Celebrate with 50 Holiday Party Recipes
Add sparkle and flavor to your holiday entertaining with our recipes for dips, drinks, appetizers, desserts and more.
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.
Mediterranean Eight-Layered Dip
The day before you serve this layered dip, prepare the tomato mixture, hummus and tapenade. Cover and refrigerate separately until you're ready to layer and serve the dip. To save time, use purchased hummus.
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 Indiana-based blogger Annie Marshall.
This creamy dip is packed with healthy ingredients, so it's great for keeping in the fridge for weekday snacks--but it's also tasty enough to serve at a party.
Wild Mushroom Hotdish
Spoon these indulgently saucy mushrooms (inspired by classic Midwest casseroles) over baguette slices or crostini. The recipe comes from the Chowgirls Killer Catering cookbook. To serve the dish skillet-style, start the recipe off in a 10-inch oven-going skillet.
Jerry Thomas' Champagne Punch
Dating to the 1800s, this recipe is easy, breezy, pink and fruity-and still completely sophisticated. It comes from Cincinnati mixologist Molly Wellman.
Butternut Squash and Sausage Skewers
Roasted Shrimp Cocktail with Bloody Mary Cocktail Sauce and Lemon-Chive Mayo
Skip the supermarket tray. Our shrimp cocktail update is the ultimate make-ahead party app. Roasting brings out the shrimp's natural sweetness, and the two homemade sauces are ridiculously simple.
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 Everyday Annie.
Tangy Sour Cream and Onion Dip
Onion dip is a classic for a reason-and this 100 percent homemade version is one of the best we've tasted. It's fab with potato chips, of course, but we also love it with crisp Romaine or Little Gem lettuce leaves for a lighter twist.
Roasted Fall Vegetables with Saffron Aioli
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.
Turkey Pesto Sliders
These six-ingredient party sandwiches are simple and delicious. The recipe comes from Annie Marshall of the Indianapolis-based blog Everyday Annie.
Iron Range Pasties
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 Everyday Annie.
Creamy Crab Rangoon Dip with Wonton Chips
The chips are easy and definitely add to the dip's appeal, but rice crackers, sugar snap peas, celery sticks and baby bok choy leaves all make good Asian-inspired dippers.
Marinated Olives and Clementines with Rosemary
Turn a couple jars of olives into this fresh and easy appetizer to set out for nibbles and noshes. We love Kalamatas and buttery Castlevetrano olives.
This crowd-pleasing party recipe is sweet, salty and highly addictive! Plus, you can assemble the sandwiches a day early for easy party prep.
Eggnog Créme Brulee
This nutmeg-spiced spin on the French classic is luscious and so festive and Christmassy. The recipe comes from Chowgirls Killer Catering in Minneapolis.
Russian beet soup doesn't sound sexy, but this silky, lemon-herby version from Minneapolis' Chowgirls Killer Catering is shockingly good. (You can serve it any season, but the red hue is especially festive for Christmas!)
Caramel-Hazelnut Café Mocha
Melted Nutella. Need we say more? Our updated version of hot chocolate is made in a slow cooker, just for kicks, and after cooking, can be kept on the warm setting for one hour.
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.
Baby Citrus Cheesecakes
These cupcake-size treats are a fantastically simple alternative to a full-size cheesecake. You could also garnish them with fresh raspberries or blueberries.
Mexican Seven-Layer Dip
Combine pantry-ready ingredients such as canned bean dip and taco sauce for this easy dip. Serve with tortilla chips.
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 Everyday Annie.
Ricotta and Parmesan Spread
Fresh herbs season this ridiculously simple spread from BelGioioso Cheese in Wisconsin. It keeps well in the fridge and is delicious with cherry tomatoes or other vegetable dippers, as well as crackers or baguette slices.
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 Everyday Annie.
Paprika-spiced sharp-cheddar crackers look like a bundle of kindling gathered on an appetizer board or standing in a jar. Smoked paprika is becoming more popular but can still be a little hard to find. Look for it at specialty or spice stores or online.
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.
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.
Mulled Cranberry Punch
This blend of cranberry juice, juice concentrate, spices, orange juice and water simmers in your slow cooker.
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 Everyday Annie.
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 Everyday Annie.
This five-ingredient recipe comes from the bacon pros at Nueske's meats in Wisconsin.
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.
Darling Clementine Mocktail
No offense to the classic mimosa, but not everyone wants to booze with their brunch. Enter the Darling Clementine, a tart, fizzy, deliciously pink, nonalcoholic alternative to classic morning cocktails.
Roasted Vegetable Hummus Dip
Roasting the eggplant, zucchini, sweet pepper, onion and garlic intensifies the flavors of this dip. Try with toasted pita wedges.
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.
Bacon-Cheddar Cheese Balls
Freshly shredded cheese works better than packaged shredded cheese in a cheese ball. Prepare the cheese mixture the night before so flavors have a chance to blend. Shape and roll in the crumbled bacon or pistachio nuts a few hours before serving.
Somewhere on the road from fresh fruit to chutney, you'll find these rubylike beauties, slicked in olive oil and oven-warmed to concentrate their sweetness. They're a perfect match for cheese or cured meats.
For a successful cheese board, mix a hard cheese such as Gruyère, a soft one like Camembert and a blue such as Gorgonzola. Add crackers or bread, fruit such as grapes and apple slices, and preserves.
Thai Chicken Wings with Peanut Sauce
Don't let the short ingredient list fool you: these chicken wings have huge flavor. That's because they're slow-cooked in a zingy garlic-and-ginger peanut sauce, with a pop of lime for good measure.
Feta Custard in Phyllo Cups
A creamy blend of feta cheese, cream cheese, lemon juice, and spices fills store-bought or homemade pastry cups.
Spicy Mustard Stir-Fry Bites for a Crowd
Start this appetizer by stir-frying packaged strips of chicken, pork or beef, then let the strips slow cook in a mix of spicy mustard and fajita seasoning. Fill warmed tortillas, slice and serve!
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.
Rosemary-Grapefruit Gin Cocktail
Pretty in pink, yes, but this sweet drink has bite, too, thanks to grapefruit's subtle bitterness and the woodsy notes of gin and rosemary. This recipe makes enough rosemary-infused syrup for several cocktails.
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.