Finger-friendly, elegant, and (almost too) easy to eat, these recipes for appetizers and hors d’oeuvres are perfect for all of your holiday endeavors. Starting off with something unexpected, like
salmon appetizers are one of our favorite ways to elevate any event, whether it’s a fancy cocktail party or potluck dinner. But the classics are called so for a reason, so don’t overlook go-tos like homemade pigs in a blanket, cheese gougères, or crab toasts. Any of these recipes can be scaled up to accommodate more guests. Now all you need is a festive drink.
For holiday menu inspiration, roast recipes, and more, check out our full
Making for a substantial snack, Rosa Pepe stuffs olives with a simple beef and pork filling; then dredges them in breadcrumbs before crisping them up in the deep-fryer.
Get the recipe for Fried Stuffed Castelvetrano Olives »
Armenian Stuffed Cabbage (Dolmas)
The dough, a variation on a Southern-style biscuit dough, is rolled out and folded several times to ensure delicate layers. Leftover dough and scraps can be rolled out again and cut and baked into biscuits. The dough can also be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen until ready to use.
Get the recipe for Pigs in a Blanket with Herbed Mustard Dipping Sauce »
In his version of Chilean empanadas, chef Rodolfo Guzmán of
Boragó replaces lean ground chuck with rich beef short ribs, which make each bite tender. Get the recipe for Beef Short Ribs Empanadas »
There's a reason this recipe is a classic party appetizer: crowned with jam and wrapped in puff pastry, a wheel of brie turns into a gooey, irresistible treat that's great eaten with crackers or toast.
Get the recipe for Baked Brie with Raspberry Jam »
Broccoli Rabe and Italian Sausage Fried Ravioli
Farmers' Cheese with Onion and Pumpkin Seed Oil
This gorgeous tart has it all—sweetness from the caramelized onions, earthiness from the goat cheese, and a subtle saltiness from the anchovies.
Get the recipe for Onion Tart with Goat Cheese »
Spreading mayonnaise on both sides of the bread before grilling yields a perfectly golden brown crust.
Get the recipe for Crab Toast »
These holiday favorites benefit from a spicy, sage-heavy bulk pork sausage.
Get the recipe for Sharp Cheddar and Sausage Balls »
Cavolo nero, also known as Tuscan kale, Lacinato kale, or Dinosaur kale, balances thinly sliced, salty prosciutto over toast.
Get the recipe for Cavolo Nero and Prosciutto Bruschetta »
Requeson (Mexican ricotta) and a variety of other Mexican cheeses to make these craveable croquettes. Serve them with a sweet and smoky chipotle-honey salsa.
Get the recipe for Mexican Ricotta Croquettes »
Classic Scotch Eggs
A sweet core of dried apricot coated in tangy goat cheese is rolled in a savory mixture of crushed pistachios and fresh herbs.
Get the recipe for Goat Cheese and Apricot Truffles »
Ricotta, Potato, and Scallion Fritters
A decadent mixture of Gruyère, garlic, wine, and kirsch is scooped onto bread rounds and fried to perfection—golden and crisp outside, gooey inside.
Get the recipe for Swiss Fondue Fritters (Malakoffs) »
Browned butter brings an extra layer of flavor to these otherwise traditional Central Asian dumplings, but the cherry on top comes in the form of fried shallots.
Get the recipe for Steamed Pork Belly Manti »
With their golden, flaky shells and sweet aroma, Indian samosas are a crowd-pleasing classic.
Get the recipe for Indian Spiced Potato Pastries (Aloo Samose) »
Salt cod is mashed with fluffy potatoes to make these bite-size pan-fried cakes from Prince Edward Island.
Get the recipe for Acadian Salt Cod Cakes »
Sweet and savory, crunchy and creamy come together on little toasts, which pair cubes of sweet potato with a flavorful spread featuring lemon zest, capers and sour cream.
Get the recipe for Roasted Garlic and Sweet Potato Crostini »
China meets the American South in these tofu, bacon, and scallion fritters.
Get the recipe for Tofu Wanzi (Fried Tofu and Bacon Fritters) »
Spicy, briny, creamy, and salty, this simple, retro-inspired appetizer is an unabashed crowd-pleaser.
Get the recipe for Stuffed Pepperoncini with Smoked Salmon »
Pungent Robiola cheese can be substituted with brie, ricotta, or any other soft cheese in this simple no-cook appetizer.
Get the recipe for Robiola-Stuffed Figs with Pomegranate »
Pigeon Pea Fritters with Yogurt-Tomato Sauce (Vadai Pachadi)
A tangy-sweet tapenade made with dried figs, kalamata olives, and capers is the perfect foil for mild goat cheese in this easy appetizer.
Get the recipe for Goat Cheese Crostini with Fig-Olive Tapenade »
This bluefish paté has all the makings of a traditional fish dip—cream cheese, lemon, herbs—with a few updates to give it some zing.
Get the recipe for Bluefish Paté »
Pecans lightly brushed with egg whites are baked into cheesy, buttery wafers with a touch of chile flakes.
Get the recipe for Pecan Cheese Wafers »
Adapted from Anya Fernald's
Home Cooked, this recipe for delicate, whole wheat-flecked crackers makes enough to feed a party, or last all week in your pantry. "The key to [their] crispiness is to roll out the dough extremely thin," the author writes. If the dough springs back at all while rolling, let it rest at room temperature for 5 minutes, then try again. Get the recipe for Olive Oil Crackers »
Bite-size and buttery, cumin and cayenne-spiced pecans glazed in dark brown sugar are the perfect smoky, spicy-sweet snack.
Get the recipe for Spiced Pecans »
Sweet potato puree and onion marmalade enhance the natural sweetness of scallops in this dish.
Get the recipe for Brigtsen's Scallops with Sweet Potato Puree and Onion Marmalade »
Like chapati, puri is made from a simple durum wheat flour dough. But this flatbread incorporates ajwain seeds, which lend a lightly herbal, floral flavor, and is deep-fried in hot oil. It's often eaten at breakfast or as a snack.
Get the recipe for Deep-Fried Indian Bread (Puri) »
chupe de centolla, this Chilean crab gratin borders on a cheesy crab dip. While similar South American chupe are always prepared with milk-soaked bread and any combination of shrimp, scallops, shellfish, meats, and cheeses, Patagonia's version relies solely on the massive local king crabs, the hallmark of fishermen's kitchens along Chile's southernmost coast. Get the recipe for The Ultimate Crab Dip »
Chef Yves Camdeborde assembles these haute deviled eggs—the whites marinated in soy sauce and pomegranate vinegar—à la minute at his stand-up bar L'Avant Comptoir de la Mer in Paris, but you can make the filling up to a day in advance and keep it refrigerated. Be sure to drain the whites immediately after 15 minutes of marinating so they don't toughen.
Get the recipe for Deviled Eggs With Crab »
Broiled oysters with Spinach and Brown Butter Hollandaise
Get the recipe for Broiled oysters with Spinach and Brown Butter Hollandaise »
Broccoli Rabe, Cannellini Bean, and Ricotta Crostini
We persuaded the wife of a Norwegian fisherman to share her secret recipe for marinating a fresh side of salmon to silky-textured, subtly flavored perfection. Modern-day gravlax, preferably served with blinis (a Russian touch).
Get the recipe for Gravlax with Blinis »
Elegant potatoes are brushed with an egg wash before baking for color and crunch.
Get the recipe for French Piped Potatoes (Pommes Duchesse) »
Piquant Stilton replaces the more traditional cheddar in this bite-sized twist on the classic British dish.
Get the recipe for Apple and Stilton Welsh Rarebit Bites »
These croquettes from Atlanta's Watershed are all meat with minimal breading. It's important to chill them thoroughly—ideally overnight—so they hold together in the hot skillet.
Get the recipe for Salmon Croquettes »
Tahini's nutty, luxurious properties don't stop at hummus. Keep the sesame paste flowing with this bright red purée of boiled beets, lemon, and garlic.
Get the recipe for Tahini-Beet Dip »