10 Easy Holiday Appetizers | iowagirleats.com

Are you all geared up for the big ball drop tonight? Champagne chilled, party horns prepped, and bed sheets turned down so you can slip into bed at 12:01?

Just me?

Yep, just me popping in to share some of my favorite appetizer recipes to make for the worldwide celebration that’s happening tonight (or in a few hours depending on where you’re located!) If you are, in fact, located in NYC and will be in Times Square for the festivities tonight, shout an extra loud “3…2…1!!” for me. Witnessing the big glittering ball drop in Times Square has been on my bucket list for years. I know in reality it’s probably a train wreck situation, bodies smashed together, freezing cold temps, $20 beers, but heck, it’s a once in a lifetime experience, ami…right? :)

New Years Eve is a fun night because it’s all about them apps, ’bout them apps, no full-course dinners (see what I did there?) The big holiday feasts have already taken place and it’s a great time to nibble on this and that, tasting a little bit of everything. No big commitments!

Below are 10+ Easy Holiday Appetizers to make tonight (including a bonus cocktail recipe!) that you, your friends, and family will love. They’re easy to make and crowd-pleasing. I’ve even marked which ones are gluten-free and GF adaptable so you can feel confident serving them to whomever.

Wherever you are and whatever you do, have a blast tonight, be safe, and I’ll catch you on the flip side!!


Honey-Balsamic BBQ Meatballs (GF)

Honey-Balsamic BBQ Meatballs are gluten-free and totally addicting with a sweet-tart glaze. Make then keep warm in a crock pot with the sauce. You’ll love ’em!

Click here for the recipe >


Fig & Prosciutto Roll Ups (GF)

Fig & Prosciutto Roll Ups have become my go-to app for parties and get togethers. Salty, sweet, chewy, crunchy – they are AMAZING. Just made a big platter for Thanksgiving and they were gone in a jif (ok, I had about half the platter, but still!)

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Shrimp Caesar Salad in Crispy Parmesan Cups (GF)

If you want to impress your guests or significant other tonight then whip up a platter of Shrimp Caesar Salads in Crispy Parmesan Cups. They look super fancy-schmance but are actually fairly simple to make. (Double check to make sure dressing is GF)

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Easy Spanakopita Bites (Not GF)

Crispy, cheesy, and satisfying, Easy Spanakopita Bites are too much fun to pop and come together in minutes. If you’re in a time crunch – this is your dish!

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Smoked Cheddar Shrimp & Grits Bites (GF)

Smoked Cheddar Shrimp & Grits Bites are one of my favorite recipes of 2014 here on IGE. Not only do they remind me of our trip to Savannah last summer, but they are just so. dang. good. Crispy, cheesy, and slightly smokey with an irresistible shrimp topper.

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Baked Brie Bites (Not GF)

Baked Brie Bites are as scrumptious as they are adorable. Flaky frozen puff pastry dough is stuffed with brie cheese and your choice of three topping combos. Something for everyone!

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Best Ever French Onion Dip (GF)

I just had a friend who lives out of state, originally from Iowa, tell me she makes my Best Ever French Onion Dip whenever she’s craving AE French Onion Dip, which is a to die for Midwest dairy’s dip that this recipe is based on (are you confused?) Translation: this dip is creamy, rich, and satisfying. The ultimate chip and crudite dip!

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Bacon-Wrapped Almond-Stuffed Dates (GF)

While they may not be lookers, Bacon-Wrapped Almond-Stuffed Dates are seriously The. Best. Sweet dates wrapped with salty bacon with a crunchy almond center. Easy and amazing.

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Feta-Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Meatballs (GF)

In my experience, anything buffalo-flavored is pretty much the first thing to get swarmed around at a party. Feta-Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are really simple and much healthier than buffalo dips and wings.

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15 Minute Puppy Chow (GF)

Do you realize everyone’s favorite sweet and crunchy snack aka Puppy Chow takes just 15 minutes to make? This is a must have at any party or get together!

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Crab Rangoon Bites (GF Adaptable)

Crab Rangoon Bites taste just like deep-fried crab rangoons without all the hassle and grease. Sooooo delicious – make a double batch! To make gluten-free, spread filling into a nonstick sprayed baking dish then bake until hot and bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips.

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BONUS: Champagne Sangria Punch

You can’t forget the bubbles on New Years Eve! Give the usual glass of champagne a little boost by including it in my Champagne Sangria Punch. Slightly sweet, fruity and perfectly fizzy – it’s a blast in a glass (there I said it.)

Click here for the recipe >

Happy new year everyone – here’s to a happy, healthy 2015!