Skip the Guilt and Maximize Appetizer Appeal with Healthful Recipes

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Whether you’re planning a holiday get-together or want an easy meal starter for an any-day dish, healthful appetizers offer a wide array of tasty options. We’ve pulled together a flavorful assortment of recipes you can make in a flash.

Sushi makes great finger food, but not everyone’s a fan of raw fish. Here’s a quick, easy imposter that starts with sliced cucumber—seeds removed—and packs it with sliced fresh veggies. Serve up its spicy dip in individual cups or as a batch for an entire group.

Substitutions: This is almost a vegan recipe, except for the mayo in the dip. Try veggie mayo or a nut-based yogurt substitute instead. Swap in zucchini for cucumber, and you have a roastable delight that makes a tasty little side dish.

Pair up grape tomatoes with mushrooms and olive tapenade on a pre-baked pizza crust, and you’ve got a delightful culinary explosion for your taste buds. This sauceless recipe banishes the drips and mess to make tidier finger food.

Substitutions: Instead of Gruyère cheese, experiment with other dairy or non-dairy options. To make individual slices even easier to pick up, try a “party cut”— squares instead of triangles.

Potato chips are high on pretty much everyone’s list of favorite guilty pleasures, but when they’re oven-baked instead of fried, they’re a lot more healthful. The yogurt-and-mayonnaise dip base yields a creamy but tangy option.

Substitutions: Veggie mayo swaps in easily for the regular, less healthy, version. Experiment with other types of potatoes or even other root vegetables.

Bake the guilt out of an all-time classic with these “unfries.” For best results, make sure you spread out the fries so air circulates around them on the baking sheet.

Substitutions: Spice these potatoes as much, as little, or any way you like.

Roasted chickpeas pack a boatload of protein, fiber, nutrients and flavor. Try these crunchy goodies instead of traditional nut appetizers such as peanuts or almonds.

Substitutions: Add your favorite flavorings to boost your bites!

Mix egg, vegetables, cheese, and spices to bake up bite-sized appetizers with flavorful nutrition. In a little over half an hour, you can turn out 24 servings.

Substitutions: Prefer cauliflower rather than broccoli, white or yellow onion over red, or a different cheese (including non-dairy options)? This recipe thrives on alternatives.

Potato tots make great finger-food appetizers, and these cheesy bites will appeal to anyone, including vegans—thanks to the non-dairy cheese—and folks with gluten-free diets.

Substitutions: This recipe uses vegan ingredients and options, but you can swap in dairy cheese if you prefer.

Looking for a savory option that’s quick to prepare? This take on stuffed mushrooms brings in toasted nuts and chopped avocado for a low-fat, low-carb taste that’s packed with nutrition.

Substitutions: If you’re not a fan of champagne vinegar, try wine or balsamic instead.

Oven-baked croquettes give you a lovely crunch and a luscious gooey, stretchy center without the fat of frying. These rice-and-mozzarella combos make for straightforward prep with delicious results.

Substitutions: Add chicken or beef stock instead of vegetable stock for a different flavor profile.

These quick-to-bake goodies use an oat base with nuts, seeds and cranberries for robust flavor and crunch.

Substitutions: This recipe lends itself to additions as well as alternatives. Nut butters, dried fruits, and coconut flakes all make great options.

Get Creative

Start a new family tradition—or redefine one—with versatile recipes for easy-to-make, easy-to-eat bites. Create your own versions of these appetizers to start any meal with bold flavors.