9 Recipes for 10-Minute Appetizers Perfect for Your Holiday Party

Holiday party

Friends at a holiday party | iStock.com

When it comes to the holiday season, it’s amazing how many parties we can fit into a month. Whether it’s belated Thanksgiving celebrations, always-awkward office fêtes, or cherished holiday traditions with loved ones, the parties start to stack up. And when you’re hosting — or jamming that one last get-together into your schedule — it can be daunting to show up with a delicious plate of food to boot. Cue some delicious 10-minute appetizers to help you deliver the hits of the party every time.

When the chaos of the holidays strikes, it can be easy to throw in the towel and show up to your next party with a bag of chips and store-bought dip. And in some cases, that might be all you can muster up. But if you’ve got an extra 10 minutes in your day, you can still toss together a delicious and flavor-packed appetizer that every guest will love.

In these cases, shortcuts and semi-homemade ingredients are your best friends. If you can plan ahead and stock up on some party essentials, your last-minute party prep won’t take more than a few minutes. You’ll be able to spend less time in the kitchen, while still preparing a photo-worthy appetizer that will keep your loved ones coming back for seconds. In that spirit, give these recipes a try.

1. Antipasti Skewers

Antipasti skewers with olives

Antipasti skewers with olives | iStock.com/Sarsmis

Almost any appetizer gets better when you put it on a stick, and antipasto dishes are no exception. The faster you skewer the olives, Serrano ham, peppers, and cheese, the faster you can get on with the rest of your party agenda. Plus, the real advantage of this snack is that you can customize it however you wish. BBC Good Food provides a basic recipe and proportions for 12 skewers, but feel free to add marinated artichokes, switch out the ham for prosciutto or salami, and add a medley of olives or peppers.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces feta
  • A packet of Serrano ham
  • 12 drained Peppadew peppers, from a jar
  • 12 olives

Directions: Cut the feta into small cubes. Tear the Serrano ham into long pieces. Thread a cube of feta, a piece of ham, a drained Peppadew and an olive into 12 long cocktail sticks.

2. Warm Brie with Ginger-Citrus Glaze

Melting sliced grilled goat cheese on blue plate

Warm brie with glaze | iStock.com/NatashaBreen

Brie is a classy way to sit around and eat cheese and crackers with your glass of wine. How could you go wrong? Southern Living provides this extra easy recipe, which has you bake the brie for a few minutes to start melting, then serve with a fruity glaze over the top. Toss some fancy crackers on a plate next to it, and you’re golden. Pro tip: Use an oven-safe serving dish and bake the Brie directly on it. The warm plate will keep the cheese nice and melty long after it leaves the oven.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8-ounce) brie round
  • ¼ cup ginger (or fig) preserves
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Assorted crackers, fresh fruit for serving

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Trim and discard rind from top of brie. Place brie on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until cheese is just melted.

Meanwhile, microwave ginger preserves and next 6 ingredients in a small microwave-safe glass bowl on high for 30 seconds; stir until blended and smooth. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Let stand while cheese bakes.

Transfer Brie to a serving dish if necessary; drizzle warm glaze immediately over Brie. Serve with assorted crackers and fresh fruit.

3. Skinny Banana Nutella Dip with Pie Crust Dippers

chocolate sauce in a bowl on jute

Nutella in a bowl | iStock.com/Batke

You can’t go wrong with Nutella, no matter what you’re celebrating. The blogger at Wine & Glue has a semi-healthy dip recipe for your next party (and by that we mean it includes bananas). You can serve this dip with any sort of sweet crackers or cookies you’d like, but you can get extra festive by quickly making your own pie crust dippers. All you need to do is roll out a store-bought pie crust and use a festive small cookie cutter to make the shapes. You can bake them to crispy perfection in the same amount of time it takes to stir the dip together.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup puréed banana
  • ½ cup Nutella
  • 8 ounces light whipped topping
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust

Directions: Mix the banana, Nutella, and whipped topping together until fully combined, then chill before serving.

To make the pie crust dippers, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll out the pie crust and use your cookie cutter of choice to cut out the dippers. Bake on parchment paper or a silicon-lined baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.

As an optional step, fold the pie crust scraps together and roll out again, cutting out another batch of shapes. Bake separately, as they will be a different thickness than the first batch.

4. Crostini with Wild Mushrooms and Mozzarella

mushroom bruschettas decorated with leaves

Mushroom crostini | iStock.com/xalanx

Want an appetizer that looks like it could have taken an hour when it took you 10 minutes or less? Enter the crostini from O, The Oprah Magazine, which is topped with mushrooms and mozzarella cheese. All you have to do is sauté chopped mushrooms in white wine and seasonings, then spoon over some cheese-topped crostini you baked in the oven. It’s elegant without much fuss.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound button or wild mushrooms,such as porcini, cremini, shiitake, stemmed and chopped
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 24 (½-inch-thick) slices country-style bread), toasted
  • 1 pound fresh salted buffalo mozzarella, cut into 24 slices
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and sauté 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in wine; increase heat to high and cook, stirring, until liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Mix in salt and pepper.

Arrange bread on a large baking sheet. Top each piece with a slice of mozzarella. Bake 5 to 7 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Top crostini with mushroom mixture; sprinkle with parsley. Serve warm.

5. Parmesan and Pepper Sticks

Cheesy Breadsticks with rosemary

Parmesan sticks | iStock.com/AllAGRI

You’ve already got your dip figured out, but you’re looking for something more creative than store-bought crackers. Never fear, these savory dipping sticks are coming to the rescue. Martha Stewart’s recipe has you top store-bought puff pastry dough with melted butter, Parmesan, and pepper before baking to perfection. You can switch up the seasonings to match your dip, or go sweet by rolling them in cinnamon and sugar. They’re delicious on their own or when paired with a dip or salad.

Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour, for rolling
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • Ground pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin; roll out puff pastry to a 10-by-18-inch rectangle. Brush with 1 tablespoon butter, sprinkle with 3 tablespoons Parmesan, and season with pepper. Gently roll over dough to adhere. Flip dough and repeat with more butter, cheese, and pepper.

Cut dough in half lengthwise, then cut each piece into ½-inch-wide strips. Arrange in a single layer on two parchment-lined baking sheets and bake until pastry is golden and puffed, about 7 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool completely.

6. Pigs in a Blanket

Platter of pigs

Platter of pigs in a blanket | iStock.com/PhilipCharles

No matter how classy your holiday party likes to pretend it is, it’s going to improve with a big plate of pigs in a blanket. The mini version works great here, since guests can take a few and try with different dipping sauces — or the ketchup and mustard you spooned into pretty serving dishes. This version from Mrs. Schwartz’s Kitchen technically takes 12 to 15 minutes to bake, but it won’t take more than a few minutes to cut the crescent roll dough and wrap them around the cocktail wieners.

Ingredients:

  • 2 rolls seamless crescent dough sheet
  • 3 packages cocktail wieners

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll out the dough and, with a pizza cutter, cut 3/4-inch strips lengthwise. Measure how much dough you will need to roll around the sausage, then cut the dough and seal it. Place on a cookie sheet seal-side down.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

7. Cool Shrimp and Cucumber Crackers

Shrimp Appetizer served on crackers

Shrimp appetizer served on crackers | iStock.com/Esben_H

Not every recipe needs to be over-the-top decadent to still be delicious. If you’re looking to serve something that’s a little on the lighter side, try these shrimp appetizers from The Kitchn. They’re simple to assemble and will be the perfect way to include something to balance out all the guilt-inducing foods you’ve already got on your plate.
Ingredients:
  • Whole-grain crackers
  • ½ long English or seedless cucumber, washed and cut very thin
  • Full-fat sour cream
  • 12 ounces langostino tails or tiny shrimp, defrosted
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Place a thin round of cucumber on each cracker. Top with a dollop of sour cream, then a piece of seafood. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

8. Feta Spread

Red Hot Pepper Jelly on Plate

Pepper jam with feta spread | iStock.com/LanceDwight

If you’ve attended your share of holiday parties, you’ve probably come across at least one dish with a block of cream cheese and pepper jam that’s served with crackers. It’s a delicious and quick combination, but the blogger at Bake Love Give promises her version will become your favorite. The key? Combining that cream cheese with tangy feta, adding some extra zip to each bite. And since it’s almost as easy as putting the whole block of cream cheese on a plate, you can’t go wrong. Not so sure about the jalapeño jelly? Any pepper jam will work in its place.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 6 ounces fat-free feta cheese, crumbled
  • Crackers and jalapeño jelly for serving

Directions: Bring the cream cheese and feta to room temperature. Once softened, stir together until full incorporated. Serve with crackers and pepper jam of your choice. (Note: Leftover cheese spread can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator until the earliest expiration date on the cheeses.)

9. Apricot Canapés

Cheese plate

Apricots and assorted cheeses | iStock.com/Borabalar

This appetizer from Eating Well is perfect for when you’d like the idea of a cheese plate, but don’t really want to shell out for seven different types of artisan cheese and preserves. You’ll get the same feeling for half the fuss with these canapés (basically a fancy word for bite-sized savory appetizers). All you’ll need is some dried apricots, your choice of blue cheese, and a few toppings to bring out the flavors of both.

Ingredients:

  • 16 dried apricots
  • 8 teaspoons crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 ounces chopped shelled pistachios
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • Freshly ground pepper

DirectionsTop each apricots with ½ teaspoon cheese. Sprinkle with pistachios and drizzle with honey; sprinkle with pepper.