Easy Appetizers for Hassle Free Holiday Entertaining

The holidays are an amazing time for catching up, which in my family means EATING NON-STOP! I’ve picked up hosting duties over the past few years, and found that you can really break the bank going crazy over feeding your guests. Luckily, fellow bloggers and recipe sites have been my savior in finding quick, cheap and delicious recipes.  Best of all, I find recipes with food I usually already have in my kitchen.  All of these cost less than $10 and less than an hour (and in some case just mere minutes) to make servings that will easily feed at least eight. SPOILER ALERT: if you ever come to our house, these will likely be on the menu!

Deep Fried Salmon Fritters (Estimated cost $3; Estimated time: 20 min) AJ is a pro at making these since he’s been making them since college. They’re crispy on the outside, flavorful on the inside and are great to dip in vinegar (we like our Filipino version, Datu Puti), or any other sauce that pairs with fish.  Since we’ve been trying to cut back on our sugar and white flour intake, AJ has since substituted the flour with quick oats, making them even crispier and better for you!

salmon fritters

Hummus Crostini (Estimated cost: $6; Estimated time: 20 min) I discovered this recipe after hosting a cocktail hour where I bought four tubs of hummus, only to have three more guests bring hummus as well.  I’ve only ever used hummus as a dip and was in desperate need of other yummy ways to use all of it before it went bad. It is actually impossible to mess this up.  If you can use a toaster oven and a butter knife, you are golden. I got lucky the first time I made this, and found a deal at Publix for buy one get one free jars of olives, so my version came out even cheaper.  If you don’t like olives, diced tomatoes are great, too!  I use a lime infused olive oil I got from Napa to give an extra zest.

hummus crostini

Deviled Eggs (Estimated cost: $3; Estimated time: 30 minutes) A classic I didn’t appreciate until moving to the South, and now I can’t get enough of them!  They’re great for serving your vegetarian guests in a pinch, and they are so economical to make.  I like to use Japanese mayo and pickle juice instead of regular mayo and vinegar; they make for a creamier and more flavorful filling.  To save time, I like to boil the eggs the night before so they’re cool and easier to peel.

deviled eggs

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites (Estimated cost: $8; Estimated time: 50 minutes) I’m personally not a fan of Paula Deen, but I can’t deny how delicious and easy these little bite sized pieces of heaven are.  Whenever I’ve made them, there’s never a bite left! They also serve as a great main course for everyday meals.  We always have a pack of chicken breasts in our freezer, so they’re great to impress even unexpected guests in a flash. Tip: Make sure that whatever you are baking them in has an edge so that the oil doesn’t make a mess out of  your oven.chicken bacon wraps

Raspberry Brie Crackers (Estimated cost: $9; Estimated time: 5 min) This is the most expensive of the appetizers on this list, but are SO worth it! They offer a different flavor profile that complements the other dishes, and all you need is a microwave!  I don’t like blueberry jam as much, and am unfortunately allergic to strawberries, so raspberry has been my go to!  If you want to make it super easy for your guests (and to control portions), make each cracker ahead of time.  We’ve been able to find brie shaped in long logs, made for putting on crackers.  They are a surefire hit!

Cracker-Jam-Brie

We’d love to hear some of your quick and easy go-to recipes for the holidays!

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