Appetizer Recipes for Diabetics

diabetic recipes dip

When enjoying a meal, it is important for a diabetic not to spend a lot of carbohydrates on appetizers. Keep portion size in mind, as even a few pieces of the garlic bread listed below can easily become a meal of two or three carbohydrates. Bring your own appetizers to a party so you know exactly what you're eating. If you can't resist the appetizer table, reach for nonstarchy vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, tomato, and cucumber.

The recipes below contain zero to one carbohydrate exchange per serving..

Herbed Garlic Bread


herbed garlic bread recipe
  • 4 slices crusty Italian bread, cut ½" thick
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • Basil, chopped fresh
  • Oregano, chopped fresh
  • Pepper, freshly ground


  1. Lightly brown both sides of bread slices using grill or toaster oven.
  2. Remove from heat and lightly coat both sides with cooking spray.
  3. Rub with the cut garlic, then top with pepper and chopped herbs.
  4. Spray again with cooking spray. Cut in half and serve warm.

Serving and Nutrition Information

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 77 calories, 3g protein, 1g total fat (0.2g saturated fat), 14g carbohydrate, 1g dietary fiber, 0mg cholesterol, 166mg sodium

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 Carbohydrate (1 Bread/Starch)

Dill and Onion Dip


  • 2 cups plain low-fat yogurt, drained
  • 16oz carton low-fat cottage cheese
  • ½ cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 Tbsp onion, grated
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


Combine cottage cheese, yogurt, dill, and onion in a large bowl. Season with pepper. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Serving and Nutrition Information

Makes about 1 quart

Per 2 Tbsp serving: 20 calories, 3g protein, trace total fat (0.2g saturated fat), 2g carbohydrate, 0 dietary fiber, 2mg cholesterol, 68mg sodium

Diabetic exchanges per serving: Free

Artichoke Dip


  • 9oz package frozen, no-salt-added artichoke hearts, thawed, drained
  • 4oz fat free or low-fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions (green part only)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cream sherry
  • 1 tsp Italian herb seasoning, salt-free
  • 1/8 tsp salt


  1. Blot artichokes with paper towels and chop into small pieces.
  2. In medium bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients, blending well. Stir in artichokes.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow flavors to blend. Stir before serving. Serve with fresh sliced vegetables.

Serving and Nutrition Information

Makes 14 servings. Per 2 Tbsp serving: 20 calories, 2g protein, 79mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1/2 Low-fat Meat

Adapted from: The New American Heart Association Cookbook

Fruit and Chicken Salad


  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp poppy seed
  • 4 packets artificial sweetener
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 4 cups torn spinach leaves
  • 8 oz thinly sliced cooked chicken breast
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup halved seedless green grapes
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced yellow summer squash
  • 2 medium oranges, peeled and sectioned
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces (optional)


  1. Combine yogurt, mustard, garlic salt, poppy seed, lemon-pepper seasoning, and sweetener in small bowl.
  2. Add enough orange juice until salad dressing consistency; set aside.
  3. Line platter with spinach. Arrange chicken, grapes, squash, strawberries, and orange sections over spinach. Drizzle salad with dressing. Sprinkle with pecans, if desired.

Serving and Nutrition Information

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 202 calories, 21g protein, 20g carbohydrate, 5g fat, 51mg cholesterol, 380mg sodium.

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1/2 Vegetable, 1 Fruit, 2 1/2 Meat

Adapted from: the Merisant Corporation

Moderation Is Key

When it comes to appetizers, as with so many other things, portion size is crucial. As long as you keep your serving sizes in mind, even a diabetic can enjoy the occasional garlic bread appetizer.

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Appetizer Recipes for Diabetics