The best pre-dinner party noshes should be eaten with two fingers and in (almost) one bite — leaving your guests’ hands-free for flowing drinks and animated conversations. From Spanish tapas-inspired skewers to reimagined devilled eggs, here are some of our best finger-food appies for the holidays.
Manchego Quince Skewers
You won’t believe how easy these gorgeous Spanish-inspired appetizers are to make — albeit with the help of a fine foods or cheese shop that carries quince paste and cheese. Simply cut the paste into little cubes, roll in chopped almonds and assemble onto skewers with Manchego and fresh watercress.
Sour Cream and Bacon Devilled Eggs
There are so many possibilities for classic devilled eggs — and this version is a favourite with the addition of sour cream, bacon and skillet-fried panko crumbs for an irresistible crunch.
Charred Brussels Sprout Crostini
Crispy Brussels sprouts, creamy ricotta and chewy marinated cranberries make a beautifully balanced and delicious holiday crostini-topper.
Slow Cooker Butter Chicken Sliders
If you really need to tide them over until dinnertime, you can bet your guests will devour these satisfying Indian-spiced pulled chicken burgers topped with crispy cabbage, fresh cucumber, cilantro and a tangy mango chutney.
Cheese-Stuffed Dates with Prosciutto
Large, meaty and extra-chewy Middle Eastern Medjool dates are the best kind. Here they make the perfect sweet-and-salty Italian-style appetizer — stuffed with tangy goat cheese and wrapped in cured prosciutto.
North African Meatballs
This dish is bursting with bright North African spices, fresh herbs and a little heat. Serve on skewers with a side dip made from Harissa, an aromatic North African pepper paste, mixed with equal parts Greek yogurt and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
Shrimp Fritters with Yuzu Mayo
If you can get some help in kitchen, these crisp-fried and flavourful fritters are so worth it. With a little forethought and key Asian pantry staples on hand, they come together quick and amazingly.
Rachael Ray’s juicy spinach, ground turkey and Parmesan meatballs also make a bright, festive appetizer served on skewers with a tart cranberry dip.
Make-Ahead Sandwich Rolls
Another make-ahead win, these ham-and-turkey sandwich rolls are beyond basic with a zingy and smoky chipotle mayo.
Sloppy Joe Sliders
Sloppy Joes are always a crowd-pleaser and a slow-cooker makes the prep effortless compared with traditional mini burgers. (You might want to put out some extra napkins though!)
Seared Lemon Pepper Beef Carpaccio
Quickly seared beef tenderloin makes an impressive carpaccio appetizer, garnished with capers, baby arugula, slivers of nutty Pecorino or Parmesan cheese and a silky aioli.
Plump and juicy sausage-stuffed mushrooms are sure to be a hit as a make-ahead appetizer that can be popped into the oven at the last minute. For even more easy-peasy party ideas, try one of these 20-minute appetizers.
Potato Basil Frittata Squares
If you love a great frittata, or Spanish tortilla, this makes a brilliant party appetizer cut into bite-sized squares.
These bite-size retro hors d’oeuvres are perfect for an old-school holiday soiree.
Chicken Fried Rice Balls
Like arancini, these fried rice balls are best when made with day-old rice or — even easier — leftover takeout. No matter how they start, guests will love to be greeted with their buffet favourites in bite-sized form.
Ketchup Chip Mac n' Cheese Balls
Ketchup chips are a Canadian treasure, and these savoury nuggets capture that tangy goodness. Mac and cheese bites are finished with a ketchup-filled coating and fried until golden.
Turkey Quinoa Skewers
These meatballs get a nutritional boost with the addition of quinoa. The tart and tangy cranberry sauce served on top makes the entire dish sparkle.