Everyone knows appetizers are the must-have precursor to the big holiday meal. And the big day is quickly approaching, so if you haven’t planned out your holiday appetizer menu yet, these simple Picks & Bites holiday appetizers are the answer.
Ranging from savory to sweet, these Picks & Bites require just a handful of ingredients and take mere minutes to put together. That means less time in the kitchen cooking, and more quality time spent with loved ones. While it’s tempting to fill up on appetizers before the main meal, these Picks & Bites are designed to satisfy without stuffing you silly.
The not-so-secret ingredient is Wisconsin Cheese. Because of its versatility, it’s the essential ingredient in each of these Picks & Bites combinations. From provolone to asiago, brie and more, it’s easy to incorporate all your favorite Wisconsin Cheeses when planning a holiday party appetizer menu.
Here’s a few of our favorite Picks & Bites for celebrating the season…
Holiday Tapas Pick
This elegant pick is the perfect solution for an office potluck, elegant family dinner or New Years Eve bites. Wisconsin queso blanco or monterey jack cheese is wrapped in Serrano ham with a sweet slice of quince paste and topped with a green grape.
This jam-packed pick marries the bold flavors of the Mediterranean with Wisconsin provolone cheese. A generous cube of sharp Wisconsin provolone anchors the skewer, which is threaded with artichoke, caper berry, salami, red pepper and parsley. A glass of not-too-sweet pinot grigio or fruity chianti makes a great wine pairing.
Asiago Egg Bite
These kicked-up deviled egg bites are a crowd-pleasing appetizer for family get-togethers. Egg yolks, red peppers, green onion, fresh parsley and mayonnaise are mixed with nutty Wisconsin asiago cheese for a creamy filling everyone in your family—both young and old—is sure to devour.
Simple appetizers are key to keeping your sanity during the holidays, and this four-ingredient bite is as easy as it gets. Crunchy Belgian endive lettuce leaves are filled with a dollop of milky Wisconsin ricotta cheese, briny olive tapenade and a garnish of parsley. It’s no-cook, no-mess and guaranteed, no leftovers.
Brie Berry Pick
Every appetizer table needs a sweet offering, and this two-ingredient pick is holiday entertaining at its easiest. Fresh strawberries are stuffed with a mini wedge of creamy, earthy Wisconsin brie cheese. Serve this pick with a festive glass of champagne for the adults.
Figgie Blue Bite
Four ingredients are all you need for a deceptively fancy party appetizer. Fresh fig halves are topped with tangy Wisconsin blue cheese, candied walnuts and a drizzle of honey. It’s the balance of sweet and savory that’ll have you coming back for seconds. If you’re serving these at a cocktail party, pair them with a fruity red wine or classic Manhattan cocktail.
Beef Roll Bite
Treat your guests to slices of roast tenderloin or skirt steak rolled up with creamy Wisconsin horseradish cold pack cheese, fresh arugula and red bell pepper strips. The pungent flavor of Wisconsin horseradish cold pack adds welcome heat and spiciness to the cold, snowy winter.
If watching football is on your holiday agenda, this is the pick for you. These mini skewers are laced with spicy pepperoncini, salty salami, sweet pimento-stuffed olives and generous chunks of mild Wisconsin string cheese. Eat them up, then wash them down with a light pilsner or lager beer as you cheer on your favorite team.
If you’ve got a family of adventurous eaters, this sophisticated pick is for you. Pickled mushrooms are stuffed with sharp Wisconsin ricotta salata cheese, kalamata olives, capers, parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. This salty appetizer is best washed down with a touch of sweetness—a fruity Sidecar cocktail or glass of pinot noir are excellent choices.
Whether you’re mingling with family in the kitchen or playing cards with grandma, this Italian-inspired bite will help quell any pre-dinner food cravings. Round bread coins are topped with sundried tomatoes, fresh oregano leaves, chunks of sharp Wisconsin romano cheese and cracked black pepper, then finished off with an olive oil drizzle.
Holiday entertaining doesn’t have to be complicated, and this pick proves it. It takes mere minutes to stack wedges of Wisconsin camembert and gorgonzola cheeses with crunchy walnuts and sweet red grapes. This appetizer lets the bold, earthy flavors of camembert and gorgonzola shine, and makes a great addition to any party cheese plate.
Spread holiday cheer with a double dose of Wisconsin Cheese. Spicy Wisconsin pepper jack and cheddar cheese curds—our favorite squeaky treat!—are threaded on a skewer with sausage chunks and sweet pickles for an iconically Wisconsin appetizer.
Waldorf Lettuce Bite
An east coast classic, Waldorf salad is given a holiday make-under with these mini lettuce cups. Bibb or butter lettuce leaves are stuffed with Wisconsin gouda cheese chunks, diced celery, diced apple, raisins, chopped walnuts, mayonnaise and lemon juice. The result is seriously fun finger food that’s sure to satisfy all your holiday guests.
For more Picks & Bites inspiration, visit eatwisconsincheese.com/recipes/picksandbites.