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21 Appetizer + Cocktail Recipes for Holiday Entertaining

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Tis the season for holiday appetizers and cocktails! Be prepared for hosting family + friends and those last minute invitations with a few festive go-to recipes!

Cranberry and brie donut wreath around jar of cranberry jam.

Get Ready for the Holiday Party Season

Whew! I hope you’ve recovered from all the delicious Thanksgiving eats because it’s time to start planning out the rest of the holiday season! 

Opportunities to celebrate with friends and family seem to pop up around every turn this time of year. I want to make sure you have some delicious recipes to serve at your own gatherings or to bring to someone else’s!

I’ve rounded up some of my favorite appetizers and cocktails…and when they aren’t obviously holiday-ish, check the blurb for tips to add some festive flair.

Tablet displaying the cover of menus for entertaining e-book.

Menus for Entertaining

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Holiday Appetizers 

wood board with salami and goat cheese crostini

Red Pepper Jam + Goat Cheese Crostini

You can’t get more festive with this jewel toned red pepper jam! It pairs perfectly with goat cheese + will be a crowd favorite.

bowls of kettle chips and a beer

Make Your Flavor Kettle Chips

The ultimate party hack! With four combos to choose from, the Rosemary + Parmesan is just right for the season…or make up your own!

stack of four cranberry brie cronuts

Cranberry + Brie Donuts

Cranberries and brie are a classic holiday combination. Here, they’re twisted into puff pastry donuts to look like wreaths!

bruleed pear and feta crostini on a board

Bruleed Pear  + Whipped Feta Crostini

Perfect while pears are in season! There’s a nice balance of tangy cheese and sweet fruit. Break out the torch for some party fireworks!

Irish cheddar and bacon potato croquettes on a serving board.

Air Fryer Cheddar + Bacon Potato Croquettes

What’s not to love about potatoes, bacon and cheese? Sprinkle on some paprika and add a few rosemary sprigs to liven up your platter.

Dunking bread in baked ricotta dip.

Baked Lemon Ricotta Dip with Blackberries

You can get blackberries all year around in most locales, but think about switching this up by topping with cranberry sauce or jam instead!

A split biscuit slathered with prosciutto butter on a white plate.

Mini Sweet Potato Biscuits + Prosciutto Butter

You know those butter boards that went viral? You could spread the prosciutto butter on a round platter and encircle with biscuits!

Dipping a bacon wrapped brussels sprouts into a bowl of maple mustard.

Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts

I think these work as is, but you could always swap out the maple mustard for a cranberry mustard, or even some sweet chili sauce.

Torn open burrata cheese with lemon zest, herbs and olive oil.

Basil + Lemon Burrata with Ciabatta Toasts

Who doesn’t love creamy burrata? Serve this as a stand alone or part of larger cheese + charcuterie situation.

prosciutto parm roll on plate with jar of fig jam in background

Prosciutto + Parm Brunch Rolls

Puff pastry always comes in handy for holiday appetizers and there’s no exception here. Sweet + savory + satisfying!

pesto bread wreath and baked sun-dried tomato goat cheese

Pesto Bread Wreath

Speaking of wreaths! Crescent roll dough provides a buttery back drop for the pesto. Served up with sun-dried tomato goat cheese spread.

Pulling a slider sandwich with a trail of melty cheese.

Baked Hawaiian Roll Sliders with Chorizo

When you want a hearty appetizers, these are just the thing. Already streaked with green chimichurri, dress up the platter with more fresh green herbs!

A single shrimp and polenta appetizer with calabrian cream sauce.

Grilled Shrimp + Polenta with Calabrian Cream

No grill actually needed. These can be made on an indoor grill pan or skillet just as easily. Move over shrimp cocktail!

Bowl of goat and gouda pimento cheese next to celery sticks.

Goat + Gouda Pimento Cheese Spread

The texture of this screams to be made into a cheese ball! Or…a wreath, a Christmas tree, a pine cone! You have permission to play with your food.

Round potato appetizers garnished with a chive sprig on a white dish.

Olive Oil Whipped Potatoes on Russet Coins

These may look elegant, but take a closer look. They look a bit like a Santa hats don’t they? Add an extra tiny dollop to mimic a fuzzy pompom.

Cornbread stuffing stuffed mushroom appetizers on a wooden board.

Cornbread + Bacon Stuffing Stuffed Mushrooms

I’m not dreaming of White Christmas. I’m dreaming about the crispy, sweet and savory stuffing in these mushroom apps! {drool}

Festive Cocktails + Mocktails

prosecco being poured into a glass of cranberry-lime natale sparkler

Cranberry-Lime Natale Sparkler

This starts with a cranberry lime granita (fantastic as a palate cleanser, too), then gets topped with Prosecco. You can use sparkling juice instead.

cranberry orange vodka cocktail with orange twist

Cranberry Orange Vodka Cocktail

The orange cinnamon sugar rim on this zhuzhed up cape cod is everything! Swap the orange liqueurs for OJ to make a kid-friendly punch.


Sparkling Pear + Kumquat Sangria

You wouldn’t know by looking at it that you’ll get hints of warm cinnamon and ginger in this sangria. Garnish with cranberries for more fun!

Two coupe glasses filled with a blood orange cocktail.

Winter Sunset on the Seine

Blood oranges are so pretty! Combined with ginger, honey and vodka, these cocktails sing! Omit the vodka and use ginger beer for a mocktail.

grapefruit and pomegranate cocktail with rosemary

Grapefruit Pomegranate Cocktail

The pomegranate seeds are fun addition to this citrusy cocktail. Simply omit the vodka and you’ve got a tasty mocktail for everyone!

Infographic explaining how to turn cocktails into mocktails.
Cranberry and brie donut wreath around jar of cranberry jam.

21 Appetizer + Cocktail Recipes for Holiday Entertaining

Linda Feller
Tis the season for holiday appetizers and cocktails! Be prepared for hosting family and friends and those last minute invitations with a few festive go-to recipes!
Course.Appetizer, Drinks
Did You Make This Recipe?Be sure to share a comment below!

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