Here's my top make-ahead appetizer. My three kids are old enough to cook these themselves, right from the freezer. They're a lot more nutritious than the ones you get at a restaurant. —Marisa Raponi, Vaughan, Ontario
Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay is known for crabs, and they’re a big favorite of ours. When fresh crabmeat is available, we’ll use it in this dip, but canned works just as well. This appetizer is nice for any holiday or gathering.
"We’re a family that loves snacks," explains Judy Armstrong of Prairieville, Louisiana, "and I combined some of our favorite ingredients in this fast, easy and delicious recipe. Great for entertaining, it can be prepared ahead of time and browned just before guests arrive. It’s quickly doubled for a crowd and extra special with marinara sauce."
"I found this recipe in one of my mother’s old cookbooks and updated the flavor by adding cayenne and mustard," recalls Jamie Wetter of Boscobel, Wisconsin. "Tasty and quick for this busy season, these tender, golden puffs go together in minutes and simply disappear at parties!"
Here’s a party appetizer that’s delicious and so simple. Rotisserie (or leftover) chicken keeps it quick, and the seasonings and splash of lime juice lend fantastic flavor. My husband likes this snack so much that he often requests it for dinner! —Gail Cawsey, Geneseo, Illinois
These mini frittatas are a cinch to make and just delicious. They're a "must" to try if you're tired of the same old party fare. I am always asked for the recipe! It doubles easily for a crowd and even freezes well. —Nancy Statkevicus, Tucson, Arizona
This convenient and colorful party classic from Linda Austin in Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey, can be made several days in advance. In fact, it actually tastes better if prepared ahead so all the fresh flavors can blend together. Best served at room temperature with a crusty loaf of toasted French bread or your favorite crackers.
Once you try these mini-sized calzones, you may never go back to the large ones. Not only do these pretty bites take advantage of convenient refrigerator crescent rolls, but they can be made ahead and popped in the oven right before company arrives. No one can eat just one and people love the cheesy, fresh taste! —Lisa Smith, Bryan, Ohio
"My husband, Jamie, and I love to entertain," explains Heather Courtney in Ames, Iowa, "and this hearty, 7-ingredient dip is always a hit…as well as a request. It couldn’t be much easier to put together, and using our slow cooker leaves us free to share some quality time with our guests. After all, isn't that the purpose of a holiday party?"
Here’s a festive twist on traditional holiday cranberry relish. Says Jody Bauer of Balaton, Minnesota: "This salsa packs a tart-sweet blend of fresh flavors, goes together in simply minutes and the colors are beautiful! We think it makes the perfect party dip to celebrate the season."
"Every Christmas Eve, our family has a special hors d’oeuvre supper and this seafood-stuffed dip is a much-requested staple," says Terry Flewelling of Lacombe, Alberta. "I got the recipe from a friend, who made it for my daughter’s wedding shower. It’s so rich, elegant and creamy—and a huge hit at parties any time of year at all!"