Fresh Basil Leaf Appetizers with a Kick

With only three ingredients, this gluten free appetizer recipe is so easy to make, yet your guests will think you slaved in the kitchen all day. Like most green leafy vegetables, fresh basil is loaded with Vitamin K. The small and medium sized leaves make for a nice tender appetizer. Just remember to not pick the leaves of the plants that are mid flowering, as the leaves will be bitter. The plants that are flowering should be topped off. The flower makes a nice centerpiece on the serving dish.

Fresh Basil Leaf Appetizers with a Kick


Yield: 1 dozen appetizers

Fresh Basil Leaf Appetizers with a Kick

A spicy, gluten free, vegan, and dairy-free fresh basil appetizer.


  • 2/3 cup or more shredded cheese (I used a mixture of Monterey Jack and Mozzarella.) (or Daiya vegan cheese*)
  • 1 small 4 oz. can gluten free diced green chiles
  • 1 dozen fresh basil leaves (small to medium)


  1. Remove the stems from the basil leaves; rinse under cold water; pat dry with a paper towel; set aside.
  2. Drain juice from green chiles.
  3. In a small food processor or blender add green chiles and cheese.
  4. Pulsate until blended well, but do not over mix, as this will cause the mixture to become runny.
  5. With a teaspoon add mixture to the leaves and arrange on a serving dish or plate.
  6. Chilling the mixture will make it more firm, too.


*Daiya brand cheese contains soy.

Adding more cheese to total about 1 cup will make the appetizers more stiff, taste more like cheese and easier for guests to handle. I love green chiles and made these for myself, therefore, I used extra chiles.

You may also use cream cheese in place of shredded cheese, but in that case I would leave the chiles whole and mix by hand. And of course, the recipe would no longer be vegan or dairy-free.

Alternative Serving Suggestion:

Serve filling on gluten free crackers. This will work well on a gluten or gluten free cracker. I just received some rice chips (cracker-like). I bet that would work great!

More on Basil Plants:

You should never pick more than one third of the basil leaves on a plant at any one time.

If you continue to chop off the top of the plant you will prevent it from flowering, which will prevent bitter tasting leaves. You want to pinch off the buds before they flower.

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