7 Easy Holiday Hors D’oeuvres to Take to Your Seasonal Soirées
The holiday season is a time for festive parties and fun get-togethers with family and friends. But if you’ve got several parties to attend or are simply short on time, your seasonal soirées can quickly turn from enjoyable to stressful. Fortunately, you can prevent seasonal cooking stress by making quick-and-easy appetizers that taste as though you’ve spent hours preparing them. Party goers won’t be able to get enough of these 7 easy and delicious holiday hors d’oeuvres.
1. Herb Coeur a La Creme
Food Network’s Herb Coeur a La Creme consists of cream cheese, heavy cream, lemon, scallions, dill, and chives, creating a rich dip that can be made in 15 minutes. The recipe yields 8 to 10 servings. We recommend pairing your dip with Martha Stewart’s Simple White Crackers.
- 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons minced scallions, white and green parts (2 scallions)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Crackers, for serving
Directions: Place the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip until smooth. With the mixer on low, slowly add the cream and then the lemon zest, lemon juice, scallions, dill, chives, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Whisk until firm. Line a 6-inch coeur a la creme mold or a 6-inch sieve with a few layers of cheesecloth, allowing the excess to drape over the sides.
Pour the cream cheese mixture into the cheesecloth and smooth the top. Fold the excess cheesecloth over the top of the creme. Suspend the sieve over a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, discard the liquid that has collected in the bowl and invert the creme onto a plate. Serve chilled with crackers.
2. Olive Balls
Red and green colors create a festive-looking appetizer that will be a hit at holiday parties. The dish via Allrecipes.com yields 50 olive balls, requires 4 ingredients, and takes 20 minutes to make.
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 (7-ounce) jar pimento-stuffed green olives
- ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1½ cups chopped pecans
Directions: In a medium bowl, or food processor, mix together the cream cheese, seasoning salt, and 2 tablespoons of juice from the olive jar until well-blended. Set aside in the refrigerator to firm up, about 30 minutes. When the cheese mixture is firm, pack enough of the cream cheese mixture around the outside of each olive so that it is completely covered. Roll each olive ball in chopped pecans, and return them to the refrigerator until firm. To serve, cut each olive ball in half, and arrange on a serving tray cut side up.
3. Shrimp Salad Spoons
Shrimp is seasoned with scallion, mayo, lemon juice, and sesame oil and spooned onto an endive leaf, creating an appetizer that will add a touch of elegance to your festive get-togethers. Every Day with Rachael Ray’s recipe yields 8 servings.
- 1 thinly sliced scallion
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- ½ pound cooked shrimp, coarsely chopped
- 24 endive leaves (from about 2 heads)
Directions: In medium bowl, mix scallion, mayo, lemon juice, and sesame oil. Fold in shrimp; season. Spoon onto endive leaves.
4. Fried Bocconcini
Stay out of the kitchen this holiday season by making Cooking Channel’s fried mozzarella balls, which only take 30 minutes to prepare. If you’re looking for a delicious dip to serve with your Fried Bocconcini, we suggest making America’s Test Kitchen’s 10-Minute Tomato Sauce via Food.com.
- 2 (8-ounce) containers mozzarella bocconcini, drained from liquid
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- ⅓ cup milk
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Tomato sauce, for serving
Directions: Arrange the mozzarella balls on a sheet tray. Remove any excess liquid by patting them dry with paper towels. In three separate shallow baking dishes, first add the flour to one and season with salt and pepper. Next, whisk together the milk and eggs in the second. Finally, add the breadcrumbs and Parmesan in the last shallow baking dish. Roll each mozzarella ball in the flour, followed by the egg mixture and finally the breadcrumb mixture.
Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients. In a large high-sided sauté pan, add 3 inches of oil. Heat the oil until it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit on a frying thermometer. Working with 4 or 5 mozzarella balls at a time, fry until golden brown, about 1 minute. Remove with slotted spoon on to paper towel-lined plate and season immediately with salt. To hold before serving, keep mozzarella balls on a wire rack over sheet tray in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Gorgonzola- and Hazelnut-Stuffed Mushrooms
Betty Crocker’s appetizer consists of mushrooms that are stuffed with creamy Gorgonzola and hazelnuts. The recipe yields 35 servings and requires 30 minutes of prep time.
- 1 pound fresh whole mushrooms
- ⅓ cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- ¼ cup Italian-style bread crumbs
- ¼ cup chopped hazelnuts (filberts)
- ¼ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
- 4 medium green onions, chopped (¼ cup)
- ½ teaspoon salt
Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove stems from mushroom caps; reserve caps. Finely chop enough stems to measure about ½ cup. Discard remaining stems. Mix chopped mushroom stems and remaining ingredients in small bowl until well blended. Spoon into mushroom caps, mounding slightly. Place in ungreased jelly roll pan, 15½-by-10½-by-1 inches. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve warm.
6. Soppressata Bundles with Radicchio and Goat Cheese
To prepare this amazing appetizer, you’ll stuff Soppressata, a dry Italian salami, with a zesty filling, which includes radicchio, peperoncini, goat cheese, and pine nuts. Food & Wine’s recipe yields 2 dozen flavorful cones and takes 20 minutes to make.
- 1 small head of radicchio, finely shredded
- 5 peperoncini, stemmed, seeded and chopped
- 2 ounces fresh goat cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- 24 thin slices of soppressata (4 ounces)
Directions: In a bowl, toss the radicchio with the peperoncini, goat cheese, vinegar, oil and pine nuts. Arrange the soppressata on a work surface and mound the radicchio salad on the sliced soppressata. Roll up like a cone and serve.
7. Cheese Dreams
Your friends and family won’t be able to get enough of Southern Living’s Cheese Dreams, an easy-to-make dish that consists of white bread, seasonings, and cheddar cheese. You can also make these baked cheese bites the day before, keeping them refrigerated, or freeze them for up to 3 weeks. If you freeze them, put them in the oven straight from the freezer and add 10 minutes onto their bake time.
- 2 cups finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- Ground red pepper or hot sauce to taste
- 1 (16-ounce) package firm white sandwich bread slices
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Beat cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Beat in cream and next 5 ingredients. Cut crusts from bread slices; cut each bread slice into 4 squares. Spread cheese mixture on half of bread squares; top each with 1 remaining square. Spread remaining cheese mixture over top and sides of sandwiches. Place sandwiches, 1 inch apart, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.