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Easy Christmas appetizers make holiday parties a snap

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Christmas is just around the corner. Whether you're hosting a holiday party or looking for appetizers to serve as you open gifts, Pillsbury can help.

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These easy appetizers will make your planning simple. You can make almost all of the appetizers in 30 minutes or less, leaving you more time to spend with your guests. The Loaded Potato Pinwheels take a little longer, but your guests will love them.

Mini Crescent Dogs

Mini Crescent Dogs are mini sausages wrapped in flaky crescent dough, an all-time favorite appetizer.

2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
48 cocktail-size smoked link sausages or hot dogs (from two 14-oz packages)

Heat oven to 375°F. Unroll both cans of the dough; separate into 16 triangles. Cut each triangle lengthwise into 3 narrow triangles.

Place sausage on shortest side of each triangle. Roll up each, starting at shortest side of triangle and rolling to opposite point; place point side down on 2 ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown, switching position of cookie sheets halfway through baking. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

Crescent Wrapped Brie

Baked brie is always a hit at parties. You can't go wrong with Crescent Wrapped Brie.

1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
1 round (8 oz) Brie cheese
1 egg, beaten

Heat oven to 350°F. If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough; separate crosswise into 2 sections. Pat dough and firmly press perforations to seal, forming 2 squares. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough; cut crosswise into 2 rectangles. Pat dough to form 2 squares.

Place 1 square on ungreased cookie sheet. Place cheese on center of dough. With small cookie or canapé cutter, cut 1 shape from each corner of remaining square; set cutouts aside.

Place remaining square on top of cheese round. Press dough evenly around cheese; fold bottom edges over top edges. Gently stretch dough evenly around cheese; press to seal completely. Brush with beaten egg. Top with cutouts; brush with additional beaten egg.

Bake 20 to 24 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Apple Pie Crescents

Apple Pie Crescents offer all of the flavor of apple pie with a lot less work.

1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, cut into 8 (1/2-inch) slices
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon apple pie spice

Heat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper. Set aside. In small bowl, toss apple slices in melted butter; set aside. Separate dough into 8 triangles.

In small bowl, mix brown sugar and apple pie spice. Divide mixture evenly among triangles. Top each triangle with apple slice. Starting at long side of each triangle, wrap dough around apple. Place on cookie sheet. Brush with remaining butter.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until crescents are deep golden brown and apples are softened. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Bacon-Cheddar Pinwheels

Bacon-Cheddar Pinwheels are a breeze to make and a real crowd-pleaser.

1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
2 tablespoons ranch dressing
1/4 cup cooked real bacon pieces or 4 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese (2 oz)
1/4 cup chopped green onions (4 medium)

Heat oven to 350°F. If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough; separate into 2 long rectangles. Press each into 12x4-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough; cut lengthwise into 2 long rectangles. Press each into 12x4-inch rectangle.

Spread dressing over each rectangle to edges. Sprinkle each with bacon, cheddar cheese and onions. Starting with one short side, roll up each rectangle; press edge to seal. With serrated knife, cut each roll into 8 slices; place cut side down on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

Kickin' Spinach Cheese Bites

Kickin' Spinach Cheese Bites add a kick of jalapeno to the tasty blend of cheese and spinach.

1 box (9 oz) Green Giant® frozen chopped spinach
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
6 oz provolone cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup finely chopped pickled jalapeño slices, drained (from 11.5-oz jar)
2 cans Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet

Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly spray 48 nonstick mini muffin cups with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. Microwave frozen spinach as directed on box. Squeeze dry with paper towels.

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and ricotta cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Stir in spinach, shredded cheese and jalapeños until well blended.

Unroll 1 dough sheet; press into 12x8-inch rectangle. Cut dough sheet into 24 squares. Press 1 square in bottom and up side of each mini muffin cup. Spoon 1 rounded teaspoon spinach mixture into each cup. Repeat with remaining dough sheet and filling.

Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until edges of dough are golden brown. Immediately remove from pan to serving platter. Cool 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Loaded Potato Pinwheels

Loaded Potato Pinwheels are the winning recipe of the 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off, created by Glori Spriggs. Your guests will love cheesy bacon and potatoes wrapped in crescent dough.

1 bag (11.8 oz) Green Giant® Steamers™ frozen backyard grilled potatoes
1 1/4 cups finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (5 oz)
1/2 cup cooked real bacon bits (from a jar or package)
3 tablespoons milk
1 can Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet or 1 can (8-oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion tops (3 medium)

Heat oven 350°F. Spray 2 large cookie sheets with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. Microwave frozen potatoes 3 to 4 minutes to thaw. In medium bowl, with fork, mash potatoes leaving some small pieces. Stir in cheese, 1/3 cup of the bacon bits and the milk until well blended.

If using crescent dough sheet, unroll dough on cutting board; press into 14x8-inch rectangle. If using crescent rolls, unroll dough on cutting board, press into 14x8-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal. Cut into 2 rectangles, 14x4-inches each.

Spread half of the potato mixture on one rectangle to within 1/4-inch of long edges. Starting at one long side, tightly roll up dough; pinch seams to seal. Using serrated knife, cut roll into 14 slices. Place slices, cut side up, on cookie sheets. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

Bake 17 to 21 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately, remove from cookie sheets to serving plate. Top each pinwheel with sour cream, remaining bacon bits and the green onions. Serve warm.

For the holidays or anytime, appetizers are the perfect start to your parties or meals. Pillsbury's easy recipes mean less time in the kitchen and more time to enjoy the fun.

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