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How to Make Homemade Pizza Canapes for Your Next Dinner Party

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We love putting smoked salmon on our canapes, even the pizza-flavored ones! And you can buy straight from Amazon and get it delivered to your door in no time. Let us know what you think and what else you pair it with~

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Updated: November 15, 2022

Are you looking for the perfect bite-sized finger food to serve at your next dinner party? Then look no further because we have a great idea for you; pizza canapes. 

homemade pizza canapes
Photo by Tanya Gorelova

Canapes are the perfect hors d’oeuvre to serve with cocktails. The great thing about canapes is you can make them in a thousand different ways, and they are all good, trust us. We love going to events that serve canapes, and now we make our own. 

Since we love pizza, we make homemade pizza canapes, and the verdict is in; everyone loves them. So read on to learn about our favorite new snack to make when entertaining.

What Are Canapes?

fresh made canapes
Photo by Shaun Meintjes on Unsplash

You have probably heard the word canape before; it literally means sofa in French. But it also means a small little savory snack. Canapes are hors d’oeuvres that consist of a small piece of cracker, bread, or puff pastry with a cheese spread and savory topping.

Canapes are small, so they can be eaten with one hand in one to two bites. They are always salty and savory to accompany the drink in your other hand. Rumor has it they were invented to keep guests drinking.

Canapes were once a popular appetizer at the infamous cocktail parties of the 1960s and 70s and are often considered a retro appetizer. If you watch Mad Men, you have probably seen a tray of canapes in the background at one of Don Draper’s parties.

They were all the rage and usually featured soft cheeses and salty anchovy dips or a sliver of pimiento bologna

Nowadays, you can make canapes with a lot of different ingredients, from goat cheese to gouda and salami to soppressata to shrimp and caviar anything goes. The only rule is they must be small and savory so you can nibble on them while holding a drink and mingling.

So you might be wondering what is the difference between canapes and bruschetta. They are very similar, but there are a few differences. Bruschetta is always on bread, usually baguette, and toasted with garlic butter and a fresh tomato basil mixture.

A good bruschetta is a bit messy and would be hard to eat while milling around a party. In contrast,  canapes can be either bread, crackers, or puff pastry and are easy to pop one in your mouth without making a mess.

They can even be considered similar to Spanish tapas for a Spanish style pizza.

How to Make Canapes

plate of pizza canapes
Photo by Karolina Grabowska

There are a lot of different ways to make canapes. We found a few recipes from an old 1970s cookbook that involved a lot of pates, liverwurst, and bright-colored squeeze cheeses.

But don’t worry, you don’t have to go vintage to enjoy canapes. They are easy to modernize, and you can even make them vegetarian and vegan.

Of course, we make pizza canapes because pizza is our favorite food, and all of our favorite ingredients can easily translate into canapes.

Pro Tip: If you plan to host a lot of parties, invest in a good serving tray. Canapes are easy, but they look fancy, and if you really want to impress your guests serve them on something with style.

How to Make Homemade Pizza Canapes

homemade pizza canapes on a tray

Canapes are fun, and when you make them, you should make a few different types and mix and match your ingredients. For homemade pizza canapes, we used a base of Melba toasts and rice crackers, but your favorite cracker would work too.

In the past, we have used Triscuits, saltines, and even Ritz crackers.

Now that you have your base, you can use a spread. Since we made pizza canapes, we used garlic herb goat cheese and mozzarella mini balls. You could also use a smear of garlic butter, a dab of marinara sauce, pesto, or cream cheese.

Next comes the toppings. We went simple with olives, shrimp, cherry tomatoes, and pepperoni.

homemade neapolitan pizza canapes

We even made Margarita pizza canapes with fresh basil to mimic the taste of a classic Margherita pizza. If you love Connecticut white clam pizza, you could use canned clams and make a Connecticut clam canape.

Or, if you love fresh ingredients and local flavors of a California pizza, you could use a creamy artichoke spread with smoked oysters. Or, if the simplicity of a New York slice is your go-to, then make a New York canape with a slice of smoked mozzarella and a perfect pepperoni. 

prosciutto pizza canapes

One of our favorite summer snacks is a pizza canape with a slice of prosciutto crudo and a sliver of cantaloupe. The salt of the prosciutto with the sweet cantaloupe and crunchy cracker is an elegant canape that perfectly complements a crisp white wine or cold beer.

Food should be fun, and entertaining friends and family is easy with pizza canapes.

Ideas to Make Pizza Canapes

Base: baguette, wheat/rice/sesame/ cracker, Melba toast, puff pastry

Spreads: cream cheese, pesto, marinara, goat cheese

Toppings: smoked gouda or cheddar cheese, salami, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, pepperoni, sautéd mushrooms, fresh tomatoes in olive oil with basil, smoked salmon, smoked oysters, sardines in lemon juice with black pepper, ham and Havarti, Manchego with a slice of pickled jalapeno and chorizo, ham and pineapple, really the list can just keep going.

Pro Tip #1: If you use marinara sauce, stick with a bread base and make them right before serving. Homemade tomato paste works great because of its concentrated flavor just choose toppings that will temper the acidity from the tomatoes, like caramelized onions and salami.

Pro Tip #2: Adjust for guests with food allergies and dietary restrictions. Use gluten-free crackers, vegan cheese, and vegetarian proteins. Make sure to label serving trays appropriately to avoid any confusion.

What’s your favorite way to make homemade pizza canapes?

Share With Other Pizza Lovers:

Our friends over at Pro Pizza Ovens have released a handy dandy “Find Your Dream Pizza Oven” Quiz with just 5-6 questions to answer to choose the absolute best pizza oven for your family to buy for your home or backyard. Try it today!

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DK & Eliana

DK & Eliana

Thanks for reading about our homemade pizza journey! We're a young married couple who started making pizza at home on our wedding night and haven't looked back yet. We've learned over countless attempts of trial and error how to make the perfect pizza sauce, pizza dough, and exactly which pizza accessories to buy for your home setup...

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