Easy Holiday Appetizers To Get The Party Started

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Easy Holiday Appetizers
sausage-platter

Easy holiday appetizers are always welcome, but sometimes hard to find. Choosing the right appetizer for your holiday event can be challenging, especially if you want to spice it up. Staying within your budget is made easier with some of these recipes.

For each appetizer, there is someone who was kind enough to share it with the world for others to enjoy. As we get into the holidays, we find we are looking for recipes that are easy to prepare. These recipes become our goto for all occasions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are 5 types of hors d oeuvres?

Some of the more common hors d oeuvres(appetizers) are bruschetta, stuffed pastries, potato skins, meatballs, and chicken wings. These are delicious, budget-friendly, and easy to prepare.

What appetizers can you smoke?

You will enjoy these appetizers for any holiday celebration. These are only a few of the appetizers that are quick but packed with great flavor, surely to become a family favorite.

  • Smoked Pig Shots
  • Stuffed Jalapenos
  • Cheese Stuffed Jalapeno Meatballs
  • Garlic Cheese Bread
  • Bacon Wrapped Potato Sticks
  • Bruschetta

Preparing for the holiday feast often means that while the oven is being used, you can fire up the grill for great flavors to get the celebration started.

As you make your list while consider the amount of room available in the pantry, refrigerator, and the dishes to be used.

Bruschetta

Easy Holiday Appetizer Italian Bruschetta
bruschetta

Italian Bruschetta is a simple easy appetizer to make and put together. There are limited ingredients for this tasty snack but so easy to prepare. This recipe is so easy to prepare, you will have this often because of the fresh flavor.

Some people toast their bread in the oven at 275F or in an electric toaster. I prefer toasting my baguette bread on the grill, this adds that smoky flavor will cause your appetizer to come alive and be spectacular.

Here is the recipe:

  • 1 Baguette Bread(Crusty)
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • Before Adding Other Ingredients Drain Tomato Juice
  • 1 Tbs finely chopped onions
  • 1 Clove of finely chopped garlic
  • 2 Tbs fresh basil
  • 1 Tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2-3 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • Mix Thoroughly
  • Slice Bread into 1/4-1/2 inch slice diagonally
  • Brush Bread with Olive Oil Minced Garlic Mixture
  • Toast-Bread on Grill until golden brown(parmesan cheese optional)
  • Put your vegetable mixture on the bread and serve. For best results put your mixture on the bread just before serving to prevent the bruschetta from getting soggy.

Toast your bread about 5 minutes until you get your golden brown color. You can also do this in the oven or toaster.

This delicious appetizer should take about 15 minutes filled with freshness and flavor. Your guests will be amazed at how tasty and simple this dish was to make.

Some people prefer having parmesan cheese on your bruschetta, it is best to put it on when you are toasting your bread.

Smoked Pig Shots

Easy Holiday Appetizers Grilled Pig Shots
Pig Shots

Grilled pig shots are often thought of as tailgate food, but I have found they are great anytime. The aroma as the pig shots is grilling is sure to have everyone salivating, while they wait for them to cool enough to devour.

As you grill your pig shots, you are reminded of other recipes that call for these same ingredients.

  • Thick Sliced Bacon
  • Kielbasa Sausage
  • Cream Cheese(Room Temperature)
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Parsley Flakes
  • Diced Jalapenos(optional)
  • Favorite Barbeque Rub(your option on the amount)
  • Toothpicks
  • Barbeque Sauce
  • Medium Mixing Bowl
  • Piping Bag(Optional)

Let your bacon get to room temperature before dividing in half. This will allow your bacon to “stretch” properly around the kielbasa. Next, cut your kielbasa sausage into 1/2 thick slices. Wrap your kielbasa with the bacon and secure with a toothpick.

Thoroughly mix your cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, parsley flakes, and barbeque rub together, for a savory filling added the diced jalapenos. At this time fill your pig shots with your filling, if you are using a piping bag now is the time to fill it.

Pipe or spoon your cheese mixture into the opening in your bacon, filling it to the top. You may have to pack your pig shots with the filling if you can’t fill it with the bag or spoon.

Preheat your grill to 300F and place your pig shots on your pellet(charcoal) grill on the cool end. Cook for 17 minutes then drizzle with barbeque sauce. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Cool Your Shots For Best Results

After removing your pig shots from the grill place them on a cooling tray. After your pig shots have cooled, enjoy a great appetizer that can be enjoyed anytime. Cooing your pig shots allows the cheese to cool but you will have better texture for eating.

Pig shots are so easy to prepare and serve. Sharing this recipe with your guests will often lead to finding other ways to use these same ingredients for more tasty appetizers.

Cheesy Easy Holiday Appetizer

Pull-Apart Cheesy Biscuit Bites

Easy Holiday Appetizers Cheesy pull-apart biscuits
Cheesy Pull-apart Biscuits

How often do you find a recipe that is quick, easy, affordable, and delicious? Many times the recipe is quick and easy but not affordable. You will find this recipe so simple and easy that you will want to make it for any occasion.

You will be caught going back for more. This easy appetizer can be done in the oven or the pellet grill. You have the option of changing the ingredients to those you prefer most. The ingredients are listed below:

  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 package grands biscuits or homemade biscuits
  • 3 ounces of gouda cheese
  • 1 9X13 baking dish

You could easily turn this recipe into a savory appetizer by adding just a couple of other ingredients such as: bacon bits, diced jalapenos, and paprika.

Optional:

  • diced jalapenos
  • bacon bits
  • paprika

Melt your butter in the baking dish, then add 1 clove of minced garlic. Divide your biscuits into 1/4s and place them in the baking dish as you go.

Break your gouda cheese into small pieces and place the pieces evenly on the biscuit dough as you break it up.

Place the baking dish on your pre-heated grill(375F) for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. You may also do this in the oven at 375F for the same length of time.

Let cool for a few minutes before removing it and placing it on the platter for all to enjoy. You will be amazed at how quickly these tasty bites disappear, it is almost like magic.

Another Easy Holiday Appetizer

Puff Pastry Sausage Rolls

Easy Holiday Appetizers Puff Pastry Sausage Rolls
Puff Pastry Sausage Rolls

This is another recipe that is quick and easy to make. This can be done in the oven or pellet grill. You will need the following ingredients:

  • Breakfast Sausage Links
  • Puff pastry(thawed) at room temperature
  • Pepper Jack cheese
  • Baking pan
  • 1 egg
  • silicone mat or parchment paper

Unroll your puff pastry. Cut lengthwise in equal parts. Take your sausage links and remove the casings. After removing the casings, placing the sausage lengthways along with the pepper jack cheese end-to-end firmly overlapping until the pastry is full.

After you have your sausage filling and cheese on the puff-pastry, you will start from the bottom of the dough and carefully roll the sausages and cheese until you get to the top, rolling evenly from side to side.

This will give you a balanced sausage roll, when you have reached the top, brush the egg wash along the seam. Repeat on the other pastry.

PRO TIP: Using the back of a fork, gently apply pressure along the seam to crimp the seam. This helps your pastry cook more evenly.

Cut your sausage-filled puff-pastry into 1-inch lengths. Using a sharp knife prick the top of each section for venting and then brush egg wash on the top. I would recommend using either parchment paper or a silicone matt on your pan.

Pre-heat your pellet grill or oven to 400F. Place your baking pan filled with your pastries in the oven(pellet grill) and cook for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Place on a cooling tray before serving. Once your snacks have cooled; your guests will find this to be delicious and just the right size snack.

Italian Loaf

Once you choose your appetizer, look for ways to have your appetizer enhance your meal. Your appetizer begins your party and enhances the theme of your party.

An Easy Holiday Appetizer From The Grill

The following video gives an example of an easy appetizer with few ingredients and can be served at any occasion.

Following the steps used you can have your appetizer prepared in less than 30 minutes.

Sam’s Easy Italian Loaf

Choosing Your Easy Holiday Appetizer

Holiday appetizers don’t have to be expensive, they may only have a few ingredients. Many people will grill their appetizers for the holidays simply because the kitchen has so much activity.

Regardless of the appetizer you choose, plan the amount of room needed in the kitchen. By doing this, you free up time and counter space for additional dishes to be prepared.

Favorite Easy Appetizers

I have my favorites that only take minutes to prepare in the kitchen and on the grill. Selecting the proper appetizer for the situation can be difficult but with a little planning your party will be a success.

Be bold, enjoy your family, and have a great holiday season while preparing a meal that is sensational in every way. Each step was carefully prepared and targeted to your guests.

Some of my favorite appetizers include the pig shot, bacon wrapped stuffed jalapenos, Italian loaf(video), bruschetta, and more. Each have limited ingredients but are simple to prepare ahead of time for time-saving appetizers.

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20 thoughts on “Easy Holiday Appetizers To Get The Party Started”

  1. Great article on holiday appetizers! I think you are probably everyone’s favorite host when it comes to food and variety. This gives me some good ideas for our holiday celebrations. Sometimes my wife and I just fix “what we’ve always fixed” because it’s easy for us. I think we need to mix things up! Thanks for these recipes. They are very clear and easy to follow. 

    Reply
    • Scott,

      Thanks for the comments. My wife and I have always done the same recipes each holiday, this year we decided to try some new appetizers. The ones that are listed, I have already tried. My wife put her stamp of approval on them as well. They are fantastic.

      Jerry

      Reply
  2. I wish I could be invited to your holiday party! Awesome idea to incorporate grilling into fun party appetizers, most people would probably just think of something cold or baked instead of on the grill. And you still have bruschetta on a baguette to satisfy the vegetarians – probably the best veg-based appetizer out there!

    Reply
    • Sydney,

      Most of the holiday parties I have been to have appetizers that you described cold baked and oftentimes too sweet. Grilled appetizers bring your party to a whole new level. The last couple of parties I have been to we have been asked to bring an appetizer. I brought some that were done on the grill and they were the first ones to go. People were asking for more. We supplied enough for 30 people but they were gone in 10 minutes.

      Jerry

      Reply
  3. That’s so helpful. Thank you for sharing your information with us. I always have this problem not just for events or especial days , every day I think what I can make for dinner and lunch . I will use your suggestions .

    I recommend this essay for people who has problem  like me and waste lots of time for thinking what they want to make .

    Reply
    • Liam,

      I have found that you can sometimes overthink what to have for a meal. Simple meals are often the ones that are the best, learning to use those same ingredients in new and different ways can bring about some spectacular dishes.

      Jerry

      Reply
  4. Christmas is just around the corner which means I have all the reasons to host a barbecue party. ☺

    Actually, I don’t need a special occasion to invite friends over for a barbecue. We do it regularly and we are almost running out of recipes to enjoy. My family is adventurous as far as food is concerned. We love to experiment with different recipes for appetizers. 

    Thanks for sharing your very own recipe for Bruschetta. We have always wanted to try this but we haven’t just found the recipe that sounds appealing to our tastebuds, lol. Yours is not only simple and easy to follow; I like it because it’s very healthy and nutritious. And by the way, I am one of those who like parmesan cheese.

    Your Puff Pastry Sausage Rolls recipe sounds yummy too. My kids love sausages so I. am sure they will be thrilled to have this in addition to Bruschetta. Thanks again, Grill Master Jerry.

    Reply
    • Alice,

      I have found that appetizers don’t have to be complicated to be delicious. You can have a great appetizer with just a few ingredients that are packed with flavor. The puff-pastry sausage rolls are simply outstanding and total time is less than 30 minutes for a taste that will keep you coming back for more.

      Jerry

      Reply
  5. I came across your blog post looking for easy holiday appetizers without realizing they were for the grill! Something I never thought of. I’m a little jealous because where I live the temps are supposed to be highs in the teens which isn’t exactly grilling weather. None the less I found exactly what I was looking for to make some delicious food. I may even try Cheese Stuffed Jalapeno Meatballs and instead of grilling I’m going to attempt to air fry them. Thanks for the great ideas.

    Reply
    • Josh,

      Most of these recipes can be done in the oven as well. Holidays often bring about new ideas for appetizers since people often want to try something different for their social gatherings. Cheese-stuffed jalapeno meatballs sound like a great idea. Have a great holiday season.

      Jerry

      Reply
  6. Wow, all of these great apps look amazing! I recently attended a party with one of the most beautiful charcuterie board – some of the meat slices had been arranged to look like flowers – such an unexpected touch. These items you shared both look amazing, and they sound like they will be delicious! Perfect for a party!! I’m looking forward to trying a few out over the holidays!

    Reply
    • Aly,

      Once you try some of the appetizer recipes I have shared, you will be asking for them at every holiday celebration. These appetizers are easy to make and most importantly will fit most budgets. They take only a short time to make and they free up the kitchen for other dishes to be prepared.

      Jerry

      Reply
  7. We always need something special to be added into our menu during the holidays.  
    I believe bringing up new recipes would be like a new adventure for me. However, I liked your Puff Pastry Sausage Rolls recipe, my family would like it.
    It’s an awesome idea to combine Grill idea into party appetizers
    Thank you for sharing your recipes with us, Grill Expert.

    Reply
    • Neda,

      The recipe for the Puff-Pastry sausage rolls is outstanding. Once you try this recipe, you will find it quickly becoming a family favorite. My wife and I recently attended a social gathering where each family was to bring an appetizer, we carried the sausage roll and in minutes they were all gone. Everyone asked my wife for the recipe and she sent them to me. I advised them to go to my website for all the recipes.

      Jerry

      Reply
  8. Hi Jerry,

    Thank you for these wonderful recipes. I am looking forward to trying several (ok, maybe all) of them. I loved your suggestion of things that we would normally make in the kitchen oven or other appliances can actually be done on the grill. 

    I also really enjoyed the tip you had about what properly makes bacon easy to wrap around other items. I have struggled with this a few times in the past, where as other times it has worked well for me. Now, I understand why I had trouble occasionally. 

    One question I had – in a few of the recipes you have listed, you have vegetables like onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, etc. that are diced up. Have you ever tried roasting these on the grill before chopping them for your recipes? Does this add to the flavor, or make those items less friendly in the recipes? 

    Reply
    • Merry,

      I am glad you found some of the recipes tempting. I have tried all  of them and found them to be packed with flavor and easy to prepare. Some of the items you asked about grilling such as tomatoes, jalapenos, and onions can be grilled and this does enhance the flavor, but when you grill them at times the structure breaks down. This makes it difficult to put on items such as bruschetta.

      Letting your bacon come to room temperature makes it so much easier to stretch around something such as kielbasa sausage. You should have an easier time of it now.

      Jerry

      Reply
  9. I am in need of holiday appetizers for my party guests while waiting for the big meal to be served. Always buy ready-made cheese trays, after last year’s holiday guests requested something different as appetizers which lead me to find new ideas. I have made bacon wraps with water chestnuts, I will have t try the bacon-wrapped potato sticks.

    Reply
    • Jannette,

      I am glad you found some useful ideas with this post. I have tried each of these and found them all to be fantastic. The bacon-wrapped potato sticks were a hit at a social gathering I recently attended. We also carried some puff-pastry sausage rolls, they were both gone in a matter of minutes. Have a great holiday season.

      Jerry

      Reply
  10. I love it when the family wants to have a barbeque, as I usually find it is less work for me in the kitchen, specially if the appetizers are also grilled over the coals, rather than being done in the oven. 

    We lived in Italy for many years, where bruschetta is always served at a party. It is there that we learnt that it is so much easier to grill the bread on the barbeque, rather than popping the slices into the toaster. And each guest can make their own piece of bruschetta. 

    Here is to the next barbeque party!

    Reply
    • You have had the experience of living in Italy, so you know bruschetta from that point of view. I have found that getting that smokey flavor in the bread gives your bruschetta another dimension of flavor. As you stated, each person chooses the bread that appeals to them the most. Appetizers prepared on the grill seem to be the first ones selected for consumption.

      Jerry

      Reply

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