Festive Appetizers and Finger foods Perfect for Christmas Gatherings

By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA

You may be feeling as though you need a vacation from this past week of cooking and shopping, but finally Christmas is upon us! Whether you are celebrating the spirit of Christmas or simply enjoying an evening at home with your family, we all can appreciate time spent with loved ones.

If you are entertaining, have festive appetizers and finger foods ready for when guests arrive. Have a mix of indulgent foods and healthier options such as cheese and fruit, poached pears, baked apples or brown rice pudding so that everyone can partake in the festivity of the holiday!


Finger Foods & Appetizers for a crowd:

  • Charcuterie Plate: Prosciutto, Chorizo, Olives, Hummus, fig spread and a variety of your favorite cheeses such as Manchego, mini herbed mozzarella balls, Brie and Swiss
  • Shrimp Cocktail served with store bought cocktail sauce
  • Ricotta, pesto & cherry tomatoes over crostini
  • Artichoke & Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Pigs in a blanket (wrap mini hotdogs in crescent roll dough)
  • Baked Brie & Cranberry bites. Fill ready to bake phyllo cups with one slice of brie and one teaspoon cranberry sauce
  • Extras: Dips, corn chips, Carrots, Celery, Cucumber slices, Fresh Bread


Sample Christmas Menu


Charcuterie Plate

Shrimp cocktail

Artichoke & Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms

Spinach dip with raw veggies and crackers



Roasted Whole Turkey

Served with wild mushroom sauce

Roasted Red Potatoes with mix of fresh herbs

Mixed Green Salad



Gluten free Pumpkin Cheesecake

Christmas Cookies

Assorted Fresh Fruit


Artichoke & Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms

For this healthy stuffed mushroom recipe, marinated artichokes and Parmesan cheese are mixed with thyme and panko breadcrumbs for a delicious filling. If serving at a party, you might consider doubling the recipe. These stuffed mushrooms will be devoured quickly!



  • 24 medium cremini (baby bella) or white mushrooms
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup drained marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs, divided
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper



  1. Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler to low. Coat a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Remove and finely chop mushroom stems. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the stems, shallot and garlic and cook, stirring, until the liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in artichoke hearts, 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs, Parmesan, mayonnaise and thyme.
  3. Toss the mushroom caps in another bowl with 2 teaspoons oil, salt and pepper. Stuff each with filling and place in the prepared pan. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs and 1 teaspoon oil and sprinkle on the mushrooms.
  4. Broil on the upper rack until the mushrooms are soft and the breadcrumbs are golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3 up to 2 hours ahead

Recipe: eatingwell