5 Healthy Holiday Appetizer Recipes

From eggnog to pumpkin pie, the holidays are littered with dangerously delicious dishes that can quickly take a toll on your waistline. It’s just one of the likely reasons that people gain about a pound between November and January every year. [1]

Fortunately, with just a little bit of planning, you can easily throw together a healthy holiday appetizer. To help you stay on track this holiday season, here are five dietitian-approved holiday appetizer recipes:

Herbed Goat Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates

Healthy Holiday Appetizers - Bacon Wrapped Dates
Even without any refined sugars, this healthy holiday dish is packed with all-natural sweetness! Just one date contains 66.5 calories, 1.5 grams of fiber and plenty of free-radical fighting antioxidants. Paired with salty bacon, it makes for the perfect sweet and salty snack. [2]

  • 12 Medjool dates
  • 6 strips of sugar-free and nitrate-free bacon
  • 3 oz herbed goat cheese

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Slice the dates lengthwise on one side to create an opening and remove the pit.
  3. Fill the date with the herb goat cheese and press the sides together.
  4. Cut the bacon slices in half. Wrap each date with a half slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
  5. Arrange evenly on a baking sheet with raised edges and bake for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the dates from the oven and use the toothpick to turn each of them on their side. Bake for another 5 to 8 minutes, until browned to your liking, then turn the dates to the other side and bake for another 5 to 8 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven, place them on a paper towel-lined plate and let them stand for at least five minutes before serving.

Caprese Bites

Healthy Holiday Appetizers - Caprese Bites
This easy-to-make finger food is the perfect pass-around holiday party appetizer. They’re a great source of vitamin C and potassium and contain cherry tomatoes which contain the antioxidant lycopene, which may reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

  • 12 mozzarella pearls
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 12 basil leaves
  • 12 toothpicks

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Cut cherry tomatoes in half.
  2. Thread a mini mozzarella cheese ball onto the toothpick.
  3. Next, thread a small basil leaf onto the toothpick.
  4. Finally, add a tomato half onto the toothpick.
  5. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and enjoy!

Stuffed Mushrooms

Healthy Holiday Appetizers - Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
With only five calories, baby portobello mushrooms are a very low-calorie addition to the holiday appetizer spread. Additionally, they are rich in folate, thiamine, vitamin B-6, iron and zinc. The turkey in the stuffing also contains about four grams of protein per mushroom, and can help you stay full and satisfied.

  • 16 mushroom caps cleaned; stems removed
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 ounces ground turkey
  • ½ cup of chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed well to remove excess water
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Avocado oil cooking spray

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Place the ground turkey in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the turkey, stirring and breaking up until it is fully cooked. Set aside the cooked turkey in a bowl.
  3. Place mushroom caps on a baking sheet, then spray each one with avocado oil spray.
  4. In a bowl, combine spinach, mozzarella cheese, ground turkey, garlic powder, black pepper, salt and any desired additional herbs. Mix until combined.
  5. Add a tablespoon of the mixture to each mushroom cap.
  6. Place in the oven to bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. If desired, top the stuffed mushrooms with more mozzarella cheese!

Beet Hummus

Healthy Holiday Appetizers - Beet Hummus
You can’t “beet” this tasty, yet delicious holiday hummus! Nitrate-rich beets serve as this appetizer’s main ingredient, giving it blood-pressure-lowering and performance-enhancing benefits. Beets are also rich in free-radical fighting antioxidants.

  • 1.5 cups cooked and peeled beets
  • One 14-ounce can of drained garbanzo beans
  • Juice of a lemon
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Variety of raw vegetables such as carrots, celery, broccoli, cucumbers or radishes for dipping

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Place the beets, garbanzo beans, lemon juice, tahini, garlic cloves and two tbsp olive oil in the bowl of a food processor or a high-power blender.
  2. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle the remaining tablespoon of olive oil through the chute in the lid and blend until smooth.
  3. Sprinkle with salt as desired.

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs Recipe
Deviled eggs are an easy-to-make, healthy holiday appetizer. They’re a low-calorie (77 calories per egg), high-protein option that will help keep you full, and away from the sweets. Eggs are also an excellent source of choline, which is an essential nutrient used for numerous bodily functions, such as cell structure, DNA Synthesis and cell messaging.

  • 10 peeled hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 large avocado
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Paprika (optional for color)

Cooking Instructions:
For Hard-Boiled Eggs:

  1. Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with water. Make sure the tops of the eggs are covered by at least an inch of water.
  2. Bring the water to a full boil, uncovered. Once it comes to a boil, remove the pot from the heat and cover it. Let the pot stand untouched for 13 minutes.
  3. Remove the boiled eggs from the water and transfer them to a bowl of cold water for 5 to 10 minutes to stop the cooking process.

For Deviled Eggs:

  1. Cut the hard-boiled eggs in half lengthwise and scoop out the yolks into a medium bowl. Arrange the whites, cut side up on a serving platter.
  2. Mash the yolks with avocado, mustard, salt and pepper to taste, until the mixture is almost smooth.
  3. Using a spoon or pastry bag, fill the holes in the egg white halves with the yolk mixture.


[1] www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/
[2] www.fdc.nal.usda.gov

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written by

Brenna Wallace

Brenna Wallace