These Roasted Grape, Ricotta and Walnut Bites top my list of healthy holiday appetizers and are incredibly easy to make, flavorful and satisfying.
This roasted grape, ricotta, and walnut appetizer add color and flavor to any dinner party. Plus, this two-bite appetizer is ready in less than 20 minutes!
When I want to impress guests at a party or honestly just eat pretty and delicious appetizers for a snack I make a batch of these. This recipe is perfect for New Year’s Eve and other holiday parties or anytime grapes are in season!
I’m sharing the easy recipe below plus tips on hosting a healthy holiday party.
Ingredients for this recipe
Here’s what you need to make this easy appetizer:
Seedless red grapes
Frozen mini phyllo cups
The process to make this appetizer is simple:
Roast the grapes not more than 1 day ahead. Remember to take the ricotta out of the refrigerator. It will be much easier to mix with the other ingredients at room temperature.
You’ll need to heat the phyllo cups for a few minutes so they stay crisp. While those are crisping, combine the cheese mixture.
Add the ricotta mixture and top with roasted grapes. Serve.
With the beautiful red grapes, this recipe is one of the prettiest. It’s sure to impress your party people. And speaking of that… Here are my thoughts on serving up some fresh and healthy eats at your next party.
How to host a healthy party
As a registered dietitian nutritionist people assume that I don’t enjoy the cookies and other holiday treats. Truth is. I’m not a huge fan of sweets but I love cornbread dressing and mac and cheese. And homemade yeast rolls… I can’t be trusted around them.
I am all about balance. I don’t think you have to eat healthy 100% of the time. But I do feel out of sorts when I arrive at a party or event with zero greens or healthy options available. If you’re hosting a party this season, here are a few ideas to provide your guests with plenty of options.
- Use what’s in season. Grapes, pears, and apples are all sweet and delicious right now. Use the natural sweetness of these nutritious fruits to reduce added sugars in your dishes. Sweet potatoes and winter squash are also deliciously sweet and nutritious options. Combine fruit with winter greens for hearty salads.
- Go small. Instead of slaving over a big, complicated menu, make a variety of appetizers These can be prepped ahead of time and either served at room temperature or after quickly popping them into the oven before guests arrive.
- Check for balance. Think through your menu and table spread. Make sure you have a balance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein, so that everyone leaves feeling satisfied. If you need a guide, try an 80/20 split of healthy to more indulgent items. In any case, you don’t have to compromise on flavor. Get creative.
- Use the 80:20 rule. Offer 80% better-for-you dishes that taste great. (Remember: Healthy doesn’t have to mean tasteless.) Balance those with more indulgent desserts or dishes so your guests have options and get to enjoy some of the traditional holiday foods that can’t always be made healthfully.
- Be flexible. It’s your party. Have fun! There’s no shame in using pre-cut butternut squash or pre-cooked shrimp, chicken or other foods that can speed up the prep process. Also, be flexible in what you offer. If you can’t find oranges, use tangerines. No halibut at the store when you go, try cod!
More healthy holiday appetizer ideas
Roasted Grape, Ricotta & Walnut Bites
mini phyllo cups or tart shells
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- coarse black pepper
- ½ cup
ricotta at room temperature
chopped toasted walnuts plus more for garnish
- 1 tbsp
thinly sliced fresh basil plus more for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss the grapes, olive oil, salt, and pepper on a baking sheet. Roast 10 minutes, until the grapes begin to caramelize.
- Reduce the oven heat to 350°F. Stir the ricotta until fluffy. Add the chopped walnuts and gently fold in the basil.
- Arrange the phyllo cups onto a cookie sheet. Add the cheese evenly into the phyllo cups. Top with 3-4 roasted grapes. Heat the filled cups in the oven for 10 minutes or until warm. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle leftover basil and walnuts over the top.Serve while the warm or at room temperature.
This post was originally published 11-9-15 and updated 12-3-19. This was the original photo.