Don’t Forget the Meat: 15 Delicious Shavuot Appetizers

Renee Schwartz May 21, 2024

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It’s just not Shavuot without cheesecake, but to ensure your Yom Tov is as varied and fulfilling as it is delicious, we’ve curated a special collection of meat appetizers to serve during those meat meals.

From juicy Koftas and smoky Short Rib Tacos to Pastrami Potato Puffs and London Broil Salad with Mango and Pecans, this roundup features a range of recipes that are both delicious and beautiful. Each dish brings a burst of flavor, ensuring that your Shavuot feasts are a memorable celebration.

So, as you plan your Shavuot menu, remember to include these delectable meat appetizers. They’re not just a nod to tradition but delightful additions that will make your festive table truly unforgettable.

1. Sweet London Broil Salad with Mango and Pecans by Mirel Freylich

This is great for a show-stopping appetizer!

2. Beef Gyozas by Vera Newman

This delicate Asian appetizer is as beautiful as it is delicious. The delicate folds on top may look intimidating, but they are really simple to achieve. Serve these as the first course for an Asian-themed meal to wow your guests.

3. Meat and Turkey Koftas by Brynie Greisman

Not your typical hamburger at all. A mixture of chopped meat and turkey for optimum texture and a tantalizing combo of spices make these kabobs an original and popular supper option. These were enjoyed by all ages!

4. Wontons in Garlic Sauce by Miriam (Pascal) Cohen

This recipe began with my obsession with wontons and garlic sauce from a particular Chinese restaurant that’s nowhere near my home. Naturally, I had to recreate it myself. Since then, these wontons have become the stuff of Pascal family legend. It’s my family’s all-time favorite Yom Tov appetizer. The only downside? It’s pretty much guaranteed to upstage basically any other dish you serve at the same meal!

5. Pastrami Potato Puffs by Faigy Grossman

These pretty potato puffs use tasty ingredients that everyone loves. They can be made larger or smaller, to suit your needs. They’re fabulous as an appetizer over a bed of lettuce or a delicious side dish for your Yom Tov table.

6. Smoked Short Rib Tacos by Victoria Dwek and Leah Schapira

Hand-shredded prime beef in fried wonton wrappers. Recipe courtesy of Reserve Cut, located in downtown Manhattan. At Reserve Cut, this appetizer is served with a pineapple, tomato, and cilantro salsa. Add red onion, a finely diced jalapeño pepper, lime juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

7. Lahamagene by Rivky Kleiman

A classic Sephardic finger food that has become popular at many Ashkenazic tables, including my own. Special thanks to my dear friend Mari G., who introduced me to this delicacy and shared this recipe from Debbie G.

8. Chicken Skewers with Raspberry Dipping Sauce by Rivky Kleiman

These moist chicken morsels plate beautifully. And they’re baked, not fried – win-win! Alongside a dipping sauce that hits all the right notes, these skewers make for an unforgetable appetizer.

9. Meat Chummus by Esther Ottensoser

I got this recipe from a friend when we were discussing ideas for mishloach manos. She serves this meaty chummus dish every Shabbos lunch as one of her dips. She layers chummus, techina, and then this meat mixture on a small plate. Placed in a glass jar (such as the Weck jar shown), this makes a neat and practical mishloach manos, to be enjoyed at the Purim seudah. Tie it together with a bundle of mini pitas or crackers with twine. See how to prepare this recipe.

10. Chicken Taco Bites by Michal Frischman

These are perfect for a crowd and easy to prep ahead. To avoid soggy tortillas, assemble just before serving. Thanks to Shevy G. for this idea!

11. Mini Chicken Spinach Pies by Michal Frischman

I’ve seen the Israeli rolled packages of sweet and savory dough in my freezer section a hundred times, but I never bought them, until I realized that this appetizer needed a proper pie crust — savory, not sweet, not overly flakey, and definitely not graham cracker-y. It turned out to be perfect!

12. Chicken and Spanish Rice Appetizer by Faigy Grossman

The savory vegetable-tomato sauce mixed with rice is the perfect backdrop for this juicy chicken appetizer. I’ve offered two serving suggestions below, but feel free to plate it in any way you wish.

13. Duck Confit Empanadas by Sara and Yossi Goldstein

Duck—sounds so exotic and complicated to prepare, right? Not really! In fact, this method is practically foolproof and leaves you enjoying incredible flavors and your guests coming back for more! The empanada, with its crispy exterior, perfectly holds the rich flavors of the succulent pulled duck legs. So enter the classic French answer to American pulled brisket: duck confit. – Yossi Fun Fact: Duck confit is a classic French technique originally used as a way of preserving duck meat in its own fat.

14. Fried Sweet Potato and Grilled Pastrami Salad by Zehava Krohn

Forget about croutons and nuts. Here’s a new way to get crunch in your salad. The grilled pastrami and sweet potato strips are unexpected and way more flavorful.

15. Challah Ring with Onion-Meat Dip by Michal Frischman

I don’t make challah every week, but when I do, I always, and I mean always, make Esty Wolbe’s recipe. It’s never steered me wrong! Word to the wise: If you’re planning on making garlic confit sometime before Yom Tov, make it before this, and use some leftover garlic oil in place of regular oil in the recipe.