Quick and Easy Christmas Appetizers You Can Make in 30 Minutes or Less

Baked Brie Bites
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

We've all been there. It's Christmas time—our favorite season, for sure. But, nonetheless, it's the season of constant cooking, entertaining, and planning that can feel like a marathon at sprint speed. Not that we don't love it; we're a glutton for punishment when it comes to celebrating the season with our favorite holiday foods and our less-than-calm family. Planning the perfect Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas morning brunch, and a lineup of endless baked goods makes us forget about another important holiday food feature: the appetizers! So, we've rounded some quick and easy holiday appetizers that will have you covered no matter the occasion (or how down-to-the-wire the prep time is) to get you through the holiday season. These no-fuss holiday appetizer ideas are simple, delicious, and can be whipped up in under 30 minutes so they won't add too much to your already-full plate.

01 of 19

Bacon Bow Tie Crackers

Recipe: Bacon Bow Tie Crackers

Buttery crackers and salty bacon slices are a match made in snack heaven. It doesn't get much easier (and tastier) than this 2-ingredient recipe.

02 of 19

Stuffed Endive with Herbed Goat Cheese

Stuffed Endive with Herbed Goat Cheese
Laurey W. Glenn

Recipe: Stuffed Endive with Herbed Goat Cheese

Belgian endive lettuce plays the vessel for creamy herbed goat cheese in this cool appetizer, and you can display it in a festive star-shaped way for the party!

03 of 19

Baked Goat Cheese Spread with Pepper Jelly

Baked Goat Cheese Spread with Pepper Jelly
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Baked Goat Cheese Spread with Pepper Jelly

A holiday appetizer roundup wouldn't be complete without the presence of pepper jelly and it has no better companion than a tart, soft goat cheese.

04 of 19

Basic Pimiento Cheese

Basic Pimiento Cheese
Jennifer Causey; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Basic Pimiento Cheese​​​​​​​

It's not a proper Southern holiday party without pimiento cheese making an appearance. This recipe schools you in the two game-changing steps to perfect pimiento cheese: using diced jarred pimientos instead of sliced and hand-shredding your cheese.

05 of 19

Cherry-Pecan Brie

Cherry-Pecan Brie
Jim Franco

Recipe: Cherry-Pecan Brie

A sweet blend of cherry preserves, balsamic vinegar, and pepper give this Brie round a festive feel. Top with some pecans for that nutty flavor.

06 of 19

Melon, Mozzarella, and Prosciutto Skewers

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

Recipe: Melon, Mozzarella, and Prosciutto Skewers

Make this fresh, no-cook appetizer even faster by getting a package of pre-sliced melon from the produce section.

07 of 19

Beef-and-Asparagus Bundles

Beef-and-Asparagus Bundles
Ralph Lee Anderson

Recipe: Beef-and-Asparagus Bundles

Maybe it's because we can't usually find quick appetizers using beef, but these have us pretty excited! They are fresh, cool, and sure to please the crowd.

08 of 19

Pancetta Crisps With Goat Cheese and Pear

Pancetta Crisps With Goat Cheese and Pear
Ralph Anderson

Recipe: Pancetta Crisps With Goat Cheese and Pear

These look fancier than they are to make: With only a few instructions and a little pep in your step, you'll have these pear slices with baked pancetta, crumbled goat cheese, and a drizzle of honey ready in no time.

09 of 19

Mini Caprese Bites

Mini Caprese Bites
William Dickey

Recipe: Mini Caprese Bites

These never disappoint at any party—they are just too easy to pick up and pop in your mouth without missing a beat.

10 of 19

Chicken Salad Tarts

Chicken Salad Tarts Recipe
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Chicken Salad Tarts

Each tart shell is filled with delicate and creamy chicken salad for one delicious bite—we could have these anytime!

11 of 19

Shrimp with Honey-Garlic Sauce

Buttery Garlic Shrimp
Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Recipe: Shrimp with Honey Garlic Sauce

This quick appetizer is ready in just 15 minutes, and the whole party is guaranteed to love these saucy shrimp with honey adding a surprising richness and hint of sweetness. Serve skewered or in a bowl with toothpicks.

12 of 19

Ham-and-Cheese Skewers

Ham-and-Cheese Skewers
Charles Walton IV

Recipe: Ham-and-Cheese Skewers

These are almost too easy, but have tons of different flavors and textures going on for the perfect bite. Just thread blue cheese wedges, apple slices, cubes of deli ham, and fresh watercress leaves onto wooden skewers—and you're ready to go.

13 of 19

Cheddar Cheese Straws

Cheddar Cheese Straws
Lee Harrelson

Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Straws

Cheese straws are a Southern staple for any time or place, so they're sure to go quick at any party. (Hint: make extra!)

14 of 19

Buttery Toasted Pecans

Buttery Toasted Pecans
Photo: Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Buttery Toasted Pecans

Melted butter and simple seasoning is the secret to these buttery, flavorful toasted pecans.

15 of 19

Baked Brie Bites

Baked Brie Bites
Laurey W. Glenn

Recipe: Baked Brie Bites

Make these extra fast and easy by using frozen mini phyllo pastry shells. The melty baked brie bites, complemented with red pepper jelly and pecans, will be ready in less than 20 minutes.

16 of 19

Feta-Olive-Fresh Herb Cheese Ball

Feta-Olive-Fresh Herb Cheese Ball
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Feta-Olive-Fresh Herb Cheese Ball

Did someone say cheese ball? It's just the thing your cheese board has been missing—for a more festive spin, roll it into a Yule log.

17 of 19

Caesar Salad Bites

Caesar Salad Bites
Photo: Jennifer Davick/Prop Styling: Lydia DeGaris Pursell/Food Styling: Marian Cooper Cairns

Recipe: Caesar Salad Bites

These perfect hand-held salad bites are a fresh, crisp addition to your holiday snack lineup.

18 of 19


Southern Living

Recipe: Afterburners

Shrimp, jalapeño peppers, and bacon? You can't go wrong, especially if you serve them with some spicy queso dip.

19 of 19

Smoky Snack Mix

Smoky Snack Mix
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Smoky Snack Mix

A cocktail party always needs a snack mix, and we have just the one for you. From hostess gifts to your go-to party bites, this quick recipe will be loved by adults and kids alike.

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