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.
From creative charcuterie boards to rich and creamy cheese balls, don’t neglect the appetizers for your Thanksgiving meal. Continue reading below for some deliciously creative appetizer ideas for your Thanksgiving menu.
Thanksgiving appetizers can come in all forms and range from 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 do our Thanksgiving appetizers as an actual meal, whether we do it on Thanksgiving Day or a day before or after. We do it completely separate from the main meal and we usually have it with soups and salads along with the dips and finger foods.
Thanksgiving Appetizers: 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!
- Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Chili Cheese Dip
- Warm Bacon Cheese Dip in Sourdough
- Nacho Cheese Dip
- Sun Dried Tomato and Artichoke Dip
- Clam Dip
- 5-Minute Dill Pickle Dip
- Cream Cheese Fruit Dip (for dipping fruit)
- Easy Spinach Dip
- Roasted Red Pepper Dip
- Cream Cheese Shrimp Dip
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.
Thanksgiving Appetizers: 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.
Hot Finger Foods
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Bacon Wrapped Lil Smokies
- Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
- Shrimp Taco Bites with Cilantro Cream Sauce
- Sweet and Spicy Slow Cooker Meatballs
Cold Finger Foods
- Peach Caprese Skewers
- Veggie Pizza Squares
- Tea Sandwiches (aka Ribbon Finger Sandwiches)
- Ham Roll Ups with Pickle
- Shrimp Cocktail
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!
Thanksgiving Turkey Veggie Tray
You are going to love this Thanksgiving turkey veggie tray. 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! Set it out on the table before dinner when kids and guests are feeling snack-y. It is something light and healthy that they can eat that can curb their hunger without spoiling their appetite for dinner.
Which Vegetables Go On a Turkey Veggie 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:
- Bell peppers – We used Aloha bell peppers from Albertsons. 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)
You can also use:
- Mini bell peppers
- Pickled beets
- Green onions
- Wash all vegetables and set aside. Combine sour cream and ranch dip mix and place on the bottom egdge of a large serving plate. 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.
- Place carrots directly over 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 mouth.
- Use remaining pepper to make the top of the wings. Slice the rest of the peppers and arrange over the "fan" between the tomatoes and smap peas. Use remaining carrots to make wings and arrange beneath the plate to make the "breats feathers".