20 Easy Thanksgiving Appetizers That Are Bound to Impress Your Guests

·6 min read
kale-flatbread-bites
kale-flatbread-bites

VICTOR PROTASIO

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. On This Page

    • Dips

    • Soups

    • Salads

    • Festive Bites

The most anticipated meal of the year is here and your guests are hungry. Thanksgiving is a high-stakes dinner all around, from the appetizers to that last bite of dessert, and you want to start off strong. These easy Thanksgiving appetizers are super-simple to make, and many of them can be prepped long before the main meal preparation kicks off. All these recipes are also great to bring as a guest to a holiday meal, and pair well with the traditional Thanksgiving feast. Here's how to start Thanksgiving on an extra tasty note this year.

Easy Thanksgiving Dips

When it comes to the Thanksgiving feast, dips are often overlooked in favor of soups and bread (we see you, crescent rolls!) but we promise they're worthy of a spot on your Turkey Day menu.

Creamy Smoked Fish Dip

Tinned fish is the protein of the year, and why not celebrate how thankful we are for preserved seafood on Thanksgiving. This dip is as easy as mixing a tin of smoked trout, cream cheese, and a few other ingredients for a truly elegant starter.

Smoked Fish Dip
Smoked Fish Dip

Carrot Ginger Dip

Mix up a dip with an autumnal hue and beautiful flavor. This dip is super-easy to cook, and can be served with any type of cracker, pretzel, or crudités.

RELATED: 30 Quick Appetizer Recipes That Are Ready in 20 Minutes or Less

Carrot Ginger Dip
Carrot Ginger Dip

Chimichurri Yogurt Dip

Sneak some greens into your first course with this dip that comes together in just a few minutes and is great with pretty much everything. Don't mind the guests sneaking it to the table to slather on turkey breast. It's cool.

Chimichurri Yogurt Dip
Chimichurri Yogurt Dip

Easy Thanksgiving Soups

Is there anything more comforting and cozy than a warm soup to start your Thanksgiving dinner? Squash is a usual fall soup star (and with good reason) but there are plenty of other scrumptious autumnal soups to choose from.

Red Lentil Squash Soup with Lemon

The beauty of this soup is that it can cook without intervention, and blends up to create a beautiful autumnal hue. Serve it in shot glasses for a quick appetizer, or let Thanksgiving guests help themselves to small bowlfuls off the stove or from a slow cooker.

Citrus Recipes: Red Lentil Squash Soup With Lemon
Citrus Recipes: Red Lentil Squash Soup With Lemon

Cauliflower Soup With Toasted Garlic

This soup is as easy as cooking cauliflower and combining it with stock, no cream required (a nice respite before a dairy-heavy meal). It can be made vegan and garnished with homemade garlic or store-bought crunchy anything for a super-quick solution to the soup course.

Cauliflower Soup With Toasted Garlic
Cauliflower Soup With Toasted Garlic

Smoky Corn Chowder

Get some corn in early in the evening, with this recipe that starts with frozen corn and sees its way to a blender to become chowder.

Smoky Corn Chowder
Smoky Corn Chowder

Creamy Miso White Bean Soup

Add some beans and some umami to your Thanksgiving with this simple soup that offers big flavor. A small sip as a first course will be sufficient, but don't be surprised if guests ask for seconds.

Creamy Miso White Bean Soup Recipe
Creamy Miso White Bean Soup Recipe

Easy Thanksgiving Salads

Since Thanksgiving dinner is typically a heavy meal filled with bread, potatoes, turkey, stuffing, pie, and more, it can't hurt to squeeze in some lettuce when you can, courtesy of some delicious salads.

Endive with Ricotta, Almonds and Raisins

A salad you can eat with your fingers? Perfect. This no-cook appetizer looks straight out of a restaurant, and is easy and fun for kids to help assemble too. Get creative with toppings, such as dried cranberries and winter-spiced nuts.

Endive With Ricotta, Almonds, and Raisins
Endive With Ricotta, Almonds, and Raisins

Gorgonzola Cream and Prosciutto Endives

A no-cook dish to truly impress! This hand salad uses a base of half-and-half plus crumbly cheese, topped with apples, smoky meat, and all that good stuff. You can even prep all the elements and have guests assemble each endive itself, for a hands-on element that keeps your hands free.

Gorgonzola cream and prosciutto endives
Gorgonzola cream and prosciutto endives

Make-Ahead Holiday Salad

Assemble this salad Thanksgiving morning (or the night before) and offer it as a beautiful, healthy display for dinner guests to graze off of. It's also perfect to bring to a host's home, and travels well on any platter - just package the dressing separately.

RELATED: 10 Fresh Thanksgiving Salads You Can Make Ahead

Make-Ahead Holiday Salad
Make-Ahead Holiday Salad

Smoky Kale Chips

A salad you can crunch? It counts! This dressed kale hits the oven at a low temperature for just a few minutes, and then it's ready to eat. The salad course just got a very crisp upgrade.

Smoky Kale Chips Recipe
Smoky Kale Chips Recipe

Tapas-Style Pasta Salad

One thing Thanksgiving doesn't have enough of? Pasta! This tapas-inspired salad feels sophisticated and just takes tossing a few Spanish-style deli ingredients together for a fun twist on a starter salad.

Tapas-Style Pasta Salad
Tapas-Style Pasta Salad

Green Bean Salad With Crispy Bread Crumbs

For the green bean enthusiast who can't wait for the casserole during the main course, this crisp and crunchy green bean salad is sure to please. It's aesthetically impressive, quick to make, and delicious.

Green Bean Salad with Crispy Bread Crumbs
Green Bean Salad with Crispy Bread Crumbs

Easy Thanksgiving Bites

Welcome guests to your home with some irresistible bites they can snack on while making small talk with others. The edible distraction gives you some extra time to put the finishing touches on your Thanksgiving spread.

Rosemary Pecans

Warm, buttery nuts are always a nice way to quell initial hunger at the beginning of a long meal, plus they fill the kitchen with excellent scents. Prepare them in advance and reheat in your toaster oven, or toss in an already warmed oven, right as guests arrive.

Rosemary Pecans
Rosemary Pecans

Pan-Roasted Olives and Lemon

Turn the intro to your Thanksgiving meal into a chic cocktail hour with these warm olives that are boosted by lemon, garlic, and rosemary. An instant classic.

Pan roasted olives and lemon
Pan roasted olives and lemon

Bacon-Wrapped Apricots with Sage

Sage is the herb of the season, and these bacon-wrapped appetizers celebrate the savory flavors perfectly. Prep apricots days in advance if that's helpful—little hands can be of use here—and cook them right before guests are expected.

Bacon-Wrapped Apricots With Sage
Bacon-Wrapped Apricots With Sage

Pears with Blue Cheese and Prosciutto

You can't go wrong with a fruit-cheese-charcuterie combo, and these individual slices get so many sweet, funky, and salty flavors all in one bite. Better yet, they don't require any cook time!

Pears With Blue Cheese and Prosciutto
Pears With Blue Cheese and Prosciutto

Kale Flatbread Bites

Store-bought pizza dough (or just ask your local pizzeria to buy their dough, it's usually a couple of bucks) comes a long way in this recipe that only necessitates rolling out the dough and topping it with some cream and fresh greens. Expect it to become a family staple.

Kale flatbread bites
Kale flatbread bites

Cheesy Chile Pull-Apart Bread

Give a loaf of bread an incredibly decadent makeover in this communal dish that will be the hit of any Thanksgiving. That family cheese-pull photo will be epic.

Cheesy Chile Pull-Apart Bread
Cheesy Chile Pull-Apart Bread

Hot Honey Lamb Meatballs

They sound oh-so-sophisticated, but they're actually super-easy to make! You can also swap in turkey, pork, or beef for lamb, or blend red meats for different flavor.

Hot honey lamb meatballs
Hot honey lamb meatballs