48 Great Appetizers for Holiday Parties

Appetizer Meatballs recipe

 The Spruce

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

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 and you're feeding a crowd.

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

  • 01 of 48

    Fontina, Spinach, and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

    Spinach, Bacon, and Fontina Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    A simple filling of spinach, bacon, and melted Fontina cheese makes these bite-sized stuffed mushrooms as delicious as they are easy. 

  • 02 of 48

    Hot and Spicy Baked Chicken Drumettes or Wings

    Hot and spicy baked chicken drumlettes

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    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.

  • 03 of 48

    Southern Pickled Shrimp With Fresh Dill

    Pickled Shrimp with Dill

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Pickled shrimp is an easy and tasty appetizer that serves as a nice alternative to shrimp cocktail. Serve with cream cheese spread and baguette slices or as is with toothpicks for easy eating.

  • 04 of 48

    Tortilla Pinwheels With Cream Cheese Filling

    Tortilla pinwheels
    The Spruce

    These tortilla pinwheels are always a hit at holiday parties. Serve with salsa, ranch dressing, sour cream, or guacamole for dipping.

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  • 05 of 48

    Shrimp Cakes With Sriracha Mayonnaise

    Shrimp Cakes With Rémoulade Sauce

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

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

  • 06 of 48

    Southern Pimiento Cheese Spread

    Pimiento Cheese Spread

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

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

  • 07 of 48

    Cheddar Bacon Puffs

    Bacon and Cheddar Puffs
    Diana Rattray

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

  • 08 of 48

    Super Easy Mini Pork Quiches

    Mini Shredded Pork Quiches

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Use leftover or store-bought pulled pork to make mini quiches. The recipe calls for dumpling wrappers, but mini tart shells or phyllo cups may be used as well.

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  • 09 of 48

    Reuben Egg Rolls

    Reuben Egg Rolls

     Anita Schecter

    Instead of an Asian-inspired filling, all of the ingredients of a Reuben sandwich—except for the Russian dressing, which becomes the dipping sauce—are nestled inside an egg roll wrapper and then deep-fried until crunchy and golden brown.

  • 10 of 48

    Classic Cheese Straws

    Cheese Straws on a baking sheet

    Ian O'Leary / Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images

    Cheese straws are a Southern favorite. Use sharp cheddar and plenty of cayenne for a flavorful and festive snack.

  • 11 of 48

    Clam Dip With Cream Cheese

    Clam dip

    The Spruce

    This simple clam dip is delicious as is, but feel free to add some sour cream, grated onion, or onion powder to the mixture. With easy homemade pita chips, it's a holiday must.

  • 12 of 48

    4-Ingredient Appetizer Meatballs

    Glazed meatballs as an appetizer
    The Spruce

    Meatballs always make a delicious appetizer for a holiday party. Frozen meatballs are cooked in a sauce of currant jelly and barbecue sauce for an easy snack.

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  • 13 of 48

    Stuffed Mini Peppers

    Stuffed Mini Peppers

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

    Stuffed mini peppers are a colorful and easy appetizer. The ranch-flavored cream cheese filling includes broccoli, carrot, and more pepper for extra veggies. These little delights are baked and topped with melted cheddar cheese.

  • 14 of 48

    Shrimp Cocktail

    Shrimp Cocktail

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

    Always a favorite, shrimp cocktail is easy and sure to please a crowd. In this recipe, you'll cook raw shrimp in a homemade veggie broth to give them extra flavor. While that chills, mix up the cocktail sauce from a handful of common ingredients.

  • 15 of 48

    Honey Sriracha Meatballs

    Honey Sriracha Meatballs
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    Honey Sriracha meatballs are sure to spice up the party and everyone will ask you for this recipe. The sauce for the homemade turkey meatballs accents the sweet and spicy taste of honey and Sriracha with soy sauce, rice vinegar, and ginger. They're a breeze to make and a lot of fun to share.

  • 16 of 48

    Easy Bacon-Wrapped Scallops

    Easy Bacon-Wrapped Scallops

    The Spruce

    Scallops wrapped in bacon are a snap to prepare and the presentation is impressive. They make an elegant New Year's Eve or Christmas appetizer.

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  • 17 of 48

    Crescent Roll Pigs in a Blanket

    Crescent Roll Hot Dogs "Pigs in a Blanket"

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    These pigs in a blanket are wrapped with refrigerated crescent roll dough, making them a quick and easy snack for parties and get-togethers. Serve with good mustard for dipping.

  • 18 of 48

    Sweet and Hot Pork Meatballs

    Sweet and Hot Pork Meatballs

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    A combination of beef and pork keeps these appetizer meatballs juicy and tender. They're cooked in a sweet and spicy sauce of apricot preserves, vinegar, and cayenne pepper.

  • 19 of 48

    Crab Rangoon Dip

    crab rangoon dip

    Leah Maroney 

    Crab rangoon dip has all of the flavors of the classic Chinese takeout dish and turns it into a hot, creamy dip. It's especially good served with some crispy egg roll wrappers.

  • 20 of 48

    Loaded Potato Skins With Cheese and Bacon

    Potato Skins With Toppings

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Potato skins are an easy-to-make, crowd-pleasing appetizer. Adjust the toppings to your taste and finish with a dollop of sour cream, guacamole, or salsa.

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  • 21 of 48

    Baked Chicken Wings With Spicy Peanut Sauce

    Chicken Wings and Peanut Sauce

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    For a flavorful snack, chicken wings are coated with an easy homemade peanut sauce before baking. They're served with more of the same sauce for dipping.

  • 22 of 48

    Crock Pot Party Meatballs With Tangy Sauce

    Crock Pot Party Meatballs

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

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

  • 23 of 48

    Pepperoni Bread

    pepperoni bread

    The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni

    Store-bought bread dough is filled with pepperoni, provolone, and a Parmesan-herb mixture and baked until golden. Slicing the pepperoni bread reveals swirls of pepperoni and cheese, perfect for dipping into marinara sauce.

  • 24 of 48

    Baked Ground Beef Nachos

    Beef Nachos

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Add jalapeño rings or diced fresh peppers to your nachos to spice them up and, if desired, serve them with sour cream and sliced green onions. 

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  • 25 of 48

    Copycat Avocado Egg Rolls

    Avocado Egg Rolls

     Leah Maroney

    These egg rolls have a surprise, zesty filling of avocado, sundried tomato, red onion, and cilantro. The tamarind cashew dipping sauce is the perfect accompaniment but feel free to use a favorite store-bought.

  • 26 of 48

    Chicken Liver Mousse

    Chicken Liver Mousse

    Elaine Lemm

    Add some French class to your holiday party with chicken liver mousse. The smooth and creamy paté is delicious served with toast points or grilled bread.

  • 27 of 48

    Stuffed Mushrooms With Spinach and Ham

    Stuffed Mushrooms With Ham and Spinach

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

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

  • 28 of 48

    Quick and Easy Shrimp Dip

    Quick and easy shrimp dip

    The Spruce 

    Delicious shrimp dip takes just a few ingredients and a few minutes to fix. Serve with crackers, chips, or vegetables for dipping.

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  • 29 of 48

    Party Ham Rolls

    Party Ham Roll Sandwiches

    The Spruce

    Little ham slider sandwiches, made with Hawaiian dinner rolls, are always a hit. They're easy to make in bulk for a crowd and are a great way to use up leftover ham.

  • 30 of 48

    Keto Jalapeno Poppers

    Keto Jalapeno Poppers

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

    For your gluten-free and keto guests, whip up some easy jalapeño poppers. Stuffed with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, scallions, and crispy bacon, they're sure to be a hit.

  • 31 of 48

    Maple and Brown Sugar Bacon-Wrapped Mini Hot Dogs

    Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs With Maple and Brown Sugar
    Diana Rattray

    Hot dogs or mini smoked sausages are wrapped in bacon and baked to perfection for a simple app. The tangy maple and brown sugar sauce adds lots of flavor.

  • 32 of 48

    Sausage Pinwheel Rolls

    Sausage Pinwheels

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Made with puff pastry and sausage, these savory pinwheels make a fabulous brunch dish or anytime snack. They only take a few minutes to assemble and can be made using your choice of ground sausage.

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  • 33 of 48

    Baked Sugared Pecans

    Sugared Pecans

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Sugared pecans—coated in a vanilla meringue—are a crunchy, sweet holiday party snack that will disappear quickly.

  • 34 of 48

    Pizza Crostini

    Pizza crostini with plates and Parmesan cheese.
    Diana Rattray

    It's everything you love about pizza in elegant crostini form. The toppings can be varied to accommodate you and your guests' tastes.

  • 35 of 48

    Marinated Roasted Bell Peppers

    Marinated Roasted Bell Pepper Strips

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Marinated pepper slices make a simple, tasty appetizer. Serve them with French bread slices and cheese or top other appetizers like sliders.

  • 36 of 48

    Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

    Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

    The Spruce / Jennifer Perillo 

    These fun-to-eat Buffalo chicken meatballs have all of the flavors chicken wings without the mess. Serve with the simple ranch sauce for dipping.

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  • 37 of 48

    Easy Bean Dip

    Easy Bean Dip

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Top this simple bean and cheese dip with chopped fresh cilantro or green onions and serve with chips for a vegetarian option.

  • 38 of 48

    Rumaki Chicken Liver and Bacon Appetizer

    Rumaki chicken livers with bacon recipe

    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

    These savory little bites called rumaki are sure to delight your guests. Marinated chicken livers are paired with water chestnuts and wrapped in bacon for a holiday-worthy dish.

  • 39 of 48

    Pizza Pinwheels

    Pizza Pinwheels With Marinara Sauce

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    It's extremely easy to prepare pinwheels with packaged crescent roll dough, pepperoni, and cheese. Serve the attractive appetizer with marinara or a prepared pizza sauce for dipping.

  • 40 of 48

    Seafood Dip With Crab, Shrimp, or Lobster

    Seafood Dip With Crab
    Emily Suzanne McDonald / Getty Images

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

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  • 41 of 48

    Simple Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

    Simple bacon wrapped shrimp recipe

    The Spruce Eats/Julia Hartbeck

    Make party prep easier. Prepare bacon-wrapped shrimp early in the day and refrigerate until it's time to broil or grill them. The finished appetizer is simple and elegant.

  • 42 of 48

    Spicy Cajun Style Chicken Wings

    Cajun Spicy Wings

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Cajun spices season these juicy baked chicken wings. Add more spice if you like your wings with lots of heat.

  • 43 of 48

    Stuffed Mushrooms With Clams

    Stuffed Mushrooms With Clams

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Minced clam flavors the breadcrumb filling for these delicious stuffed mushrooms. They're bite-sized and flavorful and a nice addition to a holiday appetizer buffet.

  • 44 of 48

    Cajun-Spiced Pecans

    High Angle View Of Pecans In Bowl On Table
    Michelle Arnold / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Pecan halves are tossed in a Cajun spice mix and baked until toasted for a savory snack. Serve spiced pecans as a party snack or give them as gifts.

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  • 45 of 48

    Grape Jelly Meatballs Appetizer

    Grape Jelly Meatballs
    The Spruce

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

  • 46 of 48

    Crock Pot Spicy Refried Bean Dip

    Spicy Refried Bean Dip

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    This easy bean dip is made with taco seasoning mix, cheese, and chopped chile peppers. Making it in the slow cooker frees up valuable stovetop space for other dishes.

  • 47 of 48

    Slow Cooker Garlic Shrimp

    Slow cooker garlic shrimp

    The Spruce

    Toss peeled shrimp in the slow cooker with a delicious garlic sauce, and you'll have a hands-free appetizer in no time.

  • 48 of 48

    Homemade Soft Pretzels

    Homemade Soft Pretzels

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Homemade soft pretzels are sure to bring praise. They are topped with flaky sea salt and baked to perfection. Serve with mustard, cheese, or caramel sauce for dipping.