3 Easy And Meaty Holiday Appetizer Recipes

Appetizers can be fun part of holiday gatherings or even a meal by themselves. These easy appetizer recipes featuring meat will appeal to people of all ages and will be a hit at Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or a Super Bowl party.

Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts Appetizer

Although the combination of ingredients seems rather unusual, the sauce of brown sugar, ketchup and mayonnaise is delicious after being cooked on the bacon-wrapped chestnuts. These little morsels are seriously addictive and there are never any left over!

  • 1 ½ pounds sliced bacon
  • 3 cans (8 ounces each) whole water chestnuts
  • 1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • ¾ cup regular mayonnaise


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut bacon strips into thirds. Wrap water chestnuts with bacon strip, using a toothpick to secure.
  3. Put bacon-wrapped chestnuts in an ungreased 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish.
  4. Bake uncovered until bacon is crisp, approximately 30-35 minutes, turning once.
  5. Drain dish and discard grease.
  6. When bacon-wrapped chestnuts are almost done, mix the brown sugar, ketchup, and mayonnaise in a bowl. Pour over the drained chestnuts.
  7. Return dish to oven and bake until sauce is bubbly, approximately 6-8 minutes.

Holiday Meatballs with Zesty Cranberry Sauce

These meatballs are a definite step up from the standard holiday meatballs with a sauce made of chili sauce and grape jelly. The sweet relish adds a little kick to the meatballs and the jellied cranberries add a nice touch of both tang and sweetness to the sauce.


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish


  • 1 can of whole berry jellied cranberries
  • 12 oz jar chili sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Do not overmix.
  3. Form 40 balls.
  4. Place balls on jelly roll pan and bake for 10 minutes.
  5. While the meatballs are baking, blend the four sauce ingredients in a saucepan and heat thoroughly over medium to medium high heat.
  6. Remove meatballs from jelly roll pan to a plate covered with paper towel. Gently pat to remove any excess grease.
  7. Put meatballs in crockpot and pour sauce over them.
  8. Keep in crockpot on warm or low.

Zesty Smokey Links

This super easy recipe is a sure hit with children and men especially! It is quick to put together and keeps well for a long time in a crockpot.

  • 1 12 oz bottle chili sauce
  • 1 cup grape jelly
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 pkgs (1 pound each) mini smoked sausage links


  1. Combine chili sauce, grape jelly and lemon juice in medium sized saucepan. Heat over medium heat until hot.
  2. Add sausages to sauce and heat on low heat for 30 minutes.
  3. If desired, transfer to crockpot to keep warm.

Everyone loves fun finger food and appetizers can be a great warm up before a meal or a meal by themselves. These easy recipes for Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts, Zesty Smokey Links, and Holiday Meatballs with Zesty Cranberry Sauce are all proven winners that will leave people asking for more every time whether the party is Christmas, New Year’s Eve, the Super Bowl or some other fun celebration!