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The 73 Best Christmas Party Appetizers, Hands Down, No Contest

You’ve got the cocktails, mains and desserts figured out for your big Christmas dinner. Now, it’s time to nail down the hors d’oeuvres, aka the real reason everyone loves the holidays. To complement your wintry fête, we’ve rounded up the most delicious Christmas party appetizers—like seasonal flatbreads, baked cheese dips and savory one-bite recipes—that are sure to impress your loved ones. Whether your crew is into light dishes, like persimmon goat cheese bites and kale salad, or heartier recipes, like mini chicken potpies and cheesy polenta bites, there’s something for everyone on your guest list. Then, all that will be left to decide is which holiday cookies to serve (we’re partial to these gingerbread lattice cuties, BTW).

46 Easy Christmas Treats the Whole Family Can Help Make


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.

4. Roasted Cauliflower

Our go-to vegetable does it again. Plenty of Parmesan cheese takes this humble, healthy starter over the top.

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. Use any combination of nuts that you'd like, but we used almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews and pistachios.

7. Acorn Squash & Caramelized Onion Dip

Caramelized onion dip is a must-have party appetizer. (And acorn squash is the fresh twist you didn't know you needed.)

8. Crispy Parmesan Brussels Sprouts Bites

Dish them up with tangy lemon-Dijon dipping sauce and toothpicks.

9. Caramelized Onion, Spinach And Cheddar Pastries

So flaky, so savory. They're pretty enough that your guests will think you ordered them from a fancy bakery.

11. Artichoke Dip Bites

These dough-wrapped dip bites are almost too cute to eat. Almost.

12. Roasted Herbed Veggie Chips

Sneak in a serving of vegetables with these addictively crunchy chips.

13. Goat Cheese-stuffed Figs With Pancetta

Careful, these will be devoured fast. Might we suggest preparing two batches?

14. Crispy Mushrooms

All aboard the umami express.

15. Bacon Blue Deviled Eggs With Roasted Garlic And Asparagus

A quintessential party snack, elevated. This rendition is all about presentation.

16. Baked Mac And Cheese Bites

No offense to our beloved Kraft mac, but these delectable bites take our forever favorite to a whole new level.

18. Grilled Cheese Crostini

A simple way to dress up Brie. Use a grill pan to get char marks on the bread without ever stepping foot outside.

19. Caramel Dip

Fact: Guests love dipping stuff in other stuff. Good thing this salty-sweet star is versatile enough to pair with pretzels *and* 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 dish this decadent? Skip the skewers and serve it 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 arils and toasted pepitas give this classic guac 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 dangerously poppable in ten 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

Some call it breakfast, some call it dessert. We think it's a great anytime snack (including before dinner), and once you try that eggnog glaze, we know you'll agree.

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.

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. Or, you can upgrade to baked chickpeas, dried apricots and persimmons (it's a winter fruit that's like a cross between a roasted sweet pepper and a mango, BTW).

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.

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 soup 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 on 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.

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 five minutes to make?

61. Roasted Sweet Potato And Caramelized Onion Flatbread

A seasonal twist on a party classic that everyone can get behind—even picky kids.

62. Italian Deli Pinwheel Sandwiches

Not all hors d'oeuvres have to be fancy. These cute little wraps are as basic as they come, but we’re willing to bet they’ll be gone in ten minutes or less.

63. Spicy Ricotta-stuffed Phyllo Rolls

Hummus and pita? Boring. Jazz things up with these irresistible, unexpected phyllo rolls with ricotta and Peppadew peppers.

65. Scallion And Chive Flatbread

The quickest way to make anything fancy for the holidays? Add edible flowers.

66. Pepper Teigen’s Thai Glazed Ribs

How are these sweet-and-savory ribs ready to eat in just 40 minutes, you ask? They're deep-fried instead of smoked or grilled.

67. Jammy Upside-down Onion Tart

Just look at those caramelized cuties. Store-bought puff pastry makes this recipe both fancy looking *and* lightning fast.

68. Carrot, Fennel And Miso Soup

Complete with pumpkin seed-pine nut crunch. A swirl of coconut yogurt or heavy cream won't hurt either.

69. Ritz Crackers With Whipped Honey Ricotta And Bacon

Call it a Christmas miracle: This no-cook appetizer will be ready to serve in just 15 minutes. Bonus points for candying the bacon in maple syrup and brown sugar.

70. Five-minute Bean Salad

If you're *really* behind schedule, let canned white beans come to the rescue. They're combined with fresh herbs, sliced almonds and a few pantry staples to create the simplest starter of all time.

71. Ginger-scallion Chicken Meatballs With Sesame-soy Glaze

Sure, we like serving these on a bed of rice with sliced cucumbers, carrots and slaw. But the meatballs can totally hold their own at cocktail hour. Stick them with toothpicks for easy grabbing and serve them with plenty of napkins.

72. Feta Wrapped In Phyllo With Sesame And Honey

It'll disappear in five minutes if served as an appetizer, but this dish also works as a dessert if you serve it with fruit and wine.

73. Sweet Potato Biscuit Rolls With Honey Butter Glaze

Let us repeat: Honey. Butter. Glaze. These rolls are like a hybrid of a crispy biscuit and a soft bun.

Additional reporting by Alexandra Hough


For even more great recipes, check out our first cookbook, Only the Good Stuff.