Healthy Party Dips? It's Possible With These 5 Swaps

Switch out your go-to dip for one of these equally tasty recipes, and it'll be a guaranteed healthy hit at your next party.
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From football games to birthdays, there's always a reason to throw a party, which means lots of finger foods like crackers, veggies and dips. Many of the traditional party dips are high in calories, high in fat and highly likely to put you in a food coma.That's why we rounded up some simple swaps that are still delicious but better for you.

Skip: Spinach Artichoke Dip
Try: Creamy Avocado, Artichoke and Kale Dip

Photo credit: Blissful Basil

Photo credit: Blissful Basil

Gooey cheese, though delicious, is one of the easiest ways to add saturated fat and calories to a recipe, and it's the star of most spinach and artichoke dips. When superfood spinach and antioxidant-rich artichokes are mere sidekicks, the health benefits get overshadowed. Not the case in this recipe for Creamy Avocado, Artichoke and Kale Dip. The veggies take the spotlight and not a cheese is in sight. It's the avocados, loaded with good-for-you fats, that create the creamy texture we love so much. We bet you'll never be able to look at the classic version the same way again.

Get the full recipe over at Blissful Basil.

Skip: Pizza Dip
Try: Roasted Red Pepper Parmesan Dip

Photo credit: Well Plated

Photo credit: Well Plated

Pizza doesn't exactly have a reputation for being healthy and putting its flavors in a bowl along with cream cheese doesn't help. What's more, if you serve this greasy dip with breadsticks you could quickly end up dunking your way to the equivalent of half a pie! You can enjoy the same Italian taste with this roasted red pepper dip that uses familiar ingredients like basil, Parmesan cheese, garlic and olive oil. Protein-packed cannellini beans act as the base to add thickness without the fat.

Get the full recipe over at Well Plated.

Skip: Taco Dip
Try: Avocado and Feta Dip

Photo credit: Two Peas and Their Pod

Photo credit: Two Peas and Their Pod

Taco Dip is essentially refried beans, cheese, more cheese, sour cream and all the toppings you could dream up — an entire meal in a bowl. If it's a southwest flavor you crave, go for that avocado fix. This green fruit – yep, a fruit! — is high in monounsaturated fats, which provide heart-health benefits. Give guacamole a break, and try this Avocado and Feta Dip instead. Familiar ingredients like lime juice, cilantro and jalapeno still make an appearance, but it's salty feta that switches things up for an original dip everyone will love. Just remember, a fat is still a fat, so be careful of just how much you gobble up.

Get the full recipe over at Two Peas and Their Pod.

Skip: Buffalo Chicken Dip
Try: Skinny Buffalo Chicken Dip

Photo credit: Skinnytaste

Photo credit: Skinnytaste

OK, we're not going to sugar coat this one. It's difficult to recreate this classic tailgate dip in a much healthier way without changing it almost entirely. This is where little tweaks make a big difference. In this Skinny Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe, reduced-fat cream cheese subs in for full fat, low-cal white wine vinegar adds flavor, and the extra cheese is kept to a minimum. Still spicy, still delicious, with less a little less guilt. Bonus: The chili pepper kick in your hot sauce contains a compound called capsaicin, which may help your body burn more fat.

Get the full recipe over at Skinnytaste.

Skip: Marshmallow Fruit Dip
Try: 3-Ingredient Healthy Fruit Dip

Photo credit: Bless This Mess

Photo credit: Bless This Mess

Fruit. Healthy! Right? Not so fast. It's true that a slice of apple will always be a better choice than a slice of cake, but not when you slather it with artificial marshmallow fluff and cream cheese. [By now you’ve probably noticed the common denominator in these bad-for-you dips, right? Avoid cream cheese when possible, or go for a reduced-fat variety.] When your sweet tooth is calling, whip together this simple 3-Ingredient Healthy Fruit Dip. Greek yogurt (satisfying protein), peanut butter (ditto on the protein, plus fiber) and honey (natural sweetener) are the only things that go into this tasty dip.

Get the full recipe over at Bless This Mess.

20 Easy Crowd-Pleasing Appetizers

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Easy Savory Galettes

A galette is a flat, free-form pie. Fill this five-minute crust with our savory suggestions, or create your own filling. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Jason Kisner © 2013, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Mini Quiche Florentine

The classic combination of spinach and Swiss cheese paired with the robust flavors of fresh thyme and Parmesan make these mini mouthfuls an instant hit with even the pickiest of palettes. Get the recipe.

Smoked Gouda and Herb Puffs

These bite-size balls of smoked, cheesy, herby goodness are the perfect appetizer for a dinner party. Just be careful — they're so addictive that it's impossible to eat just one or two (or three)! Get the recipe.

Creamy Lump Crab Dip

This dip will leave you weak in the knees. Creamy mascarpone cheese folded with large chunks of crabmeat and sweet corn is palette-pleasing perfection when baked until bubbly and hot. Serve with toasted crostinis for an appetizer that will be a home run for any occasion. Get the recipe.

Braised Pork Belly Sliders

Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tenn., shares their recipe for tender pork sandwiches on fresh from-scratch buttermilk biscuits. These delectable finger foods are perfect as mouthwatering appetizers or a light main course option. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Blackberry Farm

3 Tasty Takes on Queso Fundido

Chef Eduardo Garcia puts a flavorful twist on classic queso fundido to keep your party hot for everyone, whether they're meat lovers, seafood fans or vegetarians. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Jennifer Jane

Goat Cheese Quesadilla

Combine goat cheese with guava jam for a flavorful update to this Tex-Mex favorite that can be whipped up in just minutes. Get the recipe.

Mini Bacon and Ranch Cajun Sliders

There's nothing more satisfying than a good cheeseburger. And an adorable miniature with bacon and ranch — fit the bill and then some. Get the recipe.

Savory Cheese Straws

Country star Trisha Yearwood shares her can't-miss recipe for these crunchy nibbles, sure to please party guests of all ages. Get the recipe.

Spicy Shrimp Toast

These decadent, bite-sized nibbles are crisp, super savory and bursting with flavor. Coupled with the sweet chile sauce, this is the perfect cocktail party appetizer for guests who like a little fire. Get the recipe.

Avocado Fries

It almost doesn't seem possible that a perfectly ripe avocado could ever be improved upon, but — with a lime sriracha dip as a sidekick — these avocado fries prove it can be done. Get the recipe.

Baked Brie With Raspberry Preserves

Keep hungry guests satisfied while they wait for dinner to begin with this warm, gooey appetizer. Baked Brie always impresses but its preparation couldn't be easier. Get the recipe.

Salted Stout Caramel Popcorn

Hearty stout lends a flavorful kick to the homemade caramel coating on this sweet-meets-salty snack. Get the recipe.

Pub-Style Pretzels and Beer Cheese Sauce

Savory smoked Gouda and cheddar cheeses get a flavorful kick from your favorite draft to take these soft, doughy homemade pretzels to a whole new level of appetizer awesomeness. Get the recipe.

Artichoke and Black Truffle Dip

Black truffle paste adds an earthy flavor to this cream-cheese-based artichoke dip that pairs perfectly with flatbreads and pitas. Get the recipe.

Nut Crusted Brie with Cherry Chutney

Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C. shares a favorite recipe for a warm, gooey and nutty appetizer whose sophisticated presentation is sure to impress. Get the recipe.

Pepperoni Pizza Hand Pies

These hearty handfuls are a great easy-to-eat appetizer ideal for family get-togethers (kids will love them!), tailgates, picnics or even cookouts. Get the recipe.

Creamy Smoked Salmon Roll

This salmon and cream cheese appetizer can be made up to two days ahead of time for super-easy party prep. Serve slices on a water cracker or, for a more casual gathering, set the roll out and allow guests to serve themselves.Get the recipe.

Nacho-Stuffed Potato Skins

This hearty appetizer serves up a can't-miss combo of favorite party flavors: potato skins and cheesy nachos. Get the recipe.

Chile and Lime Roasted Cashews

Lime juice and chile pepper give these roasted nuts a flavorful kick that makes them an endlessly munchable finger food and the just-right partner to a frosty pint. Get the recipe.

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