No-fuss Christmas party food and canapés

Impress your guests this Christmas - without tearing your hair out over timings. Mumsnetters share their top festive food tips

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1. There's nothing wrong with simplicity

"Baked Camembert with bread sticks - looks fab and is very easy!"

2. A cocktail stick can make all the difference

"The best canapé I've ever made: cocktail stick + cherry tomato + tiny ball of mozzarella + leaf of basil." 

3. Oatcakes = instant rustic charm

"Herby prawns on top of smoked salmon pate, on an oatcake, are easy and delicious."


4. Never underestimate the power of veg

"I make a delicious feta cucumber canapé: scoop out the innards of a cucumber sliced lengthways, then fill the groove with a feta, ricotta, garlic and dill mix. Cut up small and serve on a platter."

5. Pick a theme and run with it

"I often do canapés with a cheese, a veg/fruit and a carb - eg Stilton, pear and walnut on rye, or mozzarella, chilli and basil on crostini, or goats cheese and sunblush tomato on crispbreads. Maximum flavour, no cooking on the night, minimum fuss."

6. Play to your strengths

"I am not a natural cook. I do, however, make a mean leaf, ciabatta and red wine vinegar salad with mozzarella."


7. Pre-planning is your best friend

"Eton Mess is a really quick and easy dish. I also make loads of fairy cakes and freeze them in batches. Then I take as many as we need out for each day and decorate them using stars, edible glitter etc."

8. Don't be afraid to go retro

"I always serve a couple of old fashioned 'hedgehogs' - half an orange studded with cocktail sticks with cubes of cheddar, chunks of pineapple and a pickled onion. It makes everyone laugh and feel like they have been transported to the 1970s (but there's never any left at the end!)" 

"I make a trifle just like we used to eat in the '80s. No fiddling about: sponge fingers in the bottom of a bowl, one or two tins of fruit cocktail on top, a set jelly spooned on top of that, then custard out of a tin, whipped cream, and grated chocolate, or sweets, or banana slices. Is it posh? No. Is it incredibly easy? Yes." 

9. Add a final flourish - and take all the credit

"Decant tubs of dips into ramekins and add chopped chives or parsley on top to pass off as homemade." 

"I buy plain things, and add to them to make them my own. Cheesecake with your own topping, cake covered in your own decorations, or even just sprinkling a plate of mince pies with icing sugar or edible glitter, looks like you've made more of an effort than just packet to plate."

10. Leftovers? That's what families are for

"I make individual Yorkshire puddings in a muffin tray two weeks before and freeze the best looking ones for Christmas Day. The ugly ones are fed to the family with sausages and gravy for everyday evening meals!"

You're welcome 

And check out our tutorial video on easy festive nibbles, with Michelin-starred chef Kevin Love and Mumsnet blogger Heledd, for more inspiration!

Liked this? Try these:

12 festive drinks
Edible Christmas gifts

Stress-free Christmas dinner 

Last updated: 2 minutes ago