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Thanksgiving Day Snack Ideas

Updated on October 24, 2013

You've Got The Big Thanksgiving Meal to Eat, but What About The Rest of the Day?

It's Thanksgiving Day. If you're anything like me, you want to save the vast majority of your appetite for the big dinner with all the trimmings. But, if Thanksgiving dinner is served mid-afternoon or later, your stomach's going to be rumbling in protest and and anticipation long before the turkey is carved. Noshing on some lighter snacks, appetizers or hors d'oeuvres earlier in the day can help prevent you from getting so hungry you could eat the table leg while not dampening your appetite for the turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie to come.

Here are some suggestions for Thanksgiving Day snacks to tide you over 'til dinner. These are all great crowd-pleasers that my family has enjoyed for the holiday. Check them out to see which one will fit the bill for you and your preferred method of celebrating Turkey Day.

photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/katsniffen/2185753924/

What's Your Thanksgiving Day Snacking Style?

How do you tend to eat on Thanksgiving Day BEFORE the big meal?

See results

Vegetable Trays Gone Wild

Sure, you can do a traditional-looking veggie tray, but why not make it just as festive as the rest of your Thanksgiving? Create a vegetable turkey!

Yes, vegetables are the healthy snack option. Here are some reasons why you might want to go this route for the pre-meal nibbles:

  • If you and/or your guests are trying to keep the calories in check. Just make sure not to go overboard on fatty dips.
  • If your actual Thanksgiving meal goes heavy on the empty carbs, vegetables can help you get some more nutrients in.
  • Want your kids to get their veggies in? Making the tray into a fun shape like the turkey pictured makes it more fun to eat.
  • By keeping the snacks healthy, you and your guests won't be tempted to fill up on fatty, salty or otherwise unhealthy foods. Non-vegetable lovers will only eat the vegetables if they're truly ravenous.

photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/plutor/66650210//

Make a Vegetable Turkey

Here's how to make the raw vegetable platter turkey pictured below. I'll give you the general idea; make your turkey the way you want. Your imagination is the limit.

You'll need:

  1. Craft foam ball of the desired size of the turkey
  2. Platter of desired size to hold the turkey and its veggie 'nest'
  3. Plastic wrap
  4. Toothpicks
  5. Knife to cut the foam ball
  6. Knife to cut vegetables
  7. Raw Vegetables -- cherry tomato for the turkey's head, blackeyed peas for eyes, grape tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, green onions/chives, carrot sticks, broccoli florets, olives and any other veggies you desire.
  8. Small plastic pilgrim hat (optional)
Cut a slice off of one side of the foam ball so that the ball stands up on the tray without rolling. Cover the foam ball tightly with a layer of plastic wrap so that it doesn't touch the food you'll be putting on it. Using toothpicks, secure the cherry tomato to the foam ball at the desired place that you'd like the turkey's head to be. Cut 2 small dents or slits, one in each side of the cherry tomato --place one blackeyed pea in each slit for eyes. Make a slit at the front of the head for the wattle and insert a small piece of yellow bell pepper. Depending on how detailed you want to get, you can make a separate beak out of small triangles of carrot, or any other embellishments you want your turkey to have.

Work on the tail next. Use toothpicks to secure chives coming out of the back for plumes on a tail, and/or use slices of cucumber or different colored slices of bell pepper to make the fan of the turkey's tail. Use other vegetables to fill in the rest of the turkey's body, using the photo as a guide if you wish. You can also use carrot and celery sticks to make a 'nest' around the turkey. Top with a plastic pilgrim hat if you want.

Have fun gobbling him up. (You knew that corny pun would be in here somewhere, didn't you?)

photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/juniorvelo/2067502848/

Tools for the Vegetable Platter Turkey - Some of the essentials for crafting a splendid turkey-shaped vegetable tray

Blue Cheese Dip with Bacon and Smoked Almonds

Sophisticated, but easy to make. It doesn't look like much, but once someone tastes it, it'll be the first thing gone.

This dip is seriously addictive. Everyone from my preschooler to all the adults have scarfed it up every time it's been served in my presence. Make this when:

  • You need to make something easy
  • You want to be a bit impressive. The name of the dip is a bit sophisticated without sounding too stuffy.
  • You want lots of compliments
  • You have the ability to keep this dip warm. It's tasty cold, but it's FANTASTIC served warm. Use a chafing dish, fondue flame, etc. to keep warm.

I don't have a photo of this since it disappears soon after you make it. I'll try again next time.

Ready for deliciousness? Here goes: Blue Cheese Dip with Bacon and Smoked Almonds

This goes great with sliced apples, French bread or pita chips

This fall-inspired dip is a great option for:

  • Wanting to keep to a theme of more traditional Thanksgiving ingredients. You can't go wrong with pumpkin
  • They're not serving pumpkin pie this year and you need a pumpkin fix
  • You've got a big crowd including kids, and you want something most everyone will eat

photo credit: BunnyFabulous

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 50 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: Approx. 12 people - dip/appetizer portions

Ingredients

  • 1 8 oz block lower fat cream cheese - softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 (15oz) can pureed pumpkin (also known as canned 100% pumpkin)
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice concentrate
  • 1/2 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • apple slices graham cracker sticks or ginger snap cookies for dipping

Instructions

  1. Combine cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add pumpkin. Beat until combined. Stir in cinnamon and OJ until well mixed. Refrigerate (at least 1 hour) before serving. Serve with apple slices (honeycrisp are my favorite for this recipe) graham cracker sticks or ginger snap cookies for dipping.
  2. This recipe can easily be halved for a smaller crowd.
Cast your vote for Creamy Pumpkin Dip

Sausage Balls - I know there are several versions of this simple recipe out there. This one is my mother-in-law's version that our family eats every holiday sea

If you need a snack with a little more substance, these sausage balls are a savory, pop-in-your-mouth snack can easily go from being part of a Thanksgiving morning brunch to something to savor during one of the many football games.

Cook Time

Prep Time: 20

Total Time: 40-45 min.

Serves: approx. 12 people - appetizer portions

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese - grated
  • 1 lb lean pork sausage - use the roll of sausage - not the ones with casings
  • 2 cups Bisquick mix
  • 4 ounces cream cheese - softened

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix cheeses, sausage and Bisquick together by hand. Form mixture into small balls, approx 1 inch in diameter. Place balls on a baking sheet and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
  2. You can use either hot or mild sausage, depending on your preference.

Snacks and Appetizers for Those with Dietary Restrictions - You're having the whole family over for Thanksgiving and an aunt is vegetarian, a cousin eats gluten

My extended family has no shortage of people with special diets. It's nice to know some snacks and dishes to cook to help their Thanksgiving be delicious and healthy for their particular dietary needs.

Thanksgiving Day Snacking: Your Turn - So what are YOU going to do for your Thanksgiving Day snacking?

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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Bunny . . .

      This was one fantastic read! Loved every word. I voted Up + all of the choices. Your graphics usage was superb. I like hubs like this. I urge you to keep up the great work and may you have a world of success on HubPages.

      Sincerely,

      Kenneth Avery

      Your Friend for Life

    • pitlock profile image

      pitlock 

      4 years ago

      Make dips and appetizers so snacking all day and next day too

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Whew, we sure ate too much and glad I didn't do any snacking before hand but you sure have some really great Thanksgiving Day Snack Ideas here.l

    • bgassociate profile image

      bgassociate 

      5 years ago

      Any room for a snack after the turkey?

    • James1978 profile image

      James1978 

      5 years ago

      Happy Thanksgiving from the UK. Reading this lens has made me really hungry.

    • profile image

      crstnblue 

      5 years ago

      Great lens - Happy Thanksgiving!

    • KandH profile image

      KandH 

      5 years ago

      Great advice for a healthy way to snack on these big holidays :)

    • dawnsnewbeginning profile image

      dawnsnewbeginning 

      5 years ago

      Love the vegetable turkey idea! My granddaughter and grandson-in-law are going to cook! Yah!!!

    • Spiderlily321 profile image

      Spiderlily321 

      5 years ago

      Great lens. You made me hungry! Thanks for sharingre

    • profile image

      quicpost 

      5 years ago

      Our family leaves out all the food that we potluck and we eat all day and evening till we burst! Happy and safe Thanksgiving!

    • Rymom28 profile image

      Rymom28 

      5 years ago

      I think next year we may just try snacking instead of having a huge feast. Great lens!

    • martycarlton lm profile image

      martycarlton lm 

      5 years ago

      That veggie turkey made me smile. Would love to make that as a centerpiece.

    • AcornOakForest profile image

      Monica Lobenstein 

      5 years ago from Western Wisconsin

      Delicious sounding ideas! I especially like the sound of the bleu cheese dip

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 

      5 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      I am in love with your vegetable turkey! Actually, I am Canadian and we celebrated Thanksgiving in October.

    • Starzz30 profile image

      Starzz30 

      5 years ago

      I think I would go more for a vegetable snack tray with some added along dips. really nice lens with so many unique ideas thanks for sharing

    • dbitterman profile image

      dbitterman 

      5 years ago

      A great idea...for those who can't wait!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      I think I'm going to make that Vegetable Turkey!!!

    • Blonde Blythe profile image

      Blonde Blythe 

      5 years ago from U.S.A.

      Wonderful snack ideas; the vegetable turkey is adorable!

    • KandDMarketing profile image

      KandDMarketing 

      5 years ago

      Nuts ... fruits, veggies, all are fair game!

    • montanatravel52 profile image

      montanatravel52 

      5 years ago

      Yummy ideas, gotta try that blue cheese dip!

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 

      5 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Have a Happy Thanksgiving from Canada!

    • Essentially Ind profile image

      Essentially Ind 

      5 years ago

      Lovely ideas. Thank you so much for sharing..........:)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Thanks for the great suggestions (I love the veggie turkey) and the links for vegetarians.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      As a Brit Thanksgiving is a non event. Great lens full of information. Love the idea of a vegetable Turkey. Might be good for Christmas

    • abigailsavenue profile image

      abigailsavenue 

      5 years ago

      Love your suggestions, will most likely try a few!! Thanks!

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 

      5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Thanks for the ideas!

    • Teapixie LM profile image

      Tea Pixie 

      5 years ago

      Yummy sounding day of thanks! In Canada, Thanksgiving is in October, but I love honouring the US day of thanks, too. In my world, "thanks" can't be said enough, and it's not about being a "too" polite Canadian! Hee hee heeeeeee

      "Thank you" for sharing such great recipes. :D

    • BunnyFabulous profile imageAUTHOR

      BunnyFabulous 

      5 years ago from Central Florida

      @anonymous: Thanks, Tipi! You're so kind. :) I'm going to hopefully be making it again soon. Our oven broke and we're waiting on a new one so I've been delayed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      I'm sure going to have to try your disappearing Blue Cheese Dip with Bacon and Smoked Almonds...I was sitting down but I think I felt my knees go weak just seeing that with no picture...it sounds fabulous and so does everything else here and I love how you display everything for the holiday. Congratulations on your purple star and home page honors and Happy Thanksgiving to you!

    • profile image

      MBCOnline 

      5 years ago

      What a great lens! Thank you for sharing so many awesome recipes - We love the Veggie Turkey!

    • Scotties-Rock profile image

      Clairissa 

      5 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

      They all sound awesome! Thanks for sharing.

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 

      5 years ago

      Veggie Turkey - what an awesome IDEA!

    • profile image

      purpleslug 

      5 years ago

      I would like to try both of your recipes this year. They sound yummy!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Great Lens.

    • Freestuffer LM profile image

      Freestuffer LM 

      5 years ago

      Nice lens!

    • BobZau profile image

      Bob Zau 

      5 years ago

      "Pumpkin Flavored White Chocolate Pretzels" and vegetables of course.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 

      5 years ago from Vermont

      I think I'll volunteer to bring the veggie turkey to my daughter's home for Thanksgiving. Love that idea!

    • cgbroome profile image

      cgbroome 

      5 years ago

      I love the vegetable turkey and will really have to try this one out! It's very inventive! Thank you.

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 

      5 years ago from Arizona

      That vegetable turkey is really cool!

    • Sitabodang LM profile image

      Sitabodang LM 

      5 years ago

      Anything with Blue Cheese!

    • morgaann profile image

      morgaann 

      5 years ago

      through this blog i find very useful information which help me in my assignment thanks

    • profile image

      JoshK47 

      5 years ago

      Popping back in with some angel dust for this lens! :)

    • healthyandtasty profile image

      healthyandtasty 

      5 years ago

      Vegetable Turkey is the best! Great lens:)

    • magnetic06 lm profile image

      magnetic06 lm 

      5 years ago

      nice lens , yummy and tasty

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 

      5 years ago

      Okay, that vegetable turkey is just TOO CUTE! Love that idea!

    • Mary Stephenson profile image

      Mary Stephenson 

      5 years ago from California

      Haven't any plans yet. It will depend if anyone will be coming to join us. If not we will probably have pie in the afternoon and eat the turkey for dinner around 5 or 6.

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 

      5 years ago

      Blessed and I am hungry

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts

      These are fantastic ideas and recipes, and not just for Thanksgiving, either (except perhaps the adorable veggie turkey - love it!. Congrats on your well deserved purple star. Blessed!

    • kare2share profile image

      kare2share 

      6 years ago

      Yum! :P That vegetable turkey is just too cute, and the pumpkin dip sounds so good -- I don't think I can wait until Thanksgiving to try it. Thanks for sharing!

    • elizabethknows lm profile image

      elizabethknows lm 

      6 years ago

      The veggie turkey idea was cute. Thanks for sharing that.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      dang it, I missed your lens by one day, but, enjoyed reviewing it now, earned a squidlike for it indeed.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 

      6 years ago

      Great ideas - snacks are great for keeping your appetite at bay with all the delicious smells of dinner cooking.

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 

      6 years ago

      Congratulations on your lens being chosen to be featured on the Fall Harvest Fest monsterboard. The vegetable turkey is quite festive.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 

      6 years ago

      I love the vegetable turkey platter. That's a must do!

    • SquidooMBA profile image

      SquidooMBA 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for the ideas. I have been getting tired of the same old stuff so I will be sharing this with my wife!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Wonderful snack ideas, I love your veggie turkey too :) We had our Thanksgiving in Canada last month, but it's good to know for next time, and these can be used at Christmas too :)

      Angel Blessed*

    • profile image

      moonlitta 

      6 years ago

      Never thought turkeys are vegetables- apparently yours is:)

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