It’s Almost Impossible To Screw Up These Easy Holiday Appetizers


Not all of us are great chefs. Or competent chefs. Or even passable chefs. And this lack of cooking prowess can make entertaining difficult around the holidays. I mean, you can only present salsa out of a jar and a bowl of chips so many times before people start to say, “Can’t you cook anything?”

But the parties you host this holiday season don’t need to be the salsa-in-a-jar variety. They can be far more fun — stylish even — with you pouring martinis and laughing, surrounded by admirers while passing hot apps. Yes, they can. Because we’re going to tell you about the super easy appetizers out there that even you can make for your holiday parties. These even seem vaguely impressive.

Hear that? Vaguely impressive! That could be you, kid.

Allison’s Grandma’s Meatballs

I make these delicious meatballs from an old family recipe passed down from my grandmother. At family events, everyone panics if the meatballs aren’t immediately on the table. “Wait,” we all start to whisper, “who was making Grandma’s meatballs?” Then we sit in complete dread, shaking until a cousin or an aunt shows up with a crock pot filled with meatballs.

The second the meatballs are finally served, we eat 100 of them. Each. So I guess this recipe makes about 3000-4000 meatballs? Feels like a conservative estimate. I bring them to events when I want to seem impressive. And it works. People rave about them and they’re always the first thing to run out at any party. Honestly, I can’t explain it. It’s grape jelly and Heinz Chili Sauce. It sounds bad. But it’s not. It’s delicious and you’ll just have to take my word on this until you make them. They’re very good meatballs.


  • 1/2 jar Grape Jelly
  • 1 full jar Heinz Chili Sauce
  • A bunch of frozen meatballs

Directions: Put the meatballs in a crockpot. Or like a regular pot, I guess. And cook them for an amount of time until the meatballs are warm and the sauce is melted. I guess it takes a couple of hours? Or an hour. Or four hours. Hard to say. I don’t like looking at clocks. It’ll be good, I’m sure. You literally can’t screw this up.

Brie, apricot jam, and crackers

Brie is delicious. Especially with sweet things on it like honey or jam. Pair it with crackers. People like that, they think you’ve made an effort. I don’t know why. It’s honestly less work than cutting up other cheeses. I mean, you’re making them cut it themselves like peasants, but whatever.



  • A thingie of brie. A chunk? A circle? I guess get a circle of brie.
  • Jams. Multiple kinds, but I love apricot. You can buy it at Whole Foods while sneaking samples from the hot bar.
  • Crackers

Directions: Turn on the oven. The internet said you should put at 350 degrees. I had to look it up and it’s only one direction. Feels sad. Anyway, put the brie in and let it cook until it seems oozy. But not too oozy. Seven-ish minutes? Take it out of the oven. Put it on something wooden. Spread the jam on top. Put out crackers. Provide a knife!


“This is amazing!” your guests will say. What are we at the Olive Garden?”

“No,” you’ll say. “You’re still in my home. I don’t know why you’d think that? It could be that you just ate 60 brushetta.”


  • A tomato
  • Some Basil
  • A couple of cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • French bread

Directions: Chop up the tomato into little squares. Is that dicing? Dice the tomato. Chop the garlic finely, chop up the basil! Put all that in a bowl. Throw in a hearty splash of olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Slice up the french bread and lightly toast it. Throw a bunch on each slice of bread and top with some parmesan. Some people drizzle balsamic vinegar on that. How fancy!

Cheesy, pull-apart, garlic bread

This is super good to have ready to throw in the oven for full impact when the most amount of people are there. It’s amazing when it’s warm, right from the oven, and sort of blah otherwise. But if you bring it out at the optimal time…there won’t be any left to get cold.


  • 1 loaf of sourdough bread
  • About a cup of mozzarella cheese
  • A few cloves of garlic
  • Butter
  • Parsley
  • Salt

Directions: In a small saucepan cook the butter until melted and then put in chopped garlic and parsley. Stir until it feels cooked-ish but not burned-ish and smells delicious and garlicky. Add a little salt. Pour into all the crevices between the slices of bread evenly. Then add the mozzarella into the crevices too! As much as you want. It’s cheese! Wrap bread in tin foil and cook for about 15 minutes.

Oh, the temp? 350? Feels fine.

Bacon wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese

Seriously, these are such a crowd pleaser that it’s almost uncomfortable how easy they are when people are ooo-ing and ahhh-ing and saying “This is the best thing I’ve ever tasted.” Like you want to soak up the compliments but also, you want to tell them they deserve more than this. Dream bigger guys. Dream bigger.


  • Bacon (about 1/3-half a piece per date).
  • Dates
  • Goat cheese
  • Honey

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oooo! I finally remembered to say that first! This is going to be our best thing yet. Okay, so open up your dates, take the pits out and fill them with goat cheese. Close them back up, they’re squishy. Did you wash your hands first? Well, too late now. Wrap them with bacon. Stick on a pan and put in the oven and bake for 10-15ish minutes, until the bacon is at your level of crispiness. Remove. Drizzle just a tiny bit of honey (too much will be too sweet. Just a tiny bit). Voila!

Homemade Guacamole

Every human should be able to make their own guacamole. It’s important. Even if you never serve it. Just know. YOU SHOULD KNOW THIS.


  • Avocados
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • A tomato
  • A lime
  • Cilantro
  • Salt

Directions: I hope you’re not one of those people for which cilantro tastes like soap. That makes me so sad, you know? Okay, mush up the avocado. I’m not going to tell you to take the seed out to do so because if you don’t know that then I can’t help you. Put as much chopped garlic and onion in as would be delicious to you. Put in that diced tomato! Mix in a lot of cilantro. Now squeeze like 1-2 lime slices in. Mix. Taste it. Did you put too much lime juice in? Uh Oh, you’ve ruined it. JUST KIDDING YOU CAN’T RUIN IT — YOU CAN JUST ADD A LITTLE MORE AVOCADO. Cool. Okay, now salt to taste. I add a lot of salt, but I feel like you can figure that out solo.

Mini Crustless Quiche

I call these, “I have eggs and some random meats and or veggies”. And that’ll do friendo, that’ll do.


  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Veggies and meats (various)


Whisk up some eggs in a bowl with like a dash of milk — like you’re making scrambled eggs. Add a little salt and pepper. Now add some other stuff. Sausage and green pepper! Ham and cheddar cheese! Tomato, spinach, and feta! Literally whatever you want or have — pick flavors you’ve seen on the brunch menu. It’ll be great. Grab a cupcake pan and grease it up with butter. Pour the egg mixture into the little cupcake things. Put in the oven which, remember, I told you to put at 375? No, don’t look back. Trust me. I did, a few lines ago.

Cook for about 15 minutes but do the old fork in trick and make sure it comes out clean before pulling out.

Pizza Bread

This is another favorite in my family around the holidays. Because it’s pizza bread. I feel like I shouldn’t have to sell you on this. Your guests will love it. And unlike the cheesy bread, it’s fine cold. Nay, GREAT cold.

Ugh, you know what. My cousin always makes this but she’s actually good at things and I just looked up the recipe because I’ve never personally done it. And, I don’t know. It seems like more work than we can handle. We could just ORDER a pizza. Oh, OR we could all have my cousin make it! That’s the one.

Ask Allison’s cousin to bring. Happy entertaining!