Low-Calorie Dips and Spreads

Whether you’re hosting or bringing snacks for a party, feel good about these low-cal dips that all clock in under 125 calories.

Low-Calorie Dips

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Low-Calorie Dips

So often the party tray can be too tempting to resist with creamy offerings accompanied by crunchy, salty dippers. Rethink how you approach an appetizer spread by offering a lower-calorie, healthier option. With all these dips and spreads, take care to serve with fresh veggies when possible. Whole-grain crackers and baked chips also make smarter dippers.

Here we’ve lightened a seasoned favorite. Serve with hearty crackers or slices of French bread and we promise nobody will know this is the healthy cousin to dip that’s usually loaded with sodium, fat, and calories.

View Recipe: Warm Caramelized Onion Dip

 

Low-Cal Avocado-Yogurt Dip with Cumin

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Avocado-Yogurt Dip with Cumin

Scoop this creamy dip with pita chips and carrot, celery, red bell pepper, and jicama sticks. Prepare up to eight hours in advance, and refrigerate in an airtight container. To further simplify prep work, use precut vegetables from the produce section.

View Recipe: Avocado-Yogurt Dip with Cumin

Low-Cal Date, Walnut, and Blue Cheese Ball

Photo: Jonny Valiant

Date, Walnut, and Blue Cheese Ball

The sweet-savory combo of dates, walnuts, and blue cheese, topped with the earthiness of fresh flat-leaf parsley, brings your regular cheese ball up a notch. Prepare this retro-chic snack up to two days ahead, and serve with crackers, bread, or veggies.

View Recipe: Date, Walnut, and Blue Cheese Ball

Low-Cal Baba Ghanoush

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Baba Ghanoush

Baba ghanoush (bah-bah-gah-NOOSH) is a Middle Eastern dip typically made from eggplant, tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice. One of our readers, Karen Waldman, was dissatisfied with the baba ghanoush recipes she was finding, so she created her own. By combining mayonnaise and tahini, she tinkered, found her perfect combination, and even incorporated it into a Greek-themed Thanksgiving meal. The unique dinner was an instant hit with her family.

View Recipe: Baba Ghanoush

Low-Cal Roasted Red Pepper Bagna Cauda

Photo: John Autry

Roasted Red Pepper Bagna Cauda

This Italian dipping sauce makes the perfect marriage to fresh crudités. Try something different by serving with fennel bulb slices, blanched broccoli florets, steamed new potatoes, and carrots.

View Recipe: Roasted Red Pepper Bagna Cauda

Low-Cal Creamy Garlic-Herb Dip

Photo: Ellen Silverman

Creamy Garlic-Herb Dip

Step away from the packaged ranch dip and offer a homemade alternative. You can prepare this all-purpose dip up to a day ahead. Serve with cauliflower and broccoli florets, carrot and celery sticks, and bell pepper strips.

View Recipe: Creamy Garlic-Herb Dip

Low-Cal Smoked Salmon Dip

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Smoked Salmon Dip

A classic smoked salmon dip or spread is something every hostess should have in her back pocket. Make this dip ahead, and serve it on whole-wheat crackers or toasted baguette with a pretty sprig of dill. Save the leftovers to smear on a toasted bagel half over coffee the next morning.

View Recipe: Smoked Salmon Dip

Low-Cal Lima Bean Dip

Photo: Randy Mayor

Lima Bean Dip

Fava beans are traditionally used as the base in this hummuslike dip. Use them, if you can find them, in place of the lima beans. Serve with raw vegetables for dipping.

View Recipe: Lima Bean Dip

Low-Cal Roasted Garlic, Sun-Dried Tomato, and White Bean Dip

Roasted Garlic, Sun-Dried Tomato, and White Bean Dip

Creamy beans and sweet sun-dried tomatoes offer the perfect texture and flavor combo in this simple dip. You can prepare a day ahead and bring to room temperature before serving. For a more formal presentation, serve on bagel chips garnished with rosemary sprigs. For a casual gathering, serve in a bowl with crackers or bagel chips for dipping.

View Recipe: Roasted Garlic, Sun-Dried Tomato, and White Bean Dip

Low-Cal Roasted Red Pepper and Cannellini Bean Dip

Photo: Randy Mayor

Roasted Red Pepper and Cannellini Bean Dip

This Mediterranean-inspired appetizer offers a little extra protein, heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, and fiber. Serve with cut-up vegetables or toasted pita wedges.

View Recipe: Roasted Red Pepper and Cannellini Bean Dip

Low-Cal Easy Guacamole

Photo: John Autry

Easy Guacamole

The food processor makes quick work of this basic dip that's rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. We like the heat from leaving the seeds in the jalapeño, but you can seed the pepper for a milder guac. Serve with baked tortilla chips or crudités.

View Recipe: Easy Guacamole

Low-Cal Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Photo: Randy Mayor

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Upping the pepper quantity cuts calories—160 of them. Serve with sliced cucumber for a crunchy dipper.

View Recipe: Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Low-Cal Hot Artichoke Dip

Photo: Randy Mayor

Hot Artichoke Dip

Full-flavored Parm adds cheesy goodness. Light cream cheese and mayo save 340 calories.

View Recipe: Hot Artichoke Dip

Low-Cal Smoked Salmon Dip

Photo: Randy Mayor

Smoked Salmon Dip

We cut the calories and sat fat typically found in this dish in half by using light cream cheese and sour cream.

View Recipe: Smoked Salmon Dip

Low-Cal Creamy Spinach and Feta Dip

Photo: Randy Mayor

Creamy Spinach and Feta Dip

Bright and tangy nonfat Greek yogurt helps save 100 calories and 3g sat fat in this bold-flavored dip. We love it served with crostini with olive oil.

View Recipe: Creamy Spinach and Feta Dip

Low-Cal Simple Guacamole

Photo: Randy Mayor

Simple Guacamole

There's no credible way to lighten guac since the main ingredient—avocado—is high in fat. But it's heart-healthy.

View Recipe: Simple Guacamole

Cucumber and Dill Dip

Photo: Randy Mayor

Cucumber and Dill Dip

You'll find this simple, refreshing spread in many Mediterranean dishes like Gyros or served with pita wedges. We found that the perfect balance of Greek yogurt and dill pairs well with sliced cucumbers, carrots and celery.

View Recipe: Cucumber and Dill Dip  

Blue Cheese-Bacon-Spinach Dip

Photo: Randy Mayor

Blue Cheese-Bacon-Spinach Dip

The bold flavor of blue cheese and saltiness of the bacon give a creative punch to your average spinach dip. Serve with celery sticks for an added crunch.

View Recipe: Blue Cheese-Bacon-Spinach Dip  

Smoked Salmon Dip

Photo: Randy Mayor

Smoked Salmon Dip

We’ve created an even lighter version of the traditional Smoked Salmon Dip with nonfat Greek yogurt, light sour cream and capers so you can enjoy more of it. Serve with seeded crackers.

View Recipe: Smoked Salmon Dip

Charred Red Onion Dip

Photo: Randy Mayor

Charred Red Onion Dip

Grilled red onions combined with light sour cream and nonfat Greek yogurt make a balanced and delicious dip for sweet potato chips.

View Recipe: Charred Red Onion Dip

 

Banana, Chocolate, and Hazelnut Dip

Banana, Chocolate, and Hazelnut Dip

Serve this dip on graham crackers or add it to a peanut butter sandwich for a touch of sweetness without adding a heaping load of calories. Made with Greek yogurt and light sour cream, this delicious spread is a guilt-free treat.

View Recipe: Banana, Chocolate, and Hazelnut Dip

Caramel-Toffee Dip

Photo: Randy Mayor

Caramel-Toffee Dip

We made a play on the classic caramel apple by creating a spread with Greek yogurt, light sour cream and toffee bits then served it with apples.

View Recipe: Caramel-Toffee Dip

Honey and Lemon Dip

Photo: Randy Mayor

Honey and Lemon Dip

The tangy flavor of lemon and Greek yogurt combined with sweet honey make a perfect dip to serve with strawberries.

View Recipe: Honey and Lemon Dip

Nutty Edamame Spread

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Nutty Edamame Spread

This is delicious with crudités, smeared over whole-grain bread, or stuffed into mini sweet bell peppers. You can garnish with lemon rind for a pretty effect.

View Recipe: Nutty Edamame Spread

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