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4-Ingredient Simple Gluten-Free Appetizers for the Holidays

4-Ingredient Simple Gluten-Free Appetizers for the Holidays

Few Ingredients. Simple. Elegant.

Those are all of the things I look for when I am entertaining and need a good appetizer to serve up. I am not one to spend too much time on what comes before the big meal. So, over the years I have defaulted to a few favorite simple hors d’oeuvres that are simple to whip up but still look fairly fancy-shmancy.

These two Appetizers are a couple of my favorite to serve up and are perfect because you can make the bulk of them ahead of time:

  • Pear and Arugula Stuffed Prosciutto Cups with a Balsamic Drizzle
  • Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Chopped Pistachios and Chives

They are also naturally gluten-free AND dairy-free AND egg-free AND soy-free AND easily nut-free. So…basically perfect for any of those guests (or family members) with food sensitivities.

And…I just happen to be sharing these recipes today as part of our Gluten-Free Holiday Progressive Dinner hosted by Daily Bites.

Simple Appetizers for the Holidays

Each day a different blogger is serving up a different course of a wonderful Gluten-free and Dairy-free Holiday Meal. Each day there will be a new GIVEAWAY hosted at each blog as well.

Hint: My giveaway is below. Do NOT miss out on your chance to win!

Here is the schedule (updated with links as the posts are up):

And now for these 4-Ingredient Simple Gluten-Free Appetizers.

Simple Gluten-Free Appetizers for the Holidays

Pear and Arugula Stuffed Prosciutto Cups


  • 1 3-oz Prosciutto Package
  • 1 Cup Fresh Arugula, chopped
  • 1 Pear, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Fig Balsamic Vinegar, or good quality Regular Balsamic


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Separate Prosciutto slices and cut each slice into quarters so that each cut piece is now about 1 inch wide by 3 inches long.

2. Take a mini muffin pan and press 2 slices, criss-crossed over each other, inside each opening, to form a cup. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes – they will crisp up as they cool – then remove from pan and fill each with 1 Tbsp chopped pears then top with about 1 Tbsp chopped arugula.

3. Drizzle about 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of Balsamic vinegar over each cup. Serve and enjoy.

Optional: these are also wonderful topped with a small dollop of goat cheese if you or your guests are not dairy-free.

And now for Recipe Number 2:

Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Pistachios and Chives


  • 30 – 40 Medjool or Deglet Dates
  • 8 – 10 slices Bacon, each cut into 4 pieces, width-wise
  • 1/4 Cup Pistachios, Shelled and Chopped Coursely
  • 2 Tbsp Chives, Chopped


1. Preheat oven to 375 Degrees. Line a baking sheet with Parchment Paper.

2. Make a small slice in each date to remove pit. Fill space where pit was with chopped pistachios.

3. Lay cut bacon piece on work surface, sprinkle some chives on top of it, then place date in center and roll bacon around date. Place bacon-wrapped date seam side down on parchment paper. Repeat with remaining dates and bacon pieces.

4. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until bacon is nicely crisp. Let cool for about 10 minutes and place on serving platter and top with some chopped pistachios and chives for garnish.

Optional: These are also very good stuffed with a small dollop of goat cheese as well if you or your guests are not dairy-free.

UPDATE: The winner had been notified by email and this contest is now CLOSED.

And now for the GIVEAWAY!


Small Plates and Sweet Treats

I am giving away one copy of Small Plates & Sweet Treats, by Aran Goyoaga. To enter simply do one, two, or all three of the following. Just make sure to leave a SEPARATE COMMENT for each one that you do so you earn a separate entry for each:

1. Tell me what intrigues you about this cookbook!

2. Follow Cook It Allergy Free on Facebook, or leave a comment telling me if you already do.

3. Share this post with your friends on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook or other social media and leave an additional comment saying you did so. Help spread the word about this great new cookbook!

The contest will end on Tuesday, December 18th at 9am PST. The winners will be announced then. You must be at least 18 years old to enter.


Kim Maes - Allergy Free Food CoachKim Maes, CNC, AADP, known as the Allergy Free Food Coach, is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant and Certified in the Practical Application of Food Allergy Guidelines.. She is also the creator of the Cook It Allergy Free iPhone and iPad Apps and the Cook It Allergy Free website, where she shares her passion for teaching others how easy and delicious it can be to eat whole, pure allergy-friendly meals that the entire family will enjoy.

  1. On December 11, 2012 Gail said

    Shared this post on Facebook.

  2. On December 11, 2012 Elizabeth said

    I have a hard time coming up with idea for small plates so this would be awesome!

  3. On December 11, 2012 Julie said

    I like the idea of appetizers completely allergy free, I’m wondering what yummy recipes are in this cookbook!

  4. On December 11, 2012 Julie said

    liked on facebook!

  5. On December 12, 2012 Janet said

    I like the cookbook because I love having appetizers for dinner. We usually do that a few times a year and everyone seems to enjoy it 🙂

  6. On December 12, 2012 Cara said

    I have never seen a gluten free cookbook like it. I would also like to get into entertaining and this book would be perfect!

  7. On December 12, 2012 Cara said

    I Like CookIT FB. 🙂

  8. On December 12, 2012 Carol said

    Appetizers are my favorite part of any meal! Love these.

  9. On December 12, 2012 Marsha said

    Small plates, what a great idea, keeps us from over indulging.

  10. On December 12, 2012 Gail said

    I already follow Cook It Allergy Free on Facebook.

  11. On December 12, 2012 Gail said

    I love the idea of a cookbook for appetizers/small dishes. I am definately going to be trying out the Pear and Arugula Stuffed Proscuitto Cups. I have become a big fan of balsamic over the past year.

    Merry Christmas!

  12. On December 12, 2012 Cindy W. said

    I would love to learn more gf recipes – especially appetizers – so this book would be wonderful.

  13. On December 13, 2012 Cassidy @ Cooking Gl said

    I’m in desperate need of some appetizer recipes! This book would be perfect 🙂 BTW-LOVE your blog!

  14. On December 13, 2012 Staci A said

    I’m really interested to see the dessert recipes. It’s the one place I struggle!

  15. On December 13, 2012 Staci A said

    I’m a FB fan.

  16. On December 13, 2012 Staci A said
  17. On December 13, 2012 Katie said

    This book is gluten free. I don’t have any allergies, but know people who do. It would be great to be able to bake foods that I can share with other even if they have an allergy.

  18. On December 13, 2012 EMC said

    I find a lot of gluten-free cookbooks intriguing in part because some friends of mine – who are not into cooking – have had to go gluten-free and are struggling to find things they can eat… I like to help when I can. I also find my allergies are less severe when I eat gluten and dairy-free. Peeking at the cookbook via Amazon, it seems to really focus on seasonal eats as well, which I also like. Thanks for hosting! 🙂

  19. On December 13, 2012 Dorene St. G. said

    I just found and liked your facebook page today. 🙂

  20. On December 13, 2012 Marlene said

    I have been wanting to change our eating habits. This seems like the perfect place to start. I believe this will help lessen my hubbies allergy symptoms, and simply put our family on an intentional path to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. Looking forward to gluten free recipes! Thanks for sharing goodness with others.
    Merry Christmas!

  21. On December 15, 2012 Jess said

    I am such a nibbler when it comes to appetizers but am finding it hard at holiday parties as so many are filled with gluten and dairy, this book will give me lots of great ideas for allergy-friendly appies 🙂 Thanks!

  22. On February 15, 2013 Cynde said

    The dates are yummy!! I have a couple of co-workers who always bring their own goodies for work parties and I made the Bacon Wrapped Dates. Not only were they a hit but they were very much appreciated by those who live gluten-free lives.

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