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

Sausage-Cheddar Balls

Rating: 3.34 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.

Baked Brie with Pecans

Rating: 3.13 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: 3.1 stars 594
A perfect spicy snack for the holidays.

Broiled Oysters

Rating: 3.45 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: 3.17 stars 2587
This rich, creamy dish makes the perfect party dip. Otherwise, you might devour it all yourself.

Christmas Tree Pull-Apart Bread

Garlic knots form a festive Christmas tree when baked together and trimmed with "holly" and "ornaments" made of mini red peppers, fresh green herbs, and white mozzarella pearls.

Slow-Cooker Bacon Jam

Rating: 3.47 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.

Hot Crab Dip

Rating: 3.2 stars 143
Satisfy hungry holiday guests with this mouthwatering crab dip from chef Emeril Lagasse's "Emeril's Potluck" cookbook. Also try:Corn Cakes with Christmas Caviar

Three-Cheese Gougeres

Rating: 3.36 stars 44
These savory puffs fit in at just about any cocktail party. The addition of three cheeses makes them taste extra special for the holidays.

Baccala Salad

Rating: 4 stars 2
This recipe for baccala salad is courtesy of Sal Scognamillo, owner of Patsy's.

Classic Shrimp Cocktail

Rating: 2.96 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.

Inspiration and Ideas

Our Best and Brightest Christmas Appetizers
Start your Christmas meal with a few of these delicious appetizers. Some are rich and decadent, others are meaty classics, and some just plain fun and delicious. Whichever route you choose, you're bound to delight your loved ones.
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.
Rosemary Roasted Nuts
Rating: 3.67 stars

These elegant mixed nuts perk up a plate of seasonal snacks.