Cinco de Mayo is the day to celebrate Mexico’s unique culture and enjoy the delicious food it inspires. Whether you’re planning a party or just want to share in the fun with your family, you can indulge in tasty Cinco de Mayo appetizers and still stick to your weight loss plan. To help get the fiesta started, we’ve gathered our favorite Mexican-inspired appetizer recipes. They’re all simple yet bursting with real flavor. You will love them on Cinco de Mayo, and any other day of the year!

Chips and Nachos:

1. Air Fryer Tortilla Chips >

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb and 1 Extra

You can enjoy restaurant-style tortilla chips at home. All you need are corn tortillas and an air fryer, the handy appliance for making low-fat food. The chips come out fresh, warm and crisp. Give them extra spice with chili powder or add a bit of sweetness with cinnamon. Get the recipe for Air Fryer Tortilla Chips here! >

2. Bell Pepper Nachos >

Bell Pepper Nachos

On Nutrisystem, Count As: ½ PowerFuel, 1 Extra and 1 Vegetable

There is no more enjoyable way to get in a serving of non-starchy vegetables than this version of nachos. We replaced the chips with crunchy yet sweet mini bell peppers but kept all the savory nacho toppings, including plenty of melted cheese and fresh avocado, black beans, pico de gallo and fresh cilantro. Add lean ground meat, soy chorizo or shredded chicken breast and your nachos become a well-balance meal. Get the recipe for Bell Pepper Nachos here! >

3. Crispy Nacho Chips >

Crispy Nacho Chips

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb

Cheese-flavored tortilla chips are so addicting but the bags you get in the store are loaded with unhealthy fats and excess calories. You can get all the pleasure and none of the grease when you make your own in minutes in your oven. Simply cut mini corn tortillas into triangles and bake them in the oven until they’re crisp. Toss them in a blend of spices (as fiery as you like it) and nutritional yeast, an ingredient that tastes like powdered cheese, and prepare to snack. Get the recipe for Crispy Nacho Chips here! >

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4. Crispy Cauliflower Nachos >

Crispy Cauliflower Nachos

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, 1 Vegetable and 1 Extra

Firm, mild-flavored cauliflower makes a filling and nutritious foundation for the nacho ingredients you love. After the cauliflower browns and turns crisp in the oven, you top it with seasoned ground turkey and shredded cheese, plus tomatoes, red onion, pickled jalapeno and fresh cilantro. This alternative to standard high-calorie, high-fat nachos just might become a new favorite for your gang. Get the recipe for Crispy Cauliflower Nachos here! >

5. Healthy and Cheesy Cauliflower Nachos >

Healthy and Cheesy Cauliflower Nachos

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, 2 Extras and 1 Vegetable

Pull this version of nachos out of the oven and everyone will reach for a bite. Along with the cauliflower you get lots of ground turkey with taco spices, melted cheese, creamy avocado and fresh pico de gallo. For even more fiber and protein, add black beans. Get the recipe for Cheesy Cauliflower Nachos here! >

Salsa, Guacamole and Dip:

6. Easy Homemade Pico de Gallo Salad >

Easy Homemade Pico de Gallo Salad

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 Vegetable

Pico de gallo (pronounced peak-oh day guy-yo) is a raw, chunky type of salsa that’s loaded with flavor and nutrients. We make it with cherry tomatoes, red onions, colorful bell peppers, jalapeno peppers and fresh cilantro. You can dip chips or veggies in it, and it’s a tasty topping for salads, whole-grain pasta, rice, meat or seafood. Best of all: it’s an unlimited recipe so you can use as much as you want. Get the recipe for Homemade Pico de Gallo Salad here! >

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7. Mexican Street Corn Dip >

Mexican Street Corn Dip

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb and 3 Extras

Instead of the same old dips, try this fresh way to enjoy one of Mexico’s most beloved snacks. It stars sweet corn that’s been charred to bring out its flavor, plus cheese, avocado, jalapeno peppers, onions and garlic blended with mayonnaise. You can serve it warm or cold, with raw vegetables or tortilla chips to swipe through it. Get the recipe for Mexican Street Corn Dip here! >

8. Fiesta Crab Guacamole >

Fiesta Crab Guacamole

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 2 Extras

Bring Fiesta Crab Guacamole to a party and you can just sit back and watch it disappear. It takes the familiar ingredients of the popular dip and adds the succulent taste and texture of real crab meat. The seafood spice blend known as Old Bay kicks the flavor up to the next level. Get the recipe for Crab Guacamole here! >

9. Baked Salsa Verde Chicken Dip >

Baked Salsa Verde Chicken Dip

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel and 2 Extras

A heated dip makes an elegant appetizer that’s filling and flavorful. To make this one, you start with shredded chicken (a cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store saves you time). It is blended with low fat cream cheese, nonfat plain Greek yogurt, along with roasted tomatoes and green chiles. After baking in the oven, the dip comes out warm and melted with a lightly brown top. You won’t be able to resist dipping in before it cools. Get the recipe for Salsa Verde Chicken Dip here! >

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10. Mango Salsa >

Mango Salsa

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb

For a sweet variation on classic salsa, swap out the tomatoes for mangoes. The citrus-flavored fruit pairs well with hot and sweet peppers, plus onions and cilantro to make a dip that lights up all of your taste buds. You can also use this salsa to punch up the flavor of grilled seafood or chicken. Get the recipe for Mango Salsa here! >

11. Tropical Guacamole >

Tropical Guacamole

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 3 Extras

Pineapple and mango bring their sweet, tropical flavors to this delicious version of guacamole. It still starts off with the familiar ingredients: ripe avocados, diced onions,  jalapeno peppers and fresh-tasting cilantro. When you add in the fruit, you get a whole new blend of taste sensations for your dipping delight. Get the recipe for Tropical Guacamole here! >

12. Party-Perfect Pico de Gallo >

Party-Perfect Pico de Gallo

On Nutrisystem, Count As: Free Food (Unlimited)

Pico de gallo and chips are ideal mates. When you dip, you get a satisfying crunch from the chips and the complementary flavors of tangy tomatoes, spicy and sweet peppers, zingy onions and garlic in each bite. This pico de gallo is easy to make in a few minutes, but it’s sure to be a hit at any party. Get the recipe for Pico de Gallo here! >

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13. 7-Layer Southwest Dip >

7-Layer Southwest Dip

On Nutrisystem, Count As: ½ SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 1 Vegetable and 1 Extra

Seven delicious ingredients, including avocado, shredded cheese, hearty black beans and diced tomatoes come together in every bite. This dip is ready for any party, but it’s so low in calories and high in nutrition you can make it for yourself whenever you want. Enjoy it with a serving of non-starchy vegetables like cucumbers and bell peppers. Get the recipe for 7-Layer Dip here! >

Quesadillas:

14. Easy, Cheesy Veggie-Lover’s Quesadilla >

Easy, Cheesy Veggie-Lover’s Quesadilla

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 2 PowerFuels, 1 SmartCarb, 1 Vegetable and 1 Extra

Take an everyday quesadilla to the next level with ingredients that pump up the flavor and the nutrition. For this version we used semi-soft goat cheese, which has a mildly tangy taste and it melts into delicious creaminess. Caramelized onions, sautéed kale and sweet cherry tomatoes add texture, fiber and potent nutrients. If you’re not a fan of those veggies, you can substitute spinach, bell peppers or mushrooms. Whichever you choose, you get in one of your four daily servings of non-starchy vegetables. Get the recipe for Veggie Quesadillas here! >

15. Spicy Shrimp Quesadilla >

Spicy Shrimp Quesadilla

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, 1 SmartCarb and 1 Extra

Plump, juicy shrimp are an ideal PowerFuel to add to quesadillas. They’re high in protein, tender to bite into and their mild flavor pairs well with many other ingredients. This recipe also features lightly spicy jalapeno peppers, sweet bell peppers and green onions, plus cayenne pepper and chili powder to give it a zesty taste. Melted cheddar cheese holds it all together. Get the recipe for Shrimp Quesadillas here! >

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16. Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas >

Quesadilla with chicken and sauces

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 2 PowerFuels and 1 Extra

Sometimes simple meals are the most satisfying. These quesadillas, for example, feature basic ingredients such as chopped chicken breast, shredded cheese, onions and peppers melted together between whole wheat tortillas. Top with fat-free sour cream and all the salsa you’d like and savor every bite. Get the recipe for Chicken and Cheese Quesadillas here! >

Other Cinco de Mayo Appetizers

17. Healthy Late Night Chicken Taquitos >

Healthy Late Night Chicken Taquitos

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb and 1 PowerFuel

What can you do when you have a craving for a Mexican-inspired snack long after the dinner hour? With this simple recipe, you can have the answer in less time than it takes to go to the drive-thru or call for delivery. These taquitos are simple to make with just a whole wheat tortilla, shredded or canned chicken breast, cheese, salsa and all the chili powder your taste buds can handle. Get the recipe for Chicken Taquitos here! >

18. 5-Ingredient Avocado Chips >

5-Ingredient Avocado Chips

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel

Avocados are high in healthy fats and they can be the nutritious foundation of golden brown and crispy chips. You make the chips in the oven with just a handful of ingredients, including real parmesan cheese. You can flavor them with your choice of seasonings, spicy or mild. Get the recipe for Avocado Chips here! >

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19. Chicken Taco Pinwheel Wraps >

Chicken Taco Pinwheel Wraps

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel and 2 Extra

Pinwheel wraps are easy to prepare and fun to eat. Stuff a whole-wheat tortilla with a blend of protein-rich shredded chicken, Mexican cheese, cream cheese, salsa and chili powder, Roll it up tightly and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then just slice it into pinwheels you can pop in your mouth or dip into a bowl of salsa. Get the recipe for Chicken Taco Pinwheels here! >

20. Shrimp Taco Bites >

Shrimp Taco Bites

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb and 1 PowerFuel

Shrimp are party food that is healthy enough to eat anytime because they’re high in protein and low in saturated fats. Shrimp take center stage in this flavorful appetizer that also features avocado and tangy pico de gallo atop a crisp tortilla. All together they’re a perfectly balanced snack with one PowerFuel and one SmartCarb. Get the recipe for Shrimp Taco Bites here! >

21. Air Fryer Mexican Street Corn >

Air Fryer Mexican Street Corn

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, ½ PowerFuel and 1 Extra

You can transform ordinary sweet corn into a treat that’s the perfect for Cinco de Mayo. If you cook the corn in the air fryer, you don’t even have to wait for a large pot of water to boil. Once the ears are tender and juicy, you flavor them up by rolling them in a sauce featuring real mayonnaise, lime juice and zesty spices like chili powder, paprika and black pepper. Sprinkle on crumbled cotija cheese and chopped fresh cilantro, then dig in. Get the recipe for Mexican Street Corn here! >

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The post 21 Easy Cinco de Mayo Appetizers appeared first on The Leaf.

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