Southern Living

Instead of running back and forth between the oven and entertaining, prep for the holiday ahead of time with make-ahead Thanksgiving appetizers. Here’s a list of some of our favorites, so you can spend Thanksgiving with your loved ones instead of over the stovetop.

These festive Sweet Potato Tartlets are the perfect sweet treat for grazing guests. You can make them up to a day in advance, and store them, covered, in the fridge.

Roasted beets are a fall staple—the bold color makes them a striking presentation for the holiday table. Try these roasted beets served on squares of rye toast, topped with horseradish cream. Keep a backup supply in the fridge; you’ll be needing to replenish. 

Pickled vegetables are a simple, yet welcome addition to a holiday hors d'oeuvres spread. The bite from the vinegar serves as a good contrast to any heavier breaded, fried, or cheesy dishes. This recipe for Southern Giardiniera consists of bread-and-butter style pickled veggies that can be prepared and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to two weeks prior to serving. 

These Benne-Maple Roasted Pecans with maple syrup and soy sauce are completely addictive. Simply set them in a couple of bowls—one on the table and another counter—for guests (and you) to nosh on while chatting. Make these a few days ahead, and chill in an airtight container. Sprinkle a layer of sesame seeds on top before serving. 

There is nothing like a good, warm slice of fresh focaccia bread. In this recipe, the bread is baked with caramelized onions, pear, and blue cheese for a fall-inspired twist that is easy to reheat as guests arrive.

Sometimes the most popular recipes are the simplest. That is certainly the case with these homemade marinated olives and almonds. For extra flavor, opt for smoked almonds. 

Of course you can’t go wrong with a classic cheese board. Include two to four types of cheese with knives for guests to slice and serve themselves. Surround the platter with spiced nuts, dried fruit, and crackers. Likewise, a veggie platter with pimiento cheese, hummus, or spinach dip is hassle-free and will keep guests munching until dinner time. 

 

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