45 Easy Christmas Appetizers
Whether it's a holiday party, potluck, or family reunion, Christmas will bring at least one situation where you're gonna need to feed a bunch of people. Fortunately, these crowd-pleasing appetizers come together easily, and many of them are ready to go in minutes. We've rounded up everything from festive finger foods to unbeatable dips so you can satisfy—and impress—everyone at your next holiday gathering.
Pimento Cheese Puffs
Classic French gougères with a Southern remix. These airy pimiento cheese puffs make an impressive addition to virtually any party spread. While the choux pastry dough may seem intimidating to make, trust us—success is just a matter of not walking away from the pan. As long as you can stay put and keep stirring (so that your dough doesn’t burn), you can make gougères.
Creamy Christmas Corn Dip
Rich, creamy, and so easy to pull together, this corn dip is an absolute party-starter. The addition of red and green peppers adds a touch of festive holiday flare, and also helps temper the sweetness of the corn.
Baked Brie with Pumpkin Maple Sauce
Your friends will be astonished at the ease and delight that baked brie brings to the table before dinner is served. It’s the perfect mix of sweet and salty with benefit of a warm, gooey inside and a crispy, flaky crust on the outside. Store-bought puff pastry wraps around the entire wheel of brie, and it’s finished with a drizzle of the pumpkin-spiced maple sauce that’s decadent and sweetened with maple syrup. With a sprinkle of a few sliced almonds for a crunchy texture and a rich, nutty flavor, this starter is ideal menu item to any fall themed meal.
Seared Beef Tenderloin Mini Sandwiches with Mustard-Horseradish Sauce
These mini sandwiches are a great beef tenderloin appetizer. Serving beef tenderloin as an appetizer is an elegant, yet budget-friendly way to enjoy a pricey cut of meat.
Endive Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Walnuts
This elegant first course showcases a marvelous partnership between slightly bitter endive, creamy goat cheese, and sweet orange juice. From pretty presentation to fantastic flavor, you can't go wrong with this simple appetizer.
Quick and Easy Nachos
This platter of goodness represents the lowest-effort end of the homemade nachos spectrum. That said, “low-effort”—by no stretch of the imagination—means a low YUM-factor here. Although this game day-perfect platter of beefy, cheesy nachos comes together quickly and relies largely on store-bought shortcuts, it delivers the classic meld of flavors and textures that you want from everyone’s favorite appetizer. For this nachos recipe, we combine the meat and nacho cheese elements to create a Ro*Tel Dip-inspired, beefy cheese sauce. This guarantees an even distribution of the hearty toppings and keeps you from having to crank up the oven. However, if you prefer melted, shredded cheese over a nacho cheese sauce, simply cook your ground beef in a skillet on the stovetop, drain, and distribute over the nachos on a sheet pan. Then, top the platter with shredded cheese and pop it under the broiler until melty and glorious (no Ro*Tel required).
Winter Citrus Salad
This simple fruit salad is the perfect celebration of seasonal citrus fruit. It’s an effortlessly gorgeous dish that’s perfect for a winter brunch, but is easy enough to enjoy any day of the week, especially if you're looking for a boost of flavor or vitamin C. Pomegranate anrils and kiwi slices add extra zing and variety to fresh orange and grapefruit segments.
Pepper Jelly-Goat Cheese Cakes
Microwave pepper jellies in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 20 to 25 seconds or until melted.
Layered Buffalo Chicken Dip
This buffalo chicken dip is a completely homemade labor of love, and your guests will fall head over heels for this incredible appetizer. This dip offers the complete buffalo chicken experience all in one dish and combines layers of different ingredients and flavors along with a unique scratch-made carrot ranch dressing. There is a crunch, a richness, and a level of spice all mixed together in this wow-worthy dip that make it the perfect contributiion to any party or tailgate. This dish delivers intense flavor and an all-inclusive and truly delicious buffalo chicken experience.
Savory Charcuterie Bread
If you’re looking for an impressive bread recipe, this is it. Meet lard bread: We’re talking meaty, savory, and yeasty, perfect for a crowd, and let’s not forget beautiful. The swirl from the meat and cheese goes throughout the bread, which is slightly dense and chewy, but in the best way. Luckily for you, this bread looks way more difficult than it actually is to make. This recipe takes some time, but not a lot of skill—if you’ve made cinnamon rolls, you can make this. Ask your deli to slice hunks of salami and provolone half an inch thick so you can dice it easily. Most Mexican markets sell fresh lard, which has a more liquid texture than block lard—if you can find that, go for it, but otherwise bacon grease is a fine substitute. Serve with a light green salad, or do it up and pour some Champagne.
Chicken Salad Tomato Cups
Goat Cheese Poppers with Honey
In addition to being a delicious appetizer that feels special, these Goat Cheese Poppers with Honey make for extra awesome croutons on salads and as "meat" balls for vegetarian pasta dishes. Be sure to bring your oil to the right heat before adding the poppers--if the oil is not hot enough, you will end up with a soggy, greasy mess instead of crisp poppers. Available at most stores that carry kitchen equipment for around $10, a kitchen thermometer is an incredibly worthy investment.
Candied Bacon Sticks with Garlic Butter Drizzle
Sweet and salty bacon wrapped around crunchy breadsticks makes for heaven on a stick. Crunchy, salty, and with just the right amount of garlic to give bacon the upper hand (not that it needs it) these crispy appetizers are the perfect way to get the party started. Thin breadsticks can be found in the cracker aisle at the grocery store, and be sure to use thin-sliced bacon to easily wrap around these breadsticks. Feeling even more daring? Uses these flavorful sticks to stir up a savory-sweet cocktail.
Creamy Chicken Alfredo Turnovers
Chicken Alfredo meets finger food in these buttery turnovers. Chopped rotisserie chicken and frozen puff pastry sheets are perfect shortcuts for this easy, crowd-pleasing appetizer. These impressive turnovers are perfect for gatherings, like holiday parties and tailgates, and come together at the last minute. Serve leftover filling with pasta to get even more mileage out of this recipe.
Mini Cheese Balls
Almond milk cream cheese is delicately nutty, with a buttery-rich texture and zero grams of sat fat. Find it at Whole Foods stores nationwide. You can substitute 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, which adds 1.6g sat fat to each serving.
Niçoise Gnocchi Salad
Haven’t made it to the grocery store in a minute? That doesn’t mean you can’t whip up an impressive dish. This lovely, snackable take on a salad Niçoise is composed largely from pantry items, like canned tuna and roasted red peppers, plus a couple of common refrigerator staples—frozen green beans and eggs. We use packaged gnocchi, shelf-stable gnocchi as a creative swap for the fresh potatoes typically found in a salad Niçoise. Dressed up with a super simple vinaigrette this “throw-together” salad could easily pass for a well-planned. In other words, keep this one in your back pocket for the next time you need a last-minute appetizer for entertaining.
Everything Cream Cheese Jalapeño Poppers
We all know that the addictiveness of the savory everything spice blend is amplified when paired with smooth cream cheese. Each popper is bursting with flavor and a variety of optional toppings keeps each bite interesting (and makes for a gorgeous platter). It seems you've found your new go-to party appetizer. Make sure that the jalapenos are par-cooked before adding the cream cheese filling to ensure that the cream cheese doesn't burn.
Beet Yogurt Dip
Harness beets' striking color and earthy-sweet flavor in this glorious spread inspired by Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. For a little extra heat, use up to 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper. You can try 1 1/2 teaspoons za'atar spice blend as a substitute for fresh thyme, but skip ground thyme because it lends a dirt-like taste. Serve with raw carrot slices, cucumber slices, pita bread, or rice crackers for scooping.
Fontina-And-Kale Mini Meatballs
These easy, cheesy meatballs are perfect for anything from a holiday party to a tailgating get-together—especially if you need to have a keto-friendly appetizer in the mix. The blend of Italian sausage and lean ground beef provide a great, flavorful base that isn’t overly greasy, and the kale and Fontina combo is a surefire crowd-pleaser.
Easy Party Pizza Sticks
If you’re searching for an easy and inexpensive appetizer for a crowd, the hunt stops here. These crispy, cheesy pizza sticks are the perfect snack to whip up for a Super Bowl spread, birthday party, or a casual family get-together. Besides being inherently kid-friendly, these tasty pizza sticks are endlessly customizable—just pile on your favorite toppings!
Skewered Persimmon and Herb Bites
The combination of persimmons with Southeast Asian herbs and dunk sauce comes as a surprise in these quick appetizers, and it's totally addictive. You'll need 20 short (3 1/2 in.) bamboo skewers; cut bigger ones if you can't find this size.
Greek Crab Dip
With the salty richness of feta cheese and brightness from fresh lemon juice and herbs, this is an incredible twist on a classic creamy crab dip. Lump crab meat gives the dip an added touch of decadence, but it could also be made with less-expensive claw meat. Served with warm, crusty baguette slices this savory crab dip is the perfect “something different” to bring to your next potluck or party.
Herbed Onion Parmesan Toasts
An all-Chardonnay blanc de blancs has an herbal quality that loves the green onions and dill in this appetizer, a brioche layer that echoes the toast itself, and a bright acidity that cuts through the rich mayo and cheese.
Saucy Mini Meatballs
Adding cinnamon gives these meatballs a slight Moroccan feel. You can make this a day ahead and reheat on the stovetop before the party. Using different types of beef adds moisture to the meatballs while keeping sat fat in check.
Frudité Platter with Mint-Lime Dip
For a show-stopping party appetizer or dessert that will appeal to both kids and adults, you can't go wrong with a fruit platter. Accompanied by an easy, ultra-creamy, homemade dipping sauce that's bursting with fresh lime and mint, this starter offers plenty of fruit combinations that are refreshing and sweet.
Mini Crab Cakes
The lemon rind garnish gives you a pop of flavor so you don't even need a sauce. If you don't love tarragon, use thyme.
Turmeric-Pickled Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs get way more interesting when the eggs are pickled in a tangy brine that also dyes them a lovely color. The brine features turmeric, an orange-fleshed root that lends the eggs golden color and a peppery taste that’s matched by curry flavors in the filling. The longer the eggs marinate in the brine, the firmer they become and the more vibrant the color gets. If you’d like a tangier flavor, use some of the brine to loosen the filling instead of water. To update the look of these eggs, we cut them in half crosswise instead of lengthwise; you’ll need to slice a tiny sliver off each end so the egg halves won’t wobble on the platter.
Miso Ranch Dip
Get ready—this dip is about to become your party go-to. It’s quick and easy to make, and you can serve it with any type of vegetable (we particularly like it with carrots, radishes, and cucumbers). Be sure not to puree the chives or pepper, as they will discolor your sauce. Use leftover dip as a spread for pulled pork, hamburgers, or other sandwiches, or thin it out with water or another tablespoon or two of buttermilk to dress lettuces.
Queso-Filled Mini Peppers
Tortilla chips usually go hand-in-hand with queso, but mini sweet peppers make a tasty and colorful bite-sized vessel for the rich cheese dip. Don’t worry if the queso looks a little broken when the cheese melts in the evaporated milk, the cream cheese will make it smooth again. Pickled jalapeños add a tangy note to the dip, but if you like your queso extra spicy, use finely chopped fresh jalapeños instead.
Easy Dinner Rolls
We took the classic spinach-artichoke dip and made it easier to enjoy while holding a cocktail. Try arugula instead of spinach for a peppery flavor.
Creamy Roasted Cauliflower and Onion Dip
Up the veggie presence in your next party spread with this cheesy, savory, so-snackable Roasted Cauliflower and Onion Dip. Inspired by a favorite Trader Joe’s frozen appetizer, this vegetarian dip is easy to make, but delivers big on flavor.
Mini Caprese Bites
Serve these mini tomato and mozzarella skewers in individual glasses as an appetizer at a seated dinner party, or arrange on a platter for your buffet. Fresh mozzarella bites, tomatoes, basil, and balsomic join forces for a summery, adorable appetizers that will have your guests swooning. Kids love the presentation, and the skewers allow for easy, mess-free eating. Caprese is always a party showstopper, and these cute mini-skewer ideas are no exception.
Pigs in an Everything Blanket with Cream Cheese Dip
Two finger food favorites collide as pigs in a blanket get an everything bagel makeover. Rather than the traditional canned biscuit or croissant dough, the "blanket" of this playful appetizer is made with fresh pizza dough that is first boiled, brushed with egg wash, and rolled in an "everything" seasoning blend (poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried minced onion, dried minced garlic, and coarse salt) before being baked. Using a yeasted dough and this double cooking method is what gives these tailgate-ready bites their bagel personality. Serve them up with a tangy cream cheese dip for a party-perfect snack platter.
Best Sausage Balls
There’s a universal attachment to these and the holidays. Everyone starts by rolling their eyes at the idea of them and then proceeds to eat at least 5.
French Onion Soup Bites
Easy to assemble and perfectly portable, these French Onion Soup bites are the perfect addition to any holiday party spread. They’re like your favorite Trader Joe’s freezer aisle find, but tastier.
Super Simple Pimiento Cheese
This foolproof recipe for classic pimiento cheese comes from Damaris Phillip's cookbook Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy: Down Home Classics for Vegetarians (and the Meat Eaters Who Love Them). The mainstay Southern cheese spread makes for an excellent appetizer served with crackers, and is equally delicious in recipes like this Pimiento Cheese Roasted Chicken.
Crescent Jalapeno Poppers
This unusual twist on chile poppers, with herb cheese and a dollop of sweet salsa, roll up fast with prepared Pillsbury® crescents dough.
Cheddar Cheese Straws
Cheesy Crab Artichoke Toasts
Save time the day of the party by preparing the crab mixture one day ahead. Cut and store the sliced bread in an airtight container until ready to assemble, and then broil as the recipe instructs shortly before party time.
Brie-and-Fig Puffed Pastry Bites
You don’t need a culinary degree and ample free time to create impressive appetizers for your next party. In fact, all you need is three simple ingredients and about ten minutes of hands-on work to whip up these easy and delectably cheesy bites. They’re yet another reason that puff pastry is the true MVP when it comes to entertaining.
Lasagna Dip With Pasta Chips
Olive Garden got this one right, folks—lasagna in dip form is all kinds of wonderful, especially served with freshly fried, crisp pasta chips. Trust us, this meaty, cheesy appetizer will be a welcome addition to any party.
Crispy Cauliflower Bites with Herbed Yogurt Dip
Even your most carnivorous meat-eating guests won’t be able to resist these crispy, spiced cauliflower bites. Offering the perfect balance of hearty crunch and bright, tangy sauciness, our cauli-bites are a grade-A vegetarian appetizer for entertaining, tailgating, and beyond. You can find berbere at supermarkets like Whole Foods or online; and if this Ethiopian spice blend is new to you, be prepared, you’re gonna wanna add it to everything.
These tender, buttery snack rolls are akin to cinnamon buns in structure… but they’re full-on pizza perfection in flavor. Using canned crescent roll dough and prepared marinara sauce keeps both the prep time and ingredient list short, making these cheesy, kid-friendly bites easy to whip up at a moment’s notice. Of course, you can also prep them ahead to enjoy as after-school snacks or on-the-go breakfasts throughout the week. Feel free to customize you homemade pizza rolls with your own favorite toppings.
Cranberry Baked Brie
Make an easy and elegant holiday appetizer by topping a round of baked Brie with sweetened cranberry sauce and toasted pecans. Serve with assorted crackers, gingersnaps, apple slices or pear slices.