Pair these light appetizers with a fabulous cocktail to give your Thanksgiving celebration a scrumptious start.
Before the turkey hits the table, whet the appetites of your guests by serving one (or more, depending on your head count)
of these festive nibbles. To encourage guests to mix and mingle, set up tasting stations around the party. One thing is for
sure, these recipes will get them talking.
First up: Our polenta squares will have your Thanksgiving meal off to an impressive start. These are also tasty with chopped dried figs or cranberries in place of the currants.
View Recipe: Polenta Squares with Gorgonzola and Pine Nuts
For easy prep, slice the lemon and make the bread mixture in the morning before things get hectic. Store in the refrigerator.
Just before guests arrive, assemble the oysters then pop them in the oven. Be sure to set a timer. The oysters cook for only
a short time and you won't want to forget these are baking away while you're greeting guests.
View Recipe: Roasted Oysters with Pancetta and Breadcrumbs
Start making the phyllo stacks about 30 minutes after you put the cheese mixture in the refrigerator. Or make the cheese mixture
a day ahead, and assemble before guests arrive.
View Recipe: Phyllo Cups with Ricotta, Chèvre, and Thyme
Before the turkey, lose the fork and knife for these healthy handheld bites. Smoky prosciutto and cauliflower fill bitter
endive leaves in this flavorful, light appetizer.
View Recipe: Cauliflower "Caviar" with Frizzled Prosciutto
Prepare polenta through step 2 up to two days ahead so you can focus on the turkey and fixings on the big day. Before serving,
let the dish stand at room temperature one hour, cut polenta into triangles, and toast them right before guests arrive. Pork
sausage gives them a wonderfully familiar, stuffing-like flavoring.
View Recipe: Polenta-Sausage Triangles
Prepare this retro-chic snack up to two days ahead, and serve with crackers, bread, or veggies. Rolled in minced fresh flat-leaf
parsley, this cheese ball is festive enough for the most discerning party guests.
View Recipe: Date, Walnut, and Blue Cheese Ball
This pared-down pâté is based on liverwurst. Use Usinger's or Schaller & Weber brand liverwurst for best results.
View Recipe: Quick Liver Pâté
This dish uses leftover mashed potatoes to make a big batch of Indian-inspired snacks that are perfect for a pre-turkey nosh.
Serve warm or at room temperature with the cilantro and mint chutney.
View Recipe: Vegetable Samosas with Mint Chutney
A mix of fruity and meaty olives works well in this treatment. Serve with pre-dinner cocktails.
View Recipe: Citrus, Fennel, and Rosemary Olives
You can prepare this all-purpose dip up to a day ahead, making this a quick fix for hungry holiday guests. Serve it with cauliflower
and broccoli florets, carrot and celery sticks, and bell pepper strips.
View Recipe: Creamy Garlic-Herb Dip
Serve with crackers or bread slices. If you can't find Gruyère, substitute raclette, fontina, or Swiss cheese.
View Recipe: Caramelized Onion, Gruyère, and Bacon Spread
Spoon this dip into a baking dish up to a day ahead, but top with panko and chives just before baking. If it's chilled, leave
the dish out at room temperature while the oven preheats. Scoop into multiple bowls that you can set at different tasting
View Recipe: Cajun Hot Crab Dip
Low and slow is the key to drawing out all of the moisture without burning the chickpeas or seasoning. As they cook, the spices
mingle and mellow for a rounded flavor. You're Thanksgiving guest will love these light nibbles.
View Recipe: Crunchy Chickpeas
Sweet-tangy chutney pairs beautifully with pungent blue cheese and toasty pecans. You can make the chutney up to three days
in advance; assemble bruschetta shortly before serving.
View Recipe: Pear Chutney Bruschetta with Pecans and Blue Cheese
This luscious Thanksgiving appetizer features seasonal flavors of cranberry, walnuts, and thyme. Serve with crackers for a
warm and melty start to the meal.
View Recipe: Warm Cranberry-Walnut Brie
Prepare and refrigerate the chutney up to three days ahead; bring to room temperature before serving. For a prettier presentation,
top crostini with chutney, and sprinkle the cheese on top instead of stirring it into the chutney.
View Recipe: Apple-Blue Cheese Chutney
Bring the best of fall's flavors to your Thanksgiving appetizer spread with this super-easy pumpkin dip, perfect for enjoying
with fresh apple slices.
View Recipe: Pumpkin Dip
Prepare a batch of this smoky-sweet mix to have on hand when guests arrive. It's the perfect snack to hold guests over while
you put the finishing touches on the meal.
View Recipe: Orange Chipotle-Spiced Pecan Mix