Christmas Appetizer Recipes

We've all been there. Your guests arrive but Christmas dinner is not quite ready yet. Luckily, we have a variety of healthy Christmas appetizers you can have on hand to prevent your guests from getting hangry. From baked meatballs to healthy spinach artichoke dip, these healthy Christmas appetizers are sure to be crowd-pleaser!

Staff Picks

Cured or Smoked Salmon Appetizer Platter

Rating: 4 stars
2
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.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

Rating: 5 stars
1
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.

Baked Stuffed Shrimp

Rating: 5 stars
1
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.

Nutty Pimiento Cheese Balls

Rating: 5 stars
1
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).

Winter Charcuterie Board

A cheeseboard is an ideal stationary hors d'oeuvre for holiday entertaining. Select a variety of cheeses, making sure to include an aged variety, a creamy cheese, a blue cheese and perhaps a smoked cheese. Round out the platter with cold cuts, bread, an abundance of seasonal fruits, dried fruit, crudité, nuts and olives. We even included some dark chocolate to cap it off!

Slow-Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip

Rating: 5 stars
1
This creamy, crowd-pleasing dip comes together with ease in your crock pot. Leave it in the slow cooker all party long to keep it warm for serving with perfect, melty cheese in every bite. Whole-wheat bread and raw veggie dippers allow you to dig in without the guilt.

Easy Italian Chicken Meatballs

Rating: 4 stars
2
These meatballs are flavor-packed--thanks to a little sausage added to the ground chicken mix--and all-purpose: serve them with spaghetti for a healthy dinner, on a toothpick with dipping sauce as an easy appetizer or stir them into a soup to make it more satisfying.

EatingWell Crudité Vegetable Wreath with Ranch Dip

Rating: 5 stars
3
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.

3-Ingredient Blue Cheese & Fig Bites

Rating: 5 stars
1
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.

Lemon-Garlic Marinated Shrimp

Rating: 4.88 stars
3
Marinating precooked shrimp in garlic- and lemon-infused oil is a simple yet elegant appetizer.

Tomato-Basil Skewers

Rating: 4.6 stars
4
Skewering mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes makes them easy to nosh at a party.

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.
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Inspiration and Ideas

18 Make Ahead Christmas Appetizers

Here are our best make-ahead Christmas appetizers to ensure your guests have something delicious to munch on before dinner.

Pear-Pecan Cheese Ball

This is not your grandma's cheese ball! Sweet pear, salty Cheddar cheese and crunchy nuts make this a healthy, crowd-pleasing appetizer.

Orange-Oregano Marinated Vegetables

Trade in plain crudités for something with more panache with this quick marinated vegetable recipe. Soak bell peppers, fennel and frozen artichoke hearts in an orange- and oregano-flavored marinade and in just a couple hours you'll have a tasty antipasto ready to serve with your cheese plate.