Christmas Appetizers and Snacks Recipes

The entire month of December is open season for parties, and whether you're hosting a lavish sit-down meal or just a festive cocktail party, you'll likely be serving your guests appetizers. Tiny, flavorful hors d'oeuvres are the ideal partner for festive holiday cocktails, and small bites keep the crowd socializing while you're getting dinner on the table. The possibilities for Christmas appetizer recipes are endless: We love sweet and spicy <a href="/recipes/christmas/snacks/nuts/">mixed nuts</a>, <a href="/recipes/appetizers/vegetable/stuffed-mushrooms/">stuffed mushrooms</a>, tiny golden onion <a href="/recipes/christmas/snacks/pastries/">tarts</a>, and creamy white bean <a href="/recipes/christmas/snacks/dips/">dip</a>, but the key is to pack a lot of flavor into small portions. (And if they're quick to make, all the better!) You want your apps to be easy to eat and pretty to look at, like tiny edible ornaments.

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Ham and Cheese Dip

From Better Homes and Gardens

Ham and Cheese Dip

Cheesy Mexican Fondue

From Better Homes and Gardens

Cheesy Mexican Fondue

Sugar Cookie Star Cutouts

From Better Homes and Gardens

This recipe features a star, but any cutter will do to create various Christmas cookie shapes out of this delicious dough.

Sugar Cookie Star Cutouts

Sugar Cookies

From Better Homes and Gardens

At Christmas try making this soft, lightly lemony cookie recipe and serve them with hot cocoa for dipping. Chill the dough at least 1 hour to ensure that it's easy to roll out and cut.

Sugar Cookies

Spinach-Artichoke Dip with Blue Cheese and Bacon

From Better Homes and Gardens

Spinach-Artichoke Dip with Blue Cheese and Bacon

Bacon Cheddar Cheese Balls

From Better Homes and Gardens

Bacon Cheddar Cheese Balls

Cider-Spiked Apple and Pecan Tart

From Midwest Living

In this unusual fruit tart, apples are gently cooked in butter, then arranged in a pre-baked crust and brushed with jelly. The result: an edible work of art. The tart's distinct apple flavor comes from boiled cider. You can make your own using the recipe on our site, or buy it in specialty food stores or online.

Cider-Spiked Apple and Pecan Tart

Blueberry-Maple Muffins

From EatingWell

Whole-wheat flour and flaxseeds give these maple syrup-sweetened blueberry muffins a delicious, nutty flavor. Compared to a traditional version of the recipe, they have four times the dietary fiber and substitute healthful monounsaturated fat (canola oil) for saturated fat (butter).

Blueberry-Maple Muffins

Cottage Cheese Veggie Dip

From EatingWell

Stir lemon pepper into cottage cheese for a quick and healthy vegetable dip. We like carrots and snow peas, but any crunchy vegetables you have on hand will do.

Cottage Cheese Veggie Dip

Garlic & Herb Pita Chips

From EatingWell

You can make your own tasty pita chips in a matter of minutes. Just cut pita bread into wedges (stale pitas work very well), brush them with a little olive oil and bake. Not only do homemade pita chips save you money, you'll also cut calories by 16 percent.

Garlic & Herb Pita Chips

French Onion Dip

From EatingWell

In our homemade version of French onion dip, we simmer chopped onions in broth and use reduced-fat sour cream and yogurt for the familiar rich and creamy flavor. All told, our version has 12 grams less fat and nearly 50 percent less sodium per serving than the original.

French Onion Dip

Creamy Spinach Dip

From EatingWell

Try this light spinach dip made healthier with reduced-fat cream cheese, nonfat yogurt and low-fat cottage cheese instead of full-fat cheese, mayonnaise and sour cream. It will save you a whopping 84 calories and 10 grams of fat per serving when compared to traditional versions. Serve it with pita chips and crunchy vegetables or spread it on a sandwich.

Creamy Spinach Dip

Chile-Lime Tortilla Chips

From EatingWell

These tortilla chips are baked, not fried, and a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of chili powder add flavor without tons of calories. Plus with 5 grams less fat per serving than a packaged version, they deliver all the crunch without the guilt.

Chile-Lime Tortilla Chips

Chile Con Queso

From EatingWell

Our healthier version of chile con queso will have ooey-gooey-cheese lovers celebrating. Now you can enjoy this Tex-Mex dip without all the fat and calories. We replaced some of the cheese with a low-fat white sauce and used sharp Cheddar plus a splash of beer to boost the flavor. Our version cuts the calories in half and reduces total fat and saturated fat by nearly 60 percent.

Chile Con Queso

Maple-Nut Granola

From EatingWell

We love the maple-nut flavor combination of this heart-healthy granola, but feel free to substitute your favorite nuts or dried fruit for your own custom blend.

Maple-Nut Granola

Yummy Molasses Crackles

From EatingWell

Nancy Caverly gave her grandmother's recipe for ginger molasses cookies a little makeover - reducing the butter and adding crystallized ginger for a spicy jolt.

Yummy Molasses Crackles

Parmesan Spinach Cakes

From EatingWell

If you like spinach-cheese pie, try these simple but elegant-looking little spinach cakes.

Parmesan Spinach Cakes

Roasted Eggplant & Feta Dip

From EatingWell

This roasted eggplant and feta dip gets a kick from a fresh chile pepper and cayenne pepper. There are countless variations on this classic meze (appetizer) in Greece. Out-of-season eggplant or eggplant that has been heavily watered often has an abundance of seeds, which make the vegetable bitter. Be sure to taste the dip before you serve it; if it's a touch bitter, you can remedy that with a little sugar. Serve with toasted pita crisps or as a sandwich spread.

Roasted Eggplant & Feta Dip

Whoopie Pies

From EatingWell

Classic whoopie pies combine a creamy filling sandwiched between cakey chocolate cookies. Some are filled with a marshmallow cream frosting while others are filled with whipped cream. Even those of us who grew up with the former fell in love with our lighter version of the whipped cream-filled treats.

Whoopie Pies

Southwestern Layered Bean Dip

From EatingWell

Plenty of black beans, salsa and chopped fresh vegetables mean a healthy amount of dietary fiber in this Tex-Mex layered dip. We use reduced-fat sour cream along with full-fat (and full-flavored) cheese to make the dip lighter without compromising great taste. Be sure to have lots of baked tortilla chips on hand when you serve it.

Southwestern Layered Bean Dip

Festive Fruit & Nut Balls

From EatingWell

A no-bake, make-ahead treat, this perfect combination of fruit and nuts is a nutritious and delicious mouthful. Rolling them in shredded coconut gives them their festive look.

Festive Fruit & Nut Balls

Sherried Mushrooms

From EatingWell

Tapas are not always fancy--usually they're just a few simple ingredients prepared well, like these tender, juicy mushrooms. Just place a dish of toothpicks next to the serving dish and let guests help themselves.

Sherried Mushrooms

Five-Spice Scallops

From EatingWell

You could also serve the scallops over Asian salad greens dressed with sesame oil and rice vinegar for a simple dinner.

Five-Spice Scallops

Feta & Herb Dip with Crudites

From EatingWell

Lots of freshly chopped herbs add zing to our white bean dip. Serve with assorted vegetables, such as baby carrots, bell pepper strips, radishes, snow peas, broccoli and caulifower florets.

Feta & Herb Dip with Crudites

Crunchy Cereal Trail Mix

From EatingWell

Crunchy, sweet and salty, this simple trail mix combines all your favorite flavors in a convenient mix.

Crunchy Cereal Trail Mix

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