Mary Anne's Holiday Chicken Appetizers

These filling and very tasty appetizers go together very quickly and will be quite the hit at your next holiday party or get-together. Instead of Hawaiian dinner rolls, you can substitute 4 sandwich buns and proceed with the recipe.

1 package 12 dinner rolls, (I like the Hawaiian dinner rolls), cut in half

4+ teaspoons unsalted butter, softened

4+ teaspoons spreadable cream cheese


4+ teaspoons regular or fat-free cream cheese softened

2 cups cooked chicken, cut into small chunks

2/3 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce

6+ Tablespoons mayonnaise or fat-free Greek yogurt, use more if you like a creamier mixture

4 green onions, chopped small


1/2 small red onion, diced small

1 celery stalk, diced small, optional

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 cup toasted pecan or walnut pieces

1 cup halved seedless grapes, red or green

Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Spread butter over roll bottoms and then spread cream cheese on the tops.
  • (Note: You can also place rolls cut side up on an ungreased baking sheet. Spread butter over roll bottoms and broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Then, spread cream cheese on bun tops.)
  • In a medium-size bowl, combine the chicken, cranberry sauce, mayonnaise or Greek yogurt, onion, celery, if using, lemon juice, nuts, grapes and salt and pepper, to taste. Mix well. Refrigerate mixture for at least one hour. Using a medium-size cookie scoop, place chicken mixture on roll bottoms. Makes approximately 12 appetizers, depending on amount placed on each roll.

Note: I like to bake bone-in chicken breasts that I have drizzled with a little olive oil and then sprinkled with salt and pepper. I have also roasted a whole chicken to use in this recipe. Once the chicken reaches a temperature of 165 degrees F., I remove it from the oven and let it cool. I then remove the meat from the bone and slice it into chunks and proceed with the recipe. The bone adds extra flavor and juiciness.

Note: If you have any mixture leftover, refrigerate it and serve it for lunch the next day.