This week we have another healthy cranberry recipe. Lisa Danforth of Hot Betty BBQ shared her fabulous Cranberry Pesto recipe with us. Served with crostini and chevre, it is a simple and flavorful appetizer perfect for the holidays. It takes mere minutes to make and the taste is majorly addictive. Seriously, I couldn’t stop eating these. Yum!

cranberry Pesto crostini a Christmas or Thanksgiving appetizer, Healthy Seasonal Recipes by Katie Webster

In addition to sharing her recipe, Lisa also forwarded me some of her favorite cocktail party tips. She has collected them over the years from books and from her own personal experience as a caterer here in Vermont. After more than twelve years in the party business, she has all the answers. Like, have you ever wondered how much wine to buy for a party? Do you know the formula for how many appetizers guests will eat at a cocktail party? Or how fast for that matter? I always struggle with that guessing game myself. For Lisa’s menu planning tips check out this post. Lisa says, “Just keep in mind there are no set rules. Plan a menu that suits your taste and remember to enjoy yourself.”

Here are Lisa’s Magic Party formulas:

Estimating Quantities of Appetizers

Most guests will consume 8-10 “bites” for every 60-90 minutes of a party. However, the larger the variety of offerings, the more hors d’oeuvres that will be consumed because everyone will want to try at least one of each item. At the beginning of a party, especially if it’s in the early evening, the pace of eating will be more rapid and will slow as people eat.

With a party of 15 guests, I would suggest 2-3 hot hors d’oeuvres and 2-3 cold hors d’oeuvres, 5-6 items in all. If there will be 30-40 guests add 1-2 of each, hot and cold, to the menu.

Cocktail Calculator

These are some basic guidelines for planning the number of drinks to serve at a typical 2 ½ hour cocktail party. Adjust up or down depending on the weather, age of guests, time of day, and amount of food being served.

Cocktails- 2 ½ per person

Champagne or sparkling wine- 1 bottle for every 2-3 guests

Wine- 1 bottle for every 2-3 guests

Liquor- 1 quart or liter for every 10-12 guests



Want more Healthy Cranberry Recipes? Try these:


cranberry pesto crostini with chevre

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups pesto, 24 appetizers 1x
  • Category: appetizer
  • Method: no cook
  • Cuisine: American


Cranberry Pesto on baguette with chevre- a delicious and easy holiday appetizer!



  • ½ cup chevre at room temperature, 4 oz.
  • ¼ cup cream cheese at room temperature, 2 oz. (I used Neufchatel)
  • ¾ teaspoon coarse kosher salt, divided
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1 ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, preferably freshly grated
¼ cup coarsely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
¼ cup best-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 24 slices baguette, toasted


  1. Mix chevre and cream cheese together in a small bowl. Stir in ¼ teaspoon salt.
  2. Pulse the garlic in food processor until finely chopped. Add cranberries and pulse until roughly chopped. Add basil, walnuts, and red pepper flakes, process until blended but still chunky. Place mixture in a bowl, stir in the Parmesan cheese, parsley, oil, pepper and the remaining1/2 teaspoon salt until blended.
  3. Spread 1 teaspoon chevre mixture on each baguette slice and top with 1 tablespoon of the cranberry pesto.


  • Serving Size: 1 appetizer
  • Calories: 126
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Sodium: 232 mg
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 17 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 4 g