Thanksgiving is less than a week away 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.
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).
- 2 (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
- 2 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!