Starters are what you serve people before their main meal. You can also serve starter recipes at buffets and other kinds of get-togethers and parties. There are lots of different kinds of starter recipes – you can combine a couple of ingredients to make a basic starter or spend hours fiddling with complicated ones. Classic starters including dishes like prawn cocktail, vol au vents, sausage rolls and more. But these are not healthy options.

If you are watching your figure or just want want to make some healthy choices about starter recipes, you have plenty of scope. What about making a soup recipe or a chicken salad?

Buffet Starters

If you are catering for a buffet instead of a dinner party, you will want to make finger food but there is lots of choice with that as well. You can make a fresh fruit salad, a rice salad with vegetables, guacamole or salsa with vegetable crudites and lots more.

If you are serving chopped vegetables for dipping, you an make a homemade hummus or a spicy Mexican salsa. There are lots of easy dip recipes you can make. Simply combine mayonnaise with mustard, curry powder or tomato puree and you have a yummy dip. If you are adding tomato puree, you might also want to add some Worcestershire sauce to make a marie rose sauce (this is a great one for fish starters).

How to Make Turkey Melts

This is a good example of how to make a delicious starter which is healthy but packed with flavour.


10 slices toast, cut into 20 triangles

110 grams (4 oz) shredded, low fat cheese

10 thin slices turkey breast


Put half a slice of turkey breast on each toast triangle, then put the cheese on top. Cook the turkey melts under the grill until the cheese melts.

You an also add a bit of redcurrant sauce if you like, between the turkey and the cheese, before grilling. This recipe makes 20 canapes.

You can adapt this recipe in any way you want. Try using chicken breast instead of turkey or ham slices. You can use any sort of cheese you like and you might want to try pickle instead of the redcurrant sauce or even a little piccalilli or relish.

Hot Starters and Cold Ones

Turkey melts are best served hot, straight from the grill, while the cheese is still soft and melted. If you want to make cold starters, there are also plenty of options for you. Make ahead starters are time saving if you have a lot to make.

Top some cucumber slices with a little cream cheese and caviar or fill some celery ribs with cream cheese. What about a nutritious Catalan mussels recipe?

Make deviled eggs by boiling eggs and mixing the yolk with curry powder and mayonnaise, then piping the yolk back into the eggs. Cold starters like these are best kept in the fridge under a layer of clingfilm until you are ready to serve them. Hot starters are obviously meant to be served hot, or at least warm so your guests will not burn their mouths.

There are lots of healthy starter recipes you can make. Depending on the occasion you might want to make a selection of healthy starters and not so healthy starters. Although some people might go for the healthy options, not everyone will!