15+ Quick and Easy Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Appetizers
Cut back on the kitchen chaos this holiday with our best make-ahead Thanksgiving appetizers. While the main meal cooks, it can be helpful to have a few hors d'oeuvres on hand to keep everybody's stomachs from rumbling a little too loudly. Preparing your apps the night before will allow you to sleep in, enjoy the day, and, most importantly, spend more time eating than cooking on Turkey Day.
These clam-stuffed mushrooms, based on a similar Olive Garden menu offering, are a treat as a starter for any Thanksgiving gathering.
Baked Spinach-Parmesan Dip
This make-ahead and versatile dip makes a great party appetizer. Make the cheese mixture up to 2 days ahead, cover, and chill, then bake uncovered. To vary the results, replace the spinach with chopped artichoke hearts. A dry Chardonnay or fruity Riesling pairs well with either version.
French Onion Cheese Ball
French Onion Cheese Ball Recipe
Rather than serving French Onion soup topped with bread to a crowd, serve a more easily shared, portable version with all of the same flavor. A French Onion Cheese Ball with toasted baguette slices makes the perfect holiday appetizer.
Parmesan Baked Squash Rounds
Parmesan Baked Squash Rounds Recipe
Use fresh squash for the ultimate snack: it's salty, lightly sweet, crusty, and cheesy—kind of like squash casserole you can eat with your hands. These are a great low-carb snack option that can satisfy a craving for potato chips or other salty snacks. Not a fan of yellow squash? This recipe works with zucchini too.
Brown Sugar-Spiced Nut Mix
Brown Sugar-Spiced Nut Mix Recipe
Achieve a bronze-like patina on these candied nuts by keeping a close watch near the end of their roasting time. Too long and they'll over darken and take on a bitter flavor.
Bring out the best of fall's flavors with this super-easy pumpkin dip, perfect for enjoying with fresh apple slices.
These not-too-hot, not-too-sweet nuts are the perfect crunchy topper for our Warm Cheese-and-Spicy Pecan Dip, but they can also be enjoyed on their own as a straight-from-the-bowl snack. If you are serving the nuts by themselves, do not chop them; keep the pecan halves whole so they are easier to grab and toss them with the spice and oil mixture. However you make them, you can prepare the Spicy Pecans up to four days in advance; store them in an airtight container at room temperature.
Chicken Sausage Puffs with Creamy Mustard Dipping Sauce
Chicken Sausage Puffs with Creamy Mustard Dipping Sauce Recipe
Similar to pigs in a blanket, these bite-sized appetizers are just as easy to prepare as they are delicious. The simple mustard sauce pairs perfectly with the sausage puffs.
Buffalo Chicken Cheese Ball
Buffalo Chicken Cheese Ball Recipe
The buffalo flavor that we all know and love is typically made by combining vinegar, butter, and a cayenne pepper-based hot sauce. Skip the intense prep that buffalo wings require, and get all of the flavor you crave with a buffalo cheese ball. Prepared Buffalo wing sauce makes it easy to make and the blue cheese gives each bite an addictive richness.
Microwave Sweet Potato Chips
Microwave Sweet Potato Chips Recipe
When the chip craving strikes, look no further than these healthy, homemade chips. Pro tip: You'll need a mandoline to slice the potato thin enough to crisp.
Roasted Beet Hummus
Skip the preservative-packed, store-bought tubs and make fresh, natural hummus at home. This beet hummus, inspired by the kind found at Trader Joe's, is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse packed with vitamins A, B, and C, protein, fiber, calcium, potassium, and iron. Beets add a beautiful, deep-crimson color to the traditional chickpea hummus you're used to eating. Roasted beet hummus is a gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan delight for parties and snacking. Serve with crudites or slather your homemade hummus on a warm pita bread topped with labne, pomegranate arils, za'atar spice and parsley leaves. There's nothing better—especially when you remember that you made it yourself.
Whipped Sweet Potato Butter
Whipped Sweet Potato Butter Recipe
You need to make a pan of buttermilk biscuits or a skillet of hot cornbread just so you can try this very creamy and very buttery Whipped Sweet Potato Butter. The recipe not only makes a lot, but the butter freezes well. Simply roll the butter into a log in parchment paper, wrap in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, and freeze. Cut off pieces as you need them like it was a regular stick of butter. It pairs perfectly with our Cheddar-Caramelized Onion Bread.
Bacon Wrapped Smokies with Brown Sugar and Butter
You're just 4 ingredients away from the easiest holiday appetizer ever. To make ahead of time, simply prepare the smokies, refrigerate, and then pop back in the oven shortly before serving to reheat and crisp up the bacon.
Savory Charcuterie Bread
Savory Charcuterie Bread Recipe
If you're looking for an impressive bread recipe, this is it. Meet lard bread: We're talking meaty, savory, and yeasty--perfect for a crowd. The swirl from the meat and cheese goes throughout the bread, which is slightly dense and chewy, but in the best way. Luckily for you, this bread looks way more difficult than it actually is to make. This recipe takes some time, but not a lot of skill—if you've made cinnamon rolls, you can make this.
Fried Mac & Cheese Bites
Fried Mac & Cheese Bites Recipe
This is not your ordinary appetizer! Make a fresh batch of macaroni and cheese or use leftovers. Either way, it's an appetizer that will have everyone talking.
Baked Brie with Honey
A drizzle of honey adds a bit of sweetness to savory Brie. Pair this Baked Brie with Honey appetizer with grapes, dried figs, or apple slices.