An easy lettuce wraps Christmas tree is the best holiday party appetizer. Use frozen meatballs and fresh veggies. With sweet chili sauce, it's Christmas party food that's sure to please.
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If you're throwing a Christmas party, attending one, or just need a holiday pick-me-up for family dinner, here's the party platter for you!
Christmas themed appetizers
When planning what kind of food to serve at a Christmas party I always think about both savory and sweet options.
For savory holiday nibbles, cute Christmas appetizers are usually a shoe-in for compliments and happy friends. I took a simple lettuce wrap idea and turned it into the perfect holiday platter.
Using Farm Rich Homestyle Meatballs, my Thai lettuce wraps make for an easy finger food recipe for a crowd. And arranged just so, an impressive food centerpiece.
The best appetizer to bring to a party
I like to keep holiday cooking fun and easy. Food that is quick to assemble, travels well and can be served warm or at room temperature is the best food for a Christmas party.
Even if you're throwing the party at home, and not traveling, you'll want to take advantage of these helpful things!
A great party appetizer for me also includes some homemade elements and store bought elements. Semi-homemade is super easy is what I say!
I made rice, chopped some veggies and peanuts and cleaned lettuce leaves. Then used frozen meatballs and store bought sweet chili sauce to finish off the simple prep.
Farm Rich frozen Meatballs are just one of the many snacks and appetizers I use to create easy meals, finger foods for parties and new appetizer ideas. They're quick to prepare and versatile.
You can simmer the meatballs in sauce, sauté them or bake them in the oven with the rest of dinner. These meatballs are also microwavable and made with hearty ground beef and savory pork. A delicious combination!
I used Thai-inspired ingredients to create a flavorful, asian lettuce wrap. Carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, scallions and peanuts can all be sliced and diced ahead of time, stored in containers in the fridge and kept ready to go.
You can cook your own rice, use instant or even frozen rice (I know stores now have this in handy packets!)
Toss the cooked meatballs in a little sweet chili sauce and serve extra for drizzling, and really you're done! Chopped peanuts and toasted sesame seeds are an easy garnish that takes the look of these nibbles up a notch.
What is the best lettuce for wraps?
Lettuce with a good, cupped shape works best for lettuce wraps. I prefer a soft lettuce like Boston, Butter or Bibb. You'll often find these in little heads, or in clam shells at the store.
You can also use iceberg lettuce, but I like the deep green color the tips of Butter lettuce has for my Christmas tree lettuce wraps.
I like to clean and dry my lettuce leaves, and assemble them in a Christmas tree shape on my platter before assembling. This lets me see if my platter is large enough and what bowl I should use for the dip (the tree trunk!).
The platter here is about 17-inches in diameter. Here's a pretty silver tray about the same size. You could use a cutting board or other surface in place of a platter as well.
My "trunk" bowl is about 3-inches in diameter. Here are some pretty, small wooden bowls that would work well!
Find more easy Christmas appetizers and finger foods on Tara Teaspoon
I add a little rice to each lettuce leaf, top with saucy meatballs and veggies then garnish with scallions, peanuts and sesame seeds.
Each ingredient adds flavor and color. The vegetables look like colorful Christmas lights on the sea of green lettuce. Meatballs are like ornaments!
Make extras and keep them on a platter or baking sheet handy to swap out or replenish your party tray.
Make these Asian lettuce wraps for a weeknight dinner instead of party appetizers.
Swap BBQ sauce for the sweet chili sauce for a zesty option.
Christmas Tree Lettuce Wraps
- 2 heads Butter or Bibb lettuce
- 24 Farm Rich Homestyle Meatballs about ½ bag
- 1¼ cups sweet chili sauce
- 2 cups cooked long grain rice
- 3 Persian cucumbers diced
- 2 carrots julienned or thinly sliced
- ½ yellow bell pepper diced
- ½ red bell pepper diced
- 3 scallions white and green parts sliced
- ⅓ cup chopped peanuts
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- Separate lettuce leaves, wash and pat dry. Select 12 small leaves for lettuce wraps. Some leaves may be layered for stability if they are small. If not using immediately, store in refrigerator.
- Arrange leaves on a large platter or cutting board in a Christmas Tree shape. I used 9, and you can keep extras off to the side, or build a larger tree. Place a small bowl at the base for a trunk and fill with some sweet chili sauce.
- Heat meatballs according to package directions and toss with about ½ cup of sweet chili sauce.
- Assemble lettuce wraps with a spoonful of rice, then top with a few meatballs and a some mixed veggies. Sprinkle entire tree with scallions, chopped peanuts and sesame seeds. Serve warm or at room temperature with the extra sauce for drizzling.