Easy Appetizers That Won't Spoil the Feast

Shrimp on Seasoned Crackers with Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke

When hungry guests arrive for a holiday feast or family reunion, greet them with quick and easy appetizers that won't ruin their appetite for the main event. A refreshing cocktail and a selection of small-bite appetizers will keep friends and family content until it's time to sit down to mouthwatering main dishes, savory sides, and show-stopping desserts. Seafood lovers will gobble up our Shrimp on Seasoned Crackers with Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese and West Indies Crab Salad. Even picky eaters will pick on our Arancini with Pomodoro Dipping Sauce, and don't blink because you might miss the Fried Artichoke Hearts with Roasted Red Pepper Aïoli. These one-and two-bite appetizers are just what your crew needs to tide them over until dinner without spoiling appetites.

01 of 20

Baked Brie Bites

Baked Brie Bites
Laurey W. Glenn

Recipe: Baked Brie Bites

These bite-sized appetizers are incredibly delicious, with flaky phyllo dough shells surrounding creamy, tasty Brie cheese. Simple to make, these easy holiday treats come together in under 20 minutes.

02 of 20

Party Poppers

Party Poppers
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Party Poppers

Satisfy hungry houseguests with a spicy two-bite appetizer stuffed with chicken-cream cheese filling and wrapped in some hickory-smoked bacon.

03 of 20

Sweet Potato and Chorizo Sausage Bites

Sweet Potato and Chorizo Sausage Bites
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Sweet Potato and Chorizo Sausage Bites

The addition of sweet potatoes to the recipe gives a delightful and tasty Southern twist to this classic holiday appetizer, while chorizo sausage lends a bit of spice.

04 of 20

Creamy Shrimp Dip with Crispy Wonton Chips

Creamy Shrimp Dip with Crispy Wonton Chips
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Creamy Shrimp Dip with Crispy Wonton Chips

This flavorful, no-cook shrimp dip is prepared, chilled, and ready to go in under an hour. This is also delicious spread on crostini.

05 of 20

Stuffed Endive with Herbed Goat Cheese

Stuffed Endive with Herbed Goat Cheese
Laurey W. Glenn

Recipe: Stuffed Endive with Herbed Goat Cheese

These vegetarian appetizers may be big on flavor, but they won't spoil your appetite for dinner. You can substitute your favorite herb for the tarragon, and even add a bit of spice for a Southern twist.

06 of 20

Fried Olives with Blue Cheese Aïoli

Fried Olives with Blue Cheese Aïoli
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Christina Daley

Recipe: Fried Olives with Blue Cheese Aïoli

Instead of serving plain olives in a bowl, wow everyone with these fried olives. Don't pass on the Blue Cheese Aïoli for store-bought dressing—trust us on this one!

07 of 20

Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomato Bruschetta

Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomato Bruschetta
Greg Dupree; Food Styling: Anna Hampton; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch

Recipe: Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomato Bruschetta

Bruschetta traditionalists, hear us out on this one. Slow roasting your fresh summer tomatoes brings a whole new rich, sweet flavor to your favorite appetizer.

08 of 20

Mushroom-Stuffed Phyllo Cups

Mushroom-Stuffed Phyllo Cups
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Mushroom-Stuffed Phyllo Cups

Frozen mini phyllo pastry shells are the store-bought secret to an adorable one-bite appetizer when you're hosting last-minute guests.

09 of 20

Grilled Yellow Squash Roll-Ups

Grilled Yellow Squash Roll-Ups
Greg Dupree; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch; Food Styling: Anna Hampton

Recipe: Grilled Yellow Squash Roll-Ups

Summer farmers' markets often leave us with an abundance of fresh squash, and these cute, colorful roll-ups are a fun way to use it up when entertaining.

10 of 20

Spicy Sweet Potato Crostini

Spicy Sweet Potato Crostini
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Spicy Sweet Potato Crostini

Go ahead and consider this your staple appetizer for fall. This new way to enjoy sweet potatoes looks and tastes amazing.

11 of 20

Fried Artichoke Hearts with Roasted Red Pepper Aïoli

Fried Artichoke Hearts with Roasted Red Pepper Aïoli
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Christina Daley

Recipe: Fried Artichoke Hearts with Roasted Red Pepper Aïoli

Artichokes don't have to go right in a dip. These fried artichoke hearts will change the way you think about them.

12 of 20

Spicy Strawberry-Goat Cheese Crostini

Spicy Strawberry-Goat Cheese Crostini
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe: Spicy Strawberry-Goat Cheese Crostini

This beautiful appetizer proves strawberries don't just belong in your spring desserts.

13 of 20

Shrimp on Seasoned Crackers with Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese

Shrimp on Seasoned Crackers with Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke

Recipe: Shrimp on Seasoned Crackers with Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese

The beloved combination of pepper jelly and cream cheese gets a cocktail party-worthy upgrade with these pre-portioned, two-bite crackers.

14 of 20

Mini Caprese Bites

Mini Caprese Bites
William Dickey

Recipe: Mini Caprese Bites

This 20-minute appetizer is light and easy. Serve them in individual glasses to limit germs spreading around the table.

15 of 20

Arancini with Pomodoro Dipping Sauce

Arancini with Pomodoro Dipping Sauce
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Christina Daley

Recipe: Arancini with Pomodoro Dipping Sauce

We're sharing tiny appetizers that your guests hopefully won't fill up on too much to spoil their dinner, but be warned: They just might eat these up before you can blink.

16 of 20

Easy BBQ Shrimp

Easy BBQ Shrimp
Southern Living

Recipe: Easy BBQ Shrimp

Put these quick BBQ Shrimp on mini skewers for an easy grab-and-go appetizer for guests.

17 of 20

Cranberry Brie Bites

Cranberry Brie Bites
Southern Living

Recipe: Cranberry Brie Bites

Give your go-to brie bites recipe a festive spin for the holidays with the addition of cranberry sauce.

18 of 20

West Indies Crab Salad

West Indies Crab Salad
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: West Indies Crab Salad

This light crab salad is a Mobile, Alabama, specialty. Serve it with crackers (locals love classic Saltines with it) or in individual lettuce cups for guests.

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Melon, Mozzarella, and Prosciutto Skewers

Melon, Mozzarella, and Prosciutto Skewers
Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lisa Powell Bailey

Recipe: Melon, Mozzarella, and Prosciutto Skewers

Salty prosciutto, sweet and juicy melon, and soft mozzarella ensure that every bite of this appetizer is full of texture and flavor.

20 of 20

Warm Cheese Box Bites

Warm Cheese Box Bites
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe: Warm Cheese Box Bites

Busy hosts, keep a batch of these cheese straw upgrades in your freezer at all times for last-minute plans.

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