6 No-Fail Appetizers to Bring to Christmas Dinnner

By Dina El Nabli | December 15, 2015

If you’re all about the appetizers during the holidays, chances are you’re looking for something new to try. One of our favorite apps this season is a mix of peppered maple walnuts paired with a quality local cheese (Edible Marin and Wine Country recommends a toma from Point Reyes Farmstead). Coat the walnuts in a mixture of maple syrup, butter, salt and pepper before baking and you’re good to go. 

From grapes dressed up with a cream cheese mixture and topped with walnuts to a twist on the usual hummus that adds roasted delicata squash, here are 6 holiday appetizers we love for their simplicity and creativity.

gracious grapes by Nancy Fuller
Photo: Jamie Prescott

Gracious Grapes
These grapes are super simple to make, look pretty on a plate and keep for several days in the fridge. “This appetizer is delectable, festive, and fun, just like the holiday season.” –Nancy Fuller, Farmhouse Rules


delicata squash hummus
Brent Harrewyn for Edible Green Mountains

Roasted Delicata Squash and Red Onion Hummus
“This hummus recipe has a nice combination of sweet and savory. The roasted delicata squash and red onion add a great dimension with an earthy sweetness and creamy texture combined with the woodsy pine flavor from the fresh rosemary leaves.” –Tracey Medeiros, The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook 


Mini Vegetarian Caesar Salad Parmesan Cups
Photo: The Pollan Family Table
"We took one of our family favorites, our Vegetarian Caesar Salad, and made it into a delicious and delightful party appetizer. The crispy Parmesan cup serves as the bowl for the crunchy romaine, tangy dressing, and mini croutons. Here’s a salad you can happily eat by hand.” –Corky, Lori, Dana and Tracy Pollan, The Pollan Family Table
Cheater’s Charcuterie Board with Pickled Grapes and Tomatillo Chutney
Photo: Daniel Krieger

Cheater’s Charcuterie Board with Pickled Grapes and Tomatillo Chutney
“Holidays are when I like to let my hospitality shine. By keeping some deli-bought charcuterie and these home-made condiments on hand, I can wow any guest at a moment’s notice.” –Justin Warner, The Laws of Cooking: And How to Break Them


Asparagus Cheese Tart
Photo: Jill Melton for Edible Nashville

Asparagus Cheese Tart
“Super impressive and no fail, this tart uses packaged puff pastry. Top it with any kind of cheese and asparagus (although a variety of veggies will work) and you’re good to go.” –Jill Melton, editor and publisher, Edible Nashville

shallot fig spread
Photo: Gentyl & Hyers

Shallot Fig Spread
“Sweet, savory and delicious – this dip is always a hit! It tastes like you went to great lengths, and will top any of the gourmet spreads you’ll receive as gifts this holiday season. Best of all, it’s easy and make and comes together in no time. You can make it days in advance, and be sure to save the leftovers to use as a spread on toasted sourdough with arugula and a little goat cheese.” –Terry Walters, Eat Clean, Live Well