This Grape Appetizer is ideal for a casual, fun cocktail party, or simply for a most delightful snack. Roasted Green Chile-wrapped grapes sit with Manchego cheese and chorizo on a toothpick, providing the perfect bite of sweet and smoky flavors.
This truly unique, bite-sized grape appetizer is loaded with fresh, smoky and sweet flavors.
They're Spanish-inspired with chorizo and Manchego cheese, and served like tapas. (Tapas are small Spanish savory dishes, typically served with drinks at a bar.)
When Hatch Chiles are in season (August & September), I use them for this recipe, otherwise I use Poblano Chiles.
These are super fun for any sort of entertaining, and they also make for a great afternoon snack with a drink.
- seedless red grapes
- roasted green chiles (Hatch or Poblano)
- hard chorizo - Spanish chorizo is cured and smoked with a deep smoky and herbal flavor.
- Manchego cheese - Manchego is a prized sheeps milk, Spanish cheese that's firm with a buttery texture and intense flavor that's somewhat nutty, salty and sweet.
(See recipe card below for quantities.)
Substitutions and Variations
- Seedless red grapes. Green is fine too, but the color contrast is great with the red grapes.
- Hatch or Poblano chiles. For a much milder flavor, use Anaheim chiles or green bell peppers.
- Hard chorizo. I would really try to use the chorizo, but if you can't, a hard salami or even pepperoni will work.
- Manchego cheese - A couple of good Manchego substitutes are Pecorino Romano and Asiago.
- You can skip the peppers all together if you want to -- the grapes, cheese and chorizo are also a fabulous combination on their own.
While these particular ingredients were put together purposefully to create an amazing bite, you can definitely switch things up for the grape appetizer and still get delicious results.
- Vegetarian? Skip the chorizo, and add a second piece of cheese.
- Don't have time to roast the peppers? You can buy jarred roasted peppers. They are usually red, which would be pretty with a green grape. Just be sure they're large enough pieces to wrap around the grapes.
- Spicy version. Be sure you buy the hot Hatch chiles (they should be marked this way). The Poblanos will vary in heat and it's hard to know when you buy them, but typically they're between mild and hot, airing on the more mild side. Just taste them first to know what you're getting. You can also use Pepper Jack cheese to heat it up.
How to Make Them
(More detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.)
- Roast the peppers, if you haven’t already (here’s how), then cut off the stem, remove the seeds and cut them each, vertically, into strips.
- Wrap a chile strip around each grape, using a toothpick to secure it. If it doesn’t go all the way around, that’s okay. Push the wrapped grape gently towards the top of the toothpick.
- Beneath the wrapped grapes, add a piece of the chorizo, followed by a piece of the cheese.
This Spanish-inspired grape appetizer is delicious served with, or followed by, all sorts of different first and main courses. Here are a few favorites . . . .
- Creamy Avocado Gazpacho
- Easy Tomato Gazpacho
- Chipotle Tequila Lime Chicken
- Mediterranean Marinated Flank Steak
- Chopped Mexican Salad with Pepitas
Can you make them ahead?
- You can roast the chiles up to 2 days ahead of time. (Keep them whole until you’re ready to prepare the tapas.)
- Once assembled, keep refrigerated and lightly covered with plastic wrap until you’re ready to serve them.
- They can be assembled up to 4 hours ahead of time.
I hope you love these grape appetizers as much as I do!
Grape Appetizer Recipe
- 3 roasted & peeled Hatch Chiles (click here for How to roast and peel peppers) *
- 2 dozen red, seedless grapes, washed, dried
- about 2 ounces chorizo, thinly sliced and cut into 2 dozen bite-sized pieces
- about 4 ounces Manchego cheese, thinly sliced and cut into 2 dozen bite-sized pieces
- Prep chiles. Roast chiles,if you haven't already. (Here's How.) Then cut off the stems and remove the seeds. Then cut them each, vertically, into about 8 equal sized strips.
- Assemble. Wrap a chile strip around each grape, using a toothpick to secure it. If it doesn’t go all the way around, that’s okay — if it does, try to overlap the ends before sticking the toothpick through. Push the wrapped grape gently towards the top of the toothpick. Beneath the wrapped grapes, add a piece of the chorizo, followed by a piece of the cheese.
- Keep refrigerated, lightly covered with plastic wrap, until you’re ready to serve them. They can be made up to 4 hours ahead of time.