Ah, beef jerky. The surprisingly healthy snack is ideal for road trips, hiking trips, and any other time you need food that doesn’t spoil easily. Yet beef jerky also lends itself to a variety of recipes, including yummy appetizers. Check out the following ideas to use at your next shindig. Your family and friends will love your creative use of jerky!


Tomato and Cheese Appetizer


Add beef jerky to a tomato-and-cheese appetizer to create something that’s both delicious and filling. Simply cut beef jerky into ¼-inch pieces and do the same thing with the tomato. Spread goat cheese on crackers and then top with the tomato and jerky. Add parsley sprigs, salt, and pepper to heighten the flavors.


Tomato Sauce


Create a unique tomato sauce to use as an appetizer dip with beef jerky. Soften the meat with boiling water so the result isn’t super-chewy. Use ingredients such as green pepper, chopped onion, heavy cream, and minced garlic, to create a delicious sauce ideal for mini grilled cheeses. Cut the jerky into bite-size pieces with kitchen shears before you throw it in the sauce.


Jerky Bruschetta


Use jerky in bruschetta recipes to give the appetizer a meaty kick. Experiment with different seasonings until you have the recipe just right.


Jerky and Cheese Plate


Do something different with your next cheese plate—add jerky! Substitute typical deli meats for jerky. Friends and family are sure to notice you opted out of ho-hum pepperoni this go-around.


Papaya and Beef Jerky Salad


Serve salad that includes jerky as an appetizer at your next event. Vietnamese papaya, Thai basil, and beef jerky combine to make a unique and delicious salad everyone will love. Use about two pounds of shredded papaya for best results. Make your own dressing with ingredients such as soy sauce, garlic, sugar, and vinegar.


Fried Jerky


Forget mozzarella sticks—why not serve fried jerky at your upcoming gathering? Fry the food however you see fit and include one or a variety of sauces for dipping. This includes marinara sauce, of course!


Jerky in a Blanket


Substitute hot dogs for beef jerky to make the appetizer classic, Pigs in a Blanket. Sure, the meat being used is no longer pig, but it’s still a cool twist on an old favorite. Name the appetizer depending on the type of jerky used, such as Turkey in a Blanket.


What do you think of these Jerky ideas? Are you inspired yet?