25 Best Christmas Appetizers: The Ultimate Round-Up
Blue Cheese Pear Tartlets
These savory bites look and taste super-fancy, but couldn't be easier to make — the prep time clocks in at just 10 minutes! Mix up the filling ahead of time and you'll be just minutes away from finished Christmas appetizers.
Baked Stuffed Brie with Cranberries and Walnuts
This five-star recipe is a showstopper on any appetizer buffet, or as a starter at a dinner party. And if you don't have puff pastry, just do what KD did: "I used a store-bought pie crust (the kind that comes in a roll) and it turned out fine. I will definitely make it again!"
Pine Cone Cheese Ball
Goat cheese is mixed with cream cheese, then seasoned with tarragon, thyme, garlic, and cayenne pepper in this creative recipe that'll make guests do a double-take. It serves 16 and is ready in just 30 minutes. Watch the video to see how to assemble the cheese ball so it looks like a pine cone.
It's an unwritten rule that every holiday party menu must include classic mini meatballs in cranberry sauce. What sets these ruby beauties apart is the sweet chili sauce kick that comes with every bite. Fill a slow cooker with this popular appetizer and let folks help themselves.
Holiday Hot Spinach Dip
Get the kids in on the action when assembling these easy, festive kabobs that take their name from a favorite green-colored character created by Dr. Seuss. And take other reviewers' recommendation to dip banana slices in orange or lemon juice before skewering to keep them from browning.
Classic Savory Deviled Eggs
A must-have at any appetizer buffet, this recipe takes just 10 minutes to prepare after the eggs are cooked. Allrecipes home cook Raechael has a great tip about the garlic powder: "If you're serving immediately, half the garlic powder because it's very strong. If serving the next day, make as written. When the egg mixture has time to sit, the garlic flavor calms down a bit."
Sugar Coated Pecans
Recipe reviews don't get better than this. Anna Mae says, "I'm so impressed with this recipe that I went out and bought five pounds of whole pecans and plan to put them in the baskets I give out at Christmas along with cookies, jams, and my famous lemon bread. BTW, they freeze beautifully!" Tip: Some reviewers bumped up the ground cinnamon from 1/2 teaspoon to a full 1 teaspoon.
Fun Santa Vegetable Tray
Anyone can set out a party platter of raw vegetables, but why not get a little creative with the presentation? Here we've created a colorful Santa Claus with a cauliflower beard, red pepper hat, cucumber face, and black olives for the eyes. The nose, of course, is a bright red cherry tomato. Serve this with hummus or your favorite dips. You can cut up all the vegetables the night before and refrigerate until it's time to assemble the face. And if you let the kids create the Santa, don't be surprised if they end up eating the veg themselves.
Jalapeno Popper Cups
Spinach and Ricotta Puff Pastry Christmas Tree
King Crab Appetizers
In this savory recipe, canned crab meat is mixed with cream cheese, Parmesan, Cheddar, Worcestershire sauce, and paprika, then spooned into tartlet pans prepped with dough. Frozen phyllo cups can also be used instead of dough if you'd prefer an even quicker prep time.
Cream Cheese Penguins
"These are delicious," say home cook Buckwheat Queen. "Typically served in Italy around the holidays, this is similar to 'torta gorgonzola, mascarpone, e noci.' The cream cheese adds a nice twist to the flavor. Stuffing the mixture inside a date is simply genius."
Balsamic Roasted Grapes
This is one of those easy and impressive appetizers you can throw together at a moment's notice using only grapes, olive oil, thyme (or any other fresh herb), and balsamic vinegar. Home cook spice of life says, "These were really good. Served it with smoked Gouda and white wine."
Cream Cheese Havarti and Parmesan Herbed Christmas Tree
More food in the shape of a Christmas tree! This cheese appetizer gets rolled in basil and parsley, and Kim's Cooking Now has an idea for taking the festive look a little further: "I could see adding some tiny diced red and yellow pepper pieces as 'ornaments' on the tree as well!"
Cranberries are baked with sugar until the juices run out, then mixed with apricot jam and poured over cream cheese. Serve this dip with crackers, or take a suggestion from christinhughes and serve pretzels instead: "The pretzels were a favorite over crackers, as the mixture of sweet and salty was just perfect!"
Mini Mushroom and Goat Cheese Tarts
Goat cheese, garlic, and mushrooms are baked on squares of puff pastry in this easy appetizer. You might consider doubling or tripling this recipe for a large group — as is, it makes eight squares.
Expecting a big crowd? Like, really big? This antipasto dish is enough for more than 50 guests! PattiR says it's "the BEST antipasto recipe I have ever made." Plan to prepare this a day in advance as the veggies need to soak in salted water for at least eight hours or overnight before you cook them quickly in a mixture of oil, vinegar, tomato paste, and pickling spice.
Perfect Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
These easy stuffed mushrooms can be made the day before, then baked before serving. Several home cooks recommended chopping up the mushroom stems and adding them to the green onions for a heartier filling. And many used canned crab with delicious results! Tip: Don't skip the dried dill—it really enhances the flavor of the crab.
Layers of dried cranberries, pistachios, cream cheese, blue cheese, and Brie make this dip a beautiful option for a holiday table. "This was fantastic and festive for Christmas," says Justine. "I served it with both ginger snaps and whole-wheat crackers and they were both a hit!
Swedish Meatballs from a Swede
Savory Puff Pastry Christmas Tree
This popular variation on meatballs serves well as an appetizer or as a part of a holiday brunch. Allrecipes home cook REIFF73 offers this helpful tip: "My only advice is to grate your own cheese. Companies add starch to pre-grated cheese so it stays separated and looks pretty. That added starch will hinder juicy and moist sausage balls."
Sweet, Salty, Spicy Party Nuts
You can adjust the sugar, cumin, and cayenne pepper in this recipe so the crunchy nuts turn out just the way you like them. An important tip from reviewers: To prevent the coated nuts from forming a solid mass as they cool, spread them out on parchment paper instead of aluminum foil.