Hungry and in a hurry? We've got apps for that! These easy appetizers are not only delicious, but they're quick and easy to throw together last minute. These yummy bites are perfect for the holidays when you need a little snack before the big meal.

Easy appetizers on a platter, from Shelf Cooking

Are you in charge of finger foods on the big day this holiday season? Do you have a clue what you're going to make? If your answer is no, then we feel you and have been there, done that! There's nothing worse than not knowing what to make for your family and friends to snack on during the holidays or at a big get together. 

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You could spend lots of time scouring the internet and stressing over it… Or you can sit back and relax while you read over our ideas! We've got 21 easy appetizers that are so delicious, the only trouble you'll have is figuring out which ones you want to make first. So, go ahead and practice what you're going to make and send them to us so we can let you know how they taste. 😉


Cheesy garlic bread on a cutting board, from Shelf Cooking

Do you love to bake? These easy appetizers will make your heart happy! They're fairly simple and can be whipped up pretty quickly.

  • Cheesy Garlic Bread – Oh man, this is one of our favorite easy appetizers that can feed an army on the cheap! Make our delicious cheesy garlic bread, serve it with some pizza sauce, and your guests will love you forever.
  • Cranberry Brie Bites – This delicious and easy recipe from The Country Cook allows you to shelf cook with what you have. They're quick, so good, and have a delicious little tang to them thanks to the cranberries!
  • Sweet Potato Bites – You can never go wrong with sweet potato casserole, but it's easy to make it a finger food! Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut your washed sweet potatoes into 1/3 inch slices and add them to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle each slice with cinnamon and brown sugar, then spray with cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes. Add 2-3 mini marshmallows on top of each slice and broil on high for 1-2 minutes or until marshmallows are toasted and melty.
  • Artichoke, Tomato, and Spinach Flatbread – Doesn't that sound so delicious?! This appetizer recipe is from Little Broken and goes together in a snap. Plus, you can switch it up to use what you have on hand! 😉
  • Pigs in a Blanket – Can you really ever go wrong with this appetizer? Dress the classic recipe from Pillsbury up with some cheese to make it that much better!
  • Mac and Cheese Bites – You can easily make your own mac and cheese and bake it in mini muffin tins. They're the perfect delicious finger food!

Is your mouth watering yet? We're just getting started!


Cranberry cream cheese dip on a plate, from Shelf Cooking

You can't ever go wrong with serving a dip or a spread as an appetizer! These will all make your tastebuds happy and can be whipped up in two shakes.

  • Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip – This cream cheese cracker dip is the absolute best! We'd suggest doubling or tripling the recipe if you're having a lot of guests.
  • Queso – While this may not scream Thanksgiving, it does scream delicious! This crowd-pleaser is so easy to make, and you can add cooked ground beef or ground sausage for a little extra somethin-somethin.
  • Fruit and Dip – If your family loves a sweet fruit dip, then this is sure to be a new favorite! Whip up our fruit salad with Cool Whip and instead of adding fruit to it, make a fruit tray for dipping.
  • Spinach Artichoke Dip – Seriously, does it get any more delicious than this? Try your hand at making this dip recipe from Allrecipes everybody will go crazy over! Serve it with your favorite crackers or rustic bread.
  • Bacon Ranch Cheddar Cheese Ball – Doesn't that name just make your mouth water?! Make this easy appetizer recipe from The Cozy Cook and serve it with crackers, veggies, or pita bread.

Pro Tip: Pay attention to which appetizers you can make at the last minute and which ones need time to set up in the fridge!


Veggie tray on a table, from Shelf Cooking

Ummmm yes, please! These easy crowd-pleasing appetizers are so easy. But just because they're simple doesn't mean they're not delicious!

  • Veggie Tray – Cut up your favorite veggies, put them on a platter, and watch them go. Whip up a homemade veggie dip using sour cream and ranch dressing seasoning, and they'll be snapped up that much quicker!
  • Pickle and Cheese Tray – Pickles and cheese are such an easy appetizer. You'll be happy with the varieties you can find, as well as how quickly you can put them together. Don't forget to save that pickle juice for later!
  • Charcuterie Board – This is the best of everything right here! Grab your favorite crackers, cheese, fruit, veggies, olives, pickles, and cooked meats for this easy appetizer. Use small bowls to hold the juicy items (like pickles and olives) to prevent soggy crackers. Everybody will love it, and it's a great way to use up those random items in your kitchen and pantry!
  • Skewers – People love food on a stick! Grab some wooden skewers and stick whatever you've got on them. Choose from a variety of diced fruits, veggies, and cheese, or even diced meats. Whatever floats your boat!
  • Homemade Chex Mix – Nobody is going to complain about you opening up a bag of Chex Mix, pouring it into a bowl, and calling it a day. However, if you want to make your own with what you have on hand, it's really easy! Chex obviously has the best Chex Mix recipe and it's so simple to make.

Now, don't those all sound so easy and so good?! We love how you can shelf cook and use what you have without wrecking your grocery budget on all of these ideas.


Ham and cheese sandwiches on a cutting board, from Shelf Cooking

Don't go bacon our hearts! If meat is yo thang, then you're going to love all of these ideas! 

  • Meat and Cheese Sliders – Grab your favorite rolls and get to work! Make simple sliders by cutting your rolls in half, adding your condiment of choice, lunchmeat, and cheese. You can serve them cold, or bake in a 350°F oven for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted. Bonus points if you use freezer sandwiches!
  • Sausage Balls – Have you ever tried making these with biscuit mix? Theyre sooo good! You can't go wrong with this sausage balls recipe from Dinner Then Dessert.
  • Little Sausages in BBQ Sauce – These are so easy to make and can feed a lot of people! Grab however many little sausages you need and throw them in a lined crockpot. Add your favorite BBQ sauce (hint, Sweet Baby Ray's is the BOMB) and cook on low for 2-3 hours until you're ready to eat. They're as simple as that!
  • Rolled Deli Meat – Take your favorite lunch meats, roll them up, and put them out for everybody to chow down on. It's an easy last-minute appetizer that nobody will complain about.
  • Sweet and Sour Meatballs – Put out a little kicky flair with almost no effort! This sweet and sour meatball recipe is super easy to throw together and perfect for using what you have.

Oh hey, you might want to wipe the drool off of your face! 😉 So simple and yet so. darn. delicious.

So, which recipe are you going to try first? What are your favorite easy appetizers to serve at a holiday party? Let us know in the comments!

Image with text that reads "21 quick and easy holiday appetizers" from Shelf Cooking

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