During the holiday season, it’s smart to have a collection of hot and cold appetizers at the ready. This collection of simple and gourmet appetizers covers the bandwidth you need for every type of gathering. From make-ahead hors d’oeuvres like duck rillettes and country pâté, to last minute party bites like bruschetta crostini and quick canapés, there’s something for everyone here, including some of our favorite seafood appetizers, these 23 Amazing Holiday Appetizers will get you through the season with panache.
My husband’s family in Minnesota has a Christmas tradition that I’d love to adopt for our crew here. Instead of doing a big Christmas dinner with multiple courses and days of prep, they graze on hors d’oeuvres and holiday appetizers while opening presents. It’s easier, more relaxed and frankly, more fun! In that spirit, I’m sharing some of my favorite hot and cold appetizers ranging from the quick and easy last-minute fare, to make-ahead favorites. Of course, these bites will be welcome throughout the holiday season for all your parties, holidays and special gatherings.
Holiday Appetizers Start with Dips, Spreads & Toppings For Crostini, Bruschetta & Your Favorite Store Bought Crackers
These hot and cold appetizers range from sweet to savory and they’re all served on some sort of bread or cracker. Bruschetta and Crostini are two halves of the same coin. Bruschetta is grilled bread, while crostini are toasted (usually in the oven). Either way, they’re just begging for a good topping. If you’d rather go the crackers and spread route, I’ve included two of my personal favorites here. These holiday appetizers are easy to make and so good!
Roasted Grape and Goat Cheese Crostini
Oven roasted grapes with fresh rosemary become a jammy, concentrated bite that's perfect spooned over creamy pepper goat cheese crostini. Serve the grapes while their still warm, for the best flavor.
This creamy, rich dip with roasted garlic, fresh herbs and sun-dried tomatoes is perfect for snacking and hors d’oeuvres. Try it for game day or your next dinner party — it gets gobbled up whether you’re drinking beer or sipping cocktails.
I’ve been making this recipe for 20+ years and every time I do, people cluster around the dish, ooh-ing and aah-ing. It’s really more of a cheese dip with spinach and artichokes… Don’t tell.
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Cheesy Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip
This restaurant-style baked spinach artichoke dip is warm, cheesy and delicious. This spinach artichoke dip recipe has no mayo or cream cheese, so it's a little healthier than most. Serve with sturdy crackers, crostini or veggie chips for an appetizer everyone loves.
My grandmother’s recipe — these biscuits have 3 leaveners, so they rise beautifully.
Country Ham Biscuits with Apricot Butter
These mini biscuits are the standard for country ham biscuits! This easy recipe (handed down from my grandmother) makes enough for a crowd, so they’re terrific served at parties, wedding showers, baby showers or holiday events!
I’m somewhat embarrassed by the ready-made crescent dough in this recipe, but what can I say — this recipe is the BOMB!
Bacon Cream Cheese Crescent Rolls Recipe
Quick and easy, these crescent roll appetizers are irresistibly delicious. Using Pillsbury Crescent Roll Sheets, tubs of Philadelphia Chive Cream Cheese and BACON. These hot appetizers are perfect for game day and everyone loves them. Trust me, you'll be a HERO! Double, triple or quadruple the recipe as needed!
If you’re looking for make-ahead holiday appetizers, these are some of my favorites. They are beautiful, meaty and savory. From my grandmother’s country pâté, to brandied pork rillette. For a statement piece, the veal and pork terrine is a real show-stopper and the duck rillette take these party bites to the next level.
This Pâté De Campagne is my grandmother’s classic recipe.
French Pate (chicken liver and pork terrine)
This simple country pate is easy to make with chicken livers and pork sausage. It makes a classic French pate, that's a perfect party hors d'oeuvres for holidays and celebrations. Though this pork terrine looks fancy, it's more approachable than you might think.
Pork rillettes are a delicious French potted meat spread that make delicious hors d'oeuvres and appetizers. Not only are these rillettes delicious on a toasted crostini with a glass of wine, they also make perfect hostess gifts!
Living in South Florida, with the abundance of fresh fish and shellfish, seafood appetizers are a MUST HAVE at the holidays. These hot and cold appetizers range from quick and easy last minute party bites to make-ahead dishes that need a few days for the flavors to marry. Either way, you can’t go wrong with these gourmet appetizers.
This recipe is from my friend, Chef Joe Cascio, it’s a make-ahead recipe and does involve a smoker, but it’s the best fish dip I’ve ever had.
Smoked Fish Dip
Make this dip a day ahead of when you want to serve it. The flavors are deeper when it has a chance to set up.
Another Chef Joe Cascio favorite — you’ll love the big chunks of conch in these fritters.
Authentic Conch Fritters (Bahamian Style)
Visit the Bahamas, Key West or anywhere in the Florida Keys and you'll find these tasty conch fritters on the menu. But you don't need a plane ticket to enjoy this authentic island snack. This simple recipe makes the BEST conch fritters with a moderate spice and loads of tender conch meat.
Can’t wait to host another party and try all of these appetizers out!!