30 Festive and Fun Christmas Appetizers
Whether you commit to the classics or want to get creative with your holiday buffet (pizza wreath, anyone?), we have the perfect Christmas party-ready recipes for you.
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Festive Finger Foods
Getting into the holiday spirit with Christmas-themed cookies, peppermint treats, and even a show-stopping Christmas roast is a no-brainer. But don't forget all the ways you can celebrate the season with fun and festive appetizers too. The classics (like stuffed mushrooms or cheesy dips) are perfect, but you can have a little fun with Christmas shapes and styles in savory dishes too. For instance this cheery, tree-shaped salad is a fun (and delicious!) place to start. A trio of lettuces create the evergreen tree, and items from the deli counter and salad bar become an edible garland. Read on for more fun recipes to add to your buffet.
Get the Recipe: Christmas Tree Antipasto Salad
Garlic-and-Herb Star Bread
This pillowy soft bread comes together quickly without any special equipment. It would work well with a variety of fillings, but the soft garlic cheese punched up with smoky chiles, fresh herbs and lemon is a bright combo against the buttery bread.
Get the Recipe: Garlic-and-Herb Star Bread
Ree chooses crunchy red and green veggies for an easy pre-dinner snack platter. A creamy, herby spread sits in the middle for dipping.
Get the Recipe: Christmas Crudités
Pizza Candy Cane Crescent
Look again: This savory candy cane-shaped appetizer is filled with all the fixings of a pepperoni pizza. A sweet basil bow is the final touch.
Get the Recipe: Pizza Candy Cane Crescent
Crispy Brie-Stuffed Mushrooms
Ree pops a cheesy surprise inside each muffin cap before topping with crispy breadcrumbs in this twist on a Christmas classic.
Get the Recipe: Crispy Brie-Stuffed Mushrooms
Christmas Tree Pesto Breadsticks
This is a centerpiece fit for a celebratory gathering. We added extra pine nuts and reduced the olive oil a bit to make a chunky pesto that spreads easily but does not melt out in the oven. Any mozzarella bits sticking out of the "branches" become golden brown and crunchy.
Get the Recipe: Christmas Tree Pesto Breadsticks
Smoked Salmon Dip
This is the perfect make-ahead party dip. Ina says it tastes even better the day after you make it.
Get the Recipe: Smoked Salmon Dip
Save time the day of by letting the puff pastry thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Get the Recipe: Cheese Straws
You'll never look at veggies and dip the same way again once you make this beautiful vegetable wreath in vibrant shades of green and red. Serve with our lightened-up onion dip or use your favorite store-bought variety to create the perfect party platter.
Get the Recipe: Crudites Wreath
This quick scampi is perfect over pasta or by itself with fresh-squeezed lemon. It serves 2 as a main course and 4 as an appetizer; and it's easy to double for a crowd.
Get the Recipe: Shrimp Scampi
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
Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts
"There are a lot of strong flavors in this recipe, but everything earns its place. You have sweet, salty and spicy — they're all well-balanced," Ina says.
Get the Recipe: Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts
Place these adorable toasts in a circle to dial up the festive vibe for a Christmas party. Caprese's red and and green hues are perfect for the season.
Get the Recipe: Caprese Wreath
Persimmons take the place of the traditional melon in this recipe. The fruit is bright and sweet and complements the salty prosciutto.
Get the Recipe: Prosciutto Persimmons
Molly's slightly sweet, Scandi-style braided bread is a delicious foil to the more savory elements on your appetizer spread. Plus, she says leftovers are great for French toast the next day.
Get the Recipe: Cardamom Wreath
Ranch Dressing Cheese Log
Trisha's cheese log is an ideal snack or appetizer for holiday entertaining. For picture-perfect presentation, roll the log in chopped pecans and serve with crackers or bagel chips.
Get the Recipe: Ranch Dressing Cheese Log
Ree gets into festive colors with these skewers that are all about the assembly: store-bought spinach tortellini, fresh mozzarella and cherry tomatoes. For a little extra flavor, drizzle on an easy pesto-packed vinaigrette dressing.
Get the Recipe: Tortellini Skewers
Turn sausage and pepperoni pizza into a festive wreath for the holiday season. Top with a golden-brown dough bow and sprinkle with fresh basil for a dish that's almost too cute to eat.
Get the Recipe: Pizza Wreath
Christmas Wreath Salad
Jeff makes clever use of a circular salad platter, adding a bowl of dressing to the center to coax the greens into a wreath shape. Turn a red pepper into a bow for the final touch.
Get the Recipe: Christmas Wreath Salad
Cheese-Stuffed Pepper Christmas Tree
This festive kale tree decked with cheese-stuffed mini chile pepper lights is the perfect centerpiece for your next holiday party. Your guests can help themselves to the chile peppers with a quick tug of a bow.
Get the Recipe: Cheese-Stuffed Pepper Christmas Tree
This simple and elegant appetizer is ready in only 15 minutes. Pair the poached figs with bread, an assertive cheese and wine for holiday entertaining.
Get the Recipe: Wine-Poached Figs
Make the beef for this canape the day before to spend less time in the kitchen on the day of your party.
Get the Recipe: Potato-Beef Canapes
Crudités Christmas Tree with Sour Cream and Chive Dip
A crudités platter is welcome at any party. Make your holiday gathering even more festive by constructing a fully decorated veggie Christmas tree.
Get the Recipe: Crudite Christmas Tree with Sour Cream and Chive Dip
These comforting Potato Puffs make a convenient appetizer in a pinch. They come together with the help of pantry staples, like whole milk, flour, vegetable oil and butter.
Get the Recipe: Potato Puffs
Make these sweet and salty toast bites in just 25 minutes. If you don't have Gorgonzola cheese on hand, you can use any creamy favorite.
Get the Recipe: Gorgonzola-Pear Toasts
Chorizo Bites with Smoked Paprika and Piquillo Pepper Aioli
Serve seared chorizo over a dollop of zesty aioli for a flavorful holiday appetizer that will leave your guests eager for the main course.
Get the Recipe: Chorizo Bites with Smoked Paprika and Piquillo Pepper Aioli
Baked Prosciutto and Brie with Apple Butter
Tyler Florence piles prosciutto and apple onto a baguette before topping with brie. The cheese will become gooey and delicious when baked in the oven.
Get the Recipe: Baked Prosciutto and Brie with Apple Butter
Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip
Ellie Krieger's red pepper and walnut dip is quick and easy to make (it's done in 15 minutes!); set it out alongside a vegetable platter for an elegant appetizer spread.
Get the Recipe: Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip
Savory Cheese Palmiers
Use store-bought puff pastry to make Sandra's crispy crackers, then top them with your favorite cheese blend.
Get the Recipe: Savory Cheese Palmiers
Wrap a slice of thin bacon around a piece of sliced pineapple and big, fresh shrimp before placing on skewers that have been soaked in water (so they don't burn in the oven). Before popping them into the oven, brush on an Asian-inspired marinade of ingredients like salty teriyaki sauce, some sugar for a sweet edge and crushed red pepper flakes for heat.
Get the Recipe: Shrimp-Pineapple Skewers