10 Last-Minute Appetizers for Christmas Eve
Put your Christmas crowd in a festive mood before they sit down to dinner or open a single present. All it takes is one of these delicious holiday appetizers. And you don’t have to spend hours making any of them. We gathered our favorite easy Christmas appetizers that don’t require many ingredients or time in the kitchen. Many of these recipes are designed to be prepped a day or two advance so you can assemble them quickly, right before guests arrive. Choose from spiced nuts, cheese balls, easy dips and spreads, chicken liver mousse, shrimp cocktail, palmiers, and more. If you’re hosting a large crowd, most of these recipes can easily be doubled or even tripled. No matter what appetizer recipe you choose, all of these Christmas Eve appetizers look impressive but can be whipped up at the last minute with little to no effort at all. Consider this our Christmas gift to you!
Chicken Liver Mousse Crostini with Pepper Jelly
Your holiday guests won’t be able to stop eating this smooth, velvety mousse topped with spicy-sweet pepper jelly. And you’ll love it too because it’s so easy to make in advance.
Recipe: Sparkling Cranberries
These pretty sugared berries make a nice addition to a cheese plate.
Feta-Olive-Fresh Herb Cheese Ball
Everyone loves a cheese ball, and this one, covered in bright green parsley and scallions, looks especially festive for the holidays.
Recipe: Spicy-Sweet Pecans
Spiced pecans are a Southern party staple for a reason: they are easy to make, you can make them in advance, and they are impossible to stop eating. We love this version with rosemary, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and ground red pepper.
Recipe: Cherry-Pecan Brie
Serve this pretty cherry-topped warm Brie with plenty of baguette slices and crackers. You won’t find a holiday appetizer more impressive that only requires five ingredients.
Pimiento Cheese Gougères
Recipe: Pimiento Cheese Gougères
A basket of warm cheese puffs is an excellent way to start any holiday gathering and these can be made ahead and frozen for a last-minute appetizer that’s still freshly baked.
Cranberry-Goat Cheese Canapés
Recipe: Cranberry-Goat Cheese Canapés
These colorful little toasts take minutes to assemble if you make the cranberry compote ahead of time.
Recipe: Cranberry-Jalapeño Salsa
Cranberries aren’t just for relish. Try them in this festive and fiery salsa with jalapenos and fresh ginger.
Pepper Jelly Palmiers
Recipe: Pepper Jelly Palmiers
If you’ve got a box of puff pastry in the freezer and a jar of pepper jelly in the pantry, you can whip up this tasty appetizer.