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).
1. Spicy Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs
Sweet, salty and spicy: They're the full package.
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.
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?
15. Bacon Blue Deviled Eggs with Roasted Garlic and Asparagus
A quintessential party snack, elevated. This rendition is all about presentation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
38. Bleu Cheese Stuffed Figs
A 15-minute appetizer that sounds like something you'd order at a fancy restaurant? Check.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.