Low-Carb Party Foods and Appetizers

low-carb party foods

Karen Struthers

Are you planning a party or need to take an appetizer to one? You'll be happy to know there are lots of low-carb party foods that won't hurt your diet. Even though these recipes have few carbohydrates, they do not lack flavor and people won't care that they're actually better-for-you options. They may even thank you!

Low-Carb Vegetables, Dip, and Spreads

It's easy, healthy, colorful, crunchy, and everyone appreciates having some vegetables around. You can use three or four contrasting colors, or go wild with a huge platter.

Tip: Hard vegetables like broccoli are easier to eat when blanched. Boil for two minutes, then transfer to a bowl of ice water for a quick cool-down.

To go along with the veggie platter, serve a low-carb dip. Spinach dip is always a favorite and it's very easy to make. Likewise, a simple guacamole can create the perfect finishing touch for your platter.

As an alternative, consider stuffing your vegetables instead of dipping them. Any dip or spread can be stuffed into mini-bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and many other vegetables. Slices of cucumber or jicama make great vehicles for homemade cheese spreads and this edamame dip recipe is one that will be the hit of the party.

Simple Shrimp Cocktail

Low-carb and so easy! A low-carb cocktail sauce can be mixed up in no time and is sugar-free (unlike those sugar-loaded options at the store). To go along with this, consider serving low-carb coconut shrimp.

Can't Go Wrong With a Cheese Platter

Arrange several kinds of cheese on a platter. Add melons or berries for a sweet contrast or small mounds of sugar-free apricot jam. For something with a little pizazz, try your hand at stuffed brie cheese. You can fill it with a variety of low-carb goodies, from pesto and herbs to smoked salmon or cranberries.

Play Around With Smoked Salmon

There are many ways to serve smoked salmon. Put it out near the cheeses so people can mix and match. Salmon with cream cheese on cucumber slices is great as well. Add a sprig of dill or a couple of capers for extra spark, if you'd like. To get a little fancier, make roll-ups by spreading salmon with cream cheese, then rolling it up and slicing it into wheels.

Start Wrapping the Prosciutto

Prosciutto is a cured Italian ham that is sliced very thin. Prosciutto and melon is a classic combination. Mound a bit of prosciutto on your cheese plate for another great pairing. Or, roast asparagus and then wrap each stem with prosciutto.

Get Spicy With Wings

Chicken wings are great finger food and can be made in so many ways. The trick is to get them crisp and they can even be made in your slow cooker. Be sure to include some dipping options with your wings. Choose a low-carb and sugar-free barbecue sauce or an easy blue cheese dressing, or both so guests have an option.

Fancy Up Your Nuts

Who doesn't like to nibble on some spicy or sweet nuts? Nuts are good for your low-carb diet as long as you don't eat too many and it's very easy to add a little zing. For instance, spicy-sweet pecans take just five minutes to make or you can always resort to a quick and low-carb trail mix.

More Low-Carb Party Appetizers

  • Gussy up plain deviled eggs by adding crab or smoked salmon to the filling.
  • Make skewers with shrimp or small meatballs. Alternate these with vegetables or melon balls.
  • Put out a dish with an assortment of fancy olives or sugar-free pickles to contrast with the richer flavors you're serving.

Don't Forget the Drinks

Some people automatically think of alcoholic beverages for parties, but non-alcoholic versions can be made from many low-carb cocktails. It's often as easy as skipping the liquor. Also, explore your options for sugar-free beverages and learn about alcoholic beverages on a low-carb diet.

By Laura Dolson
Laura Dolson is a health and food writer who develops low-carb and gluten-free recipes for home cooks.