31 Festive Christmas Appetizers

Because Holiday Parties Are All About the Apps

Spinach Dip Christmas Tree

The Spruce / Anita Schecter

Are you planning to host a crowd this Christmas season? These easy, festive Christmas appetizers will be the hit of your holiday party. Find recipes here for classic holiday hors d'oeuvres that make the most of seasonal tastes, including make-ahead appetizer ideas for a stress-free hosting experience.

  • 01 of 31

    Cranberry Brie Bites

    Cranberry Brie Bites

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

    Flaky puff pastry bundles filled with tangy cranberry sauce, Brie, and crunchy honey-glazed walnuts make the perfect seasonal appetizer for Christmas cocktail parties and other winter holiday celebrations.

  • 02 of 31

    Stovetop Apple Kielbasa

    Stovetop Apple Kielbasa

    Juanmonino / E+ / Getty Images

    Flavor tender, juicy sausage bites with applesauce, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, and garlic for an easy, crowd-pleasing appetizer that's ready in 20 minutes. Serve with toothpicks for guests to help themselves.

  • 03 of 31

    Fontina, Spinach, and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

    Fontina, Spinach, and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Load up mushroom caps with a savory filling of fontina cheese, crispy bacon bits, sauteed onions, and wilted green spinach, for a tasty bite-sized party app.

  • 04 of 31

    Spinach Dip Christmas Tree

    Spinach Dip Christmas Tree

    The Spruce / Anita Schecter

    Create a show-stopping dip for your holiday buffet table with this creative spinach dip Christmas tree. The "tree" is actually a pull-apart bread you make with store-bought puff pastry sheets, filling these with a tasty, garlicky spinach dip, plus melted mozzarella cheese.

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  • 05 of 31

    Smoked Salmon Crostini

    Smoked Salmon Crostini

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Smoked salmon crostini are always a hit at parties, especially at Christmas time. Fresh herbs make all the difference in flavor for these delectable little toasts, which you can assemble easily at the last minute if you pre-toast the bread rounds.

  • 06 of 31

    Mini Crustless Broccoli Quiches

    Mini Crustless Broccoli Quiches

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Mini crustless quiches studded with festive broccoli and red and green bell peppers are a great choice for serving at Christmas parties. Prepare them easily in muffin tins and freeze in airtight containers for a foolproof make-ahead appetizer.

  • 07 of 31

    Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs

    Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Prepare enough of these saucy cranberry cocktail meatballs to feed a big crowd with this essential holiday app that bakes up easily in your oven. The recipe includes tips for a crock pot version if you prefer that to the stovetop.

  • 08 of 31

    Easy Baked Brie

    Easy Baked Brie

    Pete Scherer

    Baked brie is a classic party starter that is always welcome at holiday time. It is so easy to prepare, and makes an elegant impression on a platter, with gently melting brie cheese, fruit preserves, toasted walnuts, and of course mini toasts or crackers for spreading.

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  • 09 of 31

    Baked Vegan Sweet Potato Fries

    Baked Vegan Sweet Potato Fries

    The Spruce / Emily Hawkes

    Vegan baked sweet potato fries deliver all the salt and crispiness you crave in French fries without the oil from deep-frying. Serve in miniature, take-out style paper cartons that guests can easily pick up and carry.

  • 10 of 31

    Caramelised Garlic Tart

    Caramelised Garlic Tart

    Yottam Ottolenghi

    Famed Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi has an inspired way of coaxing amazing flavor from humble vegetables and this outstanding recipe for a caramelized garlic tart is no exception. Serve warm and sliced into slim wedges as an elegant party hors d'oeuvre.

  • 11 of 31

    Beet Hummus

    Beet Hummus

    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Beets are a sweet winter treat that can be enjoyed in so many recipes. Use them to add gorgeous color and flavor to classic hummus, along with chickpeas, lemon, garlic, cumin, and tahini. Serve with pita bread triangles for dipping.

  • 12 of 31

    Festive Party Cheese Ball With Pecans

    Festive Party Cheese Ball With Pecans

    Lauri Patterson / Getty Images

    Sweet dreams are made of cheese! Delight holiday guests with a retro-inspired party cheese ball that you roll in pecans for a crunchy exterior. It makes a delicious spread for crackers and toasted bread rounds.

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  • 13 of 31

    Savory Spinach and Mushroom Strudel

    Savory Spinach and Mushroom Strudel

    The Spruce / Allyson Kramer

    Store-bought puff pastry is the key to this spinach and mushroom strudel that makes an excellent vegetarian appetizer when sliced into rounds. The recipe yields two strudels, which you can make a day ahead for storing in the fridge and reheat at party time.

  • 14 of 31

    Greek Leek Pie

    Greek Leek Pie

    vinicef / Getty Images

    This flaky, buttery Greek phyllo strata is a wonderful seasonal version of classic spanakopita. Fill store-bought pastry sheets with a mixture of leeks, Greek cheese, eggs, and milk, before baking until golden brown. Cut into squares for a tasty, hand-held appetizer.

  • 15 of 31

    Baked Sugared Pecans

    Baked Sugared Pecans

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Set out a bowl of irresistible crunchy sugared pecans at your holiday party and watch them disappear! They can be stored up to two weeks at room temperature or four weeks in the fridge sealed in an airtight container, so it's a great snack to make ahead.

  • 16 of 31

    Baked Thai Chili-Garlic Shrimp

    Baked Thai Chili-Garlic Shrimp

    Sahil Miyani / Getty Images

    Every cocktail party needs a great seafood appetizer and these spicy Thai-inspired shrimp are sure to please. They take about five minutes to bake in your oven and are loaded with flavor without the calories of breaded, fried shrimp. Serve with toothpicks and cocktail napkins.

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  • 17 of 31

    Cranberry Cream Cheese Crescent Bundles

    Cranberry Cream Cheese Crescent Bundles

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Use canned crescent dough and a few other simple ingredients to prepare these adorable little pastries filled with tangy cream cheese, tart dried cranberries, and crunchy walnuts. Form the dough bundles up to three hours ahead and chill in the fridge until time to bake and serve.

  • 18 of 31

    Maple and Brown Sugar Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs

    Maple and Brown Sugar Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Wrap bite-sized cocktail franks in salty bacon and glaze with a tangy maple and brown sugar sauce for a party app you can serve straight from the slow cooker. Supply tongs to allow guests to help themselves.

  • 19 of 31

    Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms With Parmesan Cheese

    Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms With Parmesan Cheese

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Stuffed mushrooms filled with Cajun-spiced crabmeat, bell pepper, and Parmesan cheese are special enough for holiday parties. Make them extra festive by using a combination of red and green bell pepper bits in the filling.

  • 20 of 31

    Southern Pimiento Cheese Spread

    Southern Pimiento Cheese Spread

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Pimiento cheese spread is a beloved Southern party dip that is always welcome at holiday parties. No cooking is required for this dip, which takes only 15 minutes to whip up. Serve on a platter with crackers or crudites.

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  • 21 of 31

    Caramelized Onion Biscuits

    Caramelized Onion Biscuits

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Delicious, flaky, and filled with sweet caramelized onions, these easy, and elegant biscuits take only 15 minutes to bake. Use a small biscuit cutter to make them appetizer-sized and offer butter or cream cheese for topping.

  • 22 of 31

    Cheddar Bacon Puffs

    Cheddar Bacon Puffs

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Airy cheddar cheese puffs with loads of bacon flavor are a real crowd-pleaser. The puffs freeze for up to two months when stored in an airtight freezer bag, so you can make them well in advance for easy reheating in the oven.

  • 23 of 31

    Beet Falafel

    Beet Falafel

    The Spruce / Anita Schecter

    These bright red oven-baked beet falafel balls will make a cheery impression on your Christmas buffet table. Prepare them a day ahead and store in the fridge until party time. Serve warm with the included tahini sauce on the side.

  • 24 of 31

    Loaded Baked Potato Skins With Cheese and Bacon

    Loaded Baked Potato Skins With Cheese and Bacon

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Potato skins are a favorite party snack at any time of year. Add diced red bell peppers to the filling of cheddar cheese shreds, bacon, and green onions, for an easy appetizer.

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  • 25 of 31

    Hot and Spicy Baked Chicken Drumettes

    Hot and Spicy Baked Chicken Drumettes

    Heath Patterson / Getty Images

    Consider this your essential recipe for party chicken wings. This tasty version calls for oven baking, but the wings crisp up nicely on the outside, thanks to a herb and flour coating. Make them spicy or mild by adjusting seasonings, and serve with Ranch dressing on the side for dipping.

  • 26 of 31

    Lemon Garlic Hummus

    Lemon Garlic Hummus

    tenkende / Getty Images

    From-scratch hummus is such a treat, and this garlicky recipe is sure to win you rave reviews. To fancy up the presentation, sprinkle the dip with paprika or cumin and a drizzle of good-quality extra-virgin olive oil.

  • 27 of 31

    Bacon Wrapped Smokies

    Bacon Wrapped Smokies

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    With only four ingredients, these bacon-wrapped smokies could not be easier to make. Get kids to help you assemble them for family gatherings and serve on a platter, with regular or Dijon mustard on the side for dipping.

  • 28 of 31

    Horseradish Deviled Eggs

    Horseradish Deviled Eggs

    John Mitzewich

    You can assemble these popular deviled eggs in about 30 minutes, making them perfect for the holiday party rush. Put a spicy spin on the classic party app by adding prepared horseradish and hot sauce to mashed yolks. Top with snipped chives for a pretty presentation.

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  • 29 of 31

    Classic Cheese Straws

    Classic Cheese Straws

    Ian O'Leary / Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images

    Classic cheddar cheese straws can be enjoyed on their own and make delicious dipping sticks for a cheese plate. This easy recipe produces five to six dozen cheese straws that you can make ahead, and freeze up to 3 months.

  • 30 of 31

    Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

    Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

    Armstrong Studios / Photolibrary / Getty Images

    Blue cheese-stuffed mushrooms with cream cheese and green onions are loaded with umami flavor. They are also low in carbs with no breadcrumbs in the recipe. Prepare them in the morning, storing uncooked in the fridge on a baking sheet for broiling quickly when guests arrive.

  • 31 of 31

    Macaroni and Cheese Croquettes

    Macaroni and Cheese Croquettes

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Mac and cheese bites with a crunchy breadcrumb coating make a great cold weather appetizer and they're a neat way to use up leftover macaroni and cheese from your holiday dinner. Be sure to make enough to go around, as they will be gobbled up quickly!