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You’re looking forward to showing off your mad kitchen skills at a festive, friend-filled holiday soirée. But the day of the event finds you frazzled and frantic, too stressed to enjoy your own celebration and with a kitchen that looks like a disaster zone. And then there’s the end-of-meal clean-up—plus enough leftovers to feed a small country, and no room in the fridge. Looking for a better way to celebrate the season? Try Better Nutrition’s selection of make-ahead holiday appetizer recipes.
Hearty enough for a full meal and festive enough for a proper party—they’re designed with minimal last-minute prep in mind. So you can greet guests with a clean kitchen and relaxed attitude, ready to ring in the holidays. For starters—pun intended—try this delicious meat-free twist on bacon-wrapped dates. Then check back all month long for more make-ahead appetizer recipes.
Cranberry-Walnut Stuffed Dates Recipe
This fast, festive no-cook app features holiday-forward cranberries and walnuts. Mascarpone is an Italian triple-cream cheese with a rich, luxurious texture and mild, sweet flavor. If it’s hard to find, a blend of cream cheese and heavy whipping cream is a decent substitute. For a vegan version of this appetizer recipe, swap agave for honey and use vegan cream cheese or raw cashew butter instead of Mascarpone.
- In small bowl, combine Mascarpone cheese, walnuts, cranberries, honey, and vanilla extract. Stir with spatula until well-blended.
- Split one date lengthwise with small, sharp knife. Stuff with about 1 Tbs. cheese mixture, and transfer to platter. Repeat with remaining dates.
- Cover platter with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 24 hours. Just before serving, garnish with finely minced chives, if desired. Serve chilled.
- Calories 260
- Carbohydrate Content 29 g
- Cholesterol Content 25 mg
- Fat Content 14 g
- Fiber Content 3 g
- Protein Content 4 g
- Saturated Fat Content 5 g
- Sodium Content 5 mg
- Sugar Content 25 g