Christmas Appetizer Recipes

Christmas appetizer recipes account for a large part of our holiday foods. Actually they are not just for Christmas and other holidays but people love appetizers all year. I know many families who eat appetizers for their meals. I also love appetizers! I make a lot of appetizers for New Years Eve. Because they are in small bites I feel I can eat something of each to enjoy a selection of all the flavors. This is the only time I make so many at one time and I do look forward to that time.

Christmas Appetizer RecipesChristmas Appetizer Recipes

Christmas appetizer recipes are also very important during this holiday season. They are not just for “parties” but can be served all during the Christmas season and on into the New Year. This is the time of year when family and friends come to visit the most. I have always found guests feel welcomed if they are offered some type of food and a drink like coffee, tea, punch or whatever. You will see their appreciation and the desire to return. This is what makes you a good host.

Many Christmas appetizer recipes are easy to make and can be made in advance. Some can be served cold from the refrigerator and some can quickly be heated in the microwave. These also make good snacks for husband, wife, children and others. It really makes the holidays special when you pull these out to serve your family at this special time.

If you are entertaining with a holiday party, your guests will love a good selection of Christmas appetizer recipes. When I have a party, one of the first things I do is to make a list of the foods to be served. I make sure to have a variety of appetizers. This means I want different ingredients in them to appease all appetites. I like to have an assortment of hot and cold ones. Speaking of “hot and cold”, remember that the cold ones need to be kept cold. The hot ones also need to be kept hot. This means that you will need some type of warmers for an extended period of time. Cold ones seem to be easier because they can usually be arranged on ice. 


Party Peppermint TreeParty Peppermint Tree

This is a great idea to place on the table when you serve your Christmas appetizer recipes.

Materials Needed

  • Styrofoam cone (18 Inches tall)
  • Shallow dish
  • Peppermint candies (4-5 Pounds; I buy at Sam’s or Costco)
  • Glue gun
  • Ribbon

Place large cone in center of a larger shallow dish; adhere bottom to dish with glue gun.

Cover the cone tightly with foil; put a drop of glue on back of each wrapped candy.

Cover the foil wrapped cone with the candy pieces; if needed fill empty spots with ribbon bows.

Decorate dish with Christmas ribbon, greens or flowers; fill dish with peppermint candies.

NOTE: I glued on graham cracker teddy bears which cannot be eaten; candy is glued with paper on so is OK to eat.


Microwave Brie WheelMicrowave Brie Wheel

Many Christmas appetizer recipes are very quick when using a microwave.

  • 1 Whole round Brie cheese (14 Ounces)
  • 4 Teaspoons cranberry chutney
  • 4 Teaspoons finely chopped walnuts
  • 4 Teaspoons finely chopped green cherries

Score top of cheese into 6 wedges.

Arrange the fruit and nuts onto alternating wedges.

Cover with wax paper; microwave on medium about 2 minutes.

NOTE: You only want cheese to be slightly warm.

Serve with crackers or bread if desired; 24 servings.


Ice Basket with ShrimpIce Basket with Shrimp

Other Christmas appetizer recipes will be outshined with the beautiful ice basket.

  • 4 Ice cubes
  • 2 Stainless steel bowls; 1 slightly larger than the other
  • 1 ½ Gallons distilled water
  • Variety of fresh herbs, flowers and petals
  • 4-5 bendable tree branches or grapevines; 18 inches long
  • Shallow glass platter
  • 1- 1 ½ Pounds chilled cooked shrimp
  • Cocktail sauce

Place ice cubes in the larger bowl.

Place smaller bowl on top of ice cubes.

Place a heavy weight inside the smaller bowl.

Pour the distilled water between the 2 bowls.

Tuck enough herbs and flowers in the space between bowls so they do not float to the top.

Shape the branches or grapevines into a handle and place ends in water.

Freeze until very solid.

Unmold ice basket from bowls in sink by setting briefly in warm water.

Freeze ice basket until serving time.

Place ice basket on shallow platter; fill with shrimp.

Serve with cocktail sauce.


Asian Chicken WingsAsian Chicken Wings

I always include in my Christmas appetizer recipes at least one recipe if not more for chicken wings.

  • 24 Chicken wings
  • 2/3 Cup soy sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons dry sherry
  • 4 Slices fresh ginger
  • 1 Whole star of anise
  • 2/3 Cup water
  • Red bell pepper strips for garnish

Place chicken wings in a large pan; add remaining ingredients.

Bring mixture to a boil; cover and simmer over low for 20 minutes.

Uncover the pan and increase the heat to medium.

Continue cooking wings for 15 minutes or until done stirring occasionally.

NOTE: Remove smaller wings as they get done and cook thicker ones longer until done.

Drain he wings; cover and refrigerate overnight for better flavor.

Arrange cold wings on serving platter and garnish with red bell peppers; serves 10-12.


Stuffed Mushrooms with Crab MeatStuffed Mushrooms with Crab Meat

Stuffed mushrooms are favored by my guests for Christmas appetizer recipes.

  • 32 Large button mushrooms
  • ½ Cup butter
  • 2 Tablespoons minced green onion
  • 1 Pound crab meat
  • ½ Cup sherry
  • 2 Tablespoons brandy
  • 1 Cup cream sauce (Recipe below if needed)
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped chives
  • Salt to taste
  • White pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F degrees.

Remove stems of mushrooms; chop stems and set aside.

Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.

Stir in green onion; add chopped stems and crab meat.

Sauté mixture for 5 minutes.

Add sherry and brandy; stir and cook 8 minutes until liquid is reduced.

Add cream sauce, salt and pepper; mix well.

Stuff mushrooms with mixture; place in buttered baking dish.

Sprinkle with chives and bake for 5 minutes; serves 8.

Cream Sauce Recipe

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/8 Teaspoon paprika
  • 1 Cup light cream

Melt butter in heavy saucepan over low heat.

Stir in flour, salt, pepper and paprika until smooth.

Gradually stir in the cream; cook and stir until smooth.

Continue cooking and stirring until thickened.

Makes about 1 ½ cups.


Christmas Appetizer Recipes Shaped like TreesChristmas Appetizer Recipes Shaped like Trees
  • 2 Packages (8 Ounces) softened cream cheese
  • 1 Cup chopped roasted red bell peppers (Drain)
  • ½ Cup chopped ripe olives
  • ½ Cup chopped fresh basil
  • ½ Cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Pinch garlic powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 6 Flour tortillas (Spinach flavor 8-10 inches)
  • Ripe olives for tree trunks

Combine cheese and next 6 ingredients.

Divide mixture among tortillas spreading to edges.

Roll each up tightly; press each roll into a triangle shape with fingers.

Wrap each in plastic wrap; refrigerate several hours (No longer than 24).

Cut rolls into ½ inch slices; secure olive with toothpick at bottom to look like trunk.


Crunchy Chicken NibblesCrunchy Chicken Nibbles

Chicken with dips are some of the best Christmas appetizer recipes.

Honey Mustard Sauce

  • ½ Cup Dijon mustard
  • ½ Cup honey
  • 1 Cup mayonnaise
  • Pinch basil
  • Pinch garlic
  • ¼ Teaspoon salad herb mixture

Chicken preparation

  • 1 ½ Pounds boneless chicken breast (Cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 2 Cups bread seasoned stuffing mix
  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice

Preheat oven to 400F degrees; lightly grease baking sheet.

FOR SAUCE combine all ingredients and mix; store in refrigerator.

FOR CHICKEN place in shallow dish with ¾ cup of the honey dressing.

Place stuffing mix on a piece of wax paper.

Coat chicken evenly with dressing; coat with stuffing crumbs.

Place chicken on prepared baking sheet; bake 15 minutes until done.

TO SERVE combine orange with remaining dressing; serve with chicken.


Barbeque Sausage BallsBarbeque Sausage Balls

Easy and flavorful sausage balls make great Christmas appetizer recipes.

  • 1 Pound pork sausage
  • 1 Beaten egg
  • 1/3 Cup dry bread crumbs
  • ½ Teaspoon sage
  • ¼ Teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon black pepper


  • 1/3 Cup catsup
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • ¼ Cup chopped green onion
  • 2-4 Tablespoons water

FOR BALLS combine and mix sausage, egg and bread crumbs.

Blend in sage, garlic powder and pepper mixing well.

Shape in walnut size balls; brown balls slowly on all sides.

FOR SAUCE combine catsup and next 3 ingredients.

Stir in 2 tablespoons of water and pour over the balls.

NOTE: Add remaining water during cooking if needed.

Cover and simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally to coat balls.

Serve with toothpick; makes 14-20.


Skewered OystersSkewered Oysters

Most guests love to be offered Christmas appetizer recipes made with seafood.

  • 2 Dozen oysters
  • 24 Strips bacon
  • Lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Drain the oysters discarding the liquid.

Season oysters with lemon juice and pepper.

Wrap each oyster with a strip of bacon.

Put on small skewers or stick with toothpicks.

Place on baking sheet leaving space between each.

Place under broiler about 15 minutes turning frequently.

NOTE: Bacon should be crisp and oysters done.


Asparagus CanapesAsparagus Canapes

Asparagus makes pretty Christmas appetizer recipes.

  • 18 Fresh asparagus spears
  • 1 Beaten egg
  • 1 Package (8 Ounces) softened cream cheese
  • 1 Loaf (16 Ounces) sliced bread
  • ½ Cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 375F degrees.

Cut off tough ends of asparagus; remove scales with vegetable peeler.

Beat egg and cheese in medium bowl until smooth.

Trim crusts from bread; spread cheese mixture evenly over slices.

Place 1 asparagus spear on each bread; roll up jelly roll style.

Place seam side down on buttered baking sheets; brush rolls with butter.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown; makes 18.

NOTE: For extra flavor brush with butter again during baking.

CHICKEN FRITTERS with ancho chili cream 

Chicken Fritters with ancho chili creamChicken Fritters with ancho chili cream

Many types of fritters make great Christmas appetizer recipes.

  • 1 ½ Pounds cooked chicken breast (Grind to a paste)
  • 2/3 Cup milk
  • 2 Egg whites
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ Teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt/ pepper to taste
  • About ½ cup flour
  • 12 Tablespoons butter

Ancho Chili Cream

  • 2 Small dried Ancho chili peppers
  • 1 Cup boiling water
  • 6 Tablespoons light cream
  • 4 Tablespoons sour cream
  • ¼ Teaspoon garlic powder
  • Dash salt

FOR FRITTERS combine and mix chicken breast and next 3 ingredients.

Season with salt and pepper; add enough flour to make a firm batter.

Heat butter in large skillet; drop spoonfuls of batter into hot skillet.

Cook fritters until golden brown on both side 3-4 minutes on each side.

FOR SAUCE use rubber gloves to remove and discard pepper stems and seeds.

Wash peppers in cold water and tear in half; place in bowl and add hot water.

Let pepper stand in water for 20 minutes; drain.

Place peppers and cream in food processor; process until smooth.

Press peppers through a small sieve; discard the pepper left in sieve.

Add the sour cream to the strained mixture; stir in salt and garlic powder.

Serve sauce with fritters; makes 22 to 25.

Cooking the Chicken FrittersCooking the Chicken Fritters


Hot and Spicy Sauteed MushroomsHot and Spicy Sauteed Mushrooms

We all love Christmas appetizer recipes with mushrooms.

  • ½ Cup butter
  • ½ Cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • ½ Cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • ¼ Cup sliced green onion
  • 2 Cloves minced garlic
  • 3 Jars (6 Ounces each) whole mushrooms (Drained)
  • ¼ Cup sherry
  • ½ Teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • ¼ Teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ Teaspoon black pepper

Melt butter in a large skillet; add peppers, green onion and garlic.

Cook over medium heat until tender crisp; stir in remaining ingredients.

Simmer for 2-3 minutes or until thoroughly heated stirring occasionally.

Serves 6.


Clam and Walnut Stuffed MushroomsClam and Walnut Stuffed Mushrooms

This clam and walnut stuffing is flavorful for Christmas appetizer recipes.

  • 20 Large mushrooms
  • ½ Cup butter
  • 1 Clove minced garlic
  • 1 Can (10 Ounces) baby clams (Drained)
  • 1 Cup soft bread crumbs
  • ½ Cup finely chopped walnuts
  • ¼ Cup chopped parsley
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon black pepper
  • Walnut halves
  • Parsley sprigs

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Rinse mushrooms and pat dry; remove stems and chop them (1 Cup).

Melt butter in large skillet; use 3 tablespoons of melted butter to brush caps.

Place mushroom caps in shallow baking pan.

Add the 1 cup reserved mushroom stems to remaining butter in skillet.

Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes; add clams and next 5 ingredients.

Mix well and spoon stuffing into the mushroom caps piling high.

Bake about 12 minutes or until hot; garnish with walnut halves and parsley.


Pork RillettesPork Rillettes

This deliciously flavored pork makes great Christmas appetizer recipes.

  • 1 Pound pork shoulder roast
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon marjoram
  • ½ Teaspoon thyme
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Clove minced garlic
  • Garnish: 1 tablespoon chopped green onion
  • Small party bread

Cut pork into ½ inch cubes; place in Dutch oven with remaining ingredients EXCEPT bread.

Bring to boiling over high heat; REDUCE HEAT to low, cover and simmer until very tender.

NOTE: Cook until fork tender about 2 hours.

When meat is tender uncover pot and cook until liquid evaporates stirring often.

Discard bay leaf; using 2 forks pull meat apart into shreds.

Spoon pork into crock or bowl and pack down; refrigerate overnight.

Garnish with green onion and serve chilled on party bread.


Bacon adds great flavor to many Christmas appetizer recipes.

  • 1 ½ Pounds medium shrimp (Peel, deveined raw)
  • 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 Clove minced garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 Medium onion (Sliced)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • Dash pepper
  • ½ Pound bacon (Cut slices in half)

Combine shrimp with next 9 ingredients in large bowl.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Drain shrimp and save marinade.

Wrap each shrimp with ½ bacon slice; insert each with toothpick.

Place on lightly oiled baking sheet; broil until bacon is crisp.

Cook reserved marinade down until 1 CUP is left; pour into a cup.

Place cup in middle of serving plate; arrange shrimp around the cup of marinade.

Serves 6.


Ham PuffsHam Puffs

Puffs with all kinds of fillings make Christmas appetizer recipes which have a nice presentation.


  • ¼ Cup butter
  • ½ Cup milk
  • ½ Cup flour
  • 2 Eggs

Ham Filling

  • 1 Cup ground cooked ham (Can use cooked chicken or turkey)
  • 1 Tablespoon ground onion
  • Mayonnaise (To desired consistency)

Preheat oven to 375F degrees.

FOR PUFFS add butter to milk in saucepan.

Bring to a boil; remove from heat and stir in flour all at once.

Stir briskly until ball forms in center of pan; remove from heat.

Add eggs one at a time beating briskly after each addition.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes until lightly browned; cool completely.

FOR FILLING combine all ingredients mixing to desired consistency.

Fill puffs before serving; makes about 16-20 small puffs.

NOTE: The puffs can be made ahead, place in food grade freezer bag and stored in freezer for up to 2 weeks.