24 Easy and Healthy Appetizer Recipes That Are Guaranteed Crowd-Pleasers
When it comes time to host a dinner party with some friends, you obviously want to do all you can to create a fun evening filled with plenty of great food. And oftentimes, it's not even the main course that gets all the love, but what comes first that leaves a lasting impression. That's right, we're talking about appetizers. Instead of just resorting to the finger foods you find in the frozen section, try your hand at making some of these easy appetizers that just so happen to be healthy, too.
From restaurant classics like chicken fingers, sliders, and spinach artichoke dip to cooking up vegetables in ways you might've not thought to before (hello, stuffed tomatoes), we have plenty of apps that will surely impress your dinner party guests.
Check out these 24 easy healthy appetizer recipes you can make right at home!
Oven Baked Chicken Fingers With Chipotle Honey Mustard
Chicken fingers are always a crowd-pleasing appetizer, but they're deep-fried and typically served with some sort of special sauce, so the next thing you know, you're eating a day's worth of calories on just an appetizer inspired by a go-to meal you most likely ate as a kid. Our version is oven-fried, knocking off tons of calories while still retaining that crispy taste you love. Plus, we pair the chicken with a sweet and spicy sauce that kicks the taste up a notch, too.
Get our recipe for Oven Baked Chicken Fingers With Chipotle Honey Mustard.
There's a good chance you see these Chinese dumplings on the appetizer section of many menus, but they only take 10 minutes to make, so why not try whipping them up at home? In our version that easily serves four people, we make sure to add another boost of nutrition to the dish, which comes courtesy of the mushrooms and snap peas.
Get our recipe for Chicken Potstickers.
Roasted Chicken Wings in an Asian Marinade
Yes, there is more to wings than just slathering them in Buffalo sauce. In this recipe, the chicken is soaked in an Asian marinade, then roasted in the oven until each piece is perfectly crisp, instead of being drowned in oil in a deep fryer. This is a twist on wings your guests won't expect!
Get our recipe for Roasted Chicken Wings in an Asian Marinade.
We're going to go ahead and say it: everyone should have a solid, go-to guac recipe on hand at all times. It's the perfect spread to pair with chips or veggies before the main course, and it serves as a truly delicious condiment, too. If you nail the homemade guacamole, you're 100 percent going to be that person known for making the best guac ever. Allow this delicious recipe to get you that title.
Get our recipe for the Best-Ever Guacamole.
Low-Calorie Sliders, Two Ways
Whenever you see any variation of mini bites on a restaurant menu, just know that it's coming with a fat saturation that is anything but small. We did the opposite here with these burger bites though, and give you not one, but two slider recipes that bring big flavor for a mini caloric price tag. They're perfect to kick off any party!
Get our recipe for Low-Calorie Sliders, Two Ways.
Smoky Deviled Eggs With Bacon
We are fully aware that deviled eggs aren't the healthiest of ways you can eat an egg, but when it comes to a satisfying pre-meal bite-sized treat, this Southern specialty is one of the healthier choices you can make. And it's hard to say no to these little guys, especially when we add bacon to the dish.
Get our recipe for Smoky Deviled Eggs With Bacon.
Prepare to indulge in the lightest version of a 7-layer dip you'll ever treat your guests to. We layer spicy ground turkey, pico de gallo, black beans, and a spoonful of creamy Greek yogurt, replacing the typical sour cream. We recommend building separate layered servings in individual glasses. It not only looks rather fancy, but now each of your guests gets their very own serving, so they can double dip into it as much as they want!
Get our recipe for 7-Layer Dip.
In order to try and make a dish of pure melted cheese relatively healthy, we took inspiration from Mexican chefs, who know how to amp up a little bit of cheese into a delicious dish filled with tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and chiles. The one thing to remember with queso fundido though is that you have to serve it right away—cool queso is just not the same! Plus, who doesn't love gathering around a fondue pot, indulging in some chips and queso together?
Get our recipe for Queso Fundido.
Spinach Artichoke Dip
This classic dip makes for the perfect appetizer, but if you happen to order it in a restaurant, you'll quickly notice it's filled with mayo and cream cheese, with the actual spinach and artichoke getting lost. Our version uses a flavorful olive oil-based mayo, which automatically cuts calories and boosts nutrition. Chiles bring some extra heat to the dip, and opting to go with toasted wheat pitas instead of greasy chips steps this recipe way up.
Get our recipe for Spinach Artichoke Dip.
Grilled Tuna Skewers
This is what you make when you really want to start your meal with is a big dose of protein! Plus, whipping up these skewers doesn't take long, so when you want a simple app that is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser, this is what you should make.
Get our recipe for Grilled Tuna Skewers.
Crispy Coconut Shrimp
In our coconut shrimp recipe, you won't have to worry about frying up anything. Instead, they're baked in the oven for a healthier dish that works great as an appetizer at your next dinner party.
Get our recipe for Crispy Coconut Shrimp.
Oven-Roasted Shrimp Cocktail
Shrimp cocktail is forever a beloved appetizer choice, but the cocktail sauce restaurants tend to serve with these little guys tends to be high in sodium. We tackle that issue in our version, making a much lower-sodium fiery cocktail sauce to pair with the oven-roasted shrimp that's tossed in Old Bay seasoning.
Get our recipe for Oven-Roasted Shrimp Cocktail.
Spanish Garlic Shrimp
Shrimp is a staple on Spanish tapas menus, and what's better for an appetizer than some tapas-style food? This shrimp is slow-cooked in olive oil and is infused with garlic, smoked paprika, and chile heat, all coming together for one mouth-watering app.
Get our recipe for Spanish Garlic Shrimp.
Spicy Grilled Calamari Salad
Calamari is a popular appetizer choice that is often breaded and deep-fried, but here, the squid in its more natural state really shines through. This salad is packed with peanuts, tomatoes, and a bit of spice, so no, you're not going to miss the fried coating!
Get our recipe for Spicy Grilled Calamari Salad.
Baked Crab Cakes with Mango-Avocado Salsa
Munching on a crab cake is never a bad idea, and here, we make sure what's going into these patties really highlights the crab's flavor. We pair them with a mango-avocado salsa for a tasty start to your next meal.
Get our recipe for Baked Crab Cakes with Mango-Avocado Salsa.
Turkey Swedish Meatballs
Meatballs don't always have to be served in a bubbling red sauce. We turned to Sweden for some inspiration, swapping the beef for turkey, which creates a tender, lighter, leaner Swedish meatball. These are an easy appetizer to make that looks impressive for any dinner party, so get a container of toothpicks ready—we have a feeling these will be going fast!
Get our recipe for Turkey Swedish Meatballs.
Bruschetta, Two Different Ways
If you're looking for a more sophisticated alternative to chips and salsa that's still somewhat similar, bruschetta is the way to go for a perfectly healthy beginning to a meal. Plus, we even give you two different options to make: tomato basil and pepperonata.
Get our recipe for Bruschetta, Two Different Ways.
Melted Brie With Vegetables
We're going to go out on a limb here and say it's hard to trust someone who doesn't love the taste of melted cheese, but the concept of breading sticks of cheese and frying them is something that just isn't good for you. So instead of frying up mozzarella sticks, we're bringing the focus back to just the cheese. Brie is the choice here, and with plenty of sautéed vegetables, you'll have a filling, more balanced appetizer to enjoy.
Get our recipe for Melted Brie With Vegetables.
Think of this as another take on the classic fried mozzarella stick that won't hit your waistline too hard. A traditional Italian spiedini is basically thin pieces of beef or other meat on a skewer that's rolled in bread crumbs, olive oil, garlic, onions, and marinara sauce. Here, we made a vegetarian-friendly version, swapping out the meat for fresh mozzarella cheese, and instead of bread crumbs, there are pieces of a baguette crust. We load up the skewer with cherry tomatoes and rosemary branches, too, giving you a party appetizer that doesn't require any silverware.
Get our recipe for Mozzarella Spiedini.
Caprese Tomato Tower Salad
This tomato salad from Capri, Italy, is simple, and that's part of what makes it the perfect starter to a meal. It's just tomatoes paired with creamy mozzarella and fresh basil, yet together, they create a complex flavor that is simply irresistible. It's a light salad that your party guests don't have to worry about getting too filled up on!
Get our recipe for a Caprese Tomato Tower Salad.
Bacon and Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates
In one single bite of these treats, you're hit with a sweet, salty, smoky, and creamy flavor combination, all at once. And dates are filled with plenty of health benefits: they're high in fiber, rich in antioxidants, and are also known to promote brain health. Trust us when we say everyone will be impressed when you break out these dates wrapped in bacon and blue cheese.
Get our recipe for Bacon and Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates.
Cheese and Chorizo Stuffed Jalapeños
In this healthy stuffed jalapeños recipe, we master the perfect balance of heat from the jalapeños and the creaminess of cheese without weighing you down with the unnecessarily high amount of calories and fat that would typically come with an appetizer like this if you ordered it at a restaurant.
Get our recipe for Cheese and Chorizo Stuffed Jalapeños.
Brussels Sprouts Garnished With Bacon and Almonds
It's no secret Brussels sprouts aren't always a top veggie choice for people, but if you really take the time to cook them right, this veggie can totally satisfy. In this Brussels sprouts recipe, we add bacon, red pepper flakes, and crunchy almonds for a tasty, bite-sized pre-start to your meal.
Get our recipe for Brussels Sprouts Garnished With Bacon and Almonds.
The great part about these stuffed tomatoes is that they require only about 2 minutes to prep and another 20 minutes of actual baking in the oven before you transform basic tomatoes into something memorable. These tomatoes are sweet, creamy, crunchy, and filled with garlic and fresh basil. You can even add some meat to them if you really want to elevate the dish, but we have a feeling your guests will have no problem eating these stuffed tomatoes just the way they are.
Get our recipe for Stuffed Tomatoes.