Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipes

Start your Thanksgiving off right with one of our appetizer ideas, including baked brie with pecans, roasted squash seeds, and roasted sweet potato salsa. Many of our Thanksgiving appetizers are quick and easy to prepare and are the perfect finger foods for kids and adults alike, and many can be made in advance.

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Easy Thanksgiving Appetizers to Start a Fabulous Feast

Before you bring out the bird (find the best turkey preparation tips by downloading our complete guide), these deliciously simple recipes will keep the hungry crowd happy while you finish the meal.
By Laura Rege

Warm Fennel-and-Parmesan Dip

Rating: 3.62 stars
A warm, golden dip always tempts guests to dig in. This one uses Parmesan cheese to season caramelized fennel and garlic.

Spinach Dip 2.0

Rating: 3.09 stars
For a lighter, healthier take on the creamy, cheesy classic, try this update made with ricotta. The savory spread makes an excellent Thanksgiving starter.

Cauliflower, Red Onion, and Chestnut Tart

Rating: 3.03 stars
A blue cheese bechamel makes this tart deliciously rich, so you need only a small piece. It's a good starter or side dish for a holiday meal, but it works just as well for lunch or a light dinner with a green salad.

Broiled Feta with Oranges

This salty-tangy appetizer is great with bread and only takes a few minutes to prepare.

Hot Spinach Dip

Rating: 3.17 stars
This rich, creamy dish makes the perfect party dip. Otherwise, you might devour it all yourself.

Polenta Squares with Prosciutto

Polenta squares with prosciutto and Taleggio cheese can be made in advance and broiled just before serving.

Baked Brie with Pecans

Rating: 3.13 stars
Toasted pecans and maple syrup complement the creamy Brie in this hors d'oeuvre. For the best texture, let the cheese cool before topping it with the syrup mixture.This recipe is by Everyday Food reader Kathy Quinn of Montclair, New Jersey.

Pan-Fried Sardines

The canned sardines are coated in cornmeal and fried up in minutes for a delicious appetizer.

Spiced Nuts

Rating: 3.1 stars
A perfect spicy snack for the holidays.

Cheddar Biscuits with Pecans

This savory Southern hors d'oeuvre can be made up to a week in advance, giving you more time to enjoy your guests on Thanksgiving Day.

Herb-Marinated Olives

Before the Thanksgiving feast, welcome guests and whet appetites with a relish tray -- including these Herb-Marinated Olives, Garden Veggie Dip, Pickled Carrots, and Smoky Almonds -- and a couple of classic gin cocktails (Negroni and Gibson).

Inspiration and Ideas

15 Bite-Sized Thanksgiving Appetizers That Your Guests Will Adore

Let friends and family gather around the appetizers while dinner is being prepared. Choose from finger foods such as stuffed mushrooms, deviled eggs, and shrimp cocktail—our recipes are so delicious they won't notice if the turkey's running late (get our complete turkey tutorial here)!

Twice-Baked Potatoes with Gruyere

Rating: 3.78 stars

Cottage cheese may seem like an unusual choice, but it adds a tangy flavor similar to that of sour cream. The potatoes can be prepared through step 4 up to a day ahead; refrigerate, covered, until ready to proceed.