We have selected some elegant and easy Thanksgiving appetizers recipes which will make your holiday unforgettable. Thanksgiving is a very special day gathering family members together. Housewives are busy preparing the festive dinner, roasting the turkey, cooking the stuffing, the cranberry sauce and taking care of the desserts. Friends and family arrive at different times and you cannot keep them waiting hungry until dinner is served so you need some ideas for quick snack between breakfast and the evening feast.
In general, there are two types of appetizers and snacks – cold and hot. Cold appetizers include a variety of cold foods – fruits, vegetables, pate, smoked salmon, etc. while hot ones include food which has been cooked and should be served warm. Having in mind that Thanksgiving appetizers are served to your guest between their arrival and the rich, plentiful dinner, it is best if you try to keep a certain balance. Serve light food in buffet style. Since the turkey is the main dish, it is best not to repeat it in the appetizers. From snacks on skewers to crostini, from sandwiches to pizza, from stuffed eggs or tomatoes to pies and homemade pastry – take advantage of the recipes we chose for you which will save you time on the festive day!
Quick and easy Thanksgiving appetizers and snacks ideas
Thanksgiving turkey fruit and yogurt dip
- 1 container (5.3 oz) Greek yogurt, any flavor
- 1 medium pear
- 1 medium red apple, cut into thin slices
- 1 medium green apple, cut into thin slices
- 2 chocolate chips
- 2 tiny pretzel sticks
- Cut pear in half lengthwise and Cut 1 slice lengthwise about 1/2-inch thick for body of turkey. Slice remaining pear thinly to arrange as feathers
- On large serving platter, place a small bowl for the yogurt.
- Cut shapes out of small apple slice to make turkey’s beak and wattle.
- Arrange pear and apple slices around the yogurt bowl.
- Place the pear slice on top of the yogurt and garnish with apple pieces for beak and wattle, chocolate chips for eyes and pretzel sticks for legs.
- You can choose any other fruits – strawberries, clementines, grapes, etc. and arrange a fruit platter.
Turkey cheese ball bites for Thanksgiving
- 8 ounces light cream cheese, at room temperature
- 8 ounces grated favorite cheese
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup of ground pecans or other nuts
- 1/2 cup of sliced almonds
- Bits of peeled carrots, shaped like the turkey heads
- In a bowl mix together the cream cheese, grated cheese, Worcestershire sauce, green onions and garlic powder.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until firm.
- Shape small balls, about 1 tablespoon big and roll into the ground nuts.
- Arrange on serving tray and garnish with almond slices and carrot bits so that the cheese balls look like turkeys.
Pine cone cheese ball
- 1 pkg. (250 g) Philadelphia Light Cream Cheese Spread at room temperature
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 4 slices bacon, cooked, finely chopped
- 3 Dill Pickles, finely chopped
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
- 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- In a bowl mix together Philadelphia cream cheese and mayonnaise until well blended. Stir in the bacon, dill pickles, pepper and garlic powder.
- Shape into oval on a serving platter.
- Starting from the bottom of the oval, insert the sliced almonds in overlapping rows into the cream cheese mixture to resemble a pine cone.
Thanksgiving turkey cheese ball
- 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 3 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 (1 ounce) package Ranch-style dressing mix
- 2 cups chopped pecans
For the turkey
- 1 cup whole pecans
- 7 whole-wheat crackers
- 1/4 red bell pepper
- 1 black olive
- 1/2 teaspoon cream cheese, softened
- 1 slice yellow zucchini
- In a large bowl mix cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, and dressing mix together.
- Form into a large ball, roll in chopped pecans to coat surface and place it in a serving platter.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- Arrange a row of whole-wheat crackers in the back of the cheese ball for the turkey tail feathers. Stick pecans evenly into the cheese ball for the body.
- Cut out 2 strips of red bell pepper for the head and neck.
- Cut out the eyes from the black olive.
- Cut a small triangular slice out of the yellow zucchini for the turkey beak.
Quick and easy ham and cheese roll-ups
- ham slices
- Cheese spread of any favorite variety
- Optional: pineapple chunks, cherry tomatoes, pickles, olives, spinach, parsley, bread cubes
- Letting the cheese come to room temperature for better spreading.
- Lay the ham slices on a flat surface. Dry them with paper towel.
- Spread cream cheese over ham.
- Tightly roll ham up and slice in about ⅓ inch rounds.
- You can serve your ham and cheese roll-ups on top of crackers, thread them on skewers with vegetables or fruits. Add parsley or baby spinach leaves for freshness and decoration.
Thanksgiving appetizers – Barbecue meatballs
- ¾ lb ground beef
- ½ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp barbecue seasoning
- salt and pepper
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, barbecue seasoning, salt and pepper in a bowl and stir well to combine.
- Shape into 1-inch diameter meatballs and place onto a nonstick baking sheet.
- Bake the meatballs for 10 minutes, flip and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes, until cooked through.
- While the meatballs are in the oven, warm the barbecue sauce in a medium sauce pan.
- Add the meatballs to the barbecue sauce and toss to coat.
- Serve hot.
Slow cooker meatballs with four ingredients
- 4 dozen frozen meatballs
- 1 tablespoon minced onion
- 1 cup currant jelly
- 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
- Optional: 1/2 cup green onion (sliced, or chopped fresh cilantro)
- Put the frozen meatballs in the slow cooker.
- Use a bowl to mix minced onion, currant jelly, and barbecue sauce.
- Pour the sauce into the slow cooker and mix to coat the meatballs.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours or on HIGH for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Serve hot, garnished with thinly sliced green onion tops or chopped cilantro.
Easy Teriyaki Meatballs
For the meatballs:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the sauce:
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 cup green onions sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
- Mix all meatball ingredients together until combined. Roll tablespoon sized balls and place on lined baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven for 13-18 minutes until browned.
- While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce. Combine soy sauce, 1/4 cup of water, dry sherry, brown sugar, garlic and ginger in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved
- Mix the cornstarch with the tablespoon of water and add it to the soy sauce mixture. Simmer on low heat until the sauce thickens.
- Add the cooked meatballs to the sauce and toss to coat.
- Top with green onions and sesame seeds before serving.
Bacon wrapped Brussel sprouts
- 12 strips of bacon
- 12 medium/large Brussel sprouts
- pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375ºF and line a baking sheet with tin foil or parchment paper.
- Washing and pat dry the Brussel sprouts with a paper towel.
- Place a Brussel sprout at the top of a piece of bacon. Roll up the sprout inside of bacon and place on baking sheet.
- Season with pepper, to taste.
- Bake at 375ºF for 30-35 minutes until bacon is crispy.
- Insert a toothpick into each Brussel sprout before serving.
Pigs in a blanket wreath
- 1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls
- 24 mini hot dogs
- 1/4 c. Dijon mustard
- Egg wash
- 2 tsp. poppy seeds
- rosemary sprigs (for decoration)
- Ketchup, for serving
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper.
- Slice crescent rolls lengthwise into thirds. Brush all over with Dijon mustard. Place a mini hot dog on the thick end of each triangle and roll up.
- Arrange the pigs in a blanket, sided by side, in a circle on the baking sheet touching each other. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crescents are golden. Let cool for 20-30 minutes.
- Lay rosemary sprigs around the inside of the wreath and place a small bowl filled with ketchup in the center.
- Serve at room temperature.
Quick Parmesan bites
- 2 Tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup chopped red pepper
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Separate the two tubes of crescent rolls into 8 rectangles.
- Mix the cream cheese and grated Parmesan together until well blended.
- Spread some of the mixture on each rectangle, dividing the mixture evenly among the 8 rectangles. Top with the chopped red pepper and parsley.
- Fold up each long end of the rectangle toward the middle, enclosing the filling and cut each log into four or five smaller pieces.
- Place each piece, seam side down, on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little bit more grated Parmesan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 13 to 15 minutes.
Puff pastry twists
- 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
- ½ cup apricot jam
- 6 oz prosciutto
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Roll the puff pastry into 11-inch square.
- Brush on apricot jam all over.
- Layer prosciutto over the jam.
- Using a pizza cutter, cut the puff pastry into 1-inch strips. Twist and arrange them on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, or silicone mat.
- Bake the twists for about 15 minutes, or until the twists are puffed and golden brown.
- Cool and serve.
Olive and Gruyere puff pastry tartlets
- 2 sheets of puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg plus 1 tbsp water, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups of shredded Gruyere cheese, divided in half
- 1 1/2 cups of chopped olives of your choice, divided in half
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line your pan with parchment paper. Combine your chopped olives and gruyere cheese shreds. Set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out your thawed puff pastry dough and cut the dough into 1 1/2-2 inch pieces with a round pizza cutter.
- Place the dough pieces on your pan leaving about an inch between them.
- Lightly brush your puff pastry pieces with the egg wash.
- Place a tablespoon of the olive and cheese mixture in the center of each puff pastry piece.
- Bake the tartlets for about 20 minutes.
Crispy Prosciutto and baked brie bites
- 20 sheets phyllo dough thawed
- 6 tablespoons butter melted
- 12 slices thinly cut prosciutto
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 pears thinly sliced or diced
- 3/4 cups oats
- 3/4 cup raw walnuts roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 ounce wheels brie cut each into 16 equal wedges,
- arils from one pomegranate for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease two (12-cup) cupcake tins.
- Take a sheet of phyllo and brush with melted butter. Lay another sheet on top and repeat until you have five phyllo sheets stacked up.
- Cut the sheets into 6 equal squares and push into the prepared cupcake tins.
- Cut each piece of prosciutto in half lengthwise. Fit the prosciutto in a single layer inside the cups.
- Bake for about 10 minutes or until just turning golden. Make sure you do not burn the phyllo. Remove the cups from the molds and place on a baking sheet.
- Meanwhile, add the honey to a skillet and bring to a boil.
- Boil 3-5 minutes or until the honey just starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and add the pear slices. Let the pears sit in the syrup for a few minutes and remove them so that they do not become too soft.
- In a bowl, combine the oats, walnuts, brown sugar and flour. Use your hands to mix in the butter until the mixture is moist and crumbly.
- Place a few pears inside each phyllo cup. Add 1 wedge of brie and top with a tablespoon of the walnut-oat mixture.
- Place back in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the crumble is golden. Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving plate. Garnish with pomegranate arils and drizzle with honey.
- Serve warm.