Whether you’re hosting a holiday cocktail party or sit-down supper, appetizers are a must. We’ve got you covered with a festive menu of make-ahead party dip recipes, paired with convenient and tasty prepared appetizers. Serve these fun, elegant, and easy-to-prepare combos at your holiday bash, and watch the munching and mingling begin!
Mix and Match Your Appetizer Menu: Pair up Easy-to-Make Dips with Store-Bought Appetizers
1. Creamy Jalapeño Cilantro Dip + Sensations by Compliments Mini Shrimp Tacos
Kick off your holiday fiesta with crispy mini tortillas loaded with meaty shrimp and served alongside a fresh-tasting dip. The dip adds a spicy punch with a hint of tang that complements the shrimp starter.
Serving Tip: Shorten the buffet line by dressing each taco with a dollop of dip just before serving – and invite guests to grab and go.
2. Sweet & Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce + Sensations by Compliments Food Truck Sprolls
Sweet meets heat in this saucy mango dip that cuts the smoky flavour of these crispy wrappers with a fruity flair. The wrappers are stuffed with barbecue braised pork, peppery chicken, bacon and potato. Make the sauce in advance, and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days.
Serving Tip: For a mess-free portable appetizer, skewer each sproll with a toothpick, and rest it over a shot glass filled with sauce.
3. Wasabi-Lime Sour Cream + Sensations by Compliments Wild Pacific Smoked Sockeye Salmon
Smoked salmon is always a holiday hit because it’s quick, easy and special. Swap plain cream cheese for this zesty sour cream – its spicy-citrusy sting ignites the salmon’s smoky-buttery flavours.
Serving Tips: Create a DIY smoked salmon station. Lay out thin slices of smoked salmon in the centre of a serving platter. Surround them with all the favourite fixings – capers, dill, fresh lemon, Wasabi-Lime Sour Cream, and sliced baguette. It’s a simple, make-ahead starter that everyone will love!
4. Roasted Red Pepper Hot Sauce + Compliments Tex-Mex Cheese Sticks
They’re gooey and crumbly with a toasted tortilla chip crust — who wouldn’t want to sink their teeth into these yummy starters? The homemade hot sauce adds a little kick, but the heat mingles perfectly with the warm and melty cheese.
Serving Tips: Always serve crispy appetizers — especially those with melted cheese — fresh from the warm oven. Have a platter ready with the hot sauce in a festive dish in the centre. Transfer the warm cheese sticks to the platter, and serve them as you mingle with guests.
5. Maple Mustard Dipping Sauce + Sensations by Compliments Fruit & Cheese Phyllo Pastries
Guests will love dipping these flaky canapés into a sweet sauce with a kick. Each nibble melds sweet-tangy zest with savoury cheese and fruit fillings.
Serving Tips: Skewer each appetizer with a toothpick, and arrange on an easy-to-handle serving platter. The platter can be easily passed from guest to guest… and it will catch drips better than a tablecloth.
Perfect Party Snacks to Make Yourself
Store-bought or homemade, the best party snacks are bite-sized and mess-free, and they feature a balance of flavours and textures to appeal to everyone’s diverse tastes. As a bonus, finger foods save on dishwashing later.
Here are three fabulous appetizers to make for your next party.
- Smoky Mac & PEI Cheddar Bites: Turn classic comfort food into a bite-sized app. Skewer these panko-crusted snacks onto toothpicks so guests can pluck them from the tray easily.
- New Zealand Sushi Rolls: Rolling sushi at home is easy, and makes a stylish starter! Watch guests go to town with this funky version that balances sweet kiwi with salty crabmeat. Check out our video for an easy sushi rolling technique.
- Pulled Beef & Crispy Green Onion Crostini: For convenience, you can make the shredded beef and spicy cream sauce for this recipe up to two days before your party. Assembling the delicious crostini just before serving will be quick and easy.