Make-Ahead Starters for Easy Holiday Entertaining
We all know how busy the holiday season can get with various parties, get-togethers, and unexpected guests. It can be stressful to think about hosting an event, but we can help! We've assembled dozens of recipes and ideas that will have you fully prepared long before the party starts. So instead of rushing in and out of the room, frantically trying to keep on top of boiling pots and smoking ovens, you can relax and enjoy the company of your guests. Let's get started!
Christmas Wreath Bread
Start off by baking slices of crescent rolls in a circle at 375°F for 15 minutes. Then top with a mixture of 8 ounces of cream cheese, 4 ounces of sour cream, 1 teaspoon of dill, and a pinch of garlic powder. Finally, garnish with broccoli, red peppers, yellow peppers, and any other vegetables you like!
Cheese Ball Snowman
This is like the water cooler of Christmas parties—the place where people can grab a cracker and spread some lush cheese spread all over it under the watchful eye of the happy-go-lucky snowman!
Grab your mixing bowl and start off with 8 ounces of cream cheese (softened). Then add 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, and 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Give everything a really good mix.
Grab your mixture, roll it into a bowl, and then roll it in some finely grated Parmesan cheese. Then wrap it and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Christmas Tree Cheese Platter
The Christmas tree platter with cheese, meat, and fruit is a must-have for the festive season. In fact, they're so popular and get eaten so quickly that it's always handy to have a spare one ready to go, just in case!
I've given several ideas for the type of layout you can create, or just follow the video to see how quickly you can then create your own platter.
Make sure to add a good range of different types of crackers as well as some yummy dips. This will ensure your guests are all happy (not hangry!) until the main course is served.
Christmas Wreath Platter
This is a bit like the Christmas wreath platter above; it's another really festive way to make your holiday table look awesome. If you have a round platter, start by laying out all your ingredients, so you know exactly what you have to work with.
Begin by placing a glass dish of ranch dip into the middle of the platter. Then, working outward from the center dish, add your cheeses like cheddar, Manchego, etc. Make sure you cut them into different sizes to add variety to your platter. Also, add your crackers in with the cheese—you can even break the larger crackers into some fun shapes!
Watch the video below and you'll soon have a gorgeous wreath platter fit for royalty!
Christmas Tree Hot Dogs
I absolutely love these! Simply cut out Christmas tree–shaped pastry (two slices for each hot dog), baste them in butter, and cook them in the oven at 375°F for about 12 mins. Kids will absolutely go crazy for these!
Cherry Tomatoes With Mozzarella Cheese and Basil
Again these are very simple to make, and the colors just yell "Christmas" from the rooftops!
Grab two dozen cherry tomatoes and slice them down the center. Remove a small amount of the seeds. Then fill with tiny slices of mozzarella cheese and add in a small basil leave. Add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, and you're good to go.
Mini Christmas Trees
These mini Christmas trees look so cool when placed in the center of your holiday table! You'll only need three ingredients for these: cheese, cucumber, and tomatoes.
Start by making lots of mini cheese stars (with a small star shape cutter). Next, cut slivers of cucumber (see image for reference), and cut about a dozen cherry tomatoes in half.
Then assemble the appetizers as shown below using a toothpick. Adorable!
Boiled Egg Snowman
What's better than a boiled egg? A boiled egg snowman, of course! Just follow the steps in the image below and you'll soon have some festive friends that will give your Christmas table a super special holiday vibe!
Here's another really creative way to serve your cheese for the holidays! Grab five of your favorite types of cheese and dice them into even squares. Add some pecan nuts in the center and a few dips and crackers on the side. It's so simple, but it really does look great!
Layer a mini marshmallow, a strawberry, a banana slice, and a grape on a toothpick, and you get all the glory of a Grinch kabob! Super simple and super yummy.
Grab your mini star cutter and cut about a dozen cheese stars, and then simply place your pretzel stick in the end. It's so easy you'll actually think you've cheated!
Meat and Cheese Candy Cane
Once again all you need to do is dice some of your favorite cheeses, slice up some meats, and arrange them in a candy cane shape, just like in the image below.
Cucumber Christmas Trees
Another simple one: simply slice your cucumber and add it to some bread that you've cut into mini Christmas trees. Then add a cheese star on top!
Turkey-Shaped Appetizer Platter
This might work better for Thanksgiving, but it's super cute and festive for the winter holidays, too. Make a cheese and meats platter or a veggie platter with dip. Either way, use the photos below as a guide to arranging the appetizers in a fun turkey shape!