Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipes

From our showstopping Pecan-Pear Cheese Ball to our one-bite meatballs, find all the gluten-free Thanksgiving appetizer recipes you need to make sure everyone is satisfied until dinner!

Staff Picks

Baked Broccoli-Cheddar Quinoa Bites

Rating: 5 stars 9
These savory muffin-like quinoa bites are low in carbs and a good source of protein--plus we love their cheesy flavor.
By Beth Lipton

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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Chile-Lime Peanuts

Rating: 2.5 stars 5
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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

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.
A portrait of Breana Killeen, M.P.H., RD
By Breana Lai Killeen, M.P.H., RD

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).
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Maryland Oyster Stew

Rating: 3 stars 2
This delicate oyster soup recipe sets the tone for celebration at any meal. We made this stew healthier by primarily using low-fat milk and increasing the amount of vegetables. Don't worry about shucking the oysters--most supermarket seafood departments carry shucked oysters. Serve with crusty bread to sop up all the delicious bits at the bottom of the bowl.
By Bill Scepansky

Sweet and Salty Roasted Nuts

Spicy seasonings add a bit of zing to roasted nuts for an appetizer that's perfect for any occasion.
By Diabetic Living Magazine

Everything Bagel Cheese Ball

Rating: 5 stars 1
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.
By Melissa Fallon

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.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen
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Inspiration and Ideas

Pear-Pecan Cheeseball
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.
Baked Spaghetti Squash Fritters
These crispy loaded fritters are perfect for parties. Baking them instead of frying cuts down on labor (and oil splatters). Be sure to squeeze as much of the liquid out of the spaghetti squash and onion mixture as possible—moisture is the enemy of crispiness.
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.