Oscar Party Appetizers & Wine Pairings

Vegetarian appetizer recipes and wine pairings for your Oscar party! Red Pepper Soup Shooters, Best Dressed Endive Spears, and Mini Pizzas.

Oscar Party Appetizer & Wine Pairings / loveandlemons.com

The Academy Awards are this weekend – have you seen all of the movies? We’ve binge-watched only a few of them, but so far my favorite is the Grand Budapest Hotel. Does anyone know where I can get Jack a hat that says “Lobby Boy?”

Whether or not you’re into the glitz and glam of it all, we love any excuse to gather over food and wine. We’ve partnered with Dark Horse Wine to create 3 fun Oscar-themed appetizers along with some unexpected wine pairings. To make things easy, most of this menu can be prepared in advance, and all of these Dark Horse wines are under $10 (Honestly – I was surprised when I heard the price because, to me, each one tastes much more expensive!).

Roasted Red Pepper Soup / loveandlemons.com Oscar Party Appetizers & Wine Pairings

Red-Carpet-Ready Red Pepper Soup with Dark Horse Big Red Blend

My favorite part of the Oscars is really the Red Carpet (aren’t the dresses everyone’s favorite?) I normally wouldn’t start a wine menu with a bold red, but I couldn’t resist the word play. In my opinion, “wine rules,” are meant to be broken.

Why we love this pairing: The Big Red Blend is just how it sounds – big and bold – yet we found it to be really smooth as well. We love it with this red pepper soup that’s creamy, tangy, and just a tiny bit smoky. Special bonus: this simple soup can be made the day before your party.

Endive Spears w/ Quinoa Salad / loveandlemons.com Oscar Party Appetizers & Wine Pairings

Best Dressed Quinoa Endive Spears with Dark Horse Chardonnay

I can’t think of a more glamorous looking vegetable than endive. It’s such a swanky way to serve salad as an appetizer. And, conveniently, the quinoa filling can be made in advance. Break out your best fruity olive oil and dress this to the nines.

Why we love this pairing: The creamy Chardonnay nicely contrasts with the bitter bite of the endive. The tangy dressing and sweet currants bring out the peachy vanilla nuances in the wine.

Pear & Arugula Mini Pizzas / loveandlemons.com Oscar Party Appetizers & Wine Pairings

Appetizer in a Leading Role: Pear & Arugula Mini Pizzas with Dark Horse Merlot

These little pizzas are easy but elegant – especially with bright, peppery arugula on top. They’re filling enough to be our “leading role” so that your guests will last through the too-long Oscar speeches.

Why we love this pairing: An unexpected layer of pear “pairs” (pun intended, so sorry) well with this fruit forward wine. Salty feta and peppery arugula bring out the spicier notes in the wine. 

This post is sponsored by Dark Horse Wine – follow them on Twitter and Instagram @DarkHorseWine. All opinions, images and words are our own, thank you for supporting the sponsors that support L&L!

5.0 from 4 reviews

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Recipe type: Soup
Serves: Serves 4 as a regular soup portion, serves about 12 as mini appetizers.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small shallots, chopped
  • 4 small carrots, peeled & chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3-4 fire roasted red peppers (from a jar)
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 2 cups water, more as needed
  • 1 cup blanched & peeled almonds or raw cashews
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • generous amounts of salt & pepper
  • optional - 2 T more olive oil, add at the end
  1. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add shallots and a pinch of salt. Cook for a minute or so, then add carrots and cook until soft (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and red peppers. Stir, then add sherry vinegar. Stir, then add water, almonds, smoked paprika and a few more pinches of salt and pepper.
  2. Let simmer for about 15 minutes. Let it cool slightly, then blend in a high speed blender. Taste and adjust seasonings. For a richer soup, add a few more tablespoons of olive oil. If your soup is too thick, add a little water and adjust seasonings again.
  3. Serve in small glasses as appetizers, or store in the fridge for 1-2 days and reheat when ready to serve.

5.0 from 4 reviews
Endive Quinoa Spears
Serves: about 18 pieces
  • 1.5 cups cooked quinoa
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta
  • 3 tablespoons dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives
  • 3 endives (about 18 individual spears)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • squeeze of orange (about 2 teaspoons)
  • salt & pepper
  1. Whisk dressing together, set aside.
  2. Mix together quinoa, feta, currants and chives. Toss with most of the dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings. Scoop mixture into endive spears and drizzle the rest of the dressing on top.

5.0 from 4 reviews
Pear, Feta & Arugula Mini Pizzas
Serves: about 8 mini pizzas
  • 8 small pre-made flatbreads
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • ½ clove garlic
  • 2 ripe but firm pears, thinly sliced
  • about 2 cups of mild white cheddar cheese
  • about ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • a few pinches of red chile flakes
  • 2 cups arugula
  • salt & pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Brush flatbreads with olive oil and rub with the open side of ½ clove of garlic.
  3. Sprinkle a layer of cheddar cheese, followed by a few slices of pear followed by another layer of cheddar and a bit of feta.
  4. Bake until the cheese is bubbling and the pears are soft (about 15-20 minutes).
  5. Remove from oven, top each pizza with a bit of arugula, a drizzle of olive oil and a few pinches of red pepper flakes. Depending on the saltiness of your cheese, you might want to add a pinch of salt and pepper as well.

wine glasses pictured: Bodega Tumbler Mini Glasses


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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Sarah

    Loved the red pepper soup!!!

  2. Made the red pepper soup for a dinner party appetizer last weekend, and it was delicious. I made about 1/3 more than the recipe called for because I had a hunch I would like it and want leftovers, and I’m so glad I did!! I’ll definitely make this again.

    • jeanine

      thanks Katie! I’m so glad you liked it 🙂

  3. hi,

    I am a French culinary blogger ( so excuse my English a little awkward ) and I came to see What did our friends across the Atlantic .

    I am delighted by your blog , beautiful pictures and beautiful recipes.

  4. brianna from trussandtoast.com

    I would just like to take a second to appreciate the beautiful wine glasses. Love the post!

  5. Grace from loloslittlekitchen.blogspot.co.uk

    This is amazing! Very rarely get to read posts about wine pairings, so this is really great and refreshing to read…thanks!

  6. Carol from theotherhalfofcarol.blogspot.pt

    Amazing photos!

  7. Laura from thecopenhagentales.com

    What a great post – I don’t think I’ll be hosting an Oscar party, since I live in Europe and the Oscars air in the middle of the night here. But this is great inspiration for upcoming dinner parties! 🙂

  8. Wow, you’ve really made the perfect range of bites for a party. And I’m loving the Spanish romesco spin on the soup. Must make this!

  9. Lynne from lynnedoor.com

    Everything looks absolutely delicious! I was wondering what to make for tomorrow’s Oscar festitivies and now I do, thank you!

    And those wine glasses are devine, I’ve never seen such a beautiful shape. Could you share where to find/purchase them? Thanks!

  10. I love these appetizer ideas – totally gorgeous AND made me want a glass of wine at 9am. I’ll try to resist, but those mini pizzas are happening stat 🙂

    • jeanine

      Ha, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?

  11. Oh my goodness, I love this idea!! All the appetizers and the wine sound amazing. I love the way you’ve put the soup into shot glasses – it looks terrific, and those mini pizzas look so tasty.

    By the way, I love the look of your printable recipe formats in this post – may I ask what plugin you use for them? xxx

    • jeanine

      thanks Miranda! We use Easy Recipe.

    • jeanine

      I know, I’m sort of obsessed with it 🙂

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.