With Video Tutorial!
~ So quick to make, but this Easy Christmas Appetizer “Hummus Wreath” is guaranteed to impress everyone at your holiday party! Even better? It can be made completely ahead – total bonus during the busy holiday season! ~
This Recipe Is: • Ready in 30 Minutes or Less • Make-Ahead • Vegetarian • Gluten Free (Depending on Your Choice of Optional Dippers) •
I’ve got a new little Christmas song for you this year, friends! Let’s try it together:
the halls your platters with boughs of holly wreaths of hummus! Falalalala Lalalala …
Hmmmmmm. Somehow it sounded better in my head.
But no worries! Trust me – this will be your new Christmas hit! (Maybe just don’t do the singing part.)
This pretty Christmas appetizer hits all the right notes!
- Creamy hummus is studded with salty feta and a little zing from green onions.
- That’s topped with a tabouli-like layer of fresh-tasting parsley salad.
- Add little red tomatoes and a red-pepper-ribbon (optional but highly recommended), and you go from hummus dip to edible holiday wreath in 10 minutes flat!
Plus, this appetizer is definitely:
• A busy cook’s dream! An absolute breeze to throw together in minutes, and you can even make it ahead!
• Sooooo festive! It’s sure to be the highlight of any Christmas buffet! Everyone will be asking, “Who brought that?!?” And you’ll be all chill, right? Shrugging it off with a breezy, “It was nothing!” while basking in the compliments and all the oooohing and aaaahing. Yay, you!
• Shhhhhhh … actually even healthy, too! But it’s so delicious, no one will care. I mean, pretty much everybody loves hummus, and I’ve seen firsthand how this appetizer dip disappears crazy-fast. Which is awesome, because this isn’t one of those fattening, you’ll-be-sorry-later dishes at holiday parties. Nope! Grab a glass of wine and station yourself next to this for the evening. No guilt, no holiday remorse come January 1st – you’re seriously winning here!
A Long-Time Favorite (All Decked Out for Christmas)
You might remember our Layered, Baked Hummus Dip. We published it almost four years ago, but I still make it alllll the time, especially around the holidays (because of all the reasons we just discussed). It’s so easy for me to whip up (no added holiday stress here!) … and people gleefully dig in, every single time I make it.
It’s a no-fail headliner.
But I got to thinking … how could I make my tried-and-true favorite recipe more Christmas-y? More fun and festive?
And suddenly it was so very obvious!
A wreath! Riiiiiiight!
I adapted the crazy-popular idea of my wreath-shaped Christmas Salad, creating a Christmas appetizer instead!
Still so easy (I promise!), and pretty enough that you almost don’t want to eat it. (Almost.) Seriously gorgeous enough to do double-duty as an edible centerpiece.
But wait. “Gorgeous centerpiece” and “so easy” don’t usually go together in the same sentence, do they? Well, they do this time! Take a look at what a snap this is to make …
How to Shape Hummus Into a Christmas Wreath
All you need are a few simple, healthy ingredients!
And they come together in a twinkling!
First, grab some plain, store-bought hummus (we use Sabra “Classic”), and stir in reduced-fat feta and thinly sliced green onions. (Try not to face-plant into the bowl and scarf it all down straightaway – focus and keep working!)
On a round serving platter (ours is this one, which is about 12.5 inches across), place a drinking glass or small bowl upside down in the middle, to serve as a guide for spreading the hummus.
If you plan to serve this appetizer with a bowl of dippers in the middle of the wreath (the way we did in some of our photos), then you’ll want to be sure the hole you make in the center of your wreath is large enough to fit that bowl.
You can either use the actual serving bowl as a guide (that’s what we did in these photos), or you can use a drinking glass that’s similar in diameter.
If you happen to have a drinking glass that’s about the right size, you’ll save yourself the time of cleaning hummus off your little serving bowl. Plus, tall drinking glasses can be a bit easier to pull away once you’ve finished spreading your hummus. But really – either works.
Spread your hummus dip mixture in an even layer (our hummus is about 9 1/2 inches across).
Then, carefully remove the glass or bowl you used as a guide. It can help if you use a little twisting motion as you do this. And, if you’re having any trouble cleanly removing it, I’ve found it can sometimes help to gently insert the tip of a toothpick under the glass/bowl to help it release.
And voila! A wreath shape! You’re almost done already!
Greenery for Your Festive Christmas Wreath
Our pretty (and edible!) holiday greenery here is Italian flat-leaf parsley, tossed with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and salt. Simple and really fresh-tasting – kind of like a super-basic tabouli salad.
Spoon your parsley mixture evenly around, leaving a small hummus border showing.
Next, add a few halved cherry tomatoes to your wreath, cut-side down so they look like Christmas ornaments nestled into your greenery.
And then …
Add a Red Bow (Optional But Recommended)
I use a small bow-shaped metal cookie cutter to make a bow from the sidewall of a large red pepper. Look for a pepper with broad, flat sides if you can find one.
If you don’t happen to have a cookie cutter, though, don’t despair. This Hummus Wreath still looks plenty jolly with just the tiny, round tomatoes.
So, skip the red pepper bow if you have to, but I definitely suggest grabbing a cookie cutter to keep on hand for the next time you make this wreath. Just be sure you buy a metal cookie cutter and not a plastic one, so it’s sharp enough to cut through the pepper effectively. Even with a metal cutter, you have to be a little gentle in working the cutter through the pepper so it cuts cleanly.
Sprinkle with Tasty “Snow”
The final flourish here is a light sprinkling of very finely crumbled feta.
The key here is to make sure it’s really finely crumbled – so it looks like a dusting of snow and not big clumps of cheese!
On the recipe card, we suggest using about 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons of feta, but feel free to adjust the amount slightly, depending on the overall diameter of the wreath you create. You don’t want to pile on so much feta that it looks like your wreath just rolled through a blizzard! You’re going for just enough to suggest snow flurries, without obscuring the reds and greens of the other ingredients.
Make It Ahead!
I’ve tested making this even a day or two ahead, and it works out just great. (Hurray, holiday sanity!) You’ve actually got a couple time-saving options here:
One option is to prep partially ahead. You can make the hummus mixture and the parsley salad mixture separately, and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble your wreath.
Another option is to go allllll the way here, and construct your entire wreath appetizer, then cover your beautiful creation tightly with plastic wrap until you serve it (amidst applause, appreciative cheers, and angels singing, no doubt!). I was surprised how terrific it still looked even after a day or two (the parsley topping will soften just a little over time, but it still looks nice).
This Christmas appetizer wreath is delicious with any dippers that you normally enjoy with hummus and tabouli.
We generally opt for:
- whole-grain pita chips (as shown in our photos)
- wedges of whole-wheat pita bread
- or veggies (Festively colored red and green peppers are our favorite, but you could also include other green crudités like broccoli, cucumbers and sugar snap peas, and other red veggies like cherry tomatoes.)
If you choose to set a little bowl of dippers in the center of the wreath, you’ll need to have plenty more alongside, as well, since a bowl small enough to fit in the center of the wreath won’t hold enough dippers to get you through an evening of happy party munching.
And of course, you can choose not to set a bowl of dippers in the middle at all – or to remove the little bowl once those dippers have been eaten.
The wreath looks so pretty, either way!
No doubt: this is one Christmas appetizer recipe that truly does hit all the right notes – and never disappoints! It’s quick and easy (sanity-saving!), absolutely delicious, guilt-free (hello, skinny jeans on January 1st), and drop-dead gorgeous.
Just last night, I was asked to be in charge of the appetizers for an upcoming holiday party. Guess which one is the very first recipe on my list?!?!
Yup! You know it!
And already I feel more relaxed, knowing I can pull this one off, easy-peasy! Which means I’ll have extra time to wrap gifts, bake healthy cookies, or (ahem) maybe practice my Falalalala-ing!
We love this recipe so much, and I can’t wait for you guys to try it at your own parties this holiday season! You’ll love hearing all those oooooohs and aaaaaahs (even better than Falalas, right?!?!)!
Merry Christmas, friends!
- 1 (17-ounce) container of purchased plain hummus (we use Sabra "Classic") (or use your favorite homemade)
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat, crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (from about 2 onions)
- 3/4 cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/16 teaspoon kosher salt
- cherry tomatoes, halved (I used 4 1/2 tomatoes for the wreath pictured in this post)
- 1 large red pepper, optional (look for one with broad, flat sides)
- 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons very finely crumbled, reduced-fat feta cheese
- optional dippers for serving: whole-grain pita chips, wedges of whole-wheat pita bread, or red and green veggies
In a medium-sized bowl, combine hummus, 1/2 cup feta, and green onions.
Place a small bowl or drinking glass in the center of a large, round platter (the platter in our photos is this one, which is about 12.5 inches in diameter). If you plan to place a bowl of pita chips or veggies at the center of the finished wreath (as we did in some of our photos), you'll want to use that bowl (or a similarly sized glass), to be sure the hole in the middle of the wreath is the right size. Use a rubber scraper to spread the hummus mixture in a circle all around the bowl/glass you placed at the center (refer to the photos in our post to see how we did this). Remove the bowl/glass from the center using a gentle, upward twisting motion. If needed, you can carefully insert the tip of a toothpick under the edge of the bowl/glass to help it release.
In another small bowl, toss parsley, oil, and salt until the parsley is thoroughly coated and the oil and salt are evenly distributed. Spoon parsley mixture in a circle on top of the hummus layer, leaving a small border of hummus showing all around.
Place halved cherry tomatoes, cut-side down, randomly throughout the parsley layer, so they look like Christmas ornaments.
If making the optional bow out of red pepper, cut one broad, flat side off the pepper (as shown in the photo in our post), and gently but firmly press a metal, bow-shaped cookie cutter (we use this one) through the pepper slice to cut out your bow. Place the bow on your wreath.
Sprinkle entire wreath lightly with a dusting of 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons very finely crumbled feta, to look like snow. You can adjust the exact amount of feta, depending on the diameter of your wreath – you want it to look like just a light dusting, without using so much feta that it hides the other ingredients.
Serve immediately with dippers of your choice, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1-2 days. (See make-ahead tips below.)
Make-ahead tips: You can make this recipe partially ahead by mixing together the ingredients for both the hummus layer and the parsley salad layer – cover and refrigerate them separately until finishing your wreath. Alternately, you can make the entire wreath completely ahead, up to 1-2 days before serving. Store the platter in the refrigerator, tightly covered in plastic wrap, but be sure the wrap doesn't stick to your wreath or smash it. Also, note that if you make the parsley layer ahead of time, it may soften and darken just a little, but it still looks nice and tastes great.