15 Easy Thanksgiving Appetizers You Can Add to Your Holiday Menu — Eat This, Not That
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and if you’re the one hosting this year, you’re probably scrambling to get your holiday list in place so you can start shopping and prep work. Most people have a full feast on Thanksgiving weekend, which means they have to prepare a menu consisting of a main course — usually turkey or ham (or both) — along with side dishes, dessert, and drinks such as wine and cocktails. Or coffee. And if you really want to go beyond the season, you can add a Thanksgiving appetizer or two as well.
The perfect appetizer for your Thanksgiving feast won’t be too heavy or rich and will be light enough to help guests save room for the main course. It’s also ideal to find quick and easy-to-make appetizers, especially ones that don’t require any cooking or baking since your hands — and your oven — are already full with the other parts of dinner.
Read on for some ideas for easy Thanksgiving appetizers that will please a small group or a large crowd. Then check out these 25 Thanksgiving dessert recipes that your guests will devour.
One of the keys to a good Thanksgiving appetizer is making sure it’s light enough so your guests don’t feel full before dinner starts. Eating mixed nuts and adding spices like cayenne pepper, chili powder, or cinnamon can turn a simple food into a crowd-pleasing appetizer.
Try our recipe for Spiced Roasted Nuts.
Deviled eggs are a classic appetizer, and they’re so easy to prepare that they won’t add stress to your Thanksgiving meal plan. We also love that fried eggs are so versatile, so you can add a variety of different flavor combinations. For example, you can try combinations like bacon, cayenne pepper, and cayenne pepper for flavors that will leave your guests craving more.
Get our recipe for Smokey Deviled Eggs with Bacon.
Hummus and pita
A great way to impress your guests with absolutely no effort is to whip up some of your own hummus. Yes, you can buy the store-bought kind, but you can’t beat the taste of homemade hummus. Serve with some pita or vegetables
Get our recipe for simple homemade hummus.
Cheese balls are the perfect appetizer when you’re overwhelmed with planning an elaborate menu because they’re easy to make and don’t require any cooking — which means you can save your oven for the turkey. These pistachio and cranberry cheese balls require just five ingredients: pistachios, cranberries, parsley, cream cheese, and goat cheese.
Get our recipe for Pistachio and Cranberry Cheese Balls.
When you need to prepare appetizers for a group, you can never go wrong with a big bowl of salad. For a salad that goes well with a holiday meal, try ingredients like figs, prosciutto, pears, and goat cheese.
Try our recipe for Fig, Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Salad, Or we have Warm goat cheese salad.
Everyone loves a savory-sweet combo, and using dates for your appetizers is the perfect way to achieve that. You can find a variety of stuffed date recipes, and an example of a recipe we love is Stuffed Dates with Bacon and Blue Cheese. Another benefit of these foods besides their bold flavor is their small size, which means guests won’t feel full before the feast.
Get our recipe for Dates Stuffed with Bacon and Blue Cheese.
Brie is a great cheese for many different types of appetizer dishes because it has a strong flavor that stands up well on its own, but it can also be combined with many different sweet and savory foods. For example, you could bake a piece of brie with cranberries, honey, and rosemary, or you could try our easy recipe for melted brie and vegetables for a more savory option.
Get our recipe for melted brie and vegetables.
If you like the taste of jalapeños but don’t want the full spice potential, try making stuffed jalapeños like our recipe that calls for cheese and chorizo. When you extract all the seeds, you’ll get rid of most of the heat but keep all the flavor.
Get our recipe for Cheese and Chorizo Stuffed Jalapenos.
Classic bruschetta typically consists of toasted bread, tomatoes, basil, and garlic, and this light meal could be the perfect appetizer for your Thanksgiving meal. You can stick to the classic recipe, or you can try a new twist with pepperonata, a combination of tomatoes, bell peppers, and garlic.
Get our recipe for bruschetta, two ways.
Artichoke and spinach dip
Looking for an easy holiday appetizer that your guests can eat without feeling too full? Try this spinach artichoke sauce. They’re easy to make and only require a few ingredients, or you can buy one at the store to make them even easier.
Get our recipe for Spinach and Artichoke Sauce.
A charcuterie board is the way to go when you need an easy appetizer for your Thanksgiving feast. It’s always a crowd pleaser, and gives you the freedom to create it however you like. Add your favorite cheeses, meats, fruits and vegetables, and enjoy creating a beautiful board.
Get our recipe for Keto charcuterie boardOr try a Thanksgiving cheese board from What’s Gabby Cooking.
This simple shrimp cocktail is the perfect appetizer to serve before a big Thanksgiving dinner feast because it’s light, won’t leave your guests feeling too full before the main course, and takes practically no effort to prepare.
Try our shrimp cocktail recipe.
Queso isn’t necessarily the most classic appetizer served at Thanksgiving, but this delicious appetizer won’t disappoint. Serve with tortilla chips and watch your guests hover over this dip for seconds and thirds.
Get our recipe for Healthy Queso Fundido.
Starting your meal with soup can help prepare everyone’s palates for the main dinner. For a fall-inspired soup that pairs well with a Thanksgiving meal, try butternut squash or roasted pumpkin.
Get our recipe for Butternut Squash Soup.
You’ve probably heard of 7 layer dip, and maybe even made one yourself. But as you know, this reduction can lead to a rapid increase in calories. For a lighter alternative to serve to your guests this holiday season, try our recipe for a healthy 7-layer dressing.
Get our recipe for a healthy 7-layer dip.