Healthy Party Snacks to Bring to Your Next Get-Together
So cue up a dance party playlist, pop some champs, and prepare to celebrate with these healthy party snacks.
Brussels Sprouts with Grape-Honey Glaze
These Brussels sprouts have a wonderful sweet glaze on them from Welch's 100% Grape Juice. Plus, each serving of this healthy party food provides 24 percent of your daily value for fiber (which helps maintain good cholesterol levels) and 17 percent of your daily value for potassium (a mineral that may help lower blood pressure).
Get the recipe: Brussels Sprouts with Grape-Honey Glaze
Vegan Hummus Pita Pizza
Mini pita pizzas are the perfect healthy party snack. This vegan recipe is made with Sabra Classic Hummus, which provides filling protein and fiber, and it uses whole-wheat pitas to add whole grains and additional fiber. The pizza is topped with sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, and grape tomatoes. Just slice and serve.
Get the recipe: Vegan Hummus Pita Pizza
Salmon Cucumber Bites
"Salmon and other oily fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids," says Christy Brissette, M.S., R.D., blogger at 80 Twenty Nutrition. (Read up on the healthiest fish you can find.) "These heart-healthy fats help lower triglyceride and blood pressure levels and also reduce the risk of arrhythmias, which are abnormal heartbeats." The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fish, especially oily fish, every week for a healthy heart. A serving of fish is about 3.5 ounces or about the size of the palm of your hand, says Brissette. If you're a fan of lox, turn salmon into a healthy party snack by assembling these cucumber bites.
Get the recipe: Salmon Cucumber Bites
Avocado, Black Bean, and Tomato Salad
"This yummy salad is a gluten-free and vegan addition to any party," says Lauren Harris-Pincus, M.S., R.D.N., owner of Nutrition Starring YOU. "Packed with 11 grams of fiber per serving and rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, it's a winner for everyone in the crowd. Serve it with veggies for dipping to provide even more fiber and nutrients." (P.S. Are these healthy high-fat foods in your diet? Because they should be.)
Get the recipe: Avocado, Black Bean, and Tomato Salad
"These eggplant balls are a delicious fan favorite, and they also happen to be heart healthy," says Chelsey Amer, M.S., R.D.N., blogger at C It Nutritionally. "The base of this recipe consists of fiber-filled vegetables and whole grains, which studies show helps lower cholesterol." The balls contain oregano and garlic, both of which have been said to have anti-inflammatory properties. (In the mood for more eggplant? Check out these 10 new ways to make it.)
Get the recipe: Eggplant Balls
Add this salsa to your collection of healthy party snack recipes, stat. "The dip is delicious, flavorful, and loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and healthy fats," says Cheryl Harris, M.P.H., R.D., a nutritionist and wellness coach. "It's lighter than a traditional guac, and the avocados are a creamy complement to the tomatoes." Serve it with jicama sticks for added fiber. Bonus: This recipe doubles easily for a crowd.
Get the recipe: Salsa Mole
Tabouleh-Stuffed Mini Peppers
This version of tabbouleh is made with bulgur, a whole grain that will fill you up, and the peppers add a bit of crunch and are rich in potassium, fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C. "That adds up to a winner on the party table," says Judy Barbe, R.D., author of Your 6-Week Guide to LiveBest. (Next up, switch up your healthy carbs and give these other ancient grains a try.)
Get the recipe: Tabouleh-Stuffed Mini Peppers
Salmon-Wrapped Hearts of Palm
"Salmon is a potent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help decrease triglycerides, reduce blood clotting, and decrease stroke and heart failure risk," says Karina Knight, M.B.A., M.S., R.D., founder of California Nutrition Group in Sacramento. Plus, hearts of palm contain fiber, which helps lower your risk of heart disease, and avocados are not only a good source of healthy fats but also potassium, which can lower your blood pressure. Together, they're an unbeatable healthy party food combo.
Get the recipe: Salmon-Wrapped Hearts of Palm
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
When in doubt, you can always serve a spinach and artichoke dip at a party. This recipe is a healthy twist on the classic. "This dip is creamy and flavorful without the excessive saturated fat and sodium that can negatively impact heart health," says Kelly Jones, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., blogger at Eat Real Live Well. The white beans and artichokes are rich in soluble fiber, which helps you maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Plus, spinach contains antioxidants called phytochemicals that can support heart health.
Get the recipe: Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
This healthy party appetizer is filled with lean protein. All you have to do is pair chicken breast with lettuce for a heart-healthy, low-carb finger food. "These are low-fat, lean, and have lots of vegetables," says Anne Danahy, M.S., R.D.N., blogger at Craving Something Healthy. Bonus: Per serving, you get 60 percent of your daily need for protein. (If you know you'll have some guests with dietary restrictions, you may want to take a look at these ideas for gluten-free party foods, too.)
Get the recipe: Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
It's one of the simplest healthy party snacks to make: Top a small slice of Italian bread with a mixture of tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and basil and voila—you've got bruschetta. (Watch how it’s done!) And though that piece of bread doesn't yield much nutritional value—whole grain options can help—tomatoes and olive oil do. Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found to ward off cancer and heart disease. You've no doubt heard about the healthy fats found in olive oil. In addition, that oil actually helps your body absorb some of the nutrients in the tomatoes, says Melinda Johnson, R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and an associate professor of nutrition at the Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.
High in protein and low in fat and calories, this little crustacean is one of the best party appetizers. With just a few shrimp on your plate, you are less likely to turn to the heavier options since protein fills you up and keeps you satisfied for longer. Shrimp also contains the mineral zinc, a rarity in finger food, which helps promote a strong immune system. As for the cocktail sauce that often accompanies this healthy party snack, don't overdo it. Bottled sauces are often high in sugar, so consider dipping shrimp in salsa instead.
Vegetables and Dip
Here's a smart strategy when it comes to eating party snacks: Load up three-quarters of your plate with the veggies from the crudite platter. You'll tamen your appetite before it's time to hit up the dessert spread. And here's the bonus about this healthy party snack combo: You don't have to totally forgo that creamy ranch dip. Studies show that adding a little bit of fat to your veggies helps the body absorb the nutrients in the healthy selections you've made. "Don't stay away from the dip entirely, just don't douse your vegetables with it," says Johnson. (Consider these clean eating, 3-ingredient DIY dressings.)
Fruit and Cheese
Women should aim for 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day, which is all the more reason to hang out by the cheese platter. One or two sizeable cheddar cheese chunks will give you roughly 120 milligrams, but remember that this healthy party snack can add up quickly in the fat and calorie department. Hard cheeses like cheddar yield more calcium—and more calories—than soft cheeses like brie or goat. For fruit, load up on strawberries, pineapples, or kiwis for an extra wallop of vitamin C and an immunity boost.
This healthy party snack deserves its popularity. Avocado plays the starring role in guacamole, which is why it's loaded with heart-healthy fats and valuable nutrients such as beta-sitosterol, a natural plant sterol which can decrease your levels of bad cholesterol. However, this dish is sometimes made with cream cheese, the saturated fat content of which can outweigh the unsaturated fats in the avocado. Johnson's advice: If you are unsure of the guac's contents, stick to just a few small spoonfuls to satisfy the craving and move on. (Related: 3 Guacamole Hacks From Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski)