10-Minute Holiday Appetizers

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Walnut-Pepper Spread

Topping sprinkled with herbs in a gray pottery style dish placed on a dark gray surface

©Con Poulos, Jamie Kimm Marina Malchin

Con Poulos, Jamie Kimm Marina Malchin

With the constant flurry of tree trimming, gift wrapping and cookie swapping going on this month, the added task of preparing a big holiday dinner can quickly become overwhelming. Take some of the stress out of the season with the help of these easy appetizers that take just 10 minutes to prepare or assemble. Start off with Food Network Magazine's colorful  Walnut-Pepper Spread, which balances earthy toasted walnuts and roasted red peppers with honey and a pinch of red pepper flakes for subtly sweet heat. As an added holiday bonus, this dip can even be made a day in advance and refrigerated.

Watercress Salad with Dried Fruit and Almonds: For a fresh last-minute starter, Tyler tosses hand-torn watercress in a simple red-wine vinaigrette before topping it with tangy dried cranberries and toasted almonds.

Watercress Salad with Dried Fruit and Almonds

Tyler Florence - Watercress Salad with Dried Fruit and Almonds

Photo by: Adrian Mueller ©2012, Adrian Mueller / AMueller.com, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Adrian Mueller, 2012, Adrian Mueller / AMueller.com, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Spicy Potato ChipsDress up a store-bought bag of plain chips by sprinkling them with chili powder, paprika and ground mustard and baking them for a few minutes until fragrant.

Spicy Potato Chips


Food stylist: Jamie Kimm Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin

©Con Poulos

Con Poulos

Spinach-Ricotta Dip: Whirl a box of frozen spinach in the food processor along with garlic, ricotta and toasted pine nuts for a flavorful dip that's ready in a flash.

Spinach-Ricotta Dip

AI-0112 Spinach Ricotta Dip Ask Aida

Pistachio Cannoli Bruschetta: For holiday guests with a pre-dinner sweet tooth, try serving this vanilla-laced ricotta spread over baguette toasts with a sprinkling of chopped pistachios and shaved chocolate.

Pistachio Cannoli Bruschetta


Food stylist: Stephana Bottom Prop stylist: Leslie Siegel

Photo by: Andrew McCaul

Andrew McCaul

For more inspired ways to start off your festive feast, check out the full list of Food Network’s best holiday appetizer recipes.

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