The Tastiest Light Thanksgiving Appetizers To Keep Hungry Relatives Entertained
It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without the inevitable bout of mad hunger that seems to strike the whole family before the meal is set to begin. The kitchen might smell of roasted turkey, cornbread dressing, and dozens of casseroles; but there is still work to be done, regardless if Uncle Earl has been fasting for days in anticipation and is in need of a slice of pecan pie to quell an irritable streak.
Many folks tend to skip a first meal on Thanksgiving Day to save up for the feast, which starts to backfire as soon as the autumnal aromas hit their noses. That's why as much as it doesn't seem to make sense to snack before a grand Thanksgiving feast, it's not a bad idea to have just one or two tiny appetizers on hand to tickle the taste buds and keep hungry relatives at bay. Hostesses can keep cooking, family members can catch up without peeking into the oven, and bellies aren't left grumbling.
We've rounded up some of our most popular light Thanksgiving appetizers that are easy to make, small enough to not spoil the meal, and sure to keep everyone in high spirits all day long. Happy Turkey Day, y'all!
Cranberry Brie Bites
Recipe: Cranberry Brie Bites
Nothing could feel more fit for Thanksgiving than a Brie cheese nosh topped with sweet cranberry sauce. It gives a tasty argument for anyone who claims to hate the popular Thanksgiving side.
Cheddar Shortbread Crackers
Recipe: Cheddar Shortbread Crackers
Technically, there are four different versions of this snappy cheese cracker recipe that you can try—and each is more addicting than the last. Start with basic and then get funky with pimiento cheese crackers, pecan-thyme crackers, and bacon-bourbon crackers.
Sweet Potato and Chorizo Sausage Bites
Christmas sausage balls—a Southern favorite—got a autumnal takeover by sweet potato and chorizo sausage for a balance of sweetness and spice.
Recipe: Bacon Bites
These two-ingredient crispy sticks never fail to disappear in literal minutes at any Southern gathering. Wrap bacon around thin store-bought breadsticks and bake until nice and crisp.
Baked Brie with Pecans
Recipe: Baked Brie with Pecans
This is as classic—and easy—as it gets when it comes to holiday appetizers that please the crowd.
Blue Cheese-and-Pecan Stuffed Cherry Peppers
This tiny treat is easy, creamy, and the ultimate bite to serve snackish family members in a pinch. Six ingredients and you're done.
Turkey Cheese Ball
Recipe: Turkey Cheese Ball
The retro cheese ball just got a makeover from Turkey Tom, and we're here for the festive treat that will get everyone excited.
Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip
Fluffy whipped cream cheese meets its flavor match in this cranberry-jalapeno salsa topping that instantly makes cranberry sauce cool again.
Recipe: Spinach-and-Artichoke Bites
We turned spinach-artichoke dip into a fancier version fit for a holiday celebration, and you can turn this snack out in less than an hour and with only six basic ingredients.
Smoked Sausage Pretzel Bites
Recipe: Smoked Sausage Pretzel Bites
A dressed-up version of everyone's beloved pigs-in-a-blanket, this recipe uses smoked sausage and pretzel-inspired dough.
DIY Deviled Egg Bar
Recipe: DIY Deviled Egg Bar
Southerners won't blink twice at deviled eggs on Thanksgiving, and this makes it a fun activity for the whole group to enjoy before the feast is served. Prepare basic deviled eggs and serve with DIY toppers like pickled okra, pimientos, capers, bacon, and chives.
Mini Mushroom-and-Goat Cheese Pot Pies
Thanksgiving is the ultimate day for eating all the pie you can get your hands on, starting with the appetizer course—which brings us to these adorably mini pot pies.
Recipe: Sweet-and-Spicy Meatballs
These aren't your average cocktail meatballs, and using your slow cooker ensures you don't waste any precious stovetop space on Turkey Day. Flavored with hoisin sauce, Asian chile-garlic sauce, soy sauce, and rice vinegar, they're the perfect pop of hot, sweet, and tangy.
Recipe: Spinach-Stuffed Mushrooms
Two favorite veggie appetizers—spinach dip and stuffed mushrooms—come together to get taste buds going.
Crispy Cheese Wafers
Recipe: Crispy Cheese Wafers
Say hello to one of our most popular cheese straw recipes that gets extra crunch from the addition of crispy rice cereal, flavor from extra-sharp Cheddar, and kick from a pinch of cayenne.
Cheesy Mushroom Tartlets
Recipe: Cheesy Mushroom Tartlets
These little tartlets look so appealing on the plate we just might have to take two. Luckily they're small enough and all veggie, so they won't spoil the meal.
Creamy Feta Phyllo Bites
Recipe: Creamy Feta Phyllo Bites
Store-bought phyllo shells always make things easier, and these bites are topped with a flavorful mix of Mediterranean ingredients.
Cheddar-Horseradish-Walnut Cheese Ball
It's hard to beat this retro classic during the holiday season, with its combination of Cheddar cheese, spicy horseradish, and walnuts.
French Onion Puff Pastry Bites
Recipe: French Onion Puff Pastry Bites
For a more formal Thanksgiving celebration, look no further than these French onion-filled puff pastries that pack a serious punch of savory flavor.
Spinach and Vidalia Dip
Recipe: Spinach and Vidalia Dip
This Southern twist on traditional spinach dip feels light enough to precede the indulgent meal to come on Thanksgiving Day. Serve with crudité and crackers.
Sweet Potato-Cranberry Scones with Molasses-Orange Butter
For a sweeter take on an appetizer that works well for earlier Thanksgiving lunches, these autumn-perfect scones are just the breakfast-inspired snack to have on hand.
Rosemary-Bacon Nut Mix
Recipe: Rosemary-Bacon Nut Mix
Simple and straightforward, this nut mix is a step above the store-bought stuff with the unexpected combo of bacon grease and fresh rosemary.
Pecan and Fig Spread
Recipe: Pecan and Fig Spread
Pair this homemade fig spread with crackers and Goat cheese for the easiest appetizer ever. It's dotted with crunchy pecans for a touch of nuttiness.
Spicy Cheddar Appetizer Cookies
Recipe: Spicy Cheddar Appetizer Cookies
This festive take on a cheese straw will keep hungry family members at bay while you finish cooking the main course of your Turkey Day feast.
Black Pepper-Goat Cheese Log
Recipe: Black Pepper-Goat Cheese Log
Have this easy appetizer ready in minutes with three simple ingredients: cracked black pepper, goat cheese, and extra virgin olive oil.
Crusty Broiled Tomatoes
Recipe: Crusty Broiled Tomatoes
These broiled tomatoes are a great bite-sized appetizer for guests to pop in their mouths. Savory and sweet, what's not to love?
Ranch Snacker Crackers
Recipe: Ranch Snacker Crackers
With no cooking required, these Ranch Snacker Crackers are easy to prepare ahead of time as an appetizer. Keep guests happy without ruining their appetite for the big Turkey Day feast.
Cheesy-Spinach Crab Dip
Recipe: Cheesy-Spinach Crab Dip
Pop the ingredients for this dip into the slow cooker and go back to prepping the main course of your holiday dinner. Your guests will love this combination of their favorite two dips.
Cheesy Garlic, Herb and, Ham Bites
No need to serve a Thanksgiving ham this year when you can make these Cheesy Garlic, Herb, and Ham Bites as a warm seasonal appetizer.
Sweet-and-Salty Snack Mix
Recipe: Sweet-and-Salty Snack Mix
Send your family outside for a pre-feast football game with a portable pack of this snack mix. It's just like that irresistible mix mom used to make.
Crab Cake Bites with Old Bay Mayo, Chives, and Lemon
Who can say no to a crab cake bite? Make these a day ahead and pop them in a pan just before guests arrive for a delicious Thanksgiving appetizer.
Caesar Salad Bites
Recipe: Caesar Salad Bites
Worried that your guests will fill up on appetizers before the Thanksgiving meal? Serve them these refreshing Caesar salad bites. They'll be happy without ruining their appetites.
Inside-Out Hot Brown Bites
Recipe: Inside-Out Hot Brown Bites
Give your guests just a taste of the Thanksgiving turkey with this twist on the classic Kentucky Hot Brown. Melty cheese sauce, turkey, and bacon are sure to keep hungry family members satisfied.
Baked Brie Bites
Recipe: Baked Brie Bites
Warm, gooey cheese and red pepper jelly meet in these easy-to-make Baked Brie Bites. With only five ingredients, you can have them ready quickly while finishing the rest of your Thanksgiving meal preparations.