25 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!
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.
Cured or Smoked Salmon Appetizer Platter
This smoked salmon platter requires little effort but the spread makes a big impression. Served with all the fixings--capers, hard-boiled eggs, cucumber and more--a smoked salmon platter is the ultimate make-ahead appetizer. Lay out everything listed in the ingredients below or just a few of the elements along with an assortment of crackers, cocktail bread and/or sliced baguette.
Nutty Pimiento Cheese Balls
These bite-size pimiento cheese balls from Jamie and Bobby Deen are a huge hit with kids (of all ages). They're the perfect appetizer to bring to a summer picnic. Jamie and Bobby share a passion for great home-cooked food with a Southern flair with their celebrity-chef mom, Paula Deen. These brothers are following in their mom's footsteps with their own TV shows, books and website. Our favorite part of what they're up to: healthy makeovers of some of Paula's recipes! Recipe adapted from The Deen Bros. Get Fired Up, by Jamie & Bobby Deen and Melissa Clark (Ballantine Books, 2011).
We take all the ingredients of a classic caprese salad and layer them onto skewers for a quick appetizer. These tomato-mozzarella-basil skewers are easy to assemble and perfect for a party.
Scandinavian Pickled Herring Bites
This Scandinavian-style appetizer is a good way to try pickled herring if you've never had it. The potent flavor of the herring is balanced by a dollop of sour cream and the potato slice it's served on.
Rustic Mushroom Tart
Don't let phyllo dough's fussy reputation put you off: our method of brushing olive oil and sprinkling breadcrumbs between the layers makes this tart actually quite simple to assemble, and helps keep it healthy. It can be served as a main course or cut into smaller pieces and enjoyed as an appetizer.
Sweet and Salty Roasted Nuts
Spicy seasonings add a bit of zing to roasted nuts for an appetizer that's perfect for any occasion.
Spinach Salad with Warm Maple Dressing
Pure maple syrup adds body and rich flavor to the dressing, providing a perfect counterpoint to the smoked cheese.