Home Appetizers 30 Make-Ahead Christmas Appetizers (+ Easy Holiday Recipes)

30 Make-Ahead Christmas Appetizers (+ Easy Holiday Recipes)

These make-ahead Christmas appetizers can help make your holiday gatherings so much easier!

Preparing for the big day can sometimes seem like a daunting task.

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After all, making all of the festive dishes can get pretty stressful. 

Stuffed Mushroom with Green Onions, Tomatoes and Cheese

But don’t worry. I’ve been there, done that, and I have you covered. 

I’ve rounded up some easy make-ahead Christmas appetizers.

They’ll satisfy your guests and put them in the holiday spirit. Most importantly, they’ll help reduce some of your cooking stress.

From hummus to dips and even bologna cake, there’s something here for everyone. Let’s get to it! 

1. Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms are always a hit, but these are some of the best.

They’re cheesy, herby, and full of fresh, earthy flavors. 

You’ll love them, too, because they’re so easy to throw together.

You need fewer than 10 ingredients and only 10 minutes of prep time.

They’re easy-to-make, bite-sized morsels of pure YUM. 

2. Jalapeno Popper Dip

Does your group love jalapeno 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. 

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

3. Neiman Marcus Dip

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

However, most people know it by its other name, million-dollar dip. 

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. 

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

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. 

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.) 

Either way, these savory starters are downright addictive. 

6. Cheesy Bacon Dip

Do you love cheese balls? If so, this dip is the one for you.

It tastes like a bacon cheese ball, but it’s creamier, warmer, and more dip-like. 

Most people don’t think of dips as culinary masterpieces. This one will change their minds.

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.

8. Sausage Balls

Lots of people love to wake up to sausage balls on Christmas morning.

Fortunately, they make excellent appetizers, too. 

Now, there are hundreds of sausage ball recipes online.

This one, though, is one of the easiest. It uses five simple ingredients, but you can get by with three. 

You can make two dozen in less than 30 minutes. All you need is Bisquick, cheddar cheese, and sausage.

You can also add milk and chives if you want. This recipe is a hard one to beat. 

9. Sausage Cheese Balls

This sausage ball recipe also uses Bisquick but features a few more ingredients.

You use two types of cheese, rosemary, and parsley. 

The result is a tray of herby, juicy sausage balls with precisely the right amount of cheese.

10. Sausage Cream Cheese Crescent Rolls

Of course, some people might 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!

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?!

12. Spinach Balls

These one-carb, low-calorie appetizers aren’t exactly candied bacon, but they’re still good.

They’re cheesy, garlicky, and pretty tasty. They also have a pleasing, chewy texture. 

Whip these up for all your family members following a low-carb diet.

Just don’t expect them to be the only ones who eat them.

13. Sweet Spicy Christmas Nuts

I don’t know about you, but sweet heat is one combination that I adore.

These nuts manage to throw salty into the mix, as well. 

They’re effortless to make and have flavor in spades. You coat each one with sweet ingredients like cinnamon and sugar.

Then, you add cayenne, ginger, and other spices.

The combination is a tantalizing, tongue-tingling mix you’re sure to appreciate.

14. Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms

Here’s another savory, spectacular stuffed mushroom recipe.

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. 

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.

16. Million-Dollar Dip

Here’s another take on million-dollar dip. It’s similar to the Neiman Marcus dip above.

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.

17. Caprese Pastry Bites

Have you ever had Caprese skewers? How about a Caprese salad? Did you like them?

If so, you’ll love these Caprese pastry bites. 

They have all the bright, tangy flavor of Caprese anything.

However, the puff pastry dough adds a flaky, buttery richness that makes them even better.

When I tell you I could eat the entire tray of these by myself, I’m not exaggerating. Not even a little.

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. 

19. Spinach Artichoke Cups

Speaking of spinach and artichokes, check out these spinach-artichoke cups.

They’re creamy, garlicky spinach-artichoke dip. The only difference is that you won’t actually dip it with anything.

Instead, they come in their own crunchy wonton wrapper cups.

They taste just as awesome as any spinach-artichoke dip you’ve ever tried. They’re just less messy and more convenient.

20. Cranberry and Feta Pinwheels

The combination of sweet and tangy is one most people appreciate.

That’s what you’ll get with these colorful, festive pinwheels. 

They’re green, white, and red, so they’re perfect for building a pinwheel Christmas tree.

They’re also filling and feature the bold flavors of cream cheese, cranberries, and feta.

Their only downside? No one who tries them can stop at just one or two.

Make too many of these, and you risk everyone being full before the big dinner.  

21. Christmas Party Dip

Everyone around the table will love this sweet, festive Christmas dip.

You need Greek yogurt, lite Cool Whip, and your choice of gingerbread cookie or cake mix.

Mix them in a bowl, then add your green and red holiday sprinkles.

Serve it with graham crackers, pretzels, or anything else you like. It shouldn’t take you more than 2 minutes to make it.

22. Hormel Chili Dip

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

This dip, 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.

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. 

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! 

25. Cold Tortellini Salad Kabobs

Serving a whole plate of tortellini as a starter is too much. These tortellini kabobs, on the other hand, are just right

They’re easy to make and feature a bright, tangy taste that’ll have your taste buds singing.

They taste similar to Caprese skewers, but the tortellini adds a bit of flair. 

If you enjoy Italian food or love cold pasta salads, you’ll appreciate these, too. 

26. Sausage Puffs

Want sausage balls but don’t have any Bisquick? That’s okay!

Use this five-ingredient recipe for sausage puffs. You need flour, butter, sausage, Worcestershire, and cheese. 

You can have them ready for the oven in 10 minutes and ready to eat 15 minutes after that.

These classic treats will transport you right back to your childhood home. 

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.

28. Jalapeno Popper Christmas Tree

Make your jalapeno poppers extra festive this year by turning them into a Christmas tree.

They feature the same great taste as always. The only difference is their presentation. 

Shape them into a Christmas tree and add bell pepper garland, a bell pepper star, and a pretzel trunk.

You can even use cheese cubes as presents for an entire appetizer platter!

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! 

30. Christmas Tree Appetizer-Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pinwheel Wraps

And finally, another Christmas tree pinwheel tray! Be sure to use the spinach wraps for their green hue. 

Then, as I’ve already mentioned, you can use this recipe or make your own favorite pinwheels.

You’ll certainly be satisfied if you go with this recipe. 

It’s a tangy, savory combo of cream cheese, ranch, cheddar, bacon, and more.

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

30 Make-Ahead Christmas Appetizers (+ Easy Holiday Recipes)

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

Ingredients

  • Stuffed Mushrooms

  • Jalapeno Popper Dip

  • Neiman Marcus Dip

  • Hummus Wreath

  • Hanky Panky

  • Cheesy Bacon Dip

  • Pumpkin Fluff Dip

  • Sausage Balls

  • Sausage Cheese Balls

  • Sausage Cream Cheese Crescent Rolls

  • Candied Bacon

  • Spinach Balls

  • Sweet Spicy Christmas Nuts

  • Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms

  • Bologna Cake

  • Million-Dollar Dip

  • Caprese Pastry Bites

  • Knorr Spinach Dip

  • Spinach Artichoke Cups

  • Cranberry and Feta Pinwheels

  • Christmas Party Dip

  • Hormel Chili Dip

  • Applebee’s Spinach Artichoke Dip

  • Chipotle Guacamole

  • Cold Tortellini Salad Kabobs

  • Sausage Puffs

  • Roasted Carrot Hummus

  • Jalapeno Popper Christmas Tree

  • Cheese Ball Wreath

  • Christmas Tree Appetizer-Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pinwheel Wraps

Directions

  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a Christmas appetizer in 30 minutes or less!
Make-Ahead Christmas Appetizers

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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