26 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
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Jump To: 🥐 Tarts, Dough, Crostini, and Bread | 🥩 Meat, Seafood & Cheese Appetizers | 🥣 Soup, Salad and Vegetable 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 & Onion Tart)

Tarte Flambée
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This Alsatian tart combines French and German flavors with crème fraiche, crispy bacon, thinly sliced onions, Gruyère cheese, and a wood-fired crust. It’s a tasty blend of creamy, smoky, and savory elements. Recipe from from The Gingered Whisk.
Calories: 595 Carbs: 30.5 grams Protein: 6 grams Cooking time: 22 minutes 

Gougères

Gougères
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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

Grilled Radishes & Herb Butter Baguette

Grilled Radishes
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The French way of preparing radishes is often accompanied by butter, allowing the rich flavour to mellow those peppery, earthy notes. This crostini takes adds some extra flavour with herbs and caramelised radishes. Recipe from Whisked Away Kitchen.
Calories: 314 Carbs: 4 grams Protein: 17 grams Cooking time: 25 minutes

French Onion & Gruyere Mini Boules

French Onion and Gruyere Mini Boules
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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


Pissaladiére

Pissaladiére
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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

Classic Quiche Lorraine

Classic Quiche Lorraine
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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

Mini Croque Monsieur

mini croque monsieur
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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

Savoury Madeleines

Savoury Madeleines
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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


Meat, Seafood & Cheese Appetizers

Steak Tartare

Steak Tartare
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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

Salmon Rillettes

Salmon Rillettes
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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

Chicken Liver and Pork Terrine

Chicken Liver and Pork Terrine
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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

Saint Jacques Gratinées

Coquille Saint Jacques
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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 au Jardin.
Calories: 309 Carbs: 21 grams Protein: 15 grams Cooking time: 1 hour

Mini Steak Frites

Mini Steak Frites
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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

French Escargot

French Escargot
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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

Foie Gras Pâté

Foie Gras Pâté
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Pâté is a big deal in France, especially the foie gras (duck liver). This one is seared in duck fat, then blended 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

Baked Brie

Baked Brie
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Wow your guests with this simple baked brie topped with sweet fig jam, crunchy pecans, and fresh rosemary. Recipe from Once Upon a Chef.
Calories: 203 Fat: 14 g Carbs: 10 g Protein: 9 g Total cooking time: 25 mins

Smoked Salmon Canapés

smoked salmon canapes
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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! Recipe from Nibble & Dine.
Calories per canape: 44 Fat: 2.9 g Carbs: 2.2 g Protein: 2.2 g Time: 15 minutes

Oysters Au Gratin With Parmesan

Oysters au Gratin with Parmesan
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Fan of oysters? These creamy, Parmesan-topped oysters baked to perfection will be a great seafood appetizer to bring to your table. Recipe from In the Mood for Food.
Time: 10 minutes Macros not available


Soup, Salad and Vegetable Appetizers

Classic French-Style Potato Salad

Classic French-Style Potato Salad
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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

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup
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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 Cooking time: 80 minutes

Gratin Dauphinoise

Gratin Dauphinoise
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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

Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse
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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

Lyonnaise Salad

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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

Stovetop Ratatouille

Stovetop Ratatouille
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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


Best French Appetizers (Classic & Modern)
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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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