23 Low-Carb Christmas Appetizers That Still Feel Festive
Kick off your holiday meal with these healthy low-carb Christmas appetizers. You can munch on these bites while you cook the bigger meal, or just eat these delicious appetizers for dinner (anything goes this year!). Whether it’s our 3-Ingredient Cranberry-Brie Bites or Baked Stuffed Shrimp, these healthy holiday appetizers are festive and have no more than 15 grams of carbohydrates per serving.
Baked Stuffed Shrimp
Stuffed shrimp make a quick and easy appetizer perfect for holiday parties. The trick to great stuffed shrimp? Make sure your shrimp are large enough to hold the filling. We recommend jumbo shrimp, which easily encase the savory filling of scallions, breadcrumbs and bacon with just a hint of spice from cayenne pepper.
Pear-Pecan Cheese Ball
Sweet pear, salty Cheddar cheese and crunchy nuts make this healthy cheese ball recipe an alluring holiday treat. Serve with an array of crudités and crisp party crackers.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
Turn classic chicken parm into meatballs with this easy load-and-go appetizer recipe with a cheesy surprise inside. Making meatballs for a party? Switch your crock pot to warm for serving all party long.
3-Ingredient Cranberry-Brie Bites
Baked Brie is a perennially popular appetizer. Here, we complement the Brie with tart cranberry sauce and bake it in pretty individual tartlets using premade pie crust for an ultra-easy crowd-pleasing appetizer.
EatingWell Crudité Vegetable Wreath with Ranch Dip
Take your veggies and dip to the next level with this colorful crudité wreath. This vegetable appetizer is a stunner with white cauliflower, red tomatoes and green broccoli, green beans, snap peas, kale and Brussels sprouts. It's also a delicious way to start your celebration with veggies (which there are rarely enough of at parties and holidays). The homemade ranch dip, which uses nonfat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, takes just a few minutes to make, or you can use a healthy store-bought dip.
This crab-stuffed mushroom recipe is perfect for Christmas, New Year's Eve and other holiday parties or any other time you need a quick and easy appetizer. The filling is light and fresh thanks to hearts of palm, a tender vegetable with a mild flavor (similar to artichokes) that doesn't mask the rich, sweet flavor of fresh crabmeat.
Everything Bagel Cheese Ball
This is not your grandma's cheese ball. It has all the flavor of an everything bagel without all the carbs and with just 3 ingredients! Want to emphasize the bagel taste? Serve it with bagel chips and some raw veggies for dipping to keep things healthy.
3-Ingredient Blue Cheese & Fig Bites
Salty-tangy blue cheese pairs beautifully with sweet fig jam in these easy appetizers, which are perfect for a holiday party. The optional minced chives add a nice pop of color, but these are just as tasty without herbs. Keep the ingredients on hand and you can whip these up for impromptu holiday cocktail parties.
Oysters on the Half Shell with Mignonette Sauce
It may seem a little intimidating to open an oyster, but after a little practice it gets easier. Classically oysters are served raw on the half shell with a little mignonette sauce, which refers in French to “black pepper,” but you can also enjoy them without any sauce at all.
Pomegranate, Cranberry & Brie Bruschetta
Make this simple festive appetizer for your holiday guests. Toasted baguette slices with creamy, melted brie are topped with an orange-cranberry-pomegranate mixture--each bite delivers an explosion of flavor and texture!
3-Ingredient Cream Cheese & Cherry Pepper Bites
Need a super-easy holiday-party hors d'oeuvre? These tasty little cream cheese and cherry pepper tartlets come together in a snap, thanks to premade pie dough, which is pressed into a mini muffin tin to make the tart shells--then all you have to do is fill the cups with cream cheese and chopped cherry peppers. Chopped herbs add a nice hit of color, but these are just as tasty as-is. Consider making a double batch--these bites are sure to go quickly.
These homemade sausage balls are a healthy riff on the original--we add riced cauliflower for moisture and a veggie boost, whole-wheat flour stands in for prepared biscuit mix, and sharp Cheddar adds flavor. Serve these sausage balls for brunch, as an appetizer, or mix them with your favorite marinara for dinner.
Artichoke & Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms
For this healthy stuffed mushroom recipe, marinated artichokes and Parmesan cheese are mixed with thyme and panko breadcrumbs for a delicious filling. If serving at a party, you might consider doubling the recipe. These stuffed mushrooms will be devoured quickly!
Smoked Salmon Cheese Ball
Blanketed in chopped nuts and zesty chives, this cheese ball is festive enough for even the most discerning party guests. Serve with sturdy crackers or toasted baguette slices for easy spreading.
Loaded Cauliflower Bites
Crispy slices of roasted cauliflower topped with cheese, sour cream and bacon make a tasty low-carb alternative to classic loaded potato skins.
Smoked Tuna Spread Canapés
Need an appetizer for your next cocktail party? Look no further than these easy canapés. A blend of smoked tuna and seasoned cream cheese is stacked with crisp cucumber slices atop crunchy almond crackers in an appetizer that your guests will be reaching for first.
Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms
This finger food is the perfect healthy appetizer to get your party going. Three ingredients are all it takes to make this elegant hors d'oeuvre--no one will ever guess how easy they were to make! Want to keep things plant-based? Use vegan pesto in the breadcrumb stuffing. You can also swap the whole-wheat breadcrumbs for gluten-free.
Roasted Pears with Prosciutto
This 3-ingredient finger food is the perfect classy appetizer for your next party. It's so simple to make yet so elegant and delicious. Finishing with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar makes the flavors pop and takes this easy app to the next level.
Sweet Potato Skins with Guacamole
Top crispy sweet potato skins with guacamole for a healthy take on classic potato skins in this easy crowd-pleasing recipe.
Serve this vegetarian pâté recipe as an appetizer with crackers and pickled onions or try it as a sandwich spread. Nutritional yeast, rich in vitamin B12, adds a cheesy flavor without any dairy. Look for the yellow yeast powder or flakes in natural-foods stores.
Oysters au Gratin with Spinach & Breadcrumbs
These succulent baked oysters thrill with spicy spinach and a crispy cheese topping.
Mini Brie & Apple Quiches
We love the way Brie and apples taste together in these mini quiches. Mini phyllo cups make it swift and simple to create an elegant appetizer.
Harissa Mackerel & Endive
Harissa, the flavorful chili paste from Tunisia, gives this mackerel salad a spicy punch. If you need an alternative, try another chili paste, such as gochujang, sambal oelek or chile-garlic paste.