The perfect finger food for a crowd…
I find myself looking for quick and easy appetizers that I can throw together for a crowd almost on a monthly basis. I just don’t like the idea of slaving over a recipe that doesn’t do well siting on the counter all day, and takes maintenance to keep warm or cold while you’re trying to enjoy your company. It’s also important to have an appetizer or dish that travels well when you’re not the host– they’re hard to come by!
I discovered the idea of tortellini skewers a few years ago, and have come up with what is my go-to party appetizer– Mini Italian Kebabs! Not only because they’re easy to make, but these little skewers always disappear before my eyes! You could probably consider them to be the perfect finger food for a crowd.
Mini Italian Skewers
***This makes approximately 50 mini skewers.***
- 1 (8-9 ounce) package of refrigerated cheese tortellini
- Approximately 50 salami slices (usually 2 small packages)
- About 50 cubes of sharp white cheddar (I just buy a block and cut it into 1/4 inch thick pieces)
- 1 bottle of your favorite Italian salad dressing
- 1 (6 ounce) can or jar of medium olives (green, black, pimiento stuffed, kalamata, or a combination– your choice!)
- Cook the tortellini according to the package directions (about 4 minutes). You do not want to overcook them! They’re more likely to fall apart if they’re too soft.
- After cooking, drain the water and let the tortellini cool on the counter for about 10 minutes before placing them in a large ziplock bag or bowl. Dump the entire bottle of Italian dressing in with the tortellini, and let them marinade for at least 2 hours (or overnight) in the refrigerator.
- On each toothpick, thread the marinated tortellini, salami, cheese slices, and olives however you would like. As you can see in the pictures, I like to stuff the cheese in-between the salami slices. I also place the olives on the end so that picky eaters can pull them off.
- Arrange the skewers on a platter, and watch as they quickly disappear! You can make these ahead of time and let them sit in the fridge so that you don’t have to worry about food prep while you’re trying to enjoy the party. 🙂
- This also makes for a super yummy cold pasta salad! Simply combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl. You can also add things like chopped red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts or grated parmesan cheese. I’d also slice the salami into smaller pieces.
- Some reviewers have said that the cheese crumbles and falls apart when placed on the toothpick. I haven’t had a problem with the brand of sharp white cheddar that I’ve used in the past, but consider this when buying your cheese. Mozzarella would probably be a safe bet if you’re worried about it.
- For vegetarians, consider making a handful of skewers without the salami.
- If you are serving mostly adults, a spicy salami is the way to go!
- If you plan on taking pictures of these beautiful skewers, get a manicure first. Geez! My poor neglected nails.