Smoky Pumpkin Seeds
Smoked paprika and garlic powder punch up the flavor in this easy roasted pumpkin seeds recipe.
Baked Broccoli-Cheddar Quinoa Bites
These savory muffin-like quinoa bites are low in carbs and a good source of protein--plus we love their cheesy flavor.
Broiled Oysters with Anchovy-Almond Butter
Topped with a buttered-up blend of toasted almonds, savory anchovy and fresh herbs, this broiled oyster recipe is rich, intense and downright delicious. Serve the oysters as a first course with a dry amontillado sherry and crusty bread.
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.
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.
These spicy nuts were inspired by ones sold by street vendors across Mexico. If you can only find salted peanuts, omit the added salt. Add the maximum amount of cayenne pepper if you want an extra hit of spice.
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.
Cranberry-Almond Granola Bars
There are plenty of granola bar options at the grocery store, but they're also easy (and often healthier) to make at home. Feel free to vary the add-ins to your taste, swapping 2 cups of any combination of small (or chopped) dried fruit, nuts, seeds and/or chocolate chips for the dried cranberries and nuts in this version. We tested several sticky sweeteners, including maple syrup and honey, but found brown rice syrup held the bars together the best.
Curried Butternut Squash Dip
This healthy squash dip recipe, spiced with curry and made creamy with the addition of coconut milk, is a delicious alternative to hummus. You can also use other types of winter squash, pumpkin or sweet potatoes in place of the butternut squash in this dip. Serve with crisp raw vegetables or toasted pitas for dipping.
Creamy Spinach Dip
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.
These curried cashews are impossibly addictive--every time we made them in the Test Kitchen they disappeared in a flash. If you use salted cashews, omit the added salt.