Being an introvert, I have a love-hate relationship with entertaining. I do enjoy having some friends and family over now and then but what I don’t enjoy is making such a big fuss that then I can’t enjoy spending time with them. That’s why when I have a party, I really like to serve foods that are simple or even make-ahead. That’s why I keep this list of super simple party appetizers on hand.
Whether you’re entertaining for the holidays or just having a casual get-together for no real reason at all, these ideas will give you the chance to serve something delicious AND enjoy your guests’ company too!
SUPER SIMPLE PARTY APPETIZERS
1. Charcuterie board – Back in the day, these were just known as cheese or deli trays. Sure, the charcuterie boards you see on Pinterest may look elaborate, but they don’t have to be. Grab a rustic wooden cutting board. Buy some shaved deli meat (With shaved, you can simply throw them on the board and they’ll look great! No fuss.). Get some cheeses – don’t even bother to cut it up. Just put hunks of it on the board with some cheese knives. Add some soft cheese too. Just spread a thick layer of goat cheese on the board. Drizzle with some balsamic vinegar and honey. Add some fresh herbs and/or nuts if you want. Add some fruit if you want. Grapes are a good option because they don’t require peeling or slicing. Don’t forget some crackers or baguettes.
2, Crostini with toppings – Okay, if you’re ready to take it a step further, you could make a variety of crostini. Slice some baguettes and toast the slices in your oven. Now, top with a variety of meats, cheese, fruits, and vegetables. Some yummy options: sliced pear, goat cheese, and honey; ricotta, fresh basil leaves, and red pepper flakes; Brie and a spoonful of whole berry cranberry sauce; ricotta, sun-dried tomatoes, a tiny drizzle of olive oil, and some balsamic vinegar; mashed white beans mixed with olive oil and rosemary; roast beef, horseradish, and arugula; salami, ricotta, and figs.
3. Cream cheeses – These cream cheeses took me no more than 5 minutes to make and they were a huge hit! It’s as easy as half a brick of cream cheese and some simple toppings. Add pretzels, crackers, baguettes, and so on as your dippers.
4. Brie in puff pastry – Buy some frozen puff pastry, a wheel of Brie, some sort of jam or jelly, and some nuts (if desired). You can assemble this in 5-10 minutes and end up with a luxurious warm appetizer!
5. Slow cooker spinach artichoke dip – Your slow cooker is always a great resource when it comes to no-fuss cooking! This spinach artichoke dip is a classic and a favorite at any party!
6. Slow Cooker Little Smokies – Another easy slow cooker recipe. These honey garlic Little Smokies are scrumptious!
7. Slow Cooker Meatballs – Grape jelly slow cooker meatballs are a classic! Use frozen meatballs to take all the work out of it.
8. Roasted chickpeas – Throw chickpeas on a baking sheet and roast in the oven. Add seasoning or leave plain. Yummy and so easy!
9. Stuffed dates – Okay, these take a tiny bit more work than some of the other options but they disappeared in no time at the last party I attended.
10. Caprese skewers – Again, a little more work because you’re threading things onto mini skewers but it goes quickly! Other than the skewering of food, there’s hardly any other prep to be done!
11. Mini cheese balls on a stick – What’s fun about this is that you can make a variety of them to suit different tastes. Even so, the most difficult thing about these mini cheese balls on a stick (I used pretzel sticks!) is remembering to take the cream cheese out of the fridge so it can soften a bit first.
12. Gingerbread dessert dip – The prep time on this dessert dip is 4 minutes. If you don’t want gingerbread, check out the other options (including Key Lime Dip – yum!) on her site. Add some cookies and dip away!
13. Baked mac and cheese bites – If you have leftover mac and cheese, these are really simple to make and always a hit. Serve with some flavored ketchup (chipotle is a good option) or marinara sauce.
14. Savory monkey bread – Just use some refrigerated biscuit dough and any herb and cheese combination you’d like. You essentially just throw it all together and bake!
The holidays and holiday entertaining don’t have to be complicated. Simplify the fussy details and make more time for family and fun!
You can find more ideas for simplifying Christmas here.