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5 Make-ahead cocktail party appetizers

The holidays are an exciting and busy time. Save yourself some precious minutes without sacrificing any taste with these five delicious cocktail appetizers you can make before the guests arrive.

Honey tomato bruschetta with ricotta cheese

Honey-tomato bruschetta with ricotta cheese appetizer |

Image source: Sweet and Saucy

A delightful recipe and favored by many, this appetizer can be prepared up to two days before your party. Made using cherry or grape tomatoes, honey, olive oil, ricotta and a few other key ingredients, this is not only a delicious dish, it’s easy as well. Roast your tomatoes ahead of time and add to broiled baguettes before your shindig.

Serves 6

Prep: 20 minutes | Total time: 1 hour, 45 minutes


  • 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons clover honey
  • 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 12 baguette slices, cut 1/2-inch thick on the bias
  • 1 (8 ounce) cup fresh ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon buckwheat or chestnut honey
  • 6 basil leaves, thinly sliced or torn

Click over to Sweet and Saucy’s blog for directions on how to prep this yummy recipe!

Pimento beer cheese pie bites

Pimento beer cheese pie bites appetizer |

Image source: Evil Shenanigans

In search of something different to bring to this year’s party? Look no further than these scrumptious pimento beer cheese pie bites. Made with a few varieties of cheese, beer and mouthwatering butter, these delectable treats are bound to be gone shortly after the festivities begin. With the ability to freeze before baking, these pies can be made a few days before the party starts.

Serves 12

Prep time: 1 hour | Cook time: 15 minutes


For the pimento cheese:

  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (I prefer Duke’s)
  • 2 tablespoons lager beer
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar
  • 1/2 cup shredded mild cheddar
  • 1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained well

For the pastry

  • 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) butter, cubed and chilled
  • 6-8 tablespoons beer — lager, ale or bock preferred
  • 1 egg, beaten

Head over to Evil Shenanigan’s blog for instructions on how to make these appetizing pimento beer cheese pie bites.

Cranberry pinwheels

A holiday treat that can be served anytime of the year, cranberry pinwheels are a simple appetizer to prepare. Deliciously concocted using tortillas, cranberries, cream and feta cheese, your guests will rave over this unique and delectable taste. It takes only a short time to put these together, so you can prepare this appetizer up to 24 hours before party time.

Serves 10

Prep: 20 minutes | Total time: 20 minutes


  • 8 ounces of whipped cream cheese
  • 8 ounces of feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup of green onion, diced
  • 6 ounces of dried cranberries
  • 4 10-inch flour tortillas

Visit Kathy Maister’s Start Cooking for prep instructions.

Spinach balls

Spinach balls appetizer |

Image source: Mom Advice

An appetizer that promises to be liked by even spinach haters, these balls are nearly effortless to prepare. Made using simple ingredients that you may have hanging around your kitchen, spinach balls are an easy and inexpensive go-to appetizer. And although they are best served hot, you can make them ahead of time and freeze until the party starts.

Serves 8

Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time:  7-15 minutes


  • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen spinach
  • 1 package chicken-flavored stuffing mix
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • Salt and pepper to taste

See Mom Advice’s directions on how to prepare these scrumptious spinach balls for your party.

Holiday bacon appetizers

Holiday bacon appetizer |

Image source: The Pioneer Woman

This dish is a crowd-pleaser. If you bring these holiday bacon appetizers to the party, you’ll be responsible for the appetizers at every get-together in the future. Made with club crackers, you have the option to sprinkle these buttery beauties with Parmesan or brown sugar. Make ahead of time and freeze up until party time. Throw in the oven for 10 minutes, and serve warm and deliciously.

Serves: 36

Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 2 hours


  • 1 package club crackers
  • 1 pound thin-sliced bacon (or more, depending on the number of crackers)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Optional alternative: Brown sugar instead of Parmesan cheese

Click over to The Pioneer Woman for instructions on holiday bacon appetizers and other delightful recipes.

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