It’s that time of year where parties are in full swing on everyone’s calendar. Whether you are hosting or attending, you’ll need a few go to recipes for foolproof dishes to contribute to the festivities. Here are my 10 favorite elegant, yet easy, appetizers because who has time to slave away in the kitchen during the chaos that is December. Each of these dishes has a few ingredients, simple prep, and requires less than 30 minutes of hands-on time.
This is my favorite appetizer of all time. It is comprised of only 3 ingredients, is gluten-free, and will make you the hit of any party you bring it to. I didn’t even think I liked dates until I had these, and now I am kicking myself for all the years I wasted not enjoying these delicacies. One other bonus: you can assemble these in the morning, refrigerate all day, then broil just prior to serving.
Baked Brie is a quintessential appetizer. It can be as simple as 3 ingredients: brie, puff pastry, and an egg wash, or you can add honey, nuts, fruit, and/or a jam on top of the brie before wrapping. For last minute ease, you can wrap the brie in the morning, refrigerate all day, and bake just prior to serving.
This one has 6 ingredients and a simple and straightforward preparation. I like to garnish each crostini with a caper or two to add a little acidity to complement the other flavors.
A cheese board can be an eye-catching element for any party. Best of all, it doesn’t involve any cooking. You simply purchase you favorite cheeses, crackers, spreads, fruits, nuts, meats, olives, etc., and set them out for a beautiful display. If you keep a stocked fridge and pantry, you can be 5 minutes away from this crowd-pleaser anytime you have surprise company or need a special treat.
This is another 3-ingredient appetizer that can be prepped in the morning and cooked just before serving, and can also please gluten-free eaters.
I always like to have at least one healthy option to balance out the traditionally heavy party foods. Crudites have come a long way from carrots and ranch. These days, a crudite platter might include Tzatziki sauce, beet hummus, or a garlic aioli. The key to a pretty presentation here is using one large platter or board (not the divided kind) and using unique vegetables (including purple cauliflower, endive, squash blossoms, purple carrots, etc.), leaving the stems and leaves on when possible, and including something unexpected by frying some of the vegetables or pickling some.
This is another few ingredient, simple prep, yet quick and delicious dish that will have you coming back for more. Roasting the shrimp heightens the flavor of the traditional boiled shrimp of yesteryear.
This classic combination of basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella with a balsamic glaze is oh-so-pretty to look at and tasty to enjoy and barely involves any cooking.
These light, simple, and tasty cups will have your guests continually reaching for more.
These nuts boast a sophisticated and complex flavor from the combination of curry powder, rosemary, cayenne, and brown sugar. They are a great option that vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free eaters can all enjoy. You can make them up to 3 days ahead of time without compromising the quality. They also make a great Christmas or hostess gift when nicely packages.
With these quick and easy recipes in you back pocket, you will be the hit of any party and will have extra time and energy to enjoy the people around you.
Shannon lives in Central City New Orleans with her husband and 3 boys. She is passionate about food, faith, fitness, family, and friends, and blogs about these things on her blog Dinner Done by 9am. Most days you can find her at the park with her kids or in the kitchen getting #dinnerdoneby9am.