39 Great Appetizers for Holiday Parties

Appetizer Meatballs recipe

 The Spruce

Food is always the focal point of a successful holiday party and New Year's Eve, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are times we like to gather with family and friends.

To make entertaining easier, consider buffet-style serving. Set up a table where guests can help themselves to snacks and have a slow cooker or two for hot dips, meatballs, wings, and cocktail franks. A warming tray or buffet server might be a worthwhile investment if you plan to have several hot apps.

Have napkins, toothpicks, and utensils ready in containers, plus some wet napkins available if you're serving particularly messy finger foods.

  • 01 of 39

    Apple Pie Chips and Dip

    apple pie dip with pie crust chips
    Diana Rattray

    This delicious deconstructed apple pie is a fabulous sweet snack. The apple dip is served with cut-out pie crust chips—it will be the hit of the party!

  • 02 of 39

    Fontina, Spinach, and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

    Spinach, Bacon, and Fontina Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
    Diana Rattray

    A simple fresh spinach and bacon imbued with melted fontina cheese makes these bite-sized stuffed mushrooms as delicious as they are easy. 

  • 03 of 39

    Hot and Spicy Baked Chicken Drumettes or Wings

    Hot and Spicy Drumettes or Wings
    Diana Rattray

    Make this your go-to recipe for chicken wings. They crisp up nicely in the oven, and the hot and spicy coating is a flavor everyone will remember. Make it as hot as you like with extra cayenne pepper.

  • 04 of 39

    Southern Pickled Shrimp with Fresh Dill

    Pickled Shrimp with Dill
    Diana Rattray

    Pickled shrimp are an easy and tasty appetizer that serve as a nice alternative to shrimp cocktail. Serve them with cream cheese spreads and baguette slices or as is with toothpicks for guests to easily eat.

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  • 05 of 39

    Tortilla Pinwheels with Cream Cheese Filling

    Tortilla pinwheels
    The Spruce

    These tortilla pinwheels are always a hit at holiday parties. Serve with salsa, a ranch style dressing, sour cream, guacamole, or use your own favorite dip ideas.

  • 06 of 39

    Shrimp Cakes With Sriracha Mayonnaise

    Shrimp Cakes
    Diana Rattray

    To form appetizer versions of these crispy cakes, shape the shrimp mixture into mini discs or balls and serve them along with Sriracha mayo and remoulade sauce.

  • 07 of 39

    Southern Pimiento Cheese Spread

    Pimiento Cheese Spread
    Diana Rattray

    Offer up this pimiento cheese ball as a spread with grilled bread or crackers or use it to fill party sandwiches or celery sticks.

  • 08 of 39

    Cheddar Bacon Puffs

    Bacon Cheese Puffs
    Diana Rattray

    These tasty cheese puffs are made with a simple choux pastry. Cheddar cheese and bacon give them rich and smoky flavor. Bonus: they freeze well and can easily be made ahead of time.

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  • 09 of 39

    Super Easy Mini Pork Quiches

    Mini Shredded Pork Quiches
    Diana Rattray

    Use leftover or store-bought pulled pork in these mini quiches. The recipe calls for dumpling wrappers, but mini tart shells or phyllo cups may be used as well. Serve them with ketchup or barbecue sauce.

  • 10 of 39

    Classic Cheese Straws

    Cheese Straws
    Ian O'Leary/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

    Cheese straws are another Southern favorite. Use sharp cheddar and plenty of cayenne.

  • 11 of 39

    Clam Dip with Cream Cheese

    Clam Dip With Crackers
    Diana Rattray

    The simple clam dip is delicious as is, but feel free to add some sour cream, grated onion, or onion powder to the mixture. The dip may also be made with sour cream instead of cream cheese if that's what you have on hand.

  • 12 of 39

    Four Ingredient Appetizer Meatballs

    Appetizer meatballs
    The Spruce

    Meatballs always make a delicious appetizer for a holiday party or Game Day gathering. You can even take them along to the game if you're tailgating. Currant jelly and barbecue sauce make up the simple sauce.

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  • 13 of 39

    Easy Bacon-Wrapped Scallops

    Easy Bacon-Wrapped Scallops

    The Spruce

    This combination of scallops and bacon is a snap to prepare and the presentation is impressive. It makes an elegant New Year's Eve appetizer

  • 14 of 39

    Pigs in a Blanket With Crescent Roll Dough and Cheese

    Crescent Roll Hot Dogs "Pigs in a Blanket"
    Diana Rattray

    These pigs in a blanket are wrapped with refrigerated crescent roll dough. These are quick and easy and perfect for parties and get-togethers.

  • 15 of 39

    Sweet and Hot Pork Meatballs

    Sweet and Hot Pork Meatballs
    Diana Rattray

    A combination beef and pork keep these appetizer meatballs juicy and tender. They're cooked in a sweet and spice sauce.

  • 16 of 39

    Baked Potato Skins with Cheese and Bacon

    potato skins
    Diana Rattray

    You can vary the toppings for these versatile baked potato skins. These are great with a dollop of sour cream, guacamole or fresh or store-bought salsa.

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  • 17 of 39

    Baked Chicken Wings With Spicy Peanut Sauce

    Chicken wings and peanut sauce
    Diana Rattray

    These chicken wings are coated with an easy homemade peanut sauce before baking, then they're served with more of the sauce.

  • 18 of 39

    Crock Pot Party Meatballs With Tangy Sauce

    crock pot party meatballs
    Diana Rattray

    These party meatballs are flavored with a sweet and tangy homemade barbecue sauce. A small amount of ground cayenne pepper is added to the sauce, but feel free to leave out if your guests may be sensitive to spice.

  • 19 of 39

    Baked Ground Beef Nachos

    Beef Nachos
    Diana Rattray

    Add jalapeno rings or diced fresh peppers to these nachos to spice them up and serve them with an optional garnish of sour cream and sliced green onions. 

  • 20 of 39

    Stuffed Mushrooms With Spinach and Ham

    Stuffed Mushrooms With Ham and Spinach
    Diana Rattray

    Spinach, ham, and mozzarella cheese are combined with breadcrumbs to make the savory filling for these stuffed mushrooms.

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  • 21 of 39

    Quick and Easy Shrimp Dip

    Quick and Easy Shrimp Dip
    Diana Rattray

    The delicious shrimp dip takes just a few minutes to fix. Serve with crackers, chips, or vegetables.

  • 22 of 39

    Party Ham Rolls

    Party Ham Roll Sandwiches

    The Spruce

    These popular little ham slider sandwiches, using Hawaiian dinner rolls, are always a hit. It's an easy way to quickly prepare lunch for a crowd.

  • 23 of 39

    Maple and Brown Sugar Bacon-Wrapped Mini Hot Dogs

    Glazed Bacon Wrapped Mini Hot Dogs
    Diana Rattray

    Hot dogs or mini smoked sausages are wrapped in bacon and baked to perfection. The tangy maple and brown sugar sauce adds flavor to the meat.

  • 24 of 39

    Sausage Pinwheel Rolls

    Sausage Pinwheels
    Diana Rattray

    Made with puff pastry and sausage, these savory pinwheels make a fabulous brunch dish or snack.

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  • 25 of 39

    Baked Sugared Pecans

    Sugared Pecans
    Diana Rattray

    These crunchy pecans—coated in a vanilla meringue—are a fantastic party snack that will disappear quickly.

  • 26 of 39

    Pizza Crostini

    Pizza crostini on a plate.
    Diana Rattray

    It's everything you love about pizza in elegant crostini form—this recipe is perfect for a more casual New Year's Eve get together or Super Bowl celebration.

  • 27 of 39

    Marinated Roasted Bell Peppers

    marinated roasted bell pepper strips
    Diana Rattray

    These marinated pepper slices make a tasty appetizer. Serve them with French bread slices, or add them to salads, sauces, burgers, or sandwiches.

  • 28 of 39

    Easy Bean Dip

    Easy Bean Dip
    Diana Rattray

    Top this simple bean and cheese dip with chopped fresh cilantro or green onions.

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  • 29 of 39


    Diana Rattray

    These savory little bites are sure to delight your guests. Marinated chicken livers are paired with water chestnuts and wrapped in bacon.

  • 30 of 39

    Pizza Pinwheels

    Pizza pinwheels
    Diana Rattray

    It's extremely easy to prepare these little appetizer rolls with packaged crescent roll dough, pepperoni, and cheese, along with other finely-chopped additions. Serve them with marinara or prepared pizza sauce for dipping.

  • 31 of 39

    Seafood Dip With Crab, Shrimp, or Lobster

    seafood dip
    Emily Suzanne McDonald / Getty Images

    Made with the seafood of your choice, this elegant dip is just the thing to make for Christmas or New Year's Eve.

  • 32 of 39

    Simple Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

    Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp
    Bob Ingelhart / Getty Images

    Prepare these bacon-wrapped shrimp early in the day and refrigerate until it's time to broil or grill them.

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  • 33 of 39

    Spicy Cajun Style Chicken Wings

    cajun spicy wings
    Diana Rattray

    Cajun spices season these juicy baked chicken wings. Add extra cayenne pepper if you like your wings spicy.

  • 34 of 39

    Stuffed Mushrooms With Clams

    Stuffed Mushrooms With Clams
    Diana Rattray

    Minced clam flavors the breadcrumb filling for these delicious stuffed mushrooms.

  • 35 of 39

    Cajun Spiced Pecans

    pecan halves
    Photo: Diana Rattray

    These spicy pecan halves are cooked in the slow cooker. Serve these savory nuts as a party snack or give them as gifts.

  • 36 of 39

    Grape Jelly Meatballs Appetizer

    Grape jelly meatballs
    The Spruce

    Easy-to-make meatballs with grape jelly are always a hit. They're perfect for tailgating, office parties, or a home game day gathering. Take them to a party or potluck and watch them disappear.

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  • 37 of 39

    Crock Pot Spicy Refried Bean Dip

    Spicy Refried Bean Dip
    Diana Rattray

    This easy bean dip is made with taco seasoning mix, cheese, and chopped chili peppers.

  • 38 of 39

    Slow Cooker Garlic Shrimp

    Slow Cooker Garlic Shrimp
    Diana Rattray

    Toss the peeled shrimp in the slow cooker with the delicious garlic sauce and you'll have an instant appetizer!

  • 39 of 39

    Soft Homemade Pretzels

    Homemade Soft Pretzels
    Diana Rattray

    These homemade pretzels are sure to bring praise. They are topped with flaky sea salt and baked to perfection.