22 Quick and Easy Recipes in 30 Minutes (or less) + 5 Chef Secrets To Make You A Better Cook!

14 Thanksgiving Appetizers To Kick Off The Feast

Tested & Perfected Recipes

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy.

Cheese ball on a plate with crackers.

Thanksgiving is all about a big hearty dinner, but the appetizers are where the fun starts! Think crazy-good candied pecans that you just can’t stop munching on, those classic deviled eggs that everyone reaches for, and a gourmet cheese ball that’s the ultimate party magnet. We’re talking delicious dips, finger foods, and all those delicious nibbles that get everyone mingling before the main event. All of these Thanksgiving appetizers will make everyone grateful they showed up early!

14 Thanksgiving Appetizers

1. Candied Pecans

candied pecans in bowl
Photo by Alexandra Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

Delicious with cocktails, these sweet, spicy and crunchy candied pecans take just 15 minutes to make. They also double as a lovely homemade hostess gift. But be forewarned: it’s impossible to eat just one! Get the recipe

2. herbed cottage cheese spread

herbed cottage cheese spread with garlic toast
(Photo by Alexandra Grablewski, Chronicle Books 2018)

This blend of cottage cheese, sour cream, garlic and fresh herbs makes an irresistible spread. The recipe comes from the renowned L’Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls, Virginia, where I worked right out of culinary school. Serve it with garlic bread or crackers and watch it disappear in a flash. Get the recipe

3. cheese ball

cheese ball on platter with crackers and grapes

This cheese ball, otherwise known as a “party magnet,” combines two types of cheese, scallions, chopped dates, and roasted pecans, makes a perfect complement to any charcuterie board or appetizer spread. Get the recipe

4. Baked Brie en Croûte with Honey, Dried Cherries, Rosemary & Pecans

baked brie en croute on serving plate

Voila! Party-perfect baked encased in puff pastry. And this isn’t just any baked brie; the filling is a heavenly blend of melty brie, sweet dried cherries, crunchy pecans, aromatic rosemary, and a drizzle of honey. You’ll love my no-fuss technique for wrapping the cheese! Get the recipe

5. Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs on a plate.

Deviled eggs are timeless party favorite dating back centuries.The possibilities for toppings are endless: fresh herbs, crispy bacon, sriracha, or crabmeat for a dash of luxury. These are sure to vanish quickly at any gathering! Get the recipe

6. Pigs in A Blanket with Spicy honey Mustard Sauce

Wooden tray of pigs in a blanket.

Perfect for a party appetizer, these “fancy” pigs in a blanket are always a hit. Serve them plain for the kids or jazz them up with spicy, tangy honey mustard for a fabulous dip. The recipe yields a generous batch of about 80, but it’s easily halved for smaller gatherings. Get the recipe

7. Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Tortilla chip in a bowl of spinach artichoke dip.

Discover my “cheffy” method for creating an over-the-top delicious spinach artichoke dip. Once you try it, you’ll never go back to the traditional homestyle version. Get the recipe

8. Swedish Meatballs

Serving dish of Swedish meatballs on skewers.

Swedish meatballs, a blend of beef and pork in a light cream sauce, were a cocktail party staple in the 70s and remain a hit at gatherings today, especially holiday feasts. I mean, who doesn’t love meatballs on a stick? Get the recipe

9. gougères

Gougeres (French Cheese Puffs)

Gougères, or French cheese puffs, are savory bites made from pâte à choux, or cream-puff pastry, enriched with cheese. With their crisp exterior and soft, cheesy centers, they are delicious between sips of sparkling wine or cocktails. Get the recipe

10. Pimento Cheese

Jar of pimento cheese on a plate with crackers.

Pimento cheese, affectionately known as the pâté of the South, is a tangy and creamy cheese spread that’s right at home on your Thanksgiving appetizer table. It’s delicious served with crackers or baguette slices, or pair it with crudités to add a touch of Southern charm to your Thanksgiving feast. Get the recipe

11. Candied Bacon

candied bacon on a platter

They call it “man candy” for a reason! This Thanksgiving appetizer is an irresistible mix of salty, sweet, spicy, and smoky flavors—and it’s crispy til the last bite. Serve it with cocktails and your guests will swoon. Get the recipe

12. Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts

union square cafe bar nuts in a bowl with cocktails

A popular snack from one of New York’s most beloved restaurants, and one of my all-time favorite recipes, these nuts are the ultimate cocktail nibble. Once you snacking, there’s no stopping! Get the recipe

13. Nigella’s Party Popcorn

nigella's party popcorn

Wave goodbye to plain popcorn and say hello to Nigella’s party popcorn! Sweet, salty, and infused with spices like cinnamon, paprika, and cumin, it’s not just a perfect cocktail nibble but also an ideal snack to have around the house over the holidays—it’s a crowd-pleaser! Get the recipe

14. Green Goddess Dip

Spoon in a jar of Green Goddess dressing.

Before a heavy holiday meal, a lighter appetizer such as green goddess dip is often the perfect choice. Cool, creamy, and brimming with fresh herbs, this versatile sauce shines as a delicious veggie dip. Get the recipe

You May Also Like

Add a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.