Best Make Ahead Holiday Appetizers
As the holidays approach, entertain stress-free with these Make Ahead Holiday Appetizers. We’ve gathered the best recipes we could find and that can be prepped at least the night before.
From bake to no bake, assembled, refrigerated, and even frozen, these make ahead holiday appetizers will have your family and friends asking for seconds. And probably the recipe too!
6 Chef Tips for Making Ahead Holiday Appetizers
St. Louis Executive Chef Greg Ziegenfuss offers tips for creating party-perfect appetizers that will wow your guests.
1. Prepare 2 to 3 Appetizers and Purchase the Rest
Depending on the number of guests, prepare 2-3 appetizers from scratch, and purchase and assemble the rest. For example, purchase a delicious assortment of meats, cheeses, olives, tomatoes and crackers and use beautiful platters and bowls to serve them.
2. Make Ahead Appetizers When Possible.
Prepare home-made items in advance whenever possible. Save the final reheating, plating and garnishing for right before guests arrive.
3. Think Color
Place platters of colorful fruits around the serving table. Fresh sprigs of mint and fresh flowers make pretty garnishes, both on the platters and in small vases.
4. Use the Slow Cooker
Serve one hot dish in a crockpot. Whether it’s spinach-artichoke dip or melt-in-your-mouth meatballs, serving one dish in the a slow cooker is always easy and everyone will know it’s homemade.
5. Don’t Forget the Beverages
Consider offering pitchers of a “signature” drink.
6. Don’t Forget the Desserts
Everyone enjoys tempting desserts. To take the pressure off party day, either bake and freeze items in advance, or visit your favorite bakery the morning of the party and buy a selection of tasty treats. Make sure and set out a pot of hot coffee near the dessert station.
More Appetizers You May Also Enjoy
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Best Make Ahead Holiday Appetizers
Entertain stress-free with these easy Make Ahead Holiday Appetizers and pro chef tips. We've gathered the best recipes to make your party perfect!
Holiday Cheese Ball Wreath Recipes
"Is it a beautiful wreath or a delightful cheese plate? Both! Part decoration and part appetizer, this colourful holiday starter is not only gorgeous to look at but also delicious – and is sure to disappear fast."
Layered Mediterranean Dip with Pita Chips
"Not your ordinary layer dip, the bold combination of hummus and Greek yogurt will be a new most-requested recipe at your gathering."
Pistachio-Covered Cheese Log
"You can make this nut-crusted cheese log the day before, so the only work left to do is set our crackers."
Sweet and Savory Cheesy Bacon Wrapped Puff Pastry Twist
A crowd favorite with crispy bacon and cheesy puff pastry!
Pomegranate Crostini with Ricotta and Mint
"These mildly sweet Pomegranate Crostini with Ricotta and Mint are equally at home on an appetizer buffet or at the dessert table and require just a handful of ingredients."
"These luscious little tarts are filled with fresh ricotta. The trick to making the cheese silky is to puree it before spreading it on the flaky pastry and topping it with oven-roasted tomatoes."
Cranberry Feta Pinwheels
"Cranberry Feta Pinwheels are the perfect make ahead holiday snack or appetizer. A creamy filling with feta cheese and sweet dried cranberries rolled in tortillas and sliced. These are the hit of every party!"
Endive with Shrimp Salad
One of my favorite make-ahead appetizers. Make the five-ingredient shrimp salad the night before, then scoop it into endive leaves to serve.
Caramelized Onion Puff Pastry Tartlets
"Elegant enough to serve as a fancy hors d’oeuvre or for a holiday party, but easy enough to make for any occasion. It’s super easy to double this recipe and trust us, this is a good idea! They will get gobbled up quick."
"Appetizers don’t get much easier than these Antipasto Skewers. They are so packed with flavor, it’s like a party with each bite."
Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip
A crowd favorite that's made in 3 easy steps and can be made 24 hours in advance.
Kabocha & Havarti Pockets
"Kabocha is a type of squash… which makes these appetizers perfect for vegetarian guests." Prepare these pockets a few days before the event, refrigerate, and bake on the day you're serving.
Stuffed Mushrooms: a Festive and Easy Appetizer
An easy and delicious classic holiday appetizer standby!
Top with sweet fig preserve and blue cheese after baking ahead these flaky squares of puff pastry.
Smoked Salmon Pinwheels
Six ingredients and 10 minutes of prep. Plus they keep for a day in the refrigerator.
"People love these hearty little sandwich wedges. The recipe is great for a party and can be made the day before."
Gouda Cheese Logs
Make these holiday perfect cheesy treats ahead of time for impromptu parties!
Muffin Tin Quiche with Spinach, Tomato and Bacon
Perfect little quiche bites are easy to make ahead and chill.
Rosemary Pecan Goat Cheese Truffles
"An easy, make-ahead appetizer, perfect for topping a cracker, crostini or wedge of warm pita. Everyone goes crazy over these goat cheese truffles!"
Easy Appetizer: Sweetly Spiced Mixed Nuts
"Sweetly Spiced Mixed Nuts are a perfect combination of savory and sweet. Incredibly easy by using unsalted mixed nuts, or substitute your favorite nut."
Quick and Easy Rosemary Spiced Cashews
So addictive, you almost can't make yourself stop. These Rosemary Spiced Cashews are an easy yet delicious snack or party appetizer with a perfect blend of sweet and spicy. Perfect to make ahead and store in an air-tight container.