Raspberry Basil Bites

Raspberry Basil Bites make a beautiful and delicious appetizer for Spring or Summer.

Warm Weather Appetizer

I love this appetizer recipe because it’s unique and delicious. It’s an appetizer that uses raspberries, basil, and balsamic vinegar for a refreshing but still savory bite. A perfect choice to enjoy while waiting for dinner to finish on the grill outside.

Making Raspberries Savory

Right now you’re probably trying to figure out how sweet raspberries could possibly work in a savory appetizer. But really. They do.

You see, a raspberry doesn’t have the over-honeyed tones of an August peach. It doesn’t leak syrupy pulp like a mango. And it never has that obvious candy crunch of a red delicious.

The raspberry’s a dignified fruit with layers of flavor. It’s a fruit that intrigues your tongue instead of assaulting it with sugar.

When the raspberry finds a leaf of basil, all of its meatiness, its beefy tomato notes, rejoice at finally being noticed. And when that raspberry encounters balsamic vinegar, its tartness jumps up and down with excitement for finally finding the limelight.

So you don’t need to fear raspberry’s sweetness. It will play well with other flavors if you just give it a chance.

Another great easy appetizer recipe to make with raspberries is this very berry cheesecake dip.

How to Make Raspberry Basil Bites

This appetizer comes together quite quickly and can easily be doubled or tripled. One thing to note is that it uses whipped cream cheese which is softer and more spreadable than regular block cream cheese. Most stores carry this in a tub right by the regular cream cheese. You can make it on your own by whipping a block of cream cheese with a few tablespoons of milk in a mixer, but you only need a couple tablespoons for this recipe so that may not be worth it for you.

Combine the whipped cream cheese, sour cream, balsamic vinegar, and salt together in a small bowl. Depending on the type of balsamic you use, you may need more or less than the recipe calls for, so taste and adjust to your liking.

Then, you simply put a small dollop of the mixture on a cracker and top with a single fresh basil leaf and raspberry. Yum! I like to use a gluten-free brown rice cracker as the base for mine, but any cracker without too much flavor on it’s own will work here.

Here’s the recipe in handy printable form:



Raspberry Basil Bites

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings


This is the perfect easy appetizer recipe for spring or summer. I love to serve it when we have friends over for a BBQ. I use a gluten-free brown rice cracker as the base for these canapés. I like how crisp they are and their grainy flavor. But any relatively bland cracker will work.


  • 2 Tbsp. whipped cream cheese (you buy it already whipped and fluffy, in a tub right next to the regular tubs of cream cheese)
  • 2 Tbsp. sour cream (full fat or light)
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • salt
  • 20 crackers
  • 20 fresh raspberries
  • 20 small basil leaves


  1. In a small bowl combine the cream cheese, sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of salt. Taste. I find that some balsamic vinegars are more potent than others. If your mixture has a nice subtle vinegar flavor with a touch of sweetness, you’re good to go. If you can’t really taste the balsamic, add a little bit more and even another pinch of salt and then taste again.
  2. Put a 1/2 teaspoon dollop of the creamy vinegar sauce onto each cracker. Using the sauce as a glue to stick on single raspberry and a single basil leaf onto each dollop.
This post originally appeared in March 2013 and was revised and republished in June 2020.