50+ Appetizers For Your Holiday Party

Ready or not, it’s holiday entertaining season! We’ve scoured the web for some recipes that are sure to please.


Short on time? You can still wow your guests with some homemade fare without slaving away in the kitchen (though they might think you have!).

Christmas Wreath Appetizer – two rolls of pre-packed crescent roll dough make this a quick fix with minimal baking and prep time.

Parmesan Cheese Crisps – make your own baked chips with parmesan and tortilla shells.

Dates Stuffed with Gorgonzola Cheese – mix, slit and stuff for a sweet treat.

Prosciutto and Parmesan Pinwheels – simply thaw, layer, roll and bake.

Festive Pesto Christmas Tree – a cream cheese and pesto spread that’s super quick to make.

Scallop Appetizer Cups – Pre-baked phyllo pastry shells make this appetizer an easy and tasty way to entice your guests.

Roasted Chestnuts – if you’ve never tried this classic before, here’s how to roast chestnuts in the oven.


Looking for something light to offset those rich holiday feasts? Give one of these recipes a try:

Honeydew, Mint and Green Grape – juicy, quick skewers are attractive on their own or as a garnish in drinks.

Healthy layered dip – a hearty dip with layers of hummus, yoghurt and vegetables.

Cucumber Appetizer Cups filled with Lobster – the cucumbers form a tasty reservoir for lobster or a filling of your choice.

Thai Cucumber Shrimp – use cucumber slices instead of crackers as the base for a tasty topping.

Avocado Cigars With Mango Chutney – cool avocados balance the spicing filling of these delectable morsels.

Stuffed Cherry Tomato Appetizer Cups – tomatoes stuffed with a little mozzarella and basil.

Rice Paper Wraps with Vegetables – warning: some skill required, but it’s sure to please.

Fat Free Black Bean Dip – get some extra fibre in your holiday diet.

Caramelized Black Bean “Butter” – a vegan recipe with a little cocoa and sweet onions.

Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms – vary the size for a tasty side or starter.

Brown Rice Blinis with Smoked Fish and Crème Fraiche – so good you won’t miss the gluten.

More dips, chips and spreads

Many of these dips are quick and easy, and work well with veggies instead of crackers or chips. Tip: The leaves of French or Belgium endive are just the right shape and size for dipping or filling.

Feta cheese dip – low fat feta and fat free cream cheese make this a healthier alternative to a heavy cheese dip.

Savoury Herbed Cheesecake – find out why cheesecakes aren’t just for dessert.

Red Bell Pepper and Cheddar Cheese Spread – serve as a dip or a spread for crackers or baguettes.

Bagna Cauda – a warm dip with anchovies and garlic that’s perfect for vegetables.

Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus – hummus with a colourful kick.

Cranberry Bruschetta – a seasonal twist on an old favourite to serve up on toasted bread.

Yule Log – dried beef strips provide the finishing touch for this flavourful log.

Sunshine Fruit with Dip – lime sherbet and whipped topping make a refreshing and colourful dip.

Roasted Walnut Butter – an easy to make nut butter perfect for spreading or dipping

Dips delicious – 50PLUS.com readers share their favourite dip recipes


Looking for something a little more indulgent? Try:

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries – dress them up for a party!

Stuffed Brie – Not just for the holidays: this spicy appetizer will start any dinner party off right.p>

Prosciutto Pinwheels – an easy gourmet appetizer

Smoked Salmon Mousse with Walnut Salsa Verde – sneak in some omega fatty acids with this tasty holiday appetizer.

Caviar Mold – a little of this expensive treat goes a long way with this recipe.

Wild Mushroom Tartlets with Cheese and Brandy – wild mushrooms, leeks, garlic and a little brandy form the centre of these tempting tartlets.

Crab N Lobster Stuffed Mushroom Caps – a decadent appetizer for a special occasion made with lobster, cheese and a little vermouth.

Pear Crisps with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts – try bake pear slices instead of crackers as the base for tempting treat.


Hanukkah Cheese Gelt Coins – cheesy and crunchy, they can be made up ahead of time and stored in the freezer.

Easy Caramel Corn Recipe – a party must-have anytime of year, this is also good for holiday movie nights.

Soft Pretzels from the Bread Machine – let your appliance do all the work.

Butterscotch Party Mix – a sweet and salty party mix for all ages.

Spiced Pecans – a spicy treat on their own or a complement to any mix.

Toll House Party Mix – combine salty crunch with your favourite flavours like caramel and chocolate.

Chewy popcorn bars – nuts, oats and dried fruit add a healthy kick to this sweet treat.

Texas Ribbons – tired of turkey and seafood? Try these beefy strips instead.

Sugared Crockpot Nuts – a spicy sweet mix you can whip up in your slow cooker.

Gingerbread Caramel Corn – another excuse to indulge in some gingerbread goodness.

Great for kids

Be careful – the adults will want to steal these too!

Mini Fruit Fondue – fruit skewers with some sweet dips are a great way to sneak in some servings of fruit.

Matchsticks For Kids – pretzels meet chocolate in a recipe the kids and grandkids can help you make.

Vegetable Cheese Bread – a quick melt that’s sure to please.

Reindeer Snacks – nutty and colourful snacks made with cereal, peanut butter and chocolate.

Regardless of what you cook, make sure to practice safe food handling to avoid any tummy trouble. Cold dips can be served on a bed of ice, and warm foods shouldn’t linger too long on their platters. Any leftovers should be packaged up for the fridge before the two-hour mark (though some may need to be put away sooner.


Got a favourite entertaining tip? Share it with others in the comments.

‘Tis the season for sweets, treats and wine-pairing
Avoid holiday weight gain
12 ways to reduce holiday stress