Bite-Sized Appetizers Cups (Cup-a-tizers)

by in Robin's Healthy Take, July 17, 2012

People always ask me for quick and easy recipes that they can bring to parties. They want to share something homemade, something personal. But those same people also tell me they have NO time, NO patience and practically NO cooking ability. Game on, I say.

I’ve got you covered and you’ll knock the socks off of every party-goer at your next soiree.

The best appetizers for a party, whether the soiree is held inside or out, are handheld munchies you can tackle in a bite or two. The goal is simple: gourmet flavors that come alive in one small portion. That’s basically my mantra.

That said, I love little “cups,” vessels created for holding other ingredients. Restaurants and caterers make them all the time, but they’re often fried or loaded with fat and salt. Not true of the home-made version. Plus, frying masks flavors sometimes, and when the filling is amazing, you shouldn’t do that.

Behold 3 of the best little cups you’ve laid your palate on (or laid on your palate). Asian-inspired, Mexican-inspired and Greek-inspired, they each cram loads of flavor into an adorable, edible bowl.

The variations to these recipes are endless so feel free to experiment and let us know what you make!

Note: If you plan to refrigerate any of these cups for more than 1-2 hours, I recommend waiting to fill them until just before serving. Sometimes the moist filling causes the shells lose their crispness in the refrigerator.

Wonton Cups With Asian Crab Salad (pictured above)

24 wonton skins
12 ounces fresh lump crab meat
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Press wonton skins into the bottom and up the sides of 2 (12-cup) mini muffin tins. Bake 6-8 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine crab, cilantro, mayonnaise and sesame oil. Mix gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon crab mixture into wonton cups. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 24 filled cups

Nutrition Info Per Cup
Calories: 41
Total Fat: <1 gram
Saturated Fat: 0 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 5 grams
Sugars: 0 grams
Protein: 3 grams
Sodium: 98 milligrams
Cholesterol: 10 milligrams
Fiber: <1 gram


Sundried Tomato Cups With Mexican Chicken
These can be made with any tortilla flavor and variety.

4 large (10-inch) sundried tomato flour tortilla wraps
2 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup prepared salsa with beans
1/4 cup frozen white corn, thawed
2 tablespoons light ranch dressing
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter (or rim of an empty can), cut each tortilla into 6 circles.

Press tortilla circles into the bottom and up the sides of 2 (12-cup) mini muffin tins. Bake 6-8 minutes, until crisp.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine chicken, salsa, corn and ranch dressing. Mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon chicken mixture into tortilla cups. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 24 filled cups

Nutrition Info Per Cup
Calories: 63
Total Fat: 2 grams
Saturated Fat: 0.4 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 7 grams
Sugars: 1 gram
Protein: 5 grams
Sodium: 136 milligrams
Cholesterol: 10 milligrams
Fiber: 1 gram


Phyllo Cups with Cream Cheese and Olives
This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to serve more people

Cooking spray
8 ounces light vegetable cream cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon diced pimento-stuffed olives, plus additional slices for garnish
6 sheets phyllo dough

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 2 (12-cup) mini muffin tins with cooking spray.

Arrange 3 sheets (stacked) of phyllo dough on a flat surface. Cut into 12 equal squares. Repeat with remaining 3 sheets of phyllo dough. Press squares into the bottom and up the sides of prepared muffin tins. Bake 6-8 minutes, until golden brown.

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, scallions, parsley and diced olives. Mix well.

Spoon cream cheese mixture into phyllo cups. Garnish the top of each cup with an olive slice.

Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 24 filled cups

Nutrition Info Per Cup
Calories: 33
Total Fat: 1.8 grams
Saturated Fat: <1 gram
Total Carbohydrate: 4 grams
Sugars: <1 gram
Protein: 1 gram
Sodium: 99 milligrams
Cholesterol: 4 milligrams
Fiber: <1 gram

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Comments (8)

  1. JanB says:

    These make me SO excited! I'm going to try everyone of them… They are healthy, low-cal, low-fat and even have 'vegetable cream cheese' … which I'm assuming is soy of some sort. If you're lactose intolerant, or even just a Vegan, these sound scrumptous! Thanks!

  2. J Cee says:

    I made the chicken and crab ones for a wine party. The prep is so easy and no nonsense: I made the filling the night before and made the shells the next day. They were a huge hit! I will definitely be making them again!

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