Our Favorite Foods for a Holiday Party
When you think about food all day long, it's hard for a dish to win 5-star praise. Believe us when we say these holiday party starters are best in class.
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.
"This is one of the earliest holiday appetizers I can remember from childhood. Sharp cheddar is my all time favorite cheese and the sausage adds a little heat to lift your spirits. It also helps that they are bite size so you can easily pop one in while you grab another!" -Jim Sheetz, Production Manager MyRecipes.com
Pepper Jelly-Goat Cheese Cakes
“Southern Living's Pepper Jelly – Goat Cheese Cakes are always a crowd pleaser. It's hard to beat the flavor of tangy goat cheese with sweet, hot pepper jelly. These perfectly sized, showy bites that can be made a day ahead, might be the perfect party appetizer. Try them with a variety of pepper jellies. Right now, I'm in love with Mango Peach Habanero Jelly from Hot Damn! JellyCo.” –Jason Burnett, Editor MyRecipes.com
Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschetta
"Believe it or not, this is actually the first Cooking Light recipe I ever made. My college roommate and I made it one evening for a get-together at our apartment and I've been making it ever since! The sweet-savory-tangy combo is divine and it's impressive yet incredibly easy to make. If I'm in a hurry, I just pick up a jar of fig preserves at the grocery store (shhh)." -Mallory Brasseale, CookingLight.com Editor
Flamin' Hot Cheetos Stuffed Jalapeños
Seared Beef Tenderloin Mini Sandwiches with Mustard-Horseradish Sauce
"I like to serve an appetizer that can be filling and flavorful. This elegant, easy appetizer makes the most of pricy beef tenderloin by shaving it thinly for the sandwiches."-Ashley Kappel, Production Editor MyRecipes.com
Spinach Artichoke Dip
Classic Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs never go out of style, and this recipe for Classic Deviled Eggs is one that every Southern cook should master.
Warm Cranberry-Walnut Brie
"As soon as this dish comes out of the oven my family and I fight like sharks to get the perfect gooey bite. Nothing like stabbing your brother in the hand with the sharp edge of a cracker to promote holiday cheer, but it's just that good." -Erin McFarland, Assistant Editor MyRecipes.com
Cranberry-Goat Cheese Pinwheels
Entertaining is stressful enough (especially during the holidays)—keep the party starters simple. Tangy goat cheese dresses up canned crescent dough and canned cranberry sauce like you wouldn’t believe in these easy, 3-ingredient appetizers.
Pepita Pesto-Stuffed Mushrooms
“Every time a plate of stuffed mushrooms comes out on the floor, my husband and I immediately race to the platter to scoop up the succulent, flavorful bites. In our opinion, no party is complete without them.”- Rebecca Longshore, Production Assistant MyRecipes.com
Endive Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Walnuts
"Every bite packs a contrast of sweet, salty, tangy, bitter, creamy, and crunchy. They're easy to make, and I love to double the candied walnuts and save for another use such as salad toppings."–Mary Creel
Pancetta Crisps With Goat Cheese and Pear
"I always look for quick appetizers with short ingredient lists when I throw a party, so the Pancetta Crisps With Goat Cheese and Pear is a perfect pick. The touch of honey with the pancetta and pear make for a winning combination of tastes and textures."–Ashley Leath
Simply the Best Guacamole
Always remember: The best guacamole is the simplest guacamole.
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.
Air Fried Buffalo Wings
Skip the deep frying mess and pull out the air fryer instead. With skin this crisp, your Super Bowl party people will never know the difference.
"I made the Cranberry Liqueur to take to my sister's house in Georgia where my entire family was gathering. (Be prepared: It has to 'ferment' for a few weeks.) Before Christmas dinner I made up the Cranberry Cosmopolitans that are a serving suggestion with the recipe, and they were a hit. For a housewarming gift, I gave my sister some martini glasses to serve the drinks in."–Mary Creel
Feta Cheese Truffles
"Serve a tray of these truffles with various veggies and crackers for an affordable variation on the traditional cheese plate. Have fun with the toppings by rolling the truffles in chopped parsley, basil, toasted pecans, or bacon." Holley Johnson
Peppered Three-Onion Tart with Smoked Salmon
"One of my favorite recipes–Peppered Three Onion Tart with Smoked Salmon–gets multitasked into an appetizer, a side dish, or perhaps a brunch dish. It's so good I have to make more than I think I'll need because it disappears fast."–Julia Rutland
Air-Fried Mozzarella Sticks
These homemade mozzarella sticks offer all of the crispy-coated, cheesy goodness you want without the deep-fried mess on your stovetop. We like to call that a “win-win.”
Be sure to add the raspberry sorbet right before you serve this festive nonalcoholic choice.
Four-Seed Cheddar Triangles
"I usually make a double batch of these because I'll eat a lot of them myself! This recipe bumps ho-hum plain cheese straws into a more sophisticated category. They're great to look at, and even better to munch on. Always a crowd favorite." -Donna Florio