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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

Easy cheese fondue

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

Author: Good Food team

Caponata

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

Author: John Torode

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

Crab cocktail

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

Author: James Martin

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

Smoked salmon soufflés

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

Author: Sara Buenfeld

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mussels in spiced broth

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

Author: John Torode

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

Kale tabbouleh

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

Author: Barney Desmazery

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

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

Meat platter

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

Author: Good Food team

Thai chicken skewers

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

Author: Caroline Hire - Food writer

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

Rarebit toasts

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

Author: Good Food team

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

Mulled pears with Roquefort dressing

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

Author: Sara Buenfeld

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

Fresh salmon carpaccio

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

Author: Mary Cadogan

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

Prosciutto wrapped chicken & leek terrine

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

Author: Gordon Ramsay

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

Onion soup with herby garlic cheese bread

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

Author: Good Food team

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

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

Seared garlic seafood with spicy harissa bisque

Rustle up a luxurious, romantic (and speedy!) starter for two with fresh scallops, prawns and hot chilli

Author: Cassie Best

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

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

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

Avocado prawns in wasabi dressing

Wasabi, the paste that adds a hot peppery bite to sushi, peps up this creamy combo of avocado and prawns

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

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

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

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

Chilaquiles in mulato chilli sauce

Chilaquiles are a traditional Mexican dish using baked or fried tortillas as the base - great for a casual gathering

Author: Good Food team