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55 Festive Christmas Appetizers That Will Make You Merry

Start Christmas dinner off right with one (or a few!) of these jolly Christmas appetizer recipes! Family and friends will love these caprese kabobs, Santa deviled eggs, marinated cheese, and more.

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Festive Guacamole AppetizersTaste of Home

Festive Guacamole Appetizers

For ages, my brother’s family and I have gotten together on Christmas Eve, and we always eat Christmas snacks while we open our presents. This Tex-Mex spin on classic appetizer pizza is one we have again and again. —Laurie Pester, Colstrip, Montana

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Oyster Cheese Appetizer LogTaste of Home

Oyster Cheese Appetizer Log

When you say "holiday tradition" around our house, this appetizer comes to mind immediately. Every winter, I make lots of cheese logs and freeze them for when I'm expecting company or need to take food to someone's home. The blend of smoked oysters, chili powder, nuts and cream cheese tastes good-even people who don't like oysters may enjoy this interesting appetizer. —William Tracy, Jerseyville, Illinois

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Caprese Salad KabobsTaste of Home

Caprese Salad Kabobs

Trade in the usual veggie platter for these fun kabobs. In addition to preparing these for get-togethers, I often make these as snacks for my family. And because assembly is so easy, the kids often ask to help. —Christine Mitchell, Glendora, California

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Christmas MeatballsTaste of Home

Christmas Meatballs

Cranberry sauce and brown sugar create a tangy glaze for moist meatballs that are good Christmas appetizers or Christmas dinner ideas. We love them so much, I prepare them year-round. —Joyce Bentley, Redlands, California

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Almond-Bacon Cheese CrostiniTaste of Home

Almond-Bacon Cheese Crostini

For a change from the usual toasted tomato appetizer, try this baked crostini recipe. If you like, slice the baguette at an angle instead of making a straight cut. —Leondre Hermann, Stuart, Florida

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Shrimp TartletsTaste of Home

Shrimp Tartlets

Fill mini tart shells with a cream cheese mixture, then top with seafood sauce and shrimp for a picture-perfect look and delightful taste. This recipe makes a fantastic appetizer, and several make a fast, light meal. —Gina Hutchison, Smithville, Missouri

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Marinated Olive & Cheese RingTaste of Home

Marinated Olive & Cheese Ring

We love to make meals into celebrations, and antipasto always kicks off the party for Italian dinners. This one is almost too pretty to eat, especially when sprinkled with pimientos, fresh basil and parsley. —Patricia Harmon, Baden, Pennsylvania

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Baked Creamy Spinach DipTaste of Home

Baked Creamy Spinach Dip

I'm a fan of classic dishes but frequently tweak them a bit to suit my family's tastes. My cheesy spinach dip is a little lighter than other versions I've seen and pairs well with bagel chips. —Jenn Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California

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Best Ever Stuffed MushroomsTaste of Home

Best Ever Stuffed Mushrooms

At party time, I bring out a platter of my easy stuffed mushrooms. I like to make mine with reduced-fat sausage, but you can use regular for an indulgent treat. —Debby Beard, Eagle, Colorado

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Santa Deviled EggsTaste of Home

Santa Deviled Eggs

I love creating special deviled eggs for parties. These little Santas are easier to make than they look, and everyone raves over them. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado

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Holiday SalsaTaste of Home

Holiday Salsa

When we offer this cream-cheesy salsa of fresh cranberries, cilantro and a little jalapeno kick, everyone hovers around the serving dish until it’s scraped clean. —Shelly Pattison, Lubbock, Texas

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Roasted Eggplant SpreadTaste of Home

Roasted Eggplant Spread

Black pepper and garlic perk up this out-of-the-ordinary spread that hits the spot on a crisp cracker or toasted bread slice. —Barbara McCalley, Allison Park, Pennsylvania.

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Party Cheese BreadTaste of Home

Party Cheese Bread

You can't go wrong with this recipe. The cheesy, butter bread is so simple to make but the taste is sinful. Plus it looks fantastic, and people just flock to it! It's better than the usual garlic bread with pasta, too. —Karen Grant, Tulare, California

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Cranberry Brie PinwheelsTaste of Home

Cranberry Brie Pinwheels

People may wonder when you found the time to make these crisp, flaky pinwheels—but they’re really quite easy to do. And the filling is bursting with savory goodness and a touch of sweetness. —Marcia Kintz, South Bend, Indiana

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Crab & Artichoke DipTaste of Home

Crab & Artichoke Dip

Nearly every time my girlfriends and I get together, we dip into this rich and creamy snack and our favorite bottle of wine. It’s so convenient to use the slow cooker to make this recipe—it’s a perfect fit for our relaxed friends nights. —Connie McKinney, Marshall, Missouri

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts & 3-Cheese Crostini

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & 3-Cheese Crostini

Brussels sprouts for a snack? Oh, yes. Combine these roasted goodies with cheese for the ultimate toast topper. —Athena Russell, Greenville, South Carolina

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Festive Holiday SlidersTaste of Home

Festive Holiday Sliders

Turkey sliders with ginger, horseradish and cranberry sauce refrigerate well, so I keep them ready for get-togethers when we bake gifts and wrap presents. —Pamela Miller, Big Rapids, Michigan

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Tomato-Bacon Dip with FocacciaTaste of Home

Tomato-Bacon Dip with Focaccia

For a spread with BLT flavor, mix mayo and sour cream, then add bacon and tomato. We use it as a dip and zesty sandwich spread. —Marsha Postar, Lubbock, Texas

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Mushroom Pastry TartsTaste of Home

Mushroom Pastry Tarts

Putting anything on puff pastry crust makes it special, but these mushrooms taste so good that combining the two makes an unforgettable dish. —Susan Scarborough, Fernandina Beach, Florida

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Pomegranate Pistachio CrostiniTaste of Home

Pomegranate Pistachio Crostini

Pomegranate seeds intrigue me, so I sliced French bread, smeared it with cream cheese, and added seeds, pistachios and chocolate. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah

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Lasagna DipTaste of Home

Lasagna Dip

My lasagna noodle chips turned out great and are out-of-this-world crispy. And the dip truly tastes like rich, cheesy Italian-American lasagna. —Linda Cifuentes, Mahomet, Illinois

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Sweet & Savory Cheese PieTaste of Home

Sweet & Savory Cheese Pie

Layer ruby red preserves on a savory appetizer spread as the crowning touch. —Annette Whitmarsh, Lincoln, Nebraska

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Puff Pastry Christmas PalmiersTaste of Home

Puff Pastry Christmas Palmiers

Palmiers (pronounced palm-YAY) come from France. They're usually sweet, but to make them savory, I swirl in pesto, feta and sundried tomatoes. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon

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Smoky Bacon WrapsTaste of Home

Smoky Bacon Wraps

These cute little sausage and bacon bites are finger-licking good. They have a sweet and salty taste that's fun for breakfast or as an appetizer. —Cara Flora, Kokomo, Indiana

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Spiced Orange-Cranberry ChutneyTaste of Home

Spiced Orange-Cranberry Chutney

The aroma of simmering chutney signals the start of the holidays and sets the mood for my seasonal baking. Try it as an appetizer along with cream cheese and graham crackers. —Pat Stevens, Granbury, Texas

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Brie Puff PastryTaste of Home

Brie Puff Pastry

My husband was in the Air Force so we've entertained guests in many parts of the world. I acquired this recipe while in California. It's one of my favorite special appetizers. —Sandra Twait, Tampa, Florida

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Bacon and Fontina Stuffed MushroomsTaste of Home

Bacon and Fontina Stuffed Mushrooms

What’s better than lots of bacon and cheese in a mushroom cap? Yum! Perfect Christmas finger foods! They’ll be a hit with your guests, too. —Tammy Rex, New Tripoli, Pennsylvania

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Spruced-Up Cheese SpreadTaste of Home

Spruced-Up Cheese Spread

A neighbor who’s a wonderful cook gave me the recipe for this zippy cracker spread. It’s easy to shape into a Christmas tree for a festive occasion, but it looks enticing in a bowl or on a plate, too. —Judy Grimes, Brandon, Mississippi

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Cherry Tomato BitesTaste of Home

Cherry Tomato Bites

Cherry tomatoes may be small, but these are full of great flavor. They’re the ultimate one bite appetizers. Plus, they add Christmas color to any table. —Rev. David Bostedt, Zephyrhills, Florida

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Crispy Lime Chips with CrabTaste of Home

Crispy Lime Chips with Crab

Creamy crab dip tops the lime-flavored chips perfectly. These would be popular at a party, so it's a good thing they make a lot. —Tracey Stone, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

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Celebration Cheese BallsTaste of Home

Celebration Cheese Balls

A handful of simple ingredients that go together in minutes, three fun flavorful options…these creamy cheese balls from our Test Kitchen are a darling, do-ahead delight for busy holiday hostesses! Why not whip up several batches? —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Blue Cheese-Stuffed ShrimpTaste of Home

Blue Cheese-Stuffed Shrimp

Cooked shrimp become something more extraordinary when stuffed with blue cheese. The mild flavor has mass appeal.—Amy Dollimount, Glace Bay, Nova Scotia

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Appetizer Blue Cheese LogsTaste of Home

Appetizer Blue Cheese Logs

Three kinds of cheese and some curry powder make this cheese log a little more lively than most. Swipe it on your favorite cracker with a drizzle of honey for a sensational snack. —Ethel Johnson, North Saanich, British Columbia

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Nutty Stuffed MushroomsTaste of Home

Nutty Stuffed Mushrooms

Basil, Parmesan cheese and mushroom blend together well, while buttery pecans give these treats a surprising crunch. Our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren always ask for them! —Mildred Eldred, Union City, Michigan

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Artichoke & Mushroom ToastsTaste of Home

Artichoke & Mushroom Toasts

Our winters can get cold here, so I like to warm up holiday guests with oven-fresh appetizers. Crunchy bread slices are topped with mushrooms, artichokes and a blend of cheeses. —Nancy Mueller, Bloomington, Minnesota

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Apple-Pecan Baked BrieTaste of Home

Apple-Pecan Baked Brie

As family arrives for a get-together, I make sure this fruity and savory Brie is in the oven so the aromas of cinnamon and apples fill the house. —Alicia Gower, Auburn, New York

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Steak Crostini with Carrot-Horseradish MarmaladeTaste of Home

Steak Crostini with Carrot-Horseradish Marmalade

I've been making little tweaks to this family favorite for years. Prep everything ahead, then layer up the crostini right before party time. —Greg Fontenot, The Woodlands, Texas

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Creamy Sourdough SnackTaste of Home

Creamy Sourdough Snack

This bread bowl dip was a big hit at my mom's 50th birthday party! —Darelyn Payes, Hayward, California

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Turkey-Cranberry MinisTaste of Home

Turkey-Cranberry Minis

We make these tiny tarts to stand in for the turkey and its trimmings at our casual holiday gatherings. — Nadine Mesch, Mount Healthy, Ohio

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Christmas Cheese BallsTaste of Home

Christmas Cheese Balls

Christmas at our house just wouldn't be complete without these rich cheese balls. Friends and family ask for them every year-and I can make three gifts from just one recipe. —Margie Cadwell, Eastman, Georgia

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Bacon-Pecan Stuffed MushroomsTaste of Home

Bacon-Pecan Stuffed Mushrooms

When I had my kitchen remodeled, I lost the recipe for these mushrooms. But I'd shared it so many times, I had no trouble finding someone to “lend” it back to me. —Beverly Pierce, Indianola, Mississippi

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Blue Cheese Onion DipTaste of Home

Blue Cheese Onion Dip

I decided to tweak the onion soup dip you see at every gathering, and everyone seems to be glad I did. Serve with crisp, raw vegetables or potato chips, and you’re set. —Vicki Desy, Tucson, Arizona

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Festive Apple DipTaste of Home

Festive Apple Dip

I came up with this layered peanut butter treat when my dad gave me a big bag of apples. The dip has been one of my favorites ever since. In addition to serving it with apples, try it with graham crackers, vanilla wafers, banana chunks or animal crackers. —Theresa Tometich, Coralville, Iowa

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Bacon Water Chestnut WrapsTaste of Home

Bacon Water Chestnut Wraps

The holidays around the house just wouldn't be the same without these classic wraps. Through the years, Christmas Eve guests have proven it's impossible to eat just one. —Laura Mahaffey, Annapolis, Maryland

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Dill Vegetable DipTaste of Home

Dill Vegetable Dip

A friend gave me this zesty dip recipe many years ago, and now I serve it at our annual holiday open house. To make it mobile, spoon a serving of the dip in the bottom of a small cup, then garnish with fresh veggies. —Karen Gardiner, Eutaw, Alabama

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Warm Feta Cheese DipTaste of Home

Warm Feta Cheese Dip

We’re big on appetizers, so this dip is a mashup of our favorite tastes, like cream cheese, feta, basil and sweet peppers. Serve with bread or chips. —Ashley Lecker, Green Bay, Wisconsin

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Cranberry MeatballsTaste of Home

Cranberry Meatballs

Lots of people have asked me for this recipe, but I knew I had a real winner when my grandmother asked me for it! —Tammy Neubauer, Ida Grove, Iowa

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Party ShrimpTaste of Home

Party Shrimp

The marinade for this dish makes the shrimp so flavorful, you won't even need a dipping sauce. Even those who claim they don’t like shellfish really dig this appetizer. —Kendra Doss, Colorado Springs, Colorado

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Marinated CheeseTaste of Home

Marinated Cheese

This special appetizer always makes it to our neighborhood parties and is the first to disappear at the buffet table. It's attractive, delicious—and easy! —Laurie Casper, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania

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Spinach Dip-Stuffed MushroomsTaste of Home

Spinach Dip-Stuffed Mushrooms

I use a melon baller to hollow out the mushroom caps and make them easier to stuff. The apps fit neatly into muffin tins or a deviled egg tray for traveling. —Ashley Pierce, Brantford, Ontario

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Creamy Artichoke DipTaste of Home

Creamy Artichoke Dip

My sister Teresa got this recipe from a friend and she passed it along. It's loaded with cheese, artichokes and just the right amount of jalapenos for a crowd-pleasing flavor. —Mary Spencer, Greendale, Wisconsin

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Deviled Eggs with Bacon

Deviled Eggs with Bacon

These yummy deviled eggs went over so well at our summer cookouts, I started making them for holiday dinners, too. Everyone likes the addition of crumbled bacon. —Barbara Reid, Mounds, Oklahoma

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Vodka-Infused Cherry TomatoesTaste of Home

Vodka-Infused Cherry Tomatoes

These vodka-infused tomatoes are the perfect way to start a party! —Patricia Nieh, Portola Valley, California

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Cherry & Fontina Stuffed PortobellosTaste of Home

Cherry & Fontina Stuffed Portobellos

I developed this hearty appetizer for my mushroom-lovin’ kids. They’re grown now with families of their own, but they still request these when they come home. —Wendy Rusch, Trego, Wisconsin

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Slow-Cooker Spinach and Artichoke DipTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Spinach and Artichoke Dip

This rich and creamy dip is perfect for special occasions. It tastes especially good when served warm with crackers. The red onion adds flavor and color. —Diane Morrison, Bradford, Pennsylvania

Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.

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