The easiest healthy appetizer! Just an endive leaf with cream cheese, red pepper jelly, and smokey almonds. A light and crunchy appetizer to combat all the carb-heavy food this season. 

Smokey Almond Cream Cheese Endive Bites from The Food Charlatan

The other day Eric and I sat down with our bowls of ice cream to Netflix for a while. I got full before I finished my ice cream and–GET THIS–are you ready? I didn’t finish it. I felt so healthy and pleased with myself for not overeating.

That lasted about 5 minutes, until I got up and stepped full-foot directly on my ice cream that I had set on the floor below the couch. Lesson learned you guys. Lesson learned. Never don’t eat your ice cream.

Smokey Almond Cream Cheese Endive Bites from The Food Charlatan

I’ve found that eating healthier normal stuff is the best way to fit more ice cream into your balanced lifestyle. It’s all about priorities, guys.

These little endive bites are perfect! Just 4 ingredients and super easy to throw together. You could eat them as an afternoon snack, bring them as an appetizer for your next holiday party, or make them for your next game-day to combat the cheesy-carb overload. Sometimes it’s nice to have something light and crunchy in between bites of Mozzarella Stuffed Soft Pretzels and Cheesy Bacon Ranch Puffs.

Smokey Almond Cream Cheese Endive Bites from The Food Charlatan

Have you guys ever had Belgian endive? (On-deev) I’d never bought it before, although I’ve had it in restaurants. Eric made a midnight run to the grocery store for me (because buying Belgian endive in the middle of the night is TOTALLY NORMAL.) He found the very last one on the shelf:

Smokey Almond Cream Cheese Endive Bites from The Food Charlatan

It’s kind of adorable, right? So tiny. It is crisp and crunchy and mildly bitter, which pairs perfectly with creamy cheese and sweet spicy jelly.

If you can’t find any (make sure you ask the produce people!) you could sub small romaine hearts, or other crunchy greens that will hold their shape. (Radiccio maybe?) Or sliced cucumber or celery might be good too.

Smokey Almond Cream Cheese Endive Bites from The Food Charlatan

Smokey Almond Cream Cheese Endive Bites from The Food Charlatan

Just don’t skip the Smokehouse Almonds!! They seriously pack a punch. I can eat a whole can of those babies.


Smokey Almond Cream Cheese Endive Bites

4.89 from 17 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 10 Servings
The easiest healthy appetizer! Just an endive leaf with cream cheese, red pepper jelly, and smokey almonds. A light and crunchy appetizer to combat all the carb-heavy food this season. 


  • 1 head Belgian endive
  • 4-5 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 4-5 tablespoons red pepper jelly
  • 1/3 cup Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds, chopped


  • Chop off the end of the endive and separate all the leaves.
  • Smear a bit of cream cheese on each leaf.
  • Spoon a bit of red pepper jelly on the cream cheese.
  • Sprinkle with chopped almonds and serve.
  • These are great make ahead appetizers. You can assemble them a few hours in advance and either refrigerate or leave out at room temperature. Wait to sprinkle the almonds until last minute though, otherwise they won't be crunchy.


I'm not gonna lie guys. I just totally made up all those ingredient amounts up there. Just use whatever amounts look good to you. One head of Belgian endive has about 10 leaves on it.


Serving: 1bite | Calories: 68kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 134IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Calories: 68
Keyword: Bites, Cream Cheese, Endive, Smokey Almond
Did you make this? I'd love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

More healthy appetizers!

Asian Cheese Ball with Sriracha Almonds:

Asian Cheese Ball from The Food Charlatan

Easy Strawberries and Cream Appetizer: (love this one!)

Easy Strawberries and Cream Appetizer from The Food Charlatan

Fresh Bruschetta Lentil Dip: (this is a great healthy option!)

Fresh Bruschetta and Lentil Dip from

More appetizers from friends!

Mini Pizza Cheeseballs from Very Culinary
Dark Chocolate Almond Dipped Pretzels from Crazy for Crust
Cranberry Almond Cheeseball from Mom on Timeout

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. Ditch the chips and grab some Game Changing Flavors this football season! Enter for a chance to win the Ultimate Football Party Prize Pack, get great savings and ideas for delicious snack hacks at Thanks for supporting the amazing brands that keep The Food Charlatan faking it! 

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  1. 5 stars
    This appetizer not only looks amazing, it is absolutely delicious! Will definitely make these again. They were devoured!

    1. Hi Jan! No, your comment wasn’t deleted, but the first time you comment on my site it must be approved by me before it’s published (to avoid spam), and I hadn’t seen either of these comments yet. I respectfully disagree with your definition of healthy! Cream cheese has protein in it and is better than say, a cream puff. Red pepper jelly IS full of sugar, you’re right, but I believe sugar consumed in appropriate amounts is part of a healthy lifestyle. And almonds are all kinds of healthy. Also, I posted this around the holidays as a healthy alternative to all the cream puffs and other carb-heavy appetizers you see at parties that time of year. But we can agree to disagree! If you make these I hope you enjoy them (in moderation)! :)

  2. Just wondering what exactly makes these healthy? These look amazing but in no way are they healthy at all. Cream cheese is not healthy, everyone knows that – loaded with fat. Red pepper jelly…loaded with sugar. And even those nuts have maltodextrin in them and other additives. The only “healthy” thing about these is the endive. I am all for delicious recipes, but I am getting tired of people labeling things as healthy, when they are clearly not. Just my two cents :)

  3. Karen, I love your recipes! I have a request. Last spring I made several dozen little jars of strawberry jalepeno jam. A year before that I made a bunch of pinot noir and chardonnay jelly. Do you have any ideas for something like this recipe that will go with those flavors of jelly? Usually we just put the wine jellies over cheese and crackers and the strawberry jalepeno we either eat on buttered toast or on top of vanilla ice cream.

    1. Thank you Jeanne! Those jams and jellies sound amazing! I looked up some ideas for the strawberry jalapeno and found this forum that has some really fun ideas you could try out! Like using it as a glaze or marinade for chicken, or as a glaze for brownies (!!!) (something like these brownies) As for the wine jellies, I’m sorry, I’m no help at all, I’m LDS and have never tried wine!

      1. Thank you! I love the chicken idea! The whole idea of using the jalepeno strawberry jam as a meat glaze is geniuss…I think it could go on pulled pork and even meatballs. Wow. That jam is finally going to get eaten up.

  4. Wait, wait, wait, you had the self control NOT to finish your ice cream!! Gaw, I wish I could do that!!! I have seen this endive in the grocery store but haven’t tried cooking with it. Now I will have to try it out with these awesome looking appetizers!!

  5. This is so smart – great use of the almonds! Although how healthy would it be if I ate 15 of them? Thanks for the link love!

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