These days, Thanksgiving is a fun day of many activities: an early-morning Turkey Trot 5K, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on TV (or live if you’re in NYC), the big turkey dinner with all the sides, and of course, the series of NFL Football Games.
Thanksgiving Appetizers help keep everyone’s energy up (especially yours) so they can start early and stay late, with so much eating and drinking in between all these fun activities.
So whether you do a Thanksgiving lunch, brunch or dinner, keep the fam in fine fitness with a variety of Thanksgiving appetizers to keep their strength up in between naps, too.
Have you been running out of ideas for Thanksgiving appetizers? Is it the same ol’, same ol’ every year?
There’s only so many yellow cheese cubes, baby carrots, and ranch dip we can stand.
I’ve curated some tried-and-true and some can’t-wait-to-try Thanksgiving Appetizers recipes from around the web!
Most have a short-list of ingredients with a powerful wow factor, and others are a little more complicated that will add some unique and tasteful elegance to your appetizer table.
I’ve learned that skewers are easy Thanksgiving appetizers you must try that will leave your guests in awe. Put anything on a sharp stick and it screams FANCY.
Hot or cold, food threaded on a stick levels up its quaint quotient.
Any opportunity to create a colorful, yummy appetizer is okay by me. Caprese Bites, Antipasto Skewers, and Sausage & Stuffing Balls recipe links are below.
How about finger foods in wonton cups?
Yes, those little squares of lightweight dough fit nicely into those mini-muffin cups and you can stuff them with ANYTHING. One yummy option is below.
I love doing a surprise hot appetizer and then passing them around.
Renee’ made the Cheesy Baked Zucchini Fritters for us once and they are a fantastic hot Thanksgiving Appetizer option that is good hot and still good at room temperature if they didn’t all make it out for first round. Easyand SO good.
Save time and effort (and oven space and counter space, and head space) with Thanksgiving appetizers make ahead. It’s incredible how much time just prepping some vegetables in advance can save you.
What are you waiting for? Keep reading as I unleash our best Thanksgiving appetizers you must try!
Starting off our Thanksgiving appetizer recipes are these Easy Antipasto Skewers, which can be the quickest way to serve some charcuterie bites during your celebration.
Don’t have the time to set up a charcuterie board for your Thanksgiving party?
Prepare your ingredients of choice beforehand, then skewer them up.
You can also drizzle it with balsamic glaze or leave it as is.
If you’re looking for a combination of cheesy, creamy, and crispy goodness, then this one is the perfect appetizer for you!
It’s also included in our easy recipes list because you can create many spinach artichoke dip wonton cups within 20 minutes.
So, level up your usual spinach dip with these Baked Spinach Artichoke Wonton Cups.
Walnuts, brown sugar, and spice; you can never go wrong with one of these classic appetizers.
Not only does this recipe call for ingredients found in your household, but it allows you to play around with the flavors.
If you want it to be spicier or hotter, simply add more of your favorite spice.
Since Thanksgiving is just around the corner, having three of this holiday’s staples (sausage, stuffing, and cranberry dip) would be such a delightful treat.
These tiny bites of Thanksgiving also include a sweet cranberry sauce you can dip it with, hence the fun wooden toothpicks!
These hearty appetizers can either swing the gates open to Thanksgiving, or use up some of those ingredients to repurpose into these hearty noms the next day.
Who wouldn’t enjoy the creamy goat and cream cheese filling that makes these mushrooms extra tasty?
It is satisfying for meat-eaters and generally loved by vegetarians as well.
Also, the fat level doesn’t affect the flavor, which means you can use whatever type of cream cheese you’re most comfortable with.
One thing’s for sure. This one is a delicious recipe!
These Crispy Oven Baked Kale Chips are a bit fragile, but it’s a fun way to get your guests to admit they kinda like kale after all.
It’s also a healthier take from the traditional chips, which may surprise your guests.
You can easily make them in your air fryer too, saving you both time and effort while preparing for turkey day.
Are you seeking more ways to enjoy Caprese? It’s a Southwestern-style appetizer that’s fun and sure to be a hit at the party.
Make them meatier with cooked bacon, or thread chunks of salami on the skewers.
Don’t forget to pre-cook the bacon before adding it to this raw appetizer, though.
You can either cook your bacon in the oven or buy pre-cooked bacon. You can’t go wrong with these.
What makes these deviled eggs? Bacon. I mean, isn’t it always bacon?
For this recipe, you’ll have to boil your eggs, separate the cooked yolks from the egg whites, and mix the mashed yolks with cheese, mayo, mustard, parsley, and sour cream
Afterward, fry up some bacon and chop it, then add it to your deviled eggs before serving.
Nothing beats warm and friendly gatherings that you impress with more bacon.
Pigs in a Blanket are fantastic, but they can get messy if you are in a hurry.
Luckily, this recipe came from Pigs in a Blanket and turned them into bite-size sausage rolls, so now you can have your cake and eat it, too!
For an extra bit of kick, you could use these Mini Sausage Rolls alongside Pepper Jelly.
I am looking forward to these delicious sausages because these tiny recipe packs in tons of flavor!
How cute are these?
Cucumber sandwiches are a classic finger sandwich for gatherings and teas.
Still, I enjoy them year-round: during the summer for picnics, or in the winter as a snack.
This creamy spread with fresh herbs and fresh cucumbers on top is ideal for anyone looking for something light to go with a nice meal and lemon juice.
These Bacon and 3-Cheese Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers are not only pleasing to the eyes but will also make your taste buds water.
Besides that, this recipe is also easy and fun to make.
It’s hard to believe how delicious this bacon-wrapped Brussels sprouts appetizer is!
Surprise your loved ones this holiday season with this delectable appetizer.
It is also straightforward, and you have everything you need in your pantry.
Plus, it’s easy to do: just bake the Brussel sprouts wrapped in bacon, and there you have it.
Rumor has it that people named the Mississippi Sin Dip for it’s sinfully irresistible flavors from the combination of sour cream, cheese, ham, and hot sauce.
It’s a real shame if you’ve never heard of Mississippi Sin Dip Pinwheels because you are missing out on some fantastic tasty dipping sauce with a touch of spice wrapped in a tortilla!
Do you have just enough time to put together an appetizer to serve your guests?
Here’s a great go-to option.
You’re in for a treat with these Cheddar Bacon Garlic Crostini because they are loaded with taste and could not be any easier to make!
These air fryer carrot fries are the best way to serve fries for Thanksgiving!
What makes it even better is that you can serve these delicious carrot fries with a spicy, creamy aioli dip (the instructions for this dip are here).
I like to make rounds of these fries because they only take 6 minutes in the air fryer. When I make them, everyone begs for more, so be prepared.
Pumpkin Cheese Balls are fantastic for your Thanksgiving snacks or appetizers.
These cheese appetizers take just minutes to put together and have simple ingredients to prepare.
You can make these Thanksgiving appetizers without having to invest in any high-end kitchen utensils or gadgets.
Just get a soup bowl (a small one will do), an aluminum foil packet, and a spatula, then you’re good to go.
Imagine all the time you can save making this Jalapeño Popper Dip…
This easy appetizer can take about 35 minutes to achieve the cheesy, spicy taste you’re looking for!
You won’t have to spend more effort in stuffing peppers for your Jalapeño cravings.
A delightful appetizer also works well with the Crispy Oven Baked Kale Chips I shared above or some tortilla chips you can simply grab from your pantry.
I’ve never met someone who doesn’t like pizza.
And what can make things better?
Bite-sized versions of it!
These mini Margherita pizzas can be one of the next favorite appetizers of any age.
Prepare it in advance and simply bake them fresh before your Thanksgiving dinner.
Are you searching for a fun dip that’s sure to impress even the pickiest eaters?
For a dip that’s so easy to make and tastes so good, it’s almost an opportunity to serve these cheesy, delicious dips on turkey night.
And the best part of this recipe is that you only need five ingredients to create it.
They’re all you need: sausage, cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, swiss cheese, and dijon mustard.
These Crispy Potato Strips are great for a change from traditional fries.
For this one, all you have to do is prep your potatoes at room temperature and sprinkle some salt on them.
Yes, just like your usual fries!
But the fun part begins with peeling the potatoes into strips, frying them, and sprinkling some salt while it’s still warm.
You can add some parmesan cheese and fresh rosemary for extra flavor.
Another one on our list is these Pesto Mozzarella Chicken Sliders.
They’re quick, easy to make, and the perfect starters for a holiday get-together.
With only five ingredients needed, you can make these ahead of time, refrigerate, and pop in the oven before your family members arrive.
Serve it as an appetizer while chit-chatting before the turkey hits the dining table.
It’s a no-brainer that bacon is delicious on its own, but how much more when you wrap it on something tangy — like pickles.
That’s why I made sure to include these Bacon-Wrapped Pickles on our list.
But I bet it would taste heavenly with some sweet pickles too!
The recipe is simple, just wrap the pickles with your bacon and bake them until they’re crispy.
You can also add some ranch dip to make things better.
Creamy, light, and rich; these words describe this Chicken Liver Mousse appetizer well.
The garlic, cream cheese, and shallots combine with the chicken liver to create a lush paté geared to a sophisticated adult palette. (Read: The kids won’t touch it. Yay for grownups!)
This one is also a Thanksgiving make-ahead appetizer and best paired with toasted baguette slices.
24. Hush Puppies
Sometimes, I feel the need for some Southern comfort food.
But with my crazy work schedule, I just don’t have the time to get it ready.
That’s why Thanksgiving would be a perfect excuse to indulge my craving and create these Hush Puppies.
What’s great about this recipe, too, is that it is easier to make than usual.
With ingredients already found in your pantry, the next step is to mix them all, fry them, and serve.
Simple, isn’t it?
25. Zucchini Fritter
Whether it’s Thanksgiving or snack time, this Zucchini Fritter won’t disappoint.
It’s a no-fuss recipe because preparations and cooking can only take about 21 minutes of your day.
Plus, you get to enjoy crispy, cheesified, fritters.
I’d say it’s worth it!
If you have more time to prep your appetizers, then these Crispy Loaded Hasselback Potatoes are worth your time!
What more can you ask for?
It lives up to its name because this recipe has good stuff like bacon, cheese, sour cream, and green onions.
FYI: You can also use some sweet potatoes as an alternative to the regular ones.
Effortless but fancy.
That’s the Olive Oil Marinated Mozzarella Balls for me.
It also boasts tons of flavor from the combination of aromatic garlic, herbs, cheese, and the star—good quality olive oil.
Serve it with nice crusty bread, and it’s ready for your family.
In case you didn’t know, polenta is a corn-based dough, which originated from Italy.
So, if you’re a fan of corn, these Baked Polenta Bites will sure make you happy.
With a combination of tangy, sweet, and nutty, this mouth-bomb of flavors awaits you with one bite.
29. Shrimp Cocktail
Of course, I didn’t forget this classic hors d’oeuvres — the shrimp cocktail.
Despite its simplicity, the combination of the well-seasoned shrimps and the famous cocktail sauce never fails to please.
So, offer it up on the apps table as one of your appetizers for Thanksgiving—such a crowd-pleaser is a must!
Look at these Pesto Zucchini Rosettes.
They’re head-turners and taste as good as they look.
You can find these ingredients in your grocery store, which means you won’t have any problem finding them.
Plus, you can save time by using ready-to-make puff pastry sheets instead of rolling out the pastry yourself.
Pro tip: When you’re cutting the zucchini into thin strips, better to use a mandoline slicer for efficiency and convenience.
This easy taco cups recipe is a fantastic Thanksgiving appetizer. These taco cups are an ingenious and tidy way to kick off your Thanksgiving feast, offering a unique and flavorful twist to traditional holiday starters.
Not only do they hold all the savory fillings neatly for a mess-free experience, but they also add a festive and unexpected touch to the Thanksgiving table, sure to surprise and please your guests.
An effortless and delicious Thanksgiving appetizer, blending sweet and savory with a bacon and brown sugar topping on buttery crackers. It’s a crowd-pleaser that’s quick to prepare, making it perfect for the holiday’s diverse tastes and a great starter for the festive meal. With their addictive flavor and crunch, these crackers are sure to disappear quickly from the appetizer table.
The bottom line
I love doing a surprise hot appetizer and then walking them around to guests and family.
My sister and family friend are coming to town and my brain is somewhere in between IMPRESS WITH COOKING SKILLS and DON’T DIE FROM EXHAUSTION.
So the kale chips, baked parmesan carrot fries, and crispy potato strips might be the ones to win out for a lighter touch, but to be realistic here, it will probably be the Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms.
Speaking of Goat Cheese, these little Goat Cheese Stuffed Cherry Tomato gems are such a flavor roller coaster that I recommend them YEAR ROUND.
Make three times more of these than you think you will need. If you have even one left, I’ll be surprised.
I bet you’re excited to try these delicious Thanksgiving appetizers.
They’re mostly quick appetizers to make, which means you’ll have more time to prepare your other dishes for your Thanksgiving spread.
Whether you are having family in, have to bring something to Friendsgiving, or spending it alone, treat yourself to something simple, delicious, and fun.
Even if it’s the Bacon Deviled Eggs, spear ‘em with a toothpick, cuz you’re fanceh.
But if you want to try some gluten-free recipes during this season, I have a list of Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Recipes just for you!
- Easy Antipasto Skewers
- Baked Spinach Artichoke Wonton Cups
- Sweet & Spicy Sesame Walnuts
- Sausage & Stuffing Balls
- Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
- Crispy Oven Baked Kale Chips
- Southwestern Caprese Bites
- Best Deviled Eggs
- Pepper Jelly Hogs Blanket
- Cucumber Chive Butter
- Stuffed Mini Peppers
- Honey Roasted Brussel Sprouts With Bacon
- Mississippi Sin Dip Pinwheels
- Cheddar Bacon Garlic Crostini
- Baked Parmesan Carrot Fries
- Pumpkin Cheese Balls
- Jalapeño Popper Dip
- Mini Pizzas
- Cream Cheese & Cheddar Sausage Dip
- Crispy Potato Strips
- Pesto Mozzarella Chicken Sliders
- Bacon-Wrapped Pickles
- Chicken Liver Mousse
- Hush Puppies
- Zucchini Fritter
- Crispy Loaded Hasselback Potatoes
- Olive Oil Marinated Mozzarella Balls
- Baked Polenta Bites
- Shrimp Cocktail
- Pesto Zucchini Rosettes
- Pick from our list your favorite Thanksgiving appetizers.
- Mix and match them to create a spread for Thanksgiving.
- Arrange them nicely to make them more appealing to your guests.
- Enjoy your holiday!