Easy, Elegant Holiday Appetizer Recipes

Learn how to make easy yet elegant holiday appetizers for your holiday party this season from Food Network.

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Creamy Potato and Roasted Red Pepper Dip

This tangy potato dip is loosely based on the classic Greek skordalia and gets zip from a hefty dose of blanched garlic and fresh lemon juice. A quick roasted red pepper sauce is spooned into the middle of the potatoes to add even more flavor to this crowd-pleasing appetizer.

Get the Recipe: Creamy Potato and Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Swedish Meatballs

These bite-size fried meatballs are served with a sliver of pickled cucumber and a dipping sauce made from tangy lingonberry preserves and sour cream.

Get the Recipe: Swedish Meatballs

Spinach and Goat Cheese Tartlets

Fill baked phyllo cups with a bite-size version of a classic holiday side: cheesy creamed spinach.

Get the Recipe: Spinach and Goat Cheese Tartlets

Ham and Cheese Croquettes

This unique appetizer gets its inspiration from an everyday sandwich: the good old ham and cheese. Coat pieces of the creamy, ham-studded filling with egg and cracker, then deep-fry the croquettes until they're crisp on the outside and ooey-gooey on the inside.

Get the Recipe: Vince's Ham-and-Cheese Croquettes

Toasted Ravioli

Crispy fried ravioli is a sure crowd-pleaser for any get-together.

Get the Recipe: Toasted Ravioli

Ted Allen's White-Bean Soup Shooters with Bacon

When guests arrive, Ted greets each newcomer with a shot of white bean soup topped with crunchy croutons and tangy goat cheese.

Get the Recipe: White-Bean Soup Shooters with Bacon

Sweet Roasted Grapes

Roasting grapes concentrates their sweetness, while walnuts add richness and crunch to the mix. Serve with crackers and your favorite cheese.

Get the Recipe: Sweet Roasted Grapes

Bobby Flay's Lobster-Avocado Cocktail

Fresh lobster is the star of Bobby's citrusy appetizer salad. Serve it in shot glasses for perfect appetizer-size portions.

Get the Recipe: Lobster-Avocado Cocktail

Ted's Crudo on the Half Shell

Fresh seafood at its best needs little adornment. Here, Ted tops raw scallops and clams with olive oil, salt and minced jalapeno. Quality is key in this recipe: Use a trusted supplier and let him or her know you will be eating the fish raw.

Get the Recipe: Crudo on the Half Shell

Cheese Puff Tower

Use cream cheese, goat cheese and Parmesan cheese to hold this cheese puff croquembouche together.

Get the Recipe: Mount Chevrest

Crostini with Thyme-Roasted Tomatoes

Guests can hold their cocktail in one hand and these simple tomato toasts in the other. Slow-roasting tomatoes with thyme and sea salt concentrates their flavor and color.

Get the Recipe: Crostini with Thyme-Roasted Tomatoes

Aida Mollenkamp's Mustard-Onion Jam Crackers with Figs

Top crisps with ricotta and a mustard, orange and onion jam for a sophisticated appetizer. Fresh figs are a beautiful, flavorful finishing touch.

Get the Recipe: Mustard-Onion Jam Crackers With Figs

Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Brussels Sprouts

Salmon caviar is one of Tyler Florence's favorite additions to appetizers — it makes these soup shooters pop.

Get the Recipe: Cauliflower Soup, Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Smoky Salmon Roe

Onion-Herb Focaccia

This impressive-looking appetizer is a snap to make, thanks to a shortcut ingredient: refrigerated pizza dough. Top it with rosemary-oregano olive oil and thinly sliced onions.

Get the Recipe: Onion-Herb Focaccia

Ina Garten's Baked Brie

This party-perfect recipe couldn't be simpler. Just drizzle Brie with honey and bake for five to seven minutes so the cheese is soft and spreadable. Serve it with crackers and fruit.

Get the Recipe: Baked Brie

Oven-Dried Tomatoes

Make these slow-roasted tomatoes a day in advance and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Get the Recipe: Oven-Dried Tomatoes

New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp Dip

This super-flavorful dip is inspired by the spicy shrimp dishes of New Orleans. The sour cream and cream cheese base creates tangy flavor and creamy texture.

Get the Recipe: New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp Dip

Porchetta and Polenta

Ted tops crisp polenta rounds with slow-roasted, herb-stuffed pork and pickled onions. For easy party prep, make the pork roast up to three days ahead.

Get the Recipe: Porchetta and Polenta

Wild-Boar Bites

The holidays are the perfect time to splurge on a few high-quality ingredients, like the wild boar sausage on these pumpernickel squares. If you can't find it, use your favorite cured sausage.

Get the Recipe: Wild-Boar Bites

Walnut-Pepper Spread

Blend together fragrant walnut oil, toasted walnuts and a roasted red pepper for an easy, impressive appetizer.

Get the Recipe: Walnut-Pepper Spread

Flatbread with Bacon and Scallion Pesto

Baked pizza dough is the base of Alex's elegant flatbread appetizer, which is layered with lemony creme fraiche, scallion pesto and crisp bacon.

Get the Recipe: Flatbread With Bacon and Scallion Pesto

Buffalo Chicken Cheese Balls

Rotisserie chicken and sharp cheddar cheese are the key ingredients in this irresistible fried snack. A blue cheese and mayo dip spiked with hot sauce goes on the side.

Get the Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Cheese Balls

Smoked Trout, Vodka Creme Fraiche and Crispy Potatoes

Tyler uses a splurge ingredient to make each appetizer dish he serves special. "Serve fewer but better things," he says.

Get the Recipe: Smoked Trout, Vodka Creme Fraiche and Crispy Potatoes

Fruitcake Cheese Loaf

Think you can't get any use out of a fruitcake? Think again. This cheese loaf combines the classic holiday cake with cream cheese and Gorgonzola.

Get the Recipe: Fruitcake Cheese Loaf

Sausage Balls

Store-bought onion soup mix and pancake mix are the secret ingredients in these easy sausage balls made with pork and shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

Get the Recipe: Sausage Balls

Prosciutto-Wrapped Scallops

Giada De Laurentiis first coats scallops in a pesto of sun-dried tomatoes, basil and black olives, then she wraps them in slices of prosciutto. After the scallops are baked, they're served atop an arugula salad.

Get the Recipe: Prosciutto-Wrapped Scallops

Indian Spinach-and-Chickpea Fritters

Spice up your appetizer spread with these Indian-inspired spinach and chickpea fritters. Top the cumin-spiced cakes with sweet mango chutney.

Get the Recipe: Indian Spinach-and-Chickpea Fritters

Tomato Gorgonzola Soup

This easy-to-make tomato soup gets its rich texture and flavor from cream and Gorgonzola cheese. Fresh basil is also blended in, and a few colorful leaves are sprinkled on top.

Get the Recipe: Tomato Gorgonzola Soup

White Cheddar Gougeres with Apple Filling, Prosciutto and Sage

Small in size but big in flavor, these cheese puffs combine savory and sweet ingredients, including prosciutto, sage and warm spiced apples.

Get the Recipe: White Cheddar Gougeres, Apple Pulp, Prosciutto and Sage

Food Network Magazine's Mini Cheese Balls

The possibilities are endless when it comes to these mini cheese balls. Start with cream cheese and then mix with another favorite cheese (like cheddar, Parmesan, pepper Jack or Gouda). Next, roll the balls in a delicious topping (choose from chopped pistachios, herbs, bacon and more).

Get the Recipe: Mini Cheese Balls

Salmon Cakes

Ina uses onion, celery, and red and yellow bell peppers to boost the great flavor of these salmon cakes. The cakes are coated in breadcrumbs and then fried just before they're served.

Get the Recipe: Salmon Cakes

Watercress Salad with Dried Fruit and Almonds

Tyler tosses watercress with almonds and dried cranberries for a salad that's easy to make (ready in about five minutes) but special enough to be served at holiday meals.

Get the Recipe: Watercress Salad with Dried Fruit and Almonds

Holiday Cheese Ball Wreath

Bring your outdoor holiday wreath inside with this festive and easy cheese ball. Use a small Bundt pan to form a wreath shape, or roll the mixture into a ball or log. For a cheese ball worthy of any big gathering, skip the Bundt pan and colorful garnish and roll the ball in toasted sliced almonds instead. 

Italian Wedding Soup

Homemade meatballs are the secret to this soup's authentic Italian flavor. Giada uses curly endive for color and texture.

Get the Recipe: Italian Wedding Soup

Mixed Green Salad with Parmigiano Crisps

Crisp rounds of baked Parmesan cheese take this salad to the next level. The greens are tossed with mixed herbs, tomato, onion and cucumber, then drizzled with olive oil and red wine vinegar.

Get the Recipe: Mixed Green Salad With Parmigiano Crisps

Bruschetta with Shrimp, Tarragon and Arugula

For this warm winter appetizer, Giada covers slices of crusty bread with a topping of tomato, shrimp and creamy mascarpone cheese. Arugula and tarragon are also in the flavorful mix.

Get the Recipe: Bruschetta with Shrimp, Tarragon and Arugula

Chestnut Soup with Fried Parsley

Guests will love this warm, nutty soup made with roasted chestnuts and dry sherry. Serve it in short glasses for an appetizer, or use soup bowls for a first course.

Get the Recipe: Chestnut Soup With Fried Parsley

Rosemary-Cheese Spritz Cookies

These savory cookies from Food Network Kitchen contain two kinds of grated Italian cheese (pecorino and Parmesan), and they are flecked with chopped rosemary leaves.

Get the Recipe: Rosemary-Cheese Spritz Cookies

Artichokes au Gratin

For an easy warm appetizer, bake jarred artichoke bottoms with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Then sprinkle with another cheese (this time, sheep's milk), and finish the dish in the broiler.

Get the Recipe: Artichokes Au Gratin

Gouda-and-Beer Fondue Bread Bowl

This delicious fondue is served in a bowl that you can also eat once the fondue is gone. For heartier fare, serve the fondue with pieces of cooked bratwurst as well as the bread and fruit.

Get the Recipe: Gouda-and-Beer Fondue Bread Bowl

Spicy Potato Chips

Jazz up a bag of store-bought potato chips by dusting the chips with a blend of chili powder, paprika and other spices, then heating them in the oven.

Get the Recipe: Spicy Potato Chips

Roasted Red-Pepper Soup

Thanks to jarred roasted red peppers, this colorful soup comes together in a snap. Jack cheese and cilantro are the finishing touches.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Red-Pepper Soup

Herbed Goat Cheese Sandwiches

Ina's tea sandwiches couldn't be easier or more flavorful. The cream cheese filling gets a boost from goat cheese, garlic and fresh herbs, and it is topped with cucumber.

Get the Recipe: Herbed Goat Cheese Sandwiches

Mini Pastrami Sandwiches

These mini grilled pastrami-and-cheese sandwiches would be the perfect party bite for a casual midafternoon open house.

Get the Recipe: Mini Pastrami Sandwiches

Shrimp Bisque

Ina achieves a smooth, creamy bisque by blending cooked shrimp, seafood stock and tomato paste in her food processor. For sophisticated and robust flavor, she cooks the shrimp in a little cognac and sherry.

Get the Recipe: Shrimp Bisque

Hummus

This holiday appetizer is ready in just 10 minutes. Ina keeps the hummus simple with garlic and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Serve it with crisp vegetables on the side for dipping.

Eggplant Ricotta Bites

Lightly breaded eggplant is sauteed instead of deep-fried, giving it crunch without excess oil. It's then topped with ricotta and tomatoes for an eggplant Parmesan-inspired appetizer with much less fat.

Get the Recipe: Eggplant Ricotta Bites

Warm Spinach Salad

Pistachios and red grapes add a variety of textures and flavors to this warm spinach salad tossed with Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Small amounts of crisp bacon and crumbled blue cheese make the recipe seem more decadent than it is.

Get the Recipe: Warm Spinach Salad

Baked Coconut Shrimp

Traditionally fried, these coconut shrimp are instead baked in panko breadcrumbs for a crunchy coating. The honey, orange and curry dipping sauce gives the shrimp an added zest.

Get the Recipe: Baked Coconut Shrimp

Scallop and Shrimp Cocktail

Tide holiday guests over with a spicy seafood cocktail made with scallops and shrimp. Zippy ingredients like lime juice, chile and onion deliver lots of flavor but very few calories.

Get the Recipe: Scallop and Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp Cocktail with Tomatillo-Horseradish Sauce

Bobby puts his spin on the classic seafood appetizer by first poaching the shrimp with lemon, peppercorn and coriander, then serving with them a dipping sauce of roasted tomatillo, jalapeno and horseradish.

Get the Recipe: Shrimp Cocktail with Tomatillo-Horseradish Sauce

Lighter Southern Deviled Eggs

Moderate amounts of mayo combined with Greek-style yogurt add a low-fat creaminess to deviled eggs. Garnish each egg with pickled okra before serving at a holiday bash.

Get the Recipe: Lighter Southern Deviled Eggs

Layered Crab Rangoon Dip

This fresh, zesty dip takes its inspiration from a takeout favorite, fried crab rangoon dumplings.

Get the Recipe: Layered Crab Rangoon Dip

Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Dip

This savory dip features the classic combo of earthy broccoli and rich, tangy cheddar. Like most cheese dips it's best devoured immediately after it's prepared, while the sauce is piping hot. Be sure to use mild cheddar in this recipe, as sharp cheddars tend to get grainy when cooked in this type of sauce.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Dip

Seven-Layer Cranberry Cobb Dip

This festive dip is similar to a layered salad. Try scooping a mound of it onto a plate (make sure you get all the layers) and then spreading it on your favorite crackers.

Get the Recipe: Seven-Layer Cranberry Cobb Dip

Rosemary-Olive Oil Potato Chips

These potato chips are easy to make at home and fit for any occasion. Try adding rosemary and garlic to the frying oil to turn this homemade snack into an elegant party starter.

Get the Recipe: Rosemary-Olive Oil Potato Chips

Spicy Roasted Olives

These roasted olives have real kick and spice thanks to rosemary, garlic and red chile. A festive squeeze of tangerine juice adds a final bright note to round everything out.

Get the Recipe: Spicy Roasted Olives

Cucumber Cups with Creamy Salmon Whip

These bite-sized cucumber cups are light, elegant and perfect for entertaining. In one fell swoop, you get the smooth, lemony salmon cream against the cool, crunchy vegetable — no utensils needed.

Get the Recipe: Cucumber Cups With Creamy Salmon Whip

Avocado-Feta Dip

Feta cheese turns this otherwise ordinary guacamole dip into a festive tangle of flavors: savory, spicy and sharp, all at once.

Get the Recipe: Avocado-Feta Dip

Almost-Famous Spinach-Artichoke Dip

This spinach-artichoke dip is homemade comfort at its best: chunks of artichoke hearts and spinach nestled in a creamy tangle of Parmesan, cheddar and sour cream. Serve with chips for a high-impact appetizer for your guests.

Get the Recipe: Almost-Famous Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Claire's dip has all the big flavors of Buffalo chicken wings (hot sauce, blue cheese and even celery) without the fuss and fat of frying. To make it even more figure-friendly, use light cream cheese.

Get the Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Dip

Red Pepper Hummus with Toasted Pita Triangles

This hummus is dyed a gorgeous red color thanks to sauteed red peppers, which impart their own caramelized sweetness to the chickpeas and tahini.

Get the Recipe: Red Pepper Hummus with Toasted Pita Triangles

Pan-Fried Onion Dip

Ina adds caramelized onions to give this dip its sweet difference. Serve with crunchy vegetables like celery, carrots and endives for a contrast in texture and flavor.

Get the Recipe: Pan-Fried Onion Dip