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These festive and easy Thanksgiving appetizers are sure to be a hit for your next Thanksgiving feast! Including this adorable turkey shaped veggie tray that is sure to steal the show.
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When planning your Thanksgiving menu, be sure to include a few Thanksgiving appetizers. Thanksgiving appetizer recipes can come in all forms and range, everything from simple finger foods, to veggie trays, to tasty dips. They can be a big part of your Thanksgiving day or simply something to hold people over (or to keep kids out of the kitchen) until the Thanksgiving dinner is served.
In our family, we serve our Thanksgiving appetizers as an actual meal, whether we do it on Thanksgiving Day or a day before or after. If Thanksgiving dinner is in the evening, the appetizers come out around noon. If Thanksgiving dinner is served earlier in the day, we set out leftovers with the appetizers in the evening.
Thanksgiving Appetizers: Hot and Cold Dips
Probably the easiest Thanksgiving appetizer to make is a dip. Dips are usually the cheapest things to make, too. You can just throw a few ingredients together and have it be done. Cold dips and cheese balls are great because they can be made in advance. No warming needed! Just bring the dip as-is with some chips, crackers, or bread and you are good to go!
Maybe you’ve had it, maybe you’ve heard of it, either way, we’re all talking about the Stonemill Kitchens Cranberry Jalapeño dip from Costco. Our version is just as creamy, just as tangy, just as delicious. Tart cranberries combine with spicy jalapeños mix with sour lime juice to create a favorite cream cheesy dip that we all love to enjoy with crackers.
Baked brie with jam is hands down my favorite holiday appetizer. It looks and tastes super sophisticated, but it takes minutes to make and has very few ingredients. This recipe pairs creamy, tangy cheese with tart cranberry sauce, sweet honey, crunchy pecans, and fragrant fresh rosemary.
This fresh Cranberry Salsa recipe is a delicious recipe from my mother-in-law and one of my favorite appetizers all year round, but especially as one of my holiday appetizers. Fresh cranberries, jalapeno peppers, cilantro and green onions give this salsa vibrant sweet and spicy flavor. It’s delicious on its own, but we love it served over tangy cream cheese.
This Warm Bacon Cheese Dip is the most addicting appetizer. It is creamy, cheesy, and filled with bacon. Because it is made with five simple ingredients, you can make it all the time. My favorite part is that it’s baked right in a round sourdough loaf. It stays nice an insulated in the bread bowl and stays warm long after coming out of the oven, so it’s the perfect addition to any buffet spread.
Crock Pot Spinach Artichoke Dip is one of those classic appetizers you can find at many restaurants, football house parties and family gatherings. We’ve tried many recipes over the years and this is absolutely the most delicious one ever! In fact, whenever I order spinach artichoke dip at a restaurant I’m always disappointed it doesn’t taste as good as this one. It is creamy, slightly spicy, and ideal for dipping all the things!
This easy clam dip just takes a few minutes to make. I often make it for the holidays, and have many requests for the recipe. It is so yummy and a staple chip dip at our home. We usually double this recipe and it still doesn’t last long! This dip is especially good served with potato chips, the kind with the ridges. It definitely requires a sturdy potato chip so it can hold plenty of dip.
This easy Creamy Corn Dip is one of my favorite dips ever, mainly because it is so easy to throw together. You can literally throw it together and serve in 10 minutes. However, I will say this recipe tastes even better if you make it ahead of time and stick it in the fridge covered for at least an hour. The corn dip flavors will combine and taste absolutely amazing!
This Cream Cheese Shrimp Dip is literally the easiest dip you will ever make. Even though there is not a whole lot to it, it is delicious and SO addicting. I usually like to get the shrimp the day of serving, just so it is extra fresh. You can find the mini shrimps in the seafood/meat department of most grocery stores. They typically come pre-cooked, peeled, deveined etc… (I actually have never seen them any other way, to be honest).
This creamy, savory and EASY Spinach Dip is a centerpiece at nearly all of our family gatherings. We love making this as an appetizer on Thanksgiving, but it finds a place at our Christmas Eve and Super Bowl parties, 4th of July picnics and potlucks. It’s light, flavorful and so simple to make!
This easy fruit dip recipe has only 4 ingredients and takes just a few minutes to whip together. It is smooth and creamy with a hint of citrus. It is a delicious complement to fresh fruit. Pears, apples, plums, and oranges are especially good around Thanksgiving time.
This roasted red pepper hummus is hands-down my favorite hummus of all time. I love the spicy kick of Sriracha and the fresh taste of the red bell pepper. My KIDS even love this dip. It’s a fresh and healthy start for Thanksgiving dinner. We love it with pita bread, carrots, crackers, just about anything!
Thanksgiving Appetizers: Cheese Balls
I believe that cheese balls are more of a “spread” than a “dip” so I am going to give them there own little category here. Cheese balls are at the top of the list of classic Thanksgiving appetizers. They are so colorful and festive looking! I love all the different flavors and textures of cheese balls. They are sweet and savory and go so well with crackers, pita chips, or even vegetables.
This Bacon Cheese Ball, stuffed with cranberries and almonds is one of my favorite holiday appetizers. What is more festive than a creamy cheese ball at a holiday party? The red cranberries and green sprinkling from the cilantro really make this cheese ball stand out. Not only is it colorful, it is filled with flavors and textures that blend beautifully together.
I couldn’t believe how easy this Pineapple Cheese Ball was to make! Not only does it look fancy, but it also tastes SO GOOD! I love the sweetness of the pineapple mixed with the savory flavor of the green onions and pecans. If you are looking for an appetizer to bring to your next holiday gathering — look no further!
This Strawberry Jalapeno Cheese Ball is always a hit during the holidays. Beautiful colors and flavors blend together for the right amount of sweet and spicy, the perfect spread for crackers, veggies, pretzels, just about anything! This one takes center stage every Thanksgiving and it always gets gobbled up quick. I really like making cheese balls during the holidays. It’s something a little nicer and fancier than just the average crackers and dip.
Thanksgiving Appetizers: Hot and Cold Finger Foods
What I love about finger foods is that they can be eaten in just one or two clean bites. This is perfect for when you have social-style Thanksgiving gatherings. You can stand and chat with the other guests without feeling like you are taking gigantic bites of food while still trying to have a conversation.
Finger foods are also great if there are kids involved. Kids love being able to try little portions of all of the Thanksgiving appetizers and you don’t have to worry about them double-dipping. You can just give them a few little things and send them on their merry way.
Shrimp Taco Bites are the perfect appetizer because they work great for almost any type of gathering and they are so easy to make. If you are a shrimp taco lover like I am, these shrimp taco bites will quickly become one of your favorite appetizers. This is our most pinned recipe on Pinterest, so trust your fellow readers, they’re delicious!
Fried green beans seem like they are all the rage right now, and for good reason! They can be served as an appetizer, side dish, or snack. Fried green beans are a great low-carb alternative to regular fries and they are even healthier when made in the air fryer. No deep frying needed to get these crispy, golden green bean fries!
Another healthy appetizer choice for Thanksgiving day is Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus. It’s not too heavy, but it is full of flavor. Prosciutto is an Italian ham that is dry-cured and very thinly sliced. It tastes like a salty ham. The word prosciutto essentially means ‘to dry out’. It is a beautiful complement to a crisp hot asparagus spear.
Bacon-Wrapped Lil Smokies are definitely going to be on our Thanksgiving buffet spread this year. They’re so easy to make and only call for four simple ingredients so you can make a ton for all your friends and family. Every time I bring them to a gathering, people always beg for the recipe. And they’re shocked to find out how easy they are! Try them for yourself and you’ll never go back to plain lil smokies again.
These slow cooker meatballs are perfectly sweet and savory with just the right amount of kick. And seriously, this recipe couldn’t be easier! You can use pre-cooked frozen meatballs to keep it simple, or make your own. Just throw it all in the Crockpot and you’re done!
You can literally whip this Roasted Red Pepper Bruschetta up in a matter of minutes with only a few easy ingredients. My kids love to help prepare bruschetta because they can “paint” the olive oil on each of the slices and then they can carefully top each one with the ingredients.
Deviled Eggs are a delicious finger food that makes the perfect addition to any party spread. The smooth, creamy filling is so yummy! Plus, they are so easy to make. We always plan for 2-3 deviled eggs per person at a gathering – they are just that good!
These roll ups are perfect for a quick last minute appetizer or finger food for parties. If you don’t have pickles on hand or you simply don’t want to add the pickle, just leave it out. They are great either way! Sometimes I will just use ham (or turkey), cream cheese and jalapeno jelly to switch things up (oh man, I love it that way).
Don’t buy a pre-made shrimp cocktail – make your own for a lot less! It doesn’t have to be expensive to serve up this impressive appetizer. Trust me, you are going to be thrilled with how good this tastes and how cheap and easy it is to make! No one will have to know you spent as much on the shrimp as others may have spent on chips and dip.
Thanksgiving Appetizers: Charcuterie Boards and Trays
For easy serving, having a large tray or board full of a variety of items are the way to go. There is always something for everyone and it takes the guess-work out. Like finger foods, each item on the tray can be eaten in just a bite or two and they can be nibbled during conversation.
Most of these boards and trays can be made in advance, too. You can make them the day before and keep them refrigerated until ready to eat. They are always an unforgettable Thanksgiving appetizer!
Meat and cheese trays are always a hit at family gatherings. You can put them on the table as-is, or you can serve them alongside rolls or bread slices so your guests can make sandwiches. They are so much fun to garnish and make look pretty! Plus, they are SO EASY to make up. You can whip up a meat and cheese tray faster than you can make most appetizers.
“Charcuterie” roughly translated from French means “delicatessen”. It is basically a serving of a variety of meats. The latest trend is adding cheese, fruit, crackers, and a variety of all sorts of little finger foods onto a large tray along with the meat. I love charcuterie boards because the possibilities are endless. For Thanksgiving, I like to keep it simple.
This Vegan Charcuterie Board is loaded with plant based goodies for your Thanksgiving day appetizer. Try it with olives, dried fruits, fresh fruits, pretzels, crackers, veggies, and a variety of dips.
Tis the season to be….snacking! I don’t know about you, but during the holiday season I don’t always want to be in the kitchen cooking big meals. Obviously, big dinners on Thanksgiving and Christmas, but for the rest of the holidays we just kind of graze on leftovers and appetizers. I love making a Christmas Charcuterie Board (that also works great for Thanksgiving!) like this because I can just set it out while we are visiting or playing games and everyone gets to pick and choose what they want. It is also great for holiday parties and gatherings.
Celebrate the season with flavor and deliciousness. Cranberry Brie Bites are a one way ticket to happy with tastes of mellow cheese and sharp cranberry sauce. Baked brie rests inside puff pasty dough and is topped with cranberry sauce and a sprig of rosemary to create a mouthwatering sensation that will leave your guests wanting more, more, more.
#29 Thanksgiving Turkey Veggie Tray (recipe below)
You are going to love this Thanksgiving Turkey Veggie Platter. It is a festive looking Thanksgiving appetizer that can easily double as a table centerpiece. Let’s be honest, most centerpieces just take up precious dinner table space. This one you can EAT! And when it comes to veggie platters, this is about as adorable as it gets!
Prepare it on a big platter and set it out on the table before dinner when kids and guests get the munchies. It is something light and healthy that they can eat that can curb their hunger without spoiling their appetite for dinner.
Ingredients Needed for a Turkey Vegetable Tray
The sky is the limit! There are all sorts of vegetables that can be used on a veggie tray but since this is a Thanksgiving appetizer, we wanted to use more of those beautiful fall colors. We found some REALLY cool vegetables like the purple cauliflower, Aloha bell peppers, and the rainbow carrots at Albertsons. They have such a wide variety of produce, making it super easy to add a wide variety of colors to the veggie tray. Here’s what we used:
- Yellow bell peppers, orange bell pepper, red bell pepper, and green bell pepper. We used Aloha bell peppers for the turkey face. It has the cool red and yellow color swirls.
- Cauliflower – we used purple and orange varieties
- Baby rainbow carrots
- Sugar snap peas
- Constellation Cherry Tomatoes (Rainbow Mix)
- Your favorite vegetable dip – we like ranch dressing, but a veggie dill dip, onion dip, or even guacamole can be used.
You can also use:
- Black olives
- Mini bell peppers
- Pickled beets
- Green onions
How to Make a Turkey Veggie Tray
Turkey Veggie Tray
- Wash all vegetables and set aside. Combine sour cream and ranch dip mix in a small bowl. Place it on the bottom edge of a large serving plate or platter. Peel and cut cucumbers into spears and cut celery into 4-5" sticks.
- Arrange cucumber and celery around 2/3 of the plate in a fan shape. You can arrange alternating each or in sections. Arrange so about 1" of the vegetables are hanging off the edge. This gives it a cool effect and allows more room to work with on the tray. Note: I like to leave some of the leaves on the celery ribs to make them look more "feathery". This is totally optional.
- Layer carrots on top of the celery and cucumbers, then place sugar snap peas below the carrots so they are slightly overlapping.
- Arrange broccoli and cauliflower tightly around the dip container, then fill in the remaining space between the cauliflower and snap peas with cherry tomatoes.
- Cut the bottom off of one of the bell peppers to make the turkey face and place at the top of the dip container. Add confectionary eyes (found in the cake decorating section of the grocery store). Cut off the tip of a baby carrot and cut our a wedge forming the beak.
- Use remaining red or yellow pepper to make the top of the wings. Slice the rest of the peppers and arrange over the "fan" between the tomatoes and snap peas. Use remaining carrots to make wings and arrange beneath the plate to make the "breast feathers".
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