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Healthy Holiday Appetizer Ideas

Posted by Nicole Pestana on November 19, 2020

Tired of the same old Thanksgiving classics and want to spice up your Thanksgiving spread? Then look no further!  We have some unique, healthy twists on holiday appetizers! Your family won’t even notice they’re healthy. It’s time to bring together the comfort of loved ones while remembering what the holiday is all about: reflection and being thankful.

Sausage & Sage Stuffed Mushrooms

This sizzling recipe will have your family asking to make these for holidays to come.

• 12 oz package all natural pork breakfast sausage roll
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 15-18 large white mushrooms
• 2 cloves minced garlic
• 3 large sages leaves chopped fine and more for garnish
• 1 tsp Italian seasoning
• ½ tsp seas salt
• 4 oz dairy free cream cheese
• ¼ cup almond flour
• 2 tsp fresh chopped parsley

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
• Remove stems from mushrooms and scoop out remaining insides. Place mushroom tops into a bowl with olive oil and toss to coat. Place them hollow out-side up on a baking sheet
• Make the filling. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the sausage. Cook for 5-7 minutes, using a spoon to break the sausage into small pieces, until brown and mostly cooked through.
• Add in chopped mushroom stems, garlic, sage leaves, Italian seasoning, and salt and cook for 2-3 minutes until the mushroom stems are softened. Stir in dairy free cream cheese until melted.
• Put filling in a bowl and add almond flour and parsley. Stir well until combined.
• Scoop filling into each mushroom top. Bake for 30 minutes or until browned and crispy.
• Serve with a small piece of sage leaf on each one.

Chicken Zucchini Poppers

A fun, flavorful healthy way to get in some veggies that will make even the pickiest eaters happy.

• 1 lb. ground chicken breast (raw)
• 2 c. grated zucchini (leave the peel on and squeeze out some liquid with paper towels or clean kitchen towel)
• 2-3 green onions, sliced
• 3-4 Tbsp cilantro, minced
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 tsp salt
• ½ tsp ground black pepper
• ¾ tsp cumin (optional)
• Olive oil (for drizzling)

• Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
• Mix together chicken, zucchini, green onion, cilantro, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin (if using) in a large bowl. Mixture will be wet.
• Scoop meatballs with a small scoop or heaped tablespoon and gently smooth with your hands. Will make about 20-24 poppers depending on size.
• Drizzle a little olive oil onto a baking sheet lined with foil.
• Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.
• Serve with guacamole, salsa, or favorite dip if desired.

Sweet Potato Puffs

An easy thanksgiving appetizer that’s full of herbs that will have your guests wanting more.
• 2 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes (about 2 large sweet potatoes)
• 3 large eggs beaten
• 1 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
• 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
• ¼ c. cooked bacon diced (optional)
• ½ tsp sea salt
• ¼ tsp ground black pepper
• Plain Greek yogurt for serving (optional)

• Cook cube sweet potatoes to a large stock pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain and mash with a masher, fork, or food processor.
• Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and arrange a rack in the middle of the oven. Lightly spray a mini-muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
• In a large bowl, stir together the mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese, rosemary, bacon, salt, and pepper.
• Fill each muffin cup all the way with the mashed sweet potato mixture. Sprinkle the tops with remaining parmesan cheese.
• Bake for about 20 minutes until the potato cups are set and browned on top. Lett cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then use a spoon or knife to gently release from the pan.
• Serve immediately with dollops of plain Greek yogurt if desired.


Thanksgiving Dip

A fun take on classic nachos with Thanksgiving staples like cranberries, brussels sprouts, and brie.

• Sweet potato and brussels sprouts
o 1 red onion, diced
o 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
o 2 tbsp olive oil
o 2 tsp chopped rosemary
o 1 tsp garlic powder
o 2 c. shredded brussels sprouts
o Kosher salt
o Ground black pepper
• Nachos
o Tortilla chips, as needed
o ¾ c. prepared cranberry sauce
o 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
o 8 oz. Brie cheese, thinly sliced
o Ground black pepper
o Fresh parsley, for serving

• Make the sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
• Spread the onion and sweet potatoes on the baking sheet and drizzle evenly with olive oil. Toss with rosemary and garlic powder; season with salt and pepper.
• Roast for 12-15 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender and beginning to brown. Add the shredded brussels sprouts to the baking sheet and toss well to combine. Put back in the oven for 7-10 minutes until the veggies are golden brown.
• Make the nachos. Arrange the tortilla chips in an even layer in a large skillet. Dollop e/4 of the cranberry sauce all over the chips. Top with ¾ of the vegetables. Arrange the white cheddar and Brie in an even layer on top. Then finish with a layer of remaining cranberry sauce and vegetables.
• Put skillet in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes until the cheeses are melted. Remove skillet from the oven and serve immediately, garnished with ground black pepper and parsley.

Prosciutto and Fig Salad Board

This recipe is a beautiful arrangement of a flavorful salad that will be the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving spread.

• Juice of 1 lemon
• 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• 6 oz. spinach
• 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
• 4 oz prosciutto
• 12 figs, quartered
• 1/3 c. crumbled blue cheese
• Kosher salt
• Ground black pepper

• Make the dressing. In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice and Dijon mustard. Gradually add the olive oil while whisking continuously until the mixture is emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
• Toss together in a large bowl the spinach and shallots. Add the dressing and toss well to coat.
• Arrange the board. Spread the spinach on a large board and arrange the prosciutto and figs on top of it. Finish with a sprinkling of blue cheese.
• Serve immediately.