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Easy Thanksgiving Appetizers Recipes

Updated on June 1, 2011
Not just Thanksgiving appetizers, spiced sugar pecans make great gifts, too! credit: elana's pantry @flickr
Not just Thanksgiving appetizers, spiced sugar pecans make great gifts, too! credit: elana's pantry @flickr

Easy Thanksgiving Appetizers Recipes for a Less Stressful Thanksgiving Holiday

Thanksgiving today is all about the food. Food, football, being grateful for all that we have, and being able to spend time with loved ones makes Thanksgiving a very special holiday indeed.

One of the problems with Thanksgiving, though, is waiting for the food! Everyone shows up famished, trying to save room for the turkey and fixings. Then, people get cranky and feeling starved before it's done.

So here are some of my favorite, foolproof, and most important, easy, Thanksgiving appetizers. These Thanksgiving appetizers are quick to make, so you can get on with the actual meal, but they will not only hold over everyone, but people will think you slaved all day just on your Thanksgiving appetizers alone!

Easy Thanksgiving Appetizers #1 - Cheese Ball

What would Thanksgiving be without a cheese ball? At least in our house, the cheese ball is a recipe that is just as a necessary component as the Thanksgiving bird itself. I like to make cheese balls for Thanksgiving appetizers because I can make them the night before, they take up little room, and they taste even better after they have been made ahead. What could be better?

Here is my favorite easy cheese ball recipe for Thanksgiving appetizers:

Thanksgiving Cheese Ball credit: Panem et Circenses @flickr
Thanksgiving Cheese Ball credit: Panem et Circenses @flickr

Easy Cheese Ball Recipe Ingredients and Directions

  • 1 pound bacon or REAL bacon bits (no imitation bacon)
  • 2 - 8 ounces containers whipped cream cheese (or regular cream cheese, softened)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 4 green onions, chopped fine
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • few dashes hot sauce, to taste (optional)
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans

Fry the bacon until it's crisp. Drain it well on paper towels. After it cools, crumble it into very small pieces.

Mix together everything else except the pecans, including the cooled and crumbled bacon, in a bowl.

Shape the mixture into two separate cheese balls. Cover tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Refrigerate. Overnight is best, but chill at least for a few hours.

It's best to chop the pecans finely in a food processor or blender. If you don't have either, put the pecans in a small plastic baggie and roll over them with a rolling pin or crunch them gently with a meat mallet or similar kitchen utensil.

Last, roll the cheese balls in the chopped pecans before serving.

You will be amazed at how good this is, considering how easy it is to make. It tastes great and makes a pretty presentation for your Thanksgiving. Serve with assorted crackers and raw, chopped vegetables. This will become a favorite Thanksgiving appetizer, I'll bet.

I would definitely recommend bacon over the bacon bits, as the taste really is much better. But if you're in a hurry, as people tend to be during Thanksgiving, bacon bits work well in a pinch.

Also, I prefer using whipped cream cheese over the regular kind. It makes it easier to make and it seems to be a bit lighter.

Delicious Thanksgiving appetizers and snacks! credit: mag3737 @flickr
Delicious Thanksgiving appetizers and snacks! credit: mag3737 @flickr

Easy Thanksgiving Appetizers #2 - Ranch Herb Oyster Crackers

Ranch oyster crackers are another of my favorite Thanksgiving appetizers. They almost make themselves, they are so easy. And like the spiced sugar pecans, they can be made way ahead of time if necessary. These are handy for any party or gathering, plus they make great snacks.

Here is how to make Ranch Herb Oyster Crackers:

Ranch Herb Oyster Crackers Recipe Ingredients

5 cups oyster soup crackers
1 envelope dry ranch dressing mix
1/4 cup butter flavored popcorn oil (can substitute canola oil)
1/2 teaspoon dill weed spice
1/4 teaspoon each: garlic powder and lemon pepper

Ranch Herb Oyster Crackers Recipe Directions

Put the ranch dressing mix, oil, and all of the spices into a recloseable plastic storage bag. Seal it well and shake it around to mix up the oil and spices. Add the oyster crackers. Do the same thing until the crackers are all evenly coated with spices and oil.

Spread the crackers in a single layer on a large cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 250 degrees Fahrenheit oven. Stir and turn halfway through cooking time. Remove and let drain on paper towels until cool. That's it!

These will probably keep for months in an airtight container. I don't know for sure how long they will keep exactly, because we can never have them around longer than a couple of days!

Easy Thanksgiving Appetizers Recipe #3 - Spiced Sugar Pecans

Spiced pecans always make me think of autumn, chilly nights, and especially Thanksgiving. These decadent treats are a traditional Thanksgiving appetizer at our ver lasts long around here. They are very simple to make. The most difficult part is restraining yourself not to eat each and every last one yourself before Thanksgiving day. This appetizer keeps very well, so you can make them way ahead of time if you store them in an airtight container. Good luck with keeping them around long enough, though!

Following is the recipe for these scrumptious Thanksgiving appetizers:

Delicious for Thanksgiving or any time! credit: Sarahnaut @flickr
Delicious for Thanksgiving or any time! credit: Sarahnaut @flickr

Spiced Sugar Pecans Recipe Directions

Spiced Sugar Pecans Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves spice
  • 3 cups pecan halves or any preferred nuts or mixture of nuts

Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray.

Beat the egg white, vanilla, and spices together until the egg whites become frothy and make stiff peaks. Add the sugars and stir everything together.

 Mix in the pecan halves. Stir until all of the pecans are well coated.

Spread the pecans on a single layer on the foil covered baking sheet.

Bake in a preheated 300 degrees Fahrenheit oven for about 25-30 minutes. The most important and difficult part of this recipe is making sure that the pecans don't burn. Keep a close eye on them and stir them about every 5 minutes.

Afte removing the baking pan from the oven, take the aluminum foil with the pecans off of the baking pan. Let the pecans cool for a few minutes. Then stir them up again and remove from the foil. Put in an airtight container if they are not going to be eaten soon.

Easy Thanksgiving Appetizers Recipes Comments

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    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 

      8 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      Thanks for the easy to make recipes.At a busy time of the year easy is great.

    • Wendy Krick profile image

      Wendy Krick 

      8 years ago from Maryland

      Bookmarked! Thank you these look yummy. Especially the cheese balls.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      They are absolutely fantastic. Thanks

    • Eiddwen profile image


      8 years ago from Wales

      Thanks for sharing this tasty hub. Cheese balls and bacon Mmmmmmmmm. I will have to try that!! Take care.

    • jcales profile image


      8 years ago

      yeah, I agree. The spiced sugar pecan sounds great as does the cheese balls with bacon.


    • profile image

      david stillwagon 

      8 years ago

      Great hub! I will definitely bookmark this. ( The ranch oyster crackers sounded good)

    • Scribe For Hire profile image

      Scribe For Hire 

      8 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks for the info.

      The Spiced Pecan recipe sounds great!

      It's always good to have things which can be made ahead of time for the holidays.


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