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.
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'.)
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.
3. Roasted Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Flatbread
A seasonal twist on a party classic that everyone can get behind—even picky kids.
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.
5. Cinnamon Apple Chips
They sure beat a bowl of regular potato chips. Dip them in sweet yogurt or caramel sauce.
6. Crispy Mushrooms
Simply season and roast until shatteringly crisp and brown.
7. Artichoke Dip Bites
We’ve never seen party dip look this adorable. Thanks, store-bought puff pastry.
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.
9. Cheese Crostini with Cranberry Fig Jam
Sweet, tart, crunchy and creamy in every bite.
10. Eggplant Parm Bites
One of our favorite Italian mains, in finger food form. Pass the marinara, please.
11. Jalapeño Poppers
Baked, never fried. This version of the game day app is stuffed with herbed cream cheese, feta and sharp cheddar.
12. Carrot Pigs in a Blanket
Save the hot dogs for summertime. These cuties won’t spoil your appetite before the big feast.
13. Bleu Cheese-Stuffed Figs
Sweet, savory and undeniably classy. (Oh, and they're ready to eat in 15 minutes.)
14. Beer Cheese Soup
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.
16. Rosemary, Cheddar and Gorgonzola Pumpkin Crackers
Complete with sweet and spicy pumpkin seeds tossed in soy-maple glaze.
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.
18. Spaghetti Squash Fritters
Hi, spicy yogurt dipping sauce. Hustle to the hors d'oeuvres table—these are bound to disappear fast.
19. Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese
Salty, tangy and sweet. Plus, toothpicked apps are a hostess's best friend.
20. Sweet Potato Crostini
21. Cauliflower “Tater” Tots
Don't come for us, but they're better than the original (yep, we said it).
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.
23. Roasted Artichokes
Impeccably golden, crispy and briny. Slather on the garlic-lemon aioli with abandon.
24. White Cheddar and Cranberry Dip
25. Deviled Eggs, Three Ways
You can’t go wrong with this roasted garlic, sriracha and capers trio.
26. Black Bean Sweet Potato Boats
Loaded with flavor and color. They're also packed with protein (and avocado crema).
27. Brussels Sprout and Apple Tart
Don't skimp on the walnut pesto—we'd argue that it's the best part.
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.
29. Baby Bloomin’ Onions
Just like your favorite steakhouse makes them, only scaled down for minimal mess.
30. Sweet Potato Skins
Walnut taco meat, an ingenious way to accommodate your vegetarian guests.
31. Caramelized Apples and Goat Cheese Crescents
They'll never know you started with store-bought dough. Your secret is safe with us.
32. Brussels Sprouts Latkes
33. Cranberry-Brie Pie Crust Bites
Store-bought cranberry sauce and pie crust can save cocktail hour in 15 minutes flat.
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.
35. Maple Pecan Baked Brie
Serve this five-ingredient beauty with bread, crackers or slices of Granny Smith apple.
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.
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.
38. Bacon, Onion and Asiago Fondue
Is there anything more comforting than a skillet of warm, melty cheese? Didn't think so.
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.
40. Brussels Sprout Sliders
These prosciutto- and mozzarella-stuffed gems are dangerously poppable, so they won't last long at the party.
41. French Onion Cups
The only way to make this Gruyère-rich soup more decadent? By wrapping it in puff pastry, of course.
42. Savory Pumpkin Dip
Complete with toasted pecans, crumbled bacon and pumpkin purée.
43. Instant Pot Spicy Thai Butternut Squash Soup
Meet a soup that's pretty enough to steal the spotlight from any roast turkey.
44. Brie-Stuffed Pretzel Bites
We have one question: Are you dipping in yellow mustard or beer cheese?
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).
46. Mini Mason Jar Chicken Potpies
Behold, the cutest little casseroles you ever did see.
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.
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.
49. Baked Gorgonzola Bites
We like to think of this five-ingredient, half-hour app as savory monkey bread.
50. Baked Maple Glazed Donuts
No messy frying required. We're definitely saving some for Black Friday brunch.
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.
52. Easy Cranberry Baked Brie Bites
They’re bite-sized, meaning you can have as many as your cheese-loving heart desires.
53. Pumpkin Hummus
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.
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.
56. Hasselback Butternut Squash
Apply the Swedes' method for cooking potatoes to this autumn gourd and let your guests shower you with compliments.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
64. Caesar Pasta Salad
Traditional Caesar dressing uses eggs to achieve a creamy consistency. But this version calls on buttery, omega-rich avocado instead.
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.)
Additional reporting by Alexandra Hough
For even more great recipes, check out our first cookbook, Only the Good Stuff.