From simple to elegant, these fast and easy hors d’oeuvres are the perfect way to kick off any holiday party.
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Hors d’Oeuvres vs. Appetizer
You may recognize the word, but may not be exactly sure what an hors d’oeuvres (pronounced or – durvs) is and how it is different than an appetizer.
Hors d’oeuvres are small bites typically served on a tray to standing guests while they mingle. They are traditionally served at more formal occasions but really can be passed at an any event.
Appetizers, on the other hand, include any and all small dishes served before a meal, including dips and charcuterie platters. A good way to remember the difference is that that any hors d’oeuvres can be an appetizer but not every appetizer is considered an hors d’oeuvres.
Planning Hors d’Oeuvres for a Party
It is so fun to plan a party around hors d’oeuvres, because they come together quickly and are so easy to eat. There are few things I like to consider when choosing which hors d’oeuvres for entertaining:
- Amount. How many guests are coming? My rule of thumb is to serve 1 hors d’oeuvres per 3 to 4 guests.
- Variety. I love to offer a lot of options so everyone has something they love to eat.
- Serving. This is particularly important because I want items that can be easily picked up and eaten. I use a lot of small plates and toothpicks when planning what to serve.
- Effort. I want to enjoy the party, too, so I like to choose things I can make ahead of time or won’t keep me running around too much during play time.
- Tastes. I always like to have at least one dish I know my guests can and like to eat.
Quick Hors d’Oeuvres
These hors d’eouvres are easy to make and come together in a blink, leaving more time to enjoy the party. A win-win in my book.
- Cranberry Brie Bites. With only three ingredients these brie bites are so simple and can be served warm or at room temperature.
- Mini Antipasto Skewers. Skewers are perfect for guests to grab and snack on as they mingle.
- Cheese Ball Bites. I consider this the perfect bite of all the cheese ball goodness.
- Caprese Kabobs. I love these quick bites of mozzarella, basil, and tomato to counter some of the richer appetizers.
- Bruschetta Caprese. A classic hors d’oeuvres for a reason. Comes together quickly and is so refreshing.
- Kielbasa Puffs. Make these easy-to-eat sausage bites in less than 20 minutes.
- Easy Pizza Pinwheels. A lovely little bite of pepperoni-filled pastry. What’s not to love?
- Pigs in a Blanket. These mini hot dogs wrapped in fluffy crescent rolls are ready in just 20 minutes.
- Bacon Wrapped Dates. The perfect balance of sweet and savory in just 3 ingredients.
- Spinach Puffs. Baked in a muffin tin ensures these small bites are easy for the host to make and guests each get an individual bite!
- Shrimp Cocktail. Juicy shrimp and the best homemade cocktail sauce! Elegant, easy and always a crowd pleaser.
Hearty Hors d’Oeuvres
I love to plan an entire party around these more filling hors d’oeuvres. They are a little less formal and work really well for game day or a backyard get-together.
- Cheeseburger Meatballs. These little skewers make it easy to enjoy a cheeseburger in just one bite.
- Bacon wrapped asparagus. Everyone always loves these!
- Jalapeno Poppers. These bacon-wrapped poppers only need 5 ingredients and are always a hit at an party.
- Potato Skins. To make these bite-sized, make this recipe using smaller potatoes. Guaranteed to be a hit.
- Cheeseburger Sliders. To make these passable, place each one on a small plate with a napkin for serving.
- Meatball Sliders. I like to serve these placed on individual small plates to make them a little easier to eat.
- Ham and Cheese Sliders on Hawaiian Rolls. I love how the ham and cheese work so well with the sweetness of the Hawaiian rolls.
- Bacon Wrapped Smokies. Just 3 ingredients is all it takes to make an appetizer big on taste.
Easy Crockpot Hors d’Oeuvres
These may not be considered “fast” because of the cook time, but they only take minutes to prep and are so super fast to pull together for a party. Use skewers to serve them on a platter.
- Lil Smokies. A classic for a reason. I add toothpicks before serving for an easy grab-and-go bite.
- Buffalo Chicken Meatballs. Add a meatball and a little blue cheese to a toothpick for a super simple hors d’oeuvre.
- Hawaiian Meatballs. I like to place a meatball and a piece of pineapple on a toothpick when serving.
- Crockpot Meatballs. Just takes 3 ingredients to make a wow-worthy hors d’oeuvre.
Easy Hors d’Oeuvres
- 20 toothpicks
- 20 cherry tomatoes
- 20 mozzarella balls
- 20 fresh basil leaves
- Balsamic glaze
- Salt and fresh cracked pepper
- Pierce the tomato, mozzarella and basil through the toothpick. Place on a plate and then sprinkle salt and pepper on top of the kabobs. Drizzle the balsamic glaze over the skewers just before serving.
- Drizzle the balsamic glaze over the skewers just before serving.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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Full List of Fast and Easy Hors d’Oeuvres
Click on the links below for all of the easy hors d’oeuvres recipes mentioned above.