30 Hanukkah Appetizers To Turn Your Festival Of Lights Into A Party

Enough for all 8 nights, and then some.

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fried goat cheese bites

Hanukkah might not be the holiday you associate with raucous merriment, but it is a celebration, and we’re always looking for an excuse to turn one of those into a party. Like always, the best way to do so is to serve a spread of delectable appetizers before the big meal. We’ve collected 30 of our favorites here, everything from classics to vegan/dairy-free options to enjoy if you’re keeping kosher. They’re perfect for whether you’ve got a whole crew to feed or just want a little nosh as you and your family light the menorah or play dreidel.

For the perfect appetizer spread, we like to hit a couple of categories: You’re going to want some bite-size options, so we’ve included classics like our boursin-stuffed mushrooms, our cranberry brie bites, our fried goat cheese bites, or our harissa deviled eggs (you could go with straightforward ones, but why not spice it up a bit?). Next, you’re going to need some dips. Creamy ones like our dill dip, our everything bagel dip, or our cranberry whipped feta are always fan faves, but don’t worry if your household is avoiding dairy. We’ve also included our best-ever garlic hummus, our vegan chipotle queso, or our Greek skordalia to enjoy before or alongside meat-heavy meals. Whatever you go with, don’t forget to offer a variety of dippers—we’re partial to some veggies, some pretzels or pita chips, and toasty bread, but you do you.

Want even more Hanukkah inspiration? Check out our top Hanukkah desserts, our favorite Hanukkah dinners, and our best Hanukkah latkes. (Hot tip: Make 'em small and serve potato pancakes as apps too!)

boursinstuffed mushrooms
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Boursin-Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms are THE appetizer we make for every party, and while our classic recipe is great, sometimes we like to switch it up a bit. Enter boursin cheese. It adds a little something to these that’ll have your guests coming back for more.

Get the Boursin-Stuffed Mushrooms recipe.

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Creamy Garlic Hummus

Hummus is a Middle Eastern dish made of chickpeas and tahini. Garlic or roasted red peppers and other spices are common additions. Sure, it's easy to buy it, but homemade is better, trust us.

Get the Creamy Garlic Hummus recipe.

fried goat cheese bites
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Fried Goat Cheese Bites

Attention cheese boards everywhere: Fried goat cheese bites are coming to steal your thunder. Coated in crispy herby bread crumbs and drizzled with honey, these creamy, melt-in-your-mouth morsels will capture the hearts of all your Hanukkah guests.

Get the Fried Goat Cheese Bites recipe.

air fryer tahini black bean fritter
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Air Fryer Tahini Black Bean Fritters

Enjoy these crispy (thanks air fryer!) bean cakes as an app on their own, or sandwich them between slider buns with all your favorite burger fixin’s for really irresistible mini veggie burgers.

Get the Air Fryer Tahini Black Bean Fritters recipe.

fondue bites
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Fondue Bites

If you thought fondue belonged in the 1970s, think again! We’ve hauled this retro party classic into the 21st century by turning it into cheesy bite-sized party snacks, perfect for any festive occasion.

Get the Fondue Bites recipe.

bagna cauda
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Bagna Cauda

This Italian dip is a buttery sauce made from lots of garlic and anchovies (stick with us) that somehow work together to create a dip that’s a little pungent, a little sweet, and will keep you coming back for more. Trust us, this one belongs on your Hanukkah table.

Get the Bagna Cauda recipe.

baked brie in puff pastry
Andrew Bui
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Baked Brie In Puff Pastry

Baked brie is a classic app that pleases all around: It's versatile, delicious, easy to make, and requires a pretty short cook time. We filled ours with raspberry jam, but whatever your favorite is will work (you could even go with some apple butter 😍). Drizzle it with some honey, and you have a warm, cheesy app that feels extra fancy in no time at all.

Get the Baked Brie In Puff Pastry recipe.

mushroom “calamari” with spicy marinara
suzanne clements
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Mushroom “Calamari” with Spicy Marinara

Umami-rich oyster mushrooms are lightly battered and fried for this squid-free take on a seafood favorite. You can use other mushroom varieties, but the delicate “petals” of the oyster mushrooms get especially crispy.

Get the Mushroom “Calamari” with Spicy Marinara recipe.

baked falafel bites
Emily Hlavac Green
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Herby Baked Falafel Bites with Spicy Mint Tahini Dip

Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, these falafel are baked, not fried, for less mess. Chickpea flour is your new best friend in this gluten-free app.

Get the Herby Baked Falafel Bites with Spicy Mint Tahini Dip recipe.

potato pancakes
Park Feierbach
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Classic Latkes

If you ask us, you're not truly celebrating the Festival of Lights without as many crispy batches of latkes as possible. Make these miniature if you're looking for a bite-size app, but trust us—no one will turn down the full-size ones before the meal.

Get the Classic Latkes recipe.

roasted artichokes with lemon and garlic
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Roasted Artichokes

After roasting, the exterior petals can be pulled off, and you can use your teeth to scrape out the delicious, tender insides. We think our simple recipe for Old Bay mayo really complements the artichoke’s lemon-herbal flavor profile, but feel free to swap in everything from tahini sauce to ketchup if you prefer.

Get the Roasted Artichokes recipe.

chipotle vegan queso
Emily hlavac green
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Chipotle Vegan Queso

This vegan version is so good it's hard to decipher from regular queso dip. Made with cashews in place of cheese, it's awesome for serving alongside or right before a meat-heavy Hanukkah meal.

Get the Chipotle Vegan Queso recipe.

candied pecans, coated with crackly sugar and powdered spices
Lucy Schaeffer
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Spiced Candied Pecans

These particular pecans are our #1: SUPER-spiced, crunchy, sweet, and salty. They're great eaten by the handful, as an accompaniment to a cheese board, or even sprinkled over baked brie.

Get the Spiced Candied Pecans recipe.

cranberry brie bites
Kat Wirsing
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Cranberry Brie Bites

Our love for crescent roll recipes is no secret. Why make dough from scratch when everyone loves the canned stuff?! These are a fan favorite every holiday. They always disappear within minutes, probably because the combo of salty, creamy brie, sweet-tart cranberry sauce, and crunchy pecans is PERFECT.

Get the Cranberry Brie Bites recipe.

tempeh buffalo wings
Joel Goldberg
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Tempeh Buffalo “Wings”

Quicker to make and easier to eat than Buffalo chicken wings, this kosher-friendly, plant-based version swaps chicken for snackable triangles of tempeh to mimic the crowd-pleasing appetizer.

Get the Tempeh Buffalo “Wings” recipe.

Emily Hlavac Green
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Skordalia is a creamy, garlicky Greek dip we love to serve at parties. Made from potatoes and walnuts, this dip is smooth and creamy and always a surprise hit. Serve it with toasted pita or veggies for a new Hanukkah favorite!

Get the Skordalia recipe.

pesto arancini recipe
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Arancini are basically the more sophisticated and cooler cousins of mozzarella sticks. The Italian dish is prepared by forming cooled risotto into balls, filling them with some sort of filling (typically cheesy!), then breading and deep frying them into golden, crispy perfection. 😍

Get the Arancini recipe.

dish, food, cuisine, ingredient, cheese spread, side dish, brunch, dip, produce, junk food,
Ethan Calabrese
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Everything Bagel Dip

Take everything bagel seasoning from breakfast to appetizer with this simple dip. We like this served with bagel chips (ofc), but it's also great with pretzels, potato chips, or veggies.

Get the Everything Bagel Dip recipe.

potato knishes
Yossy Arefi
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Potato Knish

This recipe includes options classic potato & onion knishes, spanakopita-style knishes, and samosa-style knishes. The simple potato filling is ripe for riffing—feel free to invent your own!

Get the Potato Knish recipe.

honey garlic cauliflower
Park Feierbach
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Honey-Garlic Cauliflower

Much like our Parmesan cauliflower bites, these little guys have just enough crunch and flavor to keep us going. Craving salt and umami but avoiding dairy? These sticky-spicy bites will save the day.

Get the Honey-Garlic Cauliflower recipe.

dill dip
Emily Hlavac Green
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Easy Dill Dip

Your veggie platter deserves more than a sad store-bought dip. This easy dill dip comes together in mere minutes and makes every veggie sing with its freshness. Serve it alongside this ultimate chips and dip platter for the best Hanukkah spread ever.

Get the Easy Dill Dip recipe.

caramelized onion and goat cheese bites
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Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Bites

These are crazy easy: Make caramelized onions and scoop a bit of them onto puff pastry squares with a little crumbled goat cheese for creaminess and tang. The final step is a light drizzle of honey for that salty-sweet combination everyone will love this Hanukkah.

Get the Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Bites recipe.

whipped garlic and herb feta, topped with fresh cranberry sauce, pistachios, and honey
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Cranberry Whipped Feta Dip

Fresh feta cheese is combined with herbs, garlic, and cream cheese, whipped until super-smooth, then topped with tart homemade cranberry sauce, toasted pistachios, and honey. The result is a salty, creamy, sweet, tart, and absolutely irresistible dip that's perfect for Hanukkah.

Get the Cranberry Whipped Feta Dip recipe.

air fryer everything bagel avocado fries
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Air Fryer Everything Bagel Avocado Fries

Meet the appetizer love child of two iconic breakfasts: toasted everything bagel with cream cheese and savory avocado toast. Their superpowers combine in these irresistible avocado fries, which rely on the magical air fryer for their crisp texture.

Get the Air Fryer Everything Bagel Avocado Fries recipe.

air fryer buffalo cauliflower
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Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower

This cauliflower is the perfect answer when you have Buffalo wings on the brain, but need to eat more vegetables. All the Buffalo flavor you love coat these florets, which are then air-fried to perfection. It all comes together when you dip one into our perfectly creamy blue cheese dressing (but feel free to go with ranch dressing if you prefer!).

Get the Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower recipe.

harissa deviled eggs
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Harissa Deviled Eggs

The bite-sized party classic gets a smoky kick from harissa (Tunisian chili pepper paste) in this simple but flavorful deviled eggs recipe. Topped with crispy fried shallots and fresh cilantro, it may stray pretty far from the original, but it’s just as delicious.

Get the Harissa Deviled Eggs recipe.

pasta chips
Parker Feierbach
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Pasta Chips

You've heard of toasted ravioli, and now it's time to learn about pasta chips! The perfect thing to dip in a bowl of warm marinara and snack away.

Get the Pasta Chips recipe.

Ethan Calabrese
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Stuffed Brussels Sprouts

Just like a stuffed mushroom, this finger food has a delicious filling of bread crumbs, Parmesan, and minced garlic. Yum!

Get the Stuffed Brussels Sprouts recipe.

dish, food, cuisine, ingredient, meat, produce, recipe, corned beef, cecina, beef,
Erika LaPresto
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Brisket Bites

The classic combo of meat and potatoes, the cocktail-hour way. Brisket on a ruffled potato chip is truly a little slice of heaven.

Get the Brisket Bites recipe.

Dish, Food, Cuisine, Ingredient, Dessert, Baking, Baked goods, Finger food, Produce, Canapé,
Erika LaPresto
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Latke Cups

When your favorite latke becomes a cup, magical things happen. Feel free top these with classic applesauce and sour cream, or go wild with your toppings.

Get the Latke Cups recipe.

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