Mini Crustless Caramelized Onion & Cheese Quiches
These crustless mini quiches are packed with savory caramelized onions and flavorful cheese. This technique for making caramelized onions uses way less fat, and by using sweet onions (like Vidalia, if you can find them), you don't need to add the sugar some recipes call for.
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.
Sweet and Salty Roasted Nuts
Spicy seasonings add a bit of zing to roasted nuts for an appetizer that's perfect for any occasion.
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.
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.
Roasted Pears with Brie & Pistachios
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.
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.
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.
If you like mild salsa, use banana peppers in this recipe. For a hotter version, try jalapeño or one of the alternate pepper choices.
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).