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25 Best Christmas Appetizers: The Ultimate Round-Up

Whether you want Christmas appetizers for a holiday party or delicious small bites for Christmas day, this is the only list of recipes you'll need! We rounded up our 25 favorite crowd-pleasing appetizers that will be the hit of the holiday—along with tips that'll make them easy to put together.

1. 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!

Perfect Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms
Photo by Mackenzie Schieck

 

2. 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 come in a roll) and it turned out fine. I will definitely make it again!"

Baked Stuffed Brie with Cranberries and Walnuts
Image by Chef John

 

3. 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.

 

4. Cocktail Meatballs

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 kick that comes with every bite. Fill a slow cooker with this popular appetizer and let folks help themselves.

Cocktail Meatballs
Photo by lutzflcat

 

5. Holiday Hot Spinach Dip

This creamy dip can be mixed ahead of time, then put in the oven just before serving. "I make this every year during the holidays," says TheresaNY. "My family loves it, even the ones who don't like one or more of the ingredients!."

Holiday Hot Spinach Dip
Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

 

6. Grinch Kabobs

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.

 

7. 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."

Classic Savory Deviled Eggs
Photo by naples34102

 

8. 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!"

Sugar Coated Pecans
Photo by SavedByGrace

9. 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 Clause 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.

Fun Santa Vegetable Tray
Photo by Allrecipes

10. Jalapeno Popper Cups

"BIG HIT!!!" says TiffanyWV of these small bites that are basically poppers in phyllo cups—yum! She also has a great tip for easy prep: "I put the mix in a sandwich baggy and snipped the corner to pipe the mix into so I wouldn't break the shells."

Jalapeno Popper Cups
Photo by Cookin'Fotog

 

11. Spinach and Ricotta Puff Pastry Christmas Tree

This recipe serves up the delicious flavors of Parmesan, ricotta, and spinach in the shape of a Christmas tree. Barbara says she "brought this to holiday party at work and everybody oohed and ahhed."

 

12. 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.

Blue Cheese and Pear Tartlets
Photo by Mackenzie Schieck

 

13. King Crab Appetizers

In this savory recipe, canned crab meat is mixed with cream cheese, Parmesan, Cheddar, Worcestershire, 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.

King Crab Appetizers
Photo by Robyn

 

14. Cream Cheese Penguins

Jumbo black olives, cream cheese, and carrots take on a dapper look with this recipe. And while these adorable appetizers may be a little labor intensive, the result is just too cute. "Gets folks laughing! Worth the effort," says Jerry G.

 

15. Stuffed Dates

"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."

Stuffed Dates
Photo by Jennifer Baker

 

16. 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."

Roasted Grapes

Photo by Meredith

17. 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!"

 

18. Cranberry Dip

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 christinhughes' suggestion and serve pretzels instead: "The pretzels were a favorite over crackers, as the mixture of sweet and salty was just perfect!"

Cranberry Dip
Photo by Mackenzie Schieck

 

19. 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.

Mini Mushroom and Goat Cheese Tarts
Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

 

20. Antipasto

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.

Antipasto
Photo by boutifullady

 

21. Christmas Dip

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!

Christmas Dip
Photo by Aurelia Traub

 

22. Swedish Meatballs from a Swede

"These were sooo good," says Loveleecakeshop. "They were gobbled up in minutes! They taste just like IKEA meatballs, but better because they're homemade!" You can't get a better endorsement than that!

Swedish Meatballs from a Swede
Photo by Buckwheaat Queen

 

23. Savory Puff Pastry Christmas Tree

"This savory puff pastry Christmas tree is filled with a combination of creamy goat cheese and sun-dried tomato pesto," says recipe submitter, Diana Moutsopoulos. And she promises it's much easier to make than it looks!

Savory Puff Pastry Christmas Tree
Photo by Diana Moutsopoulos

 

24. Sausage Balls

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 & moist sausage balls."

Sausage Balls
Photo by C.P.

 

25. Sweet, Salty, Spicy Party Nuts

You can adjust the sugar and spice 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.

 

More Christmas Ideas:

Easy and Impressive Christmas Party Appetizers
3 Classic Christmas Dinners to Make Your Season Bright
All Christmas Appetizer Recipes

About Mackenzie Schieck

Writer and photographer obsessed with lattes, Mexican food, and stuff that’s funny.