Quick and Easy Party Recipes for a Virtual Holiday Party

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Quick and Easy Party Recipes for a Virtual Holiday Party

Quick and Easy Party Recipes for a Virtual Holiday Party

Things are a little different this year when it comes to social gatherings. I have put together some quick and easy recipes that can be made and shared virtually with family and friends this year. In previous years with social gatherings, it can seem like a great idea to invite a bunch of friends or family over to celebrate the holidays but then comes the realization that you have to prepare and cook all the food and will likely need to spend hours in the kitchen. That was me until I started to plan gatherings differently, by choosing food that is quick to make and that can be prepared in advance, allowing you to simply dress the table and enjoy your time with friends when we can get back to in real-life gatherings. In the meantime. These quick and easy party recipes for the holidays are easy enough to make with your family and friends virtually and share together via a virtual holiday party. 

I prefer to make finger food substantial enough to satisfy all appetites. Serving more than one dish also caters to those who are non-meat eaters or have other dietary requirements. Cooking hot meals and different dishes to cater to all diets and preferences can be too time-consuming when you’re catering to larger numbers, and I would rather avoid that whenever possible. Satisfying and straightforward is my motto. 

I will typically make two or three savoury dishes that span appetizers and the main course, and I’ve shared a couple of recipes here that will get you started. I also like a show-stopper dessert, one that looks like it’s taken you hours of hard labour to prepare, but that is actually really simple and can be made the evening before, preferably with no cooking involved at all. 

These dishes require minimal preparation and cook really quickly – the tiramisu can even be made the night before. You can leave the oven on and put them in one after another, or if big enough, you may be able to get the Pesto Pizza Bites and Cheese Puffs in at the same time as they require the same cooking temperature and time. 

Check out these quick and easy party recipes for the holidays that you can make virtually with your family and friends this season.

Pesto Pizza Bites – makes 72

These little bites smell amazing, and I challenge you not to eat one of two straight from the oven! They are best served hot – although I’ve been known to have a couple of leftovers cold for breakfast the following morning. 

Quick and Easy Party Recipes for the Holidays - pesto puffs


  • 2 x 380 g (13 oz) ready-made puff pastry 
  • Plain flour for dusting
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • 4 tbsp pesto
  • 18 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 x 125 g (4 ½ oz) pack of mini-mozzarella balls, drained and quartered
  • 18 black olives, pitted and quartered
  • 70 g (2½ oz) prosciutto, roughly chopped
  • 1 pack fresh basil


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Line two large baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the first pack of pastry to 30×23 cm (12×9 in).
  3. Cut into six long strips lengthways and then six across, creating 36 squares. Transfer to a baking sheet and brush each square with a little of the beaten egg.
  4. Repeat with the second pack of pastry, at which point you will have 72 squares. 
  5. Place a little of the pesto in the centre of every square. Top with a quarter of a mozzarella ball, a quarter of a tomato and a quarter of an olive.
  6. Top one tray (36 squares) with the chopped prosciutto.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Top each with a basil leaf before serving.


Cheese Puffs – makes 36

Quick and Easy Party Recipes for the Holidays - cheese puffs

This is a fantastic recipe that I borrowed from the wonderful Nigel Slater. These bites are totally adorable and have such a tangy taste from the warm blue cheese. 


  • 1 x 380 g (13 oz) ready-made puff pastry
  • Plain flour for dusting
  • 300 g (10 ½ oz) Stilton cheese 
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • 100 g (3 ½ oz) freshly grated parmesan


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Line one large baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to 30×23 cm (12×9 in).
  3. Cut the pastry into four long strips lengthwise and then six across, creating 24 rectangles.
  4. Crumble the Stilton into a bowl and crush with a fork.
  5. Place a heaped teaspoon of the cheese to the centre-left of each pastry rectangle, brush the edges with the egg wash. Fold the pastry over the cheese and crimp the edges with a fork to seal and place on the lined baking tray.
  6. Brush each parcel’s top with the egg wash and grate the parmesan over the top. Pierce a little hole into each one to allow the air to escape.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Brie & Cranberry Cups – makes 24

Quick and Easy Party Recipes for the Holidays - brie and cranberry

These easy cheese and cranberry morsels are best served fresh from the oven, so the cheese is melty and hot. You will need a 24-hole mini muffin tin (or two 12-hole mini muffin tins).


  • 2 x sheets of filo pastry (48×25 cm/19×10 in)
  • 55 g (2 oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • 150 g (5 ½ oz) brie
  • 1-2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 100 g (3 ½ oz) cranberry sauce
  • 75 g (2 ¾ oz) smoked back bacon rashers, cut into 1 cm (½ in) strips
  • Black pepper



  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F.
  2. Take one filo pastry sheet and cover the rest with a damp tea towel to prevent them from drying out. Cut the pastry in half so that it is easier to work with. Brush the pastry with a little of the melted butter. Cut it into 20 rough squares of 5 cm/2 in. Place three of the squares on top of each other, each at a slight angle to the one underneath; it should form a star shape.
  3. Push the pastry stack into one of the holes in your mini-muffin tin to make an empty pastry case. Repeat with the rest of the pastry until all of the holes of your mini-muffin tins are filled.
  4. Cut the brie into 24 pieces and place one piece in each case. Dot each one with a tiny amount of mustard, a ½ teaspoon of cranberry sauce and top with a few strips of bacon.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bacon is cooked, the cheese has melted and the pastry is golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin for a couple of minutes before removing carefully and serving.

Tiramisu – serves 6 to 8

Need a last-minute pudding on the table? This recipe uses ready-made panettone, which allows the whole thing to be made in less than 30 minutes. It serves 6 to 8, so you may want to scale up the recipe depending on the number of guests you’re expecting. 

Quick and Easy Party Recipes for the Holidays - tiramisu


  • 4 shot of espresso, or a four-cup cafetière (French-press) of strong coffee
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 50 ml (2 fl oz) amaretto liqueur
  • 1 ready-made panettone, cut into 1 cm/½ in thick slices
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) mascarpone
  • 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out
  • 150 g (5 oz) icing sugar or confectioners’ sugar
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) double cream, whipped until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed
  • Cocoa powder for dusting
  • Dark chocolate, grated to garnish



  1. Mix the espresso, caster sugar and amaretto in a large bowl. Add the panettone slices to the coffee mixture and set aside.
  2. Place the mascarpone, vanilla seeds and icing sugar into a separate bowl and mix together. Fold in the double cream.
  3. Place pieces of soaked panettone into a large serving dish to line the bottom. Spread half the mascarpone and cream mixture across the soaked panettone slices, then place another layer of panettone on top.
  4. Spoon more of the cream over the top and sprinkle with cocoa powder. Transfer to the fridge to chill. Sprinkle with gratings of dark chocolate just before serving.

The Holiday Spirit – serves 6

We often see hot alcoholic drinks during the holidays, which is excellent as the temperatures have often dropped to single digits around this time of year. This recipe is based on a Swedish Glogg recipe, and in keeping with the theme of this post, it is quick and easy to make. It can be made and kept for up to one week.

Quick and Easy Party Recipes for the Holidays - mulled wine

  • 1 bottle red wine (the quality doesn’t matter)
  • 1-2 sticks cinnamon
  • 5 g dried root ginger
  • 5 g dried Seville orange peel (or any other orange)
  • 7 green cardamom pods
  • 16 whole cloves
  • 80 g (3 oz) sugar
  • Flaked almonds and raisins – to serve
  • Splash of vodka, aquavit, rum or cognac – optional


  1. Pour the wine into a saucepan. Add the rest of the ingredients and heat to around 80C/176F, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for at least one hour.
  3. Strain the liquid and, using a funnel, pour the mulled wine back into the bottle.
  4. When required to serve, pour the wine into a saucepan and heat. Remove from the heat – if you want to give it an extra kick, add a splash of vodka, aquavit, rum or cognac at this point.
  5. Place a few flaked almonds and raisins in the bottom of your serving cups, and pour the mulled wine over the top.

Want more recipes? Then why not head over to The Journal and check my other recipe posts. 

Jacqui Hodges

With 30 years of general management experience in the global insurance industry and having lived in 4 countries, Jacqui now spends her time between London and New York where she continues to pursue her passion for writing, food, books and travel.

A Reiki practitioner, yogi and huge animal advocate, her home isn’t complete without a furbaby or three. In addition to being a BooknBrunch contributor, she writes for  industry publications.

Favourite book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
Favourite brunch dish: avocado toast with tomato and chilli


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