Easy Appetizers To Whip Up For Happy Hour

Spring has officially sprung, and that means one very exciting thing for the cocktail connoisseurs and wine lovers out there: It's time to plan and host outdoor happy hours. Whether you're working out of a home office or going into your office, happy hours are an essential way for everyone to de-stress, savor some cool libations, and enjoy the most aesthetically pleasing apps.

As a matter of fact, happy hours are one of the best ways to ring in the beginning of a weekend with goodness and fun. With a little advance planning (and lots of string lights to set the mood), you can easily put together a happy hour to enjoy on your outside balcony, deck, or patio. 

To make hosting your happy hour an easy process, we here at Mashed have put together some recipes that are simple to make and pair well with wine and pretty cocktails. From crab rangoons to buffalo chicken dip, every dish we're serving up on our list is sure to be a crowd favorite. All you'll need to do is put together the ingredients for the appetizers you decide to prepare, along with a few essentials like floral-printed paper plates, napkins, and plastic utensils. Invite a few of your favorite people over, and recruit one of your guests to be your bartender for the evening. Once you've prepared everything you'd like to serve, all you need to do is kick back with a cosmopolitan, relax, and enjoy the good vibes.

These crab rangoons will disappear off your serving platter quite quickly

Our crab rangoon recipe is something everyone will love to see on your menu, and it will definitely disappear off of your serving platter very quickly. The best part of this classic appetizer is it will make a very impressive presentation, and you can whip it up in 25 minutes tops. These bite-size crab morsels are really tasty, and guests will be happy not to have to fuss with utensils in order to eat them.

Although the recipe calls for imitation crab meat, you can use real crab meat if you'd prefer. The other ingredients include wonton wrappers, green onion, garlic, vegetable oil, and cream cheese. Yum!

Sesame chicken looks so fancy when plated

If you want more of a fancy appetizer, consider this sesame chicken recipe. It will be a definite hit, but will take a bit more time to prepare. Trust us, though: It will be well-worth the extra time and effort. Plan on an hour from start to finish (30 minutes of prep time and 30 minutes of cook time). If you have the extra time, your guests will be quite impressed with the end result.

For this recipe, you'll need skinless boneless chicken thighs, egg whites, flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, vegetable oil, and soy sauce. The recipe also calls for brown sugar, honey, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, vegetable oil, ketchup, grated ginger, minced garlic, sesame seeds, and finely chopped scallions. The best part of this recipe is if you have leftovers, you can enjoy it as a light meal with a salad on the side.

Our copycat Chipotle guacamole is arguably better than the real deal

It's kind of an unspoken rule that every happy hour simply must have guacamole. And our recipe for copycat Chipotle guacamole is arguably better than the real thing. So, not only will you have the one appetizer everyone will expect, but it may very well be the best anyone has ever tasted.

In order to prepare this tasty dip, you'll need several ingredients, including avocados (obviously), lime juice, lemon juice, chopped red onion, cilantro, sea salt, and cracked black pepper. You'll want to make this app just before serving, which won't be difficult, considering it only takes five minutes to whip up.

We recommend adding a bit of lemon or lime juice to keep your guac from turning brown. The only other part of this presentation is incorporating a big basket of multicolored tortilla chips for dipping, and you're good to go! If you'd like to stick to homemade, we have a recipe for tortilla chips that are so tasty and crunchy, you may never buy store-bought again.

These spicy chicken potstickers are jam-packed with flavor

Our spicy chicken potstickers are filled with so much flavor and yumminess, they will be an instant favorite for every happy hour that you have from now on. Although the ingredients list may seem a bit intimidating, fear not. This is not a drill: You can put this great appetizer together in just 15 minutes.

The ingredients you will need include ground chicken, wonton wrappers, sweet potato vermicelli, shitake mushrooms, a carrot, scallions, Thai chili, oyster sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, sweet cooking rice wine (mirin), oyster sauce, minced garlic, brown sugar, black pepper, white miso, white vinegar, roasted sesame seeds, and ginger. Trust us on this one: This app will be an all-time delectable favorite.

This buffalo chicken dip will be a happy hour favorite

Name a more comforting, tastier app than buffalo chicken dip — we'll wait. Our recipe is sinful, cheesy goodness that you can prepare and have ready to enjoy in just 25 minutes. You'll only need a few things to whip it up, including cooked chicken, mayonnaise, softened cream cheese, hot sauce, and crumbled blue cheese.

You can surround your bowl with bread pieces, crackers, and celery sticks for easy dipping. Every happy hour needs a dip, and this easy buffalo chicken dip is a true winner.

These copycat IKEA meatballs are ready for wine o'clock

If you haven't been to IKEA to taste their meatballs, you've honestly been doing your furniture shopping all wrong and missing out on a real treat. But don't fret, because we have you covered with our copycat IKEA meatballs recipe that's totally drool-worthy. Meatballs are a great item to have at happy hour, because it's a bit more substantial than just dips and chips.

The items you'll need to prepare this dish include ground pork, ground beef, onion, panko breadcrumbs, a potato, white pepper, salt, butter, cream, allspice, beef stock, soy sauce, and white flour. Be sure to pick up some appetizer picks to display near this dish for easy self-serving.

Sheet pan nachos are always a good idea

"I was really hoping you wouldn't have nachos at happy hour," said nobody ever. Our sheet pan nachos taste just as amazing as the picture looks, and you can have them ready to serve in 35 minutes. The list of ingredients is as follows: red onion, yellow pepper, red pepper, medium jalapeño, sliced black and green olives, diced tomatoes, shredded mozzarella cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro, ground beef, kosher salt, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and ground pepper. Don't forget an extra large bag of your favorite tortilla chips, and then let's get this party started!