60 Holiday Appetizers Perfect for Jingling and Mingling
Keep your party jingle bell rocking with plenty of holiday appetizers. Try these recipes for pinwheels, meatballs, crostini and more—all loaded with seasonal flavors.
Find the Taste of Home team’s essential tools for holiday entertaining.
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Pickled Pepperoncini Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are a must for any party, but when the holidays roll around, go the extra mile! These deviled eggs are topped with an avocado and pepperoncini filling for color and zip. And if making these apps is new to you, check out our Test Kitchen’s tips for how to make deviled eggs.
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Holiday SalsaStart with a brick of cream cheese and layer on sweet and spicy holiday flavors to make this simple salsa. Serve it with crackers, pretzels or even tortilla chips. This is an easy Christmas appetizer everyone will enjoy.
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SpanakopitaWhen the holidays are here, it’s always good to be prepared for a few extra guests. These holiday appetizers can be prepped in advance and frozen. When you’re ready, pop ’em in the oven. No one can resist the cheese and spinach filling.
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Sausage Cheese BallsGet your cheese and sausage tray all in one bite! You can easily customize these holiday appetizers with your preferred cheese and dipping sauce.
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Garlic Tomato BruschettaDon’t you just love it when holiday appetizers match the colors of the season? This bruschetta uses fresh basil, tomatoes and plenty of garlic.
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Apricot WrapsAlmost everyone loves bacon-wrapped recipes. These bacon-wrapped apricots are sweet, savory and salty—the perfect finger food combo.
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Baked Brie in Puff PastryBaked brie is an elegant addition to any appetizer spread. The best part: It’s super easy to prep! Snag some store-bought puff pastry and a wheel of brie, and you’re ready to bake. Serve this with your favorite seeded crackers and apple wedges.
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Toasted RavioliToasted ravioli are a staple snack in St. Louis, Missouri. We suggest transforming this regional treat into a holiday app this season. Everyone loves the savory filling and crispy exterior. Serve them with marinara sauce. And skip the hassle of homemade for this; try one of our Test Kitchen’s favorite jarred marinara sauces for dipping.
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Almond-Bacon Cheese CrostiniFor 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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Air-Fryer Rosemary Sausage MeatballsWe know you’ve been using your air fryer nonstop since you opened it on Christmas last year. Incorporate it into your holiday party prep with this spiced meatball recipe. Use pretzel sticks as a crunchy, salty alternative to a cocktail pick!
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Snow Pea Holiday WreathSanta himself might stop to sample this pretty-as-a-picture finger food! Crunchy green pea pods and juicy red tomatoes add a natural, fresh and festive look to the buffet table. Want to take this idea to the next level? Try a Christmas charcuterie wreath.
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Brie Cherry Pastry CupsOne-bite apps like these are perfect for the holiday season. Guests can snack on these flaky pastry bites filled with brie and cherry preserves as they mix and mingle. This pumpkin baked brie recipe is perfect for every occasion.
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Gruyere and Crab PalmiersNeed a make-ahead appetizer to have on hand? These crab, pancetta and Gruyere pinwheels are festive and sophisticated—plus, they can be ready at a moment’s notice for unexpected holiday visitors.
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Moroccan Stuffed MushroomsCoriander and cumin are zesty updates to the familiar stuffed mushrooms. The addition of couscous makes them filling and delicious.
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Appetizer WreathThink of this holiday appetizer as a cross between a crescent ring and a cold veggie pizza. Serve as is or use the center to show off even more holiday treats.
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Crab CrescentsThis recipe is so good, no one will guess how quickly you put it together. These little bites are delicious and decadent!
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Cranberry Meatballs and SausageCranberries are a holiday staple. Use a can of jellied cranberries to make these easy holiday appetizers. They’re savory and tangy all at once—the perfect recipe to keep guests coming back for more.
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Shrimp Salad AppetizersCelery and shrimp make a great pairing in this quick-and-easy shrimp salad. Serve it spooned into endive leaves for extra crunch.
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Festive Turkey MeatballsTurkey gives a different twist to these slightly sweet and spicy meatballs. For the holidays, serve them on a tray lined with parsley and garnished with red pepper or pimientos.
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Roasted Chicken and Brie Holly Mini BitesBaby spinach and dried cranberries give these holiday appetizers a festive look. Layered with a bit of fig jam and brie, this captures all the best holiday flavors in a single bite.
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Antipasto PlatterAntipasto is always a crowd-pleaser. Guests love having their choice of so many delicious nibbles, including pepperoni and cubes of provolone. Include this as a preamble to your Italian Christmas dinner. Don’t forget some of Nonna’s Italian Christmas cookies for dessert!
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Crumb-Topped ClamsClams are a must-have part of many families’ Christmas Eve celebrations. These baked clams are a cinch to pull together and take only six minutes to bake!
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Cheese PuffsThese cheese puffs are based off a retro recipe. We gave them an upgrade with cayenne and mustard. We guarantee they’ll disappear fast at your Christmas party.
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Party Cheese BreadYou can’t go wrong with this cheese bread recipe. The cheesy, buttery bread is so simple to make yet all your guests will flock to it!
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Bacon-Wrapped Sweet Potato BitesSwitch up your go-to bacon-wrapped sausages and try sweet potato instead! It’s a great way to add this wintertime ingredient into your Christmas appetizer spread.
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Lobster TartletsGo over the top with your holiday appetizers by including lobster. These tarts are so simple to make. Top with green onion for an extra bite.
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Avocado Goat Cheese TrufflesMove over, avocado toast! These savory truffles are full of creamy avocado, goat cheese and a bit of red pepper. Serve them with pretzels or crackers.
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Seafood Cakes with Herb SauceFor many, hosting a Feast of the Seven Fishes is a must during the holidays. These spiced and seasoned cakes are the perfect preview to this multi-course meal.
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Caprese Salad KabobsIn a time crunch? These tiny Caprese skewers make for a great last-minute holiday appetizer. Drizzle them with a bit of balsamic and olive oil right before serving.
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Orange-Glazed Chicken & Chorizo MeatballsThese tasty southwestern meatballs warm up a buffet. Add pomegranate seeds, jalapeno pepper jelly and cilantro to make everything pop with color and flavor.
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Sweet Potato CrostiniTurn the classic sweet potato casserole into an appetizer. The mini marshmallow topping adds a touch of whimsy to your appetizer buffet.
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Mini Mac & Cheese BitesMini mac and cheese bites are a great finger food for kids and kids at heart. This recipe calls for cheddar and Swiss cheese, but feel free to swap these out for your favorites.
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Caliente Christmas Cheese CrispsTo fire up the crowd, pack these homemade crackers with bacon, pumpkin seeds and French-fried onion rings. Dunk them in picante sauce or salsa.
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Cherry Tomato BitesCherry tomatoes may be small, but these bites are full of amazing flavor thanks to green onion and bacon. Plus, they add color to any table.
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Goat Cheese & Onion PastriesA flaky puff pastry crust holds sweet caramelized onions and creamy goat cheese for an easy yet upscale appetizer. Add fresh thyme for flavor and color.
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Shrimp in Phyllo CupsPremade phyllo cups are the perfect vehicle for holiday appetizers. This recipe is a breeze to make with precooked shrimp, some fresh herbs and a splash of Thousand Island dressing. They can be on the table in less than 30 minutes.
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Oyster Cheese Appetizer LogNo retro holiday cocktail party was complete without an oyster and cheese log! This retro app is great served with crackers. Don’t forget the Christmas punch!
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Ring of PiggiesThis charming plate of piggies looks like a holiday wreath when I drape fresh rosemary in the center. It’s a cute display for merry get-togethers—and one of the cutest appetizers with Little Smokies.
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Crab Cake Stuffed MushroomsThese tender crab-stuffed mushrooms with their crispy golden topping are always popular at parties! The crab filling is a delicious special occasion treat. Need something sweet, too? Try these Christmas potluck desserts.
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Creamy Chicken Vol-au-VentWe love seeing retro voul-au-vents make a comeback! Serve these filled puffed pastry cups alongside vintage cocktails at your Christmas soiree.
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Inside-Out Veggie DipTopping your favorite veggies with the dip is an easy way to elevate a classic dip. Use cherry tomatoes and cucumbers for festive Christmas flair.
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Pastrami Roll-UpsNeed finger foods fast? These pickle rollups are one of our Test Kitchen’s go-to five-ingredient appetizers. Feel free to substitute ham for pastrami.
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Mini Cheese BallsThese mini cheese balls are the perfect quick appetizer for any party. Roll them in toasted sesame seeds, fresh rosemary or paprika to add even more flavor.
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Roasted Brussels Sprouts & 3-Cheese CrostiniBrussels sprouts typically have a spot reserved for them on the dinner table alongside the holiday ham or turkey. Why not twist tradition and turn this veggie into a cheesy, crunchy holiday appetizer?
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Puff Pastry Holly LeavesThese elegant appetizers look like you’ve slaved in the kitchen, but they can be assembled in a jiffy thanks to store-bought puff pastry.
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Dried Cranberry Sharp Cheddar Cheese BallsThese mini cheese balls are the ideal holiday finger food. They’re filled with lots of seasonal ingredients like pecans and cranberries.
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Marinated OlivesNeed easy Christmas Eve snack ideas? These marinated olives are a breeze to make and pair perfectly with other apps. Include them with your traditional relish tray.
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Smoked Salmon BitesThese smoked salmon bites are a classic vintage appetizer. The best part, though, is that they don’t need to be cooked! Just prep and serve.
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Christmas Party Pinwheels‘Tis the season for easy make-ahead appetizers like these. The ranch dressing and crisp colorful vegetables makes these pinwheels a pleasure to serve and eat.
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Festive Guacamole AppetizersNeed fun Christmas snacks to share? These guacamole-topped trees look so festive on your appetizer tray. Need help decorating? This is a great task for kids in the kitchen.
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Holiday Appetizer MeatballsThese beefy meatballs are a perennial favorite at holiday parties. You won’t believe how easy these holiday appetizers are to make.
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Mediterranean Pastry PinwheelsThese quick appetizers are irresistible. The flavors of sun-dried tomatoes and pesto balance beautifully. Use homemade pesto or store-bought sauce for a shortcut.
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Shrimp CocktailShrimp cocktail is a party food that always feels special. Before you dive into this recipe, learn how to clean shrimp with tips from our Test Kitchen.
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Broccoli & Chive Stuffed Mini PeppersChristmas parties are often full of ultra-rich foods. Give your guests a fresh option with these creamy and crunchy pepper appetizers. Include fresh chives in the filling for the best flavor.
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Beef Wellington Fried WontonsThese tasty appetizers scale down classic beef Wellington to an ideal party size. They feel fancy and fun!
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Marinated MozzarellaUse your favorite Italian herbs to make this marinaded mozzarella. You can make these one-bite appetizers the night before so you have less to prep the day of your Christmas party. In fact, these are best when marinaded overnight!
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Sesame Chicken BitesThese sesame chicken bites are an unexpected but welcome addition to any holiday snack setup. The bite-sized pieces fry up quickly so you can spend more time mingling with your guests.
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Savory Cucumber SandwichesThese finger sandwiches hit the spot all year round. During the Christmas season, though, they look particularly attractive thanks to vibrant seasonal colors.
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Party Pesto PinwheelsThe colorful and impressive snacks come together easily with refrigerated crescent roll dough, prepared pesto sauce and a jar of roasted red peppers.
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Marinated Olive & Cheese RingTurn your antipasto platter into a festive display. Marinate cheese and olives and form them into a Christmas wreath. Don’t forget to add fresh herbs as a finishing touch.
Originally Published: December 23, 2021