The best party nibbles are the ones that are the simplest to prepare yet feel special and holiday-worthy. Luckily there are plenty that fall in that category, from sweet and savory roasted nuts to creamy dips to really anything wrapped in bacon. Here are 20 of our best fast and fancy appetizers for your festive gathering.
Don't let the fancy French name shy you away — salmon rillettes are as easy as mixing together chopped smoked salmon, softened butter, and aromatics. Then just grab the crackers or crusty bread.
This fragrant hummus keeps for up to seven days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge. That means you can make it ahead of time, when you have a few moments to spare, and simply spoon it into a serving bowl when guests arrive.
If you're still hanging on to the last bits of cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving, this gooey baked brie can't be easier to assemble. Otherwise, a can of the whole berry stuff is a quick substitute.
This quick dip, made by simply puréeing canned white beans, canned artichokes, and spices, is sure to please both vegan and non-vegan guests alike.
There's just something about cheese balls that screams holiday. This trio — one goat, one blue, and one cheddar — can be made and stored up to three days in advance.
When feta takes a quick whirl in the food processor with cream cheese, lemon zest, and fresh chopped chives, it transforms into the creamiest dip for veggies and crackers.
Reach for a jar of pitted Niçoise olives to save yourself the hassle of pitting them before tossing them into the food processor.
Pink peppercorns are readily available these days, but if you can't find them for some reason, don't sweat it — swap in black or white peppercorns instead.
A spice blend like curry powder saves you the hassle of mixing up a bunch of ground spices yourself to toss with nuts before roasting.
10. Za'atar Popcorn
A unique spice blend like Middle Eastern za'atar transforms plain ol' popcorn into a quick, party-worthy snack.
Maiz gigante are giant corn kernels from Latin America that you pop and season like popcorn. They're a fun alternative to crunchy roasted nuts and are just as simple to prepare.
12. Furikake Popcorn
While this recipe calls for popping your own popcorn, feel free to take the easy way out and use store-bought already-popped popcorn. Adding a dash of salty, savory furikake makes it a perfect pair for crisp sparking wines.
Take your pick between brown butter-sage cashews or cocoa-dusted cashews — both take less than 10 minutes to prepare and are equal crowd-pleasers.
A can or two or chickpeas and whatever spices or herbs you have on hand are all you really need to make these irresistible crispy roasted chickpeas.
Maple syrup and tamari aren't flavors that join forces often, but after making these nuts you'll quickly learn they should be. The balance between sweet, salty, and savory is the ideal complement to those festive cocktails.
16. Cheddar Olives
The fastest way to upgrade plain ol' olives is to wrap them in a quick cheddar dough and bake them until golden-brown.
Classic stuffed mushrooms are made even easier when you rely on extra-flavorful Italian sausage for the filling.
A cloak of bacon makes just about anything feel a bit more fancy, and that includes dates.
While this simple combination of sardines, Dijon mustard, and quick-pickled red onions is lovely on broken Wasa crispbreads, it's also great on crostini.
It really doesn't get much faster than this. If you have 10 seconds, you have enough time to make this appetizer.