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Ah, Thanksgiving. The perfect time to stuff my face with food, guilt-free. Also the only time my mom won’t kick me out of the kitchen for constantly hovering. I have literally body-slammed (lightly) my mom to taste a dish. I take great pride in this.
But with all your guests coming over, you might wonder how to keep their stomach satisfied before the main event. Not to worry! These appetizer ideas will keep your guests satisfied, but make sure you don’t overdo it! You want them to taste the turkey that took half a day to make.
31 Festive Thanksgiving Appetizers
1. Loaded Cheese Ball Bites
Just looking at these cheese bites has me salivating. Crunchy, cheesy, and delicious, your guests will thank you for the amazing flavors they’re about to experience.
2. Cranberry Jalapeno Dip
It’s literally the best of both worlds. The dip is creamy, salty, tangy, AND spicy. With sugar and spice, that’ll have you singing the chef’s praises all night.
3. Sweet Potato Skins
A spicy twist on potato chips, these sweet potato skins will blow hot Cheetos out of the water. Considering one isn’t even food, I’m pretty sure these skins aren’t even in the same league. The paprika and salt combined with the crunch of the chips is just the recipe you need this Thanksgiving.
4. Cheesy Monkey Bread
I hear cheese and I come running. And if it’s in bread, I faint from happiness. A wise person once said, “you can’t make everyone happy. You’re not cheese.” I concur. This calorie-filled appetizer will take you to cheese heaven.
5. Cranberry Brie Bites
With all the cheese during Thanksgiving, it can be easy to overlook all the other appetizers. With these brie bites, you get the tang of the cranberry and creaminess of the brie in these mouth-watering small bites.
6. Caramelized Onion Dip
Ah, one of the classics. As a lover of onion, this is by far my favorite appetizer. Plus, you can make it 3 days in advance so you won’t have to worry about it while making your turkey. I eat so much of this that my mom has literally yanked the bowl from my hands and pushed me to the dinner table.
7. Cheddar Pretzel Twists
If you’re obsessed with the “everything bagel” spice, this appetizer is your jam! Plus, it’s PRETZELS. Stuffed with CHEESE. Need I say more?
8. Butternut Squash Soup
Who said the soup was boring? This soup will definitely change your mind. The butternut squash all the creaminess sans cheese, and with a hint of nutmeg, your taste buds will thank you for the day you eat this soup.
9. Veggie Dip
With all the cheese, bacon, and calories, you’re bound to feel full after dinner. This appetizer is perfect and refreshing, serving as a palate cleanser before the real deal.
10. Cranberry Pecan Mini Goat Cheese Balls
Too much cheese? No such thing. These mini goat cheese balls are the perfect blend of creamy salty cheese combined with the sharp tang of cranberries. These flavors marry with the crunchy pecans, forming a delectable taste that’ll have you going back for thirds.
11. Squash – Blossom Focaccia
I hear focaccia and I’m there. This recipe has bread, cheese, and squash blossoms. What’s not to love? This is a healthy take on pizza, and perfect when you need quick to go food while mingling with guests. And of course, it doesn’t hurt that it only takes 10 minutes to prep. Now that’s an appetizer!
12. Homemade Baguette And Butter
If you’re one of those people who can’t eat bread without butter…….hi, let’s be friends. With some homemade butter, and personalized flavors like sriracha, mint, or oregano, this simple appetizer will be a dinner party hit.
13. Spinach Dip
Who can resist an awesome spinach dip? It’s classic for a reason! Take your spinach dip game to the next level. That way you can at least pretend you’re eating healthy at Thanksgiving. I mean, there is spinach in it, which counts.
14. Hogs In A Blanket
Can’t handle all the cheese? This recipe is perfect for you! The spicy sausage and mustard chutney add a whole new take on the classic Pigs in a Blanket. You’ll never make the switch back to those pigs.
15. Vegan Miso Biscuits
All my vegan friends, I hear ya! I definitely know the struggle of being the only vegetarian at what seems to be a carnivorous party, so I can’t imagine a vegans plight. These crumbly and crunch biscuits are the perfect way to keep your vegan guests included AND satisfied. And yes, there is a difference!
16. Spinach Almond Crostini
The herby and creamy spinach puree with the fresh crunch of the almonds will ensure that you don’t miss cheese during this appetizer! And it only takes 20 minutes to make. Mind = blown.
17. Pumpkin Pull-Apart Spice Bread
Thanksgiving. Pumpkin bread. Enough said. This bread is the perfect combination of traditional autumn flavors, and modern baking to hit all the sweet notes you’ve been craving.
18. Rosemary Cheddar Pumpkin Crackers
Think of it as a healthier, tastier version of Cheez-It. The nuts add an awesome crunch, while the rosemary and cheddar give it punches of flavor. It’s perfect to serve guests while they’re chatting and helping in the kitchen.
19. Carrot Cups
An amazing vegetarian recipe that will keep your guests slightly satisfied before their meal, but feels refreshed and “not – guilty” about. Plus, it can be a vegan dish as long as you use vegan mayo! And we definitely don’t want to exclude anyone.
20. Pumpkin Popovers
Can anyone resist pastries? If you know someone who does, I highly doubt their sanity. These crusted cinnamon and pumpkin popovers will delight the taste buds and have your guests begging for more.
21. Roasted Pumpkin
Would this be an appetizer list without some sort of crostini dish? That’s like saying Harry Potter isn’t cool. The roasted pumpkin gives the crostini a subtle taste, which pairs excellently with the creaminess and tang of the goat cheese. Obviously from that description, you can tell that I’m really hungry, so I won’t bother defending myself.
22. Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp With Cocktail Sauce
Excuse me while I have a Hannah Montana moment. You get the best of both worlds……..with the shrimp AND bacon. The fact that the bacon is grilled, and the shrimp is marinated in chili garlic oil makes the flavors party in your mouth.
23. Vegan Snack Board
Carnivores, take note. This platter is vegan AND yummy. It’s also hell photogenic, which is really important to guests! Food that’s pleasing on the eyes, makes for a happy palate. Olive pate, cashew cheese spread, and squash dip are just a few of the wonderful dips on this platter.
24. Figs In A Blanket
Pigs in a blanket? Pshhhh…….figs in a blanket is way more. The puff pastry, figs, and cheese marry together the worlds of salt, sweet, and creamy to create an unforgettably delicious experience.
25. Turkey Cheese Ball
Trying to make an appetizer that blows all others out the water? This turkey cheese ball does just that. Made with simple ingredients, it’s easy to put together while giving the wow factor to show off to your guests. Plus it makes it look like you spent a lot of time making a special appetizer!
26. Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
Forcing your kids to eat vegetables with all the junk on the table can be a nightmare. But much like chocolate, it’s impossible to ignore bacon once it’s on the table. Bacon-wrapped veggies are the perfect way to sneak those veggies in!
27. Fried Mashed Potato Balls
As a strong believer that potatoes are the Beyonce of food, this recipe takes it to the next level. The classic and humble mashed potato is miniaturized, rolled into balls, AND deep-fried. Excuse me, while I empty my plate.
28. Fluffy Apple Cheddar Biscuits
Who said you can’t have dessert first? The flavors of sweet and savory marry in this crumbly and buttery biscuit that doesn’t even have butter! Enjoy this appetizer guilt-free!
29. Date Goat Cheese Basil Bites
Whew! What a mouthful! If you have any date haters in your guest list, this will definitely change their minds. One, because it’s wrapped in prosciutto. Two, because of the cheese. As long as you say there are cheese and bacon, people won’t be able to keep their hands off.
30. Mac + Cheese Donuts
Um, what? Donuts….mac + cheese? I think I’m in heaven, so I’ll be here forever. Step up your donut game with this recipe, and trust me, it’s simpler than it looks!
31. Crudites With Chile-Lime Salt
Forget the cheese. This Chile lime salt will have your taste buds wake up to a burst of flavor, whether it’s with fruits or veggies. So don’t be shy, and fill up your plate!
As Damien Fahey says, I’m looking forward to seeing pie this Thanksgiving more than my own family. I couldn’t agree more. On that note, happy cooking!