Recipes » Appetizers » 26 Thanksgiving Appetizers Your Guests Won’t Forget

26 Thanksgiving Appetizers Your Guests Won’t Forget

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5 from 8 votes

These appetizers will steal the show. Here are 26 breads, salads, soups, munchies, and bite-sized finger foods that will kickstart your Thanksgiving celebration – so much so that your guests might forget about the turkey dinner!

Appetizers are arguably the most important part of Thanksgiving dinner; they set the tone for the whole evening! From party dips like my crowd-pleasing Beer Cheese, or a fall soup like my family-favorite Butternut Squash Soup, your holiday dinner is going to be unforgettable, starting with the apps!  

Need some help planning other Thanksgiving courses? Some of my favorite Thanksgiving sides are simple Baked Sweet Potatoes (maybe with a fun toppings bar!), awesome creamless Creamed Corn, or how about one of my YouTube channel’s top recipes, Sautéed Spinach?

I also have a tutorial for How to Carve a Turkey that will help you serve the perfect bird this holiday. Wash it all down with fun fall cocktails that you can make ahead and let guests serve themselves, like classic Negronis or Apple Martinis made with apple cider. Yes please!

And for my fellow sweet tooths out there, change it up and make cute, decorated Pumpkin Cupcakes, Apple Fritters, or my Mom’s famous Pie Crust Cookies instead of predictable pies for your Thanksgiving desserts.

Regardless of your holiday menu plans, you’ll want to check out these 26 favorite Thanksgiving appetizers (many can be made ahead!) that your guests will be talking about from now until next year’s feast!

Thanksgiving Appetizers: 20-Second Recipe Video

Thanksgiving Appetizers: Breads

  1. Easiest French Baguettes
Easiest French Baguettes
Baguettes aren’t known to be easy to make. But this French baguette recipe is the easiest on the internet, plus it’s crazy good to munch on before turkey dinner.
Time It Takes: 2 hours and 20 minutes
Why You’ll Love It: easy compared to most bread recipes, make ahead
Get the French Baguette Recipe


2. Homemade Crostini

Homemade Crostini
These crostini take 3 ingredients and 15 minutes to make. Crispy, chewy, and lightly flavored with extra virgin olive oil and garlic, these crostini are the best bases for almost any topping (or even alone as a Thanksgiving app!).
Time It Takes: 15 minutes
Why You’ll Love It: perfect for any topping/dip, <30 minutes to make, 3 ingredients
Get the Crostini Recipe


3. Easy Popovers

Easy Popovers
Want to make tall, crispy popovers without special equipment? This recipe is easy, using only 5 ingredients and a typical muffin pan.
Time It Takes: 45 minutes
Why You’ll Love It: no special equipment needed, serve alone or stuffed  
Get the Popover Recipe


4. Buttery Parker House Rolls

Buttery Parker House Rolls
Parker House Rolls are soft, and richly yeasty and buttery. You’ll want to make these homemade rolls more than just on Thanksgiving.
Time It Takes: 3 hours and 45 minutes
Why You’ll Love It: make ahead, dual purpose as an appetizer & side dish  
Get the Parker House Rolls Recipe

5. Ricotta Toast (With Hot Honey and Pistachios)

Ricotta Toast (With Hot Honey and Pistachios)
Ricotta toast with hot honey, pistachios and fresh thyme is the perfect sweet and savory appetizer that’s so easy to make, even though they look like they’re from a magazine!
Time It Takes: 15 minutes
Why You’ll Love It: beautiful, <30 minutes to make  
Get the Ricotta Toast Recipe
Ricotta honey toasts with pistachios is fancy looking but easy to make!

6. Easy Beer Cheese

Easy Beer Cheese
This velvety pub-style beer cheese is an easy appetizer in just 30 minutes. Dip pretzels, veggies, or crackers…you can’t go wrong!
Time It Takes: 30 minutes
Why You’ll Love It: serve in endless ways, crowd-pleaser, 30 minutes to make  
Get the Beer Cheese Recipe

Thanksgiving Appetizers: Salads & Veggies

7. Crisp Apple Salad

Crisp Apple Salad
Peppery arugula, sharp cheddar cheese, and crunchy chopped walnuts are meant to be together. Top with a simple homemade vinaigrette, and feed a crowd with this fall salad!
Time It Takes: 20 minutes
Why You’ll Love It: <30 minutes to make, fall flavors, make a big batch  
Get the Apple Salad Recipe

8. BEST Antipasto Salad

BEST Antipasto Salad
An Italian antipasto platter made into a big salad…how could you go wrong?
Time It Takes: 35 minutes
Why You’ll Love It: customizable, make a big batch  
Get the Antipasto Salad Recipe

9. Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad (With Parmesan & Lemon)

Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad (With Parmesan & Lemon)
The most underrated way to serve brussels sprouts is raw! Shred brussels sprouts in a food processor and toss with buttery marcona almonds, parmesan, and fresh lemon juice for a refreshingly easy salad.
Time It Takes: 20 minutes
Why You’ll Love It: <30 minutes to make, dual purpose as a side dish too
Get the Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad Recipe

10. Roasted Green Beans (With Pickled Shallots & Parmesan)

Roasted Green beans (With Pickled Shallots & Parmesan)
Green beans can be a brilliant, showstopping appetizer by roasting them until they begin to caramelize. Pickle thinly sliced shallots until they turn bright pink, and add a generous handful of parmesan to the final product so it just melts. They’re gorgeous!
Time It Takes: 35 minutes
Why You’ll Love It: unexpectedly delicious, dual purpose as a side dish too
Get the Roasted Green Beans Recipe

11. Acorn Squash (With Maple Sage Butter)

Acorn Squash (With Maple Sage Butter)
Roast acorn squash in the oven until it’s caramelized and tender. Then finish each squash half with a touch of maple and sage butter, and toasted walnuts. Yum.
Time It Takes: 1 hour and 5 minutes
Why You’ll Love It: classic fall dish, make a big batch
Get the Acorn Squash Recipe

12. Italian Bagna Cauda

Italian Bagna Cauda
Bagna Cauda is a classic Italian extra virgin olive oil dip, served warm, and infused with garlic and anchovies. Dip raw or steamed veggies and crusty bread in this heavenly “hot bath”.
Time It Takes: 1 hour
Why You’ll Love It: classic Italian holiday appetizer, customizable
Get the Bagna Cauda Recipe

13. Creamy Italian Tonnato Sauce

Creamy Italian Tonnato Sauce
Tonnato is a creamy tuna-based sauce or dip from Italy. Although it sounds a little weird, it’s delicious and versatile! Use as a dipping sauce with assorted vegetables or bread.
Time It Takes: 30 minutes
Why You’ll Love It: customizable, 30 minutes to make
Get the Tonnato Sauce Recipe

Thanksgiving Appetizers: Soups

14. Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut squash soup is such a staple at the Thanksgiving table. You can make it days in advance, easily reheating and ladling into shallow bowls as an appetizer, topped with a pinch of nuts or dollop of sour cream.
Time It Takes: 55 minutes
Why You’ll Love It: make ahead, make in a big batch
Get the Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

15. Dad’s Split Pea Soup

Dad’s Split Pea Soup
This split pea soup recipe is a family heirloom. With only a couple ingredients, it’s easy to prepare in a big batch for the holidays, even making days ahead – or frozen and reheated!
Time It Takes: 2 hours
Why You’ll Love It: make a big batch, make ahead
Get the Split Pea Soup Recipe

Thanksgiving Appetizers: Munchies

16. Parmesan and Pancetta Popcorn

Parmesan and Pancetta Popcorn
Parmesan and pancetta popcorn is so easy to make and customizable based on your family and friend’s favorite seasonings! This recipe is for popcorn seasoned with olive oil, parmesan cheese, crispy pancetta and black pepper. Who doesn’t love a big bowl of carbonara-flavored popcorn?
Time It Takes: 20 minutes
Why You’ll Love It: <30 minutes to make, customizable
Get the Popcorn Recipe

17. Crispy Roasted Chickpeas (5 Flavors!)

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas (5 Flavors!)
Make crispy roasted chickpeas in a bunch of fun flavors! This recipe includes 5 popular flavors your Thanksgiving guests will love.
Time It Takes: 35 minutes
Why You’ll Love It: customizable, make a big batch
Get the Crispy Roasted Chickpeas Recipe

18. Citrus Marinated Olives

Citrus Marinated Olives
Dress up olives with a simple citrus marinade. These warm marinated olives are great alone or as part of a larger appetizer spread!
Time It Takes: 20 minutes
Why You’ll Love It: <30 minutes to make, make a big batch
Get the Marinated Olives Recipe

19. Whipped Ricotta With Brown Butter, Sage & Honey

Whipped Ricotta With Brown Butter, Sage & Honey
Whipped ricotta is quite possibly the easiest Thanksgiving appetizer! Place ricotta in a mixer and whip it until fluffy. Drop sage in brown butter, add a drizzle of honey, and coarse sea salt for a perfect holiday appetizer with Crostini or crackers.
Time It Takes: 10 minutes
Why You’ll Love It: <30 minutes to make, classic fall flavors, make a big batch
Get the Whipped Ricotta Recipe

20. Best Homemade Bacon Jam

Best Homemade Bacon Jam
Your guests will be beggin’ for this bacon jam. Slow-simmered bacon and caramelized onions come together into a smoky, sweet dip that completes your Thanksgiving appetizer spread with bread or crackers.
Time It Takes: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Why You’ll Love It: set it and forget it recipe, make it ahead
Get the Bacon Jam Recipe

Thanksgiving Appetizers: Bite-Sized Finger Foods

21. Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
These stuffed mushrooms are loaded with sausage, ricotta and parmesan, and fresh herbs. They’re a crowd-pleasing finger food for your holiday appetizer spread!
Time It Takes: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Why You’ll Love It: make it ahead, make a big batch
Get the Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe

22. Fresh Salmon Croquettes

Fresh Salmon Croquettes
Salmon croquettes are made with fresh salmon (instead of the typical canned), veggies, herbs and some panko breadcrumbs to bind everything together into piping hot, crispy patties.
Time It Takes: 55 minutes
Why You’ll Love It: make a big batch, serve with a fun dipping sauce bar
Get the Salmon Croquettes Recipe

23. Spanakopita Bites (Easy!)

Spanakopita Bites (Easy!)
Take the tremendous time and effort out of spanakopita, with these easy spanakopita bites! Stuff mini phyllo shells with a homemade filling. These crispy morsels will be your go-to holiday appetizer.
Time It Takes: 45 minutes
Why You’ll Love It: make a big batch, make ahead
Get the Spanakopita Recipe

24. Million Dollar Candied Bacon

Million Dollar Candied Bacon
Sweet, salty, crispy and chewy: candied bacon is also called million dollar bacon for a reason. It’s ridiculously good.
Time It Takes: 25 minutes
Why You’ll Love It: make ahead, make a big batch, <30 minutes to make
Get the Candied Bacon Recipe

25. Juicy Baked Chicken Meatballs

Juicy Baked Chicken Meatballs
These chicken meatballs are moist and juicy, baked in only 20 minutes, and are just as perfect made ahead.
Time It Takes: 35 minutes
Why You’ll Love It: make ahead, <30 minutes to make, make a big batch
Get the Chicken Meatballs Recipe

26. Cheesy Bacon Mini Quiche

Cheesy Bacon & Chive Mini Quiche
This mini quiche recipe is so easy and crowd-pleasing! Bacon, parmesan cheese, and chives in little phyllo pastry shells are so delicious that you’ll want to double the recipe!
Time It Takes: 40 minutes
Why You’ll Love It: make ahead, make a big batch, customizable
Get the Mini Quiche Recipe

Thanksgiving Dinner Pro Tips

And finally, here are some expert tips for an amazing, stress-free (or should I say stress-less) Thanksgiving dinner:

  • Plan Ahead: Create a schedule for the days leading up to Thanksgiving and the day itself. Make a shopping list and get all your ingredients a few days beforehand if possible!
  • Prep Ingredients in Advance: Chop, dice, and measure ingredients ahead of time to streamline the cooking process on the big day.
  • Make Ahead Dishes: Choose some dishes that can be made in advance and reheated, such as casseroles, side dishes, and desserts. This reduces stress on Thanksgiving day.
  • Delegate Tasks: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Delegate tasks to family members or guests to make the workload more manageable.
  • Have Appetizers Ready: Prepare your appetizers before guests arrive to keep them satisfied while you put the finishing touches on the main meal.
  • Offer Dietary Options: Check with your guests in advance to see if anyone has dietary restrictions or preferences. Plan accordingly to accommodate everyone.
  • Leftovers Plan: Have containers ready for guests to take home leftovers. And plan post-Thanksgiving meals using the leftovers!
  • Enjoy the Moment: Remember to enjoy the time with family and friends. Don’t get too stressed about the details; the goal is to share a meal and create lasting memories!

26 Thanksgiving Appetizers

These appetizers will steal the show. Here are 26 breads, salads, soups, munchies, and bite-sized finger foods that will kickstart your Thanksgiving celebration – so much so that your guests might forget about the turkey dinner!
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fall
Servings: 4 servings or more
Calories: 100kcal
Author: Tastefully Grace

Ingredients

  • Refer to each recipe post above for full lists of ingredients required

Instructions

  • See above recipes for full details on each of the 26 Thanksgiving appetizers.
  • Check out the Thanksgiving dinner pro tips in the post as well, from planning ahead, to prepping ingredients, making ahead certain dishes, delegating tasks, having appetizers ready, offering dietary options, planning for leftovers, and of course, enjoying the moment!
  • Most importantly, Happy Thanksgiving!

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 100kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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