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55 Bite-Sized Appetizers for Your Holiday Shindig

Look here for enticing hot bites, Christmas finger foods and other savory party noshes you can pop in your mouth.

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Shrimp and Cucumber Canapes

These cute stacks really stand out in a holiday appetizer buffet. Tasty, cool and crunchy, they come together in a snap. —Ashley Nochlin, Port St. Lucie, Florida
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Crab Cake Stuffed Mushrooms

These tender mushrooms with their crispy golden topping are always popular at parties! The crab filling is a delicious special occasion treat. Serve them while they're warm. —Nancy Aiello, Bloomery, West Virginia
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Gruyere and Crab Palmiers

I keep these little bursts of flavor in my freezer so they can be pulled out and popped into the oven whenever needed. Crab, pancetta and Gruyere make a sophisticated, elegant appetizer, and you can make your own variations on the filling. Try chicken and pesto, or a Mediterranean version with spinach and feta. —Grace Voltolina, Westport, Connecticut
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Meatballs with Chimichurri Sauce

Serve some of this South American herb sauce featuring fresh cilantro and parsley on the side. You'll want plenty for extra dipping. —Amy Chase, Vanderhoof, British Columbia
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Roasted Chicken and Brie Holly Mini Bites

Roasted Chicken and Brie Holly Mini Bites

I got the idea for these appetizers from my favorite sandwich at a local restaurant—a symphony of sweet fig, roasted apple, melted brie and tangy garlic mayonnaise. I re-created this delectable combination in a quick appetizer with bright red cranberries and green spinach to give it a holiday twist. These scrumptious bites only take about 20 minutes, but taste like you spent hours; you can also make them a few days in advance, then warm them in the microwave for 20-30 seconds before serving. They're the perfect party appetizer! —Terri Gilson, Calgary, Alberta
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Greek Shrimp Canapes Exps Sddj19 173406 B07 20 5b 3

Greek Shrimp Canapes

I grew up by the ocean and then moved to a land-locked state. I wanted to show people in my area how to easily cook seafood, and this is the recipe I came up with. It's become a neighborhood favorite. —Amy Harris, Springville, Utah
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Ham N Cheese Biscuit Stacks Exps Hc17 31947 D10 19 8b 2

Ham 'n' Cheese Biscuit Stacks

These finger sandwiches are filling enough to satisfy hearty appetites. I've served the fun little stacks at every event, including holiday gatherings, showers and tailgate parties. —Kelly Williams, Forked River, New Jersey
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Tzatziki Shrimp Cucumber Rounds Exps Lsbz18 104123 D01 19 5b 2

Tzatziki Shrimp Cucumber Rounds

I created this recipe with what I had on hand one night, and now it’s one of my husband’s favorites! The bacon-wrapped shrimp, garlicky sauce and burst of cool cuke flavor make this a crowd pleaser. —Shannon Rose Trelease, East Hampton, New York
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Best Deviled Eggs

Herbs lend amazing flavor to these deviled eggs, which truly are the best you can make! The recipe includes tasty variations that feature bacon, chipotle peppers and crab.—Jesse & Anne Foust, Bluefield, West Virginia
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Baked Baby Potatoes With Olive Pesto Exps167818 Thca143053a09 06 3bc Rms 5

Baked Baby Potatoes with Olive Pesto

These little cuties pack all the appeal of a dinner baked potato into the perfect bite-sized appetizer. I top off each one with a dollop of sour cream and coarsely ground pepper. —Sarah Shaikh, Mumbai, India
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Artichoke & Spinach Dip Pizza

Artichoke & Spinach Dip Pizza

When I'm making this pizza and I have garlic oil in my pantry, I swap it for regular oil. It adds a little something without overpowering the toppings. —Shelly Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon
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Barbecued Meatballs Exps Cimz17 5830 B07 13 5b 6

Barbecued Meatballs

Grape jelly and chili sauce are the secrets that make these meatballs so fantastic. If I’m serving them at a party, I prepare the meatballs and sauce in advance and reheat them right before guests arrive. —Irma Schnuelle, Manitowoc, Wisconsin
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Chicken Salad Caprese Exps Thca19 47342 E08 23 4b 7

Chicken Salad Caprese

This unique, flavorful salad and bread combo will get rave reviews—guaranteed. —Frances Pietsch, Flower Mound, Texas
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Chili-Lime Roasted Chickpeas

Looking for a lighter snack that's still a crowd-pleaser? You've found it! This zesty, crunchy chickpea recipe will have everyone happily munching. —Julie Ruble, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Herb-Roasted Olives & Tomatoes

Eat these roasted veggies with a crunchy baguette or a couple of cheeses. You can also double, or triple, the amounts and have leftovers to toss with spaghetti the next day. —Anndrea Bailey, Huntington Beach, California
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Parisian Chicken Bites Exps Cmz18 57242 D10 26 6b 1

Parisian Chicken Bites

When a friend of mine returned from a trip to Paris, she raved about the food she had and described one of her favorite meals. It inspired me to create a similar hors d’oeuvre. —Noelle Myers, Grand Forks, North Dakota
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Asparagus Bruschetta Exps Cwam18 32567 C12 13 9b 2 26

Asparagus Bruschetta

For a light bite, Elaine Sweet created these pretty appetizers. “I really like asparagus, so I’m always trying it in different things,” says the Dallas, Texas reader. "This is a delicious twist on traditional bruschetta."
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Smoked Salmon New Potatoes Exps Hcka19 28366 D08 23 2b 1

Smoked Salmon New Potatoes

Give twice-baked potatoes a rest this year and try these stuffed spuds. Smoked salmon and cream cheese blended with lemon juice and dill are simply piped into small red potatoes. Leftovers are even good with eggs for breakfast. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Steak Crostini with Carrot-Horseradish Marmalade

I've been making little tweaks to this family favorite for years. Prep everything ahead, then layer up the crostini right before party time. —Greg Fontenot, The Woodlands, Texas
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Marinated Olive Cheese Ring Exps137071 Th133086c07 24 2bc Rms 3

Marinated Olive & Cheese Ring

We love to make meals into celebrations, and antipasto always kicks off the party for Italian dinners. This one is almost too pretty to eat, especially when sprinkled with pimientos, fresh basil and parsley. —Patricia Harmon, Baden, Pennsylvania
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Taco Tater Skins

I wanted to make a version of these with ingredients most people have on hand. We make a meal out of these skins, but they're also great for parties as appetizers. —Phyllis Douglas, Fairview, Michigan
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Christmas Party Pinwheels

'Tis the season for easy make-ahead appetizers like these. They look so special and pretty that folks can't resist them! The refreshing flavor of ranch dressing and crisp colorful vegetables makes these pinwheels a pleasure to serve. —Janis Plourde, Smooth Rock Falls, Ontario
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Bacon-Stuffed Mushrooms

I first tried these bubbly treats at my sister-in-law's house. The tender mushroom caps and creamy filling were so fabulous that I had to get the recipe. It's hard to believe how simple, fast and easy they are. —Angela Coffman, Kansas City, Missouri
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Cucumber Party Sandwiches Exps Sdjj18 3198 B02 09 5b 6

Cucumber Party Sandwiches

This is one of my favorite appetizers. We have lots of pig roasts here in Kentucky, and these small sandwiches are perfect to serve while the pig is roasting. —Rebecca Rose, Mount Washington, Kentucky
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Champion Chicken Puffs

My guests peeled rubber getting to the table to munch on Champion Chicken Puffs. These tender bites are made with hassle-free refrigerated crescent rolls and a flavorful chicken and cream-cheese filling. —Amber Kimmich, Powhatan, Virginia
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Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Bites Exps Hplbz18 168917 C05 16 8b 3

Bacon-Wrapped Sweet Potato Bites

After making little bacon-wrapped sausages for years, I needed a change! I had an extra sweet potato and half a package of bacon on hand, so I put on my thinking cap and came up with this treat. —Kelly Williams, Forked River, New Jersey
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Marmalade Meatballs Exps Scmbz18 45349 B01 17 3b 5

Marmalade Meatballs

We had a potluck at work, so I started cooking these meatballs in the morning. By lunchtime they were ready. They were a big hit! —Jeanne Kiss, Greensburg, Pennsylvania
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Mini Sausage Bundles

Thanks to these hors d'oeuvres, you can cut calories, fat and cleanup by keeping the deep fryer at bay. Our Test Kitchen filled the mouthwatering appetizers with savory turkey sausage, garlic and onion before baking them in the oven to a golden brown.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Marinated Mozzarella Exps Hc17 38696 D10 19 4b 4

Marinated Mozzarella

I always come home with an empty container when I bring this dish to a party. It can be made ahead to free up time later. I serve it with pretty frilled toothpicks for a festive look. —Peggy Cairo, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Aussie Sausage Rolls Exps Sdam17 19927 B12 07 7b 2

Aussie Sausage Rolls

I was born and raised in Australia, but moved to the U.S. when I got married. When I long for some Australian recipes, I bake up a batch of this sausage roll recipe and share them with neighbors or co-workers. —Melissa Landon, Port Charlotte, Florida
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Cranberry Sauerkraut Meatballs Exps Sdon18 45378 B06 13 4b 8

Cranberry Sauerkraut Meatballs

I tried these meatballs at a birthday party for a friend, and now I make them all the time. They are super easy to make and perfect for a potluck or a Sunday afternoon football game. —Lisa Castelli, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
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Apricot-Glazed Bacon Spirals

Here’s a real crowd-pleaser for an appetizer table or brunch buffet. A whole piece of crispy bacon is rolled into each spiral. It's so good with the apricot preserves, which make it a sweet-and-salty treat. —Kellie Mulleavy, Lambertville, Michigan
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Baked Pot Stickers with Dipping Sauce

Twisting these wonton wrappers like little candies makes them fuss-free, and the dipping sauce is packed with sweet heat. —Taylor Marsh, Algona, Iowa
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Pastrami Roll-Ups

For a book club event, I created pastrami roll-ups with cream cheese and a pickle. Those tasty bites quickly pulled a disappearing act. —Merritt Heinrich, Oswego, Illinois
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Sausage Chive Pinwheels

Sausage Chive Pinwheels

These spirals are simple to make but look special on a buffet. Our guests eagerly help themselves, and sometimes the eye-catching pinwheels never even make it to their plates! —Gail Sykora, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
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Shrimp Tartlets Exps Sddj18 24589 C08 02 4b 1

Shrimp Tartlets

Fill mini tart shells with a cream cheese mixture, then top with seafood sauce and shrimp for a picture-perfect look and delightful taste. This recipe makes a fantastic appetizer, and several make a fast, light meal. —Gina Hutchison, Smithville, Missouri
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Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms Exps Sddj18 38833 C08 01 6b 4

Spinach-Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms

I used this recipe when I was in a culinary-arts program and had to prepare an entire buffet by myself. It’s an impressive party appetizer yet goes together so easily. —Amy Gaisford, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Marinated Cheese Exps Thca18 41873 B01 23 3b 5

Marinated Cheese

This special appetizer always makes it to our neighborhood parties and is the first to disappear at the buffet table. It's attractive, delicious—and easy! —Laurie Casper, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
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Chicken Potstickers Exps Chkbz18 38049 B10 12 6b 2

Chicken Pot Stickers

Chicken and mushrooms make up the filling in these pot stickers, a traditional Chinese dumpling. Greasing the steamer rack makes it easier to remove them once they're steamed. —Jacquelynne Stine, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Bacon Sun Dried Tomato Phyllo Tarts Exps126103 Thca143053d09 06  4b 5

Bacon & Sun-Dried Tomato Phyllo Tarts

Frozen mini phyllo tart shells are so convenient and easy to use. Just add a savory filling featuring sun-dried tomatoes and bacon, then pop them in the oven.—Patricia Quinn, Omaha, Nebraska
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Cheese/Grape Appetizers

These small bites are well worth the time they take. Serve them as part of an antipasto platter or as a cheese course alongside your favorite wine. —Eleanor Grofvert, Kalamazoo, Michigan
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Chive Crab Cakes Exps Hrbz17 35068 C08 30 4b 2

Chive Crab Cakes

These tasty crab cakes are perfect for appetizers, or try them with a salad for a light meal. —Cindy Worth, Lapwai, Idaho
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Stuffed Asiago-Basil Mushrooms

Even if you don't like mushrooms, you will have to try them again with these pretty appetizers, which taste divine. For a main dish, double the filling and use large portobellos. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Greek Pinwheels Exps Thca19 41856 B08 07 6b 5

Greek Pinwheels

These pinwheels taste and look so good that everyone was surprised to learn they were pretty simple to make.—Veronica Worlund, Pasco, Washington
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Southwest Spanakopita Bites Exps Hrbz18 38885 D09 01 1b 6

Southwest Spanakopita Bites

I'm a big fan of the Southwest-style egg rolls served at restaurants and wanted to re-create them without the fat of deep frying. Phyllo dough was the solution! For a main dish, I fill small flour tortillas with the filling and bake. —Marianne Shira, Osceola, Wisconsin
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Watermelon Cups Exps Lsbz18 50594 D01 19 3b 2

Watermelon Cups

This lovely appetizer is almost too pretty to eat! Sweet watermelon cubes hold a refreshing topping that showcases cucumber, red onion and fresh herbs. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Deviled Eggs with Bacon

Deviled Eggs with Bacon

These yummy deviled eggs went over so well at our summer cookouts, I started making them for holiday dinners, too. Everyone likes the addition of crumbled bacon. —Barbara Reid, Mounds, Oklahoma
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Zippy Party Roll-Ups

A guaranteed crowd-pleaser, these zesty appetizers are a great way to pep up a party! The recipe won a blue ribbon at the county fair, and even though I always double the recipe, I never seem to make enough. —Dana Gonzalez del Valle, Battle Ground, Washington
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Shrimp & Feta Cucumber Rounds

I love the contrasting tastes and textures of these rounds. Each bite balances the refreshing burst and crunch of cucumber with the rich flavor and creaminess of the filling.—Donna Pochoday, Morristown, New Jersey
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Bacon-Wrapped Scallops with Pear Sauce

I enjoy cooking for my parents, and my bacon-wrapped scallops recipe is one of their favorites. If you prefer, replace the pear preserves with preserves or jam of a different flavor. —Ethan Hall, King, North Carolina
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Barbecued Party Starters

These sweet and tangy bites will tide over everyone until dinner. At the buffet, set out some fun toothpicks to make for easy nibbling. —Anastasia Weiss, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
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Broccoli & Chive Stuffed Mini Peppers

Broccoli & Chive Stuffed Mini Peppers

There's plenty of both crunch and cream in these party appetizers. Fresh chives help them really stand out. —Jean McKenzie, Vancouver, Washington
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Parsnip Latkes with Lox and Horseradish Creme

A horseradish-flavored creme fraiche brings zip to these crispy homemade latkes, which get a touch of sweetness from the parsnips. Add fresh dill sprigs for a garnish. —Todd Schmeling, Gurnee, Illinois
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Miniature Corn Dogs

Fun-size corn dogs add a little wow factor to any get-together. Kids and adults love them, so expect every batch to disappear fast. —Deb Perry, Bluffton, Indiana
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Portobello Bruschetta with Rosemary Aioli

Caramelizing onions, broiling peppers and whipping up a homemade aioli with fresh herbs adds dimensions of flavor you won't find in a store-bough bruschetta. —Stephanie Kalina-Metzger, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

Amy Glander
Amy is a book editor at Taste of Home where she gets to pour her passions for food and storytelling into trade and series cookbooks. When she’s not writing or editing, you’ll find her antiquing, cooking and baking from her favorite vintage cookbooks and exploring Milwaukee’s urban beauty with her digital SLR in hand.
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