The Best Easy Holiday Appetizers

The best holiday appetizers are easy holiday appetizers. Listen. It’s December. You’ve spent 11 months with your nose to the ol’ grindstone. You deserve a break, especially when you’re supposed to be “enjoying time with family” and “relaxing.” That’s where we come in. If you’re hosting any sort of holiday affair that requires small bites and snacky stuff, we know what’s quick, easy, tastes good, and will still make people say, “How does she do it?” Get out your shopping list and jot down these low-to-no-effort holiday appetizers.

Président Soft-Ripened Brie Wheel

If you’re hosting a hungry holiday horde, you better not come home from the store with a dinky wedge of brie. No. The December holidays call for wheels of brie, baby, and there’s no better brie to buy than Présidente. It’s super creamy with just a mildly funky rind. Plus, it looks beautiful, so you can literally just put it on a cheese board with some jam (see below) and one of those little cheese knives. You can use it to make brie en croute or, if you’re not up to dealing with puff pastry, just bake the brie and douse it in a good honey mustard (I’d go with #4 from Sporked‘s honey mustard ranking). So good and, as promised, easy as hell.

Read the full ranking of the best brie

Stonewall Kitchen Fig & Ginger Jam

Oh look, its a fancy, delicious jam to go with our brie. When it comes to easy holiday appetizers, it truly does not get easier than setting out some good cheese and a nice jar of something sweet. This Stonewall Kitchen Fig & Ginger jam is bright and zingy, sweet and tart, and perfect on its own or, following Sporked editor-in-chief Justine Sterling’s guidance, paired with a strong stilton or even a grassy chevre. When the end of December is drawing near and you still have 75 gifts to wrap, you will be very grateful for a holiday appetizer that only requires you open a lid.

Read the full ranking of the best jam for charcuterie

Trader Joe’s Party Size Mini Meatballs

“Party size” and “mini” may be oxymorons, but I’ll look the other way for this perfect holiday appetizer. Just dump a bag of these Trader Joe’s meatballs into a crockpot with BBQ sauce and, voila. Easy holiday appetizer. Alternatively, you could bake them on a cookie sheet and then serve them with a bunch dipping sauces so everyone at the soiree can find their perfect match. No matter how you serve these meatballs, everyone will love them. According to managing editor Gwynedd Stuart, they’re tender and flavorful and taste like a hamburger in a good way.

Read the full ranking of the best Trader Joe’s frozen appetizers

Sam’s Choice Cocktail Shrimp with Sauce

Now we’re really cooking. Or rather…not cooking. Either way, this is a heaping pile of food and an easy holiday appetizer. Sam’s Choice shrimp cocktail may have been our #2 pick for grocery store shrimp cocktail platters, but 38 shrimp for less than $10 is a deal you certainly cannot pass up, especially when you just bought those 75 gifts you now need to wrap. Your guests will love the tangy, bright, zingy cocktail sauce and shrimp that actually taste like shrimp. The best part? They come in a beautiful ring that’s begging to just be tossed onto your holiday appetizer table.

Read the full ranking of the best shrimp cocktail platter

Kirkland Breaded Panko Shrimp

A box of Kirkland Breaded Panko Shrimp has 40 to 50 shrimp in each box and they are massive honkers of shrimp, too, so these truly could be the only appetizer you put out this holiday season. Seriously, if you have a gathering of ten people, they’re each getting at least four of these big boys. And they’ll definitely want as many as they can get once they have a bite of these plump, fresh-tasting fried shrimp. All you have to do is heat them in the oven and put them on a decent-looking serving platter. Doesn’t get easier than that.

Read the full ranking of the best fried shrimp


About the Author

Vinz Karl

Vinz Karl is a freelance contributor to Sporked and self-proclaimed Guy Fieri superfan. He believes in breakfast supremacy and is on a never-ending mission to try every flavor of Oreo out there. Originally from the Midwest, Vinz now resides in Los Angeles, where you can find him going on hikes, checking out new restaurants, and preparing for his eventual casting on CBS's Survivor.

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  • You should really include pictures of the items you try and not just a shot of the packaging. It’s really helpful to see the actual product outside of the wrapper.

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