Best Thanksgiving Appetizer Ideas
Dinner may be the star of the show at Thanksgiving, but many of us secretly look forward to the appetizers the most. There’s something about those little bite-sized finger foods that we can’t get enough of. If you’re stumped on what to serve your guests this year, we’ve rounded up 20 mouthwatering Thanksgiving appetizer ideas that everyone will love.
20 Mouthwatering Thanksgiving Appetizer Ideas to Make This Year
1. Cranberry Brie Bites
These cranberry brie bites are delicious and almost too pretty to eat. While they may look complicated, it takes just 20 minutes to make these bites. The ingredients are simple – puff pastry, cranberry sauce, brie and a little fresh thyme for color.
2. Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, Apple & Gruyere Bites
These tart bites are sweet and savory. Mushrooms, apples, chives and thyme pair well on top of flaky puff pastries. These take about an hour to cook, but you can make them ahead of time to make your Thanksgiving a little less hectic. And if you want to add a splash of color, try garnishing with chives or pomegranate arils.
3. Pumpkin Shaped Cheeseball
This recipe puts a spin on the classic cheeseball by shaping it into a festive pumpkin. The ranch-style cheese filling is delicious, and it’s so easy to make. Save the top from your red pepper to make the stem of your cheese pumpkin. Serve with crackers and fresh veggies.
4. Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Mushrooms
Looking for spicy Thanksgiving appetizer ideas? These jalapeno popper stuffed mushrooms will knock your guests’ socks off, and they’re so easy to make. Stuff baby Bella mushrooms with bacon, jalapenos and a creamy cheese sauce. This is one appetizer that won’t last long.
Tip: If you want to cut down on the spiciness, remove the seeds from the jalapenos. Wear gloves when working with these spicy peppers to protect your fingers and eyes.
5. Pomegranate Goat Cheese Bites
Here’s an appetizer that’s easy to put together and delicious. Fill bite-sized phyllo shells with your favorite goat cheese and top with pomegranate arils, honey and fresh thyme sprigs. The red and green colors are feasts for the eyes, and the presentation is sure to impress your guests. If you don’t like goat cheese, try whipped feta or even Gournay cheese.
6. Turkey Veggie Tray
Here’s a healthy appetizer that’s both mouthwatering and festive. Create your own turkey out of veggies, with layers of cucumber, carrots, red and yellow peppers, broccoli, snap peas and a bowl of veggie dip. This appetizer will be the talk of the table and encourage your guests to snack on something healthy before the big dinner. Feel free to use any veggies you want for this platter, and don’t forget to add the turkey face (made from the bottom of a red pepper) to bring the whole thing together.
7. Bloomin’ Onion Bread
Want something savory and share-worthy? Try this bloomin’ onion bread. It has everything you could want in an appetizer – springy sourdough bread, melty Monterey jack cheese, savory garlic and butter. Best of all, it’s cut in a way that makes it easy to pull each little piece out. Double or triple the recipe if you want any leftovers for yourself!
8. Smoked Gouda and Apple Crostini with Honey
These crostini are a little sweet and a little savory. Small slices of baguette are topped with slices of honey crisp apple, smoked gouda cheese, drizzles of honey and fresh sprigs of thyme. It’s the perfect vegetarian appetizer, but all of your guests are sure to love it. Choose good-quality smoked gouda for this recipe – it’s worth the extra cost.
9. Mushroom Bruschetta with Thyme and Gruyere Cheese
You can never go wrong with bruschetta as an appetizer, but this recipe puts a spin on this tomato-based classic. This recipe pairs mushrooms with gruyere cheese, a dash of red pepper, fresh thyme and shallots. Top with some fresh herbs or even sprouts for a pop of green color. If you’re not a fan of mushrooms, you can still use tomatoes, which would pair well with all of the other ingredients in this recipe.
10. “Pumpkin Pie” Cheese and Crackers
We love fun Thanksgiving appetizer ideas, and these “pumpkin pie” cheese and crackers definitely fit the bill. These cheese and cracker appetizers are made to look just like adorable slices of pumpkin pie. Triangle-shaped Triscuits are the perfect base for your “pies.” Cut your cheese into triangle-shaped slices and use a rectangular cracker for the “crust.” Cream cheese keeps all of the pieces together and adds some extra flavor to these adorable apps.
11. Avocado Cucumber Shrimp Appetizers
Surprise and delight your guests with something different from the usual Thanksgiving foods. Top a crisp slice of cucumber with creamy avocado and Cajun shrimp. These apps are loaded with flavor and just the perfect size for a single bite. And at just 49 calories per slice, your guests don’t have to feel guilty about indulging a little. If you have vegetarian or vegan guests, try making half with vegan shrimp.
Related: 20 Best Keto Thanksgiving Recipes
12. Charcuterie Cups
Everyone loves a good charcuterie board, but they take up a lot of space on the table. This recipe pares down the board to single-serve cups filled with everything you love, from charcuterie boards. You can add anything you want, but this recipe uses:
- Cheese twists
- Brie cheese
- Grapes and blackberries
- Sprig of mint
Presentation is everything with this app, and Family Fresh Meals has a great tutorial on how to put it all together.
13. Pesto Zucchini Rosettes
These rosettes look beautiful on a plate, but they’re every bit as delicious as they are beautiful. Gournay cheese, pesto, fresh zucchini, puff pastry and a hint of balsamic make this an indulgent appetizer that everyone will love. While they look complicated, it’s easier than you think to make zucchini rosettes. Just roll up thin slices of green and yellow squash to make a quick and simple rosette.
14. Sweet Potato Casserole Bites
We love Thanksgiving appetizer ideas like these because they are easy and delicious. If you love sweet potato casserole (who doesn’t?), then you’ll love these little bites. They only require a few simple ingredients – butter, sweet potatoes, vanilla extract, cane sugar and some pecans. If you really want to kick it up a notch, add mini marshmallows or use spiced butter.
15. Spinach Artichoke Wontons
It’s hard to pass up crispy wontons, especially when they’re filled with spinach artichoke dip. Guests will love these apps, and they’re so easy to make. Serve a simple, fresh tomato and parsley salsa on the side, or top the wontons with the tomato mixture. These little wontons are so good that you can’t just have one.
16. Broccoli Cheese Balls
If you’re looking for cheesy, savory Thanksgiving appetizer ideas, these broccoli cheese balls are the perfect addition to your table. This recipe calls for Velveeta, but a creamy smoked gouda or aged fine cheddar would also work well. Use a food processor to make the broccoli florets easier to incorporate into the cheesy mix.
17. Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Dijon Sauce
When you think of Thanksgiving appetizers, Brussels sprouts are probably the last thing that comes to mind. But when roasted (or air fried) and paired with this mouthwatering Dijon sauce, this app will quickly become everyone’s favorite. They’re surprisingly easy to make and a healthy treat for your guests.
18. Antipasto Skewers
If you want a simple Thanksgiving app, then look no further than these antipasto skewers. They’re quick and easy to make in a pinch, but they never disappoint. This recipe adds fresh tortellini to each skewer for a little twist and a nice surprise for your guests. Of course, you can feel free to add whatever antipasto foods you love, but this recipe calls for olives, salami, mozzarella, bell pepper, basil and fresh tortellini bites.
19. Apple Cheddar Pinwheels
Apple slices and cheddar cheese are the perfect pair in this pinwheels recipe. Save time by using crescent roll dough sheets. Pair your favorite cheddar cheese with chopped apples and onions for a simple yet delicious appetizer. Top with parsley if you want to add some color to your pinwheels. Stick with sweet apple varieties, like honey crisp or pink lady. Granny smith may be a bit too tart for this combo.
20. Addictive Crab Dip
Dips are always a go-to for appetizers, and this crab dip will have everyone coming back for more. Rich and creamy, it’s the perfect pair for thick crostini. It’s easy to make, too. Mix canned crabmeat with mayo, cream cheese, white cheddar, garlic and green onion. This is a dip that you can make a day ahead to save time on Thanksgiving Day.
These 20 mouthwatering Thanksgiving appetizers will have your guests raving. Best of all, most of these apps are easy to make, so they won’t make your holiday more stressful than it needs to be.