Thanksgiving Day Snack Ideas
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?
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.
- Craft foam ball of the desired size of the turkey
- Platter of desired size to hold the turkey and its veggie 'nest'
- Plastic wrap
- Knife to cut the foam ball
- Knife to cut vegetables
- 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.
- Small plastic pilgrim hat (optional)
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
More Turkey Vegetable Platter Recipes
- Turkey Veggie Platter
This one's a bit less involved, so children can help assemble the turkey...and hopefully eat some veggies along the way.
- Crunchy Vegetable Turkey Recipe
This one has an intriguing-sounding dip that actually becomes part of the turkey's body. Directions are pretty decent, but I wish it had a photo so you could get an idea of what the finished turkey looks like.
- Turkey Vegetable Appetizer
Has a great photo to show you the finished turkey, but the photo shows a cauliflower body, but the recipe has it as mushrooms and radishes. Includes a cream cheese-based dip; some of which is used to hold the turkey together. Personally, I'd subst
- Vegetable Turkey
This one's just a photo to give you some other ideas about creating a vegetable platter turkey.
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
- 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
- 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.
- This recipe can easily be halved for a smaller crowd.
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.
Prep Time: 20
Total Time: 40-45 min.
Serves: approx. 12 people - appetizer portions
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- GoodVeg Magazine's Vegetarian Appetizer Pinterest Board
Get vegetarian appetizer ideas from the folks at GoodVeg online magazine. Vegetarian and Vegan options abound. The Pear and Rosemary Crostini with Goat Cheese looks fantastic...and easy.
- AllRecipes.com's top 20 Gluten-Free Appetizers
Search the best of the best of Allrecipes.com's gluten-free appetizers
- Taste of Home - Diabetic-Friendly Appetizers
Taste of Home has collected over 700 diabetic-friendly recipes to help you choose a great Thanksgiving day snack.
Search for More Great Snack Recipes - These are my favorite recipe databases
- CD Kitchens appetizer recipes
CDKitchen.com has a huge database of home cook submitted and reviewed recipes to choose from. This link goes straight to their appetizer section so you can take a look at all the different types to give you an idea of how to prepare for Thanksgiving
In my opinion, AllRecipes.com is the granddaddy of all recipe databases. It pulls in recipes from different food brands, magazines such as Southern Living and more. Their reviews of each recipe tend to be very helpful, and people can submit their o