55+ Easy Thanksgiving Appetizers to Start Your Holiday Feast

updated Oct 27, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

It’s easy to get caught up in planning the Thanksgiving dinner and your dessert spread, so here’s your friendly reminder to not forget the appetizers. Because a pre-dinner nibble or two of something tasty is always a good idea (especially when partnered with a Thanksgiving cocktail!).

As for what to make, I’m a firm believer that Thanksgiving appetizers should look and taste totally impressive, but be shockingly easy to pull off. If that sounds like a lot to ask, I assure you it’s totally doable and we’ve got some great easy appetizer ideas to prove it.

From creamy dips to fast and fancy puff pastry bites to Ina’s epic chipotle and rosemary spiced nuts, we’re sharing more than 50 easy Thanksgiving appetizers to kick off your holiday meal.

Dips and Spreads

Serve any of these creamy dips with crackers, crostini, pita chips, or an assortment of veggies.

1 / 10
Butternut Squash and Parmesan Dip
Butternut squash is roasted then blended with herbs and Parmesan for this creamy fall dip.
Go to Recipe
2 / 10
Caramelized Onion Dip
This big-batch dip is the perfect way to put a bag of onions to work. Serve with chips, veggies, or toasted bread.
Go to Recipe
3 / 10
Slow Cooker Spinach-Artichoke Dip
What sets this dip apart from other versions is the addition of lemon zest at the end. It helps to cut through all the richness of the dairy and give it a bit of fresh zing.
Go to Recipe
4 / 10
Creamy Mushroom Dip
Calling all mushroom lovers! Don't be surprised if this dip reminds you of cream of mushroom soup, in the best way possible.
Go to Recipe
5 / 10
Butter-Baked Saltines with Chili Crisp Yogurt Dip
It feels familiar and fancy all at once, and packs a surprising amount of flavor. It's so knock-your-socks-off good that everyone will be begging for the recipe.
Go to Recipe
6 / 10
White Bean Artichoke Dip
This last-minute pantry dip comes together in just 5 minutes in the food processor.
Go to Recipe
7 / 10
Creamy Parmesan Dip

If you love Caesar dressing, this will be right up your alley.

Go to Recipe
8 / 10
Two-Ingredient Pumpkin Hummus

If you’re ever in need of a fast dish for a holiday party or potluck that can really impress folks, this will do it every time.

Go to Recipe
9 / 10
Beet Hummus
A creamy, pink-hued hummus made with steamed beets in the food processor.
Go to Recipe
10 / 10
Warm Creamy Corn and Walnut Dip
Sweet corn and salty Cotija cheese bake together in a creamy walnut sauce to make a craveable dip for veggies and chips.
Go to Recipe

Appetizers with Cheese

When in doubt, remember that you can never go wrong with an appetizer starring cheese. A cheese plate is always nice, but use this holiday to up the ante with creamy Brie wrapped in a puff pastry blanket, irresistible whipped feta, or marinated mozzarella.

1 / 9
Stuffed Jalapeños

The best thing about this cheesy, spicy appetizer, is how it's equally as good at room temperature as it is piping hot out of the oven.

Go to Recipe
2 / 9
Baked Brie in Puff Pastry
Learn how to wrap brie in puff pastry with the toppings of your choice for an easy app to serve all holiday season.
Go to Recipe
3 / 9
Dorie Greenspan's Ricotta Spoonable
Creamy ricotta mixed with lots of herbs and lemon is the fast and fancy app to keep in your back pocket through the holiday season and beyond.
Go to Recipe
4 / 9
Garlic and Herb Marinated Mozzarella Bites
These bite-size balls of marinated mozzarella get better the longer they sit, so it's worth making a day or two in advance.
Go to Recipe
5 / 9
Classic Cheeseball
Everyone loves this retro appetizer. Here's how to master the art of the cheese ball and make it your very own.
Go to Recipe
6 / 9
Cervelle de Canut (Herb-Flecked Cheese Spread)
This creamy, herby cheese spread comes from Lyon in France and tastes like homemade boursin cheese.
Go to Recipe
7 / 9
Herbed Goat Cheese Polenta Bites
Add these cheesy bite-size bites to your app spread and you'll never look at polenta the same way again.
Go to Recipe
8 / 9
Lemon-Garlic Whipped Feta with Pesto
Serve this extra-creamy dip with pita chips, crostini, or vegetable crudité. It’s guaranteed to make a feta believer out of anyone.
Go to Recipe
9 / 9
Apricot Goat Cheese Ball with Fried Rosemary and Shallots

This last-minute Thanksgiving appetizer only requires five easy-to-find items, and it can be served with dried fruit, seeded crackers, or nuts breads.

Go to Recipe

Small Nibbles

If you’re worried about loading up on too many apps and ruining your appetite for the main event, stick with one or two small bites, like spiced nuts, marinated olives, smoked salmon, or deviled eggs.

1 / 15
Marinated Olives with Basil and Orange Peel
Olives are a great option when you don't want everyone to totally spoil their appetite. Especially when they're dressed with with fresh herbs and citrus.
Go to Recipe
2 / 15
Little Smokies
Let the slow cooker do the heavy lifting in this easy and crowd-pleasing cocktail appetizer classic.
Go to Recipe
3 / 15
Cheddar Olives
When cheese and briny olives come together, you know you've got a hit on your hands.
Go to Recipe
4 / 15
Thanksgiving Chex Mix
Our favorite snack mix dressed up for Thanksgiving.
Go to Recipe
5 / 15
Make-Ahead Gougères
The secret to being the hostess with the mostest? Gougères in your freezer.
Go to Recipe
6 / 15
Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche Kettle Chips
Top potato chips with smoked salmon and suddenly they're a classy cocktail snack.
Go to Recipe
7 / 15
Black Salt-and-Pepper Roasted Cashews
Coated with Himalayan black salt and two kinds of pepper, these nuts are totally addictive.
Go to Recipe
8 / 15
Beet-Pickled Deviled Eggs
The humble and classy appetizer gets sassed up when plunged into a jar of beets, vinegar, brown sugar, and pink peppercorns.
Go to Recipe
9 / 15
Herb-Marinated Mushrooms
For this low-maintenance marinated mushroom appetizer, we packed in tons of flavor, but kept the ingredient list nice and short.
Go to Recipe
10 / 15
Ina Garten's Chipotle & Rosemary Spiced Nuts
The recipe calls for a mix of cashews, walnuts, pecans, and almonds, but you can use whatever mix you have handy.
Go to Recipe
11 / 15
Bacon-Wrapped Dates
The combination of salty, crispy bacon with sugar-sweet dates and creamy cheese in the middle is absolutely irresistible.
Go to Recipe
12 / 15
Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini
This fig and goat cheese crostini is the perfect way to start your Thanksgiving meal.
Go to Recipe
13 / 15
Thanksgiving Deviled Eggs
A recipe for deviled eggs flavored with sage and shallots and topped with bacon, perfect as an appetizer for Thanksgiving.
Go to Recipe
14 / 15
Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
These stuffed mushrooms are simple on assembly but big on flavor.
Go to Recipe
15 / 15
Lemon-Poppyseed Blinis

This version substitutes poppy seeds for caviar and adds a bit of lemon for a touch of sweet flavor.

Go to Recipe

Puff Pastry Appetizers

Do yourself a favor and stash a box of puff pastry in your freezer. We love it all year round, but especially at holiday time because it’s the starting point for an array of fast and fancy appetizers.

1 / 10
Puff Pastry Cheese Straws
These crispy, flaky, cheesy twists require just two ingredients and a few minutes of your time, and best of all they deliver big time.
Go to Recipe
2 / 10
Smoky Puff Pastry Stars
A sprinkle of smoked paprika makes these flaky bites extra special. Don't have any? Garlic powder, grated Parmesan, or even just salt and pepper makes an excellent stand it.
Go to Recipe
3 / 10
Everything Bagel Puff Pastry Cheese Straws
This fast and fancy appetizer comes together with frozen puff pastry, everything bagel spice, and grated Parmesan cheese.
Go to Recipe
4 / 10
Wild Mushroom Tart
This fast and fancy app boasts ultra-flaky puff pastry blanketed with layers of nutty Gruyère and a medley of wild mushrooms.
Go to Recipe
5 / 10
Cranberry Brie Bites
This easy appetizer promises buttery puff pastry, creamy Brie, sweet-tart cranberry sauce, and toasted walnuts in every bite.
Go to Recipe
6 / 10
Flaky Garlic Bread Pinwheels
These roll-ups are really just garlic bread in pinwheel form, and that’s exactly what makes them perfect.
Go to Recipe
7 / 10
Pesto and Goat Cheese Tarte Soleil
This pull-apart tart, stuffed with garlicky pesto and creamy goat cheese, looks fancy, but is secretly a breeze to pull off.
Go to Recipe
8 / 10
Butternut Squash and Pecorino Tart with Crispy Shallots
This festive, savory tart is one of those appetizers that always looks super-impressive, but only requires a few simple steps.
Go to Recipe
9 / 10
Hot Crab Puffs
Good things happen when you partner warm crab dip with buttery, flaky puff pastry.
Go to Recipe
10 / 10
Tiny Party Pizza Tarts
A recipe for mini puff pastry margarita pizzas for a quick, easy, and crowd-pleasing appetizer.
Go to Recipe

Warm Appetizers

It’s holiday time, so go ahead and cook up a warm and savory two-bite nibble to enjoy before dinnertime. Both stuffed mushrooms and meatballs can be prepped ahead of time, then baked the day of.

1 / 11
Spinach-Artichoke Prosciutto Cups

This creamy and crispy Thanksgiving appetizer hinges on a tub of your favorite store-bought spinach-artichoke dip.

Go to Recipe
2 / 11
Stuffed Mushrooms
Easy, cheesy stuffed mushrooms are the perfect pre-dinner bite.
Go to Recipe
3 / 11
Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts

These sweet, savory, smoky, and spicy texture bombs will be a retro and delightful appetizer people will love to snack on before the big dinner.

Go to Recipe
4 / 11
Sausage Balls
This retro appetizer is made with Bisquick, sausage, and cheese and is a hearty snack or starter.
Go to Recipe
5 / 11
Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts
Add smoky bacon and a creamy blue cheese dip on the side, and everyone's favorite side dish quickly becomes everyone's favorite appetizer.
Go to Recipe
6 / 11
Turkey Meatballs with Parmesan and Sage
These two-bite meatballs are quite possibly the tastiest (and easiest!) way to get your fill of turkey this holiday.
Go to Recipe
7 / 11
Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Meatballs
What better way to kick off your feast than with a pot of saucy meatballs.
Go to Recipe
8 / 11
Greek Lamb Meatballs with Creamy Dill Dipping Sauce
These simple lamb meatballs are seasoned with oregano and lemon, seared until browned and crisp, and served with a creamy dill sauce.
Go to Recipe
9 / 11
Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Meatballs
Add a slow cooker full of glossy, sweet-and-savory meatballs to your appetizer spread, and it’s all but guaranteed they’ll be gone in seconds.
Go to Recipe
10 / 11
Mozzarella-Stuffed Peppadew Peppers
A 3-ingredient fast and fancy appetizer with colorful peppers and milky mozzarella cheese.
Go to Recipe
11 / 11
Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp
Some party appetizers seem to disappear more quickly than others. Take bacon-wrapped shrimp, for example: If it’s on the table, it’s almost guaranteed that it’ll be the first to go.
Go to Recipe