3 Easy Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipes

Thanksgiving appetizer recipes - pomegranate cranberry bruschetta

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and if you’re hosting at your house, you’re probably knee-deep in what feels like a million tasks. I host a big family holiday dinner every year and each time I get a little better with my ahead of time prep. That said, it’s still very stressful to get the dinner on the table at a precise time. My solution is to have delicious Thanksgiving appetizers out for people to munch on while I put the finishing touches on the main meal. Then they don’t mind (too much hopefully) that the main course isn’t ready exactly at 1:00.

3 Easy Appetizers for Thanksgiving

This year, I made three apps in addition to an adorable meat and cheese platter in the shape of a turkey. Here are the Thanksgiving appetizer recipes I used and bonus – they can all be made ahead of time (this is a prerequisite when I’m planning out the meal).

Spinach Balls


  • Thanksgiving appetizer recipes - spinach balls2 (10 ounce) boxes frozen chopped spinach, squeezed to get rid of as much water as possible
  • ¾ cup melted butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups seasoned panko bread crumbs


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Roll into 2” balls and chill on a baking sheet in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight. Bake at 350° Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.

Adapted from Food.com


Cheddar Cranberry Dip


  • Thanksgiving appetizer recipes - cheddar cranberry dip2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded (reserve 2 tablespoons for the top)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup homemade cranberry sauce (recipe below)
  • ½ cup fresh cranberries
  • French Baguette, sliced on a diagonal

Cranberry Sauce – yields about 1 cup (you will have some extra – mix it into your cranberry sauce for the dinner or make double this amount for your main sauce)

  • 6 oz. fresh cranberries (½ a usual sized bag)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider
  • ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup water


Make the cranberry sauce – place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, partially covered. Stir occasionally and cook until the sugar dissolves and the berries begin to burst – about 10-15 minutes.

Assemble the dip – mix the cheddar cheese and cream cheese in a bowl. Fold in the cranberry sauce and fresh cranberries. Transfer to an oven-safe baking dish. You can refrigerate overnight or you can bake right away. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes; sprinkle the reserved cheese on top and broil for 1-2 minutes. Serve with baguette slices – I didn’t toast mine but you certainly can for more of a crunch.

Adapted from Little Broken


Pomegranate & Cranberry Bruschetta


  • 1 pound fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (use a hot pepper of your choice; I seeded the jalapeno for less of a kick)
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped mint leaves, plus more for garnish
  • ¾ cup pomegranate seeds/arils (I bought them already seeded but you can seed your own pomegranate as well)
  • Baguette, sliced on the diagonal
  • 8 oz. cream cheese


In a food processor, pulse together the cranberries, sugar, and hot pepper until coarsely chopped. Add the pomegranate molasses and mint and pulse a few more times. Transfer to a storage container, add the pomegranate seeds and refrigerate for at least 2 hours – I let mine sit overnight.

To assemble the bruschetta, spread each baguette slice with some cream cheese and top with the pomegranate/cranberry relish. Garnish with mint leaves and serve.

I chose to leave my baguette slices untoasted but I think it would be even better toasted. I might have gotten a little lazy 🙂

Adapted from Tabler Party of Two

Hope your friends and family enjoy these Thanksgiving appetizer recipes!