Three-Ingredient Appetizers Just Right for Any Holiday Party

They may look fancy, but these hors d'oeuvres are super easy to make.

selection of holiday hors d'oeuvres
Photo: Johnny Miller

For next-level hors d'oeuvres, follow the season's gift mantra: some assembly required. But unlike complicated toys, these bites really do come together fast, since each has only three flavorful ingredients. Make them for drinks with your bubble, for before the holiday meal, or just because. They'll help make any event special.

Pâté & Pepper-Jelly Toasts

Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Makes: 12

This winner canapé pairs the fattiness and saltiness from the pâté with the sweet and spicy flavors of the hot pepper jelly. A skinny baguette or ficelle is ideal here, so they remain two-bites. To make them at home, start by preheating the oven to 400°. Brush a dozen ½-inch- thick baguette slices with extra-virgin olive oil; season with flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake in preheated oven until crisp, 10 minutes. Divide two ounces country pâté among toasts; top each with ½ teaspoon hot-pepper jelly.

Manchego-Quince Bites

Total time: 15 minutes
Makes: 12

Use a young Manchego for these. It's softer, which serves two purposes—the pistachios will adhere a little better than with a harder cheese, and they're easier to skewer. Making them is a breeze. First, cut three ounces each of Manchego and membrillo (quince paste) into a dozen ½-inch cubes. Coat the cheese cubes with three tablespoons ground pistachios, pressing to adhere. Skewer on picks.

Olive-Yogurt Cucumbers

Total time: 10 minutes
Makes: 12

Here's an '80s throwback hors d'oeuvres that's also a total crowd pleaser. These cucumber cups are super simple to make. To prepare yours, trim the ends off three mini cucumbers; cut each into four pieces. Next, scoop out flesh with a half-teaspoon measure; divide ¼ cup Greek yogurt and one tablespoon olive tapenade among cavities. Top each with freshly ground pepper and a dill sprig.

Chocolate-Stuffed Dates

Total time: 10 minutes
Makes: 12

For a sweet hors d'oeuvres—and why not?—try these chocolate-stuffed dates. If you're concerned about pre-dinner treats, you can also save them for dessert. Warming your dates up on the stovetop starts to caramelize the outside of the dates a little bit, which is lovely, while also melting the chocolate. And making them is simple. Cut 1½ ounces bittersweet chocolate into 12 pieces, then stuff it into 12 pitted Medjool dates. Heat one tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet over low. Add dates; warm until chocolate melts, about three minutes. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt before serving.

Food styling by Susan Spungen; Prop styling by Marisa Sellitt.

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