Home Appetizers 30 Best Make-Ahead Christmas Appetizers

30 Best Make-Ahead Christmas Appetizers

These make-ahead Christmas appetizers will make your next holiday party a breeze.

Just prep them a day or two in advance and then enjoy the stress-free day!

Stuffed Mushroom with Green Onions, Tomatoes and Cheese
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Preparing for a big party can be tricky. You have to shop, clean, and cook for a crowd and take time to mingle.

But thanks to these make-ahead Christmas appetizers, you can spread the workload over a few days.

That way, all you need to do is plate them and maybe heat a few up.

From stuffed mushrooms to homemade hummus, these easy holiday snacks are sure to please. Let’s get to it! 

Dip made with mix of mayo, sharp cheddar, bacon, almonds, and green onion served on a bowl with a plate of crackers

1. Million-Dollar Dip

The million-dollar dip is similar to Neiman Marcus dip. However, this recipe adds slivered almonds into the mix.

Whichever recipe you choose, it’s sure to delight the crowd. It’s creamy, rich, and flavorful. No one can turn that down.

And don’t worry, I have the Neiman Marcus recipe below, too.

Chips dipped on a cheesy jalapeno popper dip on a white dish.

2. Jalapeno Popper Dip

Does your group love jalapeńo poppers? If so, they’ll also appreciate this hot, cheesy dip.

It’s thick, rich, and creamy, and it has a delightfully crunchy cheese-n-cracker topping. 

Serve it with chips, crackers, or even veggies. Either way, everyone will love it, as long as they can handle the heat. 

Cheesy dip in a bowl with toasted almonds, bacon crumbles, and cheddar cheese.

3. Neiman Marcus Dip

Neiman Marcus dip originated in, you guessed it, a Neiman Marcus store.

It’s wonderfully creamy, easy to whip up, and features plenty of cheese and onion flavor.

You also add delicious, salty bacon crumbles for extra pizzazz. 

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In short, it tastes like a million bucks. Fortunately, it doesn’t cost anywhere near that much to make it. 

Hummus topped with chopped parsley and sliced tomato cherries served with chips.
Source: Twohealthykitchens.com

4. Hummus Wreath

This hummus wreath is pretty and ticks a lot of important boxes.

It’s gluten-free, vegetarian-friendly, and ready in 30 minutes or less. 

Best of all, the Christmas aspect, the wreath, is super simple to pull off. You won’t even need homemade hummus!

You can buy it at the store if you prefer. (This hummus recipe is incredible, though.)

All you’ll need to make any hummus festive is parsley and cherry tomatoes.

If you don’t make your own, you can have it ready in 10 minutes or less. 

Mixture of ground beef, cheese, sausage, onions, and peppers baked on top of sliced rye bread.

5. Hanky Panky

Don’t let the naughty name fool you. Hanky Panky is scrumptious and 100% kid-friendly.

It’s a hearty, flavorful mixture of ground beef, cheese, sausage, onions, and peppers. 

You mix it all and bake it on slices of rye bread.

It’s crunchy, cheesy, and just a bit spicy. (Or a lot spicy, depending on how much cayenne you add.) 

Hotdogs wrap in crescent roll with cheese in the middle served on a plate with dipping sauce on the side

6. Pigs in A Blanket

To make pigs in a blanket ahead, you’ll want to prep them all the way up until baking.

Then, pop them in the fridge (covered) and bake just before you need them.

It’s not quite as easy as having them cooked and ready in advance. But you can get the prep out of the way at least a day before.

Cracker dipped in creamy pumpkin dip on a bowl with whipped cream on top.

7. Pumpkin Fluff Dip

Have a lot of pumpkin spice latte lovers in your circle of friends? Appease them with this light and fluffy pumpkin fluff dip. 

You make it with four simple ingredients in about 5 minutes.

It’s sweet, light, and brimming with pumpkin spice goodness.

Cheesy sausage balls in a blue bowl.

8. Sausage Balls

There are hundreds of sausage ball recipes online.

This one, though, is my go-to. You only need a handful of ingredients, and they always come out tender and flavorful.

Better yet, you’ll have two dozen in less than 30 minutes. All you need is Bisquick, cheddar cheese, sausage, and some spices.

How easy is that?

Breaded whole and sliced in half boiled eggs served with dip.

9. Scotch Eggs

Want something a little different this year? How about this British classic?

Scotch eggs feature a soft-boiled egg encased in sausage meat and breading. They’re then deep-fried until crispy.

Make the eggs up to three days in advance. You can even wrap them in the meat if you like.

Just don’t add the breading until you’re ready to fry. That way, it’ll be perfectly crunchy!

Sausage cream cheese crescent rolls on a baking pan.

10. Sausage Cream Cheese Crescent Rolls

Like the idea of sausage balls but want something more substantial? In that case, try these sausage cream cheese crescent rolls. 

They still have that same great sausage ball flavor.

But adding cream cheese and buttery crescent rolls takes them up a notch. They’re extremely filling, too!

Glazing season strips of fried bacon served with sunny side egg on a plate.
Source: Sundaysuppermovement.com

11. Candied Bacon

I don’t care how health-conscious you are. Unless your dietary restrictions forbid it, you’ll splurge on candied bacon. It’s just too darned good to pass up. 

No, it’s not healthy, and no, your heart and waist aren’t going to thank you for it.

But I promise that your tastebuds and stomach will. I mean, come on, it’s candied bacon. What’s not to love?!

Bunch of cranberry brie bites arranged on a white table garnished with rosemary leaves.
Source: Lulus.com

12. Cranberry Brie Bites

You’ll see cranberry brie bites on pretty much every Christmas table this year. And for good reason!

They’re deceptively easy to make, super tasty, and look impressive as heck.

Not a cranberry lover? Try brie and caramelized onions instead.

Deviled eggs topped with bacon and paprika.

13. Million Dollar Deviled Eggs

Christmas isn’t the time for plain old deviled eggs. Oh no! It’s time for million-dollar deviled eggs!

They’re rich, creamy, and topped with a dash of Tabasco sauce, bacon, and paprika.

But that’s not what makes them extra special. It’s actually the butter in the filling!

Mushroom stuffed with crab meat and cheese filling.

14. Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms

Here’s a spectacular stuffed mushroom recipe you’ll come back to again and again.

This one features crabmeat, onions, cheese, and various herbs and spices. 

The mushrooms are tender and chewy, not tough or rubbery. Both their texture and taste are phenomenal.

They’re so good that even the kiddos will enjoy them. 

Sliced layered bologna covered with cream served with crackers.

15. Bologna Cake

Tap into your southern side with this four-ingredient bologna cake. It looks like a cake, but there’s nothing sweet about it. 

It is, however, a fun and unique take on a classic bologna sandwich. Instead of bread, you serve it with crackers. 

Then, it’s just bologna, cream cheese, and mayo with a bit of Worcestershire sauce for taste.

It might look a little strange at first glance, but it’s tastier than it seems.

Cheese ball wrapped in bacon bits served with crackers.

16. Bacon Cheese Ball

Cheese balls need a good few hours in the fridge to set. So they’re already the perfect make-ahead Christmas appetizer.

This one features ranch-infused cream cheese, plenty of cheddar cheese, and real bacon bits.

It’s simple but insanely good. And if you make them into minis, they’re the perfect make-ahead finger food.

Mini antipasto skewers shaped into a Christmas Wreath.
Source: Aprettylifeinthesuburbs.com

17. Antipasto Skewers Christmas Wreath

You might not think antipasto skewers are all that festive, but when you make a wreath, they definitely are!

And it’s super simple. Just make sure you have the ingredients in the same order, and then have some rosemary on the end.

I like red peppers and cherry tomatoes to keep them on theme. But you’ll get the fun effect no matter what colors you use.

Creamy spinach dip on a white bowl.

18. Knorr Spinach Dip

This six-ingredient dip is ideal if you want something tasty but want to avoid cooking.

You can whip it up with just six ingredients. And all you’ll have to do is mix them in a bowl.

It’s like spinach-artichoke dip, but there are no artichokes.

Instead, you use onions and water chestnuts. They give it more earthiness and a little crunch. 

Buffalo chicken dip with crostini on background

19. Buffalo Chicken Dip

Hot dip can be made ahead, just like the pigs in blankets. Simply blend everything in a bowl, then keep it in the fridge.

Just before the party, throw it in the oven, then it’ll be warm and bubbly when your guests arrive.

A serving of marinated cheese with cream filling on plate with fork.
Source: Recipesworthrepeating.com

20. Marinated Cheese

Marinated cheese is the perfect make-ahead party appetizer. And it actually gets better the longer it sits!

Overnight is the shortest I would let it sit. So, for the best flavor, make it at least. a day in advance.

Serve it with lots of crackers, and enjoy.

Bacon wrapped dates on stick with a serving of blue cheese on plate.
Source: Cookingwithcocktailrings.com

21. Blue Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates

The beauty of bacon-wrapped dates is that they taste just as good whether they’re hot or cold.

So you could prep these, then bake them before the party. Or, make and bake them and serve them cold.

They’ll fly off the plate either way.

Chili Dip garnished with chilis and chopped parsley served in a bowl on a wooden cutting board with nachos

22. Hormel Chili Dip

I love thick, gooey cheese dip, no matter the occasion.

This one, though, takes cheese dip to a whole new level.

It still has plenty of cheese and includes cream cheese and cheddar.

But you’ll also mix in a can of beefy Hormel chili. That turns it into a heartier, more flavorful dip that’s impossible to stop eating.

Trust me, you won’t have any of this yummy stuff left.

Wooden fork and spoon lifting gooey spinach artichoke dip from a glass dish.

23. Applebee’s Spinach Artichoke Dip

Looking for a more traditional spinach-artichoke dip recipe? No problem! Try this one.

It’s ooey, gooey, cheesy, and garlicky. 

If you’ve ever had Applebee’s spinach-artichoke dip, that’s precisely what this tastes like. 

Want to make it even better? Serve it with homemade thin and crispy tortilla chips.

And be generous with the salt. That combination is heavenly. 

Chipotle Guacamole Served with Chips

24. Chipotle Guacamole

While we’re talking about copycat dip recipes, let’s look at this one. It’s a copy of Chipotle’s guacamole, and it is superb. 

Follow this recipe if you want the freshest, tastiest guacamole. It also has the best texture.

It isn’t grainy, nor is it too thick or runny. It’s pretty much perfect. Every guac fan will love it.

And again, bonus points for homemade tortilla chips! 

Bunch of bright red color meatballs on white plate.
Source: Theendlessmeal.com

25. Cranberry Meatballs

Bright, sweetly tart, and super tender, you can’t beat cranberry meatballs.

Use the slow cooker method to make them ahead. That way, they can sit in the crockpot for 6 hours while you get everything else ready for the party.

Charcuterie board with crackers, fruits, nuts, jams, meats, and cheese.
Source: Thequickjourney.com

26. Christmas Charcuterie Board

Is it even Christmas with a cheese board? I don’t think so!

And since it’s just cold meats and cheese, you can easily make it ahead of a party or holiday potluck.

Just remember to keep the crackers away from anything moist, and it’ll be fine in the fridge for a day or so – covered, of course.

Hummus in bowl on a wooden table with crackers, pickled olives, fresh broccoli, greens and beets.
Source: Foolproofliving.com

27. Roasted Carrot Hummus

While traditional chickpea hummus is to die for, you’ll love this carrot version!

It has the same silky smooth consistency as regular hummus. The color, though, is a much prettier orange. 

The taste is also fantastic. It’s rich and earthy, with plenty of garlic and tahini.

The splash of lemon juice adds a little brightness, as well. Give it a shot and you won’t be disappointed.

Sliced in halves jalapenos stuffed with cheesy filling.
Source: Therecipewell.com

28. Jalapeno Poppers

Jalapeno poppers aren’t usually on my list of easy holiday appetizer recipes. That’s because there are a few steps involved to get them right.

But come on, they’re so worth it!

And you can easily get the prep work done the day before, so all that’s left is cooking.

Cheeseballs coated with crushed Dorito chips decorated as Christmas wreath on a plate.
Source: Abeautifulmess.com

29. Cheese Ball Wreath

This cheese ball wreath is another fun and festive idea. Instead of one big cheese ball, make several small ones.

You can use the recipe provided here or your favorite cheese ball recipe.

Then, arrange them in a circle on top of a bed of rosemary.

The adorable Christmas look won’t last long once people dig in. But it’ll start out super cute! 

Cheddar bacon ranch pinwheel wraps shaped as Christmas tree on a concrete surface.
Source: Sweetphi.com

30. Christmas Tree Appetizer-Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pinwheel Wraps

And finally, a Christmas tree pinwheel tray!

It’s a tangy, savory combo of cream cheese, ranch, cheddar, bacon, and more. Be sure to use the spinach wraps for their green hue. 

They’re another addictive snack you’ll have a hard time giving up in favor of the Christmas meal.

30 Make-Ahead Christmas Appetizers

Course: AppetizersCuisine: American


Prep time


Cooking time





Nobody can resist these simple make-ahead Christmas appetizers! From dips and sausage balls to these crab stuffed mushrooms, these apps make the holidays so much easier.


  • 24 medium cremini or white mushrooms, stems removed

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 8 ounces crab meat

  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, seeds removed

  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions, plus more for garnish

  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided

  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika


  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Clean the mushrooms with a damp paper towel and remove the stems. Drizzle the caps with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine crab meat, tomatoes, scallions, half of the shredded cheese, cream cheese, garlic, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix until well combined.
  • Stuff each mushroom cap generously with crab mixture. Top with remaining shredded cheese.
  • Place the stuffed mushrooms on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
  • Garnish with scallions and parsley and serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • If serving for later, let mushrooms cool completely and cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
  • When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Reheat mushrooms for 10-15 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is bubbling.
  • Garnish with additional scallions and fresh parsley.
  • Serve and enjoy!


  • If you want a slight crunch, add a sprinkle of panko breadcrumbs on top of the stuffed mushrooms before baking.
  • To enhance the umami flavor, add a dash of soy sauce or a sprinkle of parmesan to the crab mixture.


  • Calories: 46kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Fat: 3g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 11mg
  • Sodium: 86mg
  • Potassium: 130mg
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Calcium: 64mg
  • Iron: 2mg
Make-Ahead Christmas Appetizers

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author avatar
NaTaya Hastings
NaTaya Hastings is a food and recipe writer for Insanely Good Recipes. She’s an educator, boy mom, dog mom, and whatever-stray-enters-the-yard mom. As a result, she's constantly cooking for both humans and animals.

Luckily, she enjoys it!

Though born, raised, and still living in Alabama, her specialty is NOT down-home Southern cooking. Instead, she loves to experiment with Asian, Mexican, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. She has two mottos when it comes to cooking. “The more spice, the better!” and “There’s no such thing as too much garlic!”

She’s also pretty good with desserts. Especially the easy, no-bake ones.

Her favorite things are cuddling with her four giant dogs, traveling, reading, writing, and hanging out in nature. She’s also pretty excellent at Dominoes.

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