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.
While you're putting the final touches on your dishes, your guests can snack on this dip. Precut crudités will hold up well if you'd like to prep them the day before. Wrap trimmed and cut veggies in a damp paper towel and refrigerate in a zip-top plastic bag for the crispiest texture.
Achieve a bronzelike patina on these candied nuts by keeping a close watch near the end of their roasting time. Too long and they'll overdarken and take on a bitter flavor.
Avoid overmixing the batter to keep fritters from becoming too heavy and dense. You can make them earlier in the day and quickly reheat; arrange fritters on a wire rack set over a baking sheet in a 425° oven until thoroughly heated and crisp.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 stations.
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.
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.
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.
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.