11 chicken appetizers that are the life of the party

For game day and beyond!

Published April 30, 2022 1:30PM (EDT)

Prop stylist: Veronica  Olson. Food stylist: Samantha Seneviratne. (Rocky Luten / Food52)
Prop stylist: Veronica Olson. Food stylist: Samantha Seneviratne. (Rocky Luten / Food52)

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When the Super Bowl, March Madness, or World Series is on TV, I'm not paying attention to the game. There's only one thing that has my undivided attention and that's the snacks. And what's a game day spread without chicken wings, tenders, and potstickers?

Of course, these chicken appetizers have a life outside of the arena. Serve a platter of chicken meatballs for a holiday happy hour or make a batch of chicken nachos for a casual get-together with friends.

Our best chicken appetizers

1. Greek Chicken Meatballs

Every holiday party needs a meatball appetizer; usually it's Swedish meatballs but we love this swap — chicken meatballs mixed with dried oregano, dried mint, and crumbled feta. They're served alongside, what else, but a Greek yogurt sauce.

2. Dry-Rubbed Chicken Wings with Barbecue Sauce

Nearly a dozen dried spices (you probably have most of them in your pantry already) are mixed together to create a dry rub for chicken wings, which are roasted in the oven and served alongside a homemade barbecue sauce (yes you can).

3. Chicken Potstickers

These simple potstickers from Molly Yeh are such a favorite. The wrappers are made with homemade dough, but it's easy to make and even more satisfying than store-bought wrappers.

4. Mark Bittman's Minimalist Buffalo Chicken Wings

Most recipes for Buffalo wings call for deep-frying the meat, but that's messy and potentially, a fire hazard. Instead, we present you with this: Genius broiled chicken wings tossed in homemade Buffalo sauce (just hot sauce, butter, vinegar, and garlic).

5. Super (Bowl) Chicken and Black Bean Nachos

This is the MVP of chicken appetizers, the one for big gatherings with hungry guests. We love it because, in addition to being super crowd-friendly, it's customizable with your favorite nacho toppings.

6. Red Curry Chicken Fingers with Crispy Onion Breading

Amp up the flavor of chicken fingers — one of our all-time favorite chicken appetizers — by dipping them in yogurt and Thai red curry paste, then rolling in panko and fried onions. "They're baked on a rocket-hot sheet pan with butter and oil, an easier, speedier, and less messy way to go versus frying them in batches on the stovetop," writes recipe developer EmilyC.

7. Malaysian Satay with Peanut Sauce

The key to really good chicken satay is the char, which is responsible for both the texture and flavor of the meat. The spicy, savory peanut sauce for dipping doesn't hurt though.

8. Tuscan Chicken Liver Crostini (Crostini di Fegatini)

"The classic Tuscan antipasto would not be complete without crostini di fegatini," writes recipe developer Emiko Davies. It's a salty chicken appetizer that will make your heart soar all the way to Italy and back.

9. Buffalo Chicken Potato Skins

Two game day appetizers — Buffalo chicken wings and loaded potato skins — in one bite? Yes please!

10. Persian Grilled Chicken Kabobs

The secret to these chicken kabobs is a saffron-yogurt marinade that gives the meat a sunny hue, so much tenderness (thanks to the cultures from the yogurt), and a subtle floral flavor.

11. Chicken Gyoza with Yuzu Dipping Sauce

These dumplings are pan-fried, then steamed for the perfect appetizer; you can even make them in advance and freeze them to save time in the kitchen before hosting.

By Kelly Vaughan

MORE FROM Kelly Vaughan

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Appetizers Chicken Food Food52 Happy Hour Nachos Recipe Snacks