65 Thanksgiving Appetizers That Will Blow Your Relatives Away

·10 min read

We love a traditional Thanksgiving feast. But we pretty much know what to expect every year (roast turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing—you know the drill). Starters, on the other hand, can be full of delicious surprises. From finger foods to dips to vegetable sides, here are 65 appetizers for Thanksgiving that will kick off your celebration with a bang.

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1. Cranberry, Brussels Sprouts and Brie Skillet Nachos

Otherwise known as Thanksgiving dip. (It'd taste even better topped with a mound of leftover turkey...just sayin'.)

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2. Roasted Mixed Nuts

With just the right amount of spice. We used a mix of cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans and pistachios, but you can use whatever assortment you'd like.

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3. Roasted Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Flatbread

A seasonal twist on a party classic that everyone can get behind—even picky kids.

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4. Baked Brie with Figs, Pistachio and Orange

Anything starring Brie is a guaranteed hit. Set this warm, gooey app down and watch your guests instantly gather around.

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5. Cinnamon Apple Chips

They sure beat a bowl of regular potato chips. Dip them in sweet yogurt or caramel sauce.

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6. Crispy Mushrooms

Simply season and roast until shatteringly crisp and brown.

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7. Artichoke Dip Bites

We’ve never seen party dip look this adorable. Thanks, store-bought puff pastry.

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8. Baked Pumpkin with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Cheese

Serve an appetizer in a hulled-out pumpkin and let the oohs and ahhs roll in. Bonus: They make eye-catching table decorations, so you can save on flowers.

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9. Cheese Crostini with Cranberry Fig Jam

Sweet, tart, crunchy and creamy in every bite.

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10. Eggplant Parm Bites

One of our favorite Italian mains, in finger food form. Pass the marinara, please.

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11. Jalapeño Poppers

Baked, never fried. This version of the game day app is stuffed with herbed cream cheese, feta and sharp cheddar.

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12. Carrot Pigs in a Blanket

Save the hot dogs for summertime. These cuties won’t spoil your appetite before the big feast.

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13. Bleu Cheese-Stuffed Figs

Sweet, savory and undeniably classy. (Oh, and they're ready to eat in 15 minutes.)

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14. Beer Cheese Soup

Crisp Pilsner + sharp cheddar = autumn bliss. Serve with plenty of crusty bread for dunking.

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15. Prosciutto and Fig Salad Board

Part holiday appetizer, part work of art. All the toppings will be easy to grab, thanks to the classy serving board.

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16. Rosemary, Cheddar and Gorgonzola Pumpkin Crackers

Complete with sweet and spicy pumpkin seeds tossed in soy-maple glaze.

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17. Baked Mac and Cheese Bites

Everyone’s favorite comfort food, only miniature. Feel free to spice up the mac and cheese recipe with hot sauce, shredded chicken or crumbled bacon.

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18. Spaghetti Squash Fritters

Hi, spicy yogurt dipping sauce. Hustle to the hors d'oeuvres table—these are bound to disappear fast.

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19. Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese

Salty, tangy and sweet. Plus, toothpicked apps are a hostess's best friend.

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20. Sweet Potato Crostini

Choose your fighter: smoked salmon and cream cheese or dried cranberries, almonds and crème fraîche.

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21. Cauliflower “Tater” Tots

Don't come for us, but they're better than the original (yep, we said it).

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22. Ultimate Cheese Plate with Roasted Grapes

Roasting grapes in oil and herbs will give them deep sweetness and complexity, making them the perfect pairing for salty, sharp cheese.

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23. Roasted Artichokes

Impeccably golden, crispy and briny. Slather on the garlic-lemon aioli with abandon.

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24. White Cheddar and Cranberry Dip

Squash season is back, and we are so ready for it. Here, roasted butternut squash meets tahini and chickpeas for fall twist on hummus.

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25. Deviled Eggs, Three Ways

You can’t go wrong with this roasted garlic, sriracha and capers trio.

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26. Black Bean Sweet Potato Boats

Loaded with flavor and color. They're also packed with protein (and avocado crema).

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27. Brussels Sprout and Apple Tart

Don't skimp on the walnut pesto—we'd argue that it's the best part.

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28. Maple Candied Bacon

Maple syrup and brown sugar turn your favorite breakfast meat into a fall delicacy. Don't look now, but we're topping our apple pie with a few strips.

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29. Baby Bloomin’ Onions

Just like your favorite steakhouse makes them, only scaled down for minimal mess.

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30. Sweet Potato Skins

Walnut taco meat, an ingenious way to accommodate your vegetarian guests.

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31. Caramelized Apples and Goat Cheese Crescents

They'll never know you started with store-bought dough. Your secret is safe with us.

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32. Brussels Sprouts Latkes

Hanukkah don't start 'til the latkes arrive. We've given the potato classic an autumn update by substituting the season's favorite vegetable.

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33. Cranberry-Brie Pie Crust Bites

Store-bought cranberry sauce and pie crust can save cocktail hour in 15 minutes flat.

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34. The Best Damn Pumpkin Soup

Just scoop out the seeds, pour in chicken stock and seasonings, then roast the whole darn thing in the oven.

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35. Maple Pecan Baked Brie

Serve this five-ingredient beauty with bread, crackers or slices of Granny Smith apple.

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36. Delicata Squash Rings with Garlic-Lemon Sauce

Don't peel the delicata squash's striped skin off—it's totally edible and offers serious fall flair to these handhelds.

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37. Pumpkin Pizza Crust with Arugula and Prosciutto

Bet you didn't think you'd see *this* type of pie on your holiday table. Good looking out, canned pumpkin purée.

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38. Bacon, Onion and Asiago Fondue

Is there anything more comforting than a skillet of warm, melty cheese? Didn't think so.

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39. Cheesy Polenta Bites with Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta

Tangy goat cheese and salty pancetta hold their own against crispy cornbread-like morsels of Parmesan polenta.

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40. Brussels Sprout Sliders

These prosciutto- and mozzarella-stuffed gems are dangerously poppable, so they won't last long at the party.

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41. French Onion Cups

The only way to make this Gruyère-rich soup more decadent? By wrapping it in puff pastry, of course.

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42. Savory Pumpkin Dip

Complete with toasted pecans, crumbled bacon and pumpkin purée.

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43. Instant Pot Spicy Thai Butternut Squash Soup

Meet a soup that's pretty enough to steal the spotlight from any roast turkey.

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44. Brie-Stuffed Pretzel Bites

We have one question: Are you dipping in yellow mustard or beer cheese?

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45. Pumpkin Beer Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Choose a pumpkin beer that's loaded with fall spices and real pumpkin. The mini soft pretzels are optional (but we can't imagine why you'd skip them).

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46. Mini Mason Jar Chicken Potpies

Behold, the cutest little casseroles you ever did see.

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47. Crispy Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts

Don't have the patience for charring sprouts? Wrapping them in bacon will give them the crunch you crave minus the smoking pan.

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48. Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Pasta Salad

And you thought pasta salad season was over. The ingredients are decidedly autumnal, down to the pine nuts and fresh thyme.

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49. Baked Gorgonzola Bites

We like to think of this five-ingredient, half-hour app as savory monkey bread.

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50. Baked Maple Glazed Donuts

No messy frying required. We're definitely saving some for Black Friday brunch.

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51. Buffalo Pecan Pimento Cheese

This is probably a new addition to your holiday feast, but it's about to become a family tradition. We like to add a few extra shakes of hot sauce to the mix, too.

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52. Easy Cranberry Baked Brie Bites

They’re bite-sized, meaning you can have as many as your cheese-loving heart desires.

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53. Pumpkin Hummus

Bring this beauty to Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving or any other fall gathering. The pomegranate arils on top make it look beyond classy.

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54. Cranberry-Brie Puff Pastry Pops

These grown-up lollies are made with frozen puff pastry, leftover cranberry sauce and Brie, so all you'll have to do is assemble and bake them.

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55. Avocado Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are always a crowd-pleaser, so why not dress them up for the party? Avocado and chives add a little something that will have everyone coming back for seconds.

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56. Hasselback Butternut Squash

Apply the Swedes' method for cooking potatoes to this autumn gourd and let your guests shower you with compliments.

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57. Split Pea Soup with Bacon and Beer

Trust us: It's a far cry from your grandma's, thanks to crumbled bacon, sourdough croutons, sherry vinegar and a whole can of beer.

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58. Sweet Potato Biscuit Rolls with Honey Butter Glaze

Like a crispy biscuit-soft bun hybrid. Excuse us while we go for a swim in the sweet-and-salty honey butter.

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59. Miso-Tahini-Glazed Roasted Eggplant with Farro

Proof that eggplant doesn't need to be fried or blanketed in melted cheese to be enjoyable.

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60. Jammy Upside-Down Onion Tart

As stunning as it is delicious. Think caramelized brown sugar-herb onions atop a bed of store-bought puff pastry.

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61. Five-Minute Bean Salad

For when your guests are arriving in ten and you forgot to make an appetizer. (You can thank us later.)

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62. Feta Wrapped in Phyllo with Sesame and Honey

While it's certainly a crowd-pleasing starter, you can also serve this cheese dish for dessert with wine and fruit.

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63. Apple, Grape and Pecan Pasta Salad

All tossed in a lemony Dijon dressing. Bonus points for candying the pecans in brown sugar and maple syrup.

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64. Caesar Pasta Salad

Traditional Caesar dressing uses eggs to achieve a creamy consistency. But this version calls on buttery, omega-rich avocado instead.

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65. Vegan Miso Caramel Dip with Pretzels and Granny Smith Apples

You're an adult now—you can have a little something sweet before dinner if you want to. (And there's nothing Mom can do about it.)

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Additional reporting by Alexandra Hough

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