During the holidays, sticking to a healthy diet is difficult. There are so many rich and delicious offerings at holiday parties it’s easy to find yourself regretting what you ate. One of the best ways to avoid this feeling is by creating holiday dishes that are equally as delicious but way healthier. With the holidays coming up, we wanted to put together a collection of our favorite healthy party food ideas. These recipes are unbelievably tasty and follow the Mediterranean diet. We hope you enjoy these healthy party food ideas and enjoy them this holiday season and beyond.
15 Party Food Ideas for the Holidays
1. Salmon Cakes with Potato and Fire Roasted Corn Salsa
Just like my favorite fritters, these salmon cakes are moist in the middle (by using mashed potatoes as a filling) and crispy on the outside (by frying in extra virgin olive oil.) The salmon cakes are finished off with a super easy to make fire roasted corn salsa.
2. Tuna Deviled Eggs
For many Spanish people, tuna deviled eggs are part of their childhood memories, such as lunches at grandparents’ homes, or joyful dinners on a summer day. Nowadays it is also common to find this dish in the tapas showcase of many Spanish bars.
Ever since I was a child, tabbouleh has always been a traditional dish related to laughter and joy during family gatherings. My mom used to prepare it at least 2-3 times a week. On other days, we used to eat either fattoush or cabbage salads at lunch. Nevertheless, tabbouleh remains THE most important and irreplaceable salad to have on the table.
4. Tuna Patties Fried in Olive Oil
These small French tuna patties are quick to make and require only ingredients that you probably already have. Don’t worry if you have most of the ingredients, but are missing one or two. These patties adapt to what you have, especially with herbs.
5. Stuffed Endives
A quick and delicious endive recipe with smoked salmon, blue cheese and avocado. These traditional stuffed endives from Spain are a perfect addition to a dinner party or holiday spread.
6. Whipped Feta with Lemon and Fresh Dill
This whipped feta with lemon and fresh dill is just really amazing on crackers, bread or vegetables. I made it for a dinner party last week and it was the hit of the party. I was lucky enough to get some fresh dill from our farm share and fresh feta from some local goats.
7. Skillet Garlic Shrimp with Basil and Olives
Over the holidays at a neighborhood party, I tried an insanely delicious broiled skillet garlic shrimp recipe. I asked the host what the general ingredients were because I wanted to create a version for Mediterranean Living. I just loved how it was served right out of the skillet, and the shrimp were coated in this tangy, garlicky sauce that started to caramelize onto the shrimp from broiling it.
8. Loaded Tzatziki Yogurt Sauce with Fresh Dill
Last time we were in Crete, my wife made me promise to stop ordering so much Tzatziki. It seriously became a problem, but that’s how much I love it (she loves it too!). The creamy Greek yogurt (the highest fat possible), grated cucumbers, chopped fresh dill, garlic and olive oil create an irresistible and very healthy sauce that is great on fritters, bread, vegetables, burgers, and souvlaki just to name a few.
9. Prosciutto Wrapped dates with Sage
The first time I tested this recipe, I made it for my college roommate and her partner on their annual summer trip back east. It is always a special and joyous time of “catching up” and basking in the light of each other’s company. I can easily conjure an image of all of us sitting in the kitchen, reaching for these little treats from the pan. When I shut my eyes, I see smiles, hear laughter, and even smell the prosciutto frying in the pan.
10. Baba Ganoush
Lots of Mediterranean cultures have their version of an eggplant dip. This eggplant dip is smokey, earthy, and garlicky. The process of making Baba Ganoush is very similar to hummus in that you blend everything up in a food processor until your desired consistency.
11. Lebanese Hummus
The variety of different types of hummus in the grocery store is growing rapidly. The thing is, homemade hummus is so inexpensive and easy to make that the store-bought hummus won’t taste the same after you try this version. Hummus is a traditional Mediterranean diet recipe and is made with extra virgin olive oil, not canola oil, while most store-bought hummus contains canola oil.
12. Zucchini Fritters
This is it. My all time favorite recipe from Crete, maybe from the whole Mediterranean Diet: Zucchini Fritters by Koula Barydakis. How can one go wrong? Zucchini, onions, fresh mint, fresh parsley, two cheeses (feta and cheddar), bread crumbs, and eggs made into delectable morsels and then fried in extra virgin olive oil.
13. Baked Eggplant and Tomatoes topped with Garlic Yogurt Sauce
This recipe fits in very nicely with me being a lazy cook. Instead of frying the eggplants in olive oil, a task that can be tedious, I just throw them in the oven covered with lots of oil, topped with tomatoes and parmesan cheese.
14. Shrimp with Feta and Tomatoes
My first stop at most parties is the appetizer table. Ninety percent of the time, the same dishes appear and most of them are not part of the Mediterranean Diet: crackers with 3 different types of cheese; chips with dip; a vegetable platter; kielbasa with mustard; deviled eggs; and of course shrimp cocktail.
15. Spicy Rosemary Olives
Spice up the beginning of your meal with these Spicy Rosemary Olives. You can wow your guests with the smallest of effort. These are best made a day ahead and placed in a jar and refrigerated. It’s a great make-ahead treat for holidays, special occasions and other social gatherings.
2 Bonus Party Food Ideas
1. Tomato Slices with Feta Cheese and Fresh Herbs
This has all the hallmarks of my favorite Mediterranean Diet recipes: Fresh tomatoes, fresh herbs, cheese and lot’s of olive oil. It is best to make this when all the ingredients are in season, the tomato at it’s full juicy ripeness, the herbs pungent and full of flavor.
2. Italian Peperonata
Peperonata is an evergreen Italian side dish that originates in Sicily, and is usually prepared during summer time. At this time of the year,in southern Italy, bell peppers are at their best, extremely plump and bright in color.