Think high-brow party nibbles have to be high-calorie? Cooking Light magazine's stellar collection of party-worthy appetizers, all with 100 calories or less, proves you can have your fun without overindulging. Learn more.
Whether it's the holidays, game day, or a casual gathering of friends, serving an appetizer certainly gets the fun going.
Unfortunately, so many bite-size nibbles weigh in with way too many calories for an entire meal, much less the first act to
a bigger meal. This collection of party-worthy appetizers proves you can have it all: refined presentation with delicious,
bold flavor without packing on the calories.
In some cases, the key to calorie restraint is about portions. Serving bite-size morsels that come in their own portion-controlled package, like Bruschetta with Peach Salsa and Melted Brie, adds a natural layer of restraint (as long as you can keep from eating the entire batch). And in other recipes it's all about smart ingredient choices. We substitute lower-fat ingredients when it makes sense (and when it tastes good), and we always try to serve appetizers with fresh veggies or fruit to round out the nutrition (and it also makes for a pretty presentation). At under 100 calories, each of these appetizers are sure to inspire your next gathering.
View Recipe: Bruschetta with Peach Salsa and Melted Brie
Blue cheese gives a bit of a bite, but is not overpowering to this delightfully crunchy snack. Prepare up to two days ahead
and store in an airtight container at room temperature. We think they make a delightful nibble with drinks.
View Recipe: Blue Cheese and Chive Straws
This scrumptious low-cal finger food was developed by reader Abigail McMahon who was inspired Ireland. "I love Ireland and
the country's wonderful food. When I think of Irish food, the first items that come to mind are potatoes, salmon, and cheese."
Luckily, this recipe has all three.
View Recipe: Smoked Salmon and Cheese Mini Twice-Baked Potatoes
An appetizer that will not weigh-down you or you meal. A melt-in-your-mouth mixture of crab and other fresh ingredients is
tucked into a crispy leaf of Boston lettuce to make this a little explosion of flavor.
View Recipe: Crab and Celery Root Rémoulade
Use any combination of herbs you like for this easy and tasty starter. We chose the trio of chives, tarragon, and dill, but
feel free to use your culinary imagination for this one.
View Recipe: Deviled Eggs with Smoked Salmon
Prepare the mayonnaise mixture and cook the steak up to a day in advance. There's no need to reheat it, just slice the steak
about an hour ahead, and leave at room temperature. The savory delight paired with the creamy and spicy mayonnaise will surely
be a hit.
View Recipe: Beef Teriyaki Crisps with Wasabi Mayonnaise
The three-cheese filling is a nice complement for the spicy peppers. You can also use a milder chile, such as a cherry pepper.
Shredded cheddar cheese can take the place of Parmesan, if you like.
View Recipe: Grilled Pepper Poppers
This simple recipe makes a tasty party snack. Use your favorite nuts, and add a bit of heat with a dash of ground red pepper,
if you like.
View Recipe: Indian-Spiced Roasted Nuts
This appetizer is assembled quickly and will likely be devoured at lightening speed. The saltiness of the prosciutto pairs
wonderfully with the sweet date and savory creaminess of the goat cheese.
View Recipe: Prosciutto-Wrapped Stuffed Dates
Bake the corn bread up to three days in advance, and keep in a zip-top plastic bag. Combine the sauce ingredients and assemble
the crab cakes the night before; refrigerate separately. Any leftover crab cakes are terrific with a green salad.
View Recipe: Mini Corn Bread Crab Cakes with Lemon-Caper Sauce
For easier shucking, steam clams over simmering water for two minutes or just until their shells barely open. Run a knife
or small screwdriver around a shell's edge, and pop it open. If you partially steam the clams, reduce the broiling time by
a minute or two. The clams may be unsteady on the jelly-roll pan, so you can line the pan with a bed of rock salt for more
View Recipe: Clams Casino with Pancetta
This tangy spread is delicious as a dip with whole-grain crackers or spread on a sandwich of grilled vegetables (shown here).
The olives are a great source of monounsaturated fats. Make this ahead and have it on hand for a party or simple lunch.
View Recipe: Green Olive and Artichoke Tapenade