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20+ Gluten-Free Appetizers (for every occasion)

4.63 from 16 votes

What’s Inside: This roundup of delicious and easy gluten-free appetizer recipes is perfect for any occasion, especially the holidays when you want to feed a crowd. You’ll find hot and cold dishes, prep ahead recipes, platters, dips, and more … plus all diets are welcome, there’s Paleo, AIP, vegan, and dairy-free!

egg-free meatballs gluten-free meatballs Paleo meatballs AIP meatballs in an iron skillet with marinara sauce

Why You’ll Love These Recipes

The main course is often the star of any mealtime show, but if we’re being honest with ourselves, most of us get more excited when it comes to the periphery courses like appetizers. And it’s easy to understand why. They set the tone for the meal and are the first dish people savor. That’s why it’s critical that you choose appetizer recipes that both taste great and leave your guests feeling satisfied with their tastebuds tantalized, but still hungry for the main course.

These easy and healthy appetizer recipes like the featured egg-free meatballs, are perfect for special occasions and holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas, as well as weekday dinners alike!


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These Recipes Make Hosting Easy

Check out this growing collection of my favorite gluten-free appetizer recipes! They’re easy to make, packed with nutritious ingredients, and absolutely delicious. Best of all, they’re compliant with AIPdairy-freepaleo, vegan, and vegetarian diets. This means you can feed a wide variety of guests with an even wider range of dietery needs and restrictions without compromising flavor!

Plus, these appetizers can easily double as side dishes or light meals when paired with each other or served on their own, making them ideal for meal-prepping ahead of a busy week!

Love hosting friends and family for delicious and nutritious meals? Then you’ve got to check out my posts on planning a winter solstice party and throwing a paleo brunch!

Finger Foods

It’s no surprise that people love finger foods! These delectable morsels allow you to try a lot of different dishes and flavors without having to deal with large portions. Best of all, finger food make great appetizers! Hot or cold, on a stick, fancy toothpick, or eaten with a fork … you can’t go wrong with any of these bite-sized gluten-free recipes!

30-Minute Baked Greek Kofta Kebabs With Tzatziki

4.58 from 45 votes
Total Time: 30 minutes
baked greek kofta kebabs with green salad and tzatziki on a plate
Easy low-carb baked kofta kebabs with dairy-free tzatziki make a great weeknight meal or appetizer! The fresh and dried herbs will have you hooked. Plus, it's friendly for diets like Paleo, AIP, and Whole30.
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AIP Salmon Cakes (Paleo & Low FODMAP)

4.08 from 126 votes
Total Time: 50 minutes
AIP Salmon Cakes (Paleo & Low FODMAP) on a plate with lemon
Delicious and easy salmon cakes are great for meal prep, fancy appetizers and any meal. Made with 7 no-fuss ingredients.
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Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Pepper Poppers

4.91 from 22 votes
Bacon Wrapped Sweet Pepper Poppers via Food by Mars (paleo-friendly)
This delicious appetizer has the best of everything… sweet AND savory! Wrapped in bacon, these sweet pepper poppers are stuffed with feta (or your favorite dairy-free cheese). Easy to make and fast off the plate.
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Paleo Greek Spinach Pie (Spanakopita)

4.69 from 22 votes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Paleo Greek Spinach Pie via Food by Mars (gluten-free, low-carb, grain-free, dairy-free, AIP)
Gluten-free | Grain-free | Dairy-free | Low-carb | Vegan | AIP
I turned an old favorite into an allergen-friendly, delicious side or snack that you will love and have so much fun making. Using coconut wraps to replace phyllo dough, made this an easy swap to just add filling to! 
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Classic Deviled Eggs (paleo, gluten-free)

4.14 from 22 votes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Deviled eggs are one popular appetizer and is one of the easiest crowd pleasers for your holiday tables! The secret is to make them with top-notch, fresh ingredients.
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Everything Tahini Roasted Cauliflower

3.92 from 57 votes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Everything Tahini Roasted Cauliflower (paleo, Whole30) via Food by Mars
If Everything Bagel is your jam… you’ll swoon for these delicious cauliflower bites! A perfect side, snack, or appetizer.

Salmon Salad Tartines

5 from 7 votes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Salmon Tartines (Paleo, AIP-friendly, Mayo-free, Whole30-friendly)
(Mayo-free, AIP-friendly, Paleo, Whole30-friendly) These tartines make a perfect lunch or appetizer, it takes just minutes to make and is packed with omega-3’s and flavor.
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Spiced Cauliflower Bites

These go great on top of salad or even served as a cute appetizer or snack, plus they’re a winner for meal prep since they keep well in the fridge for a few days.
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Magic Ginger Mushrooms & Spinach

Serve this as a side, a base, or on a table of tapas and you will be one happy plant eater. The seasonal spinach these mushrooms lay on is lightly steamed and it soaks up the pan sauce perfectly.
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Roasted Ranch Sweet Potatoes

roasted ranch sweet potatoes on a baking sheet with dipping sauce
This easy Roasted Ranch Sweet Potatoes recipe is a super simple side dish fit for any occasion. Whether you’re making dinner on a busy weeknight or looking for a holiday side dish, these roasted sweet potatoes are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser!
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Baked Zucchini Fries

4.48 from 55 votes
Total Time: 35 minutes
baked zucchini fries (paleo, low-carb, gluten-free) via Foodbymars
One of my favorite ways to eat zucchini, dredged in almond meal and spices – this 30-minute dish will be a crowd pleaser.
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Looking for more delicious and easy gluten-free recipes? Then check out my roundup of gluten-free side dishes! Perfect to pair with these appetizers for any occasion.

Dips and Boards

You know you’re at a good party when you see a gorgeous charcuterie board or platter packed with snacks, meats, cheese, nuts, fruit, and spreads. Here are some of my favorite healthy dips and boards that are all gluten-free! And many are Paleo-, AIP-, vegan-, and Whole30-friendly. Perfect for entertaining on holidays and special occasions. (And totally Instagram-worthy!)

4-Steps To Build A Grain-Free Charcuterie Board

4-Steps to Build a Grain-free Charcuterie Board via Food by Mars
To make an awesome spread, I like to focus on the different textures so everyone can have fun crafting their own savory, sweet bites. I divide it into 4 must-have steps that are easy to follow and it all takes minutes to put together.
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Smoked Salmon Dip and Crudité Board

4.56 from 45 votes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Smoked Salmon Dip & Spring Crudité Board via Food by Mars
This delicious dairy-free smoked salmon dip makes for a perfect crudité board! All the seasonal veggies you can find, and you're in business as far as paleo appetizers go 🙂 The dijon mustard, dill, and coconut cream make this so luscious – your guests won't be able to resist.
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Roasted Garlic & Butternut Squash Dip

4.64 from 25 votes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Roasted Garlic & Butternut Squash Dip (paleo, AIP-friendly) via Food by Mars
Sweet, savory and perfect for dipping – this would look perfect on your fall/winter holiday table. The roasted garlic lends a mild, earthy and nutty taste and velvety texture along with the sweetness of the squash and a little more zing from the rosemary, this dip celebrates the season’s finest. [Paleo, AIP-friendly, Vegan, Dairy-free, Whole 30]
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How To Make Dairy-Free Pesto

How to make dairy-free pesto
Making a dairy-free pesto is pretty simple, you just leave out the parmesan, add some sea salt and nutritional yeast and taste test as you go along.
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Pineapple Guacamole (Low FODMAP, AIP Paleo & Vegan)

4.82 from 11 votes
Total Time: 10 minutes
This tropical guacamole is made with just 5 ingredients that even the most sensitive stomachs will be happy with!
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Plant-Based Party Platters

The best part of setting the table for a gathering is when I get to be creative with my party platter. I have it sitting there, ready when guests start arriving so they can start picking on some colorful veggies and fruit.
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Vegan Tzatziki Sauce

Tzatziki sauce- a Greek yogurt based sauce/dip with cucumbers, dill, garlic and lemon. How simple and so amazing it is. It pairs so well on gyros of course, chicken souvlaki, and as a dip!
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Paleo Crispy Baked Chicken Wings (No Baking Powder, AIP)

4.72 from 52 votes
crispy chicken wings without baking powder
The secret to crispy baked chicken wings without baking powder is using a wire rack on your baking or “cookie” sheet for 360-degree airflow in your oven! Even better if you can use a convection setting on your oven. Add your sauce after cooking and level up your serving game with a beautiful platter of crudités and dipping sauce! This is a major crowd-pleasing appetizer or meal.
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Small Plates and Starters

Appetizers are synonymous with small plates and starters. And they’re a favorite at any party! That’s why I love serving dishes like my paleo eggless meatballs (also AIP-compliant), which probably need a utensil (unless you’re savage like me). Small plates or tapas were always a favorite way to do family-style tastes in my travels to Spain if you can’t commit to one thing!

20+ Gluten-free Appetizers: Eggless Meatballs (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)

4.63 from 16 votes
egg-free meatballs
Did you know you can make delicious, flavorful meatballs that won't fall apart without any eggs? It's true! This eggless meatball recipe is AIP-friendly and gluten-free. Perfect as an appetizer or main course! Plus, try some of my other favorite healthy, gluten-free appetizer recipes.
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Paleo Stuffed Artichokes

3.89 from 9 votes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Paleo Stuffed Artichokes (AIP-friendly, Vegan, Whole30) via Food by Mars
A delicious set it and forget it stuffed artichoke recipe that will have you addicted! Using almond meal or tigernut flour makes this paleo, Whole30, or AIP. You can switch up the seasonings however you like and really make it your own, but this method is a sure fire way to amp up the flavor, texture, and skip the fuss when enjoying whole artichokes.
(Paleo, AIP, gluten-free, vegan, Whole30)
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Dim Sum Paleo Cabbage Rolls

4.63 from 45 votes
Total Time: 45 minutes
dim sum paleo cabbage rolls via food by mars
A Paleo stuffed cabbage rolls recipe that uses steamed cabbage leaves = nature's gluten-free dumplings! Dip these in my tasty soy-free sauce for all the UMAMI power — Dim Sum style.
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Winter Squash Wreaths

4.50 from 12 votes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Overhead shot of rings of squash with kale and pomegranate seeds
Beautiful and delicious appetizer or side for your holiday celebrations!
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More Healthy Recipe Collections

Looking for more roundups? If you enjoyed these Easy AIP Paleo Chicken Recipes, try my other essential healthy recipe guides!

egg-free meatballs

20+ Gluten-free Appetizers: Eggless Meatballs (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)

4.63 from 16 votes
Did you know you can make delicious, flavorful meatballs that won't fall apart without any eggs? It's true! This eggless meatball recipe is AIP-friendly and gluten-free. Perfect as an appetizer or main course! Plus, try some of my other favorite healthy, gluten-free appetizer recipes.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 8


  • 1 lb ground beef or meat of choice (beef mixed with pork is another fave)
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste (omit pepper for AIP)
  • garlic powder to taste
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sauce or broth optional
  • Optional: basil or parsley to garnish


  • Preheat oven to 350f degrees. Season meat and score it evenly to create 6-8 meatballs depending on how big you'd like them
  • Sprinkle the arrowroot flour on a clean surface and lightly roll each meatball into it, this helps as a binder in place of eggs
  • Set prepped meatballs aside on a plate.
  • Heat a large cast-iron skillet or another oven-safe skillet of choice, add 2-3 Tbsp olive oil on medium-high heat (the oil should completely cover your skillet so the meat doesn't stick).
  • Add meatballs to the skillet and brown on one side, after a couple of minutes, roll them over once to brown on the next side for 2 more mins.
  • Pour in your sauce (you can optionally try broth!)
  • Next, place your skillet in the oven to finish for 8-10mins or so.
  • Using a meat thermometer, check the internal temp. to confirm doneness and serve when ready!


I love using marinara sauce, this pesto, or just plain broth!
**As an appetizer, this can feed around 8 people but as a main, it’s more like 2-3 people.
Diet: American, Italian
Keywords: AIP, paleo
-Alison Marras
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  1. Oh man – I want to go to this party (or these parties with how many dishes there are to try). I can’t decide between the everything tahini cauliflower bites or the butternut squash dip!! YUM!!

  2. Such a wonderful collection of recipes! I especially love the Roasted Ranch Sweet Potatoes and Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Pepper Poppers.

  3. So many great recipes to choose from but really love the eggless meatballs – so hard to find a recipe without an egg for binder!

  4. These all look so great, especially for holidays and entertaining! Those cauliflower recipes are screaming my name!

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