Whether you’re entertaining numerous guests at your own holiday party, or are in charge of bringing a few appetisers to a friend or family member’s party, settling on what food you’re going to make for guests can be a bit of a headache. Thankfully, entertaining at Christmas doesn’t have to be as difficult as it’s made out to be, as long as you have a few simple and quick recipes that are guaranteed to please everyone. Whether you’re feeding meat lovers, vegetarians, or healthy eaters, we have something suitable for everyone. And despite how easy these recipes are, if you master them, they can still be as show stopping as more difficult dishes and your guests will likely be nagging you for the recipes. Here, we’ve compiled 10 easy Christmas party food ideas for your festive celebration this year.
1. Tree shaped cheese platter
With no cooking involved, this appetiser requires just a short amount of time to prepare. Simply cut cheeses of your choice into small triangles sitting on a breadstick which pokes out at the bottom to create the tree stump. Decorate the tree with a sprinkle of herbs: dill works great with cheese, and some finely chopped tomatoes or pomegranates to act as ornaments. This is the perfect way to transform your standard cheese platter into a work of Christmas art! If you want to go a step further, you could create another platter with crackers, grapes and herbs, placing them in a large circular shape to resemble the shape of a Christmas wreath.
2. Caprese Santa skewers
Caprese salad is a simple and delicious Italian salad traditionally made with mozzarella, tomatoes and sweet basil, seasoned with salt and olive oil. To make into appetizers and give it a festive spin, you can make Caprese Santa skewers. Slice a cherry tomato with one larger half to be used as the body and the smaller top half as the hat. Spike the bottom half first moving all the way down, then spike a piece of bocconcini cheese, followed by the top half of the tomato. Finish off by spiking a piece of sweet basil on top, and use black sesame seeds on the bocconcini to create Santa’s eyes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil over, and watch your guests devour these no matter how cute they look.
3. Charred brussels sprouts
These hearty veggies are perfect for vegetarians, vegans, and meat-eaters alike! To char the brussels sprouts, first boil them for around 5 minutes and then using olive oil and garlic fry them until they are golden but not burnt. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, chilli flakes, some more olive oil and lemon juice and cook for a few more minutes until you can toss to serve. If using as appetizers, it might be useful to cut the brussels sprouts in half and serve with a side of toothpicks to make them even easier to munch down.
4. Baked camembert
Baked camembert is super easy to make and will definitely impress the cheese-lovers at a party. This cheesy, gooey goodness is made by baking the camembert cheese in the oven in the wooden box it comes in (remembering to remove any plastic packaging). Score a crosshatch pattern on the top of the cheese before baking at 180 degrees celsius, to allow air to escape while cooking. Season with salt, pepper, and some olive oil or honey to add a hint of sweetness. Bake for no more than 15 minutes, as if you overcook this the cheese will actually harden back up. Sprinkle with herbs like rosemary and thyme and chilli flakes for some spice, and serve with crispy bread to share. This fool-proof recipe is the perfect Christmas party food to share and bring everyone together.
5. Olive cheese balls
This tasty four-ingredient recipe is a party favourite, so what better time to bring it out than at Christmas? The four ingredients you will need are all-purpose flour, cheddar cheese, melted margarine and pimiento-stuffed olives drained and roughly dried. The flour, cheese and margarine will create the batter, molding about one teaspoon of dough around each olive. Refrigerate the olives covered with batter for at least an hour, before continuing to baking them at 200 degrees celsius for around 15 minutes or until golden brown. The beauty of these appetizers is that you can prepare them ahead of time and bake when ready, just remember not to refrigerate them for longer than 24 hours.
6. Jacket potatoes
Jacket potatoes are an undeniable fan-favourite year-round so they make a great addition to the Christmas spread. The fluffy interior of the potato and crispy skin really make it, but the choice of fillings is also very important. If you know your guest’s food preferences you can cater to their taste buds by using anything from cheese, bacon and spring onion, or avocado, tomato and cottage cheese; it’s hard to go wrong with whatever unique combination you come up with it.
7. Smoked salmon
Smoked salmon appetizers are simple to make with supermarket ingredients, but the combination of ingredients and small bites add a flavoursome wow factor to Christmas occasions. Smoked salmon, cream cheese, sliced brown bread, fresh dill, chives and black pepper is all you need to create these delectable bites. You could even get more festive by cutting the bread using Christmas shaped cookie cutters like stars or snowflakes.
8. Jelly in a jar
Jelly is something everyone knows how to make, so why not dress it up and make it into a Christmas dessert? These jelly jars are suited to smaller gatherings, as you will probably need to prepare one jar per guest. Simply set your jelly, cover with cream or ice cream and top with berries, sprinkles or chocolate. To make your jars look a little more fancy, tie festive ribbon around the top or write each of your guest’s names in script on the jar with a glass marker. The sentimental touch will be as delightful as the taste.
Pavlova is an Australian staple at Christmas celebrations. If you’re not interested or don’t have the time to make your own meringue base, you will find an abundance of pre-made bases at the supermarket during Christmas time. Simply whip cream to spread on the top, and finish with all your favourite fruits like strawberries, blueberries, kiwi fruit and passionfruit. To please your guests even more, crumble chocolate flakes on top for extra deliciousness.
10. Marshmallow snowmen
These super cute desserts are also super easy to make! With no baking required, all you’ll need to do is assemble these snowmen and decorate across a platter. Simply use toothpicks to hold three marshmallows together and decorate from there, using icing to create facial features, buttons, and a scarf if you want to get fancy, and pretzel sticks for arms and legs. No two snowmen will look exactly the same, which is what makes these desserts so fun and unique. They are even more perfect if party guests are drinking hot chocolates, where they can float their snowman in the mug for that mouth-watering melted marshmallow texture. The best part? You will be able to whip up plenty of these on demand in minutes!
Christmas party food ideas don’t need to be elaborate. Sometimes keeping it simple is the best way to have happy guests leaving on full stomachs, while also ensuring you don’t miss the celebrations from spending all of your time preparing food in the kitchen.