Holiday Finger Foods
Inside-Out Hot Brown Bites
Recipe: Inside-Out Hot Brown Bites
We've reimagined this signature Kentucky sandwich of bacon, turkey, and cheese sauce into beautiful bite-size cups.
Smoked Trout Crostini with Radishes and Dill Cream
For a fresh appetizer, try the smoked trout crostini with radishes and dill cream. An appetizer consisting of sour cream spread on a triangle of toasted crostini and topped with smoked trout and radishes will give guests a break from warm appetizers typically served at a dinner party. These perfect little triangles also offer a beautiful presentation, fooling guests into believing you worked much harder than you did on this appetizer. A fresh squeeze of lemon juice will also give guests the burst of freshness that will perfectly balance out your appetizer platter. For an even more colorful spread, replace the trout with smoked salmon.
Petite Sweet Potato Biscuits with Pulled Pork and Slaw
The sweet potato biscuits freeze beautifully—thaw, bake, and top them just before serving.
Recipe: Bacon-Fig Tassies
Pinched for time? Swap the dough for frozen mini-phyllo pastry shells.
Sweet Potato Tartlets
Recipe: Sweet Potato Tartlets
These festive tarts are the perfect sweet treat for grazing guests. You can make them up to a day ahead, and store, covered, in the fridge.
Benne-Maple Roasted Pecans
Recipe: Benne-Maple Roasted Pecans
Make these a few days ahead, and chill in an airtight container.
Recipe: Cuban Sliders
A welcome change from the ubiquitous hamburger slider, this mini sandwich has all the flavor of a great Cuban. The key here is to crisp the bread by warming the sandwiches in a hot jelly-roll pan and adding weight on top of the bread.
Recipe: Fried Hominy
Dangerously delicious, this is the new popcorn for tree trimming—if you don't eat it all first.
Gumbo Rice Fritters
Recipe: Gumbo Rice Fritters
You can make the rice balls two weeks ahead and freeze. Bread and fry straight from the freezer.
Marinated Olives and Almonds
Recipe: Marinated Olives and Almonds
A big batch of these antipasti will last in the refrigerator up to a week. It's the perfect snack to keep on hand to serve unexpected holiday company.
Recipe: Mushroom Puffs
Flaky puff pastry envelopes a rich mix of cream cheese, mushrooms, onions, and Parmesan cheese. You can even assemble and freeze these ahead of time.
Recipe: Southern-Style Smørrebrød
Sparked by the leisurely pleasures of the cocktail-and-canapé Mad Men era, smørrebrød (Danish open-faced sandwiches) are the latest craze in stress-free entertaining. With a little clever prep, you can set out an impressive DIY spread in under an hour. Now we'll toast to that. Skål, y'all!
Tuna-Apple Mini Melts
Recipe: Tuna-Apple Mini Melts
A creamy tuna-apple mixture fills mini-phyllo pastry shells and is topped with Havarti cheese slices to make a tasty, bite-sized appetizer.
Tiny Tomato Tarts
Recipe: Tiny Tomato Tarts
With all the flavor of a traditional tomato pie, these tiny tarts will be a hit at your party. These bite-sized tarts are made with a simple blend of diced tomatoes, piecrusts, a blend of cheeses, and fresh basil. This recipe can also be made ahead by baking the pastry shells up to three days before they are served and storing in an airtight container, leaving the filling to be prepared the day of the party. A medley of Parmesan, cheddar, and mozzarella cheeses make this finger food a delicious alternative to a large slice of tomato pie while still being reminiscent of the Southern favorite.
Spicy Cheddar "Long" Straws
Recipe: Spicy Cheddar "Long" Straws
Cheese straws are like deviled eggs—every Southern cook wants to make great ones. Our best tip for successful cheese straws is to shred your own cheese. It’s stickier and blends better than preshredded cheese.
These tasty strips have the shape of bread sticks but the crisp texture and cheddar-filled taste of cheese straws.
Sweet Potato Crostini with Goat Cheese and Grape Salsa
Spicy, sweet, and totally addictive, this easy appetizer starts with preseasoned fries.
Orange-Basil Baked Brie
Recipe: Orange-Basil Baked Brie
Serve on a pretty cutting board with a cheese knife, and let guests cut their own portions.
Spicy Cheddar Appetizer Cookies
Recipe: Spicy Cheddar Appetizer Cookies
Make party-perfect savory cookies by rolling cheese straw dough into festive shapes.
Herbed Goat Cheese Bites
Recipe: Herbed Goat Cheese Bites
This scrumptious appetizer is easy to prep. Simply roll a log of creamy goat cheese in fresh chopped thyme, parsley, tarragon, and mint in advance. Then, just before serving, spread onto fresh toasted baguette slices and top with sun-dried tomatoes and basil leaves.
Bacon-Wrapped Potatoes with Queso Blanco Dip
You can keep the queso blanco warm in a fondue pot or 1-qt. slow cooker. These are hearty, and would be a winner for a tailgate too.
Recipe: Pecan-Cheddar Buttons
These salty cheese straw balls are rolled in finely chopped pecans and baked until crisp and delicious. They're sure to become a new party favorite.
Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Bread
We've taken garlic bread up a notch. These tasty toasts make perfect entertaining starters. For a light meal, serve them with a salad and glass of wine. Mix spreads the day before, and refrigerate overnight. You'll only need to slather them on French bread and bake for a super-quick presentation. So skip the carb counting, and crunch into something delicious.
Smoked Paprika-Glazed Andouille
Recipe: Smoked Paprika-Glazed Andouille
Serve andouille with wooden toothpicks to create bite-size appetizers.
Salt-Roasted Beef Tenderloin Sliders
You can serve these hearty bites between biscuits, brioche, or artisan dinner rolls for an elegant presentation.
Fingerling Potatoes with Avocado and Smoked Salmon
Recipe: Fingerling Potatoes with Avocado and Smoked Salmon
You'll love the unexpected flavor combination of creamy avocado and fresh dill atop roasted potatoes. This makes a great handheld appetizer when entertaining—just be sure there are plenty to go around.
Bacon-Wrapped Bourbon Figs
Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Bourbon Figs
For bacon-wrapped bliss, turn to these inventive small bites featuring some of our favorite Southern staples.
Pork Tenderloin Crostini
Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp
Upgrade a typical holiday shrimp cocktail by wrapping the juicy bites in satisfyingly salty bacon.
Pepper Jelly-Goat Cheese Cakes
Recipe: Pepper Jelly-Goat Cheese Cakes
These pretty bites have both green and red pepper jelly melted on top for an indulgent treat.
Recipe: Brisket Shooters
Save time and pick up brisket and sauce from your favorite barbecue joint to use in these party bites.
Recipe: Chicken-and-Bacon Satay
A satay is an Indonesian version of kabobs: thinly sliced marinated meat grilled on a skewer and served with lip-licking peanut sauce.
Pepper Jelly-Pecan Rugelach
Recipe: Pepper Jelly-Pecan Rugelach
Make these crunchy treats several hours ahead of time and serve at room temperature.
Apple Butter-and-Cheddar Puffs
Recipe: Apple Butter-and-Cheddar Puffs
To get ahead, make these appetizers through Step 2 and freeze up to 1 month. Go straight to the oven from freezer; simply add 5 to 10 minutes to the bake time.
Recipe: Grits Crostini
You can bake the crostini up to a couple of hours ahead of time, top just before guests arrive and place in the oven to finish.
Chicken Salad Pitas
Recipe: Chicken Salad Pitas
Pepper jelly adds a nice sweet-hot note to chicken salad. And you'll love the extra zing from lemon zest and ground red pepper.
Pepper Jack Grits Poppers
Recipe: Pepper Jack Grits Poppers
Wow your guests with this 6-ingredient twist on the iconic finger food.
Recipe: Grits-and-Gumbo Tarts
Capture the iconic flavors of New Orleans in these easy-to-make tarts.
Caesar Salad Bites
Recipe: Caesar Salad Bites
Fresh, chilled Caesar Salad Bites are tasty, super-easy make, and perfectly suitable for eating out of hand.
Turn these appetizers into a pretty salad by layering veggies and croutons in a clear ice bucket or trifle dish and topping with dressing and parsley.
Recipe: Cheese Straws
If you like yours less spicy, use the smaller amount of red pepper.
Recipe: Marinated Mozzarella
These snacks are as simple as sliced cheese. Prepare them ahead of time to allow ample chill time. Be sure to garnish with a sprig of parsley or rosemary for a bit of panache.
Tortellini Caprese Bites
Recipe: Tortellini Caprese Bites
Tortellini Caprese Bites are drizzled with a basil vinaigrette and are so simple to prepare. The no-mess presentation makes these appetizer skewers ideal for parties.
Recipe: Cranberry Meatballs
Making these meatballs ahead and freezing them is a great way to save time during the holiday months.
White Bean-and-Black Olive Crostini
This salty, satisfying appetizer sets a great tone for the rest of your meal. Garnish with torn basil leaves.
Recipe: Bacon-Arugula-Apple Bites
Complement any menu with this no-fuss party appetizer.
Hot Roast Beef Party Sandwiches
Recipe: Hot Roast Beef Party Sandwiches
This is an updated version of a recipe that used ham, cheese, and mustard. Eyes lit up at our tasting table when these came out of the oven. These crowd pleasing sandwiches will surely delight guests.
Caramelized Onion-Cranberry Cream Cheese Bites
These bite-sized hors d'oeuvres combine a light cream cheese spread, whole grain crackers and a cranberry topping for an ideal mixture of salty and sweet.
Pancetta Crisps With Goat Cheese and Pear
Top Bartlett pear slices with baked pancetta, crumbled goat cheese, and a drizzle of honey for an easy, salty-sweet appetizer recipe that tastes delicious and looks gorgeous.
Recipe: Beef-and-Asparagus Bundles
Tie these bundles with a fresh chive to put the perfect touch on this edible package.
Recipe: Cornbread Crostini
Small, thin rounds of cornbread baked in muffin pans replace baguette slices as a tasty base for Southern-style crostini.
Mini Manchego-Tomato Chutney Tartlets
Recipe: Grits Spanakopita
Japanese breadcurmbs add a satisfying, but light, crunch to these flavorful grits triangles.
Recipe: Ham-and-Cheese Skewers
These starters look elegant on a serving platter--guests will be fooled by how quick and easy they really are. Assemble up to one hour ahead, cover with damp paper towels, and chill. Serve coarse-grain mustard or chutney alongside the skewers.