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Five Easy Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipes

Updated on October 30, 2014

Thanksgiving is a time when family and friends get together to celebrate all they are thankful for. One thing that may leave Thanksgiving day guests not thankful is having to wait for all the delicious food. When fantastic smells are drifting from the kitchen, growling stomachs can cause frustration over timing. A tried and true method to keep visitors happy is to prepare appetizers while the main cooking is occurring. The trick with this is making sure the appetizers are easy enough that they can be quickly brought out without much work. The only problem may be that guests fill up on these delicious appetizers before the meal starts. Here are five easy Thanksgiving appetizer recipes sure to please family and friends.

Please note that the photos are examples and may not match exactly with recipes.

Photo taken by: Quinn Dombrowski
Photo taken by: Quinn Dombrowski | Source
Photo taken by: Bob Shrader
Photo taken by: Bob Shrader | Source

Recipe #1: Cheese Balls

The great thing about this recipe is that it can be as easy or complicated as you desire. A large cheese ball can be surrounded by store bought crackers or individual cheese balls can be put on a toothpick. You can add as much or as little spice as you want. Adding a little food coloring can even make the treat specific to the event that you want. For example, for Thanksgiving, orange and brown cheeseballs look great as appetizers. Here is how to make a simple cheese ball.


  • 8oz bag of finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of finely chopped pecans
  • 1 pound of room temperature cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of pepper


Step #1

Combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese, mustard, pepper, and only 1/4 of a cup of pecans. Use an electric mixer to combine them together. Cover with plastic wrap and wait 2.5+ hours.

Step #2

Divide the mixture as you see fit and shape each portion into a ball. Put the remainder of the pecans on a plate and roll the ball over the pecans. Serve each cheese ball chilled.

Photo taken by: Kristen Taylor
Photo taken by: Kristen Taylor | Source

Recipe #2: Herb Encrusted Cheese Palmiers

One of the secrets of excellent home chefs is taking something good and making it great. That is what this easy recipe is all about.


  • 1 sheet of puff pastry (thawed) - should be a 17.3 oz package
  • 1/4 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 teaspoon of coarse salt
  • 1 large egg (only yolk needed)
  • 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of freshly chopped herbs (thyme, sage, oregano, etc)
  • Water


Step #1

Heat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry dough into a rectangle. Brush dough with olive oil, then sprinkle on herbs, salt, cheddar cheese, and Parmesan. Fold dough like you would a paper letter (into thirds), then fold entire thing in half. Put dough into fridge to firm up (10 minutes should work). Cut dough crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices. (There should hopefully be about 38 pieces)

Step #2

Place dough onto two baking sheets and then put back in the refigerator for 30 minutes. If you want to store these for longer, up to a day, cover with plastic wrap. When ready to bake, combine egg yolk with water and brush on top. Bake both sheets until golden brown, about 25 minutes. It may help to rotate halfway through (top sheet to bottom and vice versa).

Photo taken by: Jason Lam
Photo taken by: Jason Lam | Source

Recipe #3: Onion Dip

Dip is an easy win for any get together. Creating dip from scratch will appear much fancier then buying store bought, along with tasting much better. Here is how to make onion dip.


  • 2 sweet onions finely chopped (About 1 pound total)
  • 1 cup of reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 oz reduced-fat cream cheese bar (at room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons of white-wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper


Step #1

Add oil to skillet and heat over medium. Add onions with a dash of salt and pepper. Stir frequently until onions are golden brown (should be around 12-15 minutes). Turn heat off and let cool to room temperature.

Step #2

In a bowl combine onions, sour cream, vinegar, chives, and cream cheese. Again, season with a dash of salt and pepper. Stir until satisfied with consistency. Put dip into fridge for at least 1hr to thicken. If covered, dip will last in fridge about 2 days.

[Don’t forget to serve with chips!]

Photo taken by: Todd Wickersty
Photo taken by: Todd Wickersty | Source

Recipe #4: Bacon Wrapped Dates

This recipe is so quick and easy that it can be completed in under 10 minutes. However, this recipe does use the microwave. Other options may include using a frying pan or oven.


  • 12 slices of bacon
  • 24 pitted dates


Step #1

Cut each piece of bacon in half crosswise. On a microwave-safe plate, place paper toweling, bacon, then another paper towel. Microwave on high for 4 minutes.

Step #2

Roll dates up with a piece of bacon (being careful because of heat/grease). Place wrapped dates on another microwave-save plate (again with paper towels beneath and on top of the dates. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Put toothpick through each date and serve hot.

Photo taken by: Elizabeth
Photo taken by: Elizabeth | Source

Recipe #5: Stuffed Crescent Roll Bites

This recipe is very similar to pizza snacks, but with a flaky crust that proves delicious.


  • 8 oz package of sliced pepperoni
  • 2 packages of Pillsbury crescent dinner rolls
  • 8 oz package of cream cheese


Step #1

Un-package crescent rolls and flatten/separate triangles. Slice each triangle to become three smaller triangles.

Step #2

Chop pepperoni into tiny pieces. Mix pepperoni and cream cheese.

Step #3

Take a small spoonful of mixture and put in middle of each crescent roll triangle. Pinch sides around filling. Repeat until all are completed.

Step #4

Place stuff crescent rolls on cookie sheet and bake at 350°F for about 11 minutes. Cool and serve.

Which appetizer sounds the best?

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