Christmas Party Appetizers

Delectable Nibbles That Delight

Our Christmas party appetizers take your holiday spread way beyond the old standby of cheese and crackers. Christmas is a time for catching up with friends and family. What better combination than appetizers and a party as the perfect setting for noshing and conversation?

Spinach Dip

spinach dip served in hollowed-out round of brown bread

This Christmas party appetizer gets rave reviews every year. Simple, yes; ordinary, no. The secret is to chop the spinach in a food processor before mixing in with the rest of the ingredients.

Chopping the spinach coarsely not only provides a smoother, more uniformly flavored dip, it also keeps unattractive hunks of greenery from hanging off your guests' front teeth. Let's hear it for keeping everyone looking their holiday best!

  • 1 pkg (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1-1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 pkg Knorr® Vegetable Soup Mix
  • 1 can (8 oz) water chestnuts
  • 3 green onions (scallions)
  1. Wrap the thawed spinach in a clean tea towel and twist the towel tightly to press all of the water out of the spinach.
  2. Chop the spinach into tiny pieces using a food processor. Put the spinach in a medium bowl.
  3. Chop the water chestnuts and green onions finely, using a food processor. Add to the spinach.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the spinach mix: sour cream, mayonnaise, soup mix, water chestnuts, and green onions. Stir until mixed well.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Stir again before serving.
  6. Tip: Serve in a bowl made of dark bread. Cut the top off of a large round loaf of dark bread. Remove the bread from the inside in bite-size chunks, leaving the shell of the crust. Place the bread shell on a large platter and spoon the spinach dip into it. Arrange the bread chunks around the shell for guests to use for dipping. Garnish the dip with a sprig of parsley.
  7. Dip may be stored in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Makes 3 cups.


Canapés are delectable tidbits that guests always ooh and ahh over. Serve a variety of flavors arranged prettily on a platter and watch them quickly disappear!

Goat Cheese & Onion-Pineapple Marmalade Canapé

Sweet onion-pineapple marmalade is a delicious contrast to the goat cheese on this scrumptious Christmas party appetizer. You can even pack some of the homemade marmalade in tiny jars as party favors that will be well appreciated.

  • Mini toasts
  • Goat cheese
  • Onion-pineapple marmalade (see recipe below)
  1. Slice goat cheese into thin rounds.
  2. Place one slice of goat cheese on each toast.
  3. Top with generous 1/4 teaspoon of onion-pineapple marmalade.


  • 2 lbs white onions, chopped (5 cups)
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 1 (8-oz) can crushed pineapple, in natural juice
  • 1 cup cider or white wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Cook onions, uncovered, about 20 minutes until tender and beginning to brown.
  2. Add undrained pineapple, vinegar, sugars, salt to skillet. Bring to boil, stirring. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 35-45 minutes until thickened. Stir occasionally.
  3. Serve warm with chicken or pork, or spread on toasted baguette or crackers.
  4. Note: This makes approximately 2-1/2 cups. Cut recipe in half for less. Refrigerate up to 5 days.

Sheep Cheese & Tomato-Raisin Compote Canapé

Here's another savory and sweet combination that makes a fantastic Christmas party appetizer. Tomato-raisin compote left over? At your next evening meal, place a tablespoon alongside your entree for a peppy addition.

  • Mini toasts
  • Sheep cheese
  • Tomato-raisin compote (see recipe below)
  1. Spread sheep cheese onto each toast.
  2. Top with generous 1/4 teaspoon of tomato-raisin compote.


  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pint tomatoes, grape or cherry, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins, finely chopped in food processor
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon thyme, or 1/2 tsp dried
  1. Sautee shallot and garlic in olive oil until soft, but not brown
  2. Stir in tomatoes, raisins, dressing, and lemon thyme.

Cajun Pate Canapé

Robust flavor makes this creamy Christmas party appetizer unforgettable. Chopped liver like you've never had it! Psst, no whining allowed about all the butter and's the holiday season, so live it up!

  • Table water crackers, or any other elegant cracker
  • Cajun pate (see recipe below)
  • Small sprigs of fresh rosemary
  1. Spread pate onto each cracker.
  2. Top with small sprig of rosemary.


  • 1 lb butter (4 sticks)
  • 2 or 3 shallots, minced
  • 1/8 tsp dried thyme, or 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf, crushed
  • 1/2 lb chicken livers
  • 2 Tbsp cognac
  • Salt and pepper
  • Hot red pepper sauce
  1. Melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the shallots, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook until the shallots are soft, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the livers and cook for 3 minutes longer, stirring constantly.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor, and puree until smooth.
  5. Blend in the cognac, salt, pepper, and red pepper sauce to taste.
  6. Pour into a bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature. Beat thoroughly 2 or 3 times during the first hour to keep the ingredients from separating. Then refrigerate until cold.
  7. Pack into jars or crocks and chill again.
  8. Serve cold, with Melba toast or crackers. Makes about 2 cups.

Smoked Salmon & Hummus Canapé

The Middle Eastern flair makes for a Christmas party appetizer that's deliciously different. Smoked salmon and capers are a natural match, of course, but the hummus brings a whole new flavor to the party.

  • Tortillas or flat bread, store-bought or homemade (see recipe below)
  • Hummus
  • Smoked salmon, torn into small pieces
  • Capers
  1. Spread hummus thinly over entire surface of tortilla. See flour tortilla recipe below.
  2. Sprinkle smoked salmon pieces evenly on top of hummus.
  3. Sprinkle capers sparingly on top of smoked salmon.
  4. Cut tortilla into small slices, as if cutting a pizza, for an elegant Christmas party appetizer.


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  1. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Cut in shortening until the mixture resembles fine meal.
  3. Add warm water, a little at a time, to flour mixture and stir until liquid is incorporated. The amount of water will vary depending on the type of flour.
  4. Form dough into a ball and knead it on a floured surface until dough is smooth and elastic.
  5. Divide into 12 smaller balls.
  6. Cover with a clean dish towel and let stand at least 30 minutes.
  7. Roll each ball of dough on a floured surface to make 6" to 7" tortillas.
  8. Place on a pre-heated griddle or cast iron skillet and cook until medium golden on both sides.
  9. Remove to a basket lined with a cloth towel.
  10. After the tortillas have cooled completely, store them in a plastic bag. Makes 12 flour tortillas.

Return from Christmas Party Appetizers
to Christmas Party Ideas

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