Get a list of 25 gluten and dairy-free Christmas appetizer ideas for your holiday party, potluck, girls night, or Christmas movie marathon!
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‘Tis the season for gathering with friends and family! Whether or not your plans involve going to (or hosting!) parties, staying home and watching movies, or you plan to have family members visit from out of town, one thing you’ll need to be sure of is that there is plenty of food to go around!
One way to do that is to be sure you have appetizers ready to share (or bring wherever you’re going)! No matter the size of your gathering, appetizers can help stretch a meal a little further if you happen to add a person or two to your party at the last minute.
Appetizers are a great way to keep a low-key vibe to getting together with friends, and can even be a fun way to make your Christmas movie night feel a little more special.
I’ve even been toying with the idea of asking my family if we want to do a full appetizer Christmas dinner this year instead of having a big main and sides. What fun it would be to just have lots of little nibbles instead of big long-cooking menu items.
If you’re navigating a gluten and dairy-free diet this holiday season, you might be thinking how SO many of the traditional appetizers revolve around bread and cheese. I’ve been running into this too.
Don’t worry though! I’ve been brainstorming, researching, and dreaming up 25 easy and delicious Christmas appetizers that won’t have you hanging out in the kitchen all day and missing out on that precious time with the people you care about.
These recipes include 3-ingredient gluten and dairy-free Christmas appetizers for those events when you just need something as simple as possible. There are also finger food options if you plan to have one hand on a cocktail and one hand available for eating.
There are Christmas party appetizer options that are all gluten and dairy-free, plus some Christmas dip recipes that are always fun. FInally, I’ve included some super easy gluten and dairy-free Christmas appetizers that leverage fresh foods and store-bought ingredients to keep things truly as simple and straightforward as possible – without having to give up the wow factor or flavor.
If you’re looking for some easy appetizers this holiday season, be sure to read through this list to get inspired on what you can make for your family or share with friends!
Gluten and Dairy-free 3-Ingredient Christmas Appetizers
If you’re short on energy, mix up one of these 3-ingredient Christmas appetizers that come together extremely quickly.
1. Stuffed Dates
Cut dates in half, stuff each with an almond, then wrap in bacon and secure with a toothpick. Bake a tray of these at 375 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes, until the bacon is crispy.
2. Red and Green Caprese Skewers
Thread a cherry tomato, a piece of cubed dairy-free mozzarella (like Miyokos brand), and a basil leaf onto a toothpick or small skewer. Repeat with as many as you wish. Serve as is or with a balsamic glaze.
3. Guacamole Stuffed Cucumber Bites
Cut peeled cucumbers into thick slices, the scoop out a small portion of each slice to create a cup. Fill each cucumber cup with a dollop of store-bought guacamole, then top the cup with a halved cherry tomato. A fun and heathy festive appetizer!
4. Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus
Wash and trim a bunch of asparagus. Wrap each asparagus spear with a slice of prosciutto, then arrange on a baking sheet. Arrange on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and bake at 400 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes, or until asparagus is tender and prosciutto is crispy.
5. Spiced Nuts
Combine two cups of mixed nuts (unsalted and raw are best) with a few tablespoons of maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in an even layer. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees F, until nuts are toasted and fragrant. Be sure to stir occasionally while baking, and allow them to cool before serving.
Gluten and Dairy-free Finger Food Christmas Appetizers
For gatherings where you’ll have a drink in one hand, finger food appetizers are a great option. Try one of these five ideas that are gluten and dairy-free and full of flavor!
6. Holiday Pinwheel Bites
In a gluten-free tortilla (I like to choose the green ones for the holidays), spread a layer of hummus or dairy-free cream cheese. Sprinkle on a roasted red pepper that’s been sliced into small pieces on top of the creamy layer.
Next layer on a slice or two of deli meat (ham, turkey, roast beef, etc) or pepperoni, and roll into a log. Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into pinwheels. Repeat with as many tortillas as you wish to feed your crowd!
Make a batch of gluten-free meatballs, then give them extra flavor by letting them simmer in a crockpot with marinara sauce or a classic grape jelly sauce (1 cup grape jelly, 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce, 2 tbsp chili sauce). When it comes time to serve, poke each meatball with a toothpick and arrange on a serving platter.
8. Deli Pickle Roll-Ups
Create deli roll-ups by laying a slice of deli meat on a cutting board, then spreading a layer of hummus on top. Place a sliced pickle in the center, then roll it up. Cut into slices, then secure each bite with a toothpick.
9. Spinach Artichoke Tortilla Cups
Using a store-bought plant-based spinach artichoke dip (like Gotham Greens), place a dollop into tortilla chip scoops (Tostitos is a great brand for this – and gluten-free!). Sprinkle a layer of your favorite dairy-free cheese on top. Repeat with as many cups as you’d like. Place on a baking sheet and warm in the oven at 350 degrees for about 5 to 10 minutes until warmed through.
10. Pepperoni Olive Bites
Wrap a slice of pepperoni around an olive (choose black, green, or kalamata!), then secure with a toothpick. Repeat with as many as you wish to serve. It’s super simple, but so full of flavor!
Gluten and Dairy-free Christmas Appetizers for a Party
If you plan to host or attend a Christmas party where you know there will be a lot of people, these recipes will help you make a decent quantity without having to put in loads of extra kitchen time.
A holiday party isn’t complete without a bowl of Chex mix to share with friends. This recipe uses only gluten-free cereal and ingredients along with dairy-free butter to make sure it fits easily in a gluten and dairy-free diet.
Every holiday gathering seems like it should have a cheese ball! This one is made with a homemade vegan cheese made of cashews and vegan cream cheese, then flavored with loads of fresh herbs and seasonings. It’s festive with nuts, red cranberries, and green parsley too! Serve with gluten-free crackers.
I will forever and always sing the praises of a charcuterie board – especially one that’s been themed for a specific holiday! To make it festive for Christmas, use red and green foods like pepperoni, apple slices, cucumbers, grapes, green olives, kiwifruit, tomatoes, dairy-free pesto, and fresh herbs mixed into hummus. You could even arrange your charcuterie into a Christmas tree, present, or snowman for extra fun!
14. Baked Mac & Cheese Bites
Have you ever been to a party serving baked mac and cheese bites? What about trying this recipe out with a gluten and dairy-free boxed mac and cheese like Daiya or Annie’s? Bake them up in mini muffin tins and the kids will go wild over them!
For something a little surprising to add to your holiday appetizer spread, try this sweet and spicy cranberry salsa. It’s served with gluten-free crackers or tortilla chips and comes together with fresh cranberries, sugar, cilantro, green onions, red onion, jalapeno peppers, lemon juice, grated ginger, and salt.
Gluten and Dairy-free Christmas Dip Appetizers
There’s nothing better than a festive dip to serve as a Christmas appetizer. Enjoy one of these recipes with your favorite dippers and choose from sweet, spicy, savory, and hearty!
Enjoy a sweet appetizer made with just three ingredients: vegan whipped cream, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract. This works well with a homemade dairy-free whipped cream or store-bought like TruWhip. Serve with your favorite fruit or some gluten-free graham crackers.
Try this festive green dip to serve with veggie sticks or gluten-free crackers. It’s made with vegan mayo, vegan sour cream, mustard, parsely, tarragon, chives, basil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt and pepper.
18. Holiday Chicken Salad
Mix together a can of chicken with mayonnaise, then add dried cranberries and minced celery. Serve a spoonful or two on butter lettuce leaves. Or if you want to skip the lettuce, serve with tortilla chips or gluten-free crackers as a dip.
19. White Bean Dip
In a food processor, combine a can of white beans with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, two cloves of garlic, and fresh rosemary and/or thyme until blended smooth. Adjust with olive oil if too think, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve alongside gluten-free toasts (cut regular sized bread into smaller portions), carrot sticks, or cucumber slices.
20. Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Hummus
Chop sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil) and basil in a food processor into small pieces. Next, add a container or store-bought hummus and blend together to desired consistency. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with paprika. Serve with gluten-free crackers, gluten-free toasts, or veggie sticks.
Gluten and Dairy-free Easy Christmas Appetizers
There’s nothing better to me than going the easy route when it comes to making appetizers. All these recipes use store-bought ingredients and require no cooking at all!
21. Vegan Cream Cheese & Cranberry Cracker Bites
Top gluten-free crackers with a smear of vegan cream cheese (I like Kite Hill brand) and a little bit of canned cranberry sauce. Easy peasy and super flavorful!
22. Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and Gluten-free Crackers
Store-bought roasted red pepper hummus transferred to a fancy bowl, then topped with some chopped roasted red peppers and fresh parsley will wow guests without having to put in much effort at all. Serve with gluten-free crackers or veggie sticks.
23. All Green Charcuterie
Choose fruits and veggies that are all green (or red) and serve them on a cutting board for a festive appetizer that only involves chopping!
24. Stuffed Mini Peppers
In a small bowl, combine vegan cream cheese with chopped fresh herbs like chives, dill, or parsley. Cut mini peppers in half and remove the seeds. Transfer the peppers to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Fill each pepper with cream cheese mixture. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes or until the peppers are softened and the filling is heated through. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
25. Red and Green Cucumber Bites
Cut peeled cucumbers into slices. Top each slice with a smear of vegan cream cheese, then a small slice of roasted red pepper on top.