french tomato mustard tart is a classic summer appetizer loved by french cooks everywhere.

It is a flaky, buttery puff pastry bake filled with tomatoes, dijon mustard, and cheese.

It is a really simple tart that greats on its own but you add a touch of seasoning by using herbs de provence mix for a touch of southern french flavor.

Calories Per Serving: 245

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes

26. Easy Puff Pastry Cheese Straws

A super easy appetizer, these puff pastry cheese straws are filled with rich butter and cheese flavors that anyone will love.

They are cute pastry twists made from basic ingredients like parmesan cheese, puff pastry dough, and eggs and baked till golden brown.

When making these straws, avoid cutting them too thin to get the perfect shape when you try to twist the pastry slices.

Calories Per Serving: 268

Preparation Time: 25 Minutes 

27. Escargot 

Snails are a classic delicacy in french cuisine, and this escargot is a great way to incorporate them into an appetizer.

Cooked snails are covered with a rich garlic butter mixture and baked to perfection.

Serve over toasted baguette slices, and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a french cafe with every bite.

Calories Per Serving: 80

Preparation Time: 25  Minutes 

28. Parmesan Herb Palmiers

Palmiers are traditionally made sweet, but these savory parmesan herb variations make the perfect appetizer.

They are baked puff pastries coated in a sauteed olive oil mixture made from garlic, rosemary, black pepper, and thyme and sprinkled with generous amounts of parmesan cheese.

If you have leftovers, you can turn these palmiers into a filling dinner by serving them with fondant potatoes.

Calories Per Serving: 51

Preparation Time: 35 Minutes 

29. Mushroom Vol Au Vent

Mushroom vol au vent is a beautiful flaky appetizer that will be well appreciated by guests on any occasion.

Baked puff pastry is filled with a creamy mushroom sauce consisting of garlic, mushrooms, milk, and parsley.

You’ll need to roll and cut the puff pastry dough into round rings, so feel free to use a cup or round mold to get even sizes throughout.

Calories Per Serving: 94

Preparation Time: 60 Minutes

30. Baked Camembert

A cheesy french dip you can pair with bread, crostini, or even crackers; you can’t go wrong with baked camembert.

All you’ll need to do is season a wheel of camembert cheese with olive oil, honey, chili flakes, sea salt, and rosemary, and bake until the cheese gets gooey and bubbly.

Camembert cheese is similar to brie, so if you want a more earthy aroma  feel free to use brie cheese wheels if you can get your hands on some.

Calories Per Serving: 278

Preparation Time: 17 Minutes 

31. Cheesy French Pinwheels

These cheese french pinwheels are golden crumbly bites you’ll fall in love with.

They are super easy to make and feature a roll of puff pastry loaded with jack cheese, salami, rosemary, and mustard.

The pinwheels are baked till golden brown and served warm.

Calories Per Serving: 106

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes 

32. Gougeres (Cheese Puff)

These cheese puffs are a popular french appetizer and are a great way to make your appetizer stand out from the standard cheese dip.

A cheese ball dough made from gruyere cheese, eggs, flour,  and pepper is baked until golden brown and crisp.

Feel free to add bits of bacon or chives into your gougere filling to make it more savory.

Calories Per Serving: 85

Preparation Time: 35 Minutes 

33. Socca 

Socca is a traditional Nicoise appetizer that’s easy to make and perfect for vegans.

It is a baked flat bread made from chickpea flour and olive oils and seasoned with peppers and thyme.

You can serve this flatbread alone or pair it with ham slices or cheese.

Calories Per Serving: 151

Preparation Time: 17 Minutes

34. Lyonnaise Salad

This Lyonnaise salad is the perfect way to way to enjoy salad as an appetizer without hating every minute of it.

It is an indulgent dish made from frisee lettuce, loaded with bacon, shallots, and topped with a poached egg.

Calories Per Serving: 209

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

35. Pissaladiere

A savory tart loaded with caramelized onions, anchovies, tomatoes, and olives, pissaladerie is a pizza-like tart that’s great to make on any occasion.

It is an easy baked appetizer with the perfect combination of salty and umami flavors.

You’ll need a focaccia dough for this and since it typically needs some time to rise when making this tart, it’s best to make the dough a day before you’re ready to bake the tart.

Calories Per Serving: 146

Preparation Time: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Most Popular Appetizer In France

There are many common appetizers in different regions of France. However, the most popular appetizers are canapes made with different toppings like sardines, salmon, or cheeses.

What Is A French Aperitif?

Also known as L’apero, a french aperitif is a drink taken before dinner is served. This time is similar to a cocktail hour, but the drinks are always served as a precursor to the main meal to come.

An aperitif is meant to whet the palate, so very light alcoholic drinks are served. You could serve anything from french wine to white wine or even champagne, but it will typically be mixed with other fruit juices or water to ensure to drink is light and not too sweet. 

Sometimes, light foods like cheese or olives might also be served along with an aperitif, but it is totally optional as the main focus of the aperitif is to spend time with your guest and sip on light drinks before dinner is served.

What Is A Typical French Menu

A typical french menu features a few meal courses that include the following:

  • Une entree( this is what would be considered an appetizer in English and consists of mostly light starters dishes and snacks served hot or cold)
  •  Plat principal (this is the main course or what would be considered the Entree in English), Le dessert (dessert)
  •  Le digestif ( an after-dinner drink that could include coffee or alcohol). 

Sometimes, the menu will also include amuse bouche ( a small snack served before the appetizers) or le Fromage ( cheese).

35 Amazing French Appetizers You’ll Love

We all know and love French food and associate it with a certain sense of elegance and finesse, so it’s not hard to see why people love serving french appetizers at gatherings and special occasions.

Directions

  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review

Recipe Video

Jess Smith
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