Healthy Holiday Appetizers

The holiday season is here! With Christmas and New Year’s just around the corner, it is a special time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the new year. 

This is a busy time when you are decorating the house, buying gifts, and reaching out to family and friends. Traditional holiday parties and gatherings will likely look different this year, but one thing is certain, you will be hungry. Cue the healthy holiday appetizers!

Roasted chicken wings | Healthy holiday appetizers

Holiday appetizers are the best appetizers

As we are rushing to get through the holidays, we often don’t have the time to sit down and have a meal. This is when I pull out the small plates and cocktail napkins for Healthy Holiday Appetizers: Roasted Chicken Wings, Turkey Meatballs with Marinara, and Crunchy Shrimp Lettuce Wraps. 

My family and I like to set these appetizers out on Christmas Eve when we are finalizing last-minute gift-wrapping or spending time playing games by the fire. 

Turkey Meatballs with Marinara | Healthy Holiday Appetizers

Delicious and versatile

These delicious, bite-sized mini-meals are the perfect solution when a traditional sit-down dinner isn’t going to work. They also pair well with a glass of wine or a special holiday drink.

Wishing you and your family a healthy and happy holiday season from the Nutriology Team!

Crunchy Shrimp Lettuce Wraps | Healthy Holiday Appetizers

Nutriology Hacks

  • Baked not Fried – Baking your chicken wings cut the calorie density in half and reduces the fat content by as much as 75%. If you love your chicken wings, this is the best solution for enjoying them and keeping it healthy.
  • Toothpicks and Cups – Use toothpicks for serving bite-sized foods and put sauces into small cups so your guests can eat on the go while walking around and mingling.
  • Lettuce Wraps – Lettuce leaves are the perfect vessel to deliver savoury fillings such as the Crunchy Shrimp Lettuce Wraps. I like to use big and sturdy lettuce leaves, such as Romaine or Bibb Lettuce, that will stand up to anything you can put on it.

Healthy Holiday Appetizers

Course: Appetizer
Servings: 4 servings each


Roasted Chicken Wings

  • 1 pound chicken wings
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup green onions chopped
  • 1 lime half for the juice and cut the other half into 4 wedges
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Old Bay Seasoning

Turkey Meatballs with Marinara

  • ½ pound ground turkey
  • ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 2 tablespoon Italian Parsley chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups good marinara sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Crunchy Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

  • 3 cups medium shrimp peeled and deveined
  • ½ cup red pepper diced
  • ½ cup celery diced
  • ½ cup water chestnuts diced
  • 4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or water
  • 12 large lettuce leaves Bibb lettuce works well
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup wonton crisps
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


Roasted Chicken Wings

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Rinse and dry the chicken wings then place in a large bowl and sprinkle with a good amount of salt, pepper, and Old Bay seasoning, then drizzle over olive oil and stir to coat the chicken wings.
  • Arrange the chicken wings on a foiled baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes.
  • Transfer to a serving plater and squeeze the fresh lime juice over the wings and top with the green onions and lime wedges.

Turkey Meatballs with Marinara

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Combine evenly the ground turkey, panko bread crumb, parmesan cheese, parsley, egg, and salt and pepper in a mixing bowl.
  • Roll out meatballs, about ½ an inch in diameter, and place on a foil-lined baking sheet, drizzled with olive oil to prevent sticking, and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Heat up the marinara sauce in a saucepan and keep warm on the stove.
  • Ladle a small amount of the marinara sauce into serving cups and place 4 meatballs in the serving cup, forked with large cocktail toothpicks for easy handling and dipping.

Crunchy Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

  • Rinse and dry the shrimp, then sauté with the olive oil and salt pepper for 5 minutes until cooked, then set aside in a separate bowl to cool, then finely chop.
  • Next sauté the red bell pepper, celery, and water chestnuts with a sprinkle of salt and pepper for 3 minutes.
  • Whisk the low sodium soy sauce, honey, and rice vinegar in a small bowl (heat in the microwave for 10 seconds, If needed, to loosen up the honey), add the chopped shrimp back to the pan and then pour the sauce over the shrimp and vegetables and sauté for another 2 minutes, until the sauce is warm, and the vegetables are still crunchy.
  • Arrange the lettuce leaves on a serving platter and spoon the shrimp and vegetables into the lettuce cups.
  • Sprinkle with black sesame seeds and wonton crisps.


Nutrition Facts Per Serving
  • Roasted Chicken Wings
    • Calories – 250 Calories
    • Protein – 20 grams
    • Carbohydrates – 1 gram
    • Fat – 18 grams
  • Turkey Meatballs with Marinara 
    • Calories – 240 Calories
    • Protein – 20 grams
    • Carbohydrates – 20 grams
    • Fat – 9 grams
  • Crunchy Shrimp Lettuce Wraps
    • Calories – 190 Calories
    • Protein – 16 grams
    • Carbohydrates – 17 grams
    • Fat – 6 grams

Written by John Chelsey, Nutriology Founder

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