Easy starter recipes

Make entertaining a breeze by serving up one of our easy starter recipes. There’s plenty of starter recipe ideas for every time of year, including fresh summer dishes, cosy autumnal numbers and simple dishes that look impressive enough to serve as your Christmas starter, or at your next dinner party.

It can be hard to know what to make for a starter, but we think it’s an opportunity to really experiment and impress, without too much faff. It’s your chance to get taste-buds going, so have a bit of fun with it. For instance, our go-to starter ideas would be these white bean crostini with anchovy and lemon salsa, a whole lot of flavour, and no stress on the cook’s part. Chicken liver pâté is a gorgeous make-ahead option too, and it’s much easier to prepare than you might think. If you’ve a little more time, impress with our hake cigars with saffron yogurt or give vegetarians something to remember with our tomato and burrata salad with basil oil.

Our easy starter recipes include healthy soups, colourful salads, tartlets, smoked salmon, seafood starters and other easy-but-impressive dishes. And you know what make-ahead starter will never let you down? Miso devilled eggs! Explore over 100 party nibbles, if you’re looking for something more casual.

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Harissa, feta and filo cigars

Harissa recipes

Harissa, feta and filo cigars

Tangy feta meets fiery harissa and sweet honey, all wrapped up in crunchy filo. The perfect pre-dinner bite or bougie...

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Cauliflower houmous with pickled onions and cauliflower

Houmous recipes

Cauliflower houmous with pickled onions and cauliflower

“This rustic cauliflower houmous will ruin you for the shop-bought variety,” says food writer Ravinder Bhogal. Top with punchy pickled...

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Smashed potatoes with crème fraîche and roe

Easy starter recipes

Smashed potatoes with crème fraîche and roe

Food writer Ravinder Bhogal’s smashed potatoes with crème fraîche, chives and roe (or caviar if you’re feeling extragavant) make for...

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Chilli-soy scallops with ginger and spring onion oil

Scallop recipes

Chilli-soy scallops with ginger and spring onion oil

Tender meaty scallops are dressed with classic Cantonese accompaniments in this starter recipe: one punchy and savoury, full of soy...

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Pea soup with dill and wasabi crème fraîche

Soup recipes

Pea soup with dill and wasabi crème fraîche

This elegant pea soup makes an excellent Sunday lunch or Easter starter. The garnish of wasabi peas is optional, but...

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Whipped goat’s cheese with hot honey

Goat's cheese recipes

Whipped goat’s cheese with hot honey

Lightening up soft goat’s cheese with yogurt and oil and whizzing it up so it’s light and fluffy is a...

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Piedmontese bagna cauda

Dip recipes

Piedmontese bagna cauda

Bagna cauda is THE dip of Piedmontese cuisine. This simple dish contains heaps of garlic, anchovy and olive oil –...

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Halloumi, clementine and barley salad

Halloumi recipes

Halloumi, clementine and barley salad

Add a pop of colour to any festive spread with this vibrant and robust halloumi and clementine salad. Enjoy as...

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Crispy Thai pork belly with nam jim jaew

Pork recipes from around the world

Crispy Thai pork belly with nam jim jaew

“We all love super crispy pork skin, but it can sometimes be elusive. The barrier to creating shatteringly crispy pork...

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Pickled blackberry and whipped feta tartines

30-minute meal recipes

Pickled blackberry and whipped feta tartines

These open sandwiches are topped with silky smooth whipped feta, piquant quick-pickled blackberries and peppery rocket leaves – a trio...

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Ajo blanco

Garlic recipes

Ajo blanco

Also known as white gazpacho, this southern Spanish chilled soup combines sweet grapes, creamy almonds and bread to create a...

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Tuna tartare with avocado, soy and ginger

Raw fish recipes

Tuna tartare with avocado, soy and ginger

A speedy, simple little starter that’s full of flavour, this tartare combines creamy avocado with spankingly fresh tuna in an...

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Vietnamese prawn baked tomatoes (Chạo tôm)

Prawn recipes

Vietnamese prawn baked tomatoes (Chạo tôm)

Thuy Pham’s baked tomatoes are a twist on Vietnamese dish, Chạo tôm. In the traditional Vietnamese dish, prawn cakes are...

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Hake cigars with saffron yogurt

Sustainable recipes

Hake cigars with saffron yogurt

Nathan Outlaw’s filo-wrapped hake cigars make the perfect starter or nibbles to serve with white wine on a sunny evening....

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Burrata with croutons and nettle and basil pesto

Burrata recipes

Burrata with croutons and nettle and basil pesto

Creamy burrata gets served up alongside croutons for crunch and a pepped up nettle pesto. A simple spring starter from...

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Savoury custard with mackerel and pickled rhubarb (chawanmushi)

Rhubarb recipes

Savoury custard with mackerel and pickled rhubarb (chawanmushi)

Rhubarb and custard in a savoury setting? You bet – chawanmushi is a Japanese egg custard usually flavoured with dashi...

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