1. Cranberry Pistachio Baked Brie
Here’s a gooey delicious cheesy treat with a sweet spot to it. Cook together cranberries, sugar, water and some orange zest in a saucepan while heating up a block of brie in the oven. When the brie cheese just begins to ooze, top it off with the cranberry sauce and sprinkle with pistachios and the rest of the orange zest.
2. Marinated Mozzarella Bites
While this recipe has you cooking the mozzarella and grape tomatoes separately, we think you can save time and put the mozzarella cubes together with the sun dried tomatoes in a baking dish. Whisk the spices together and pour evenly over the cheese cubes. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours. Garnish with rosemary.
3. Spinach Feta Stuffing Balls
Calling all feta lovers: we’re about to make your day with these spinach feta stuffing balls! Gather stuffing cubes, eggs, frozen chopped spinach, mushrooms, onion, and feta. Roll everything together to get 50 to 60 one-inch balls. Place them on cookie sheets lined with two sheets of parchment paper and bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 25 minutes.
4. Rosemary-Sesame Pecans
Begin by mixing sugar, salt, rosemary, and sesame seeds. In another bowl whisk egg whites then add pecans and combine everything together. Bake for about 25 minutes on a baking sheet. The result is a sweet and savory favorite, and, most likely, an empty bowl.
5. Cheese Dreams
6. Cranberry Jalapeño Salsa Appetizer
Quick, healthy, and tasty. This recipe adds cream cheese but that’s optional. Pulse cranberries, cilantro, orange juice, lime, salt, and honey. You can also include jalapeños in the blender or add them at the end as a topping. Spread this cranberry salsa on crackers, tortilla chips, or try with gourmet crackers baked with raisins in them.
7. Bacon Wrapped Crackers
We recommend making two batches of this and freezing one for later, because you’ll love how these taste. This appetizer is easy to assemble. Spread out one sleeve of crackers and add a teaspoon of Parmesan cheese and/or brown sugar; wrap with a slice of bacon cut in half. Bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours.
TIP: Try putting the cut edge of bacon on the bottom; this seems to work better.
8. Hot Roast Beef Party Sandwiches
You may want to triple this recipe because chances are it’ll be the first food gone. Take pre-made dinner rolls out of the packaging, and without separating, cut them in half horizontally. Spread on peach preserve and sprinkle with toasted walnuts. Add a mustard-mayonnaise blend and top with beef and cheese. Use foil to cover and bake at 325 for 20 to 25 minutes, then slice into sandwiches.
TIP: These can be made and frozen up to a month ahead of time.
9. Turnip Green Pesto
Sneak in the greens with this pesto dip that everyone will love—from the vegan to the meat-eater. Steam some fresh turnips and then blend them with toasted pecans, cayenne, some orange juice, and honey. The zest of orange adds a nice touch. Spread the pesto on crackers, a sliced-up baguette, or with pita chips.
10. Cheesy Cornbread Crab Poppers
Just a bite of this crabby, cheesy cornbread ball will put you in the holiday spirit. Combine all ingredients including crab meat, corn muffin mix, panko breadcrumbs, cream cheese, and sharp cheddar. Roll the mixture into balls and drop 4 to 5 into a pan with hot oil, and cook until they turn a deep orangey-brown. For a zesty dip on the side, whip up equal parts sriracha, creamy horseradish, and mayo.
11. Bacon Candy
This tasty treat is a cinch to make. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and arrange bacon strips on it. Then, coat the tops with a brown-sugar-chile-powder mixture and bake for 20 to 25 minutes on 400. Cool the bacon on a rack before serving.
12. Cheesy Mushroom Puff Pastry Bites
These mushroom puff pastries are a definite crowd-pleaser. Roll out a thawed puff pastry and cut into rounds, or slice into squares. Transfer to a baking sheet and brush with a beaten egg before adding some whole grain mustard, mushroom, cheese, and onion filling. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes.
TIP: Once you cut the puff pastry, prick each round with a fork to allow air to escape.
13. Pumpkin Pesto Pizza Pinwheel
An easy and tasty option everyone will love. Use a thin crust pizza dough from the supermarket, and roll it out, spooning one side with pumpkin puree and the other side with pesto—homemade or ready-made work. On the pumpkin side, layer dried fried sage and bacon. On the pesto section, sprinkle Parmesan and mozzarella. Roll tightly, cover in plastic, then freeze it. When you’re ready, slice it frozen and layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.
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14. Spicy Curry Butternut Squash Hummus
Add some spice to the holidays with this Indian-influenced appetizer. In a food processor, mince some garlic and salt, then add chickpeas, cooked squash, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, and curry powder. This appetizer tastes great with pita bread, crackers, tortilla chips, or veggies.
TIP: When roasting the squash, try not to remove the seeds. They can help give the squash extra flavor as the natural oils from the seeds drip into the squash flesh while it roasts.
15. Herb-Coated Mini Cheese Balls
Mix together cream cheese and feta cheese, then cover and leave in the refrigerator for about an hour until it’s firm enough to turn into a ball. When it’s ready, shape it into 1-inch balls and roll into an herb mixture of parsley, basil, and rosemary leaves. To make this recipe ahead, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for no more than 24 hours.
16. Spicy Potato Chips
Spread the potato chip love at your next party by making these with store-bought chips. It’s so fast, so easy, and so good. Put the chips on a baking sheet in the oven and warm them up at 350 degrees or until they look oily. Sprinkle with chili powder, paprika, ground mustard, salt, and a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper, then let them cool.
17. Bacon Wrapped Cheese Filled Figs
While fig is the star of this appetizer, bacon and goat cheese play strong supporting roles. It’s so easy to put together. All you do is cut an X in the top of each fig, and put about a teaspoon of cheese in the middle, then secure with bacon. Voila! A guaranteed hit.
TIP: If you aren’t big on goat cheese or bacon, you can substitute blue cheese and prosciutto.
18. Pan Fried Onion Dip
Once you make this onion dip, you’ll never go back to the dried onion soup mix version. Saute onions and cayenne until the onions are browned and caramelized. This could take up to a half hour. Mix it all in with cream cheese, sour cream, and mayo.
19. Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball
Part dessert, part appetizer, this sweet concoction can be whipped up in a flash. Start by beating together cream cheese and butter then mixing in confectioners’ sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Some argue grilling is the way to go with this appetizer, but broiling works well, too. Cut your jalapeños and remove the seeds and white ribs. Put a piece of uncooked shrimp inside and wrap with a piece of bacon. Broil five to six inches from the heat for six to seven minutes per side, or until the bacon and shrimp are cooked.
TIP: If you like them extra spicy throw a dash of Tabasco on the shrimp before putting them in the jalapeño.
21. The Best EVER Deviled Eggs
What makes these deviled eggs the best EVER? We think it’s a little of the bacon, cheddar, and sweet onion that go into this recipe. See for yourself.
TIP: If you want your eggs standing up, cut the tops off and a tiny sliver on the bottom so they stay upright. Then, scoop out the yokes or gently squeeze the yoke out the top of the egg.
22. Maple Syrup Roasted Tomatoes
Such an easy recipe that packs a punch. Pick up some cherry or grape tomatoes. Whisk some maple sugar, olive oil, thyme, and garlic, then drizzle it over the tomatoes. Bake at 250 for 3 to 4 hours. You’ll notice the maple syrup really intensifies the sweetness of the tomatoes.
23. Mini Crescent Dog Wreath
What’s a holiday party without a wreath? Even better, a sausage wreath. For this one, you’ll need some cocktail-sized sausages, refrigerated crescent rolls, a red bell pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder. Ketchup works great for dipping sauce.
24. Christmas Santa Crackers
These cracker appetizers will be an instant hit at your party—whether you have kids there or not. Start by laying out round crackers and cut sun dried tomatoes in half. Round out the face with some cream cheese, cheese slices, and currants for the eyes.
TIP: Instead of sun dried tomatoes you can use cut salami pieces.
25. Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms
When it comes to stuffed mushrooms, it doesn’t get much better than chorizo and Mexican cheese. Spoon the chorizo mixture into the cavity of each mushroom. Sprinkle crumbled panela cheese over the top, and bake for 18 to 20 minutes at 400.
26. Kielbasa with Maple Syrup
27. Chile and Lime Roasted Cashews
This appetizer brings a burst of flavor with every bite. Combine an egg white with lime zest, salt, ancho chile, and chipotle chile. Toss it with the cashews, making sure they’re evenly coated. Roast in the oven at 350 for a half hour.