Appetizer Recipes

Uncover Flavorful BBQ Appetizers to Rock Your Next Cookout

bbq appetizers
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Written by Lyndas

Are you ready to take your BBQ cookouts to the next level? Look no further because I’ve got the ultimate collection of mouthwatering BBQ appetizers that will leave your guests begging for more. Whether you’re a fan of grilled goodies or looking for quick and easy options, these delicious recipes are sure to impress.

From smoky bacon-wrapped meatballs to spicy jalapeno peppers and succulent smoked shrimp, there’s something for everyone in this flavor-packed lineup. Plus, I’ve got you covered with vegetarian options and crowd-pleasing favorites that will have even the pickiest eaters coming back for seconds.

So fire up your grill, gather your ingredients, and get ready to wow your friends and family with these incredible BBQ appetizers that are guaranteed to steal the show at your next cookout.

Key Takeaways:

  • Prepare to elevate your BBQ cookouts with these flavorful appetizers.
  • Explore a variety of options, from grilled classics to quick and easy recipes.
  • Discover mouthwatering options for both meat lovers and vegetarians alike.
  • Impress your guests with crowd-pleasing favorites.
  • Don’t forget to experiment with different seasonings, fillings, and sauces to make these appetizers your own.

Smoked Bacon Wrapped Meatballs

When it comes to BBQ appetizers, one of my all-time favorites is the delicious combination of smoked bacon-wrapped meatballs. This meatball recipe takes the classic appetizer to a whole new level by infusing smoky flavors into every bite.

To make these mouthwatering meatballs, start by mixing ground beef and breakfast sausage together. Add in some cheese cubes for a gooey surprise in the center. Wrap each meatball tightly in bacon and season with a flavorful rub.

Next, it’s time to fire up the smoker! Smoke the meatballs until the center reaches a safe temperature of 160°F, ensuring that they are fully cooked. As a finishing touch, brush each meatball with your favorite barbecue sauce to add a tangy sweetness that complements the smoky flavor perfectly.

Why It Works

  1. Smoking the meatballs infuses them with a rich, smoky flavor that pairs beautifully with the bacon and barbecue sauce.
  2. The cheese cubes in the center of the meatballs melt into a gooey surprise, adding an extra layer of deliciousness.
  3. The combination of ground beef and breakfast sausage creates a moist and flavorful meatball.

These smoked bacon-wrapped meatballs are a crowd-pleasing appetizer that will have your guests coming back for seconds. Serve them alongside your favorite dipping sauces and watch them disappear in no time!

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Peppers

If you’re a fan of spicy appetizers, then you’ll love this delicious bacon wrapped jalapeno peppers recipe. These flavorful and smoked appetizers are sure to be a hit at your next cookout.

To make this appetizer, start by slicing the jalapeno peppers in half lengthwise and removing the seeds and membranes. Then, fill each pepper half with a creamy and tangy cream cheese mixture. Next, wrap each stuffed jalapeno with a strip of bacon and secure it with a toothpick to hold everything together.

Once the peppers are assembled, it’s time to smoke them to perfection. Place the bacon wrapped jalapeno peppers on a preheated grill or smoker and let them cook until the bacon is crispy and the peppers are tender. The smoky flavor from the grill adds an extra layer of deliciousness to these spicy appetizers.

When the bacon wrapped jalapeno peppers are done, serve them hot and watch as your guests can’t resist taking a bite. These flavorful and smoky appetizers are the perfect combination of spicy, creamy, and crispy, making them a crowd-pleasing addition to any BBQ cookout.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites

If you’re looking for an easy appetizer recipe that will impress your guests, look no further than these delicious bacon wrapped chicken bites. They are the perfect combination of smoky, savory, and flavorful, making them a crowd-pleasing option for any BBQ cookout. With just a few simple ingredients and minimal prep time, you can create a mouthwatering appetizer that everyone will love.

To make these bacon wrapped chicken bites, start by cutting chicken breast or thigh meat into bite-sized pieces. Then, wrap each piece with a strip of bacon, securing it with a toothpick. The bacon not only adds a smoky flavor but also helps keep the chicken moist and juicy.

“These bacon wrapped chicken bites are a hit every time I make them. The combination of crispy bacon and tender chicken is irresistible. Plus, they are so easy to prepare!” – Ashley, BBQ enthusiast

Once your chicken bites are wrapped in bacon, it’s time to smoke them to perfection. Preheat your smoker to 225°F and place the chicken bites directly on the grill grates. Smoke the chicken for about 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the bacon is crispy and the chicken is cooked through.

Ingredients: Instructions:
Chicken breast or thigh meat 1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
Bacon 2. Wrap each chicken piece with a strip of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
BBQ rub 3. Season the chicken bites with your favorite BBQ rub.
Toothpicks 4. Insert a toothpick into each bacon-wrapped chicken bite to secure.
5. Preheat your smoker to 225°F.
6. Place the chicken bites directly on the grill grates.
7. Smoke for 1.5 to 2 hours, until bacon is crispy and chicken is cooked through.

Tips for Success:

  • Use thick-cut bacon for better flavor and texture.
  • For an extra kick of flavor, brush the chicken bites with your favorite BBQ sauce during the last 15 minutes of smoking.
  • Feel free to experiment with different seasonings and spices to customize the flavor of the chicken bites.
  • Make sure to remove the toothpicks before serving.

Stuffed Baby Bellas: A Delightful Smoked Mushroom Appetizer Recipe

When it comes to delicious appetizers, stuffed baby bellas are a crowd-pleasing favorite. These delectable bite-sized mushrooms are filled with a savory cream cheese mixture, seasoned with a flavorful rub, and then smoked to perfection. The result is a mouthwatering appetizer that is sure to impress your guests at any BBQ cookout.

Creating these stuffed baby bellas is simple and requires just a few ingredients. Start by removing the stems from the mushrooms and hollowing out the caps to create a small pocket for the filling. The cream cheese mixture is made by combining cream cheese, shredded cheese, and your choice of seasonings. This cheesy filling adds a creamy and savory element to the smoky mushrooms.

Once the mushroom caps are filled with the cheese mixture, they are seasoned with a rub to enhance the flavors. This could include a combination of herbs, spices, and even a hint of smoky flavor. After seasoning, the mushrooms are ready to be smoked. Place them on the grill or in a smoker and let the magic happen. The smoky flavor infuses into the mushrooms, while the cheese mixture becomes wonderfully melted and gooey.

When serving these stuffed baby bellas, consider adding a garnish of fresh herbs or a sprinkle of grated cheese for an extra touch of flavor and presentation. These appetizers are best enjoyed while still warm, allowing you to savor the combination of smoky mushrooms and creamy cheese filling. Your guests will undoubtedly be impressed by this flavorful and elegant dish.

Stuffed Baby Bellas

Table: Ingredients for Stuffed Baby Bellas

Ingredient Quantity
Baby bellas (cremini mushrooms) 1 pound
Cream cheese 8 ounces
Shredded cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, or your choice) 1 cup
Seasonings (garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, etc.) To taste

With this simple recipe, you can easily create a delightful appetizer that will impress your guests. The combination of smoky mushrooms and creamy cheese filling is a winning combination. Add stuffed baby bellas to your BBQ menu and watch as they disappear before your eyes!

Smoked Shrimp: A Delicious Seafood Appetizer for Your BBQ

When it comes to BBQ appetizers, smoked shrimp is an absolute must-try. These succulent, smoky morsels are packed with flavor and make for an impressive addition to any cookout. Whether you serve them hot off the smoker or chilled with a zesty sauce, smoked shrimp is guaranteed to satisfy your guests’ taste buds.

To prepare smoked shrimp, start by marinating raw, peeled, and tail-on jumbo shrimp in a flavorful rub. This not only adds a delightful seasoning but also helps to enhance the taste of the shrimp. Once marinated, place the shrimp in the smoker and let them cook for less than 20 minutes until they turn pink and are perfectly cooked through. The light smokiness will infuse the shrimp with a unique aroma that pairs beautifully with the natural sweetness of the seafood.

Smoked shrimp can be served in a variety of ways. For a simple and elegant presentation, arrange the shrimp on a platter with some fresh lemon wedges for squeezing over the top. If you prefer a little heat, whip up a homemade horseradish shrimp sauce as a dipping option. The creamy and tangy flavors of the sauce complement the smoky shrimp perfectly, creating a delightful combination for seafood lovers.

“Smoking shrimp takes them to a whole new level of deliciousness. The smoky flavor enhances the natural sweetness of the shrimp, making them an absolute crowd-pleaser.” – Me

Get Creative with Your Smoked Shrimp

While smoked shrimp is delicious on its own, don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different flavors and presentations. Here are a few ideas to inspire you:

  • Wrap the smoked shrimp in bacon before placing them in the smoker for an extra layer of flavor.
  • Thread the shrimp onto skewers and grill them for a smoky and charred finish.
  • Toss the smoked shrimp with a tangy dressing and serve them on a bed of crisp salad greens for a refreshing appetizer.
  • Use the smoked shrimp as a topping for homemade pizzas or flatbreads.

With these variations, you can elevate your smoked shrimp to new heights and create a dish that is truly unique to your own culinary style.

Benefits of Smoked Shrimp Ways to Serve Smoked Shrimp
  • Delicious, smoky flavor
  • Quick and easy to prepare
  • Impressive presentation
  • Versatile – can be served as an appetizer or main dish
  • Pairs well with a variety of sauces and dips
  • On a platter with lemon wedges
  • With a homemade horseradish shrimp sauce
  • Wrapped in bacon
  • Threaded onto skewers and grilled
  • Tossed with a tangy dressing on a bed of salad greens
  • As a topping for pizzas or flatbreads

BBQ Pull-Apart Bread with Smoked Beef

If you’re looking for an incredibly tasty and indulgent appetizer recipe to wow your guests, look no further than this BBQ Pull-Apart Bread with Smoked Beef. This cheesy bread is loaded with mouthwatering flavors and BBQ goodness, making it the perfect addition to any cookout or gathering.

The star of this recipe is the combination of smoky beef and gooey cheese, which creates a flavor explosion in every bite. The bread is sliced and stuffed with a mixture of smoked mozzarella, sharp white cheddar, tender pulled beef, smoky sausages, spicy pickles, and jalapenos. As the bread bakes, the cheese melts and oozes out, infusing the entire loaf with irresistible BBQ flavors.

To achieve the perfect texture and flavor, it’s essential to choose a high-quality sourdough boule for the bread. The tangy sourdough complements the rich BBQ flavors and adds a satisfying crunch to each bite. The combination of tender smoked beef, smoky sausages, and the heat from the jalapenos and pickles creates a harmonious balance of flavors that will leave your guests asking for more.

When serving this BBQ Pull-Apart Bread with Smoked Beef, be sure to provide plenty of napkins, as it’s a delightfully messy dish. Your guests will love tearing off pieces of the cheesy, smoky bread and savoring each mouthful. Whether you’re hosting a casual backyard barbecue or a special occasion, this appetizer is guaranteed to be a hit with everyone.


These flavorful BBQ appetizer recipes are sure to impress your guests at your next cookout. From smoked meatballs and stuffed mushrooms to bacon-wrapped jalapeno peppers and shrimp, there’s something for everyone. Get creative and experiment with different fillings, seasonings, and sauces to make these appetizers your own.

Whether you’re a meat lover or a vegetarian, these BBQ appetizers are easy to prepare and bursting with delicious flavors. They are perfect for summer gatherings, picnics, or any BBQ party. The combination of smoky, savory, and spicy elements will keep your guests coming back for more.

Try different variations of these recipes to cater to your guests’ preferences. For example, if you want to add a vegetarian option, substitute the bacon with grilled or smoked vegetables like zucchini or eggplant. You can also customize the level of spiciness by adjusting the amount of jalapeno peppers or using milder alternatives like bell peppers.

Remember to have fun while preparing these appetizers and enjoy the process of creating delicious BBQ bites that will leave your guests asking for the recipes. So fire up the grill or smoker and get ready to wow your friends and family with these crowd-pleasing BBQ appetizers!

Additional Tips and Variations

When it comes to preparing BBQ appetizers, there are endless possibilities for customization and adding your own unique touch. Here are some tips and variations to help you elevate your BBQ game:

1. Get creative with cheese:

Instead of sticking to the classic cream cheese filling, try experimenting with different types of cheese. From sharp cheddar to smoked gouda or even blue cheese, the choice of cheese can greatly impact the flavor profile of your appetizers.

2. Play with rubs and sauces:

Don’t be afraid to mix and match different rubs and sauces to add complexity to your BBQ appetizers. Whether you prefer a tangy barbecue sauce or a spicy rub, the right combination can take your flavors to the next level.

3. Add extra ingredients:

Don’t be afraid to add extra ingredients to your stuffed appetizers. Chopped peppers, onions, or herbs can add a burst of freshness and crunchiness, while bacon bits can add a smoky and savory element.

4. Adjust cooking time and temperature:

Every smoker or grill is different, so don’t be afraid to experiment with cooking time and temperature to achieve your desired level of doneness. Keep an eye on your appetizers and make adjustments as needed. Remember, patience is key when it comes to achieving perfection.

By following these tips and variations, you can create a wide array of delicious and crowd-pleasing BBQ appetizers that will surely impress your guests and make your cookout a memorable one.

Recommended Equipment and Ingredients

When it comes to creating delicious BBQ appetizers, having the right equipment and ingredients is essential. Here are some recommendations to help you get started:

Grilling Equipment

To achieve that smoky flavor and perfect char on your appetizers, a high-quality grill is a must-have. Look for a grill that offers precise temperature control and even heat distribution. Whether you prefer charcoal, gas, or electric, there are plenty of options available to suit your grilling needs.

Smoking Equipment

If you want to take your BBQ appetizers to the next level, consider investing in a smoker. A smoker allows you to infuse your appetizers with rich, smoky flavors that are sure to impress. From traditional offset smokers to modern pellet smokers, there are various types to choose from. Just make sure to select one that fits your cooking style and preferences.

Barbecue Sauce, Rubs, and Seasonings

No BBQ appetizer is complete without the right sauces, rubs, and seasonings. Barbecue sauce adds a tangy and sweet kick to your appetizers, while rubs and seasonings help enhance the flavors of your meats and vegetables. Experiment with different flavors and spice levels to find your perfect combination.


Cheese is a versatile ingredient that can elevate your BBQ appetizers. Whether you prefer creamy mozzarella, sharp cheddar, or tangy gouda, there are endless options to explore. Consider using different types of cheese in your stuffed mushrooms, bacon-wrapped peppers, or even on your grilled bread.

BBQ Appetizers Equipment and Ingredients

With the right equipment and ingredients at your disposal, you’ll be well-equipped to create mouthwatering BBQ appetizers that will impress your guests. From grilling equipment to flavorful sauces and seasonings, these recommendations will help you take your BBQ game to the next level.

Join the BBQ Appetizer Party

Are you ready to take your BBQ gatherings to the next level? Look no further than these mouthwatering BBQ appetizers that are sure to impress your friends and family. Whether you prefer grilled or smoked, easy or gourmet, vegetarian or meaty, there’s a flavorful BBQ appetizer for everyone.

From the best-ever smoked bacon-wrapped meatballs to the crowd-pleasing bacon-wrapped jalapeno peppers, these appetizers are guaranteed to be a hit at your next cookout. The secret to their deliciousness lies in the combination of smoky flavors, juicy meats, and savory fillings.

Why wait for your next summer cookout? Fire up your grill or smoker today and treat yourself and your loved ones to these quick, easy, and downright delicious BBQ appetizers. Whether you’re hosting a backyard BBQ, a tailgate party, or simply enjoying a sunny day, these savory bites will make any occasion a memorable one.


Can I make these appetizers without a smoker or grill?

While the recipes are specifically designed for smoking, you can also try grilling or baking them for a similar flavor. Adjust the cooking time and temperature accordingly.

Can I use different types of meat in the recipes?

Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with different meats like ground turkey, chicken, or even seafood. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Can I make these appetizers in advance?

Definitely! Most of these appetizers can be prepared ahead of time and reheated before serving. Just make sure to store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Can I freeze these appetizers?

Yes, you can freeze them before or after smoking. Just make sure to thaw and reheat them thoroughly before serving.

Can I use store-bought rubs and barbecue sauces?

Absolutely! Feel free to use your favorite store-bought rubs and sauces. However, making your own rubs and sauces can add a personal touch and unique flavor to the appetizers.

Are there vegetarian options for these appetizers?

Yes! You can easily adapt these recipes by using vegetables, tofu, or plant-based proteins as stuffing instead of meat. Get creative with your flavors and fillings!

Can I adjust the spiciness level of these appetizers?

Of course! If you prefer milder flavors, you can remove the seeds and membranes from the jalapeno peppers or use mild cheeses. Alternatively, if you want to spice things up, you can add hot sauce or extra spice to the filling.

What other ingredients can I add to the appetizers?

The possibilities are endless! You can add ingredients like chopped onions, garlic, herbs, or even fruits like pineapple or apple for a touch of sweetness. Get creative and add your favorite flavors!

What kind of cheese works best for these appetizers?

While the recipes suggest using smoked mozzarella and sharp white cheddar, you can use any type of cheese that melts well and complements the other ingredients. Feel free to experiment and find your perfect combination!

Can I serve these appetizers as main dishes?

Absolutely! These appetizers can also be enjoyed as main dishes, especially when paired with some fresh salads or sides. They are versatile and delicious!

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