17 Tasty BBQ Appetizer Ideas

BBQ Appetizer Ideas

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It can be quite challenging to host a barbecue, but it can also be an exciting experience, especially during the summer and if you are cooking for many people at the same time.

It seems like there are so many different things that you can throw on a barbecue nowadays that it’s gotten to the point where it’s difficult to choose just one to cook, and this can cause stress to you.

You probably want to come up with some fresh new ideas that people haven’t tried before in order to stay ahead of the competition, does that sound right?

I can assure you that you have come to the right place, as we have put together a list of some of the best BBQ appetizers that you can serve before the main course. By the end of this you will never run out of options on what to serve!

Our Favorite Appetizer Ideas For BBQ Cookouts

Southern Appetizers with Barbecue and Cheese Grits 

Are you planning a southern-themed event? Cheese grits topped with a smoky taste of barbecue pork will be a big hit with the party guests.

There is a small amount of cheese grits on top of a generous amount of BBQ pork and they are served in pretty glasses. The thing about this is you can top it off with extra flavors from caramel sauce or a fruity spread that really balances out the flavors for a great tasting appetizer. 

Grilled Stuffed Jalapeño Chiles with Grilled Red Pepper-Tomato Sauce

The dish is spicy and bursting with flavor, and if you like cheese, it is perfect for you. These yummy cooked chiles are stuffed with cheese and covered in a spicy sauce that compliments each other so well that it makes a delicious light dish to have as a first course.

There will always be some fussy eaters at your barbecue, so make sure to check first that everyone will be able to handle a bit of spice!

Grilled Shrimp With Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce Recipe 

An easy butter dipping sauce is the perfect accompaniment to grilled garlic shrimp. You’ll have the shrimp prepared in no time at all, and the marinade is perfect for cutting through the shrimp’s tough skin.

In this dip, you’ll find hot sauce, garlic, lemon, and a touch of Worcestershire sauce. Guests will never have tried something like this before, and it makes a brilliant appetizer.

Spicy Brown Sugar Bacon Wrapped Lil’ Smokies

Ensure your bbq party gets off to a great start. It’s sure to satisfy your guests until the main courses are served with these spicy brown sugar bacon-wrapped smokies.

Crispy bacon and chewy sausage come together in these meaty treats. In addition, you have the sweet brown sugar and the spicy chili powder working their magic. Combined with brown sugar and spices, it’s a sweet and feisty treat!

Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork Sliders

These pulled pork sliders are some of the most tender and delicious appetizers you will ever taste! You hold magic in your hands when you have pulled pork and coleslaw between buttery buns.

There is nothing like these sliders for a hearty meal. As they provide everyone with the meaty goodness desired by all, the little sliders are a wonderful way to prime the taste buds for the main course.

Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs

It’s like biting into a summer party in your mouth! The juicy pineapple, colorful peppers, and savory onion that are featured in these chicken kabobs make these kabobs a wonderful choice for summer barbecues. If you want to present them in an exotic and very cool way, you can serve them out of a pineapple shell.

Furthermore, adding some grilled bacon to the mix would not be considered a problem. The meaty dish is a great summertime appetizer that will be enjoyed by all.

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

This BBQ appetizer is a fan favorite – even for those who usually don’t like spicy foods!

The reason for this is that a lot of the kick is taken out when you deseed your jalapeños and add a cream cheese filling to the center before wrapping in savory bacon.

The best part? They’re incredibly easy to assemble and cook. Just make sure your bacon isn’t directly over a flame and you are good to go!

Classic Guacamole And Chips

This is a classic appetizer that is always a hit with everyone and you can never go wrong with it. When making this dish, you need to use only the most ripe avocados.

Guacamole lovers will go crazy for this and even the pickiest guaca snobs will be satisfied. Depending on what kind of chips you choose, you can make your salsa a little bit hotter and it will be gone by the time you get to eat one, we guarantee it!

Cheeseburger Sliders

Cheeseburger sliders are another delicious appetizer that can also be used as a main course as well.

It’s all well and good to have normal cheeseburger sliders, but super cheesy cheeseburger sliders are the best! It is sure to delight your guests with strings of cheese dangling from their lips as they bite into these melty bundles of beef, bacon, and cheese.

Additionally, this recipe takes very little time to prepare and cook, despite the massive amounts of cheese.

If you want to spice up this recipe, a bit of BBQ sauce will do the trick. These little burgers will always be a hit when it comes to BBQ appetizers!

BBQ Meatballs 

A bowl full of steaming hot BBQ meatballs is one of the best things to put in the middle of a table full of noisy people that are debating last night’s football game to make them silent.

We love these and we think you will too! You can serve these appetizers on little sticks and they’re a great way to break up a barbecue with a light bite and a lot of flavor. We highly recommend them to kick things off.

Pigs In a Blanket

It is no secret that pigs in blankets are a crowd pleaser and they are known to everyone. A variety of cheese, refrigerated crescent rolls, and everything bagel spice are all that are needed to make Pigs in a blanket. Easy and fast to make, these lunch and snack party dogs are perfect for any party.

With a buttery, flaky crust that melts in your mouth this will really get the taste buds going! They are also topped with poppy and sesame seeds in addition to melty cheddar cheese.

Grilled Halloumi Cheese and Mushroom Skewers

Most cheeses aren’t like halloumi. Besides the fact that it is able to stand up to high temperatures, it also tastes great, retains some very good grill marks, and has an authentic grilled, smoky flavor.

Haloumi cheese, also known as Cypriot cheese, is one of the most unique cheeses in the Mediterranean. The fact that this cheese has a high melting point means that it can be grilled, baked, or fried without it going mushy.

It is the ideal choice for an appetizer, served with a side of mushrooms to complement the flavors of the cheese, and makes a fantastic first course for a light first meal.

Fried Chicken Wings with Spicy Honey Butter

You will be sure to have a real party when you serve these spicy wings at your barbecue and they will undoubtedly go down a treat as an appetizer.

The taste is amazing because you get the taste of the hot sauce it is marinated in, and the honey butter transforms the taste into something sweet and tasty.

We believe that it will be the best dish to serve up at a barbecue and you need to make sure that it is served to meaty chicken enthusiasts!

If you have the time the day before, it’s worth brining your chicken wings – this will bring out even more flavor on the BBQ!

Grilled Corn On The Cob

It is almost mandatory to have grilled corn on the cob when the weather gets warm.

A bit of smokey char compliments the sweetness and crunch of summer corn, what could be better? In order to prepare corn for your barbecue, we believe this corn recipe is what you need to be following.

The fact is that everyone likes a good piece of corn, which can be eaten as an appetizer or side dish, so you have some options to choose from and that is why having some corn on hand is quite important.

Chili BBQ Chicken Kabobs 

There is something tangy and sweet about these little bites, which have a bit of a kick.

Finger-licking good, you won’t even be able to stop yourself from licking your fingers. There is a perfect balance between spicy and sweet in this recipe, and it is a dish that everyone enjoys.

Prepare these kabobs for your guests and you will be able to win the host of the year award. These skewers are perfect for barbecues and make a great appetizer to serve as part of your barbecue menu.

When you cook these correctly then your guests will be asking you to prepare more of these as the main course in the future and not just as an appetizer!

Tomato, Corn, and Red Cabbage Salad

A delicious symphony of flavors is provided by this no-cook appetizer. With this creamy avocado and fresh raw corn, you’ll get the juiciest, sweetest pop ever.

It doesn’t matter what variety of tomato you use in this recipe, just make sure that you keep them unwashed and at room temperature. In this manner, you will be able to keep your appetizer light and full of flavor while leaving space for the main course and dessert.

Pimento Mac and Cheese Bites

Two comfort food favorites are combined in one package with these little bites of mac and cheese flecked with pimento. The sharp cheddar cheese lends this dish a rich, bold flavor, but don’t be afraid to experiment by swapping out the cayenne peppers for smoked Spanish paprika.

Mac and cheese is always a classic and a crowd pleaser… but this one is a nice twist on a classic mac and cheese to mix things up a little bit at your cookout.


This list is just 16 of the best barbecue appetizer recipes available right now that we believe are the ones that provide the most flavor.

You need to be trying out all of these as soon as possible so you are perfectly prepared for your next barbecue. Each of these recipes is completely different from the rest, and you can even change up the ingredients based on your own preferences.

Before preparing any of these dishes, you should always consider any allergies or dietary restrictions that your guests may have. It might take you a while, but you will eventually find yourself a favorite that you will prepare time and time again.