25 French Appetizers (Classic & Modern)

Planning a fancy soirée or just want to add a touch of French elegance to your dinner plans? Try one of these delicious French appetizers. From classic quiche to salmon rillettes, these dishes are as gorgeous as they are delicious.


French Appetizers

When it comes to appetizers and finger foods, French cuisine, with its exquisite flavors and classic techniques, offers a plethora of options perfect for any occasion. 

Whether you’re hosting a French-themed dinner party or simply want to elevate your canapes, these French appetizer recipes are sure to impress. From the luxurious taste of cheese in Gougères to the delicate sophistication of Ratatouille Tartlets, there’s a variety of choices that cater to all tastes. 


Tarts, Dough, Crostini, and Bread

Tarte Flambée (Bacon and Onion Tart)
This Alsatian-inspired tart invites you to savour the unique marriage of cross-border culinary craftsmanship, drawing inspiration from the cultural fusion along the French and German border. A delicate interplay of crème fraiche, crisp bacon, thinly sliced onions, Gruyère, and a wood-fired crust, this tart is a harmonious marriage of bold flavours. Recipe from from The Gingered Whisk.
Calories: 595
Carbs: 30.5 grams
Protein: 6 grams
Cooking time: 22 minutes 
Get the recipe here
Tarte Flambée
Gougères
These cheddar puffs begin with a choux dough, setting them apart from biscuits or puff pastry. Think of cream puffs or eclairs, but instead of cream, they’re filled with cheese. Recipe from Spiced.
Calories: 84
Carbs: 4 grams
Protein: < 1 gram
Cooking time: 1 hour 
Get the recipe here
Gougères
Grilled Radishes and Herb Butter Baguette
The French way of preparing radishes is often accompanied by butter, allowing the rich flavour to mellow those peppery, earthy notes. This crostini takes that combination and adds some extra flavour with herbs and caramelised radishes. Recipe from from Whisked Away Kitchen.
Calories: 314
Carbs: 4 grams
Protein: 17 grams
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Get the recipe here
French Onion and Gruyere Mini Boules
Soup on its own is a great appetizer, but these hors d'oeuvres capture the essence of a bowl of French onion served in a mini bread boule. Delicious and charming, these are worth going the extra mile for. Recipe from Savor the Best.
Calories: 101
Carbs: 5 grams
Protein: 5 grams
Cooking time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Get the recipe here
French Onion and Gruyere Mini Boules
Pissaladiére
With roots in Italy, this version of a pizza with crisp crust crossed the border and evolved into a flavourful Provençal flatbread garnished with caramelised onions, olives, and anchovies. Recipe from from Food Nouveau.
Calories: 361
Carbs: 55 grams
Protein: 7 grams
Cooking time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Get the recipe here
Pissaladiére
Classic Quiche Lorraine
Quiche is a beautiful and filling tart to serve, particularly for brunch affairs. Quiche Lorraine comes from France, infused with bacon, Gruyère, and a savoury custard all tucked away in the perfect flaky crust. Recipe from Saving Room for Dessert.
Calories: 549
Carbs: 15 grams
Protein: 11 grams
Cooking time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Get the recipe here
Mini Croque Monsieur
Croque monsieur is an open faced hot ham and cheese sandwich served across France. These puff pastry bites, loaded with key ingredients and bechamel, are the ideal way to turn this dish into an appetizer. Recipe from Butter and Baggage.
Calories: 71
Carbs: 4 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Get the recipe here
mini croque monsieur
Savoury Madeleines
Madeleines are often sweet, a staple behind the pastry case at a patisserie. These fluffy savoury biscuits with French flair are ready to grab some attention at a happy hour event. Recipe from Food Nouveau.
Calories: 62
Carbs: 4 grams
Protein: 1.5 grams
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Get the recipe here
Savoury Madeleines

Meat, Seafood & Cheese Appetizers

Steak Tartare
Tartare is very easy to make considering the lack of cooking time required in this raw beef dish. You will just need the confidence and a little inspiration for plating and pairing to wow your guests! Recipe from A Spicy Perspective.
Calories: 291
Carbs: 4 grams
Protein: 17 grams
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Get the recipe here
Steak Tartare
Salmon Rillettes
Rillettes is similar to pâté, often made from pork, duck, or salmon – something fatty. Unlike pâté, a recipe for rillettes implies a shredded consistency, preparing the protein in its own rendered fat for a succulent and tender result, perfect for pairing with toast or endive lettuce. Recipe from La Cuisine de Geraldine.
Calories: 122
Carbs: 3 grams
Protein: 9 grams
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Get the recipe here
Chicken Liver and Pork Terrine
This French pâté is made ready to slice, exposing beautiful cross-sections showing off mouth-watering, creamy texture inside. Wrapped in bacon, even picky eaters may learn to enjoy chicken livers prepped this way. Recipe from Garlic and Zest.
Calories: 182
Carbs: 1 grams
Protein: 12 grams
Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Get the recipe here
Chicken Liver and Pork Terrine
Saint Jacques Gratinées
This is a stunning dish often served during the winter months which is scallop season in France. It’s served cooked in a creamy milk and butter-based broth, baked to golden perfection with bread crumbs on top. Recipe from Quatre Saisons al Jardin.
Calories: 309
Carbs: 21 grams
Protein: 15 grams
Cooking time: 1 hour
Get the recipe here
Coquille Saint Jaques
Mini Steak Frites
Steak and chips are a French restaurant comfort food classic. This bite-sized edition is perfect for partying. You can even use frozen French fries to simplify prep. Recipe from The College Housewife.
Calories: 127
Carbs: 7 grams
Protein: 10 grams
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Get the recipe here
Mini Steak Frites
French Escargot
Escargot may be intimidating to make at home, but it’s an excellent recipe to impress guests with authentic French cuisine. A rich butter and parsley sauce is a palatable way to serve snails. Pair with toasted baguette for easy appetizer potential. Recipe from The Foreign Fork.
Calories: 80
Carbs: 6 grams
Protein: 3 grams
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Get the recipe here
Foie Gras Pâté
Pâté is a big deal in France. To serve foie gras – duck liver – start by gently searing it in duck fat until soft, then blend it with butter, herbs, and a touch of cognac until smooth. Serve the velvety pâté with toasted brioche for a decadent dining experience. Recipe from Kelly’s Clean Kitchen.
Calories: 105
Carbs: 2 grams
Protein: 1 gram
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Get the recipe here
Foie Gras Pâté
Baked Brie
Wow your guests with this simple baked brie topped with sweet fig jam, crunchy pecans, and fresh rosemary. From Once Upon a Chef.
Caloroes: 203 per serving
Fat: 14 g
Carbs: 10 g
Protein: 9 g
Total cooking time: 25 mins
Get the recipe here
Baked Brie
Smoked Salmon Canapés
This is a quick, easy and elegant appetizer with only 8 ingredients. And, you can make it in only about 15 minutes! Bonus points – save time on prep by making the herb cream cheese the day before! From Nibble & Dine.
Calories per canape: 44
Fat: 2.9 g
Carbs: 2.2 g
Protein: 2.2 g
Time: 15 minutes
Get the recipe here
smoked salmon canapes

Soup, Salad and Vegetable Apppetizers

Classic French-Style Potato Salad
This tangy potato salad, adorned with mustard, olive oil, vinegar, cornichons, shallots, and fresh dill, stands apart from the American rendition with its mayo dressing. Consider the French version its more sophisticated cousin. Recipe from Pardon Your French.
Calories: 233
Carbs: 39 grams
Protein: 4 grams
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Get the recipe here
Classic French-Style Potato Salad
French Onion Soup
Warm, cozy, and flavorful, our French onion soup features beef stock and caramelized onions. Top it with croutons, Gruyere and Parmesan cheese for the iconic finish, and you have restaurant-quality onion soup at home. From Simply Recipes.
Calories: 699
Fat: 26 g
Carbs: 84 g
Protein: 30g
Total cooking time: 80 minutes
Get the recipe here
French Onion Soup
Gratin Dauphinoise
These potatoes au gratin with French flair are infused with a generous amount of Gruyère cheese and a creamy, garlic and herb-infused sauce. Recipe from Inquiring Chef.
Calories: 317
Carbs: 20 grams
Protein: 8 grams
Cooking time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Get the recipe here
Gratin Dauphinoise
Bouillabaisse
This lovely seafood stew is a great starter or main, enticing to all senses right from the start. Master this French delicacy with this fishermen’s soup recipe from Marseilles. Recipe from Michelle Bessudo.
Calories: 396
Carbs: 26 grams
Protein: 60 grams
Cooking time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Get the recipe here
Bouillabaisse
Lyonnaise Salad
For lighter fare, serve up Lyon’s famed salad. With frisée lettuce, fried bacon, poached eggs, and a warm bacon dressing, this low-carb meal is packed with stunning ingredients and deep flavour. Recipe from Delicious Little Bites.
Calories: 393
Carbs: 7 grams
Protein: 15 grams
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Get the recipe here
Stovetop Ratatouille
This vibrant, summer vegetable French Provençal stew is always made of the same ingredients, but prepared using many different methods. This stovetop recipe provides a ratatouille perfect for making crostini or bruschetta with for an appetizer. Recipe from Pardon Your French.
Calories: 230
Carbs: 23 grams
Protein: 6 grams
Cooking time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Get the recipe here
Stovetop Ratatouille

Best French Appetizers (Classic & Modern)
Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author: Hi, I’m Irena Macri. I share delicious recipes that I have cooked and loved. I am a published cookbook author, have been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition. You will find many healthy recipes as well as my favourite comfort food. More about me here | Subscribe to my newsletter and freebies

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