Easy Appetizer Recipes - Holiday Party Menu

Planning a party menu

I have hosted an annual Christmas party almost every year for a dozen years, with several other gatherings scattered here and there at different times throughout the year. These appetizers aren't necessarily about cold or hot weather, and they could be utilized year-round for any party or get-together. Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, or any summer party are just a few examples at which this party menu could be implemented.

Over time, I have perfected my menu, one which consists of appetizers that are mostly finger-foods. While I do usually add a few more complicated or time-consuming recipes, I do include the following eight basic, easy appetizers as staples. These are all pretty quick to put together, and they are all favorites with my guests. By the end of the night, the serving platters are usually empty. These appetizers, which are mostly finger foods, are perfect for any kind of gathering.


Basically, pinwheels are a cream cheese mixture rolled up in flour tortillas. Several ingredients such as black olives, green chilies, green onions, or ham are added. Then, the roll is sliced up and served with salsa. You can access my own pinwheels recipe by clicking on the word in this sentence!

Meatballs in Sauce

I buy a package of frozen meatballs and throw them in the oven with a can of spaghetti sauce for as long as the package says to cook the meatballs. Guests love them!

Deviled Eggs

These are always a hit. They disappear easily before the end of the night. You can see my recipe included in my ten best ways to cook eggs.

Weinie surprises are similar to pigs in a blanket, but we cover them completely with the biscuit dough so that nobody can see what is inside. Thus, the suprise part of the title!
Weinie surprises are similar to pigs in a blanket, but we cover them completely with the biscuit dough so that nobody can see what is inside. Thus, the surprise part of the title! | Source

Weinie Surprises

I created this name with a friend of mine who often helps me get ready for my parties. We liked the name and went with it. Get a package of those mini weinies and sliced processed cheese slices. Also, get several packages of cheap biscuits. Believe me, the cheap ones work just as well or better, as the more expensive ones are often too thick. Press out the biscuits with your fingers, then add half a slice of cheese, and a little weinie. Roll it up. Put them in the oven for about as long as the biscuit package says they need. Serve with mustard. People may make fun of these miniature “pigs in a blanket,” but trust me, there are never any left over!

Chili Cheese Dip

Warm up your guests with this cold weather favorite. In a small slow cooker, cut up 1 pound Velveeta cheese, one can diced tomatoes with green chilies, and one can of chili without beans. I start this one early on in the preparations, turning it on low to melt slowly. Stir now and then, but this one will make itself. Serve in bowls with tortilla or corn chips, as preferred.

Optional Appetizers That I Make

Other optional recipes that I may include are as follows:

--cheese-stuffed jalapenos

--7 layer Mexican dip

--stuffed mushrooms

--salmon on crackers

--cheese ball and crackers

The above are nice additions, but they do require more work, and the last two aren't as popular as the other dishes. If you stick to the easy entrees I've listed in this article, you will provide a variety of appetizers that are quick, easy, and favorites among your guests.


Marinated Olives

Inspired by the Friends' television series, these olives are always a big hit. While the original recipe calls for a combination of more expensive olives, I use simply a combination of green and black olives. I mix one 12 oz. jar of whole green olives with two 15 oz cans of black olives. (I use more black olives since the green ones are stronger in flavor.) Add 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 crushed cloves garlic, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, and 1 tsp. ground cracked pepper. Shake ingredients now and then; keep olive mixture in refrigerator for several hours before serving or overnight.

Vegetable Tray

This is always a healthy hit. I cut up broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, bell peppers, and celery. I add baby carrots and grape or cherry tomatoes. Sometimes I add fresh sliced mushrooms. I usually make homemade Hidden Valley Ranch dressing or a favorite dill dip to go with the veggies.

Chocolate Fountain

This investment is worth every penny! Buy your chocolate fountain and follow the instructions for mixing the chocolate and oil to make a smooth stream of flowing chocolate. Since I purchased one of these, this is the only dessert that is needed. It's easy to set up, and everybody loves it! Things I’ve found that go well with the flowing chocolate are pretzels, vanilla wafer cookies, chocolate chip cookies, marshmallows, strawberries, and bananas. Feel free to experiment with different things. Instead of chocolate, you can even go with white chocolate, peanut butter, or even cheese. Just follow your machine's instructions.

Rate these appetizer ideas!

4.3 stars from 4 ratings of Easy Party Appetizers

Appetizers for Any Party!

Whether for a Christmas party, Super Bowl party, or any kind of gathering, these basic appetizer recipes will produce a lot of food, are fairly easy to make, and will make your guests happy!

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Comments 16 comments

Arlene V. Poma 5 years ago

A very useful and timely piece, Victoria Lynn! Sometimes, there are just too many potlucks to deal with, but if you have a selection of dishes that are easy and economical, that's more than half the battle. We can't be everywhere during the holiday season! I'm sure, because of your careful planning, you do have time to spend with your guests. Which is the important thing. Voted up and all that!

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thanks, Arlene! It does help to get the menu down pat! Some of these can be made the day before to save time. I'm skipping a Christmas party this year but may have to make some of this stuff, anyway! I love them. Thanks for the comments and votes! :-)

Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 5 years ago

Made me both hungry and ready to give a party. Thanks for sharing. I definitely will use some of these, if not all.

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

It made me feel that way writing it, Dee aka Nonna! Thanks!

Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

An excellent and very timely hub as I'll be hosting Christmas dinner this year for my family. I was thinking hard about appetisers but couldn't really come to a decision that I was happy with. So your hub has come up with the wonderful ideas that I needed, and most of all there is something to suit every taste - thank you! Voted up!

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thanks, Seeker7. I'm glad this was a helpful hub. I do find that these 8 dishes offer variety and aren't too complicated and time-consuming. Thanks for the vote up!

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

I love appetizers! So many great, easy ideas here.

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Thanks for reading, randomcreative. I agree--appetizers are great! And these are tasty, easy, and varied. :-)

instantlyfamily profile image

instantlyfamily 5 years ago

I have not tried marinating olives. I will give that a try. Sounds good! I like your other ideas, also. Nice hub!

InTuneWithCooking profile image

InTuneWithCooking 5 years ago from Australia

Great stuff! I do these sorts of things for guests as well. I love olives, you can't go past a good kalamata I think, just love them! And the kids love the "pigs in blankets" (so do I ;)) Thanks for sharing.

howtojunkies profile image

howtojunkies 5 years ago

thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe! you can also try mine recipe if you have time. I'll make one of this.!

kikalina profile image

kikalina 5 years ago from Europe

That chocolate fountain looks great.

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

howtojunkies...I'll check out your recipes. If you make this one, let me know if you like it. Thanks for the comments.

kikalina--the chocolate fountain is awesome! So much fun and so tasty!

Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

These are great..I would never have thought to serve meatballs in spaghetti sauce...but i love them so this is so practical as are the other suggestions. Another bookmark! Thank you!

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

They're great, Scribenet--and easy! I'm sure BBQ sauce would work, too, but they're great with the spaghetti sauce, especially after being in the oven for a while. The sauce is awesome that way....Thanks for bookmarking! The hubs are a great place for recipes, that's for sure!

Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA Author

Revised and ready for the Super Bowl!

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