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.
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By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Slow-Cooker Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

Rating: 4 stars 3
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.
By Devon O'Brien

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.
By Liz Mervosh

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).
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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!
By Charlotte Autry

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.
By Carolyn Casner

Fig & Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Roll

Rating: 5 stars 1
Buttery puff pastry is a tasty shortcut ingredient that can be used in many delicious ways. Here we roll out a pastry sheet and cover it with fig jam and crumbled goat cheese, then roll it up into a log and bake it. The end result is a sweet-and-savory appetizer that looks and tastes impressive, especially considering it has just three ingredients.
Victoria Seaver
By Victoria Seaver, M.S., RD

Pear-Pecan Cheese Ball

Rating: 4.5 stars 4
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.
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By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Lemon-Garlic Marinated Shrimp

Rating: 5 stars 5
Marinating precooked shrimp in garlic- and lemon-infused oil is a simple yet elegant appetizer.
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By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Roasted Pears with Brie & Pistachios

Rating: 4.5 stars 2
Roasted pears with Brie and pistachios is delicious as a first course or a side with roast pork or lamb. Leave the stems on for the prettiest presentation.
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Mini Brie & Apple Quiches

Rating: 3 stars 5
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.
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By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Creamy Spinach Dip

Rating: 3 stars 4
Try this light spinach dip made healthier with reduced-fat cream cheese, nonfat yogurt and low-fat cottage cheese instead of full-fat cheese, mayonnaise and sour cream. It will save you a whopping 84 calories and 10 grams of fat per serving when compared to traditional versions. Serve it with pita chips and crunchy vegetables or spread it on a sandwich.
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By EatingWell Test Kitchen
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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.
Caprese Skewers
Rating: 4.5 stars 6

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.