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65 Christmas Snacks Even the Busiest Hosts Can Pull Off

Including this gorgeous cheese board

christmas snacks universal
Damn Delicious

So, you’ve figured out exactly how you’re going to cook the ham this year and have an epic list of sugar cookie recipes to tackle for dessert. But what’s everyone going to eat while they’re chatting in the living room, opening presents or waiting for dinner to be served? Problem solved: We found 65 foolproof Christmas snacks that take hardly any time or effort to prepare. Think everything from roasted veggie chips and Oreo-stuffed brownies to dill pickle snack mix and over-the-top charcuterie boards. Consider each one a delicious holiday miracle.

65 Christmas Eve Dinner Ideas That Take One Hour or Less


1. Charcuterie Board with Black Pepper–Honey Brie, Figs and Rosemary

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, no cook, beginner-friendly, special occasion-worthy

Ah, cheese boards: They're classy, endlessly riffable and don't require a moment of cooking. Most importantly, it's one app all your guests can get behind.

2. Dill Pickle Snack Mix

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients, make ahead

The secret ingredients (aka dried dill and vinegar powder) in this cheesy, crunchy masterpiece make it pleasantly briny and dangerously irresistible. Melted butter helps the seasoning cling to the pretzels, Chex and Cheez-Its.

3. Crunchy Okra Fries

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, vegetarian

Thanks to rice flour and curry powder in the batter, the okra fries turn out impeccably crisp and flavorful, despite being baked. Serve them with garlickly mayonnaise for dipping and a flourish of fresh cilantro.

4. ‘Swicy’ Caramel Corn

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, vegetarian, make ahead, beginner-friendly

Sweet and salty is a no-brainer. But sweet and spicy? That's plain revelatory. Go wild with the cayenne pepper if you'd like the popcorn extra hot.

5. Classy Cheese Balls

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, no cook

You only *think* cheese balls are tacky. A few modern toppings, like pomegranate arils and fresh dill, are here to prove you wrong. Take your pick of everything bagel-goat cheese, lemon-dill cheddar and pomegranate-blue cheese (or go with all three).

6. Roasted Veggie Chips

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, vegan, beginner-friendly

Beets, parsnips and radishes have never looked this appetizing. Chalk it up to a melange of fresh herbs, flaky salt and a few cracks of fresh black pepper.

7. Baked Chicken and Ricotta Meatballs

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why I Love It: high protein, beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser

The earthy, charred broccolini is just a bonus. Serve the meatballs over rice, in broth or solo with toothpicks. No matter what route you take, be sure to use every drop of the charred lemon juice.

8. Cranberry-Brie Pie Crust Bites

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients

A classy appetizer in 15 minutes flat? Sounds like a job for store-bought pie crust. We won't tell if you double the shortcuts with store-bought cranberry sauce either.

9. Easy Skillet Mushroom and Gouda Fondue

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: one pan, <10 ingredients, special occasion-worthy

You truly can't go wrong with a skillet of bubbly, melted cheese. Serve the fondue with sliced bread, green apples and raw veggies for dipping (or steak, if you're feeling fancy).

10. Cheesy Bacon Holiday Crack

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, <10 ingredients

Sweet, salty, herbaceous and addictively crunchy, this appetizer will become a staple at your holiday shindig at first bite. Just FYI, this Christmas snack will last about 30 seconds at the kids' table.

11. Holiday Cheese Board

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: no cook, <30 minutes, beginner-friendly, special occasion-worthy

Cheese boards are not only stunning, but they often don't require a moment of cooking. Simply assemble and prepare for your wintry creation to be featured on every one of your friends’ Insta stories.

12. Deviled Eggs 3 Ways

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, vegetarian, special occasion-worthy

This old-school starter just got the facelift it deserves. Your guests can choose from Dijon, roasted garlic, crispy capers and spicy sriracha (or better yet, sample all four...).

13. Baked Coconut Shrimp

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: sheet pan recipe, high protein, kid-friendly, gluten free

Honestly, we’d eat coconut shrimp on any day of the year. But it’s Christmas, so we’re having seconds. And thirds. Don't skimp on the swicy dipping sauce (it's nothing but honey and chili paste).

14. The Best No-Bake Haystack Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly, make ahead

No-bake cookies shave precious time off the whole holiday bake sale dilemma. Even better, these dressed-up chow mein noodles only require four additional ingredients to transform. Phew, Katie Workman to the rescue.

15. Easy Candied Walnuts

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, vegetarian, beginner-friendly

A knock at the door? Toss together Maria Lichty’s candied walnuts in ten minutes and hit your unexpected guest with a casual, “Oh, so good of you to drop by. Would you like a snack?”

16. Small-Batch Chocolate Guinness Cake

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, special occasion-worthy

Beer bread takes on new meaning with this chocolate Guinness stout cake that’s decadent and elegant enough to serve for the holidays (and easy on the host, too). Bonus? You'll only need nine ingredients to make it.

17. Simple Vegan Creamed Spinach

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, vegan, dairy free

Everyone will love Gena Hamshaw’s ingenious appetizer (made with tofu and nutritional yeast instead of dairy). We promise the cheese lovers at the table will never know the difference. Serve with toasted pita, pretzel chips or crudités.

18. Crispy Baked Chickpeas

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 5 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, sheet pan recipe

If you’re tired of bar nuts, these crunchy baked chickpeas are packed with spices and ready to devour in less than an hour. Choose from curry powder, shawarma spice blend or straight-up chili powder.

19. French Onion Cups

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: kid-friendly, special occasion-worthy, beginner-friendly

Anything is possible with store-bought pastry dough. Now, go enjoy your holiday party with these soup-inspired bites that somehow make your favorite cold-weather soup even more comforting.

20. Lamb Chops with Crispy Shallots and Pomegranate Sauce

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, high protein, special occasion-worthy

Hearty Christmas snacks are great for balancing out all the holiday sweets—and let’s be real, the alcohol. Plus, these chops only take 25 minutes to prepare, despite looking like they took you all night. Your secret is safe with us.

21. Easy Yogurt Fruit Dip

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, no cook

Heidi Larsen, you’re a genius. This three-ingredient dip takes minutes to make, and guests who have been to three holiday parties in one week will secretly appreciate the fresh fruit. You can even make it ahead to check one task off your to-do list early.

22. Fluffy Beer Biscuits

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, make ahead

These little guys are like savory muffins spiked with beer. In other words, they're our newest holiday tradition. They're prime for dragging through any gravy left on your plate.

23. Everything Bagel Pigs in a Blanket with Cheater’s Aioli

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

Between the store-bought crescent dough and garlicky cheater's dip, this take on a timeless hors d'oeuvre couldn't be any simpler. We guarantee it'll be a home run at the kids' table.

24. Ham Sweet Potato Frittata

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, make ahead, beginner-friendly

Our favorite way to clean out the fridge? Throw all your leftover veggies, cheese and meat into a frittata for a quick and easy appetizer (or Christmas morning breakfast). Thank us later.

25. Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, make ahead, <10 ingredients

Stash this recipe where you can easily access it. It will quickly become your holiday go-to, whether you decorate the cookies with frosting, Nutella or every sprinkle your kids can get their hands on.

26. Buffalo Chicken Bites with Blue Cheese Dressing

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: high protein, one pot, beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser

There’s no deep-frying involved in making these stovetop chicken bites, which are doused in Buffalo sauce. Just add blue cheese and a side of celery or carrots for dipping.

27. Christmas Guacamole

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, no cook, <30 minutes, make ahead

Guacamole’s allure extends far beyond taco Tuesday—so much so that we saved a spot for it on this year's holiday menu. Gaby Dalkin tops the avocado dip with pomegranate seeds for a festive finishing touch.

28. Christmas Cookie Dough Dip

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, no cook, beginner-friendly, make ahead, kid-friendly

Way, way faster than baking a batch of cookies, yet just as satisfying. The dip calls on cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar for tang, decadence and sweetness.

29. Cranberry Orange White Chocolate Fudge

  • Time Commitment: 4 hours and 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, make ahead, one pot

Five ingredients, a few minutes of prep and a gorgeous final product? We’re making this gorgeous five-ingredient treat for everyone on our list. (P.S.: It makes a great last-minute hostess gift.)

30. Turkey and Kale Butternut Squash Egg Muffins

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, gluten free, Paleo-friendly

Gluten-free, dairy-free and Paleo—Ali Maffucci’s egg muffins work for plenty of your guests’ dietary restrictions. Substitute ground chicken, beef or tofu if that's what you have on hand.

31. Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, no bake, beginner-friendly, gluten free

If you’re feeling stressed about hosting this year, you'll want this sweet on your side. You likely already have all the ingredients you need to make them. (There are only eight, after all.)

32. Eggnog Bread

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: make ahead, crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

Maria Lichty’s eggnog quick bread can be served as breakfast, an appetizer or dessert, making it one of the most versatile Christmas snacks for a busy hostess. Wash it down with mulled cider, a gingerbread latte or spiked eggnog.

33. Roasted Squash and Pepita Pesto Dip

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: vegan, beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser, make ahead

Big party? Don’t sweat it. Aida Mollenkamp’s roasted squash and pumpkin seed pesto dip serves up to 12 guests. Roast the butternut ahead to save time before the party.

34. Oreo-Stuffed Brownies

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why I Love It: kid-friendly, beginner-friendly, make ahead, crowd-pleaser

Cookies or brownies? We vote both. Bonus points: These Oreo-stuffed goodies are ready in less than an hour. We're betting St. Nick won't mind getting a couple of these in place of sugar cookies.

35. Mac and Cheese Cups

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why I Love It: kid-friendly, beginner-friendly, make ahead, vegetarian

If it were up to us, we’d eat mac and cheese for every meal. Get one step closer by making your favorite dinner a finger food. Baking the bites in a muffin tin ensures a crispy exterior and tender interior.

36. Loaded Christmas Tree Bark

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, make ahead, crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy

You probably remember a neighbor always gifting you Christmas bark. It’s a tried-and-true holiday recipe for a reason. Give it a festive twist by adding sprinkles, crushed Oreos or candy canes and white chocolate chips to the mix.

37. Salty, Sweet and Smoky Popcorn Snack Mix

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, <30 minutes, make ahead

Liz Harris’s savory and sweet snack mix—including popcorn, cranberries and smoked almonds—can be made two days in advance. It's a great addition to a fancy cheese board, if we do say so ourselves.

38. Tahini Buckeyes

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: make ahead, special occasion-worthy, <10 ingredients, gluten free

Does it get more classic than this Christmas snack? We think not. Jess Larson’s buckeye balls get a nut-free update, courtesy of tahini. That means they’re likely safe for everyone at the school holiday party.

39. Mom’s Easy Fudge Recipe

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours and 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly, make ahead

Let your refrigerator do the work when you whip up Heidi Larsen’s homemade fudge. You can prepare it up to a week ahead if you store it in the fridge until serving, BTW.

40. Roasted Mixed Nuts

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: make ahead, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, vegan, <30 minutes

The best pairing for a winter cocktail: a handful of mixed nuts. Make your own in just 15 minutes flat with pantry spices and a trio of fresh herbs (oregano! thyme! rosemary!).

41. Avocado Toast with Persimmon, Pomegranate and Fennel

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, <30 minutes, no cook, beginner-friendly, vegetarian

A healthy Christmas snack that includes seasonal ingredients like persimmon and pomegranate, all atop a trusty breakfast favorite. Cut the souped-up toast into bite-size triangles and boom: It's an appetizer.

42. Mushroom Bruschetta with Triple-Creme Brie, Sage and Truffle Oil

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, vegetarian, beginner-friendly, special occasion-worthy

Our favorite recipes are those that look fancier and more complicated than they really are. Case in point: These truffley, buttery bites, starring everyone's favorite soft cheese.

43. Healthy French Onion Dip with Leeks and Shallots

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, gluten free, vegetarian, crowd-pleaser, make ahead

Powdery soup mix? Surely you jest. (JK, we *love* that stuff, too.) You can make French onion dip from scratch in just 30 minutes. Phoebe Lapine will show you how.

44. Goat Cheese-Stuffed Figs with Pancetta

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser

An elegant bite that requires minimal cooking? That's just what the doctor ordered. Take your pick of pancetta or bacon for the topping—just ensure it's cooked until shatteringly crisp.

45. Crispy Mushrooms

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, vegan,

You only think you don't like mushrooms. Slow-roasted to crunchy, umami-laced perfection and season with flaky salt and fresh parsley, they're pretty darn irresistible.

46. Spicy Glazed Meatballs

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein, special occasion-worthy

Stick them with toothpicks so your guests can easily help themselves. Also, be sure to serve them with plenty of napkins—that zingy, sticky glaze gets deliciously messy.

47. Holiday Baked Brie

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: special occasion-worthy, beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients, vegetarian

Yup, we're hanging this masterpiece on the front door instead this year. Olives and pickled peppers offer briny brightness to decadent cheese and savory dough bites.

48. Honey Ricotta Dip

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, one bowl

We'd be lying if we said we weren't tempted to dive face-first into this seven-ingredient prize. But fine, we'll spread it on crackers (or dunk into it with crostini) if we must.

49. Crispy Parmesan Brussels Sprout Bites

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, vegetarian

Your favorite winter veggie is all zhuzhed up for the big day. Fair warning: You'll want to slather the Dijon-lemon dip on everything.

50. Sweet Potato Crostini

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion-worthy, beginner-friendly

Swapping traditional bread for roasted sweet potato slices makes these paper-thin goodies look so sophisticated. Take your pick of smoked salmon and cranberry-almond toppings.

51. Coconut Choux Bites

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, <10 ingredients, special occasion-worthy

They're like super crunchy, lightly sweetened cream puffs, but instead of cream filling, they're rolled in coconut and pearl sugar. Did we mention the recipe will leave you with 50 cookies in 45 minutes?

52. Pear, Brie and Rosemary Flatbreads

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, special occasion-worthy, vegetarian

Wondering how this 15-minute gem is even possible? Store-bought naan is the key to speedy prep. The rest is all low-lift assembly.

53. Easy Baked Goat Cheese Marinara Dip

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, vegetarian

The beyond-simple homemade sauce has store-bought marinara beat by a mile. Make sure you serve the dip with plenty of bread (perhaps garlic bread?) for generous scooping.

54. Peanut Butter Dip

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, no bake, <10 ingredients

Served alongside a pile of pretzels, this dip is a one-way ticket to sweet-and-salty bliss. Think tangy cream cheese, silky peanut butter and fluffy whipped topping.

55. Roasted Winter Vegetable Platter with Miso Aioli and Romesco Sauce

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why I Love It: vegetarian, dairy free, special occasion-worthy

Raw sliced veggies are a lot more fitting in the summertime. Roasting them is a more mouthwatering approach in the colder months—and this photo-worthy platter is proof.

56. Beet Hummus

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, no cook, vegan, crowd-pleaser

Pair this pretty-in-pink Christmas snack with cucumbers for a vibrant play on the red-and-green color scheme. It's a breeze to prepare ahead for painless hosting.

57. Strawberry, Cardamom and Pistachio Pavlova Bites

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours and 25 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <10 ingredients, gluten free, special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser

Crispy, light as air and fancy enough to serve to Santa himself, these nine-ingredient meringues are worth the elbow grease. (They're way easy on the eyes to boot.)

58. Caramelized Onion, Spinach and Cheddar Pastries

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, special occasion-worthy

So flaky, so savory...sorry, are we drooling? These puff pastry bites are a much welcome addition to any Christmas snack spread.

59. Mini Chocolate Snowball Cakes

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Why I Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, make ahead

These snow-like confections taste like straight-up nostalgia. Now when a Hostess snack cake craving strikes, you'll know exactly what to do.

60. Swirled Tahini Cups

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, make ahead

These candies may look gourmet, but they're actually a breeze to prepare—even for newbies. Simply pipe the filling into the chocolate and swirl, then let the oohs and ahhs roll in.

61. Star Bread

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours
  • Why I Love It: special occasion-worthy, crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients

Your guests might not believe this work of art is homemade. The best part? Each and every inch of the delicacy is filled with Nutella.

62. Mexican Street Corn Deviled Eggs

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why I Love It: beginner-friendly, make ahead, gluten free

Fancy-looking, reminiscent of summer and beyond easy—where do we sign? Those deviled egg purists won't know what hit their taste buds.

63. Caesar Salad Wonton Cups

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why I Love It: <30 minutes, vegetarian, kid-friendly

Salads don't have to be boring...some come in a fried wonton package. Even picky kids might get down with this crispy, decadent twist on Caesar.

64. Sausage-and-Egg Breakfast Dumplings

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why I Love It: kid-friendly, make ahead, beginner-friendly

This will be a Christmas brunch staple forever and always. Your family will be asking for it every year, trust. Dunk 'em in ketchup, sriracha mayo or sweet chili sauce.

65. Falafel Patties

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Why I Love It: make-ahead, kid-friendly

They may not be typical Christmas fare, but they're a reliable vegetarian option for those don't eat meat or dairy. Serve them with hummus, spicy mayo or tzatziki.

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Taryn Pire is PureWow’s associate food editor. A former bartender and barista, she’s been writing about all things delicious since 2016, developing recipes, reviewing restaurants and investigating food trends at Food52, New Jersey Family Magazine and Taste Talks. When she isn’t testing TikTok’s latest viral recipe, she’s having popcorn for dinner and posting about it on Instagram @cookingwithpire.


taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...

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Freelance PureWow Editor