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13 Festive Christmas Appetizers You Can Prep In Advance

The real gift this season is not staying in the kitchen all night.

I love Christmas snacks. I love making festive appetizers for movie nights, to take to holiday gatherings, and to share with friends when they come over for Christmas. But what I do not like is being stuck in the kitchen when all the fun is starting. I’m a big believer in make-ahead recipes, and these make-ahead Christmas appetizers might be my absolute favorites. From seasonal-shaped snacks and apps to hearty dips that will last all the way through your Christmas movie marathon, there’s a perfect holiday appetizer here for you to prep in advance.

And don’t worry, a bunch of these can be prepped in advance and travel well. So if your mother-in-law has asked you to bring a Christmas appetizer or you want to take something delicious to the class holiday party, these are just great. I also appreciate that all of these make-ahead Christmas appetizers can easily be doubled or tripled and are pretty budget-friendly dishes. One more bonus? The right combination of these make-ahead holiday apps can be heavy enough to forgo making an actual meal. There’s truly nothing I love more than a dinner of appetizers, and having these all be make-ahead versions you can prep in advance? It’s the best of all the worlds. So happy dip season to all who celebrate — it’s time to make room in the fridge.


Hummus Wreath

Anything wreath-shaped is festive enough, but this easy hummus wreath is so perfect with the tomatoes and parsley. Just pull the whole thing together and wait to add the crackers until everyone arrives. So fun, and this particular recipe from Yummly makes quite a large wreath.


Christmas Wreath Antipasto Skewers

Another wreath, I know, but you can always have more than one on the appetizer table, and I can’t get over how perfect this antipasto skewer wreath is. It’s perfect for people to grab and enjoy, and you can prep it all in advance and have it sitting in the fridge.


Snowman Cheese Ball

Cheese balls are a holiday party classic for a reason, and I’m 100% obsessed with this snowman cheese ball recipe featured on Yummly. With just six ingredients, it takes no time at all to make, and you can prep the actual cheese mixture in advance and then just form it into the snowman right before the party starts. So perfect.


Pull-Apart Christmas Tree Pizza Bites

Everyone loves a pizza bite, and this pull-apart Christmas tree full of pizza bites is so fun. You’ll want to serve these warm, but you can roll the dough and veggies together and prep everything up until the sauce stage in advance. Then when you’re ready to bake, throw the sauce on and toss them in the oven. Super easy and so fun in a Christmas tree shape.


Slow-Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip

Anything that goes in the slow cooker is a win, but this slow cooker spinach artichoke dip from Gimme Some Oven is especially good. Toss it all in and set it to cook and stay warm just as guests arrive or your movie night starts — whatever holiday event is happening. This one also travels well if you want to cook it, then take it to someone’s house and just rewarm right there in the slow cooker.


Holiday Cheese Board

Charcuterie boards are great, but I just love a good old-fashioned cheese board. This holiday cheese board recipe from Damn Delicious is perfect and so easy to make. Look how festive and pretty it is!


Cheesy Sweet Potato Bites

You’ve probably got tons of sweet potatoes from all of the fall treats and dishes, so put them to good use with this recipe for cheesy sweet potato bites from Half-Baked Harvest. These can be totally made ahead and then just reheated, and they are perfectly crispy, savory, and delicious.


Bite-Sized Caprese

Nobody has time for huge tomato slices, but we do have time for these bite-sized caprese appetizers featured on Yummly. So good, so perfect for a one-handed snack, and a breeze to put together hours before the party starts.


Bacon-Wrapped Dates With Goat Cheese

How fancy do these sound? While Pinch of Yum’s bacon wrapped dates with goat cheese aren’t exactly make-ahead in that you can keep them in the fridge until go-time (although you could, but these are really good warm), you can go ahead and fill the dates and get them all prepped and then just toss them in the oven right before the party starts.


Creamy Sausage Cheese Dip

A big hearty dip full of sausage and cheese? Yes please! Prep this recipe from A Spicy Perspective in advance and just pour it into the bowl when you’re ready. This one’s great warm, but also really yummy at room temperature.


Texas Caviar

My favorite thing about a dip is that it’s really just a bunch of ingredients someone once put together and it turned out delicious. That’s exactly how I feel about this Texas caviar dip from A Spicy Perspective. Each bite is swoon-worthy, and you can easily prep the whole thing in advance and let it get all marinated and delicious in the fridge.


Boozy Brie Appetizer

Brie is always a good holiday choice, and this boozy brie appetizer featured on Yummly is no different. You’ll want the brie warm when it’s time to serve, so just mix up the topping and get it all ready, then dump it on the brie and throw it in the oven when it’s time to eat.


Hot Bacon & Pimento Cheese Dip

One more hot and heavy dip — this bacon and pimento cheese dip featured on Yummly. So ooey gooey and delicious, it’s full of all your favorite savory flavors and can be totally prepped beforehand and then tossed in the oven when it’s time.

Don’t stress yourself out over holiday snacks — these make-ahead Christmas appetizers are the best way to get a festive dish on the table and actually enjoy the company.