Appetizer Meals

Are you planning to watch the game on Sunday?  Certainly it is a good time for appetizer style meals and serving finger foods that are easy to eat with a variety to keep the menu interesting.  It is fun to just graze sometimes, and I have several favorite things to make for football games, racing days, and perhaps the Olympics and awards season too.  One problem about game day foods is that much of it is not very healthy.  Still, it should be tasty, so I try to figure out how to include veggies, and lower the fat content of the dishes while minimizing the carbs.  Having a crudité platter with a low fat ranch dip instead of chips is one way to do this, so we might have some blanched broccoli and raw carrots along with our hot apps. I like bruschetta too, with lots of fresh tomatoes, chopped basil and grated Parmesan cheese topping thin slices of French bread toasted and drizzled with just a bit of olive oil.  I have a new recipe for you to make for the weekend and save for future events, along with a link to one from last year and a tweak to an old favorite.

Appetizer Small Plate Meals ~ From My Carolina Home

So, let’s start with the chicken wings. I have made these several times now, trying different ways of baking, and things for coating to get the crunch of fried without the fat.

Parmesan Chicken Wings at From My Carolina Home

Use a rack over a baking pan to allow the fat to drain off while they cook for less grease.  Flavor is essential, so I season with lemon pepper and garlic salt, you can use whatever you like.

Appetizer Small Plate Meals ~ From My Carolina Home

Top the wings with some panko bread crumbs and shredded Parmesan.  Spritz with just a bit of no-stick spray to assist the crumbs in browning.

Appetizer Small Plate Meals ~ From My Carolina Home

Bake one hour at 350º to golden brown, crunchy deliciousness.

Appetizer Small Plate Meals ~ From My Carolina Home

Parmesan Chicken Wings

1 pound (or however many you want) Chicken wings cut into sections
Garlic Salt and Lemon Pepper to taste
Panko bread crumbs
Shredded fresh Parmesan cheese

Place wings on rack over a baking pan. Sprinkle with garlic salt and lemon pepper. Top with panko bread crumbs, spray lightly with cooking spray. Top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350º for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

Parmesan Chicken Wings at From My Carolina Home

Next, let’s tweak the old standby sausage balls, making a reduced fat version and only half the recipe for just us two. Instead of the full cup cup of full fat Bisquick called for in the original recipe for a pound of sausage, use only 1/4-cup of reduced fat Bisquick and eight ounces of sausage.

Appetizer Small Plate Meals ~ From My Carolina Home

I also use a 2% milk sharp cheddar to reduce the fat further, and reduce the amount in the recipe to 4 ounces for 8 ounces of sausage.  Using the sharp adds more flavor with less cheese.  Adding some chopped green onions kicks it up a bit too.

Appetizer Small Plate Meals ~ From My Carolina Home

Mix well, into a ball, then use an ice-cream scoop to make the sausage balls uniform in size. This makes them a bit smaller as well, reducing portion size a bit, while increasing the number of appetizers.

Appetizer Small Plate Meals ~ From My Carolina Home

Place on a baking sheet sprayed with no-stick cooking spray, and bake at 350º for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.

Appetizer Small Plate Meals ~ From My Carolina Home

Remove from the baking sheet immediately, or they stick to the pan. Drain on paper towels.

Appetizer Small Plate Meals ~ From My Carolina Home

Another favorite hot appetizer is one I frequently use as a side dish, Baked Spinach. This is my recipe from National Garlic Day in 2015 using Roasted Garlic.

Appetizer Small Plate Meals ~ From My Carolina Home

It works really well as an appetizer served on crackers, and is wonderful to take to pot luck parties.  I revised the recipe to use just chopped garlic for this hot spread.

Appetizer Small Plate Meals ~ From My Carolina Home

Baked Spinach Hot Appetizer

1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp chopped garlic
4 medium-large mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp olive oil
small pat of butter
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon-pepper
1 10-oz pkg chopped spinach
3-4 oz shredded Mozzarella cheese
2-3 oz shredded Parmesan cheese

Saute onion, chopped garlic and mushrooms in olive oil with a small pat of butter until onions are translucent and mushrooms are softened. Remove pan from heat, add cream cheese and stir until melted. Add next two ingredients stirring until well blended, then stir in spinach and onion/mushroom mixture. Pour into baking dish, top with mozzarella. Bake at 350˚ for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. Serve with crackers as a hot appetizer, or as a main meal side dish.

Appetizer Small Plate Meals ~ From My Carolina Home

The day I did all three of these for the divisional playoffs, I put the wings in first for one hour, then the sausage balls and spinach dip went into the still hot oven together for 30 minutes. I kept the wings warm covered with foil.

Appetizer Small Plate Meals ~ From My Carolina Home

For Super Bowl Sunday, I have several books on Small Plates and I think I’ll try something new. I put some Amazon affiliate links below if you want to check out some of small plate books I have, and the next recipes I am thinking of trying.

Small Plates books at From My Carolina Home

Mushroom and Marscapone Tartlets and Thai Lettuce cups from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast: Small Plates

Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Bundles,and Cheese and Herb Batons in Small Plates: Appetizers as Meals

Lime Drizzled Shrimp and Crab Tartlets from Tapas: 40 Delicious Traditional Spanish Recipes (Contemporary Cooking)

More small plate ideas Small Plates – Appetizer Meals

What’s your favorite appetizer for party time?

Appetizer Small Plate Meals ~ From My Carolina Home

16 thoughts on “Appetizer Meals

  1. Diane Nickerson

    Hello! Your recipes look delicious! I am attaching a recipe for Veggie Bars; it is a delicious way to get some veggies in. I am sure it would be just as good with low-fat cream cheese and mayo. I got the recipe from Kraft, but have added more veggies (the original only called for broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, I believe). I have no affiliation, I just thought you might enjoy the recipe.

  2. I’ve been sick with the flu for 3 weeks that morphed into pneumonia and a very negative reaction to the antibiotics which I had not taken before. This week I’ve been nibbling on crackers, sipping juice and ginger ale and did keep down most of a garden salad—my biggest meal in over a week. I asked my husband twice to just shoot me and I was only joking the first time. But after reading this post and seeing these photos I KNOW I am going to live…lol…..I was salivating half way through the post and am looking forward to having the strength for grocery shopping and cooking. I may not be ready on Sunday but I will be trying these recipes soon—especially the spinach bake. Thank you, Carole….you’re good medicine for body AND soul.

  3. Myrna

    Your house looks like a good place to start. I would like to give all these a try. Like that you try to bring down the fat count and look after us. LOL Will make the spinach dip for Tues. and a golf happy hour in the Yuma Sun. thanks you for giving us your time.

  4. Karen

    I lived in the Philly area for the first 24 years of my life, and am a HUGE Eagles fan, so VERY excited about the game!! (And hubby couldn’t care less about it, or sports in general, so super happy my son is coming over to watch it with me!) We like to graze on game day, too, and I’ll make barbecued little smokies in the crockpot, easy Swedish meatballs (using pre-made frozen meatballs), Tyson chicken wings to just pop in the oven (w/a honey sauce that I will whip up) a veggie platter w/dip and whatever else catches my eye at the grocery store today. My mom-in-law will bring some goodies, too, I’m sure. Your recipes sure do look delicious, though more ‘work’ than I want to do on Sunday, as I’ll be wanting to plop myself in front of the TV mostly all day, lol!

  5. These all look great! I depend on my daughters for fun recipes for appetizers and “party” food. These I am going to save for the next time I entertain one of them! (I like to surprise them occasionally with the fact that I do still know HOW to cook; just don’t often have the DESIRE…..) There will be NO football in my house on Sunday…thank goodness the hubby is NOT a fan. Years ago the first husband (now deceased) and the kids would have been driving me nuts with Super Bowl. Sports was a deal breaker when I met my current husband, and I am glad he is a keeper!

  6. kathyinozarks

    Food all looks delicious!!
    No I stopped watching football these past two seasons do to the politics and I love love to watch football but I just can not. My husband does not watch sports so when I do watch it is just me-I usually make some fun food too not sure what I will be making Sunday. Neither of us like chicken wings and I know that is the star dish for super bowl sundays
    we also are both trying to lose weight-our senior ages have caught up with us haha I am serving our main meal now at 2 in the afternoon and then if we need a little something later-something very light.
    Have fun!!

  7. Monica Kostak

    I already have sausage balls on my meal list for next week (breakfast grab and go w/hard boiled eggs) . have not thought of adding green onions but i do add some Worcestershire sauce. My tip- use parchment paper rather than grease the pan, even under my sausage balls, and meatloaf, fish sticks, i add a small sheet of parchment paper and makes easy clean up too. I’m not a TV fan (but do enjoy my Netflix that comes in the mail) I’ll be hoping to do a LITTLE sewing on Sunday in addition to preparing for the week. Have a wonderful weekend!

  8. Brenda Ackerman

    Hello Carole; All of your recipes sound delicious and look mouth watering scrumptious! I really appreciate the tip on baking the wings on the rack . We have one and use it all the time in a covered baking dish, but this makes so much sense in that we both love fried without all of the grease! Of course, both of your other recipes will be tried…they sound delicious also. I do not really have a favorite appetizer. I like to try various recipes. Have a great time Super Bowl Weekend!

  9. Margo

    I’ve discovered your blog in the last month or so and I want you to know how much I’ve been enjoying it. I cook, quilt, stamp and love a beautifuly set table. Your blog is a perfect fit!
    Enjoy game day! These recipes look delicious.

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