5 Crowd-Favorite Holiday Appetizers That You Can Make for Under $10

Shake up the holiday season with these impressive, budget-friendly appetizers.

What's a holiday party without an array of mouthwatering appetizers to set the mood? You'll be feeling festive in no time with these budget-friendly recipes that will make your starters the star of the show. Nicole McLaughlin shows you how to make the most delicious Christmas appetizers that won't hurt your wallet.

1. Potato Pancake Poppers

Crispy Potato Pancake Poppers
Chef John

Get the recipe: Crispy (No-Fry) Potato Pancake Poppers

Create a crunchy puff of cheesy, savory goodness that will leave your holiday guests wanting more. These miniature pancakes are the perfect party food — familiar, small but substantial, and packed with flavor. " These little poppers are the perfect vessel for whatever you want to add on top," says McLaughlin. "You can top with cooked bacon, smoked salmon and dill — the possibilities are endless."

Start by peeling and grating two large potatoes before soaking to remove excess starch. Next, generously grease a muffin pan with melted butter to ensure a crisp finish. Combine grated potato with spices, flour, and Parmesan before baking to a deep golden-brown color. Finish things off with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of chives.

2. Cheese Wreath

wreath-shaped cheese ball on a black plate surrounded by crackers
Taco Cheese Ball Wreath. Allrecipes

Get the recipe: Taco Ball Cheese Wreath

This lusciously creamy appetizer puts a spin on the traditional cheeseball. "The flavor is reminiscent of a seven-layer dip," says Nicole. "This is going to be hard to beat." Shredded Monterey Jack, cream cheese, canned chiles, and green onions combine to make magic in this decadent recipe.

Chill the mixture for at least three hours in a plastic-lined bowl before shaping (all you'll need are a drinking glass and knife!) Finely chopped cilantro acts as the wreath's leaves, while a simple pico de gallo makes a tasty ornamental touch.

3. Fried Artichoke Hearts

air-fried artichoke hearts on a plate with a mayonnaise-based dip
Air-Fried Artichoke Hearts with Lemony Mayo. Allrecipes

Get the recipe: Air-Fried Artichoke Hearts with Lemony Mayo

Looking for a filling but elegant first-course option? Look no further than these unbelievably delicious fried artichoke hearts — made with canned hearts and a few pantry staples. Start by draining the artichokes well, then prepping your air fryer to do the heavy lifting.

Place your artichoke hearts in a simple batter, coat them in breadcrumbs, then cook in the air fryer for seven to nine minutes. Pair each perfectly crunchy bite with a vibrant lemon aioli that comes together in seconds.

4. Pesto Pita Christmas Trees

pesto pita christmas trees

Give everyone their own personal Christmas tree with this festive appetizer recipe. Cream cheese and pesto combine to create greenery and marinated bell peppers are sliced to resemble garland. A pretzel stick inserted through a small cut acts as the "trunk" for this fun finger food.

"I like my Christmas trees with snow on them," shares McLaughlin. "Sprinkle each triangle with feta cheese for a super-cute finish." This recipe wins high marks for creativity without breaking the bank.

5. Alabama Firecrackers

Alabama Fire Crackers

Get the recipe: Firecracker Crackers

Add some heat to the holidays with this deliciously seasoned starter. Alabama firecrackers fuse a red pepper spice blend with saltine crackers for a boldly savory snack. "I'm not ashamed to serve crackers as a party appetizer," reveals Nicole. "They're great on charcuterie boards or to put out with cocktails."

Firecrackers also make great gifts — McLaughlin uses oyster crackers in place of saltines for a special touch and finishes with a bright red bow.


Was this page helpful?
You’ll Also Love