Top ten Festive Holiday Party Appetizers

Posted: December 18, 2022 10:10 am

It’s the season for all your favorite holiday goodies. The only downside is all the time you’ll spend in the kitchen whipping up edible delights. Fortunately, you can do a lot of the work ahead of time, especially when it comes to those delectable holiday appetizers.

There are way too many delicious hors d’oeuvre recipes to list here. To narrow it down, we’ve sniffed out what we consider the top 10 holiday finger foods. They can all be prepared ahead of time, and each one is guaranteed to knock your socks off.

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These treats make a stunning prelude to a lavish holiday dinner. They are also perfect as a stand-alone spread at holiday parties. Besides giving guests access to savory snacks, you will also provide party goers with a delicious place to mingle.

All of our top 10 appetizers should be flash-frozen or quick-frozen individually. It keeps your carefully crafted delicacies from turning into ice balls. Make a single layer of treats on a cookie sheet and place the tray in the freezer until the goodies are nearly frozen.

Remove the tray, stash the appetizers in an airtight container and return them to the freezer. This process keeps ice crystals from ruining the texture of your treats.

Thaw the treats in the fridge when they are ready to eat. You can also place them directly in the oven and cook a bit longer to ensure they are fully thawed.

All of that being said, let’s dive into the Holiday Appetizer Hall of Fame and find out what’s cooking.

1. Pesto Puff Pastry Pinwheel

This melt-in-your-mouth delight looks beautiful and tastes like heaven. Your taste buds will fall in love with the exquisite combination of delicate flavors and contrasting textures.

Your eyes will appreciate the simple yet elegant puff pastry pinwheel design and the artful way it’s presented. A remarkable synergy is achieved with only three simple ingredients.

All you need is pesto sauce, ricotta cheese, a dusting of flour and puff pastry. It’s delicious warm, and it even tastes amazing at room temperature.

We recommend making and freezing a pinwheel pastry in advance. Although there are only four ingredients in all, working with the pastry might take a bit longer if it’s new to you.

You might also consider giving this treat a trial run before serving it to guests. It could take a try or two to master the pinwheel design. If you’re low on pesto sauce, try fresh spinach instead.

The puff-pastry pinwheel will remain fresh in the freezer for up to two weeks.

2. Smoked Salmon Dip

This is an easy one, and because the spread reaches maximum deliciousness after chilling in the fridge for a couple of days, you absolutely should make it in advance.

Before stashing it away, ensure that the container has a tight seal. That will prevent the salmon spread from absorbing unwanted refrigerator odors.

Run the dip through the food processor for a fluffy, mousse-like consistency. If you use a mixer, the result will be a bit more chunky.

You might be wondering why we included a simple treat like salmon dip in our top 10 holiday appetizer list. This salmon dip is special. It’s not like all those other salmon dips. You know, the ones in the dairy aisle that go with your Ruffles?

This dip is made of smoked salmon, cream cheese, whipped cream, Worcestershire sauce and dill weed. It’s luscious on sandwiches and plays well with French bread, crackers and raw veggies. Get the recipe right here.

3. Traditional Deviled Eggs

Does anyone not like deviled eggs? This ever-popular finger food is a welcome addition to any appetizer table. These treats go with almost everything.

They’re low in calories, high in protein and contain no meat or gluten. Cooked egg whites are stuffed with a creamy, flavorful mix of ingredients including egg yolks, herbs and spices.

You can make deviled eggs spicy or subtle depending on the herbs and spices you add to the filling. Dill weed is perfect if you like you like your food mild. Red pepper, on the other hand, will give the filling some heat.

Once you get the hang of the recipe, you’ll be able to whip out these delicacies at a moment’s notice using everyday ingredients that you already have on hand.

Arrange deviled eggs in a single layer in an airtight container. If kept cold in the fridge, they’ll stay fresh for up to four days.

4. Classic Guacamole

This traditional Mexican dip is irresistible regardless of when you serve it. Although guacamole rarely makes appearances during the holidays, we’re always thrilled to see it when it shows up.

What is guacamole, anyway? Well, it’s mostly mashed avocado fruit that’s jazzed up with ingredients like minced garlic and fresh cilantro. Guacamole originally meant avocado sauce. Now, we just call it guac.

Spicy guacamole tastes fantastic in burritos and tacos. Guacamole toast and avocado toast can add a subtle new dimension to your morning breakfast eggs. It’s perfect for traditional afternoon tea sandwiches, and it’s delicious when served as a side with baked enchiladas.

In fact, guacamole is so tasty that most people are perfectly happy to enjoy it as a dip for tortilla chips. Guacamole is rich enough to leave you feeling satisfied, but it won’t give you that stuffed feeling you can get after eating too many meatballs.

You can make guacamole in advance, but it will only keep for a day or two. An airtight container will help to keep it fresh. If it starts to turn brown, a quick stir will restore the bright color of the fruit. Check out this easy recipe, and you’ll be making your own guacamole in no time.

5. Baked Biscuit Wreath Dip

This mouth-watering holiday cheese bread wreath is pure temptation. The center is filled with a creamy, cheesy spinach dip that’s seasoned to perfection.

Part of what makes this dish so dreamy is that you don’t have to mess around with yeast, rising and kneading. Instead, the recipe calls for standard refrigerator biscuits.

Stored in the fridge in an airtight container, homemade cheese bread will stay fresh for up to five days. To reheat, place on a cookie sheet and broil for two or three minutes.

The biscuits make this fancy, three-cheese holiday wreath almost ridiculously easy to make. Everyone loves the dip, even kids. Serve it warm topped with melted butter. Cheese bread like this has no equal.

6. Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

Roasted chestnuts are a whizz to make. The only other ingredient is the water needed to soak the nuts.

Soaking is important because it keeps the nuts from burning. It loosens and relaxes the protective membrane between the shell and the nut. Soaking also tenderizes and softens the nuts so they’ll be easy to eat and enjoy.

Homemade chestnuts have a soft texture and a rich, mellow flavor. Some people liken the taste of roasted chestnuts to baked sweet potatoes, but you’ll have to decide for yourself.

Besides being tasty, chestnuts are good for you. They help to keep your heart strong and are loaded with nutrients. Roasted chestnuts make a healthy addition to any appetizer table.

These little goodies can be roasted on the stove, in the oven or in an air fryer. They only need about 30 minutes of actual cooking time after soaking.

Chestnuts are best eaten immediately after cooking. However, you can store them in the fridge after peeling for up to four days.

7. Stuffed Cream Cheese Mushrooms

These healthy and flavorful appetizers are shamelessly easy to make, and they take almost no time to prepare. They remain fresh in the fridge for up to five days whether they’re cooked or not, and they taste absolutely delicious.

Remove the stems from the mushrooms and brush away any soil that’s clinging to the top and sides. Stuff the clean mushrooms with the filling mixture. Pop them into a preheated oven, and you’re done.

Mushrooms stuffed with cream cheese are a traditional, can’t-go-wrong party favorite. These tasty morsels are a perfect solution when you need a yummy and sharable holiday treat in a hurry.

Stuffed cream cheese mushrooms are juicy, buttery and melt-in-your-mouth tender. The filling will captivate your taste buds with a cheesy, garlicky, peppery and creamy infusion. Check out the recipe here, and see if you don’t agree.

8. Fool-proof Chocolate Fudge

No self-respecting holiday appetizer spread should be without a few rich, chocolatey indulgences. This homemade chocolate fudge is super easy to make, and unlike other fudge recipes, almost anyone can make it.

With this simple recipe, you don’t need a candy thermometer, and you won’t have to beat the fudge until it reaches the desired consistency. Instead, simply combine the ingredients and cook over a large bowl of water that has reached a slow simmer.

Continue to cook until the butter and chocolate are melted. Spread the mixture into a pan, smooth out the top and refrigerate for two hours to set. That’s all it takes to turn out a world-class pan of fudge for the holidays. You probably won’t have any left, but if you do, it will keep in the refrigerator indefinitely when stored in an airtight container.

9. English Tea Sandwiches

These charming finger sandwiches are typically served at afternoon tea time to keep guests from getting too hungry between lunch and dinner.

The tiny sandwiches can be made ahead of time with almost any kind of bread or spread. Simply cut the bread into small squares or use cookie cutters to make designer sandwiches.

Fillings can include basic ingredients like cucumbers and egg salad. For a special treat, try Russian black bread with cream cheese. Here are some tea sandwich ideas to get you started.

10. Buttered Movie Theater Popcorn

You won’t find real movie theater popcorn at many holiday parties. That’s all the more reason to make it. Put the prepared popcorn in smaller bowls and distribute the bowls throughout the room for easy munching.

Real movie theater popcorn contains a secret ingredient called Flavacol. Most popcorn does not contain this ingredient. That’s why it’s so hard to get movie theater popcorn at home.

Learn all about Flavacol and start making popcorn that knocks everyone’s socks off.

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