Christmas is the perfect time of year to reconnect with family and friends. It’s time to take a few days off and just relax with your loved ones. We love Christmas parties and throwing intricate dinners together, but you don’t want all that work at Christmas. We found 12 great Christmas appetizer ideas that are quick, easy and – most importantly – taste wonderful. Don’t slave away in the kitchen this holiday season – check out these fast and fabulous appetizer recipes below:

*Click the image or source link to view the recipe.

12. Shrimp Cocktail

It might seem old fashioned, but shrimp cocktail can be a very delicious appetizer. Step away from the frozen shrimp rings! Making your own shrimp cocktail is actually really easy and it comes out much more tasty. The key is to brine the shrimp. This gets rid of the mushy texture that some shrimp can have.

[Source: Food Network]

11. Eggplant Appetizer

This fresh appetizer is is a great choice for vegetarian guests. You can bake or fry the eggplant if it’s too cold to grill them. When buying eggplant, look for firm and unbruised flesh. Lightly oil the pan and not the eggplant itself. It will suck up to oil like a sponge.

[Source: Laylita]

10. Red Pepper Goat Cheese Spread

This beautiful cheese spread will be a fan favorite at your Christmas party. Different types of pepper have unique heat signatures. These festive red peppers have a great smokey flavor. If your guests like it spicy, they can take a scoop with the peppers. If they want it mild, just tell them to steer clear and enjoy the cheese.

[Source: The Kitchn]

9. Mozzarella Basil and Tomato Skewers

These red and green skewers are festive and delicious. This recipe shows you how to marinate cheese. That’s right- you can marinate cheese! If you’re looking for a vegan option, try replacing the mozzarella with tofu.

[Source: Skinny Taste]

8. Tiny Tomato Tarts

We love tarts for appetizers. Tiny tarts are called tartlets. You can buy pre-made tarlet shells in the grocery store, but it’s easy to make them yourself. Use regular pie dough but cut them into smaller circles. Bake until golden brown like you would a regular pie crust.

[Source: My Recipes]

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7. Cranberry Blue Cheese Puffs

These little bites have all the taste of Christmas. The strong blue cheese pairs wonderfully with the brightness of the cranberries. The crust is made with puff pastry. When you cut out the rounds from the pastry, use a very sharp cutter. This will help them puff up and not sink.

[Source: Pillsbury]

6. Bruschetta

These favorite appetizers have a great Christmasy theme. The red tomatoes look great with the bright green basil. When making bruschetta, rub a cut clove of garlic against the bread. This gives a lovely hint of spice without being overwhelming.

[Source: Eating Richly]

5. Feta and Prosciutto Rolls

We love these salty appetizer rolls. Salty foods work great as a party food because they make you hungry and you can refresh yourself with drinks. Prosciutto is an expensive ingredient and it comes in paper thin sheets. Use it sparingly as a little goes a long way.

[Source: Eating Richly]

4. Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Pesto Crisps

These one bite cups can be made into any shape. Use a cookie cutter in a festive theme, like a gingerbread man. Goat cheese is a great filling for appetizers. You can find different flavors of goat cheese ranging from mild to very strong. Try different types out to find your favorite.

[Source: Hungry Happenings]

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3. Baked Cranberry Brie

Brie is a wonderful cheese for Christmas. It’s creamy and rich, with a mild flavor. It melts perfectly, making it a great spread for crackers and bread. This dish is elevated by wrapping it in puff pastry and topping it with cranberry sauce.

[Source: Punchbowl]

2. Roasted Asparagus Wrapped With Serrano Ham

Serrano ham is a great alternative to prosciutto. Use your favorite for this recipe. Asparagus is the start of the perfect appetizer. Leave the woody stems on so your guests can pick them up with their hands. Warn them to not eat the bottom.

[Source: My Colombian Recipes]

1. Cranberry Cream Cheese Bites

One bite appetizers are perfect for the holidays. You’ll have a drink in one hand so using a fork and knife is not an option for party food. It also has to be clean and not make a mess of your party outfit. These little cranberry bites make the perfect quick appetizer.

[Source: I Adore Food]

Angela Nightingale

If you want to know the best cupcake shop in any major city in America, just ask Angela. This girl knows her sweets, and she isn't shy about letting you know that your german chocolate cake needs more chocolate. If you want to find Angela on any given day, she's probably looking up reviews to decide where to grab lunch, or in her downtime, binge-watching the latest 'it-series' on Netflix.

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