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Smoked salmon, dill & lemon paté

Five minutes is all you need to whip up this creamy fish dish, great served as a dip or starter

Author: Barney Desmazery

Poppadums with lime & coriander dip

Start your Indian meal in style with Meena Pathak's tangy dip - serve with plain poppadums

Author: Good Food team


A quintessentially Sicilian veggie dish of aubergines, tomatoes, raisins, capers and pine nuts - serve with toasted ciabatta

Author: John Torode

Easy cheese fondue

Using mild cheese means everyone in the family can enjoy this classic starter

Author: Good Food team

Chicken liver parfait with apple & saffron chutney

If you love liver parfait, try Gordon Ramsay's step-by-step recipe to get a rich, silky smooth result

Author: Gordon Ramsay

Crab stuffed avocados

Stuffing the cavity of a halved avocado has to be one of the easiest ways to serve it, and this crab filling can be made ahead

Author: Barney Desmazery

Patatas bravas with chorizo

Bring a Spanish flavour to the table with this intense, smoky starter. Just add crusty bread to serve

Author: Good Food team

Make ahead mushroom soufflés

A soufflé to start always gives your dinner party a 'wow' factor and this make-ahead recipe gives you more time to be the perfect host

Author: Sara Buenfeld

Crab cocktail

Swap prawn and iceberg lettuce for crabmeat, crunchy raw fennel and avocado, topped with classic Marie Rose sauce

Author: James Martin

Potted stilton

Crack the buttery crust to reveal delicious blue cheese flavoured with sherry and green peppercorns - it's great on toast

Author: Cassie Best

Smoked salmon soufflés

These non-scary, freezer-friendly soufflés can be baked ahead, then reheated in the oven before serving

Author: Sara Buenfeld

Smoked salmon with horseradish crème fraîche & beetroot

This speedy salad can be whipped up as an impressive starter - the fish is completely lifted by contrasting flavours

Author: Good Food team

Sweet & sour chicken

Try an authentic version of this classic Chinese takeaway dish, with natural sweetness and a warm chilli flavour to spice things up

Author: John Torode

Three cheese soufflés

With a double layer of goat's cheese and a coating of cream, these bistro-style bakes are authentically rich

Author: Barney Desmazery

Smoked salmon with prawns, horseradish cream & lime vinaigrette

This stunning starter can be assembled ahead, then topped with dressed leaves just before serving.

Author: Mary Cadogan

Vietnamese prawn summer rolls

Fresh-tasting rice paper rolls packed with shellfish, light vermicelli noodles, carrots, cucumber and herbs, with a sweet ginger chilli dipping sauce

Author: Barney Desmazery

Baked goat's cheese with hazelnut crust & balsamic onions

This simple breaded cheese can be made ahead and frozen, ready to use as a starter for a dinner party with friends

Author: Good Food team

Twice baked cheese soufflés

Angela Nilsen applies her magic touch to the infamously tricky soufflé - this low-fat version is incredibly easy and can be prepared ahead

Author: Angela Nilsen

Mulled pears with Roquefort dressing

Pear, blue cheese and toasted nuts is a combination made in heaven

Author: Sara Buenfeld

Warm salad of scallops & bacon

A hot grill is the key to success here - crisp bacon and a succulent scallop. A classic that everyone should try

Author: Mary Cadogan

Crab mayonnaise with Melba toast & herb salad

Follow our step-by-step guide to plating up this elegant bistro-style dish of homemade paté and fragrant leaf salad

Author: Barney Desmazery

Kale tabbouleh

Use bulgur wheat as the base for this Middle Eastern salad of superhealthy greens, feta cheese and spices

Author: Barney Desmazery

Pan fried scallops with parsnip purée & pancetta crumbs

Cook scallops in the professional way then plate up restaurant-style with breadcrumbs and a smear of vegetable purée

Author: Barney Desmazery

Thai chicken skewers

Grilled chicken kebab skewers marinated in fragrant Asian spices make the perfect easy canapé

Author: Caroline Hire - Food writer

Baked mushrooms with ricotta & pesto

The rich basil sauce helps balance the tangy ricotta and earthy mushroom flavours of this easy vegetarian starter

Author: Good Food team

Rarebit toasts

This comforting snack is super-quick and easy, perfect for suppertime snacking.

Author: Good Food team

Mussels in spiced broth

Creamy coconut broth with plump orange mussels makes an easy but impressive starter for two

Author: John Torode

Onion soup with herby garlic cheese bread

This French-inspired warming soup uses chutney to add a delicious sweetness

Author: Good Food team

Pan fried scallops with cauliflower vanilla purée

Vanilla pairs beautifully with the creamy mellow flavour of cauliflower and the sweetness of caramelised scallops

Author: Maria Elia

Baked figs & goat's cheese with radicchio

A fresh, seasonal starter that's simple to make and looks pretty on the plate

Author: Mary Cadogan

Meat platter

A traditional starter dish infused with the tastes of Italy - perfect with warmed bread

Author: Good Food team

Prosciutto wrapped chicken & leek terrine

Gordon's make-ahead terrine is the perfect starter when you're entertaining a crowd

Author: Gordon Ramsay

Fresh salmon carpaccio

This no-cook starter is easy, impressive and a deliciously fresh way to start a meal

Author: Mary Cadogan

Ginger beef lettuce wraps

Rustle up these Asian inspired noodle and edamame bean lettuce cups for a low-calorie dinner - ready in half an hour

Author: Cassie Best

Mary Berry's Double Baked Mushroom Soufflés

These double-baked cheese and mushroom soufflés, from Mary Berry's BBC2 series Simple Comforts, are deliciously luxurious. They're served in a creamy spinach sauce for an extra layer of indulgence.

Author: Mary Berry

Marinated beetroot with grilled goat's cheese

Earthy beetroot works perfectly with creamy goat's cheese for an easy but impressive starter

Author: Good Food team

Spicy fish cakes with mango dipping sauce

These Indian-flavoured salmon and haddock breaded patties can be made in batches and frozen

Author: Roopa Gulati

Cauliflower fritters with herby dipping sauce

This help-yourself veggie starter of tempura-like lightly battered cauliflower is also good as a nibble with drinks

Author: Good Food team

Spiced home cured salmon

Ever the versatile fish, this fresh, no-cook salmon starter can be made a few days ahead

Author: Matt Tebbutt

Creamy goat's cheese with chive & pomegranate

Simply plonk this in the middle of the table and let your friends get to work, with chunks of bread for scooping

Author: Sarah Cook

Crab & citrus salad with Chardonnay dressing

You can prepare all the elements of this stylish starter a few hours ahead, so you can be cool and collected on the night

Author: James Martin

Lamb cooked with tomatoes & aromatic spices

This is called Kashmiri tamatari ghosht and is a traditional favourite, especially served with Indian bread and basmati rice

Author: Good Food team

Rick Stein's Steak Tartare

From Rick Stein's French Odyssey, steak tartare has to be one of France's signature dishes. The premium beef is simply seasoned and served with an egg yolk.

Author: Rick Stein

Spicy prawn poppadoms

These are some of the quickest canapes to make, but are best made to order to prevent the poppadoms from going soft

Author: Good Food team

Steamed clams in saffron & spring green broth

Upgrade this simple starter to a dinner party main with a splash of dry sherry and a bed of spaghetti

Author: Silvana Franco

Prawn & pomelo salad

Seafood matches perfectly with bittersweet citrus fruit, like pomelo or grapefuit. Add chilli and a tamarind dressing for a bold Thai salad

Author: Jane Hornby

Shallot tatins with goat's cheese

Gordon Ramsay's sophisticated starter is fabulously buttery and crisp - serve before his Stir fry of duck

Author: Gordon Ramsay

Goat's cheese & onion pastries

Use a hearty shortcrust base then top with creamy cheese and crunchy walnuts and contrast with watercress salad

Author: Sara Buenfeld

Parmesan baked ricotta with tomato, olive & basil salad

This impressive starter is perfect for entertaining guests and can be made ahead for extra ease

Author: Jane Hornby

Clementine, feta & winter leaf salad

This wonderfully light salad is packed with easy-to-find seasonal ingredients and makes a great Christmas starter

Author: Good Food team