This post is long overdue and it comes from my popular YouTube video – Holiday Party Appetizers. When I made that video many years ago, I had no idea it would get so much interest. It’s always been popular around the Christmas Holiday, but I’ve noticed it gets a lot of views in the summer now as well. All of these ideas come from many years of hosting a Christmas Eve party for friends and family but they will definitely work for any time of year and there’s something for everyone. I have individual Blog posts on each but wanted to put them into one for easier access.
Bacon Wrapped Brown Sugar Lil’ Smokies
Let’s start with the most popular! These Bacon Wrapped Brown Sugar Lil’ Smokies have been the hit of many parties over the years. They are a little tedious to make but are so worth it! I’ve tried different ways of making them and go back and forth between my original method of rolling them in the brown sugar vs using a toothpick, plastic bag with sugar method. The plastic bag method is WAY quicker but doesn’t coat them as much. That’s what is shown in the picture above. Get that full recipe and how-to here.
These are pretty quick and easy to assemble and the ingredients make a ton! These Antipasto Kabobs are perfect for any party. I’ve changed up the meats and placement over the years but basically you can’t mess them up. Just use what you like and make them pretty! Get the list of ingredients and how-to here.
Olive Cheese Crostini & Tomato Bruschetta
I’ve been making this easy Tomato Bruschetta for probably longer than the Bacon Wrapped Smokies. I had them at a Christmas party many years ago and they were so good! I decided to put my own spin on them and make them super easy and they are still a big hit. These Olive Cheese Crostini are from a holiday recipe book I came across years ago. The original recipe calls for goat cheese and I’d use that if you like it. I cannot eat it so I substitute with Boursin cheese spread and I think it’s just as good! If you want to take a shortcut with the Olive Tapenade, do yourself a favor and buy it at Trader Joe’s. It tastes exactly the same! We just got TJ’s recently and that is the first thing I thought of when I tried theirs. Get that full recipe here.
Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip
This is another crowd favorite and one of my personal favorites! This Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip is full of cheesy goodness! Warms up nicely in the microwave if you have leftovers, too. I’ve shown a few things here that we like to dip in but it goes with everything, including basic crackers. Get that full recipe here.
If you love cheese, especially Brie, you need to make this one! I know most people make a sweet Baked Brie but I really like this savory recipe. I had this at a party many years ago and loved it so much I immediately asked for the recipe. It’s easy to make and I love cutting into it and all the gooey cheese runs out. Check out that full recipe here.
Ranch Cocktail Crackers
These Ranch Cocktail Crackers are easy and fun! Add anything to a large martini glass and it immediately becomes more festive. You could use larger crackers for this as well but I think the oyster crackers are cute in the glass. Perfect to set out on tables or on the bar. Get that full recipe and how-to here.
Other Recipes & Things To Try
Here’s a few other ideas pictured above that we often do. That first picture is older I can tell because we’ve had our kitchen cabinets painted white for about 5 years. I’m still making these appetizers! I try to do a mix of making things and buying easy items to heat up.
Meatballs – these are super easy to make and a crowd pleaser. I just use bite sized frozen. Thaw them a bit in the microwave and toss them into a small slow cooker with whatever marinara you like. I know there are tons of recipes for sauces but we like them traditional. If I ever try a new one I’ll be sure to add it to this post.
Cheese Board & Charcuterie – You can make these as big or small as you’d like depending on the number of guests. This picture above was a smaller version for about 6 people. I already had the Antipasto Kabobs so I didn’t add any meats to this. You can get very creative and go all out with these. I know I’m a sucker for a snack board of any type. I actually bought a fun Boards & Platters book a few years ago and it’s a good place to start if you need ideas. I even added it to my Home & Kitchen Gift Guide the past two years.
Frozen Apps & Desserts – Don’t forget to check out the frozen appetizer section of your grocery store. I’ve done things like Pigs n’ Blankets, Mini Quiche, Mini Spring Rolls, etc. For a fun dessert if you don’t want to bake or to add to homemade desserts, Frozen Mini Cream Puffs are great! Not only do they look good on any platter, they are easy to eat. Thaw them at room temperature for a bit before serving. Pro Tip: they are best when slightly frozen/extra cold in the middle. You’re welcome!
Thanks for stopping by and I hope this gives you some inspiration for your next holiday party! Please let me know if you make any of these or what your favorite appetizer is.