15 Simple Appetizers for Holiday Entertaining

15 appetizers

The holiday entertaining season is fast approaching and one of my favourite parts of the season is enjoying special food at gatherings small and large. I’m always looking for some ideas for some quick and easy appetizers and hors d’oeuvres, to take to gatherings or to enjoy at home with my family.

I’ve rounded up 15 recipes that fit that bill perfectly. Some are easier than others but all are tasty and pretty (sometimes, it’s really all about presentation, isn’t it?!)

Wondering how many appetizers to prepare for your crowd? For a short cocktail party, plan on about 8 or 9 pieces per person. For an evening of nibbling, add some cheese trays and dips and some bread and crackers.

15 Simple Appetizers for the Holiday Season

1. tortillacups.jpgChicken Tortilla Cups – Make your own tortilla cups with flour tortillas baked in mini muffin tins, then filled with chili-flavoured chicken, cheese and jalapenos (Canadian Living)

2. tombocconcini.jpgTomato Boccocini Bites – No-Bake and Easy to Make Ahead. It doesn’t get much easier than this for such a pretty treat. Simply thread bocconcini cheese, cherry tomatoes and basil on a toothpick and serve over a glass or bowl with a bit of olive oil and balsamic for dipping. These are no bake and easy to make well ahead. (House and Home)

3. crabstuffed.jpgCrab Stuffed Jalapenos – halved jalapeno peppers, stuffed with crabmeat and topped off with a buttery bread crumb topping. Can be made 24 hours ahead and then just pop them into the over for 20 minutes when ready to serve. (Canadian Living)

4. crabcakes.jpgMini Crab Cakes – So pretty and so easy. Simply mix up the crab filling and then make a panko-parmesan and butter “crust”. Press the crust into a mini muffin tin and fill with a spoonful of the crab filling. Can be made 2 hours ahead and then bake for 20 minutes before serving. (The Noble Pig)

5. meatballskewer.jpgMeatball Skewers with Marinara Sauce – This quick and easy appetizer makes use of store-bought Italian frozen meatballs and bottled marinara sauce. Simply heat the meatballs and the marinara and serve in small bowls with a toothpick. (House and Home)

6. goatcheese.jpgSun Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Skewers – No Bake and Easy to Make Ahead. Another easy appetizer with pretty presentation. Thread a sun-dried tomato on a toothpick, add some fresh basil and a goat cheese ball, rolled in pistachio nuts. (Brian Boitano via Food Network)

7. fingerling.jpgFried Fingerling Potatoes with Tarragon Sauce – These are a little different but let’s face it, a fried potato is always great and making use of fingerling potatoes is brilliant. These can be made mostly ahead (a little frying before serving but they fry up really quickly as the potatoes are pre-cooked) (Epicurious)

8. easygoat.jpgEasy Goat Cheese Appetizer – Fast and Easy. Very simply, marinated goat or feta cheese, broken into chunks and baked with some olive oil and herbs. Serve with baguette or crackers. (Martha Stewart)

9. satayskewers.jpgChicken Satay Skewers – Chicken cooked on skewers and served with a spicy peanut sauce for dipping. (Martha Stewart)

10. goatcrostini.jpgGoat Cheese Crostini with Fig Compote – The combination of mission figs and goat cheese is always a winner. A toasted slice of baguette is topped with goat cheese and marinated mission fig compote. (Martha Stewart)

11. cheesetriangles.jpgCheese Triangles – Make Ahead and Freeze. Store bought phyllo dough is wrapped around a feta, parmesan and cream cheese filling and baked before serving. The recipe makes 64 pieces so great for a crowd or freeze and bake as needed. (Company’s Coming)

12. curried-chicken.jpgCurried Chicken Rolls – Make Ahead, Cut and Serve. Cooked chicken combines with curry sauce, cucumber and mango chutney, all wrapped up in a flour tortilla. Simply roll, slice and serve. (Company’s Coming)

13. Prosciutto Shrimp – Make Ahead and Quick in the Oven. Shrimp, marinated in lemon, honey and garlic then wrapped in prosciutto and broiled for 3 – 4 minutes (Canadian Living)

14. Spinach and Red Pepper Pinwheels – No Bake and Make Ahead. Flour tortillas, filled with a spinach dip flavoured filling and some roasted red pepper. These are no-bake and you can make these 24-hours ahead! (Canadian Living)

15. Make-ahead Spinach Phyllo Roll-ups – Make Ahead and Freeze. Spinach and cheese (cream cheese and feta) rolled into store-bought phyllo, these can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen. They can be popped into an oven right from frozen before serving. (Kraft Canada)

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  1. Thanks Erin. I have the stuffed jalapenos on my “must try” list as well :)

  2. Great recipe roundup!! I can’t wait to try out the crab stuffed jalepenos and the mini crab cakes. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

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