Like a champagne cork popping on New Year’s Eve, we’re all set to bust out and celebrate the 2021 holiday season like never before. It’s been a while since many of us have truly celebrated together without Zoom, so you’re not alone if you feel overwhelmed by the idea of planning and party prep. Simple and cheesy holiday appetizers are the key to showing up, showing off, and impressing your friends and family with more than just your Santa hat and holiday playlist this year. Let’s start with the basics and end with a few original Cello cheese creations to get you inspired.
What is the Best Appetizer to Serve During the Holidays?
The answer: lean into your unique entertaining style and choose accordingly.
Having great recipes for festive holiday appetizers at your fingertips will make your time celebrating even more merry and bright, but how do you even begin to decide what to make? While many recipes can fit the theme of a holiday celebration, finding ones that best express your unique entertaining style will make your parties more fun (and your friends and family more in awe).
When you understand and embrace your specific party style, you will always be ready to entertain—whether it’s an impromptu get-together or a fancy festive holiday appetizer soiree. Not sure which party hat you wear as an entertainer? Keep reading for a few examples and recipe inspiration to get the creativity flowing.
If you can’t stop listening to Frank Sinatra Christmas tunes, are overjoyed to decorate your tree with ornaments from your childhood, and have a strong stance on white versus multi-colored lights—chances are you are a holiday traditionalist. You may want to consider keeping the tradition going with your holiday entertaining, too. Holiday appetizers and parties that appeal most to you are the ones that remind you of the good ole’ days.
Buttery biscuits and rolls are a traditional staple on holiday table spreads. Put a spin on your family’s homemade biscuit recipe by trying Cello’s Parmesan drop biscuits. One batch serves 12 and takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, so you can spend more time greeting your guests and less time in the kitchen.
For many families, there is no family celebration without homemade meatballs. Update the classic meatball recipe you have (you know, the one with fingerprint smudges all over it from being passed down) and try Cello’s Romano meatballs with three different kinds of meat.
If your playlist is full of Michael Bublé and Pentatonix renditions and you like to impress your guests with everything from upscale holiday decor to your sleek wrapping paper collection, you are a holiday modernist. Sophisticated and trendy are your style, and that should translate to your holiday appetizer spread too. Our perfectly seasoned garlic Cello roasted shrimp is sprinkled with Parmesan for a snow-like appearance to create a classy, yet understated starter for your guests.
Arancini presents like it took hours to prepare, but if you use leftover risotto, you can make our Fontal Arancini appetizers in just 30 minutes. Creamy Fontal cheese is the secret weapon in this Sicilian staple. Be sure to double the recipe, because everyone will want seconds.
If your favorite thing about the holidays is decorating your tree (you have four of them in your home), plus you start playing that Mariah Carey song the day after Halloween, then look no further. You are an enthusiast who lives for this time of year. You probably have an ugly Christmas sweater or two, too.
Cello’s savory Parmesan cookies require some attention to detail to make but can be arranged on display in any shape you want! Our chef recommends drizzling honey or jam over the top to add some sweetness, so you can offer up little bowls and spoons of each for your guests to choose.
Also, this fun and delicious Cheese and Crackers Christmas Tree from Food Network could be a centerpiece of your holiday spread. Your guests will be in for a real treat when the cheddar is substituted with Asiago cheese giving this adorably festive holiday appetizer a signature flavor.
Add Some Color and Ease with a Cheese Board
No matter your entertaining style, a well-made, eye popping cheese board is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser. Put your own spin on the arrangement, but this list of recommended ingredients will get you started and ensure your board is as colorful as possible.
Cheese board must-haves:
- Wide variety of cheeses
- Green vegetables: spinach, broccoli, asparagus
- Red vegetables: cherry tomatoes, red peppers, pimentos
- Variety of fresh herbs: dill, parsley, basil
- Assortment of crackers
- Dried and fresh fruits
- Variety of spreads (seasonal jellies, sauces, mustards)
Adding some cured meats to your board? Check out our guide to putting together a simple and delicious charcuterie board here. Want more comprehensive instructions on superior cheese board creation? Grab our eBook below.
If you want the done-for-you approach to your cheese board that screams “I’m a cheese connoisseur” (we’re looking at you, modernists), our cheese flights make it impossibly easy to impress. Unique cheese rubbed with flavors like roasted red bell pepper, blueberry lemon, and even red wine, will add a showstopping element to your everyday board.
From holiday appetizers to cheese spreads, you’re sure to cheese confidently with the help of Cello. We’ve got even more holiday entertaining tips heading your way this season, so be sure to sign up to get our newsletter and get them straight to your inbox.