19 Winter Appetizers That Are Reason Enough to Have a Party
Baked Jalapeño Poppers
Get the party poppin’! These winter appetizers are inspired by one of the most popular restaurant starters. We lightened them up for postholiday healthy eating season by removing the breading and frying steps, but we kept all the flavor with two types of cheese, garlic, ground chipotle chile pepper, and toasted nuts.
Test Kitchen Tip: If you like things sweet and spicy, drizzle the platter of poppers with honey just prior to serving.
Cheesy Skillet Artichoke Dip
Your grandmother's classic cast-iron skillet is back in style. It’s still stellar at searing and baking, but we’re now fond of filling it with warm appetizers for winter as well. Crown a creamy spinach-artichoke dip with a layer of frozen dinner rolls and bake into a cheesy appetizer.
Stuffed Baked Mushrooms
No matter the time of year, there's a mushroom in season. Come winter, keep an eye out for oyster and portobellos. (The latter variety works beautifully here for a supersize version of the winter appetizer finger foods.) Baked and stuffed with a variety of crowd-pleasing fillings like roast beef with blue cheese or hummus with olives, these caps are ready to party.
Hot Wing Dip
Buffalo chicken wings are in the running for one of our favorite football-watching snacks. This warm appetizer for winter might earn our trophy though. After cooking it, keep the spicy chicken and cream cheese dip warm in your 1.5-quart slow cooker (14.99, Bed Bath & Beyond), then guests can use celery sticks to scoop it up all game long.
No need to make a trip to IKEA to savor these Swedish snacks. It’s surprisingly simple to DIY the decadent winter dinner party appetizers. Breadcrumbs soaked in half-and-half ensure juicy meatballs. After baking, all that’s left to do is toss the meatballs in a skillet to coat them in a cream sauce.
What's better than mini party sausages? Mini party sausages with bacon! These irresistible easy winter appetizers are dressed up for the chilly season in a little jacket of bacon and a coating of brown sugar.
Zesty Popcorn Mix
A little salt and spice is what we’re craving when snow is flying (yet again) outside. You too? Make a savory snack mix that rivals its store-bought versions with a simple blend of chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. The spicy seasoning joins Worcestershire sauce to coat a variety of chips, pretzels, nuts, and sweet dried apricots in the easy winter appetizer recipe.
Honey and Black Bean Dip
Spice up basic bean dip with chorizo sausage. Its spice tastes extra nice when it’s cold outside. A spoonful of sweet honey complements the peppery Mexican meat; shredded cheese, carrots, and black beans round out the fiesta-ready ingredient list in this warm appetizer for winter.
Classic Soft Pretzels
Warm, soft, salty—classic soft pretzels are hard to pass up, especially during sports-viewing season. And they’re even more difficult to resist when you can dunk these winter appetizers in grainy mustard or melty cheese sauce. A quick dip in a baking soda solution helps provide the snack's signature dark brown exterior.
Shrimp-Olive Skewers with Orange-Fennel Salad
When you’re in a rush before that big winter cocktail party, get grilling. It doesn't get much easier than skewering shrimp and green olives, and a grill pan (like this Calphalon 11-Inch Nonstick Grill Pan, $30.09, Bed Bath & Beyond) makes quick and easy work of cooking. A side of grilled fennel bulbs add slightly sweet flair to the winter dinner party appetizers. Pair with one of our three easy make-ahead dipping sauces: orange compote, red pepper dip, or Mexican cocktail sauce.
Get all the goodness of this deli favorite in a cheesy spread. Combine corned beef, sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing, and two types of cheese in your slow cooker; simmer until party guests arrive. Let guests slather the spread onto rye bread or crackers for a hearty winter appetizer.
Related: 12 Quick and Easy Hot Dip Recipes
Hamburger Sliders with Cranberry Chutney
Yes, you can incorporate cranberries into your menu long after Thanksgiving. The fresh fruit is in season come fall, but canned or frozen, they last through the cold months. Here, tart cranberries, crunchy apples, horseradish, and arugula give these beefy little sliders zing. Cloverleaf rolls are the right size to hold the fun winter appetizers.
This seasonally spiced easy winter appetizer will warm up your next gathering. The large-batch snack of simple and sweet mini pretzels is one the entire party will root for (and fight over the last bite of). After tossing with ground cinnamon, sugar, and oil, microwave the twists to reduce baking time. If you're not planning a party, the treat makes a great food gift.
Apple Pizza with Bacon
Yes, pizza typically qualifies as dinner. We love sharing slices around the supper table, but we’re also fond of serving this gourmet pie as a crowd-pleasing winter appetizer! Apples, bacon, blue cheese, and walnuts give it decidedly cold-weather flavor; honey sweetens the deal.
Paleo Rosemary Roasted Nuts
Please those who've made healthy resolutions with this paleo diet-friendly easy winter appetizer. The protein-packed snack will satisfy crunchy cravings with sweet-and-salty roasted nuts. After baking, toss the blend of almonds, walnuts, and pepitas with a buttery coating of brown sugar, rosemary, and cayenne pepper.
Cajun Turkey Sliders with Spicy Remoulade
In honor of Mardi Gras season, enjoy a taste of New Orleans with these winter appetizer finger foods. Before pan-searing, shape the turkey patties to fit mini burger buns. They'll be manageable to hold, and each bite has the taste of the sweet pepper topping that nicely complements the spicy Cajun seasoning and hot pepper sauce.
Roasted Dates with Bacon
When few fresh fruits are in season, try dried. This easy winter appetizer features sweet dates in a salty pork-base blanket. It’s as easy as this: Stuff dates with a whole almond, wrap in apple-smoked bacon, bake 15 minutes, then wait for the generous thanks.
Skip the premade bags of corn. Instead, get your awards-show-viewing party popping with this fun winter appetizer that one BH&G fan exclaims, “reminds me of childhood!” With almonds and cashews invited to the party, this snack is like a mash-up recipe of caramel corn and trail mix.
Roasted Pumpkin Guacamole
Transform the summer party staple into a winter vegetable appetizer by folding roasted winter squash into your guac. (Pumpkin or butternut squash both taste great.) Lime, cilantro, chiles—oh, yes, and avocados—help this taste like the Mexican party app you know and love...with an extra seasonal, slightly sweet twist from squash.