Easy Elegant Hors d’oeuvres

Make these easy elegant hors d’oeuvres & appetizers to serve at your next cocktail party at home. They’re the perfect addition to a holiday party for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years Eve. These look pretty, taste great, and are easy to make. 

easy elegant hor d'oeuvres

Easy Elegant Hors d’oeuvres Buffet

With Christmas only a month away, I’m busy planning for the party season. Although big meals are usually the focus of families, most parties throughout the season are based more around appetizers and hors d’oeuvres.

With that in mind I decided to create this party buffet of easy elegant hors d’oeuvres that are pretty to look at and tasty to eat! Add them alongside some easy appetizers for girls night in for a complete party menu.

When you think of hors d’oeuvres, small dainty bites come to mind. They’re usually a bit fancier than appetizers, and incorporate fresh ingredients with an indulgent twist. They’re also displayed in a pretty way.

I put together this cocktail party hors d’oeuvres table to show you just how easy it can be to make simple food, “fancy.” And I’ve got two recipes to share, using fresh seasonal product and creamy gourmet cheese spreads.

Add this appetizer buffet to your Thanksgiving ideas. They’re perfect to graze on before the big dinner. These are also perfect for a Christmas cocktail party

easy elegant appetizers for a partypretty vegetable platter for a party easy fig appetizer

Easy Elegant Appetizers for a Party

My party spread includes four food displays: fancy crudites, cheese & charcuterie, fig bites, and caviar. This essentially covers the main food groups, which is a bonus! Serve it with my holiday spiced apple sangria punch and you have the makings for a festive Christmas cocktail party, a holiday girls night in, or a good old fashioned caroling themed party.

  • I began by choosing colorful fresh produce for the crudites platter. The gorgeous hues of purple, yellow, orange, red, and green look stunning on the plate together. I filled baby zucchini and pattypan squash with the Finlandia Black Garlic creamy gourmet cheese. They take this classic dish to another level! See instructions below.
  • Next, I put together a small cheese board with a whiskey infused cheese, prosciutto, salami, nuts and fruit.
  • I made fig bites {delicious!} for a slightly sweet bite that can also play on the dessert table if you like. See instructions below.
  • Finally, I went for the decadence and placed an ounce of caviar along with crunchy toast bites. This is a splurge but it can be a unique and fun item to introduce to your guests. I got tips from the lady working the market, and bought a creamier style that “tastes like the sea” and goes well with the crunch of the mini toasts.

PARTY TIP: Don’t serve caviar with metal utensils. There’s a reaction that occurs between the two and it degrades the taste of the caviar. Use a spoon made of bone, mother of pearl, or plastic. I found these mini ceramic spoons at Crate & Barrel. You could also use mini wood spoons.

easy caviar hors d'oeuvres charcuterie appetizer tray easy hors d'oeuvres table

Cheese Stuffed Mini Squash

These elegant appetizers for a cocktail party will impress your guests, while still keeping the hostess calm, cool, and collected.

  • Find bags of mini squash in the produce section. I found these at Wegman’s. 
  • Pattypan squash are adorable and quite tasty. Make sure to steam them to soften them slightly before filling and eating them.
  • These are terrific appetizers to serve at room temperature!
  • Stuffed mini squash are a great alternative to a crudites tray at a party.
  • Use a variety of savory gourmet cheese spread flavors. I used Finlandia Black Garlic flavor here, but you could use other brands in other flavors too.
  • Buy a small jar of Roasted red peppers. Pat them dry using a paper towel so they don’t drip all over the appetizer.

Elegant Fig Bites

These fig bites turned out to be quite the favorite among the family! 

  • This appetizer makes the most of those fresh figs in fall.
  • I used Finlandia Vanilla Bean creamy gourmet cheese to top the figs, but you can also use sweet flavors of cream cheese as well. 
  • You can use pecan halves in place of the walnuts. Or, sprinkle on chopped pistachios.
  • A little finishing salt is a nice complementary flavor to the sweetness of the figs and creamy cheese spread.

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simple easy hors d'oeuvres recipe card

Easy Elegant Hors d'oeuvres

Yield: varies

These easy party appetizers make the most of seasonal produce. Fresh figs and baby squash get an elegant makeover with flavored cheese spread. Simple and elegant hors d'oeuvres for holiday entertaining.

Ingredients

Stuffed Mini Squash

  • selection of baby zucchini and pattypan squash
  • Finlandia Black Garlic creamy gourmet cheese
  • jar Roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry

Fig Bites

  • Fresh Figs
  • Finlandia Vanilla Bean creamy gourmet cheese
  • Walnut halves
  • olive oil and sea salt

Instructions

For the mini squash

  1. For baby zucchini, cut in half lengthwise. For pattypan squash, use a melon-ball scoop to remove the top of the squash and scoop out a "bowl." Cut a small slice off the bottom so it will sit up straight.
  2. Steam the veggies in a steamer basket or strainer over boiling water; about 1 minute for the baby zucchini and about 2 minutes for the pattypan squash. Don't over cook. You want them tender but firm.
  3. Let veggies cool completely (place in refrigerator if you're short on time).
  4. Spoon the cheese into a pastry bag outfitted with a star tip, and fill the pattypan squash. Add a line of cheese onto the top of the baby zucchini.
  5. Cut roasted red peppers into small strips and top the vegetable hors d'oeuvres.

For the figs:

  1. Prepare walnuts by tossing lightly with olive oil and toasting for about 7 minutes at 350 degrees.
  2. When toasted and still warm, sprinkle walnuts with sea salt, and let cool completely.
  3. Cut figs in half lengthwise.
  4. Fill a pastry bag outfitted with a star tip, with the sweet cheese spread.
  5. Top the fig half with cheese and a walnut half. Sprinkle with a little more sea salt if desired.

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