Holiday Appetizer Buffet Recipes

Ranging from elegant seafood nibbles to hearty picks like meatballs, hot dips, and deviled eggs, these Christmas appetizer recipes were chosen specifically for this season's most festive gatherings. Find finger buffet ideas for easygoing holiday nibbles-and-sips parties, Christmas appetizer ideas to kick off a grand holiday feast, and more ways to irresistibly celebrate the season, bite by bite.

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  • 1 of 28

    Butternut-Sage Crostini

    These decadent, creamy bites are perfect for the holidays, thanks to a dab of seasonal squash and a sprinkle of fresh sage on top. Savory cayenne-spiced ricotta in between adds richness to one of our favorite Christmas appetizers.

  • 2 of 28

    Make-Ahead Dilled Onion Cheese Balls

    “Cute” isn’t the first word that usually comes to mind when you think of a cheese ball, but when you roll one into individually sized portions, the little gems become darling indeed. What a fun way to add color and charm to your Christmas buffet menu.

  • 3 of 28

    Two Tomato Bruschetta

    We don’t try to match all of our Christmas appetizer ideas to the colors of the season, but sometimes it just turns out that way! Here, tomatoes, feta cheese and fresh herbs will provide a seasonal red, white, and green appeal to your Christmas buffet. Better yet, guests can't help but love this recipe, which is quick to make for a crowd.

  • 4 of 28

    Lemon-Zested Snacker Mix

    You could purchase a packaged holiday snack mix to round out your Christmas buffet menu, but for just 15 minutes of hands-on prep time, you can serve something so much better. Present the addictive herb-flecked mix in individual easy-to-grab bowls to make it easier for people to quit crowding the Christmas buffet table and mingle already! 

  • 5 of 28

    Bacon-Filled Medjool Dates

    Few Christmas appetizer ideas please carnivores as much as those that star bacon!  Here, the meat’s light crunch and over-the-top savory flavor makes a perfect foil for chewy and sweet Medjool dates. Before serving these easy Christmas appetizers, drizzle them with honey and top with snipped fresh thyme.

  • 6 of 28

    DIY Pimento Cheese

    You're only 15 minutes away from one of our easiest holiday buffet recipes—a quintessentially Southern party-ready cheese spread to pair with your favorite crackers. Watch the video to learn the secret to this super-easy recipe.

  • 7 of 28

    Blue Cheese and Pine Nut Puffs

    Light, rich, and crisp, this truly delightful holiday appetizer will impress your guests. Using a pastry bag, pipe the blend of Roquefort and Gruyere cheeses into pretty star shapes, and bake.

  • 8 of 28

    Crab and Horseradish Havarti Dip

    Any table of Christmas appetizer recipes needs at least one warm-and-cheesy dip! And isn’t there something about shellfish that says, “holiday special”? You can have it all in this luscious and colorful recipe.

  • 9 of 28

    Chinese Cola Wings

    Sit back and watch these saucy wings fly off your Christmas buffet! Ginger and red pepper team up with classic cola for a sweet-and-spicy party appetizer recipe that's downright irresistible.

  • 10 of 28

    Bacon and Cheese Deviled Eggs

    Deviled eggs—with bacon? That’s what we call a win-win situation. This recipe takes it one step further with some cheddar cheese, making it a win-win-win choice for your Christmas buffet. 

  • 11 of 28

    Swiss Olive Galette

    When you need a few Christmas appetizer ideas that are on the hearty side, this savory leek-and-olive tart will fit the bill. And talk about easy: It starts with a refrigerated piecrust. Check out the make-ahead directions, too.

  • 12 of 28

    Mini Party Quiches

    These bite-size cheesy quiches will tide holiday guests over until dinnertime. A crumbly Parmesan crust holds the warm egg filling and fresh tomato or herb topper.

  • 13 of 28

    Shrimp Scampi-Style

    Though it’s often served as an entrée, this classic shrimp dish—intensely flavored with herbs, wine, lemon juice, butter, and garlic—makes a terrific appetizer for a Christmas buffet. Just be sure to place plenty of toothpicks alongside. P.S.: With some Christmas appetizer recipes, one batch might be enough. That might not be the case here. Just sayin’!

  • 14 of 28

    Creamy Stuffed Peppers

    Lightly spiced cream cheese cools down the fiery jalapeno peppers for a flavor-loaded holiday bite. If you're not a fan of spicy Christmas appetizer recipes, sub sweet mini peppers for jalapenos.

  • 15 of 28

    Olive Pepperoni Kabobs

    If you’re looking for easy Christmas appetizers for your carb-conscious guests, treat them to these clever skewers. This two-step recipe combines provolone cheese, pepperoni, and pitted Kalamata olives on fresh rosemary stems for a festive low-carb appetizer.

  • 16 of 28

    Smoked Trout Bites

    If smoked fish is a must on your Christmas buffet, check out this über-tasty, extra-easy way to serve it. Six ingredients. Fifteen minutes. Done. (And if that’s not enough, you can make it up to 24 hours in advance.)

  • 17 of 28

    Avocado Pesto-Stuffed Tomatoes

    Let these adorable cherry tomato appetizers steal the show thanks to their tasty avocado, cream cheese, pesto, and lemon juice filling. To keep the mini apps standing upright, cut a thin slice from the bottom of each tomato, creating a flat base.

  • 18 of 28

    Olive Medley

    Olives deserve a place on any list of Christmas appetizer recipes. This year, make them better than ever by roasting them with wine and rosemary, then marinating them in an orange and herb dressing. 

  • 19 of 28

    Asiago Cheese Dip

    Toasted baguette slices or fresh veggies make the perfect dippers for our rich and cheesy Asiago dip. This slow cooker appetizer recipe makes almost 30 servings.

  • 20 of 28

    Classic Stuffed Mushrooms

    Add a beloved classic to your Christmas buffet menu with these garlic and cheese stuffed mushrooms. Our quick video shows you how to wipe the mushrooms clean, snap off their stems, spoon in the filling, and bake them to perfection.  

  • 21 of 28

    Olive-Cherry Bruschetta

    Every table of Christmas appetizer recipes needs at least one version of bruschetta—and preferably an extra-festive take. With goat cheese, prosciutto, and a spoonful of olive-cherry tapenade, this recipe will bring the wow factor you seek!

  • 22 of 28

    Spicy Italian Meatballs

    No party is complete without a batch of juicy meatballs. Our meatball recipe is made with Italian sausage and pepperoncini peppers for extra kick. Best of all, you can prepare them in the slow cooker, making them one of our easiest Christmas buffet ideas.

  • 23 of 28

    Mochaccino Cupcakes

    Did you really think we'd finish this collection of finger buffet ideas without at least one all-out-amazing dessert? Of course not! With rich mocha cakes topped by an amazing coffee buttercream frosting, this recipe will be a grand finale for your Christmas buffet.

  • 24 of 28

    Hamburger Sliders with Cranberry Chutney

    Yes! Sliders can be festive enough to score a spot on your roster of Christmas appetizer ideas. Simply give them a holiday spin with apples and cranberry sauce, and use festive cloverleaf rolls as mini-buns. 

  • 25 of 28

    Cranberry Sauced Meatballs Appetizer

    When dreaming up your list of Christmas finger buffet ideas, don’t forget the meatballs! Here, the crowd-pleasing party-food favorite gets into the holiday spirit with cranberries and a dash of warming spice.

  • 26 of 28

    Chunky Apple-Sage Appetizer

    Guests who are trying not to overindulge this season will be grateful if you bring some healthful Christmas appetizer ideas to the table. Here, sage, a favorite herb of the season, combines with apples and cranberries, favorite fruits of the season, for a sweet and savory bite that’s low in fat and calories. 

  • 27 of 28

    Cream Cheese and Yogurt Fruit Dip

    This simple and sweet party appetizer takes only 15 minutes of prep and five ingredients. Serve with cantaloupe melon balls and green grapes to add color to your buffet table.

  • Next Slideshow Crowd-Pleasing Holiday Casserole Recipes

    Crowd-Pleasing Holiday Casserole Recipes

    Beat the chaos of the holidays with a delicious, hearty casserole recipe (or two). Casseroles are easy to make ahead, and you can save the leftovers for dinner the next day. We've picked our favorite cozy casseroles so there's something for everyone, including cheesy pasta bakes, classic tuna casserole, and green bean creations.
    Begin Slideshow »

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