Christmas Appetizer Recipes

We have great Christmas appetizer ideas, including dips, spread and finger food recipes. Try our crab salad canapes, spiced pecans, and bacon-wrapped dates. Or, try one of our finger food ideas, like smoked trout with garlic cream on rye toasts, wasabi deviled eggs, goat cheese crostini with fig compote, artichoke turnovers (a tasty takeoff on artichoke dip), or fried mozzarella and sausage-cheddar balls.

Staff Picks

Martha's Cheddar Cheese Ball

Rating: 4 stars 179
Martha's cheddar cheese ball makes an ideal appetizer for any party.

Slow-Cooker Bacon Jam

Rating: 3.5 stars 2145
Spread this savory bacon jam on bread for a holiday appetizer and send your guests home with a jar.

Baked Brie with Boozy Fruit

This grand appetizer uses store-bought puff pastry. Express your artistic side with the pastry leaf decoration.

Broiled Oysters

Rating: 3.5 stars 29
Oysters take very little time to cook. Our pan-broiled hors d'oeuvre, which consists of oysters tossed with herbs and showered with olive oil and Parmesan, spends just minutes in the oven; serve with crusty bread for soaking up the sauce.

Hot Spinach Dip

Rating: 3 stars 2587
This rich, creamy dish makes the perfect party dip. Otherwise, you might devour it all yourself.

Sausage-Cheddar Balls

Rating: 3.5 stars 1270
This reinterpretation of meatballs combines breakfast sausage, cheddar cheese, and onion for a very flavorful holiday appetizer, enough for a crowd of hungry folks.

Shucked Oysters with Three Sauces

This crowd-pleasing approach to serving oysters has a little something for everyone: a classic mignonette, a spicy variation with jalapeno, and a zippy fresh horseradish sauce. Shucking your own oysters at home for the first time? Take a look at our comprehensive guide before you buy.

Classic Shrimp Cocktail

Rating: 3 stars 181
One of Martha's favorite entertaining strategies is to serve a pared-down—but still special feeling—menu. Her classic shrimp cocktail is a perfect example: it's an easy but elegant starter that shines because it calls for the very best ingredients—including a quick homemade cocktail sauce. When preparing this spread, use high-quality, sustainably sourced shrimp, and plan on about three to six shrimp per guest.

Baked Brie with Pecans

Rating: 3 stars 725
Toasted pecans and maple syrup complement the creamy Brie in this hors d'oeuvre. For the best texture, let the cheese cool before topping it with the syrup mixture.This recipe is by Everyday Food reader Kathy Quinn of Montclair, New Jersey.

Spiced Nuts

Rating: 3 stars 594
A perfect spicy snack for the holidays.

Queso Fundido with Chorizo

We recommend D'Artagnan Spanish-style chorizo for this recipe. Made from heritage pork, it has great flavor and is widely available. If you don't have a fondue pot, you can serve the queso fundido in the skillet it is cooked in; return it to the stove and warm over low as needed. This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart's Appetizers.

Salmon-and-Mashed-Potato Croquettes

Crispy and golden-brown, these croquettes are the perfect snack to serve at your next holiday soirée. Tender and fluffy cooked potatoes are combined with your choice of tinned or smoked salmon and formed into cakes. The ultra-crisp exterior is provided by a coating of panko breadcrumbs. 

Inspiration and Ideas

Lighter Appetizer Recipes
We've gathered some of our favorite recipes for lighter appetizers that ease up on the fat and have plenty of colorful vegetables and bright, refreshing flavors.
Fondue Recipes
Fondue is an easy, fun, crowd-pleaser of a party food. The most traditional fondue recipe is made with Emmental or Gruyere cheese, but endless recipe variations are possible. In addition to our selection of cheese fondue recipes, you'll also find a rich caramel dessert fondue.
Figs and Prosciutto
Rating: 3.5 stars 36

Sweet and delicious, figs make the perfect pairing for a thin slice of Prosciutto di Parma -- which, by the way, is nitrate-free and low in saturated fat. Get more healthy holiday recipes