Quick vote—who thinks appetizers are the best part of any meal? I know I do! I dream of having a party solely consisting of appetizers (well, maybe with one or two desserts) where everyone can nibble to their heart’s desire all night long. Everyone always eats too many appetizers anyway, so why not make them the whole meal?

With the three-day weekend approaching, I thought it would be fun to show you a few appetizers that would be the perfect addition to any Labor Day party. Not only are they incredibly tasty, each one has five ingredients or less, so they’re super simple to make. Trust me—your friends will thank you later.

Watermelon & Goat Cheese Bites

I had these at a friend’s housewarming party and they were so addictive that I had to try to make my own version. These usually disappear in 10 seconds flat, so I would recommend making a few batches!

  • 1 Watermelon
  • 8 oz Goat Cheese
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Mint
  • Pepper
  • Cut the watermelon into bite sized pieces. Mix together the goats cheese and lemon juice until creamy (using a mixer or your bicep strength), then top each watermelon piece with a small dollop of the cheese mixture. Top with finely chopped mint and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. One watermelon should make approximately 50 bites.

    Salami Pinwheels

    My mum made these years ago for a family party and they were such a crowd pleaser. They’re also super versatile—you could use prosciutto instead of salami, gruyere or fontina instead of pecorino, or play around with different mustards.

    • 1 package (2 sheets) store-bought Puff Pastry (I used Pepperidge Farms)
    • 4 oz Genoa Salami
    • 4 oz Pecorino Romano
    • 4 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
    • Defrost the puff pastry, and unfold onto a flour-dusted workspace. If you like, you can roll the pastry a little to make it slightly thinner using a rolling pin or spare wine bottle.

      Spread the puff pastry with a thin layer of mustard (approximately 2 Tbsp), then top with 2 oz Pecorino Romano and 2 oz slices of salami. Roll up the puff pastry like a jelly roll, then repeat the entire process with the second sheet of puff pastry. Take both rolls and refrigerate for 20 minutes then slice into 1/4 inch slices. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until golden brown. Can be served warm or at room temperature. Makes approximately 50 pinwheels.

      Mini Baked Potatoes

      Aren’t these adorable?! My cousin and I thought they’d be a fun party appetizer when we were cooking together in Ireland, and they’ve become a staple in my recipe collection ever since.

      • 1 1/2 lbs Baby Potatoes
      • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
      • 3 oz Pancetta, finely chopped
      • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
      • 2 Tbsp Fresh Chives, finely chopped
      • Using a sharp paring knife, score each potato with an “X,” then toss with olive oil. Place scored side up on a lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. While the potatoes are baking, heat a pan to medium heat and cook pancetta until crispy, stirring often. Remove pancetta from pan and place on a paper towel to help drain away some of the fat. Once the potatoes are done, top with a small spoonful of sour cream, a sprinkling of pancetta, and finish with some chopped chives. Makes between 40-50 mini potatoes, depending on how large your potatoes are.

        Photos courtesy of Niki Lowry.