Here are some easy Thanksgiving appetizer recipes that can be made ahead of time and feature seasonal ingredients and flavors.

Thanksgiving appetizer recipes
Hot Cauliflower Dip, Stuffed Mushrooms, Cranberry Chutney, Mushroom Pastry Bites

Before diving into a traditional holiday meal, you can tempt your guests' taste buds with a few easy Thanksgiving appetizers and buy yourself a little extra time to put the finishing touches on the main event.

Instead of hurrying to the table, guests can spend time relaxing, sipping cocktails and enjoying a variety of sweet and savory treats.

Ideas for Thanksgiving Appetizers

When planning a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, deciding on what appetizers to serve can be a bit of a challenge.

Here we've chosen six make-ahead appetizer recipes to add to your Thanksgiving menu. They feature seasonal ingredients like apples and cranberries and year-round favorites like mushrooms and cheese.

One of our personal favorites is the hot Cauliflower and Blue Cheese Dip. It serves twelve people, and we always make it a day or two in advance and bake it just before we're ready to serve.

Slices of toasted baguette or an assortment of crackers in various shapes and flavors are the perfect accompaniment and make a pretty presentation.

You can also pick up a few store-bought ingredients and dress them up a bit to suit the occasion. Here are a few thoughts:

  • Buy a couple of tubs of whipped cream cheese, stir in some fresh herbs and your favorite all-purpose seasoning and serve it with assorted crackers.
  • Set out small dishes of mixed nuts along with some fresh grapes and chunks of apples and pears.
  • Check your local grocer for seasonally flavored cheeses. One of our favorites that's pretty easy to find is White Stilton with Cranberries.

Between these easy ideas and the make-ahead recipes below, you won't need to invest much in the way of hands-on time on Thanksgiving Day, and you can breathe a little easier while you finish up with dinner.

Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipes