Whipped Goat Cheese Tartlets Holiday Appetizer Recipe

Keep Mouths Busy With These Holiday Appetizers

Keep Mouths Busy With These Holiday Appetizers

Hallmark would have you believe the holidays are a time to celebrate the love you feel for your family. While there is some truth to that sentiment, the reality is, the holidays are an opportunity to argue about who’s the favorite cousin and why no one’s allowed to mention Aunt Ginny’s name anymore. Basically, the holidays are about saying stuff you’ll have to apologize for on New Year’s Day. Instead of sticking your foot in your mouth this holiday season, try one of these delicious holiday appetizers instead.

16 Holiday Appetizers to Keep Everyone’s Mouths Busy

From stuffing your face with stuffed mushrooms to popping jalapeno poppers in your mouth to avoid saying the wrong thing, these holiday appetizers will keep taste buds happy and mouths too busy for drama. But first, make sure you have the right tools for the job, as in sharp knives – and no, not to be used on your family, but for preparing these eye-catching, mouth-watering recipes! 

From the chef's knife and the Santoku to the boning knife and the utility knife to the paring knife and bread knife, you'll get all of the knives needed for making these delicious recipes with an F.N. Sharp Set of Essentials!

Now onto the recipes!

Basil Pesto Bruschetta Flatbread

Recipe for bruschetta flatbread

Melty mozzarella cheese, sweet tomatoes, and homemade basil and cheese pesto all come together in this deliciously easy bruschetta flatbread recipe. Not only is this festive recipe a delicious way to impress the fam, it's also a secret weapon for slicing through those awkward moments – just one bite can save anyone from an uncomfortable conversation.

Spreadable Mexican Cheese Ball

Recipe for Mexican Cheese Ball

Cream cheese, cheddar jack cheese, pecans and pepitas plus diced green chilies, diced onion, diced jalapenos and spices all come together in this festive Mexican cheese ball recipe. And while this may sound cheesy, it’s oh so true – nothing brings the fam together like the ultimate holiday cheese ball! Just like our F.N. Sharp Knives, cheese balls have the power to bring the whole family together with cheesy jokes and moments of silence.

Sweet & Spicy Apple Salsa

Recipe for sweet and spicy apple salsa

Grab some tortilla chips and get taste buds dancing through any potential family drama with this sweet and spicy apple salsa recipe! Made with diced apple, English cucumber, onion, radish and jalapeno, plus some roughly chopped cilantro, freshly squeezed lime juice, agave and salt, this recipe is sure to keep mouths happy.

Crispy Parmesan & Veggie-Topped Focaccia Bread

Recipe for homemade veggie-topped crispy focaccia bread

When you need some time to think before you speak, bread always comes to the rescue – especially this crispy focaccia bread recipe! Not only is it loaded with fresh and dried herbs and topped with sundried tomatoes, red onions, olives and salty parmesan, it can also save you from dropping the f-bomb…”What the f-ocaccia bread, this sure is delicious!” 😜

Greek Pasta Salad with Pomegranates & Grilled Lemon

Recipe for Greek Pasta Salad

When your family holiday get-togethers involve flying plates of food, then celebrate like the Greeks with this sweet and tangy pasta salad recipe! With orzo pasta, grilled lemon wedges, pomegranate, cucumber, tomato, onion and lemon-parm, this dish is sure to be a (plate) smashing hit!

Veggie-Filled Mac ‘n’ Cheese Cups With Crispy Jalapeno Panko Topping

Recipe for veggie-filled mac and cheese cups with jalapeno panko topping

Whether they’re kids or adults, the best way to get people to say “Yes” and “Please” is with some deliciously cheesy homemade mac and cheese! With this recipe elbow macaroni, sharp cheddar cheese, panko breadcrumbs, diced cherry tomatoes, onions and jalapenos all come together to create these adorable veggie-filled mac ‘n’ cheese cups!

Easy Oven-Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip

Recipe for easy oven-baked spinach artichoke dip

Instead of trying to round up the fam for a trip to the “family neighborhood restaurant” for that popular appetizer, try dipping into your kitchen and making your own spinach artichoke dip! This easy oven-baked recipe combines fresh baby spinach, artichoke hearts, finely chopped yellow onion, cream cheese, sour cream and lots of melty cheese to serve up enough for everyone to get their fair share. 

Chicken Cordon Bleu Bites with Gruyere Sauce

Recipe for chicken cordon bleu bites with gruyere dipping sauce

It’s the holidays, and we say if you can get away with not using silverware, then go for it. You won’t need a fork or knife for this chicken cordon bleu recipe – it’s just as easy to eat as it is to make! Panko-breaded chicken breast, black forest ham and gruyere cheese are layered, baked, broiled, skewered and served alongside a bowl of perfectly spiced gruyere dipping sauce so you can just grab, dip, and enjoy! And, if you can get away with not listening to your crazy Aunt Beverly about her recent hip replacement, also recommended.

Perfectly Savory, Subtly Sweet Pumpkin Ricotta Tart

Holiday Appetizers: Pumpkin Ricotta Tart

We all know this time of year is prime time for pumpkin-spiced…well…everything…but this pumpkin ricotta tart recipe is anything but basic (and much better for you than that overplayed latte). The sweetness of the pumpkin and the bold assertiveness of the blue cheese are a match made in Heaven. If only the same could be said for your sister and her new boyfriend, the passive-aggressive yoga instructor who believes deodorant is an option.

Sausage & Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Holiday Appetizers: Stuffed Mushrooms

Have you ever eaten so much during the holidays that, come the first of the year, you have to stuff yourself into your pants? Then you’ll know exactly how these sausage stuffed mushrooms feel. But in our opinion, anytime you combine cream cheese, parmesan cheese and pork sausage, it’s kind of hard not to eat “too many”. So feel free to stuff your face guilt-free.

Caramelized Onion Dip

Holiday Appetizers: Caramelized Onion Dip

This is, without question, the best caramelized onion dip you’ll ever have! Now, it does take a bit of time to get those onions perfectly and sweetly caramelized. But the good news is, the recipe calls for some white wine, so you can sip a glass (or three) while you’re stirring those puppies around and around.

Whipped Goat Cheese, Pomegranate & Honey Tartlets

Holiday Appetizers: Whipped Goat Cheese Tartlets

You know that awkward moment when your son, home from college, introduces his new girlfriend to the family and your mother, with the dysfunctional hearing aid, loudly asks, “Why does she dress like a tartlet?” Now, instead of hemming and hawing with an answer, you can simply exclaim, “Did someone say tartlet?” then grab a tray of these whipped goat cheese tartlets to pass around.

Homemade Oven-Baked Jalapeno Poppers

Recipe for homemade oven-baked jalapeno poppers

Who says the only thing spicy thing in your house during the holidays has to be the conversation with your mother-in-law about whether or not her hair color looks legit? Make smiling and nodding much easier by popping one of these homemade jalapeño poppers into your mouth. The spice will help make your reaction appear more legit as you bring your hand up to your mouth to “gush over how great it looks” while politely avoiding talking with your mouth full.

By the way, if you’d like to avoid this conversation altogether, do NOT spike the eggnog. Lesson learned.

Spanakopita Muffin Cups

Recipe for Spanakopita Muffin Cups

Another smashing Greek recipe, these spanakopita muffin cups not only taste much better than a foot in your mouth, they’re also light enough to save you from every awkward conversation. Made with baby spinach, ricotta, feta cheese, red onion, fresh dill and frozen puff pastry shells, this recipe makes healthy holiday eating (and conversations) easier.

Chicken & Veggie Potstickers With Spicy Sesame Dipping Sauce

Holiday Appetizers: Veggie Chicken Potstickers

If you’re set on avoiding the political talk this year, then add these chicken and veggie potstickers to your menu. Not only will this recipe keep you in the kitchen (and out of the line of fire) for at least a good two and a half hours, it will also keep everyone’s mouths nice and busy so they don’t end up saying things that get tumblers of booze thrown at them. Or is that not every family?

Air Fryer Eggplant Fries With Marinara Dipping Sauce

Recipe for air fryer eggplant fries with homemade marinara sauce

When you come from an Italian family, a plateful of fried eggplant can be used as a bribe with or without the melty cheese and marinara sauce. This recipe for air-fried eggplant fries with homemade marinara dipping sauce is no different. Just chop up some eggplant into sticks, coat them in some panko breadcrumbs mixed with Italian herbs and cheese, fire up the air fryer and serve up a crispy, crunchy, herby, cheesy, addictive appetizer that will have the fam lining up to do you favors.

And there you have it – 16 holiday appetizer ideas for keeping everyone’s mouths busy! So this holiday season, when you find yourself on the verge of telling one of your family members what you really think, quickly insert one of these into your mouth instead of your foot. It will no doubt taste better and will save you from that awkward apology later.

P.S. Need more holiday recipe ideas? Check out this prime recipe for that prime feast – a prime rib crusted with our two favorite things (coffee and bourbon ☕️ 🥃 😜). And don't forget dessert – this poached pear gingerbread and this cranberry apple galette are both sure to please 😋

Happy Holidays from F.N. Sharp!