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Thanksgiving Guide


9 Easy Thanksgiving Appetizers Made With Tasty Seasonal Favorites

by Adriana Velez on November 9, 2012 at 10:53 AM

thanksgiving appsThanksgiving dinner is going to keep a lot of us pretty busy in the kitchen. The turkey, the sides, the desserts, the relatives -- dinner itself is a big job. So whenever I hear "Thanksgiving appetizers", my first thought is, Are you freakin' kidding me? What am I, an insomniac with 80 arms? YOU bring me appetizers, glossy food magazine!

And then I find myself in the kitchen on Thanksgiving, stealing bits of food here and there and getting peevish on not enough food and too much cocktail. And I start longing for appetizers. Thanksgiving appetizers don't have to be super time-consuming and fancy-pants. And they don't need to take up your oven or stove-top. Here's a few simple, seasonal ideas to hold over the pre-dinner crowd (especially the cooks!) until the main event.

Cheese plate. Hardly any prep work at all! I like to put out a couple cheeses, some crackers, and maybe some dried fruit or grapes on a plate. Best of all, this one is self-serve. Why not throw a bowl of mixed olives on the side, too.

Roasted garlic spread. This is an easy make-ahead app that you could serve with the cheese plate and some sliced bread. Just roast garlic and mix with ricotta.

Goat cheese spread. Great with crackers or with veggies.

Fruit gobbler. This is such a cute idea! Take a squash and turn it into a turkey with cheese cubes and grape spears. This looks like something you could get kids to help make, too. 

Spiced nuts and seeds. There are so many possibilities, but here's a few that look especially good: Rosemary almonds, sugar and spice candied nuts, and toasted spicy pumpkin seeds.

Baked brie. I love this app -- warm, oozing cheese with a little something extra. Here's a stuffed baked brie recipe and baked brie with walnuts.

Popcorn. Why not? It's fun and totally unexpected. Make it special with mix-ins, like this rosemary asiago popcorn recipe.

Some-assembly-required bites. Okay, I'm adding just a few hors d'oeuvres that might take a little more time to make but that are still pretty simple: Sweet corn and cheese pasties, stuffed roasted pear salad (you could just serve the pears), and halloumi, bacon, date strips. And what the hell, just because EVERYONE loves it: Spinach artichoke dip recipe.

Raw oysters. This is a family tradition of ours. And it's a little more work than the others. But if you've got a few non-cooks who still want to help, this is a good option. Here's how to shuck oysters and a recipe for mignonette, the shallot vinaigrette that goes with them. 

What do you like to nibble on while you're cooking Thanksgiving dinner?


Image via Adriana Velez

Filed Under: thanksgiving, dinner, holiday entertaining, party food, recipes, seasonal food


  • Siste...


    November 9, 2012 at 11:39 AM


    i am cooking TGD again this year.

    I usually do not serve appetizers on TGD, but maybe something light and a less heavy meal would be good.

  • Leele...


    November 9, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    I like the turkey goobler idea, 

  • Leele...


    November 9, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    we usually put out cheese cubes (two kinds) and crackers 3 kinds. as well as mixed pickles

  • MamaM...


    November 9, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Yum! We often put out trays with cheese, meats & crackers and veggie trays. 

  • 4kidz916


    November 10, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    The sweet corn and cheese pasties sound wonderful.

  • 4kidz916


    November 10, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    We usually have a warm dip and crackers.

  • lalas...


    November 10, 2012 at 1:22 PM
    I'll probably put out a veggie tray and a cheese tray.
  • Madel...


    November 10, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    Veggie tray and a cheese tray.

  • cara124


    November 10, 2012 at 10:06 PM
    We try to have light foods to snack on so the popcorn is an awese idea
  • MamaB...


    November 11, 2012 at 8:29 AM

    I like the popcorn idea!

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