Whether you’re going to a cocktail party with friends, a potluck with co-workers, or hosting your very own Christmas Open House, discover 80+ easy, delicious holiday appetizers that everyone will love!

Selections of Midwestern snacks on a Midwest Charcuterie Board.

Sometimes a great party doesn’t need more than a spread of hearty appetizers to make a meal. Whether you’re bringing a dish to pass or hosting the whole shebang, you’ll find plenty of recipes to delight your friends and family.

Serve chilled appetizers judiciously so they stay fresh, while hot appetizers can go into slow cookers for warming. Round out your menu with a room-temperature grazing board: they are easy to assemble, pretty to look at, and a snap to replenish.

Table of Contents
  1. Hot and hearty appetizers
  2. Classic chilled appetizers
  3. Dips and spreads
  4. Boards and platters
  5. Snacky snacks
  6. Dipping sauces

Hot and hearty appetizers

With appetizers like these, who needs a main entree? If you truly intend to supplant the main dish (and you should!), offer a couple of different warm choices such as beef, chicken, and vegetarian. Meatballs, cocktail wieners, and sliders are all delicious choices.

Crockpot Meatballs with Grape Jelly Sauce
The easiest party appetizer on the planet is also the most delicious. Crockpot Meatballs with Grape Jelly Sauce is a lifesaver for hungry crowds and cocktail parties, so make a double batch! 
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Crockpot meatballs with grape jelly sauce on a silver place.

Ham and Cheese Sliders

These family-friendly Ham and Cheese Sliders are the ultimate hearty party snack. Make a tray (or two) for your next gathering and watch them disappear!

1 hour
Mini Quiche 4 Ways
Skip the store-bought and make your own Mini Quiche! Try these 4 tasty combos or choose your own adventure. Make ahead/freezer friendly and great for kids!
Skip the store-bought and make your own Mini Quiche! Try these 4 tasty combos or choose your own adventure. Make ahead/freezer friendly and great for kids!

The Best Jalapeño Poppers

Bite-sized Jalapeño Poppers with an extra-crunchy coating and two kinds of cheese in the filling! Your favorite flavors without the exploding peppers.

40 minutes
Cheese Tortellini in Garlic Butter Sauce
An easy, delicious recipe for Cheese Tortellini in garlic butter sauce. Whether you want a hot appetizer for a party or a tasty, comforting weeknight meal option, double the batch because everyone is going to love it! Use refrigerated or frozen cheese tortellini; either way, it’s ready in 15 minutes or less!
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Cheese tortellini on a white plate.

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms are rich, cheesy, and insanely addictive. You’ll want to eat the filling all by itself but it’s even BETTER when it’s hot and bubbly! I eat Crab Stuffed Mushroom filling the way…

55 minutes
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
There is nothing more addictive than tender asparagus spears wrapped in salty, crispy prosciutto. It only takes 4 ingredients and 30 minutes for this simple and delicious appetizer!
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Prosciutto wrapped asparagus on a black plate with shredded Parmesan.

Mushroom and Leek Tart

A soft and buttery puff pastry crust makes this Mushroom and Leek Tart the easiest around! The filling is extra cheesy and delicious, too. Pin Now To Save!PIN IT

25 minutes
Spanakopita Triangles
These buttery, flakey Spanakopita Triangles are filled with spinach and 3 cheeses and take your cocktail party from semi-homemade to gourmet. And, learn all my tips for handling phyllo like a pro.
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A square photo showing half of a freshly baked Spanakopita triangle exposing the filling on a wooden tray with other whole spanakopita triangles.

Coconut Shrimp

An easy recipe for crispy Coconut Shrimp. Battered in panko and lots of shredded coconut, these shrimp are deep-fried until crispy and golden brown. Coconut shrimp are easy enough to make, but even easier to…

40 minutes
Baked Potato Skins
Hearty Baked Potato Skins are a crowd-pleasing make-ahead appetizer recipe. Customize with your favorite toppings, and double or triple the snack recipe to feed the whole block if you like. You won't have leftovers! 
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A party spread with baked potato skins as the main event.

Classic chilled appetizers

These appetizers are easily made in advance, quick to disappear, and might take you right back to your childhood.

Veggie Pizza
Beloved by kids and adults alike, this easy Veggie Pizza makes eating vegetables fun. Prep the entire healthy pizza recipe in just 15 minutes. You might want a double batch, though; it's just that delicious.
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Veggie pizza slices.

Easy Deviled Eggs

This easy Deviled Eggs recipe is my family’s most trusted and the only one you’ll ever need. They are creamy, delicious, and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser! I am the unofficial Deviled Egg Maker in my family.…

15 minutes
Ham Roll Ups
From Minnesota with love, Ham Roll Ups are a delicious party appetizer made deli ham, cream cheese, and pickle spears. They are salty, addictive, and the perfect tasty bite!
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Ham roll ups on a light blue plate.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Nuoc Cham

Pack up your picnic baskets and find a blanket–this recipe for Vietnamese spring rolls with nuoc cham for dipping was made for outdoor eating. Easy and fun to make ahead of time, these spring rolls…

25 minutes
Smoked Salmon
Homemade Smoked Salmon is a treat all on its own, on a bagel, in a dip, or as part of an appetizer board. My Smoked Salmon recipe is tender, smoky, and yes, absolutely worth it to DIY.
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Smoked salmon on a wooden board with capers and lemon slices on top.

Dips and spreads

Whether you use them as an easy “filler” on the table or another main event, dips and spreads are an easy way to extend a menu or continue a theme. Many can be (and should be) stirred up in advance, too. All that’s left is to choose your favorite dippers like fresh or blanched vegetables, toasted bread, or tortilla chips.

Knorr Spinach Dip
This Knorr Spinach Dip Recipe is the classic version you know and love! Cold and creamy, it's so easy to make and tastes even better than you remember. 
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A bread bowl filled with Knorr Spinach Dip.

Easy Dill Dip

Easy Dill Dip is a sure-fire hit for all your parties from here on out. This super creamy classic uses only dried herbs and spices (a great excuse to raid your spice cabinet) and only…

5 minutes
Buffalo Chicken Dip
This easy Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe is only 5 ingredients and you can make it on the stove or in a slow cooker so its warm all day long. It's great with celery or crackers at all your holiday parties and game day celebrations.
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Buffalo chicken wing dip.

Cheesy Bacon Dip

Cheesy Bacon Dip has two kinds of melted cheese, a full pound of crispy bacon, and buttery cracker crumbs. A perfect skillet appetizer to whip up for game day or weekend parties. This baked cheese…

45 minutes
Cowboy Caviar
This easy recipe for Cowboy Caviar is fun, fresh, colorful, and endlessly adaptable. It makes a great dip, salad, side dish, or even a topping for grilled meats. Always a potluck favorite!
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Cowboy caviar in a bowl on a white plate with tortilla chips.

Chipotle Guacamole (Copycat)

This Chipotle Guacamole recipe is the real deal. With just seven ingredients and a few minutes, you can enjoy as much Chipotle Guacamole at home as you can mash! Guacamole is luscious, creamy, satisfying, filling,…

7 minutes
Easy 7 Layer Dip
This 7 Layer Dip recipe is made with beans, sour cream, guacamole, cheese, tomatoes, olives, and scallions. It’s easy to make and always a hit at parties! 
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This 7 Layer Dip recipe is made with beans, sour cream, guacamole, cheese, tomatoes, olives, and scallions. It's easy to make and always a hit at parties!

Black Bean Salsa

Transform canned beans into Black Bean Salsa, an easy recipe guaranteed to please. It’s fresh, colorful, and delicious, and it might just be your new favorite party recipe. When I first began dabbling in the…

15 minutes
Homemade Hummus with Za’atar Butter
Learn the secret to the BEST, creamiest homemade hummus! Then stir in roasted garlic and top with Za'atar-spiced butter if you dare.
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Homemade Hummus with Za'atar Butter in a black bowl on a platter with veggies and pita bread.

Boards and platters

Pile up all your favorite meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, dips, nuts, and snacks! Pick a theme and a board (Italian antipasto, Midwest charcuterie) or stuff tiny jars for Jarcuterie, the ultimate single-serving appetizer.

Midwest Charcuterie Board
A Midwest Charcuterie Board ripe with regional offerings is perfect for all-day grazing and parties with people you love. Make a few things, buy the rest, enjoy it all!
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Midwest Charcuterie board on a gray countertop.
Antipasto Platter
For a snack dinner or Italian appetizer idea, you can't beat this easy Antipasto Platter. It takes just 20 minutes to build a feast of cured meats, cheeses, olives, and more.
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An antipasto platter on a wooden tray.
Jarcuterie
This appetizer recipe idea is more than a trend! Jarcuterie, or single-serving charcuterie assembled in a jar, is ideal for parties, potlucks, or even food gifts.
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Jarcuteries on a wooden cutting board.

Snacky snacks

Sweet or savory, set out bowls of crunchy, crave-worthy snack mixes for guests to graze between the buffet. Or, for your most intimate gatherings, make a batch of homemade soft pretzels with cheese sauce warming in a crockpot nearby.

Puppy Chow
Also known as muddy buddies, this classic Midwestern dessert is my go-to no-bake treat for bake sales, parties, and food gifts. If you like peanut butter cups, you'll love this easy dessert recipe.
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Puppy chow on a beige platter.

Caramel Corn

Transform air-popped popcorn into a sweet and addictive treat with just a few baking staples. This easy homemade Caramel Corn makes an excellent food gift or favor as well as a stellar game-day or party…

1 hour 5 minutes
Homemade Soft Pretzels
Homemade Soft Pretzels that are soft and chewy on the inside and crackly brown on the outside. Knot or twist your way to the BEST soft pretzels you’ve ever had!
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A platter of soft pretzels with a bowl of cheese sauce.

Dipping sauces

Not to be confused with dips and spreads (main attractions in their own right), dipping sauces play a supporting roll with many hot and cold appetizers. You can usually buy them at the store, but homemade always tastes better!

Ranch Dressing
This made-from-scratch Ranch Dressing recipe is thick, creamy, and packed with fresh herbs, just the way you and your vegetables want it. It's perfect for dipping, dressing, and tossing!
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Homemade Ranch dressing in a clear glass bottle.

Marinara Dipping Sauce

This homemade Marinara Dipping Sauce pairs perfectly with all your favorite appetizers. It’s fast and easy, made with just 5 pantry ingredients and ready in minutes! Perfect for mozzarella sticks, pizza bites, zucchini fries, crispy…

15 minutes
Barbecue Sauce
Here’s a Barbecue Sauce recipe that’s every bit as Sweet Baby Ray’s famous sauce. It’s all natural, made by you, and only takes a few minutes.
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Barbecue sauce in a glass jar.

Avocado Sauce

Avocado Sauce is a creamy, green, 2-minute salsa made with ripe avocados and serrano peppers. It’s got just the right amount of kick for tacos, tostadas, beans, and burrito bowls. When I shop for avocados,…

2 minutes
Red Pepper Jelly
Sweet and spicy, Red Pepper Jelly is one seriously delicious multitasker. It's fantastic with any type of creamy cheese, works wonders as a glaze on salmon or pork, and adds a zesty kick to a sandwich or pizza.
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Jars of red pepper jelly on a tray.
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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