Thanksgiving Appetizers

Prepare all of your guests’ appetites by serving any of these Thanksgiving Appetizers before the big dinner! There are all kinds of options in this collection including dips, veggies, meats, and more!

Sharing all of our favorite appetizers perfect for turkey day! Some can even be made ahead but are perfect for guests as they arrive and wait for the rest of the food to finish!

MORE COLLECTIONS: Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas, Thanksgiving Side Dishes, Thanksgiving Desserts

Thanksgiving Appetizers Collage

Turkey Day Appetizers

Appetizers should be served about an hour before dinner. They serve to wet your guests appetite in anticipation for the Thanksgiving Feast. Be prompt with dinner otherwise guests will continue to fill up with appetizers leaving less room for the delicious dinner that had been prepared. 

Here are some general appetizer tips:

  • Choose Appetizers that are easy to make as well as ones that can be made ahead of time. 
  • Remember, when planning your dinner schedule, to include time for heating up appetizers. 
  • Don’t hesitate to ask guests to bring appetizers to help ease your to do list.
  • Divide the appetizers on to several plates or tiers and have them placed in various areas around the room. This way guests can partake from wherever they are.

How to choose appetizers: Balance the dishes by offering a mixture of hot and cold, protein and vegetables, light and heavy. Consider colors and textures as well.

Since Appetizers will be served before a large meal, plan for each person to have 4-6 appetizers. 

  • 3 appetizer dishes: <10 guests
  • 5 Appetizer dishes: 10-20 guests
  • 7 appetizer dishes: 20-40 guests
  • 9 appetizer dishes: 40+ guests

Thanksgiving Dips - Dill Veggie Dip in a Bowl

cold Thanksgiving appetizers

We love to have some appetizers out and ready when guests arrive so they have something to graze on before dinner. Most of these are cold appetizers that can be made ahead of time, or even dips that can be served with veggies (more below) or crackers (that can even be part of a charcuterie board).


  • Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball – A classic holiday appetizer, this cheese ball is mixed with ranch seasoning and covered with bacon bits.
  • Hummus – This recipe for homemade hummus is so simple and versatile, and it’s made in 5 minutes or less! Plus, nearly everyone enjoys hummus.
  • Avocado Lime Ranch Dip – Ranch dip with just a hint of lime and avocado is perfect for tortilla chips and vegetables alike.
  • Dill Vegetable Dip – This is our most favorite vegetable dip, and will pair perfectly with the turkey tray or veggie cups listed below.
  • Homemade Ranch – Our favorite homemade version of this delicious dip and dressing.
  • Cream Cheese Fruit Dip – a delicious sweet dip made with 5 ingredients and made in less than 5 minutes!

A Few warm dips that are great too:

  • Spinach Artichoke Dip – A delicious hot dip filled with spinach, artichokes, and lots of creamy ingredients. Serve it with tortilla chips, pita chips, or crackers!
  • Easy Cheesy Spinach Dip – Another smooth and cream hot dip, this spinach dip, diced tomatoes, bacon, and Velveeta. Better yet, it’s made in just 5-10 minutes!

Thanksgiving Vegetable Appetizers - A Turkey Shaped Veggie Tray

Thanksgiving Vegetable Appetizers

In case you want to have a few veggie apps out, we have you covered. Here are some of our most popular veggie appetizers we like to make for Thanksgiving.

  • Turkey Veggie Tray – This adorable vegetable tray is shaped like a turkey! Serve it with one of the yummy vegetable dips listed above.
  • Veggie Cup Appetizer – Instead of arranging an entire vegetable tray, you can always create individual servings using cups.
  • Fried Zucchini Chips – Slices of zucchini battered in a homemade panko crumb breading, and fried to perfection! Serve with marina sauce or ranch.
  • Fried Green Beans – Fresh green beans breaded in tasty seasoned bread crumbs, then fried.
  • Spinach Dip Bites – These bite-sized appetizers are essentially spinach dip baked into a buttery crescent dough cup. They’re savory, simple, and oh so delicious!
  • Spinach Puffs – These puff pastry appetizers are filled with all the good stuff, including spinach, bacon bits and feta.
  • Veggie Tortilla Roll Ups – Filled with ranch, chopped veggies and rolled into a flour tortilla!
  • Cucumber Sandwiches – They take minutes to make, are healthy and are the perfect finger food!
  • Caprese Kabob – Fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil on a kabob, drizzled with a yummy balsamic glaze.
  • Fried Green Beans – Bread and fried to perfection, everyone loves this version of green beans.

Thanksgiving Meatball Appetizers - Crockpot Meatballs on a Plate

Thanksgiving meatball appetizers + more

Want something a little more hearty for an appetizer? Check out some of these favorites that are simple and great for the meat lovers.

  • Crock Pot Meatballs – A great appetizer that doesn’t require hardly any effort. Throw frozen meatballs into the slow cooker with a handful of sauces and seasonings, and the crockpot does the rest!
  • Grape Jelly Meatballs – Just 3 ingredients and minutes to prep.
  • Homemade Meatballs – Simple, quick and so delicious.
  • Sausage Stuffed Jalapenos – Pork sausage mixed with parmesan and cream cheese, stuffed inside jalapeños, and baked until warm and melty.
  • Crescent Sausage Bites – Sausage and cream cheese spread wrapped into bite-sized pockets of crescent dough. Just 3 ingredients!
  • Bacon Wrapped Smokies – Another 3 ingredient novelty! Little smokies wrapped in bacon, sprinkled with brown sugar, and baked to perfection.
  • Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites – Bite-sized pieces of chicken wrapped in a slice of bacon and smothered in sweet and tangy bbq sauce.
  • Brown Sugar Beanie Weenies – The combination of brown sugar and pineapple juice works to make these weenies taste amazing!
  • Puff Pastry Sausage Rolls – They’re meaty and flavorful and crispy on the outside. Everyone loves this savory appetizer.

Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipes - Deviled Eggs

MORE Thanksgiving appetizer recipes

There are so many other appetizers that are great for Turkey Day. From deviled eggs to your favorite crackers and dip, there are so many options. Here are a few other favs we love.

  • Deviled Eggs – A classic appetizer that everyone knows and loves. Hardboiled eggs, with the yolk hollowed out, mixed with mustard and seasonings, and spooned back into the egg white shell.
  • Pull Apart Bread – All this recipe takes is a sourdough loaf, some cheese, and butter. Everyone will love pulling the cheesy bread pieces apart.
  • Green Chili Cream Cheese Dip – It’s made in 2 minutes. Just pour your favorite green chili sauce over a block of cream cheese and serve with crackers.
  • Bacon Cheddar Pin Wheels – Bacon and cheddar cheese rolled up into crescent dough, baked, and cut into pinwheels.
  • Homemade Bruschetta – Toasted baguette slices topped with a homemade bruschetta mixture that includes tomatoes, olive oil, parmesan, garlic, and basil.
  • Jalapeno Jelly – Just pour this over some cream cheese and you have another easy app that is great served with crackers.

MORE COLLECTIONS: Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas, Thanksgiving Side Dishes, Thanksgiving Desserts


Kristi Ritchey

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