69 Finger Food Appetizers Perfect for Holiday Parties

With the holiday season in full swing, there are so many opportunities to get together with friends, family, and coworkers.

But what are you going to serve?

Whether you’re planning a casual cocktail soiree, a formal Christmas dinner, or a blowout New Year’s bash, our roundup of recipes will help you to leave your guests with a smile on their faces, asking for the recipe.

Vertical image of a collage of various dishes with a label in the center.

If you need just one plate to bring to a potluck, or a full buffet spread for your extended relatives who are arriving this weekend – with big appetites in tow – this is the roundup for you!

And it all includes options from our own collections of delicious bites to meet a variety of dietary needs.

You’ll find a colorful choir of assorted categories, like crisp crostini and bruschetta, hearty meats, vegan and vegetarian options, and gluten-free delights.

Here’s a sneak peek at the delicious homemade choices that await you:

Cheesy Choices

If you’re of the mind that no gathering would be complete without cheese, don’t forget to throw some added interest into your offerings. Make it something special with the following recipes.

1. Cheese Crackers

Our crispy and buttery baked cheese crackers pack in tons of flavor with every bite – an impressive homemade version of the typical store-bought variety!

Horizontal image of square orange bite-sized crackers in a white bowl, on a surface topped with a red and white checkered cloth.
Photo credit: Fanny Slater

We use freshly grated extra sharp cheddar to create the truest form of pure cheddar essence. And for heat and extra color, a pinch of cayenne pepper is all you need!

Get the recipe now on Foodal.

2. Corn and Cheese Arepas

If a few big bowls of crackers aren’t enough food for your ideal holiday party, our corn and cheese arepas are a dream come true.

Horizontal image of arepas topped with sour cream on a plate.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

We mix together cornmeal and fresh corn along with green onions, cilantro, and jalapeno to form a delicious base.

The cakes are cooked until browned and crisp on the stovetop, and are versatile enough to customize with a variety of toppings and fillings, like sour cream, freshly chopped herbs, salsa, beans, shredded chicken or pulled pork.

Keep the size of the cakes small when you’re forming them, and don’t pile on the toppings. That way, they will be easy to hold and won’t make a mess.

Read more here.

3. Corn and Cream Cheese Dip

Bust out this recipe when you are desperate for something with a quick prep time that you can make ahead – a strategic time-saving hack when you have a long to-do list for planning your party.

Horizontal image of a platter with assorted vegetables and chips, with a dip topped with tomatoes in the center.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

With pops of sweet corn, a blend of shredded cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, and spicy jalapeno mixed throughout a cream cheese base, this chilled dip is a must-make.

A small garnish of sliced cherry tomatoes adds a burst of festive color.

Dive into this dip now.

4. Mini Mac and Cheese Bites

There’s nothing like the comfort of a big casserole of macaroni and cheese, fresh out of the oven.

Vertical closely cropped oblique overhead image of baked macaroni and cheese bites piles on a round gray serving dish with a decorative scalloped edge, against a blue background.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

Transform this heartwarming experience of comfort food into a handheld appetizer with our mini mac and cheese bites.

Enjoy the extra crispy exterior, and melt-in-your-mouth center.

Here’s the recipe.

5. Mini Pizza Bites

Going for a fun and casual holiday party? Finger food is a must! Bonus points for ones that have lots – and lots – of cheese!

Horizontal head-on shot of a ceramic chip and dip set with pizza-flavored mini muffins stacked and arranged in a ring around the central bowl of red tomato sauce, on a blue and white cloth with scattered fresh herbs on a wood surface, with a robin's egg blue background.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

Our mini pizza bites are the poppable snack that everyone will be reaching for all night long.

Baked in individual muffin cups, they’re easy to make, bake, and customize with your favorite pizza toppings.

Try anything – from plain cheese to pepperoni to crumbled sausage… and you might even consider saving just a few muffin cups for cubed ham and pineapple.

When it comes to pizza, to each his own!

Read more here for the recipe.

6. Obatzda (Bavarian Cheese Dip)

Obatzda is a savory and creamy Bavarian cheese dip that is usually eaten with a slice ofdark rye breador soft pretzels anda cold beer.

A bowl of German Bavarian Obatzda cheese dip in the center front and two plates with large lye pretzels in the rear. On a blue tablecloth.
Photo credit: Nina Kristin-Isensee

Originally, the dish was intended to use up leftover cheese. Although this is not the main reason for its preparation today, the recipe hasn’t changed drastically.

While it’s ideal for Oktoberfest festivals, it’s actually a great choice to enjoy as a dip for any celebration!

Learn how to make it now.

7. Parmesan Rosemary Crackers

Here’s another homemade cracker recipe – it’s simple and easy!

Best Parmesan Crackers | Foodal.com
Photo credit: Felicia Lim

This version is flavored with parmesan and rosemary, a lovely Italian-inspired combination that is a natural addition to a charcuterie board.

Stick with the Italian theme, and choose salume like a dry-aged genoa or soppressata, herb-roasted olives, dried figs, and a selection of Italian-produced cheeses.

Read more.

8. Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese

This one is for any guest with a sweet tooth, who might shy away from the charcuterie board in favor of more sugary delights!

A woman's hand with a manicured purple thumbnail dips a vanilla wafer into a bowl of pumpkin cream cheese, with cinnamon sticks for garnish, on a platter of cookies and strawberries, on a yellow cloth.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

The rich, thick combination of pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice creates a sweet and tangy spread that’s perfect for anyone who still has lingering thoughts of past fall-themed treats during winter gatherings.

Keep the sweet theme strong by serving this dip with items like homemade graham crackers, vanilla wafers, gingersnaps, fresh fruit, apple chips, and chocolate bark.

Get the recipe here.

9. Spinach Artichoke Dip

Alright, back to the savory side!

A hollowed boule stuffed with homemade spinach artichoke dip with a golden brown crust on top, next to chunks of bread for serving on a white and terra cotta ceramic plate, with a spoon on a dark and light blue patterned cloth surface.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

Learn how to make a restaurant-quality dish right at home with our easy spinach artichoke dip.

And learn how to serve this irresistible blend of leafy greens, tender artichoke hearts, dairy, and spices in a cozy – and totally edible – bread bowl!

It’s all easier than you think, and we’ll teach you every step of the way.

Find the tasty recipe now on Foodal.

Crostini and Bruschetta

Whatever you call them, little circles of bread topped with sweet and savory ingredients, drizzled with something festive, and sprinkled with something fresh, make a satisfying snack to stave off hunger until the big meal arrives.

And best of all, they’re some of the simplest appetizers to put together – so you cansteer clear of holiday stressand enjoy the party.

That is, unless you are determined to make your own bread! Just make sure you manage your time properly!

10. Balsamic Tomato Fennel Bruschetta

This recipe takes the incredibly popular tomato bruschetta idea and enhances it with the licorice-rich flavor and epic crunch of a fresh fennel bulb.

Horizontal image of a platter with bruschetta drizzled with a dark glaze.
Photo credit: Fanny Slater

We combine the chopped fennel with juicy tomatoes and sweet-and-tangy balsamic vinegar, and mix in some garlic and basil for seasoning.

Here’s a good reminder to serve this app soon after assembling, so no one has to suffer eating some soggy slices of bread!

Food shares the recipe here.

11. Broccoli Rabe Tartines

With these vibrant tartines, everyone will actually be thrilled to eat their veggies!

Horizontal image of a white platter of broccoli rabe tartines with sliced red chili and shaved hard cheese.
Photo credit: Fanny Slater

Each one is a fresh and earthy two-biter, with layers of sauteed broccoli rabe, sharp pecorino shavings, and thinly sliced fiery chilies.

Feel good about devouring this nutrient-rich app idea.

Get the recipe now.

12. Camembert Cheese and Pistachio Basil Pesto Bruschetta

When is ooey-gooey, melted camembert cheese on top of crusty bread ever a bad idea?

Top down view of a Bruschetta recipe made with French Camembert cheese and pesto sauce made with pistachios. Three slices of brushetta bread on a square, white porcelain plate.
Photo credit: Raquel Smith

Never. The clear answer is never.

We actually think it’s a genius appetizer to serve, especially when a homemade pistachio basil pesto is introduced to other key players in this recipe.

We share the recipe right here!

13. Herb-Roasted Carrot Pesto Tartines

The simple carrot…

It’s best known as a humble component to make big batches of stock, or as a forgettable yet reliable side dish to steam on a busy weeknight.

Vertical top-down image of carrot tartines on a slate with maple syrup drops and parsley leaves.
Photo credit: Nikki Cervone

But we’re here to empower the carrot by celebrating it as the star in this tartine recipe!

We roast thin matchsticks of carrots with dill, parsley, and basil to concentrate their sweet and earthy flavors while giving them some deep caramelization.

We serve them on top of toasted bread slices spread with chevre and pesto. A disciplined drizzle of maple syrup is the final touch.

Read more here.

14. Maple Pear Crostini

Another sweet-and-savory crostini combo, this maple and pear pairing is a dynamic delight to the senses!

Oblique close up of a batch of maple pear crostini on a white ceramic platter sitting on a green wooden table | Foodal
Photo Mike Quinn

We top slices of toasted bread with pears soaked in maple syrup. After crumbling parmesan cheese over the fruit, we then let the composed pieces mingle close to the broiler.

The final result? A crisp and crunchy appetizer bursting with sweet, juicy, fruit with a lightly browned cheesy crust.

Foodal shares the recipe now.

15. Olive, Red Pepper, Goat Cheese Crostini

This recipe is all about using a few jarred food products to your advantage to make a stellar dish with bold flavors – convenience is key here!

Top down view of a two slices of baguette bread made into crostini topped with red peppers, black olives, goat cheese, pine nuts, and basil olive oil.
Photo credit: Raquel Smith

We love the savory combination of jarred black olives and roasted red bell peppers layered on top of soft and creamy fresh chevre.

You can also make your own roasted peppers, but there’s an ease to buying a jar at the store.

A touch of fresh herbs and a sprinkle of pine nuts both go a long way for the garnishes. If your store carries a flavored olive oil, like an oil infused with garlic or basil, grab a bottle and use that for a quick final drizzle.

Read more here.

16. Tangy Roasted Tomato Crostini

Here’s a real winner to serve at the party – your classic crostini amplified.

Roasted tomato crostini topped with chopped basil and a balsamic drizzle, on a white rectangular ceramic serving dish, with fresh produce and herbs in the background, on a beige wood surface.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

Slow-roasted cherry or grape tomatoes with garlic, balsamic vinegar reduction, and basil make for a vibrant option to pique anyone’s appetite.

Some of the juice left over from roasting doubles as a final flavor-packed sauce to drizzle over everything directly before serving.

Waste not, want not…

Get the simple recipe now.

17. Tomato Basil Bruschetta

And here we are, saving the classiest of the classics for last – but it’s certainly not least in our hearts!

Homemade tomato basil bruschetta on a white rectangular serving dish, with a folded beige and white patterned cloth napkin topped with a small bowl of chopped tomatoes and sprigs of fresh basil in the background, on a white marble surface.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

Tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, and drizzles of balsamic vinegar combine with flavorful garlic atop crusty bread to create a foolproof dish.

It’s a recipe that you will never get sick of making for family and friends, no matter how many parties you attend or host!

Find the classic right here.

Egg-cellent Selections

Wonderful, marvelous, egg-cellent eggs!

This category is dedicated to all the readers out there who always need a dozen or two eggs in the refrigerator, who never think a party is complete with a platter of deviled eggs, and who love whipping up a quick and effortless frittata for a meal.

Let’s show your guests how bold and flavorful huevos can be!

18. Classic No-Mayo Deviled Eggs

If you’re not a mayo maverick, there’s nothing worse than biting into a deviled egg with a filling that tastes like it’s made from 95% mayonnaise, and 5% yolk. Ick.

Learn to Make the Best Recipe for Perfect Deviled Eggs with No Mayo | Foodal.com
Photo credit: Nikki Cervone

If you know ahead of time that the eggy spread isn’t a big hit among your company, choose this version instead.

Our classic deviled egg recipe is made with zero mayo. Instead, we use bright and tangy sour cream as the suitable replacement.

Read more now.

19. Guacamole Deviled Eggs

Spread the colorful holiday cheer by making these deviled eggs with a very green filling of freshly made guacamole!

The Best Fresh Guac Deviled Eggs | Foodal.com
Photo credit: Felicia Lim

Not only are they easy to make and assemble, they look the part of a perfect holiday app.

And they’re more nutritious than the typical versions, like the one above, leaving behind the mayo or sour cream in favor of healthy fats from the mashed avocado.

Learn how to make this festive version now.

20. Mini Green Onion Frittatas with Peas and Feta

The perfect way to use up some food lingering in your fridge or freezer, mini frittatas are as cute and delicious as they are practical.

Horizontal image of mini frittata muffins, a white plate, a metal fork, and sliced green onions.
Photo credit: Nikki Cervone

And they’re not just for breakfast!

In this recipe, we use bold green onions, sweet peas, and salty feta cheese, a complex combo that stands out in the dinner party realm.

Interested? Here’s the recipe for you.

21. Smoky and Spicy Chipotle Deviled Eggs

As another alternative for deviled eggs, one that flaunts a spicier pep in its step, make these chipotle deviled eggs.

Horizontal image of deviled eggs with chipotle on a slate with a red towel
Photo credit: Nikki Cervone

The canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce provide a delectable smokiness and spiciness to the egg yolk filling.

For the final presentation, garnish with a sprig of cilantro and a piece of chipotle pepper, and give each piece a delicate dusting of chili powder.

Read more now.

Flaky Pastries

So many of our favorite finger foods for snacking are members of the carb family of savory pastries, and this is no exception at the holidays.

A sheet of puff pastry or another kind of plain dough is a blank slate that will do wonders in the kitchen, when used with a creative compilation of fresh ingredients.

22. Einkorn Tomato Basil Pastry

It’s pizza, but thoughtfully reimagined!

Vertical image of a pizza with ricotta, vegetables, basil, and balsamic vinegar.
Photo credit: Fanny Slater

We create a flaky, golden crust using einkorn flour – the ideal base for layers of tomatoes, fluffy whole milk ricotta cheese, and torn basil leaves.

A drizzle of balsamic glaze will have guests lining up for a piece.

We share the recipe.

23. Mini Quiches

Don’t let this breakfast favorite fool you – you can serve these mini quiches as the starting course at any holiday party, whether for a big brunch or for an elegant dinner.

Horizontal image of mini quiches on a slate.
Photo credit: Nikki Cervone

We make assembly easy by enlisting help from store-bought puff pastry. Cut out squares, and place them in muffin tins.

The egg filling is customizable to your own personal preferences. In this rendition, we use garlic onion, spinach, and cheddar cheese.

Find the recipe and instructions here.

24. Spicy Sausage Puff Pastry Wheels

Look at those swirls and twirls! These are special beauties!

Horizontal top-down image of a pile of small appetizers garnished with grated parmesan and parsley pieces.
Photo credit: Nikki Cervone

Your guests will be equally as mesmerized when you present them with a platter of our spicy sausage puff pastry wheels.

One bite is all you need to realize they have a lot more than their looks going for them!

With layers of buttery pastry, crumbled spicy Italian sausage, grated parmesan and fontina, and fresh herbs, it will be difficult for anyone to have just one.

See what all the hype is about right here.

Gluten-Free Nibbles

Ponying up to the buffet table at a holiday party can be a bit like diving into the deep end for those with food allergies and intolerances.

Remember to check with your guests before your party to find out if they have any special dietary needs, or invite them to bring a platter to share.

Eating with loved ones is one of my favorite ways to enjoy the holidays, and a little bit can go a long way in terms of making your guests feel welcome and included.

Many of the recipes we have listed in this article can easily be adapted for gluten-free eaters, and many others (like deviled eggs) are naturally free of gluten, but here is a separate small list of bites specifically curated for them.

25. Buckwheat Rosemary Crackers

When you want to treat your gluten-free guests to more than just raw celery, carrots, and bell peppers as safe dippers, turn to these homemade crackers.

Horizontal image of small, triangular pieces of flatbread on a blue plate next to rosemary and a checkered towel.
Photo credit: Fanny Slater

These crunchy bites are a mix of piney rosemary, sharp cheddar, and nutty buckwheat flour.

Serve them on a separate plate, and make sure you set aside specific dips in separate bowls for your guests with celiac disease.

No cross-contamination woes at your party!

Read more now for the recipe.

26. Corn Dog Muffins

A little sweet, a little savory, and 100% devourable, our gluten-free and dairy-free corn dog muffins bring playful energy to any party.

A hand dips a corn muffin with a hot dog in the center into a bowl of ketchup, with more muffins and a bowl of mustard in the background, on white plates topped with red and white checkered paper lines, on a gray surface.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

The cornbread base has a moist texture, the best complement to the salty flavor of the hot dogs.

Serve with a lineup of your favorite dippers – ketchup and mustard are classics, but we also like unique options that could all work brilliantly here, such as green goddess dressing, creamy roasted red pepper dip, or garlic aioli!

Read more.

27. Crispy Baked Falafel

Love falafel as a gluten-free offering, but don’t really want to deal with the fumy smells or mess of a big vat of hot oil, especially right before hosting a party?

Horizontal image of a stack of garbanzo bean patties on a white platter with tomato slices, dip, lemon, and cucumbers.
Photo credit: Fanny Slater

This version of falafel is baked, and not fried!

You’ll still get to enjoy a crispy golden-brown exterior, with bursts of warm, earthy flavors from cumin and coriander.

Fresh herbs like parsley and cilantro give each morsel a hit of brightness. Serve hot with a side of tahini for dipping!

Read on for the delish details.

28. Sea Salt Honey Butter Popcorn

Our homemade popcorn is a simple and refined treat, and an elevated upgrade from your typical microwaveable bags.

Horizontal image of a white towel with red stripes, a cup of honey, a bowl of kernels, and a large wooden bowl with puffed white corn kernels on a wooden surface.
Photo credit: Fanny Slater

We generously coat the popped kernels in raw honey, melted butter, and flaky sea salt to create an addictively sweet-and-salty finger food idea.

Prepare to make multiple batches when you see the bowl quickly getting low!

Check out the recipe here.

29. Socca (Chickpea Flour Farinata Flatbread)

We may be a little biased – it is our own recipe after all – but we think this is one of the best gluten-free flatbread recipes out there!

Vertical top-down image of a round orange baked good cut into triangles on a white plate next to rosemary, a paring knife, and a blue towel.
Photo credit: Fanny Slater

Hailing from the Ligurian Coast, socca is a chickpea flour pancake that is adaptable to various seasonings and serving ideas.

We flavor ours with coarse sea salt and rosemary for a subtle dish.

Learn how to make it and serve it now.

Go Nuts (and Seeds)

Nothing says “holiday time is here!” like a bowlful of nuts in their shells,with a nutcrackeralongside it. But this serving method can be messy, and the effort required is often eschewed in favor of more readily accessible snacks.

Dress up those nuts with these scrumptious suggestions.

30. Maple-Spiced Nuts and Seeds

Ditch the cans of assorted nuts, and learn how to make your own mix from scratch. Your guests will love it, and you’ll gain a new finger food favorite to make over and over again.

Vertical image of a spoon resting over a white bowl filled with toasted pecans and seeds next to a bowl of maple syrup.
Photo credit: Fanny Slater

Our recipe for maple-spiced nuts and seeds will definitely be a hit.

The ingredient list is an impressive start, with a mix of assorted nuts and seeds tossed together with maple syrup and a double punch of ginger flavor, both ground and fresh.

We bake everything low and slow in the oven for the best golden-brown result.

Read more.

31. Savory Granola

Warning: your family and friends might fight over who gets to eat the last crumbles of this savory granola.

Horizontal image of a wooden bowl and a baking sheet filled with an oat, nut, and seed mixture next to a yellow towel and wooden spoons filled with spices.
Photo credit: Fanny Slater

We’re serious… it’s that tasty!

We love to shake up the standard granola recipe with this unique mix of oats, nuts, seeds, and a dried herbes de Provence blend. A tiny spoonful of crushed red pepper flakes brings a little warmth and edge.

Learn how to make it here.

32. Stovetop Spicy Toasted Nuts

Save the oven for your bigger holiday dinner cooking tasks, and utilize the stovetop to make this quick and easy recipe for spicy nuts.

Horizontal image of a white bowl filled with seasoned pecans, walnuts, and almonds on a wooden cutting board.
Photo credit: Nikki Cervone

It offers a fiery kick that will instantly warm up anyone just arriving to your house after a chilly trek through the snow.

The mixed nuts are tossed and toasted with garlic powder, warming spices, and a vinegar-based hot sauce.

Read more now.

33. Sugar and Spice Candied Nuts

Would you rather tame the heat with a little sweet?

Sugar and spice candied nuts in a star-shaped white ceramic dish, with more scattered around the base on a burgundy cloth, with brown pine cones in the background.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

Enjoy the epic crunch of a nutty app by making our sugar and spice candied nuts. In this recipe, you’ll have sugar, spice, and everything nice!

Everyone will love the walnuts and pecans mixed with turbinado sugar and ground cinnamon, in addition to just a hint of heat from ground cayenne pepper.

And it also makes the perfect edible holiday gift idea that you can make and package ahead of time.

Find the recipe and instructions here.

34. Toasted and Seasoned Pumpkin Seeds

There’s always something so special about the magical aromas of toasting pumpkin seeds!

Photo credit: Fanny Slater

If you love making your own winter squash puree all season long to use in puddings, pies, breads, and more, make sure you save all the seeds to make our toasted and seasoned seeds when you have a gathering coming up soon on the calendar.

The recipe applies to all varieties of winter squash with edible seeds, not just pumpkin.

Stay simple with flaky sea salt, or use a fun spice blend.

We share the recipe and our favorite seasoning blends here.

Mouthwatering Meats

Chicken? Steak? Pork? If your crowd of meat-lovers will be gathering around the fire together this winter, be sure to try a few of these ideas.

35. Buffalo Chicken Bites

Do you want to bring the essence of chicken wings to the party, but are hoping for something not as messy to hold?

Four homemade buffalo chicken wonton bites on a white plate with a dollop of blue cheese dip, on a wood surface.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

Enveloped in wonton wrappers, our recipe for buffalo chicken bites is the savory solution!

Each baked, crispy wonton is filled with cooked and shredded chicken breast mixed with hot sauce.

We serve them with a creamy blue cheese sauce – so you’ll really feel like you are eating wings, just without the mess!

Love this idea? Click here for the recipe.

36. Grilled Chicken Yakitori

If you consider grilling a year-long cooking adventure, even in the chilly winter months, there’s nothing stopping you from making our grilled chicken yakitori skewers!

Vertical overhead image of a hand reaching for a piece of grilled chicken on a stick, with more on a gold and black serving plate, on a red cloth on top of a gray table, with small bowls of snacks and dried fruit.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

Transform simple chicken tenderloins into a crazily flavorful first course.

We marinate the chicken in soy sauce, honey, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes and grill them until juicy and succulent.

Head over the recipe now.

37. Ham and Cheese Sliders

Sliders are a fun and casual option to build and layer flavors in a mini format, and our baked ham and cheese sliders are easy to make.

Horizontal close-up image of rows of small sandwiches on a wooden cutting board.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

We keep the filling simple, with a smear of mayo, thick-sliced ham, and cheddar cheese.

But we go the extra mile by slathering the tops of each bun with an onion Worcestershire sauce!

Read more.

38. Homemade Egg Rolls

Transform a takeout favorite into the most requested homemade treat!

Horizontal image of a plate of sliced and whole egg rolls next to a brown liquid in a small bowl.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

You may think homemade egg rolls are difficult – or maybe even impossible – to prepare right in your own kitchen, but they are easy to create with premade wrappers.

All you need to do is master the rolling process, which we teach you one step at a time with photo references in our Cooking by the Numbers section.

Our filling includes assorted fresh vegetables and cooked shredded chicken. Once deep fried, serve them immediately with a dipping sauce – and we have a recipe for that, too!

Get all the info you need right here.

39. Mini Meatloaf Muffins

Cozying up in the winter is all about eating the best comfort food!

Horizontal image of small ground beef rounds baked and topped with ketchup on a blue plate.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

And why not transform your favorite dinners into bite-sized apps to share with friends and family?

We do just that with our mini meatloaf muffins! These hearty handhelds will be a big taste of nostalgia.

For a cleaner serving suggestion, especially in the case of a finger food appetizer, you can skip the final glaze on top, or only dollop it in the very center while leaving a bigger border.

Get the recipe now.

40. Pepperoni Bread

Let’s keep the prep simple with our pepperoni bread!

Vertical image of a stack of three cheese and meat rolls on a baking sheet with a dark backdrop.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

You just need a small handful of ingredients: a package of French bread dough, pepperoni slices, shredded mozzarella cheese, and olive oil.

This is one that the kids will love to eat! And if they have expressed interest in cooking or baking, this no-frills, hands-on recipe will be easy and fun for your children to assist you in the kitchen.

Read more.

41. Roast Beef Sliders

If you want to have a hearty appetizer for big appetites, definitely make our roast beef sliders!

Horizontal image of a mound of mini meat and cheese sandwiches topped with poppyseeds on a white plate.
Photo credit: Fanny Slater

We layer tender slices of roast beef, provolone cheese, and a creamy horseradish mayonnaise in between fluffy rolls.

We slather the tops with a mustard and butter spread and sprinkle with poppy seeds, and bake until the cheese is irresistibly gooey.

Here’s the recipe.

42. Simple Spicy Wings

Become an appetizer master with our recipe for simple spicy wings!

A plate piled high with simple, spicy chicken wings. | Foodal.com
Photo credit: Felicia Lim

Our marinade of Dijon mustard, olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and scallions will help you achieve culinary greatness in very few steps. The marinade adds delicious taste and makes the meat incredibly tender.

After marinating them, anywhere between 30 minutes for up to 24 hours, we bake them in the oven, and use the broiler for the final minute to crisp the wings.

Read all about it here.

43. Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Pork Sliders

We can’t get enough sliders, and we have a funny suspicion you’re not tired of them, either!

Here’s just one more for you to try…

Horizontal image of a platter with mini sandwiches on a blue towel next to sliced pickles and red sauce in a bowl.
Photo credit: Fanny Slater

Bring the biggest and boldest barbecue flavors indoors on a chilly winter evening with our pork sliders.

After rubbing a pork loin in a dry mix of salt, black pepper, and ground cumin, we sear it to develop a crisp crust before roasting it in the oven.

Each slider has a couple slices of the pork, along with a killer peach barbecue sauce and zippy, zingy pickles – we suggest using our homemade bread and butter zucchini pickles!

Slide into a summery oasis with the recipe.

44. Sweet and Tangy Meatballs

Toothpicks at the ready – we’re serving mini meatballs!

Vertical image of a white platter with neat rows of meatballs with toothpicks covered in a red sauce.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

The epitome of old-school appetizers, we knew we couldn’t get away with not including our sweet and tangy meatballs in this roundup!

First brown the meatballs in a skillet to develop an added layer of caramelized flavor before letting them mingle in a slow cooker to simmer for a few hours.

Don’t be weirded out that there is grape jelly and ketchup in the sauce – this secret duo of ingredients is inarguably DELICIOUS.

See for yourself, and make the recipe soon.

45. Tropical Chicken Cups

We love pairing our crispy tropical chicken cups with bubbly champagne – a perfect pairing for a New Year’s Eve celebration!

Overhead shot of tropical chicken cup appetizers on a wood board, on top of a dark and light blue patterned cloth.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

Turning wonton wrappers into edible cups is a favorite method of ours to make handheld appetizers with a stunning presentation.

For the filling, we use a combination of previously cooked chicken with garlic, onions, ginger, green onion, and coconut milk.

Ready to celebrate in style? Here’s the recipe.

Plenty of Potatoes

Why does this spud deserve its own category?

Potatoes are a reliably available produce to purchase at the grocery store all year round, they’re easy and versatile to cook, and its mild flavor lends itself to a fun variety of delicious customization!

Read over our recipes from the following list, and there’s no doubt you’ll be throwing your own potato party soon enough.

46. Baked French Fries for Two

Are you planning a more intimate holiday celebration? Maybe it’s just you and your sweetie, roomie, or bestie, enjoying a chill Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve at home?

Horizontal image of skinny cuts of baked potato with seasoning on crinkled parchment paper next to a serving of ketchup.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

More power to you both! We have just the recipe with you two in mind!

Our recipe for baked French fries makes just enough to share between the two of you.

The potatoes come out of the oven golden and crispy. And there’s no peeling, soaking, or frying involved! All you have to do is simply cut and bake.

You can also customize the dish to your liking with your preferred seasonings and dips.

Foodal shares the recipe and seasoning suggestions.

47. Kartoffelpuffer (German Potato Pancakes)

Kartoffelpuffer, also known as German potato pancakes, are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Horizontal overhead image of German potato pancakes on a white serving dish and two small, square black plates, with two forks, and small dishes of sour cream and applesauce, on a black, gray, and white striped cloth.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

For additional flavor, we mix in finely minced garlic and finely grated onion.

Be mindful of making the pancakes on the smaller side – they’ll be easier to eat as finger food when they aren’t too big, and you’ll get a bigger yield, as well!

Pair it with sour cream and chives or dollops of applesauce for the best golden app ever.

Read more now.

48. Potato Fritters with Red Pepper Relish

Here’s a drool-worthy take on the humble potato:

Three potato fritters, fried until golden brown and topped with red pepper and onion relish, on a plate in the foreground with more on a serving platter in the background.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

Our fluffy mashed potato fritters, served with a tangy red pepper relish!

Made with cheese and herbs, lightly breaded and seared in a pan, and served with a dollop of a tasty topping, your taste buds will be partying just as much as you are!

Get the full recipe now.

49. Potato Fritters with Roasted Zucchini

This fun fritter recipe brings vibrant colors, a festive option that will make you smile!

Horizontal image of a round gray plate with individual savory potato pancakes topped with assorted vegetables and yogurt.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

The assembly is more complicated than other dishes, but it’s worth the prep time to layer bright and bold flavors everyone will love to eat in a few bites.

The fritter serves as the base, which then is topped with slices of roasted yellow squash or zucchini. That is then covered by a tomato cucumber corn salad.

Wait, we’re not done yet!

The final garnish is a cumin dill yogurt sauce… and now we’re done!

Aim to impress with this one – get the recipe here.

50. Potato Wedges with Buffalo Blue Cheese Dip

Want your spuds to stand out in a crowd of other potluck dishes?

Vertical image of a bowl of white dip with green garnish and a plate of potato wedges.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

Everyone will have eyes for these seasoned potato wedges with a buffalo blue cheese dip!

The unique cooking technique we use is a quick kiss of the grill, giving the wedges a subtle smokiness with a crisp, golden exterior.

For the spicy dip, we double up on blue cheese by using both a chunky blue cheese salad dressing and a hefty tablespoon of blue cheese crumbles.

Read more now.

51. Sweet Potato Coconut Patties

Here’s a dressed-up veggie patty, wearing its boldest flavors for a night out!

Horizontal image of three fried patties on a plate next to herbs and slices of tomatoes and cucumber.
Photo credit: Nina-Kristin Isensee

The base includes grated sweet potatoes and shredded unsweetened coconuts, bound together with eggs and a little flour.

We brighten up the mix with some freshly squeezed lemon or lime in addition to scallions and chili flakes.

Try them dipped in aioli, or serve them with a cheesier, yet completely dairy-free option, like our homemade vegan cheese sauce!

Find the recipe here.

52. Sweet Potato and Potato Pancakes

Why have either sweet potatoes or russets when you can have both in the same dish?

Overhead horizontal image of a crispy fried potato pancake with sour cream, on an off-white surface.
Photo credit: Fanny Slater

These latkes proudly showcase shredded sweet and white potatoes tangled with herby parsley and onions.

Shallow fried in oil in a skillet, you might have some family and friends hovering over you as you are cooking, waiting for the exact moment they are plopped on a plate!

But tell them to wait until you sprinkle them with sea salt, an essential final ingredient!

Get the recipe now.

53. Spicy Sweet Potato Quesadillas

We need to talk about our earthy, healthier take on a popular dish – we’re inviting sweet potatoes to the quesadilla crowd!

Vertical overhead image of a white bowl of homemade vegetarian tortillas that have been sliced into quarters, on a white wood surface with a small glass bowl of tomato salsa.
Photo credit: Kelli McGrane

We make a spicy veggie hash, covered in shredded cheddar sandwiched between a tortilla.

The final sear in the pan seals the deal for a crispy crust and tender, gooey center.

Learn how to make it now on Foodal.

Satisfying Seafood

Chilled jumbo shrimp with cocktail sauce is a classic, but let’s change things up a bit for the seafood-lovers this year, shall we?

Make a splash at your tree-trimming soiree or while you’re watching the ball drop on New Year’s Eve with these recipes.

54. Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Shrimp

This fresh recipe of roasted tomatoes with shrimp and feta cheese is the right combo of ingredients, easy to prepare in the same casserole dish.

Make a quick and delicious meal tonight with roasted cherry tomatoes, shrimp, and feta cheese | Foodal.com
Photo credit: Felicia Lim

And with parsley, garlic, and a squeeze of lemon juice, the flavors are so vibrant!

Serve the shrimp in a bowl with a large spoon, alongside chips or toasted slices of bread.

Get the recipe now.

55. Sweet and Sour Coconut Shrimp

Our lightened-up sweet and sour coconut shrimp brings a big crunch factor – and it’s all done without frying!

Horitonal closeup image of several baked coconut shrimp with sweet and sour sauce.
Photo credit: Fanny Slater

Instead of cooking in a vat of fat, we generously coat shrimp in a panko and coconut mixture and bake them in the oven until golden brown and super crispy.

Dip them in our tangy homemade sauce, with apricot preserves, apple cider vinegar, and red pepper flakes.

Here’s the recipe.

56. Tex-Mex Crab Cakes

Does your heart flutter every time you see crab cakes on the menu?

Horizontal image of a stacked and shingled browned seafood cakes on a white plate and on a wooden cutting board next to a bowl of yellow dip, herbs, and silverware on a yellow towel.
Photo credit: Fanny Slater

Learn how to make them from scratch!

Here’s your opportunity to give ordinary crab cakes a creative, Tex-Mex spin with earthy cumin, fragrant fresh cilantro, and a tangy lemon aioli drizzle.

Form them into mini patties for the best bite-sized seafood delight.

Foodal shares the recipe.

Vegetarian and Vegan Favorites

A little crudite never hurt anyone. In fact, veggies are one of my favorite appetizers since they can be so hard to come by at parties or as part of the snack spread before a decadent, comfort-food-filled meal with dessert to follow.

Alongside the carrot sticks and bell pepper strips, try these roasted, raw, baked, blended, and fried options.

As with the gluten-free category below, the items listed here are not necessarily the only vegetarian and vegan items on our list – we’ve already named a few! – but they stand out as recipes that many meatless eaters might typically be precluded from enjoying.

57. Batter-Dipped Avocado Fries

It’s possible for fries to be healthy!

Vertical shot of a hand dipping an avocado fry into a small bowl of yogurt-based tzatziki dip, with more fries in the background beside whole and cut fruit, on a blue and white table runner on a brown wood surface, with a mottled blue background.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

And if you’re determined to not pack on all the pounds during the holidays, this is the perfect light app to serve.

With these batter-dipped and shallow-fried avocado fries, you and your guests can feel a little better about what you’ll be eating during all the winter shindigs.

Excited to try this alternative ingredient? Read more now.

58. Black Bean and Poblano Pepper Taquitos

For a vegan and gluten-free appetizer inspired by Mexican cuisine, try our tasty baked taquito recipe!

Top down view of three vegan baked taquitos made with slow cooked black beans and charred poblano peppers.
Photo credit: Raquel Smith

The filling includes spiced black beans prepared in the slow cooker, as well as charred poblano peppers.

Strategize by making the filling a few hours ahead of time, and assembling and baking the rolled tortillas about an hour prior to when your guests arrive.

Learn more now.

59. Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

A smart alternative to buffalo chicken wings, these spicy, savory nibbles are made with cauliflower florets!

Close up oblique view of a batch of vegan cauliflower hot wings flavored with lime and agave syrup. They "wings" are sitting on a baking pan and a glass jar full of ranch dressing accompanies them.
Photo credit: Raquel Smith

Toss the cauliflower pieces in a gluten-free batter, and bake them until they’re browned and crispy on the outside, and perfectly tender in the center.

After they’re baked, toss them in a spicy cayenne sauce.

Have plenty of cold drinks nearby when you serve this one to excited friends and fam!

Foodal shares the recipe right here.

60. Deep-Fried Jalapeno Poppers

If one spicy vegan recipe isn’t enough for your type of crowd, here’s another fiery option to serve.

Vertical image of a white platter with fried pepper chips with a white dish of white sauce.
Photo credit: Raquel Smith

Deep-fried jalapeno poppers might look small and innocent, but they are big and bold on spicy flavor!

Serve them with barbecue sauce or ketchup, but we like the cooling effect of cool and creamy dressings!

Get the recipe.

61. Deep-Fried Zucchini with Citrus Sauce

If you love ordering zucchini planks at your favorite restaurant, we have a made-from-scratch version you’ll want to make all the time in your own kitchen!

Horizontal image of a white plate with a mound of zucchini slices and a blue bowl with a creamy dip.
Photo credit: Fanny Slater

Crunch into these panko-encrusted golden rounds for a crispy and perfectly salty finger food idea. A little soda water helps keep the batter frothy for light-as-air results.

Served with our creamy and citrusy dipping sauce on the side, this fried zucchini is one of the most satisfying apps!

Read more now.

62. Deep-Fried Zucchini Fries

Zucchini trumps potato when you want to make healthier fries!

The Best Deep-Fried Zucchini Fries | Foodal.com
Photo credit: Felicia Lim

Our deep-fried zucchini fries have a crispy, golden exterior, and tender flesh on the inside.

They’re so simple to make, taste delicious, and go extremely well with a side of spicy Sriracha sauce!

Everyone will be begging for seconds in no time at all.

Get the recipe now on Foodal.

63. Garlic and Herb Roasted Olives

Warm, roasted olives with garlic and fresh herbs are most certainly dressed to impress as a savory appetizer for any holiday gathering.

Horizontal image of a white bowl with olives on a cheese and charcuterie board.
Photo credit: Nikki Cervone

This is where customization can truly shine – use your favorite assortment of olives and fresh herbs, and serve them on a beautifully crafted cheese and charcuterie board.

We love using a mix of rosemary, thyme, and basil!

Get the easy recipe on Foodal now.

64. Mini Mushroom Lasagna Cups

Lasagna really isn’t known as an elegant appetizer idea, but we give its typical casserole format a delicate dinner party makeover!

Horizontal image of pasta and cheese in a muffin baking tin.
Photo credit: Raquel Smith

Our mini mushroom lasagna cups have earned their place among other impressive hors d’oeuvres!

Line each cup of a muffin pan with a wonton wrapper to create neat, individual servings.

The filling is simple: sauteed mushrooms and onions, tomato sauce or pesto, and mozzarella cheese.

Review the recipe and instructions here.

65. Oven-Baked Green Bean Fries

Crispy, delicious, and addictive, these oven-baked green bean fries are so good that your guests will be begging for the recipe.

Horizontal image of a handing picking up a green bean fry in a bowl.
Photo credit: Felicia Lim

There’s no way anyone will call vegetables boring ever again!

A simple dredging technique using breadcrumbs, salt, flour, eggs, and cheese before baking ensures the veggies have the best taste and texture.

Read more.

66. Roasted Garlic Hummus

Only one among the many homemade hummus recipes we’ll share here, our roasted garlic hummus is a popular choice to please a crowd!

Horizontal image of a hummus dip in a navy bowl next to crudite and pita chips.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

Roasted garlic adds depth to the flavor of traditional chickpea hummus.

And with the addition of fresh oregano, lemon, and a dash of cayenne, this homemade dip is extra delish!

Read more now on Foodal.

67. Salsa Verde

After making this salsa verde once, you may never want to buy a jar of salsa at the store ever again!

A clear mixing bowl full of a traditional salsa verde recipe.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

This simple Mexican dip requires a short ingredient list and simple prep instructions.

Blend broiled tomatillos, a serrano or jalapeno pepper, a lemon or lime, a garlic clove, cilantro, white onion, and salt in a food processor or a blender.

Serve with homemade deep-fried tortilla chips to complete the dish!

Find it now on Foodal.

68. Sweet Corn Fritters

Gorgeously golden and crispy, this recipe for sweet corn fritters comes with a spicy kick!

Horizontal image of three deep-fried morsels with kernels on a blue and white plate next to whole corn on a wooden surface.
Photo credit: Fanny Slater

In this recipe, we fold four cups of fresh corn kernels into a batter with a little cayenne pepper.

Deep frying them in vegetable oil helps create the crispiest crust, with a melt-in-your-mouth interior that bursts with sweet kernels.

Read more now.

69. Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms are a reliable, low-maintenance appetizer to serve!

Horizontal image of a slate tray of stuffed mushrooms.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

They are one of those rare dishes that taste just as delicious fresh out of the oven as they do sitting at room temperature for a little while.

There is this soft and creamy garlic cheese spread inside each mushroom cap and the breadcrumbs are also mixed with some cheese for a touch of salty bite.

Read more now on Foodal.

It’s Party Time!

Armed with these recipes, you’re ready to meet the pre-meal and snacking challenges of whatever events come your way this winter. There are so many delicious possibilities!

And to make your tablescape complete, don’t forget to check out our guide to decorative napkin folding, and visit our sister site, Gardener’s Path, for a simple DIY evergreen arrangement tutorial.

What will you serve at your home, or bring to your next get-together this season? Share with us in the comments below.

Horizontal image of a collage of various dishes with a label in the center.

And for even more tasty ideas ideal for the winter holiday season, give these a read next:

Photos by Fanny Slater, Meghan Yager, Nina Kristin-Isensee, Felicia Lim, Raquel Smith, Nikki Cervone, Mike Quinn, and Kelli McGrane, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published December 19, 2017. Last updated on December 6, 2023. With additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone..

About Allison Sidhu

Allison M. Sidhu is a culinary enthusiast from southeastern Pennsylvania who has returned to Philly after a seven-year sojourn to sunny LA. She loves exploring the local restaurant and bar scene with her best buds. She holds a BA in English literature from Swarthmore College and an MA in gastronomy from Boston University. When she’s not in the kitchen whipping up something tasty (or listening to the latest food podcasts while she does the dishes!) you’ll probably find Allison tapping away at her keyboard, chilling in the garden, curled up with a good book (or ready to dominate with controller in hand in front of the latest video game) on the couch, or devouring a dollar dog and crab fries at the Phillies game.

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