26 Healthier Appetizers to Bring to Your Next Party

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Who doesn’t love a good party? Gathering with family and friends, no matter what the occasion is, always feels special, whether it’s a formal dinner party or a backyard BBQ! However, as much as we love parties, it can be hard to stick to our diet or healthy eating plan when we’re there. Party food is usually focused on taste and share-ability, rather than healthy ingredients. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with indulging yourself and having fun – that’s part of life! But sometimes, it can be nice to know that there will be something healthy for you to eat – that doesn’t involve bringing your own lunchbox of hummus and carrot sticks. There are lots of healthy appetizers out there that are totally shareable, and that party guests will love. For your next party or potluck, bring one of these easy appetizers – we guarantee that people will be grateful that you brought a healthy (and delish) dish!

  1. Cowboy Caviar: Don’t worry, there are no fish eggs in this caviar! Cowboy caviar is a healthy dip that’s packed with fresh veggies and vegetarian protein from black beans, kidney beans and garbanzo beans. It gets its flavor from vegetables and a light vinaigrette made with olive oil, herbs and garlic. It doubles as a hearty appetizer or vegetarian main dish! We recommend serving with tortilla chips for easy scooping.
  2. Fresh Cut Veggies and Guacamole: It’s hard to go wrong with fresh veggies and guac. This easy appetizer is sure to be a crowd pleaser! Guacamole is full of healthy fats, and depending on how you make it, can even hide vegetables like red onion or tomatoes. If you want to provide an option besides the traditional tortilla chips, we recommend serving with veggies like bell peppers, carrots, celery and jicama. Cut them into slices for easy finger food snacking!
  3. Fruit Kabobs: Have you ever seen cuter fruit? While these fruit kabobs are clearly for the Fourth of July, you can mix up the fruit types and pattern for just about any fun party idea! If you’re getting together to watch a football game with your family, try to get creative and find fruit that matches your team’s colors. Or if you’re celebrating a holiday, see what symbols you can try and create with a skewer pattern. And there’s no need to create a pattern – people will be happy to see a healthy appetizer like fruit on a skewer. The best part is, there’s no recipe to follow – just go with what you’re in the mood for! Bonus points for whipping up a fruit dip, like Greek yogurt with cinnamon and honey.
  4. Blueberry Lavender Lemonade: Did you know that you can make your own lemonade and it’s a simple task!? You can with this easy recipe. Freshly-squeezed lemon juice and blueberries add freshness and flavor, and the lavender will guarantee that this is the most unique drink at your picnic! Just make sure you make enough to share with a crowd, since this one is going to be popular.
  5. Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes: Didn’t think cupcakes could be healthy? Think again! While these cupcakes might not have the same benefits as eating an apple, the recipe is lightened up in terms of butter and sugar, and even swaps some of the butter with Greek yogurt! Even the frosting is made healthier, with raspberries and Greek yogurt instead of butter or cream cheese. You and your fellow party guests can indulge in a sweet treat without worrying about throwing off your health plan.
  6. Prosciutto Wrapped Avocado Slices: Love ham or bacon-based appetizers? Try bacon’s healthier cousin, prosciutto, an ingredient that will impress all the people at the party! This appetizer might be high in fat, but you’re getting healthy fat from the avocado, plus vitamins, and a protein punch from the prosciutto! Plus, with just two delicious ingredients, you couldn’t ask for a more easy appetizer recipe! If prosciutto isn’t your favorite, feel free to substitute with a different kind of fancy ham. If you want to incorporate some veggie power, wrap a few leaves of spinach in with each avocado slice. Just make sure you can ask a friend to check your teeth!
  7. Eggplant Bruschetta Bites: Bruschetta is a delicious, classic appetizer that any host would welcome at their next party. You can cut carbs and make it healthier by replacing the bread with eggplant slices! This is also a great way to make this popular appetizer gluten-free. It takes a little more time and effort than traditional bruschetta but we promise you that those savory eggplant slices topped with tomatoes and mozzarella are going to be worth every minute. Make sure you use fresh basil as opposed to dried – fresh herbs (and high-quality olive oil) make all the difference in this healthy appetizer.
  8. Chicken Skewers: Any guests that are frequent gym-goers will thank you for bringing this protein-packed easy appetizer recipe. Marinating the chicken in soy sauce gives the meat great flavor, and since you’re using boneless skinless chicken breasts, there’s very little fat in this recipe. These are a great way to replace chicken wings, which can be fried and smothered with unhealthy sauce. Arrange the skewers on a large platter for easy serving.
  9. Fresh Caprese Salad: If you loved the flavors in the eggplant bruschetta bites above but don’t have time to put them together, you’re going to love this easy recipe. It calls for just four ingredients: tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, balsamic and fresh basil. It also comes together in just five minutes, if you don’t count the time it takes for the balsamic reduction to cook down. Tip: while you’re reducing that, you can start slicing tomatoes and mozzarella to save time! You’ll be out the door in minutes thanks to this quick and easy side dish.
  10. Mediterranean 7-layer Dip: No game day party would be complete without a big bowl of potato chips and dip, right? Unfortunately, those dips are often full of cream cheese, sour cream and other not-so-healthy ingredients that can pack in a lot of sneaky calories. That’s why we love this fresh Mediterranean 7-layer dip! It’s topped with hummus, homemade Tzatziki sauce, fresh cucumbers and tomatoes, herbs, feta cheese and more! You can mix-and-match your veggies – spinach or mushrooms would be a great addition – but know that with this dip, you’re saving on calories while still enjoying a game day tradition. Serve with crackers or pita chips, and don’t let anyone complain about the missing potato chips until they’ve tried it!
  11. Vegetarian Spring Rolls: Spring rolls are a great recipe for parties, because the ingredients are super-flexible and the presentation is sure to impress! This recipe calls for carrots, cucumber and lettuce, but you can mix and match with whatever you have in your fridge, such as zucchini, bell peppers or even mushrooms. Spring rolls are gluten-free and a super fun way to eat your vegetables, for kids and adults alike! While these make a light, refreshing appetizer, they’d also be great as a main meal. We recommend adding tofu or shrimp for a little protein. 
  12. Olive and Fig Tapenade: This homemade tapenade is sure to impress the host and your guests! While it sounds fancy, it requires just six ingredients – olives and figs being the main thing, of course, in addition to olive oil and some seasoning  – and a few minutes in your kitchen to whip it together. If there are kids at the party, they probably won’t be big fans of the taste, but this recipe is perfect for an adults-only happy hour. Serve with crackers and, as the recipe creator recommends, goat cheese.
  13. Skinny Queso Dip: We know that skinny queso dip sounds like an oxymoron, but hear us out! We promise there’s a way to cut all the sour cream and cream cheese, add some veggies and spices, and still preserve the flavor. This recipe uses skim milk and cornstarch to cut some cheese. It still calls for almost two cups of shredded cheddar, but that’s far less than some other recipes. If queso dip is a family tradition, know that there are healthier options out there for you to indulge! In addition to using a healthier recipe, or if you need to make this recipe gluten-free, you can improve queso dip’s nutrition by dipping with veggies like cauliflower and bell peppers instead of tortilla chips. Tip: keep it warm in a slow cooker so that you can enjoy it, all party long!
  14. Mango Salsa: If you’ve never tried mango salsa, what are you waiting for? We don’t know whose idea it was to add mangos into salsa, but we’d like to thank them personally. Their sweetness pairs perfectly with the acidic tomatoes. This salsa is great on its own, served next to guacamole, piled onto tortilla chips and crackers or even used as a relish on something like shrimp, to make a meal!
  15. Roasted Chickpeas: The crunchy snackability of chips, paired with the fiber and protein of chickpeas! Whether or not you’re familiar with chickpeas, know that roasting them takes them to an entirely new level. You can sprinkle them over salads, use them on top of soup, throw them into stir fry – the possibilities are endless! In the case of this recipe, we’re thinking a simple bowl that you, or your fellow guests, can grab a handful out of. These couldn’t be easier to make, and the flavor combination possibilities are endless! You can roast chickpeas with garlic, lemon, pine nuts – just about anything that sounds good can get tossed onto a sheet pan in your oven. Your friends will thank you for introducing them to a new healthy snack.
  16. Black Bean Brownies: We know that black bean brownies may not sound super appetizing at first, but hear us out. These black bean brownies are still fudgy, still sweet, and still totally delicious. They also have the added benefit of black beans and oats, which add protein and fiber, and lastly, they’re vegan and can be made dairy-free (if dairy is something you’re trying to avoid)! We know traditional chocolate lovers might be suspicious, but give these brownies a try. We really think you’ll like them – and we bet you can trick your kids and family into liking them as much as regular brownies, too!
  17. Vegetable Chips: Looking for an adaptable recipe that you can throw together based on what’s already in your kitchen, without heading to the store? We bet veggie chips are just what you’re looking for! Check out this recipe compilation with veggie chip options from beets to zucchini, from sweet potatoes to carrots to kale. We guarantee you’ll have at least one of these veggies in your pantry and ready to be chip-ified – no grocery store trip required.
  18. Mini Pulled Pork Sliders: Slider sandwiches are a great party food. Instead of meatballs, we love the healthy pulled pork sliders that this recipe makes, with whole wheat buns and fresh cabbage for extra crunch, protein and fiber. Bonus points – you can make them in the slow cooker, so if you’re hosting, you can prep way ahead, and make your house smell incredible!
  19. Mock Mojito: This mock mojito just might be the most refreshing thing you drink this year! Made simply with lime, mint and sugar, it’s a great way to cool down at a sunny pool party. By making it a mocktail rather than a cocktail, you save on sugar and calories. If you don’t have limes, you can substitute with lemon.
  20. Cucumber Salad: Cucumbers, rather than lettuce, make up the base of this salad. It’s a refreshing recipe that any party guest would love to add to their plate!
  21. Potato Salad with Green Beans: This isn’t your grandmother’s traditional potato salad. Rather than a mayo-soaked picnic affair, this salad is light, made with a dill vinaigrette, green beans and hard-boiled eggs. It’s hearty enough to be a meal, and tasty enough to be an impressive side dish – although we can’t guarantee that kids won’t prefer grandma’s recipe. If you want to make it an entree, we recommend swapping the eggs for salmon – salmon will pair well with the dill flavor, and add necessary protein.
  22. Grilled Watermelon with Blue Cheese and Prosciutto: This recipe is a little more complicated than most, so it might be better if you’re the host, rather than a guest. Needless to say, it’s a flavor combination that your guests will love, and that will make the extra work totally worth it! If you don’t like blue cheese but love brie, you can swap blue cheese for brie.
  23. Paleo Apple Tart: Okay, we admit it, this is totally still a dessert recipe – but it’s a lot healthier than anything you’ll pick up at the store. Made with almond flour, this dessert is gluten-free and paleo, and its presentation is hard to beat!
  24. Loaded Sweet Potato Boats: Try a healthier take on baked potatoes with loaded sweet potato boats! You can set up a build-your-own bar so that your guests can hand-select all the delicious topping choices suggested for these sweet potato boats. Swapping sweet potatoes for white potatoes adds nutrients and flavor, which is why we love them!
  25. Grilled Corn on the Cob: Does it get any easier, or any simpler, than grilled corn on the cob? We don’t think so!
  26. Chocolate Dipped Frozen Bananas: When a party is outdoors on a hot sunny day, there’s a good chance that frozen treats will be desired. That’s why we love these chocolate-dipped frozen bananas. They have all the fun and deliciousness of ice cream – plus a half-serving of fruit!

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