Grilled Appetizers for your Low-Key Holiday

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Before I begin this post I have to share a few disclaimers:

  1. I am not a top chef, or grill master, but I like to eat
  2. I don’t really enjoy cooking, but I definitely enjoy grilling food more
  3. I am always looking to find shortcuts to creating yummy foods (which you’ll see today)

Okay, now that I’ve shared those disclaimers, I feel a lot better,  I’ve come to learn as I’ve grown older, that I’m much happier with a tool in my hand as opposed to a spatula, but when I am cooking in the kitchen or grilling outdoors I definitely love to take shortcuts whenever possible, so long as it results in a yummy meal.  Today I’m sharing 3 grilled appetizers for a low-key Holiday.

I say low-key, because maybe you’re not going all out this year, but you want to have a festive meal, that’s a little less complicated than usual—(well, that’s what we’re doing anyway!)  The turkey will be smaller, and less food will be made, so I’ll be catering to that small bit mentality by grilling up some easy appetizers which include Cranberry Pepper Glazed Meatballs, Grilled Butternut Squash, Arugula, and Goat Cheese Flatbreads with Balsamic glaze, and Roasted Potatoes on a stick (because I have an affinity for food on sticks, don’t’ ask me why).

So first things first, I busted out my new Weber Spirit II Propane Gas Grill from The Home Depot that I received this past fall, and we’ve put this baby to use quite a bit so far.  I mentioned recently on Instagram that I’ve always used a charcoal grill and that this is my very first gas grill!  We love how easy it is to use and clean up.  Depending on what we’re grilling, we can put a full meal on here and be ready to eat within such a short amount of time.

Before I get to the recipes, let me share with you some of my favorite features of Weber Spirit II 310

  • The Weber Spirit II 529 sq. in. of total cooking area offers plenty of grilling space, 424 sq. in. of primary cooking area and 105 sq. in. of warming rack area

  • 3 burner propane gas grill —-has a GS4 grilling system— which includes an Infinity ignition that is ensured to ignite every time.

  • It has fold down side tables with tool hooks, keeping your items easily within reach.

  • There’s an easy-to-read fuel gauge, a pull out grease management system and reversible cooking grates which give you the option of thick or thin sear marks when grilling. 

  • The front mounted thermometer allows you to monitor and control your grills temperature—for consistent cooking.

Those are a few of my favorite features, but you can check out the list of other Weber features on  Also, a new Weber grill would make an amazing and unexpected gift for the holidays!

Cranberry Pepper BBQ Meatballs:

  • 1 Red bell Pepper
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper
  • 1 jar Cranberry Pepper Jelly ( I used Trappist brand)
  • 1 pack of premade meatballs, or use your favorite meatball recipe
  • Wooden Skewers
  • Your Favorite Barbecue Sauce, I used Sweet Baby Rays Sweet n Spicy flavor

Soak your wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes to prevent them from burning.  Slice and chop peppers into 1 inch pieces. 

Feed meatballs onto a skewer, alternating with peppers to your liking,  and put aside.  Preheat grill to 400 degrees.  Spray grates with non-stick cooking spray. Place your meatball skewers on the grill on indirect heat and grill for about 5 minutes per side or until golden on medium-low heat with lid closed.

In a small pan, spoon 3 heaping tablespoons of cranberry pepper jelly and heat over medium low heat until it melts.  Blend in a half a cup of you favorite barbecue sauce until well combined, season to taste.  Brush on the meatballs and grill until the sauce begins to caramelize.

Butternut Squash, Arugula and Goat Cheese Flatbread

  • Butternut squash diced 
  • Baby Arugula
  • Goat Cheese Crumbles
  • Pesto
  • Craisins (optional)
  • Balsamic Glaze (Optional)
  • Flatbread (Premade)
  • Olive Oil

Place squash cubes on foil and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, and garnish with rosemary sprigs.  Fold up foil pack and place on grill heated to 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then move to warmer rack, checking to see if they are tender.  

Next, spread the flatbread with pesto, then sprinkle with goat cheese, and dried cranberries.  Cook on your grill’s warmer rack, and heat until warmed and slightly toasted.  Spoon Butternut squash on top evenly.

Close grill and allow to cook on low heat for 3-5 minutes or until cheese looks softened.

Remove from grill and top with baby arugula and drizzle balsamic glaze, enjoy!

While I was at it, I decided to skewer some”nibbles” or (tiny potatoes) that I had on hand.  I placed them on the skewers and basted them a with a mixture of olive oil, minced garlic, Thyme and coarse salt and pepper.

I then placed them in a foil pack, and cooked on the grill for 15 minutes (or until tender).  I then removed them from the pack and placed them directly on the grill grates, allowing them to get crisp and golden.  I basted them again with the oil mixture and sprinkled a little more salt to taste.

So what do you think?  Would you try these recipes out on the grill?  or What’s your favorite grilled appetizer? I’ve been thinking of other types of small bites to try as well, like stuffed mushrooms and, pear and goat cheese crostini. Yum!





1 Comment

  1. Colleen
    December 2, 2020 / 1:07 pm

    i love your potato idea! And i used to like cooking a lot more when I didn’t have to do it.

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