50 Easy Christmas Appetizers That Will Have Everyone Reaching for Seconds

a plate of food
Easy and Festive Christmas AppetizersGood Housekeeping / Mike Garten - Hearst Owned

Christmas is the ultimate celebration. From the family gatherings to the presents and of course the food, this truly is the most wonderful time of the year. And when it comes to Christmas food, while the main meal is expected to be the big event, Christmas appetizers deserve a starring role in the festivities as well.

Christmas appetizer recipes, from gluten-free favorites, like a bright and refreshing escarole salad, to easy appetizers that take no time at all to prepare (hello seasoned potato chips!), we've collected the best recipes to start your meal off on the right foot. Fan of the classics? We've pulled together some of our favorite traditional Christmas appetizers, like a showstopping cheeseboard that doubles as decor (because it's dressed up just like a snowman!). And if you're looking for some original ideas, try creative finger foods that will really impress, like salty oysters with a vibrant vinaigrette, succulent shrimp potstickers and crispy potato croquettes.

Hosting a big bash this year? Some make-ahead apps are great to keep in your back pocket, so you're not rushing to prepare the feast plus a whole plate of pigs in a blanket at the last minute. Plus, no matter if you're expecting a mix-and-mingling Christmas party with snacks (best paired with a big batch of Christmas punch!) or a more formal sit-down spread that calls for big bowls of soup or sharp salads, these Christmas appetizer ideas cross off every box. And don't forget the Christmas desserts, holiday cookies and festive shots to round out the evening, too!

Gingery Shrimp Toasts

Warning: Guests might fill up on these addictive crostinis before you even serve the roast.

Get the Gingery Shrimp Toasts recipe.

christmas appetizers gingery shrimp toasts
Mike Garten

Cranberry Baked Brie

Pass the baguette! This melty, cranberry-covered Brie will be the star of your hors d'oeuvres spread.

Get the Cranberry Baked Brie recipe.

cranberry baked brie
Mike Garten

Roasted Clams with Lemony Panko

Celebrate Christmas Eve with Feast of the Seven Fishes? Start your meal with these delicious bivalves, topped with garlicky bread crumbs. Plus, they take less than 30 minutes to make from start to finish.

Get the Roasted Clams with Lemony Panko recipe.

roasted clams with lemony panko

Snowman Cheese Board

To recreate this adorable holiday app, you'll need three cheese wheels, prosciutto for the scarf, sugared cranberry buttons, raisin eyes and a chile pepper nose. So easy, and so cute!

christmas appetizer snowman cheese board
Mike Garten

Goat Cheese Log with Cranberries, Chives and Black Pepper

Nothing tops a tray of cheese and crackers... well, unless it's a whole log of cheese.

Get the Goat Cheese Log with Cranberries, Chives and Black Pepper recipe.

goat cheese log with cranberries, chives, and black pepper
Mike Garten

Parmesan Seeded Crackers

While all your guests will be super impressed that you made your own crackers, only you will know the simple secret — pie dough. Pair these savory snacks with your favorite Christmas cocktail!

Get the Parmesan Seeded Crackers recipe.

parmesan seeded crackers
Mike Garten

Creamy Potato Soup

A cozy bowl of soup topped with potato chips will be a real crowd-pleaser this holiday season.

Get the Creamy Potato Soup recipe.

creamy potato soup

Beef Empanadas

Delicious at any holiday event, but especially a Nochebuena celebration, these flaky empanadas are filled with ground beef, spices and briny olives.

Get the Beef Empanadas recipe.

beef empanadas
Mike Garten

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Still have Thanksgiving leftovers? Turn cranberry sauce into a glaze to sweeten up frozen cocktail meatballs.

Get the Sweet and Sour Meatballs recipe.

RELATED: 51 Juicy Meatball Recipes That Are Simple Enough for Any Weeknight Dinner

sweet and sour meatballs on a white plate
Mike Garten

Parmesan-Chive Chips

Behold the easiest appetizer ever: Just sprinkle on some parmesan and fresh chives onto store-bought potato chips.

Get the Parmesan-Chive Chips recipe.

christmas appetizers parmesan chive chips
Mike Garten

Marinated Feta

Get the party started with briny, flavorful feta cheese marinated with chili, lemon and rosemary. Serve them with bread, veggies or crackers.

Get the Marinated Feta recipe.

marinated feta cheese on a green plate
Mike Garten

Roasted Pepper Dip

This chunky dip features roasted almonds for a rich, nutty flavor that's delicious on veggies.

Get the Roasted Pepper Dip recipe.

roasted pepper dip
Mike Garten

Ranch Croquettes

If mashed potatoes are a must for Christmas dinner, we suggest making an extra batch to turn into these cheesy, herby bites.

Get the Ranch Croquettes recipe.

RELATED: 46 Easy Mashed Potatoes To Help You Find the Ultimate Holiday Side

ranch croquettes
Mike Garten

Apple Sausage Rolls

Don't skip the sauce — it's a simple but delicious combo of apple butter and Dijon mustard.

Get the Apple Sausage Rolls recipe.

a plate of food
Mike Garten

Baked Ricotta

Pile a spoonful of jammy roasted vegetables and creamy ricotta on some crusty bread and you have a winning appetizer worthy of any gathering.

Get the Baked Ricotta recipe.

baked ricotta
Mike Garten

Wild Mushroom Toasts

Avocado toast, who?! This toast is dressed in festive hues thanks to red chili and fresh parsley.

Get the Wild Mushroom Toasts recipe.

wild mushroom toasts on a green plate
Mike Garten

Chorizo-and-Manchego Crostini

You've got spiked eggnog and spice cake, now keep to the spicy theme with this chorizo-topped appetizer.

Get the Chorizo-and-Manchego Crostini recipe.

chorizo crostini christmas appetizers
Brian Woodcock

Escarole Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

Add a bracing bite to any wintery feast with this seasonal salad, full of crisp, slightly bitter escarole, blue cheese and bright red pomegranate seeds.

Get the Escarole Salad With Red Wine Vinaigrette recipe.

RELATED: 22 Christmas Salads to Complete Any Holiday Dinner Menu

escarole salad with red wine vinaigrette
Mike Garten

Whipped Ricotta Three Ways

The topping possibilities are endless for this dreamy cheese dip. Try maple figs, garlicky lemon zest or peppery apricot glaze. There's a flavor for everyone!

Get the Whipped Ricotta Three Ways recipe.

whipped ricotta three ways

Sriracha Mixed Nuts

Want to start your Christmas meal off light? This sweet and slightly spicy nut mix will certainly whet your appetite.

Get the Sriracha Mixed Nuts recipe.

sriracha mixed nuts

Salmon Rillette

This elegant appetizer brings together smoked salmon and salmon poached with white wine and shallots. Go fast, because this won't last long at any party.

Get the Salmon Rillette recipe.

salmon rillette in a bowl with toasted rye bread
Mike Garten

Crispy Skillet Carrot Latkes

These crispy, delicious carrot cakes come together in mini cast-iron skillets, which might be the perfect way to serve everything.

Get the Crispy Skillet Carrot Latkes recipe.

crispy skillet carrot latkes in mini cast irons
Mike Garten

Brie and Apple Tart

If you're all about looking fancy with zero effort, this sweet and savory tart is for you.

Get the Brie and Apple Tart recipe.

lauren conrad apple brie tart christmas appetizers
Mike Garten

Good Housekeeping's Famous Popovers

It doesn't get easier than this classic starter that comes together with just five ingredients. You can serve these with butter for a simple Christmas appetizer.

Get the Famous Popovers recipe.

popover baked goods
Mike Garten

Pigs in a Blanket

Forget game day — pigs in a blanket deserve a spot on your holiday table. Arrange the dogs in a circle formation for a more striking display.

Get the Pigs in a Blanket recipe.

christmas appetizers pigs in a blanket
Mike Garten

French Onion Dip

If you really want to impress your guests, tell 'em that you made this homemade dip without soup mix. It's true!

Get the French Onion Dip recipe.

RELATED: 80 Best Party Dip Recipes That Are Easy to Serve a Crowd

christmas appetizers french onion dip
Mike Garten

Dill Dip

Freshly-cut veggies are way more exciting after they're dunked in a bowl of creamy dip. Or skip the veggies altogether and go straight for the good stuff: salty chips and seedy crackers.

Get the Dill Dip recipe.

christmas appetizers dill dip with vegetables
Mike Garten

Oysters with Mustard-Horseradish Relish

Balance out the oyster's salty flavor with a bite of mustard, horseradish and lemon zest.

Get the Oysters with Mustard-Horseradish Relish recipe.

oysters with mustard horseradish relish
Mike Garten

Beet Tapenade

Beets are a staple in the winter months — and this recipe really makes them shine. In a bowl, toss 6 oz cooked beets (cut into 1/4-inch pieces), 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp orange zest and 1/8 tsp each salt and pepper. Fold in 1/4 cup green olives (chopped), then spoon onto endive leaves and sprinkle with chopped basil.

christmas appetizers
Mike Garten

Cherry Tomato Confit

Add a spoonful of this four-ingredient confit onto crusty bread slices for a tasty bruschetta.

Get the Cherry Tomato Confit recipe.

christmas appetizers cherry tomato confit
Mike Garten

Roasted Olives with Lemon, Garlic and Herbs

These roasted olives are basically made for Christmas — look at the colors!

Get the Roasted Olives with Lemon, Garlic and Herbs recipe.

christmas appetizers roasted olives
Mike Garten

20-Minute Cauliflower Soup

If you're looking to add more veggies into your Christmas diet (we blame the cookies!), then give this creamy soup a try.

Get the 20-Minute Cauliflower Soup recipe.

christmas appetizers cauliflower soup
Mike Garten

Cucumber Roasted-Beet and Pistachio Salad

Beets, cucumber and salted pistachios come together to make a tasty (and healthy!) light salad.

Get the Cucumber Roasted-Beet and Pistachio Salad recipe.

christmas appetizers cucumber roasted beet and pistachio salad
Mike Garten

French Onion Soup

Because you'll definitely be craving this cold-weather classic all Christmas evening.

Get the French Onion Soup recipe.

christmas appetizers french onion soup
Mike Garten

Crispy Beet and Mozzarella Salad

Roasted beets add the perfect amount of crunch to this beautiful medley of arugula, radishes and mozzarella.

Get the Crispy Beet and Mozzarella Salad recipe.

crispy beet and mozzarella salad on a white plate
Mike Garten

Best Ever Spinach and Artichoke Dip

'Tis the season to feast on some savory, herby dips!

Get the Best Ever Spinach and Artichoke Dip recipe.

christmas appetizers best ever spinach and artichoke dip
Mike Garten

Jammy Brie Cups

Create cute cups by pressing puff pastry into muffin tins and dolloping jam (apricot, raspberry and fig are tasty!) and cubes of gooey Brie on top.

Get the Jammy Brie Cups recipe.

christmas appetizer jammy brie cups
Mike Garten

Frico Cups

This delicate, baked Parmesan cheese cups are deceptively easy to make. You can fill them with whatever you want, but grape tomato, olive and feta make for a light and refreshing snack.

Get the Frico Cups recipe.

christmas appetizers frito cups
Mike Garten

Pecorino & Everything Spice Straws

Twist everything bagel seasoning and grated cheese into store-bought puff pastry for the easiest appetizer ever!

Get the Pecorino & Everything Spice Straws recipe.

christmas appetizers pecorino everything spice straw
Mike Garten

Spicy Deviled Walnuts

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire are great and all, but your guests will also love these flavorful, protein-filled nuts.

Get the Spicy Deviled Walnuts recipe.

christmas appetizers spicy deviled walnuts
Danielle Occhiogrosso

Prosciutto & Mustard Pinwheels

Think of these three-ingredient bites as fancy ham and cheese sandwiches, and watch them disappear at your Christmas party this year.

Get the Prosciutto & Mustard Pinwheels recipe.

christmas appetizers prosciutto pinwheels
Mike Garten

Shrimp Curry Potstickers

This tasty potstickers won't fill you up before the main course. Serve with a Thai Lime Dipping Sauce for even more flavor.

Get the Shrimp Curry Potstickers recipe.

christmas appetizers shrimp and curry potsickers
Mike Garten

Parsnip Potato Latkes with Sautéed Apples

Because potatoes are at the top of your Christmas list.

Get the Parsnip Potato Latkes with Sautéed Apples recipe.

parsnip potato latkes with sauteed apples on a white plate
Mike Garten

Romaine Salad with Lemon-Pecorino Vinaigrette

If you fill up on your greens now, that means you can eat as many cookies as you'd like after dinner. It's the unspoken rule of Christmas, trust us.

Get the Romaine Salad with Lemon-Pecorino Vinaigrette recipe.

romaine salad with lemon pecorino vinaigrette christmas appetizers
Mike Garten

Butternut Squash and Feta Tartlets

These loaded tarts are a no-mess, no-fuss way to enjoy winter's favorite squash.

Get the Butternut Squash and Feta Tartlets recipe.

ELATED: 32 Easy Butternut Squash Recipes Perfect for Cozy Fall Dinners

christmas appetizers butternut squash tartlets
Mike Garten

Bruschetta with Mushrooms and Fontina

Mushroom fans will devour these warm, cheesy apps in seconds — wait and see.

Get the Bruschetta with Mushrooms and Fontina recipe.

christmas appetizers bruschetta with mushrooms and fontina
Eric Wolfinger

Tomato and Mozzarella Bites

If you need an excuse to serve the classic Caprese combo, just think how it will match your Christmas color scheme.

Get the Tomato and Mozzarella Bites recipe.

christmas appetizers caprese bites
Kate Mathis

Three-Ingredient Pretzel Bites

Psst: The first ingredient is store-bought pizza dough, so this recipe is even easier than it sounds.

Get the Three-Ingredient Pretzel Bites recipe.

christmas appetizers three ingredient pretzel bites
Mike Garten

Grilled Onion Dip and Naan Chips

Onion dip's already a sure-fire crowd pleaser. Step up your hostess game by serving it with oven-roasted flatbreads that hold their own.

Get the Naan Chips recipe.

Get the Grilled Onion Dip recipe.

christmas appetizers grilled onion dip
Mike Garten

Sweet Potato Croquettes

They're basically like mashed sweet potatoes, but fried and crispy. You want these.

Get the Sweet Potato Croquettes recipe.

christmas appetizers sweet potato croquettes
Mike Garten

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