14 Healthy Late-Night Snacks To Curb Those Midnight Cravings

Homemade Salsa for Canning
Photo: Caitlin Bensel

We've all been there before. It's just past midnight. You're sitting on your couch getting ready to wind down for the night. You dog-ear your book and turn off the television but, on your way to your room, you're hit by a sudden craving. Chocolate? Potato chips? Ice cream? You wander over to the kitchen, and faced with bags of snack foods and confectionary sweets, you eat an entire post-dinner meal that leaves you feeling sick and sluggish. It can be difficult to break the habit of late-night snacking, and luckily you don't have to. We've put together a collection of our favorite healthy late-night snacks that are completely guilt-free. If you're craving something salty, try out some toasted nuts or a slice of high-protein cheese. If you've got a sweet tooth, our Apple Chips or Trail Mix Bites just may be the perfect solution. If you want the best of both worlds, enjoy some sweet-and-salty peanut butter dip. These healthy recipes are a great starting point for breaking old snacking habits, but any midnight snacks can be enjoyed in moderation.

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Apple Chips

Apple Chips
Micah A. Leal

With only two ingredients, apples and cinnamon, these easy, crispy apple chips are all-star snacking material. The fruit's natural sugars melt in the oven and recrystallize when cooling, making them plenty sweet. Do yourself a favor and whip up a large batch of these apple chips over the weekend, so you have extra on hand when hunger strikes.

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Georgia-Style Boiled Peanuts

Georgia-Style Boiled Peanuts
Alison Miksch

Trade those greasy, salty potato chips in for these scrumptious boiled peanuts. They deliver a healthier, yet nostalgic taste of the South. Plan ahead and use your slow cooker: All you need is raw peanuts in the shell, salt, water, and lots of time. 

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Spicy Pecans

Warm Cheese-and-Spicy Pecan Dip
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox

These pecans are good enough to munch on straight from the bowl. All you need is olive oil, salt, pepper, cayenne, and 15 minutes in the oven, and you've got a hearty snack for later. Store in an airtight container.

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Peanut Butter Dip

Peanut Butter Dip
via Love Grows Wild

If your weakness is peanut butter, you'll love this creamy peanut butter dip. It incorporates Greek yogurt and honey to make a guilt-free, yet utterly indulgent snack. Dip slices of fruit for a healthy bedtime treat.

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Homemade Salsa

Homemade Salsa for Canning
Caitlin Bensel

This slightly-spicy homemade salsa will be a new fridge staple. It's loaded with fresh vegetables and just a sprinkle of sugar. Enjoy with tortilla chips (or your favorite veggie chips) for a nice snack.

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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

toast pumpkin seeds
Melinda Podor/Getty Images

In the fall, there's nothing we love more than repurposing the interior of that carved pumpkin and making our own roasted pumpkin seeds—and they're healthy, too. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast for 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container for snacking.

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Black Bean Corn Salsa

Back Bean Corn Salsa
Antonis Achilleos

This fresh Black Bean and Corn Salsa comes together in just 20 minutes, and it transitions seamlessly from a party starter to a leftover late-night snack. We use tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and cilantro in this salsa, but give lots of tips for customizing your dip.

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No-Bake Granola Bars

No-Bake Granola Bars
Photo: Linda Pugliese; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox

These No-Bake Granola Bars are as versatile as they are easy. If you crave something sweet, try a granola bar with honey, dried apricot, and Greek yogurt. Or make our version with tart cherries (for the melatonin) and pistachios (for hunger-satisfying protein).

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Smoky Black-Eyed Pea Hummus

Smoky Black-Eyed Pea Hummus

This Smoky Black-Eyed Pea Hummus blends a country-cooking staple with a traditional Middle Eastern dip that can be stored in the fridge for later. Hummus is just as delicious with fresh veggies as it is with a few multi-grain crackers.

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Sweet Pea Parmesan Dip

Sweet Pea-Parmesan Dip
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Light and fresh, this dip is super easy to whip together. Simply pulse all the ingredients in a food processor for a healthy, tasty snack. Try it with your carrot sticks, crackers, or thinly sliced bread.

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Orange Basil Yogurt Dip

Orange-Basil Yogurt Dip
Iain Bagwell

Juice from a freshly squeezed orange is all that sweetens this high-protein dip. Plus, this easy recipe has just five ingredients. Try it with leftover grilled meat or vegetables when hunger strikes.

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Strawberry-Banana-Peanut Butter Smoothie

Strawberry-Banana-Peanut Butter Smoothie
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

If your sweet tooth has taken over, try this almond-milk smoothie packed with protein and with lots of fresh fruit. (If you want, you can hide healthy vegetables in there, too.) Use dairy milk in place of almond if you find it helps you get sleepy.

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Cheese board with multiple cheese varieties
Olha_Afanasieva/Getty Images

Assuming you don't go overboard with your cheese board, a few slices of cheese can make a great midnight snack. And some studies have shown that full-fat cheese may leave you more satisfied, helping you avoid the sweets and chips.

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Trail Mix Bites

Trail Mix Bites
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Prissy Lee Montiel

These homemade trail mix energy bites come together with one bowl, 10 minutes, and a microwave. We use creamy nut butter as the base, with crisp rice cereal, honey, and raisins. Miniature chocolate chips are an optional addition—you can always skip the caffeine.

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Southern Living is committed to using high-quality, reputable sources to support the facts in our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact check our content for accuracy.
  1. Hirahatake KM, Astrup A, Hill JO, Slavin JL, Allison DB, Maki KC. Potential cardiometabolic health benefits of full-fat dairy: the evidence baseAdv Nutr. 2020;11(3):533-547. doi:10.1093/advances/nmz132

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