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!
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!
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
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 minutesWhy You’ll Love It: easy compared to most bread recipes, make ahead
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 minutesWhy You’ll Love It: perfect for any topping/dip, <30 minutes to make, 3 ingredients
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 minutesWhy You’ll Love It: no special equipment needed, serve alone or stuffed
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 minutesWhy You’ll Love It: make ahead, dual purpose as an appetizer & side dish
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 minutesWhy You’ll Love It: beautiful, <30 minutes to make
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 minutesWhy You’ll Love It: serve in endless ways, crowd-pleaser, 30 minutes to make
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 minutesWhy You’ll Love It: <30 minutes to make, fall flavors, make a big batch
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 minutesWhy You’ll Love It: <30 minutes to make, dual purpose as a side dish too
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 minutesWhy You’ll Love It: unexpectedly delicious, dual purpose as a side dish too
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 minutesWhy You’ll Love It: classic fall dish, make a big batch
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 hourWhy You’ll Love It: classic Italian holiday appetizer, customizable
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 minutesWhy You’ll Love It: customizable, 30 minutes to make
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 minutesWhy You’ll Love It: make ahead, make in a big batch
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 hoursWhy You’ll Love It: make a big batch, make ahead
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 minutesWhy You’ll Love It: <30 minutes to make, customizable
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 minutesWhy You’ll Love It: customizable, make a big batch
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 minutesWhy You’ll Love It: <30 minutes to make, make a big batch
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 minutesWhy You’ll Love It: <30 minutes to make, classic fall flavors, make a big batch
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 minutesWhy You’ll Love It: set it and forget it recipe, make it ahead
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 minutesWhy You’ll Love It: make it ahead, make a big batch
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 minutesWhy You’ll Love It: make a big batch, serve with a fun dipping sauce bar
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 minutesWhy You’ll Love It: make a big batch, make ahead
Sweet, salty, crispy and chewy: candied bacon is also called million dollar bacon for a reason. It’s ridiculously good.Time It Takes: 25 minutesWhy You’ll Love It: make ahead, make a big batch, <30 minutes to make
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 minutesWhy You’ll Love It: make ahead, make a big batch, customizable
Refer to each recipe post above for full lists of ingredients required
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!
Welcome to my kitchen! Cooking and baking with the seasons has always been a part of my life. Here in New England, cooking and baking with the seasonal flavors available is a way of life. It's the "feeling" that you get when making homemade popsicles or grilled meats in the summer, Mom's pie crust cookies in the fall, or a warm bowl of hearty pasta in the winter. Whether it’s Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter or any holiday in between, I hope my recipes satisfy your seasonal cravings!
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