Celebrate with 45 Holiday Party Recipes | Midwest Living
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Celebrate with 45 Holiday Party Recipes

Add sparkle and flavor to your holiday entertaining with our recipes for dips, drinks, appetizers, desserts and more.

Iowa Buche de Noel

Create a stunning centerpiece for a party dessert buffet with this recipe from a Keokuk, Iowa, cooking school instructor. A buche de Noel or Yule log cake is a traditional French holiday dessert.

Iowa Buche de Noel

Parmesan-Crusted Goat Cheese with Basil Oil

This beautiful and unusual recipe makes one small cheese ball, but easily doubles or triples to make multiple for a party. The recipe comes from Annie Marshall of the Indianapolis-based blog Annie's Eats.

Parmesan-Crusted Goat Cheese with Basil Oil

Colorful drinks

Cheer the holidays with bold Blue Blue Christmas Cocktail -- a combination of vodka or rum, white cranberry juice, blue curacao and lime juice. Or offer guests Cranberry-Raspberry Spritz, which includes a make-ahead syrup base (enough for 80 servings!) and either champagne, carbonated water or lemon-lime carbonated beverage.

Blue Blue Christmas Cocktail

Cranberry-Raspberry Spritz

Cucumber Bites with Herbed Cheese and Salmon Mousse

The recipe makes half the bites with pink salmon mousse filling and half with white herbed cheese. If you like, streamline by choosing just one filling and doubling its ingredients. This recipe comes from Annie Marshall of the Indianapolis-based blog Annie's Eats.

Cucumber Bites with Herbed Cheese and Salmon Mousse

Pear-Shape Sake Cheese Ball

Cream cheese, Camembert and cheddar bring big cheese flavor to this appetizer with a hint of sake, the Japanese rice wine. Let the cheese and butter come to room temperature for easy mixing.

Pear-Shape Sake Cheese Ball

Turkey Pesto Sliders

These six-ingredient party sandwiches are simple and delicious. The recipe comes from Annie Marshall of the Indianapolis-based blog Annie's Eats.

Turkey Pesto Sliders

Devilishly Good Deviled Eggs

A hint of curry and some chutney elevate these deviled eggs to spectacular. Spoon the filling into a sandwich-size clear plastic bag and snip a corner for easy piping.

Devilishly Good Deviled Eggs

Sausage-and-Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

Unlike most stuffed mushroom recipes, these savory sausage-filled gems don't contain cheese, so they're a great choice for people avoiding dairy. The recipe comes from Annie Marshall of the Indianapolis-based blog Annie's Eats.

Sausage-and-Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

Roasted Vegetable Hummus Dip

Roasting the eggplant, zucchini, sweet pepper, onion and garlic intensifies the flavors of this dip. Try with toasted pita wedges.

Roasted Vegetable Hummus Dip

Wasabi Almonds and Popcorn

If you'd like to cut additional fat from this zesty snack mix, use five sprays of butter-flavor nonstick spray instead of butter. Be sure to add the spray right before eating to prevent the popcorn from getting soggy.

Wasabi Almonds and Popcorn

Ham Sliders

This crowd-pleasing party recipe comes from the Midwest Living® Culinary and Craft School at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. They are sweet, salty and highly addictive! Plus, you can assemble the sandwiches a day early for easy party prep.

Ham Sliders

Sparkling Cranberry Brie Bites

This festive holiday appetizer couldn't be simpler. Find easy-to-slice logs of Brie at large supermarkets. The common brand President is available at Super Target.

Sparkling Cranberry Brie Bites

Party-Time Brisket

Barbecue sauce, liquid smoke and spices flavor this slow-cooked beef. Slice or shred, and serve on buns or French-style rolls for easy party eating.

Party-Time Brisket

Fiesta Dip

For an appetizer in minutes, Wendy Porterfield of the Washington House Inn in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, bakes her cheesy dip for 10 minutes, stirs, then spoons it into pre-baked phyllo shells. Then, she bakes the shells 5 to 10 minutes more. "The phyllo cup version makes a great appetizer for a more formal party, where the dip version is great for a crowd," she says.

Fiesta Dip

Asian-inspired party foods

The crispness of fried wontons and the bite of wasabi alongside cooked tuna and greens create the flair in Sesame Seed-Crusted Tuna Appetizer, featured at Entourage on American Lane in Schaumburg, Illinois.

Another Entourage on American Lane specialty: Indian Summer Cocktail, a beautiful green drink with a nice balance of liqueurs and fruit juice.

Sesame Seed-Crusted Tuna Appetizer

Indian Summer Cocktail

Baby Citrus Cheesecakes

This make-ahead dessert stores in the freezer for up to a month, perfect for simplifying party prep. Vanilla or chocolate wafers form an easy base for the creamy filling. The center dips slightly after cooling, making an indentation to fill with whipped cream.

Baby Citrus Cheesecakes

More cheesecake recipes

Mexican Seven-Layer Dip

Combine pantry-ready ingredients such as canned bean dip and taco sauce for this easy dip. Serve with tortilla chips.

Mexican Seven-Layer Dip

French Onion Sliders

These totally indulgent sliders pack all the flavor of French onion soup into a tidy little sandwich. The recipe comes from Annie Marshall of the Indianapolis-based blog Annie's Eats.

French Onion Sliders

Deluxe eggnogs

Chocolate, coffee, orange juice, ice cream and strawberries bring fresh flavors and colors to our eggnog recipes. The recipe for Chocolate Eggnog Deluxe (top right and lower left) also includes ideas for Double Chocolate and Nonalcoholic Chocolate versions; Holiday Orange-Eggnog Punch can be made with strawberries or strawberry ice cream for Strawberry Eggnog.

Chocolate Eggnog Deluxe

Holiday Orange-Eggnog Punch

Nutella Cherry Hazelnut Fudge

Chocolate-hazelnut spread (Nutella) gives this fudge a smooth texture and luscious nutty flavor. The recipe comes from Annie Marshall of the Indianapolis-based blog Annie's Eats.

Nutella Cherry Hazelnut Fudge

Cranberry-Sauced Meatballs Appetizer

Shape and bake the chicken meatballs ahead of time, then pop them in your slow cooker with cranberry and barbecue sauces.

Cranberry-Sauced Meatballs Appetizer

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

Blend chopped fresh spinach with cream cheese, sour cream, canned artichoke hearts and three kinds of cheeses for this hot-and-hearty dip. Serve with toasted pita chips, thinly sliced French bread or crackers.

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

Mulled Cranberry Punch

This blend of cranberry juice, juice concentrate, spices, orange juice and water simmers in your slow cooker.

Mulled Cranberry Punch

Eggnog Cheesecake Bars

A spiced graham cracker crust and bourbon-infused egg nog filling give these simple bars a delicious holiday twist. The recipe comes from Annie Marshall of the Indianapolis-based blog Annie's Eats.

Eggnog Cheesecake Bars

Raspberry Truffles

These five-ingredient truffles come together in a snap. Blending jam into the chocolate makes for a subtle fruit flavor perfectly balancing the rich, smooth chocolate. The recipe comes from Annie Marshall of the Indianapolis-based blog Annie's Eats.

Raspberry Truffles

Cheesy Tomato Snack Mix

We packed this snack mix with extra protein and nutrients by adding soy nuts. You can find plain or flavored roasted soy nuts at large supermarkets or health-food stores.

Cheesy Tomato Snack Mix

Cranberry Margarita

Stir up a pitcher of these rosy margaritas for your next holiday bash. The Simple Syrup recipe makes enough syrup for 30 margaritas but is easily halved or quartered.

Cranberry Margarita

Blue Cheese Tart and Parmesan Mushroom Cups

These two cheesy appetizers come from a Madison, Indiana, reader who prepares them for a supper club. The Blue Cheese Tart blends blue cheese and cream cheese with pecans for a mouthwatering savory appetizer. For the Parmesan Mushroom Cups, you can make the tart shells and filling a day ahead, then just heat and serve the day of your party.

Blue Cheese Tart

Parmesan Mushroom Cups

Iowa Buche de Noel

Create a stunning centerpiece for a party dessert buffet with this recipe from a Keokuk, Iowa, cooking school instructor. A buche de Noel or Yule log cake is a traditional French holiday dessert.

Iowa Buche de Noel

Vegetable Tray Masterpiece

Sweet peppers make colorful containers for a quick-and-easy blender dip. Serve with assorted vegetable dippers, crackers or chips.

Vegetable Tray Masterpiece

Phyllo Cheese Straws

Greek favorites phyllo and feta stand out in this appetizer from Hellenic Cuisine: Secret Greek Recipes, a community cookbook featuring recipes passed down through three generations of the Ladies of St. Nicholas Greek Church in St. Louis, Missouri.

Phyllo Cheese Straws

Punch with a Punch

This ruby-red beverage gets its kick from tequila. If you'd prefer a nonalcoholic option for your guests, use lemon-lime carbonated beverage instead of the tequila.

Punch with a Punch

Nutcracker Sweet Torte

The recipe for this rich, nut-filled torte comes from a Decorah, Iowa, reader who makes it for holiday gatherings. It's especially festive served with sweetened whipped cream and garnished with rosemary and cranberries.

Nutcracker Sweet Torte

Spunky Holiday Shrimp

Dunk marinated shrimp in a garlic-and-tomato mayonnaise for a party-perfect appetizer. When you're pressed for time, use precooked shrimp.

Spunky Holiday Shrimp

Feta Custard in Phyllo Cups

A creamy blend of feta cheese, cream cheese, lemon juice, and spices fills store-bought or homemade pastry cups.

Feta Custard in Phyllo Cups

Hummingbird Cake

This tall layer cake, with a medley of flavors from nuts, fruit and spices, comes from the kitchens of Silver Dollar City theme park near Branson, Missouri. Add a sprinkling of pecans on top for even more crunch.

Hummingbird Cake

Heavenly Morel Tarts

Sykora Bakery in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, gave us this morel-mushroom appetizer recipe. These appetizer pastries taste best served fresh from the oven.

Heavenly Morel Tarts

Bacon-Stuffed Mushrooms

This five-ingredient recipe comes from the bacon pros at Nueske’s meats in Wisconsin.

Bacon-Stuffed Mushrooms

 

Poinsettia Mimosa

This bubbly refresher is our version of a popular yuletide sipper at Marshall Field's Oak Grill in Minneapolis.

Poinsettia Mimosa

Welcoming Cheddar Ring

Cheese and preserves combine for an appetizer spread that blends salty and sweet flavors.

Welcoming Cheddar Ring

Bacon and Cheese-Stuffed Dates

A rich blend of cream cheese, blue cheese, bacon and green onion fills bite-size date halves. Stuffed dates can be prepared up to a day ahead of time and baked just before serving.

Bacon and Cheese-Stuffed Dates

Jolly Gin Fizz

Part punch, part cocktail, this effervescent pink drink is perfect for holiday parties. If you don't have ginger beer or prefer a milder ginger flavor, substitute ginger ale.

Jolly Gin Fizz

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