top 5 holiday appetizer recipes

spice up your snack life this season with these 5 holiday appetizer recipes…

sweet and sour popchips meatballs by fresh and foodie

popchips turkey meatballs

ingredients: (makes 20 meatballs)

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped red onion (about half of a small onion)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, very finely minced
  • 1 28-ounce can italian-style crushed tomatoes
  • 8 ounces beef broth
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 single serve bags (approximately 40 chips) of sour cream & onion popchips, crushed into very small pieces and lightly toasted in a dry sauté pan over medium heat until lightly browned
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • chopped chives, for garnish (optional)


  • in a large, flat bottom skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat until hot. add onion and cook for about 4 minutes, or until softened. add garlic and cook for an additional minute or two. add crushed tomatoes, beef broth, brown sugar and lemon juice and stir to combine. cover and bring sauce to a simmer while assembling the meatballs.
  • in a large bowl, lightly combine ground turkey, crushed and toasted popchips, salt, pepper and egg. don’t be afraid to use your hands! once well mixed, shape into approximately 1 to 1.5-inch balls (recipe should yield about 20 meatballs). gently drop meatballs into simmering sauce, partially cover and let cook for an hour.
  • i like the meatballs on their own with some chopped chives, but they would also be delicious as a sandwich on toasted italian bread.

popchips coconut shrimp by sara vance

coconut shrimp popchips recipe via sara vance

ingredients: (makes 40-50 shrimp)

  • 1 lb. of medium peeled and de-veined shrimp (uncooked, 40/50 count)
  • one 3 oz. bag of sweet potato popchips 
  • 1 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 eggs – lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons of unsweetened coconut milk (or your choice of milk)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)


  • preheat oven to 425 degrees.  place racks in top 1/3 of oven, and bottom 1/3 of oven. lightly grease a baking sheet with coconut oil.
  • make the dipping sauce (see below).
  • in a food processor, pulse popchips until they are a fine crumb.  if you do not have a food processor, you can crush the popchips right in it’s own bag!  just break the seal with a tiny opening on top, and let the air out,  and finely crush them with a mallet or a rolling pin.
  • put into a shallow bowl: the popchips crumbs, coconut, sea salt, pepper, and ginger (if using), mix to combine thoroughly.
  • put the egg and milk into another shallow bowl.
  • dip each shrimp into the egg wash, then the popchips crumb mixture, and place on prepared baking sheet.
  • put into top rack of oven for 5 minutes, then move to bottom rack for 4 more minutes (if using larger shrimp – cook longer).
  • serve plain or with a sweet thai chili dipping sauce (below); also great over a bed of baby greens with thinly sliced red onion, mango chunks, and a fresh lime dressing.

sweet thai chili dipping sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon of sambal oelek (use more or less depending on desired spiciness)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of natures agave clear nectar
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (or one clove fresh garlic very finely chopped)
  • a squeeze of fresh lime juice
  • sea salt to taste


  • put all ingredients into a small saucepan, heat on medium high until just boiling, then reduce heat to low and simmer stirring occasionally for a couple of minutes.
  • pour into a bowl and allow to cool slightly while preparing/cooking shrimp.
  • serves 4.

crunchy sweet potato crusted parmesan risotto cakes by noshtopia (a gluten-free and egg-free appetizer!)

holiday recipe_sweet potato crusted parmesan risotto cakes via noshtopia

ingredients: (makes 16-20 cakes)

  • 1 box gluten-free lundberg creamy parmesan risotto made using less 1/4 cup less water.
  • 2 cups stahlbush island farms sweet potato chunks
  • 36 sweet potato popchips (ground up in a food processor)
  • 1 tsp agave nectar


  • pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • cook the lundberg creamy parmesan risotto according to the box and use 1/4 cup less water. the risotto will come out a little more on the dryer side which helps in making the cakes stick together better.
  • warm up the sweet potato chunks in the microwave for about 30 seconds so they are not frozen solid but only slightly warm. too much heat and the potato will get mushy and the paste will not work.
  • put the sweet potato chunks in a food processor along with the 1 tsp of agave nectar and blend until you get a semi-chunky paste. the nectar sweetens the sweet potato just a tad.
  • put the finished risotto in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes to cool it down and harden the risotto a bit so it’s sticky. mix in the sweet potato paste.
  • form the risotto, sweet potato mix into cakes, and then on a plate roll the cakes in the sweet potato popchips breading.
  • spray non-stick cooking spray on a baking sheet, and place the sweet potato risotto cakes on the baking sheet.
  • bake the cakes on one side for 8 minutes. turn the cakes over, and bake for another 8 minutes.
  • let the cakes cool down. place some fresh thyme on top of each cake for seasoning. the side sauce i used in the photo is trader joe’s sweet chili sauce.

green olive tapenade snack bites by chef ryan scott

green olive tapenade snack bites recipe


  • sweet potato popchips
  • 1 cup green olive, pitted
  • ½ cup shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
  • 3 anchovy filets
  • zest & juice of half a lemon
  • black pepper, ground, for taste
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup goat cheese


  • coarsely chop olives, garlic, capers, shallots, anchovies and lemon zest on cutting board, or in a food processor until incorporated, but still chunky.
  • place chopped mixture in a bowl and add pepper, mustard, parsley and lemon juice and stir in enough olive oil to bind mixture together.
  • spread goat cheese on a sweet potato popchips and then a small amount of tapenade on goat cheese.  or, place in bowls and let guests build their own.

tangy egg salad party starters by julie hammerstein, rd

tangy egg salad bites recipe via julie hammerstein


  • 6 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 t. wildtree-brand dill seasoning or brand of your choice
  • 2 teaspoons capers (optional)
  • dash of sea salt
  • original popchips


  • put the eggs in a small mixing bowl to mash with potato masher or fork.
  • blend in mustard and dill-seasoning.
  • add capers if desired and mix well.
  • if you don’t use the capers, then you can put all of the ingredients into a blender or vitamix to make a creamier texture.

this is a fun and lively twist on traditional egg salad, using mustard for a tangy flavor, and less dietary fat than mayonnaise. you can use it as a dip with popchips, or it’s also great on a sandwich for a healthier version of a family favorite.  fun for holiday gatherings, backyard bbq’s, after-school snacks and everything in-between!

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