Having easy Thanksgiving appetizers on hand is key to a successful holiday, because let’s face it, Thanksgiving meals are rarely ready on time. My family doesn’t have an official appetizer round on Turkey day, but we do have lots of hungry, impatient family members that need to be pacified with snacks. There’s nothing worse than being stressed about cooking while guests hound you with questions of “when will it be ready?” and “are you almost done?” Don’t even get me started on people stealing bites from the pans and pots on the stove…
With that in mind, there are three things that easy Thanksgiving appetizers must do. First, they need to be easily prepped or made ahead of time. Between making sure the turkey isn’t burning and the mashed potatoes are thoroughly mashed, the last thing the chef needs is appetizer stress. Second, they shouldn’t be too filling. No appetizers should take away from the main meal. That would be a disgrace to turkeys everywhere. Finally, they need to be able to just sit on the counter and be done with. No reheating or retouching required. The best appetizers shouldn’t cause any stress after the moment they are brought out. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of easy Thanksgiving appetizers that satisfy all three of these requirements and are delicious. With just one or two of these, your Thanksgiving guests will be thoroughly satisfied until the turkey timer dings.
15 Easy Thanksgiving Appetizers
Fall Charcuterie Board
Why We Love It: When it comes to hosting, there are few things better than displaying an all-star lineup of all of our favorite snacks in one big spread for everyone to enjoy. Plus, a great charcuterie board is visually stunning, easy to prep ahead of time, and a great way to welcome the season’s best flavors.
Hero Ingredient: Figs, as they are both in season and the perfect partner for cheese.
Easy Cranberry Pistachio Goat Cheese Bites from Make It Grateful
Why We Love It: These goat cheese bites are the ultimate appetizer in my opinion. They are easy to make, can be kept in the refrigerator until ready to serve, are pretty to look at, and taste amazing. Plus, they utilize fall flavors to give the appetizer a very seasonal feel.
Hero Ingredient: The goat cheese gives this recipe a unique tang that can’t be ignored.
Endive Salad Bites With Pears, Blue Cheese, and Pecans from Flavor the Moments
Why We Love It: These salad bites come together in 10 minutes and will be gone in half that time. They are light and refreshing, yet also have such a unique and delicious flavor combination that is hard to beat. Plus, even if one hungry guest happens to eat five of these, they will still be hungry enough for the main meal.
Hero Ingredient: The endive is the perfect slightly bitter, crisp base for these bites.
Roasted Delicata Squash Kale Salad
Why We Love It: Sheela Prakash shared this recipe with us last year, and it has been a fall-favorite ever since. It’s wholesome, colorful, and incredibly flavorful. This recipe has the perfect tangy dressing, is gluten-free and vegan, and has some yummy crunch components, too. Although this appetizer requires some serving utensils, I guarantee one of our guests will be willing to help out.
Hero Ingredient: Delicata squash has been waiting all year to shine in this salad.
Fig and Pumpkin Seed Bruschetta from City Farmhouse
Why We Love It: Finger food that can be served at room temperature? A win for any appetizer. This recipe layers cheese, fig spread, and pumpkin seeds to create the ultimate fall snack. While this recipe recommends slicing and baking French bread for the base, you can easily substitute with any cracker or pre-made crisps.
Hero Ingredient: The fig spread is hard to beat.
Blue Cheese Asian Pear Crostinis
Why We Love It: This is essentially a no-recipe recipe. All you have to do is assemble a few ingredients for the perfect bite-sized appetizer. These crostinis use cambozola cheese, which, if you haven’t tried, has the texture of a triple cream brie and flavor of a mild blue. Camille notes that “this flavor combination of creamy cambozola cheese, crisp Asian pear, and savory thyme sprigs is one seriously perfect bite that I couldn’t keep to myself.”
Hero Ingredient: Cambozola cheese, of course, which should be on the top of every cheese lover’s bucket list.
Bacon Jalapeño Deviled Eggs from Real Housemoms
Why We Love It: These Bacon Jalapeño Deviled Eggs are a delicious taste on a classic appetizer. While deviled eggs can be enjoyed at any gathering no matter what time of the year, their easy prep makes them perfect for the craziness of Thanksgiving Day. They are definitely more on the filling side of this list, but yummy nonetheless.
Hero Ingredient: Bacon should always be a part of Thanksgiving, IMO.
Carrot Turmeric Hummus
Why We Love It: A healthy and yummy dip is a simple solution to all of your appetizer issues. Pair it with lots of fresh veggies and some crackers for a light, pre-feast snack. This carrot turmeric hummus is also dairy-free and gluten-free, so all of your guests can enjoy it.
Hero Ingredient: The turmeric and ginger combo will have your gut ready to indulge.
Caramelized Onion, Apple, and Brie Tart from How Sweet Eats
Why We Love It: While caramelizing onions for this recipe takes a bit of effort, after one bite of this tart, you’ll understand it was worth it. The apples, brie, and pomegranate seeds give this appetizer the perfect balance of sweet and savory. It can be served warm or at room temperature, so there’s no stress on timing.
Hero Ingredient: The pomegranate seeds are the perfect colorful explosion of flavor.
Cranberry-Pecan Cheese Ball from Gimme Delicious
Why We Love It: Cheese balls are always a crowd pleaser, in my experience. Plus, they are super easy to make. All you have to do is mix your ingredients into cream or goat cheese, form it into a ball, and roll it in more toppings. This is one of those the Thanksgiving appetizers that you’ll be crave all year long. My sister is allergic to pecans, so we use walnuts and it is equally tasty.
Hero Ingredient: Cranberries are the perfect seasonal complement to this dish.
Prosciutto Pear Bites with Herbs & Blue Cheese from Sumptuous Spoonfuls
Why We Love It: These sweet and savory pear bites have it all: sweet fruit, salty prosciutto, tangy cheese, and bitter arugula. What’s not to love? This is another recipe that makes serving easy Thanksgiving appetizers stress-free and elegant.
Hero Ingredient: The pears are the perfect fall base for this recipe.
Easy Cranberry Brie Bites from The Country Cook
Why We Love It: This recipe proves that sometimes simple really is best. These bites are made from four store-bought ingredients, but the way that the flavors come together makes this appetizer restaurant-worthy. Their size and color makes them both ideal and beautiful to be set on the counter.
Hero Ingredient: The fresh rosemary is tiny but mighty for this dish.
Butternut Squash Apple Bruschetta from Whitney Bond
Why We Love It: This appetizer is perfect for Thanksgiving or any other fall gathering. It’s a twist on classic bruschetta that uses some of fall’s best flavors: butternut squash and apple. These two flavors are piled on top of ricotta cheese, drizzled in balsamic glaze, and ready to roll.
Hero Ingredient: Butternut squash or bust.
Bacon Wrapped Brussel Sprouts from Ahead of Thyme
Why We Love It: If only I could always eat my veggies wrapped in bacon. This recipe is so simple and easy that your guests will beg for it at every subsequent gathering this season. Once the bacon-wrapped Brussels sprouts are assembled, the brush of maple syrup and a sprinkle of black pepper round out the appetizer. Pro tip: wrap the bacon loosely for crispier bacon.
Hero Ingredient: Brussels sprouts, because they are still highly underrated.
Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Sweet Potato Bites from Abbey’s Kitchen
Why We Love It: If your family has a lot of food allergies, like mine, these vegan sweet potato bites are the perfect holiday appetizer. I love the flavor of the sun-dried tomato cream from this recipe, but this idea can really be transferred to make any of the other bruschetta recipes on this list gluten-free. Roast some sweet potato rounds with some EVOO and S&P and the possibilities are endless.
Hero Ingredient: Sweet potatoes, for making a gluten-free diet so sweet.
What’s your go-to easy Thanksgiving appetizer? Drop the recipe in the comments below!
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