4 winning finger food appetizers for your next party

Win or lose, these crowd-pleasing finger food appetizers from cookbook author Paula Stachyra are sure to wow guests at your tailgating or Super Bowl party. 

Finger food appetizers | Jalapeno Poppers recipe

Food can make or break a party. There's nothing worse than trying to enjoy a conversation or watch a riveting game while you also try to ignore hunger pangs and stomach growls that seem to be louder than the TV. Plain old chips and dip just don't cut it. Whether you're tailgating or throwing an epic Super Bowl party at home, these finger food appetizers from Paula Stachyra are sure to impress your guests and feed everyone's hunger. 

The author of Canada’s number one selling tailgating cookbook Wing Crush, Paula Stachyra isn't called the Queen of the Grill for nothing. Loaded with cheese and bacon, these drool-worthy finger food appetizers are perfectly sharable and will satisfy any craving.

Plus, clever cooking (like using bread as the bowl and the dipping vehicle for baked brie) means less clean up in the end. Make all four of these finger food appetizers, or just opt for cooking your favourites and then order a pie from from one of Toronto's best pizza places

Now, just make sure there's beer in the fridge, break out a beautiful bottle of wine or mix up some gin cocktails to go with your finger food appetizers, and you've got a recipe for one great party.

Wing Crush: 100 Epic Recipes for Your Grill or Smoker by Paula Stachyra, $21.99, chapters.indigo.ca

"Rushing to Pass…the Dip"

Shredded chicken and four different kinds of cheese make for a hearty and delicious buffalo chicken blue cheese dip that guests will love. Just don't double dip.

Serves 6–8

Preparation time 5 minutes

Cooking time 1 hour


  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 200 g Castello Creamy Havarti, cubed
  • 200 g Tre Stelle Cream Cheese
  • ½ cup Castello Danish Blue Cheese, crumbled
  • 400 g Tre Stelle Mozzarella, cubed
  • ½ cup buffalo sauce
  • 2 packets ranch seasoning
  • 1 can (284 ml) finely chopped tomatoes and green chiles
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp green onion, chopped, for garnish


  1. Preheat your grill or smoker to 250 F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the shredded chicken and buffalo sauce.
  3. Place all ingredients in an aluminum pan. Smoke for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally until the cheese is fully melted and everything is well combined.
  4. Top with more crumbled blue cheese, ranch dressing, buffalo sauce and green onion, if desired.
  5. Serve with chips, crackers, veggies or whatever you prefer.

"Bacon in the Arizona Sun"

Easily feed a crowd with this spicy and creamy bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers recipe. Don't forget the napkins.

Makes 20

Preparation time 10 minutes

Cooking time 1 hour


  • 10 medium jalapenos
  • 2 Castello Pineapple Cream Cheese Spread (125 g each)
  • 10 bacon slices, cut in half
  • Blue cheese or ranch dip, for serving


  1. Preheat your grill or smoker to 275 F.
  2. Slice the jalapenos in half lengthwise and scrape out any seeds and ribs with a small spoon or paring knife.
  3. Spoon Castello Pineapple Cream Cheese Spread into each jalapeno half. Wrap each with a half-slice of bacon.
  4. Arrange the jalapeno poppers on a rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Place the baking sheet on the grill grates. Cook for 45 min – 1 hour or until the bacon is cooked to your desired doneness.
  6. Serve with blue cheese or ranch dip.


Topped with maple syrup, bourbon, bacon and pecans, this ooey-gooey brie bread bowl recipe is full of flavour and perfect for dipping.

Serves 2–3

Preparation time 20 minutes

Cooking time 30 minutes


  • 1 whole round sourdough loaf
  • 1 Castello Brie (125 g) 
  • 2 bacon slices, cooked and diced
  • ½ Tbsp crushed pecans
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp bourbon (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped green onion, for garnish


  1. Preheat your grill or smoker to 350 F.
  2. Slice off the top quarter of the bread and save. Place the wheel of brie on top of the bread and use a paring knife to trace around. Scoop out the inner circle of bread.
  3. Cut the excess bread into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
  4. Carefully, cut the top rind off the brie wheel and place it inside the bread.
  5. Carefully, cut down around the edges of the bread to create slices, about ½-inch deep, that people will tear after baking.
  6. Top the brie with maple syrup, bourbon, bacon and pecans, and place the bread top on the cheese.
  7. Transfer the bread bowl to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until the cheese has melted and the bread is toasty, about 20 minutes.
  8. About 10 minutes before the brie is done baking, place reserved bread cubes on a parchment lined baking sheet. Remove the bread top and cut it into sticks.
  9. Serve with the bread cubes, bread sticks and crackers.

"Kick or Sliders"

Stuffed with three different kinds of cured meat and two different cheeses, these piled-high Italian sandwich sliders are filling and delicious.

Makes 12

Preparation time 15 minutes

Cooking time 45 minutes


  • 1 package of 12 mini brioche burger buns, halved lengthwise
  • 200 g Castello Roasted Garlic Havarti, shredded
  • 8 slices hot genoa salami
  • 8 slices mortadella
  • 8 slices capocollo
  • 8 slices prosciutto cotto
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½  cup pepperoncini pepper rings
  • Italian dressing
  • Garlic butter topping

Garlic Butter Topping

  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • ½ Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 Tbsp parmesan, grated


  1. Preheat your grill or smoker to 350 F.
  2. Prepare the garlic butter topping. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Remove from heat and add the garlic, parsley and parmesan. Stir well until everything is combined.
  4. Place the bottom half of the brioche buns onto a casserole dish or aluminum pan. Top with half of the Castello Roasted Garlic Havarti, hot genoa salami, mortadella, capocollo, prosciutto cotto, red onion and pepperoncini peppers. Drizzle some Italian dressing, and top with remaining cheese.
  5. Place the tops of the brioche buns back on and brush with the garlic butter topping.
  6. Cover with aluminum foil and grill for 30–45 minutes or until the cheese has melted to your liking. Remove the aluminum foil halfway through the cook for crispy buns.