Hosting during the holidays can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! Simplify your entertaining this season with easy party food recipes that are low-effort and still completely delicious.
Happy Holidays, everyone! How was your Thanksgiving??? We hosted 15 people at our house for Thanksgiving dinner, and I’m happy to report that the food was delicious and being in the company of people I love was even better.
We got a new Christmas tree on Black Friday (thanks to my wonderful husband who braved the crowds at Home Depot to get their doorbuster deal…something we almost NEVER do). We couldn’t wait to open it up and cover it with ornaments. Since this is our first Christmas in this house, we’re still trying to figure out exactly how to decorate the space, but the tree looks lovely, doesn’t it?
On top of decking our halls, we got our first SNOW of the year over the weekend, and my boys happily built a snowman in the backyard right after breakfast. I don’t even like snow, but there is something about the first snow of the year that even I can’t resist.
So, needless to say, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas around here.
It really is the most wonderful time of the year…and yet, the holiday season can be stressful and exhausting, too. I’m trying to make a conscious choice to simplify and enjoy the season more instead of getting wrapped up in all the “stuff” I sometimes think I need to do, but really isn’t necessary.
For me, that means buying fewer gifts and finishing my shopping early.
It means being deliberate about which seasonal traditions we decide to continue and which we let go.
It also means being strategic about how much effort I put into the activities I do…like entertaining. We tend to do a lot of hosting friends and family around the holidays, which I love, but it’s easy to get so wrapped up in all the details of creating a beautiful tablescape and Pinterest-perfect food that I forget to actually enjoy the evening.
So, as a recovering perfectionist (and as a busy mom who really doesn’t have time to spray paint pinecones that that baby will just try to eat anyway), I’m on a quest this year to SIMPLIFY.
Last week, I sent out an all-call to some of my online friends for their FAVORITE easy party food recipes.
I wanted simple dips, finger foods, and other simple snackables that can be made in less than 30 minutes with easy-to-find ingredients and will please both kids and adults. Kind of a tall order, I know, but my internet peeps came through! Their top picks for easy party food recipes are below.
Hopefully, some of these will find their way onto your holiday table–several have already appeared on mine. Here’s to spending less time slaving away in the kitchen and more time enjoying the holidays with those we love.
Easy party food recipes for the holiday season
Festive Holiday Wreath Dinner Rolls – I adore the way these simple, from-frozen-dough rolls are displayed.
Boursin Cheese Spread – I love creamy, flavorful Boursin cheese, so this copycat recipe is a winner in my book. (Photo credit: Beyond the Chicken Coop)
Cheddar Bacon Cheese Ball – I had never made a cheese ball before Thanksgiving this year, but they are SO easy and delicious! It’s going to be my go-to appetizer from now on.
Mini Cheese Balls on a Stick (Pictured below. Photo credit: Flavour and Savour) Everything is better in miniature form, right?
Italian Seasoned Pretzels – A great little snack mix to munch on at an open-house style party.
Parmesan Asparagus Pastry Twists – These look so fancy, but with pre-made puff pastry dough, they are super simple.
Garlic Bread Bites…with make ahead instructions! (Pictured below. Photo credit: Sustainable Cooks)
Savory Main Dishes
Meatballs are a great little food to serve at a party. They can be made easily in bulk, they keep warm for hours in a slow cooker or Instant Pot, and they are a nice hearty menu item to balance out all the sweets. Here are three options that are guaranteed to be delicious:
Cranberry Meatballs – Cranberry is perfectly festive for this time of year, and these little beauties look delicious!
Sweet and Sour Meatballs – This variety requires only 3 ingredients! Easy-peasy!
Spicy Orange Marmalade Meatballs (Pictured below. Photo credit: Mighty Mrs.)
If meatballs aren’t your thing, here are a few other options for main dishes that are perfect for parties.
Rosemary White Bean Spinach Artichoke Dip – Spinach artichoke dip is a classic, but this one takes it to the next level with some unconventional flavor power…plus, she serves it with my FAVORITE chips ever (Pictured below. Photo credit: Good Life Eats)
Cranberry Goat Cheese Appetizer Doesn’t this look ridiculously delicious? Psss…it only takes 10 minutes to make.(Photo credit: Joy Food Sunshine)
Baked Brie with Honey – So simple and classy.
Cranberry Pecan Cream Cheese Dip…from one of my VERY favorite food bloggers: Mel. Seriously, this woman never steers me wrong.
Five Minute Fudge – Two ingredients, five minutes, and a microwave. Don’t let the simplicity fool you…these beauties are a little bite of heaven.
Churro Almonds …Churros are always a good idea. (Photo credit: Home and Plate)
Super Easy Maple Pecans – Candied nuts are probably one of my favorite smells in the world. Probably because it reminds me of a walking through Central Park on a rainy day in New York City.
Easy Fruit Bruchetta – They had me at berries and carbs. Mmm.
No Bake Cheesecake Bites – I love cheesecake…’nough said.
Winter Wonderland Snack Mix – I love that this snack mix can be made in bulk ahead of time and be placed in bowls around the room for guests to snatch a handful from time to time.
Alright, now you’re ready to plan a party! And while you’re recovering from the eye candy above, share with me YOUR favorite easy-peasy party recipes in the comments below!