21 Delicious Christmas Appetizers That Can Be Made Ahead of Time
Make the holidays easier with these make-ahead Christmas appetizers. These festive and flavorful dishes can be prepped a few days in advance, so you can spend more time opening presents and sitting around the tree. Recipes like Crudité Vegetable Wreath with Ranch Dip and Pear-Pecan Cheese Ball are healthy, easy and will put everyone in a jolly mood.
Crudité Vegetable Wreath with Ranch Dip
Take your veggies and dip to the next level with this colorful crudité wreath that's the perfect make-ahead Christmas appetizer. This vegetable appetizer is a stunner with white cauliflower, red tomatoes and green broccoli, green beans, snap peas, kale and Brussels sprouts. It's also a delicious way to start your celebration with veggies (which there are rarely enough of at parties and holidays). The homemade ranch dip, which uses nonfat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, takes just a few minutes to make, or you can use a healthy store-bought dip.
Pear-Pecan Cheese Ball
Sweet pear, salty Cheddar cheese and crunchy nuts make this healthy cheese ball recipe an alluring holiday treat. Serve with an array of crudités and crisp party crackers.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
Turn classic chicken parm into meatballs with this easy load-and-go appetizer recipe with a cheesy surprise inside. Once they're done cooking, just turn your Crock Pot to warm to keep them ready to serve!
Cauliflower Cheddar Bay Biscuits
Not only are these cheesy biscuits gluten-free, they're also made with cauliflower for a low-carb copycat recipe of a favorite. Cheddar cheese, garlic and chives add mouthwatering flavor to these biscuits that make them the perfect thing to start off your Christmas gathering.
Jalapeño Cheese Ball
Serve this Mexican-spiced jalapeño cheese ball with tortilla chips or use it as a spread for your next burrito.
These homemade sausage balls are a healthy riff on the original—we add riced cauliflower for moisture and a veggie boost, whole-wheat flour stands in for prepared biscuit mix and sharp Cheddar adds flavor. Make these sausage balls ahead of time and serve them for an easy appetizers your guests can munch on while you're finishing up Christmas dinner.
Mediterranean Eggplant Dip with Sizzled Garlic
The smoky char of roasted eggplant meets the nuttiness of tahini and tang of lemon in this crowd-pleasing dip that's reminiscent of classic baba ganoush. We finish the dip with sizzled garlic and a drizzle of heart-healthy olive oil.
Saffron-Raisin Cheese Ball
Saffron gives this cheese ball a bright yellow hue. Serve with a drizzle of honey and lots of crisp crudités.
Mini Sausage Stuffing Tarts
These bite-sized tarts turn traditional holiday stuffing into a clever appetizer, with an easy homemade crust and a quick sausage-mushroom filling. Prep the crust and filling in advance, then bake just before serving.
Greek Salad Skewers
Turn classic Greek salad into finger food appetizers on a stick. The cute presentation is also super easy to prepare and makes for easy eating. Just skewer tomatoes, cucumber, onion, feta and olives and serve with a side of Greek salad dressing for dipping!
Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese
Tangy horseradish flavors this smoked salmon cream cheese that's so easy to make ahead it's the perfect dip for holiday entertaining.
You'll look like an expert with this easy hummus recipe that produces the lightest, silkiest hummus you've ever had. Chilling the cooked chickpeas ensures that when they're blended with the oil and cold tahini the hummus will come out creamy rather than oily.
Pumpkin Spice Cheese Ball
All the fall spice flavor you crave but folded into creamy cheese and coated with cranberries. Serve with an array of crudités and crisp party crackers.
Easy Italian Chicken Meatballs
These meatballs are flavor-packed—thanks to a little sausage added to the ground chicken mix—and all-purpose: serve them on a toothpick with dipping sauce for an easy appetizer.
Harissa Mackerel & Endive Recipe
Harissa, the flavorful chili paste from Tunisia, gives this mackerel salad a spicy punch. If you need an alternative, try another chili paste, such as gochujang, sambal oelek or chile-garlic paste.
Muhammara is a smoky, hot and sweet red pepper dip that originated in Syria. A staple in Middle Eastern cooking, pomegranate molasses (a dark red syrup made from tart pomegranate juice) adds just the right amount of sweetness and acidity to this healthy recipe. Turn this easy dip into a full-blown appetizer spread with the addition of some crudités, grilled eggplant and crackers for scooping. Pair it with a bubbly cava or other sparkling wine for an instant party.
Pimiento Cheese Dip
Aleppo pepper, a mild and fruity chile, is unusual yet a good fit for pimiento cheese in this easy twist on the classic Southern cheese dip. Ancho chile or even hot sauce works as well.
Smoked Salmon Cheese Ball
Blanketed in chopped nuts and zesty chives, this cheese ball is festive enough for even the most discerning party guests. Serve with sturdy crackers or toasted baguette slices for easy spreading.
Endive with Goat Cheese, Strawberries & Walnuts
Filled with goat cheese, strawberries & walnuts, these stuffed endive leaves are an easy make ahead appetizer that your guests will love. Plus, the strawberries add a pop of color for a festive holiday flair.
Circassian Chicken (Cerkez Tavugu)
Circassian cooking is from the North Caucasus, which was at different times part of the Ottoman and Persian empires. This chicken stew recipe is made with a creamy walnut sauce and was originally served as a main dish, but became a mezze somewhere along the way. Serve at room temp along with some bread for dipping.
Chicken & Collard Green Spring Roll
A quick pickling turns collard stems from trash to treasure, adding a pleasant tang to these leaf-wrapped spring rolls. Cut into quarters and serve as a colorful appetizer.