3 Easy & Elegant Holiday Appetizers That Only Take 15 Minutes

Grey circle with the letters GFA grey circle with KFGrey circle with number 30
Prep Time
3 min
Cook Time
10 min

These easy holiday appetizers take only 15 minutes to make and will have your guests clamoring for more. They’re the perfect way to kick off your holiday party and can all be prepped in advance, which means you get to relax and enjoy the party too!

Looking for more holiday appetizer ideas? Make sure you check out my roundup of 32 Easy Appetizer for the Holidays or 45 of the BEST Holiday Appetizers and Cocktails.

Easy Holiday Appetizers Perfect for Christmas and New Years

There are a few things that can make a holiday party fail miserably.  And FOOD is most definitely one of them! Luckily, you’re friends with me and I’ve got your back on that front. I’m NOT going to let you fail on the food, trust me. Today I am sharing not one, not two but THREE Holiday Appetizers that only take minutes to make. And all three of them can be prepped the day before.

Ahem.. if you’re following my 8 Easy Hosting Tips for the Holidays then you know exactly what I’m talking about on the “prep” front!

Ok, let’s get started!

overhead photo of garlic marinated olives and feta cheese

Easy Marinated Olives

Anything that I don’t have to cook is always a winner. Marinated Olives are one of the easiest things to make with minimal ingredients. The only “work” is putting everything in one jar and stirring. They can be prepped a couple days in advance so all you have to do is pull them out of the refrigerator and serve. 

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Marinated Olives and Feta:

  • pitted kalamata olives
  • castelvetrano olives (or your favorite green olives)
  • feta cheese
  • garlic clove
  • dry oregano
  • red pepper flakes
  • olive oil

How to Store Marinated Olives?

Store marinated olives in an air tight container. If olives are completely submerged in brine they can be stored at room temperature up to 6 months. If olives are submerged in olive oil, they will last only a couple months at room temperature. For todays recipe, because feta is involved and the olives are not completely submerged, I recommend storing them in an air tight container in the refrigerator. (will last a couple weeks)

how to make easy garlic marinated olives and feta cheese

garlic marinated olives and feta in a bowl

garlic marinated olive and feta recipe

Garlic Marinated Olives and Feta

  • Author: Krista
  • prep_time Prep Time: 3 min
  • cook_time Cook Time: 10 min
  • total_time Total Time: 13 minutes
  • yield Yield: 3 cups 1x
  • category Category: Appetizer, Holiday, New Years, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Gluten Free, Vegetarian
  • method Method: No Bake
  • cuisine Cuisine: American


Easy Garlic Marinated Olives and Feta with less than 6 ingredients and finished in 15 minutes. An easy appetizer perfect for your next party!



  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 1/2 cup pitted Castelvetrano olives
  • 3 oz. feta cheese, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  1. Add all the ingredients to a medium bowl and toss to coat everything.
  2. Let marinade for 10 minutes and serve.

Keywords: marinated olives, marinated olives and feta, garlic marinated olives, easy holiday appetizers, holiday appetizers, marinated olives recipe,

overhead photo of baked lemon garlic butter shrimp

Garlic Butter Shrimp

Next up, Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp! You can never have enough shrimp for the holidays. But, let me warn you. Don’t you buy those shrimp cocktail platters! Sure, it’s an easy button, but you can get WAY better tasting shrimp if you make them from scratch. The Roasted Garlic Herb Shrimp is one of the most popular recipes on my site and a hit during the holidays. So I thought I’d capitalize on you shrimp lovers and make one EPIC Baked Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp. OMG y’all. The flavor from these is insane for only 8 minutes in the oven!

Ingredients you’ll need for Garlic Butter Shrimp:

  • extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • unsalted butter
  • lemon
  • lemon zest
  • red pepper flakes
  • garlic
  • salt
  • parsley 

How Can You Tell if Shrimp Are Cooked?

First thing is first. Buy the right shrimp! You want raw uncooked shrimp for this recipe. If you buy cooked shrimp and then bake them again the shrimp will taste like eating rubber. So, how do you tell if shrimp are pre-cooked? Shrimp will have a slightly opaque or light pink color when cooked. If they are raw or uncooked they will be brown or gray. Motto of the story, buy the brown ones!

how to make baked lemon garlic butter shrimp

finished photos of baked lemon garlic butter shrimp

overhead photo of baked lemon garlic butter shrimp

Baked Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp

  • Author: Krista
  • prep_time Prep Time: 5 min
  • cook_time Cook Time: 8 min
  • total_time Total Time: 13 minutes
  • yield Yield: 30-35 shrimp 1x
  • category Category: Gluten Free, Seafood, Appetizer, Holiday, 30 Minute Meal, Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving, Valentines
  • method Method: Oven
  • cuisine Cuisine: American


Easy Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp baked in the oven in just 10 minutes! The perfect party appetizer for the holidays.



  • 2 lbs. xl raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • parsley and lemon slices to garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Add prepared shrimp to a 13″x9″ baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl, add butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, garlic cloves and salt. Mix together and poor over shrimp.
  4. Gently toss shrimp to coat with garlic butter sauce.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and top with chopped parsley and lemon slices.

Keywords: garlic butter shrimp, lemon garlic butter shrimp, baked garlic butter shrimp, baked shrimp, roasted shrimp, easy shrimp recipes, holiday appetizers, appetizers for holidays

overhead photo of caprese skewer wreath with pesto sauce

Caprese Skewers

Last but not least this Festive Christmas Wreath with Caprese Skewers! The wreath I made last year with Antipasto Skewers was a such a big hit with you guys so I changed up the ingredients and made it even easier! This is such a quick appetizer to whip together and everyone will comment on how festive it is.

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Caprese Skewers:

  • grape or cherry tomatoes
  • mini mozzarella balls
  • pesto
  • fresh basil & fresh rosemary to garnish

how to make a caprese skewer wreath with pesto

overhead photo of caprese skewers wreath with peso and a hand grabbing a skewer

Caprese Skewers Wreath with Pesto-2

Caprese Skewers Wreath and Pesto

  • Author: Krista
  • prep_time Prep Time: 15 min
  • total_time Total Time: 15 minutes
  • yield Yield: 30-40 skewers 1x
  • category Category: Appetizer, Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Holiday, Christmas, New Years,
  • method Method: No Bake
  • cuisine Cuisine: American


This Caprese Skewer Wreath served with a bowl of pesto in the middle makes such a festive appetizer for the holidays! Perfect for a party!



  • 3040 small wooden skewers (about 2-3″) or longer wooden toothpicks
  • 3 cups of grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 8 oz. mini mozzarella cheese balls (called bocconcini)
  • 3 oz. basil pesto
  • garnish with fresh basil and fresh rosemary


  1. To each skewer add 2 mozzarella balls and 2 grape tomatoes. Alternate the way you have them on the skewer because it will look nice as you assemble the wreath.
  2. Get a round serving platter. Place a small ramekin bowl in the center and assemble prepared skewers in the shape of a wreath. Depending on the size of your platter you may need to do a double layer of skewers. Next, stick pieces of fresh rosemary and basil in random places underneath the skewers to make it look like a christmas wreath.
  3. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. (can be made one day ahead of time)
  4. When ready to serve fill the small ramekin up with basil pesto and serve.


  • Serving Size: 2-3 skewers

Keywords: caprese recipe, easy caprese recipe, caprese wreath, basil pesto, basil pesto recipe, caprese wreath appetizer, holiday appetizers, easy holiday appetizers, appetizer for holidays

Alright, that’s a wrap folks. I know you will love every one of these recipes, the flavor is on point and better yet they are super easy to make in the pinch. Each one of these recipes has 6 ingredients or less and can be made in 15 minutes or less. Which means you’ll have more time to spend with family and friends instead of slaving away in the kitchen! 

I cannot wait to hear what you think!

Bon Appetit friends and here’s to rocking it with easy entertaining this holiday season!

If you want to know the items I used to make these recipes check out below!

pinterest image for garlic marinated olives and feta

pinterest image for garlic marinated olives and feta cheese

pinterest image for caprese skewers wreath with pesto

pinterest image for caprese skewers wreath with pesto

pinterest image for baked lemon garlic butter shrimp

pinterest image for baked lemon garlic butter shrimp

pinterest image for 3 easy 15 minute holiday appetizers



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