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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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

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.

Get the Recipe: Holiday Cheese Ball Wreath

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

Creamy Shrimp Scampi Dip

This rich, garlicky dip caused a feeding frenzy in the Food Network test kitchen. We've taken a beloved shrimp-and-pasta dish and made it into a creamy, crowd-pleasing appetizer. You can make it ahead to take to a nearby potluck, then ask your host if you can borrow some oven space to quickly bake it.

Get the Recipe: Creamy Shrimp Scampi Dip

Italian Wedding Soup

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

Get the Recipe: Italian Wedding Soup

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

Baked Brie with Cranberry-Pecan-Bacon Crumble

This easy melted cheese dip is a crowd-pleaser, so you might want to double the recipe to have a backup ready! Feel free to change up the dried fruit-cherries, raisins, dates and figs would all work nicely.

Get the Recipe: Baked Brie with Cranberry-Pecan-Bacon Crumble

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

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

Toasted Ravioli

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

Get the Recipe: Toasted Ravioli

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

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

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

Shrimp Cocktail with Tomatillo-Horseradish Sauce

Bobby Flay 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

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

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

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

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.

Cheese Puff Tower

Use cream cheese, goat cheese and Parmesan 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

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

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

Porchetta and Polenta

Ted Allen 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

Flatbread with Bacon and Scallion Pesto

Baked pizza dough is the base of Alex Guarnaschelli'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

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

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

Easy Cheese Board

Ina (the ultimate party planner!) has the formula for easy hosting: the perfect cheese board, complete with four crowd-pleasing cheeses and fruit and crackers to pair with them.

Get the Recipe: Easy Cheese Board

Mustard-Onion Jam Crackers with Figs

Aida Mollenkamp tops 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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BLT Salad Bites

Upgrade the classic sandwich into a no-fuss bite-size appetizer with crispy pancetta and chive mayo served on fresh lettuce boats.

Get the Recipe: BLT Salad Bites

Loaded Baby Potatoes

Mini-loaded potatoes bring comfort food to cocktail hour. Prep the dish in advance, and then reheat the potatoes under the broiler right before you want to serve.

Get the Recipe: Loaded Baby Potatoes

Cayenne Cheese Straws

Score big points for baking your own cheese straws this holiday season; no one will know how easy they are to make. Grate your own cheese, though, as the ingredients used to prevent clumping in the pre-shredded variety can mess with the end product.

Get the Recipe: Cayenne Cheese Straws

Sausage Parmesan Palmiers

These savory biscuits are made easy with store-bought puff pastry. Don’t skip the chilling step! Resting the dough in the fridge helps maintain the shape of the biscuit as you slice.

Get the Recipe: Sausage Parmesan Palmiers

Fig and Blue Cheese Bruschetta

Sweet fig preserves pair perfectly with tangy blue cheese in this super simple appetizer that is ready to serve in just 20 minutes.

Get the Recipe: Fig and Blue Cheese Bruschetta

Shrimp Remoulade Sliders

Stick these seafood-based sliders with fancy toothpicks for an added touch of holiday decor.

Get the Recipe: Shrimp Remoulade Sliders

Cheesy Mini Peppers

Stuff jalapenos and sweet red peppers with store-bought cheese spread for an appetizer that you can make in just about 5 minutes. Make sure to tell your guests the types of peppers that are on the plate so they know what heat level they’re biting into.

Get the Recipe: Cheesy Mini Peppers

Salami Roll-Ups

These tasty one-bite appetizers require only four ingredients and are easy to pack up — perfect for entertaining on a whim.

Get the Recipe: Salami Roll-Ups

Tiny Tomato Tarts

Frozen puff pastry saves the day when you’re entertaining and strapped for time. These tiny tarts require only four ingredients and are ready to serve in just about 40 minutes.

Get the Recipe: Tiny Tomato Tarts

Greek Mezze Platter

Ina uses a combination of store-bought ingredients (like hummus and stuffed grape leaves) and homemade ingredients (like marinated feta and pita chips) to put together her simple Greek spread.

Get the Recipe: Greek Mezze Platter

Roasted Tomato, Ricotta and Basil Crostini

Crostini are Italian appetizers of toasted bread topped with almost anything; this version is topped with roasted tomatoes and herbed ricotta. Prepare separate components ahead of time and then put it all together right before you're ready to serve to avoid soggy toast.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Tomato, Ricotta and Basil Crostini

Fondue-Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms are made even better with melty raclette. Your guests will love the creamy cheese stuffing and crunchy breadcrumb topping combo.

Get the Recipe: Fondue Stuffed Mushrooms

Deviled Bacon and Eggs

Deviled eggs get the breakfast treatment. Ree tops this classic party dish with crispy peppered bacon for a new take on bacon and eggs.

Get the Recipe: Deviled Bacon and Eggs

Prosciutto Bruschetta

Rub a whole clove of garlic against slices of toasted bread to create the flavorful base of this bruschetta; the rough exterior of the bread acts as a grater and extracts garlic flavor with minimal effort.

Get the Recipe: Prosciutto Bruschetta

Vegetable Bundles with Tarragon-Citrus Dip

These veggie bundles are a nice break from the heavy food that normally shows up throughout the holidays. Get the kids involved with party preparation and have them tie the bundles together with chives.

Get the Recipe: Vegetable Bundles with Tarragon-Citrus Dip

Lobster Hushpuppies with Horseradish Cream

These high-class hushpuppies look and taste impressive, but take less than an hour to put together. Although big chunks of lobster are the star of the dish, you’ll find lobster flavor in every bite because some of the tail meat is blended right into the batter.

Get the Recipe: Lobster Hushpuppies with Horseradish Cream

Gougeres with Gruyere Mornay and Beer Mustard

Gougeres are savory puffed pastries made with choux dough, the same type of dough used to make profiteroles, eclairs, French crullers and many others. While they look impressive and may sound intimidating to take on, gougeres are actually pretty hard to mess up. Geoffrey Zakarian even advises to let them get a little over-caramelized in the oven — the bitterness works well with the rich, creamy Mornay sauce.

Get the Recipe: Gougeres with Gruyere Mornay and Beer Mustard

Caprese Skewers with Plum Balsamic Drizzle

Ree uses fresh rosemary sprigs as skewers to add flavor and presentation value to a classic appetizer combination. If you don’t have a squeeze bottle on hand, use a spoon: Holding a bowl of balsamic reduction over the platter of skewers, dip a spoon into the reduction and gently drizzle over the skewers.

Get the Recipe: Caprese Skewers with Plum Balsamic Drizzle

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Ree’s easy chicken satay is served at room temperature, so you can prepare the dish long before guests arrive.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Spinach-Artichoke Soup

Turn a classic dip into an elegant soup course. Thinned creme fraiche and chives make a simple, fancy garnish.

Get the Recipe: Spinach-Artichoke Soup

Prosciutto Persimmons

Try this cold-weather riff on prosciutto-wrapped melon. Like citrus fruit, winter is peak persimmon season.

Get the Recipe: Prosciutto Persimmons

Popcorn-Crusted Popcorn Shrimp

Consider this another way to use popcorn during the holidays without stringing it on your tree. Popcorn and panko are a more airy breading for typical popcorn shrimp.

Get the Recipe: Popcorn-Crusted Popcorn Shrimp

Steak Au Poivre Potatoes

You don't have to save steak and potatoes for the main course. Together, they make the perfect bite-sized party app served with a dab of sour cream.

Get the Recipe: Steak Au Poivre Potatoes

Creamy Escarole and White Bean Dip

Put out a crudite platter with pride at your next holiday party. You'll be shocked at how quickly this fresh dip flies off the plate.

Get the Recipe: Creamy Escarole and White Bean Dip

Mini Meatball Crostini

This appetizer mashup is the perfect mix of elegance and comfort food. Mini meatballs fit perfectly atop crostini toasts for a hearty and heavenly finger food.

Get the Recipe: Mini Meatball Crostini

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