No festive winter gathering is complete without an eye-catching spread of winter appetizers!
Whether you’re hosting for the holidays or planning an intimate dinner with friends, you’ll need a winter appetizer or two on the party list.
However, not just any appetizer will do. For the winter, you need something cozy, something in season, and something ultra special.
That may sound like a ton of pressure, but I got your back.
From cheesy dips to stunning pinwheels, I have all the winter appetizers you need to get through the season.
1. Garlic Herb Tomato Goat Cheese Dip
Start your night off right with a crowd-pleasing dip such as this garlic herb goat cheese sensation.
This stuff has all the best flavors crammed into one. It manages to be super garlicky and cheesy while still being fresh.
Unlike some cheese dips, this one can be down-to-earth or classy. It’s more of a matter of what you choose for a dipper.
For the classy route, olive oil brushed crostinis are the ideal match. For a more casual shindig, some delicious crackers will suffice.
2. Smoked Salmon and Boursin Crostini
Throwing a whimsical winter wonderland bash? Smoked salmon and Boursin crostini is the amuse-bouche that will invoke awestruck in your guests.
Each tidbit consists of a crunchy crostini, a smear of a Boursin cheese mixture, and a thin slice of lox. For the topping, a small sliver of chives will add a pop.
3. Cheesy Bruschetta Bites
Upgrade this classic Italian appetizer with garlic and herb cheese. Although subtle, this simple addition creates a whole new layer of flavor.
The combination is a creamy, tangy, and ultra-fresh bite. While this recipe calls for serving each nibble in a Fillo shell, you can serve these on crostini as well.
4. Shrimp and Grits Appetizer Cups (Garlic Butter Shrimp and Grits Recipe)
Take a home-style cooking hint from the south and warmly welcome your friends with this version of shrimp and grits.
For this recipe, you can’t be scared of a little, or rather a lot, of butter.
You’ll bathe succulent shrimp in cream and butter, then add them on top of cheesy grits.
5. Sweet Potato Rounds with Goat Cheese
‘Tis the season for sweet potato and I’ve got just the recipe to showcase this spud in all of its glory.
You’ll take baked sweet potato rounds and top them off with a joyful garnish of goat cheese, pecans, and cranberries.
Add a drizzle of honey and you’ve got the perfect Christmas bites!
6. Ham and Cheese Stromboli
There are ham and cheese sandwiches, then there’s ham and cheese stromboli. Stromboli is a classic comfort food pairing that kicks things up a notch.
Similar to a calzone, this stromboli is an American version of a stuffed pizza.
It involves layering slices of white cheese and black forest ham inside a pizza dough and baking until golden brown.
The final result looks marvelous while nobody has to know it only took five ingredients to make.
7. Baked Goat Cheese Roasted Cranberry Appetizer
A platter of this baked goat cheese will be the talk of the holidays for years to come.
Whether you bust it out on Thanksgiving or save it for Christmas, this appetizer is a quintessential holiday dish.
Creamy goat cheese is the main centerpiece while a tangy and sweet mixture of cranberries and almonds form a moat around it.
Gougeres are heavenly French cheese puffs. They’re somewhat similar to a cream puff, except savory.
You can stuff the inside with additional fixings like bacon and onion. Or, keep it simple with just cheese.
Forming the puffs can be rather tricky, so it helps to utilize a pastry bag with a wide opening.
If you don’t have one on hand, you can makeshift one with a freezer zip-top bag.
9. Maple Bacon Wrapped Carrots
Sure, bacon and cheese is a no-brainer. But in the winter, make your party extra special with carrots instead.
The salty flavor of the bacon and the sweetness of roasted carrots are simply marvelous together. Plus, they’re as mess-free as finger food gets.
10. Soft Beer Pretzels with Beer Cheese Dip
If you want a surefire winner, go with soft pretzels and beer cheese. Biting into each tender pretzel with a glob of beer cheese is what winter is all about.
I find this recipe to be especially good for winter game days. Also, it’s excellent when you’re with some easy-going cheerful company.
11. Spiced Pear and Pomegranate Crostini
Crostinis are always a wonderful go-to appetizer. There are an endless number of ways to serve them up, however, I like this one for winter gatherings.
The pears get a sweet cinnamon coating while pomegranate seeds add a juicy burst. Full of texture and flavors, these crostini are spot-on!
12. Roasted Garlic and Parsnip Soup
Soup may not be the first appetizer that comes to mind, but with this recipe, it will be.
This soup features a bounty of winter ingredients like garlic, parsnip, and rosemary.
Serving may sound complicated, but it’s super easy. All you’ll need are some small jars or glasses to serve as mini soup shooters – no spoons necessary!
13. Cranberry Brie Pull Apart Bread
Now, this is the appetizer to dazzle your guests!
The middle of this pull-apart bread bowl is a molten center of gooey brie jazzed up with dried cranberries and pecans.
And don’t let the looks fool you, this appetizer centerpiece is so easy to make. You can have it hot and ready in less than 30-minutes!
14. Pomegranate Jeweled White Cheddar, Toasted Almond, and Crispy Sage Cheeseball
How spectacular will this cheese ball look with your wintery dinner spread!
This is certainly not your standard cheese ball. Oh no, it’s way more than that!
This is an elegant appetizer featuring three types of cheese, winter herbs, and juicy pomegranate seeds.
15. Bacon, Scallion, and Caramelized Onion Dip
Are you still serving packaged onion dip as an appetizer? Do yourself, and your family, a favor and make this recipe instead.
Tender caramelized onions meld with crispy bacon and creamy Greek yogurt for an outstanding dip that far surpasses the store-bought stuff.
I like to give options for dipping by serving this with celery and carrot sticks along with crackers and chips.
16. Mushroom Arancini with Roasted Tomato Sauce
These crunchy, cheesy balls are like mozzarella sticks, only better. I know, it’s hard to believe but listen to this.
Mozzarella cheese and mushroom risotto are formed into balls, then rolled in panko breadcrumbs. Each yummy ball is deep-fried until golden brown.
But that’s not all because this also comes with a side of homemade roasted tomato sauce.
17. Butternut Squash Hummus
I am a big fan of just about any hummus flavor. But when I want something that says winter, this is my go-to choice.
You’ll need to peel and bake the butternut squash before blending all the ingredients.
I highly recommend using your sharpest knife as slicing through this squash is no easy task.
I love serving this with a rustic spread of farm-to-table fare.
18. Baked Brie with Blackberry Compote and Spicy Candied Pecans
During the winter months, you can never have enough baked brie. So I’ve got another favorite for you.
This one looks super elegant and is simple to make. You’ll top a brie round with candied pecans, bake, and then top with fresh zesty blackberry compote.
19. Queso Fundido Taquitos
Nothing greets friends with open arms like a queso-filled taquito! This is a fun twist that takes a break from the typical winter fare.
Each crunchy taquito has a savory filling of sharp cheese and chipotle spiced chorizo.
If you want a side for dipping, I would go with either salsa, guacamole, or sour cream.
20. Buffalo Chicken Dip-Stuffed French Bread
If comfort food is what you want, comfort food is what you’ll get with this sensational recipe!
It’s got cheesy buffalo chicken, bacon crumbles, and a ton of spice jammed into a loaf of French bread.
This may look like a giant baked potato, but I assure you it’s all bread.
21. Hot Ham and Cheese Pinwheels
I love how classy these pinwheels look and how pleasing they taste.
Assembling the pinwheels is easy peasy. You’ll spread out some Pillsbury dough, layer it with deli ham and cheese, then roll.
You’ll also brush each pinwheel with a sweet and tangy glaze to add a stunning flavor.
22. Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Truffles
If there were one appetizer to encapsulate all the flavors of winter, this would be it. It’s a mixture of pecans, cinnamon, cranberries, and goat cheese.
You’ll make a ball out of the goat cheese, then roll it in all the fixings. Add a little bit of honey to bind everything together.
23. Winter Fruit Salad Recipe
It’s easy to load up on winter appetizers that are more guilty than healthy.
That’s why I always like to make sure I give my friends and family something nourishing by serving this dish.
This bright and vibrant salad is a melody of winter fruits. Pomegranates, pears, and oranges, just to name a few.
I especially like how the lemon-lime dressing keeps it simple while adding just a bit more flavor.
24. Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
These crab stuffed mushrooms are absolutely to die for. Each tender mushroom is full of succulent crab, cream cheese, and garlic.
I love how panko breadcrumbs add texture as well as how the mushrooms are the perfect morsel of flavor.
Holiday or laid-back winter dinner, everyone will be down to nosh on a platter of these.
25. Cranberry and Walnut Pinwheels
Another excellent way to whip up some festive winter pinwheels is this recipe. All the ingredients are vegetarian and stick to the winter theme.
The combination of sweet cranberry filling and buttery dough makes these delightful bites perfect for an appetizer and dessert alike.
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