The 60 Best Christmas Party Appetizers, Hands Down, No Contest
You’ve got the cocktails covered. Now it’s time for the Christmas party appetizers, aka the real reason everyone loves a good gathering so much. Complement your festive fête with these 60 culinary showstoppers.
1. Spicy Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs
Sweet, salty and spicy: They're the full package.
2. Baked Brie with Figs, Pistachios and Orange
Orange cuts through the creaminess of the brie, so this dish won't weigh you down.
3. French Onion Cups
Your favorite cheesy soup, now in bite-size form.
5. Classy Cheese Balls
You’ll win with one—or all three. Take your pick from everything bagel-goat cheese, lemon-dill cheddar or pomegranate blue cheese.
6. Roasted Mixed Nuts
Warning: It's practically impossible to stop at one handful.
7. Acorn Squash & Caramelized Onion Dip
Caramelized onion dip is a must-have party appetizer; acorn squash is the fresh twist you didn't know you needed.
8. Crispy Parmesan Brussels Sprouts Bites
Dish them up with tangy dipping sauce and toothpicks.
9. Caramelized Onion, Spinach and Cheddar Pastries
So flaky, so savory.
10. Easy Skillet Mushroom and Gouda Fondue
We will eat cheese dip anytime, anywhere. Double up on the crostini.
12. Roasted Herbed Veggie Chips
Sneak in a serving of vegetables with these addictive crunchers.
13. Goat Cheese-Stuffed Figs with Pancetta
Careful, these will disappear fast.
15. Bacon Blue Deviled Eggs with Roasted Garlic and Asparagus
This one’s all about presentation.
16. Baked Mac and Cheese Bites
No offense to our beloved Kraft box, but these delectable bites take our forever favorite to a whole new level.
18. Grilled Cheese Crostini
A simple way to dress up Brie.
19. Caramel Dip
Fact: Guests love dipping stuff in other stuff. Good thing this salty-sweet star is versatile enough to pair with pretzels or sliced fruit.
20. Prosciutto Bites
Don’t mind us. We live under the appetizer table now.
21. Brie-Stuffed Pretzel Bites
Skip the neon nacho cheese dip. These salty gems are stuffed with creamy Brie instead.
22. Bacon, Onion and Asiago Fondue
How can you go wrong with a skillet of melted cheese? Skip the skewers and serve with crackers, bread and Granny Smith apple slices.
23. Carrot Pigs in a Blanket
Make sure your guests don't lose their appetites before dinner with this vegetarian alternative to cocktail weenies.
24. Cranberry-Brie Pie Crust Bites
Because the recipe calls for store-bought dough and prepared cranberry sauce, this starter will only take you 15 minutes to pull together.
25. Cheesy Polenta Bites with Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta
Tangy goat cheese is just the match for crispy, cornbread-like baked polenta rounds.
26. Baby Blooming Onion Recipe
Your local steakhouse will miss you. The dipping sauce will taste amazing on fries, too.
27. Boursin Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Bacon
The hardest thing you'll have to do is wait for the onions to caramelize.
28. Slow-Cooker Chicken Potpie Soup
Even the coldest December weather is no match for this hug in a bowl.
29. Christmas Guacamole
Pomegranate seeds and toasted pepitas give this classic app a holiday makeover.
30. Mushroom Bruschetta with Brie, Sage and Truffle Oil
It's the most elegant starter you'll ever serve—and one of the best uses for crusty bread we've come across.
31. Easy Candied Walnuts
Who knew you could make something this addictively delicious in 10 minutes?
32. Healthy French Onion Dip with Leeks and Shallots
Go ahead and prepare a second batch. The first will only last about 30 seconds.
33. Eggnog Bread
Call it breakfast, call it dessert. Either way, the eggnog glaze will win your heart at first bite.
34. Brussels Sprout and Apple Tart with Walnut Pesto
Don't worry about making homemade puff pastry. The produce is what makes this starter shine.
35. Maple Pecan Baked Brie
Just combine five ingredients and bake until the Brie is soft.
36. Mini Mason Jar Chicken Potpies
Admit it: You've never seen a casserole this tiny (or adorable).
37. Instant Pot Spicy Thai Butternut Squash Soup
Do you always have a tough time cutting squash? A few minutes in the microwave will make it soft and a breeze to chop.
38. Bleu Cheese Stuffed Figs
A 15-minute appetizer that sounds like something you'd order at a fancy restaurant? Check.
39. Kale Salad with Persimmons, Crispy Chickpeas and Fried Shallots
Sure, you could make kale Caesar salad. Again. Or, you can upgrade to baked chickpeas, dried apricots and persimmons, aka a winter fruit that's almost like a cross between a roasted sweet pepper and a mango.
40. Prosciutto and Fig Salad Board
Don't let all the good stuff get stuck at the bottom of the serving bowl. A pretty cutting board can fix that.
41. Bacon, Fig and Ricotta Tartines
The only thing easier than baking this half-hour wonder? Devouring it.
42. Baked Brie with Cranberries and Pomegranate
Between the pecans, pomegranate arils, orange zest and rosemary, this app simply screams Christmas.
44. Slow-Cooker French Onion Soup
Set it and forget it never sounded this promising.
45. Ginger Fig Tart with Chestnut-Almond Crust
It's vegan, gluten-free and filled with the nuttiest, spiciest vanilla-ginger cashew cream.
46. Cranberry-Brie Puff-Pastry Pops
These grown-up lollies are made with frozen puff pastry, prepared cranberry sauce and Brie, so all you'll have to do is assemble and bake.
47. Winter Cheese Board
It's got everything from kumquats to aged cheddar to pistachios. But the best part of this cheese board is that it's no-cook.
48. Stuffed Fig Focaccia Bread
This golden-brown loaf is studded with figs, blue cheese, prosciutto and herbs.
49. Tortellini Soup with Italian Sausage
A soul-warming starter that costs less than $5 per serving? Don't mind if we do.
50. The Best Damn Tomato Soup
You so don't need to settle for the canned stuff. Especially when making it from scratch is this simple.
51. Harvest Cranberry, Persimmon and Burrata Salad
Sure, it sounds delicious already. But just wait until you taste the cranberry-balsamic dressing.
52. Mini Apple Tarts
Want to know our secret to making the cutest tiny tartlets you ever did see? Baking them in mason jar lids.
53. Mashed Potato Fritters with Smoked Salmon and Chives
They'll get snatched up in no time during cocktail hour. But they'd also make a killer impression at Christmas brunch.
54. Cheese Crostini with Cranberry Fig Jam
The homemade jam is as simple as combining cranberries, dried figs and pantry basics over the stove until thick and shimmery.
55. Delicata Squash Rings with Garlic-Lemon Sauce
It's not like this autumn gourd goes out of style come December. In fact, it's striped skin makes these handhelds timeless.
56. Brussels Sprouts Latkes
In case your Christmas party could use a hint of Hanukkah.
57. Persimmon, Fried Sage and Goat Cheese Bites
Five ingredients + 15 minutes = sweet-and-salty bliss.
58. Beet, Carrot and Pomegranate Salad
The dressing couldn't be more basic. It lets the vibrant winter produce speak for itself.
59. Eggplant Parm Bites
The kids' favorite dinner, only poppable and twice as crunchy.
60. Christmas Cookie Dough Dip
Scoop it up with cookies, graham crackers, pretzels or fruit. Did we mention it'll only take you 5 minutes?
Additional reporting by Alexandra Hough