Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Appetizers

Do a little cooking ahead and you can avoid the hassle on Thanksgiving day. These make-ahead appetizers include recipes that can be done the day before or up to 3 months ahead of the holiday.

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make-ahead meatballs
Saucy Apricot Spiced Meatballs

    Tangy-spicy apricot sauce is the secret to these delectable make-ahead meatballs. Prep the under 40 calorie appetizers up to a day ahead, then warm in a slow-cooker for a low-maintenance party treat.

Mini Gruyere Puffs

    Freeze these light-and-puffy appetizers for up to one month -- the two-cheese, basil, flour, and egg mixture will warm up nicely just 15 minutes before your event.

Beer & Cheese Fondue

    Dip in! Thick and satisfying beer-and-cheese fondue (which, as the name suggests, calls for two kinds of cheese and two cups of beer), adds a hearty start to your affair. Mix ahead and then warm up this appetizer in a slow cooker at dinner time.

Eggplant Dip

    Smooth eggplant is the star of this dip, which also features zippy garlic, salt, and olive oil. Sweet red peppers and parsley add subtle flavoring. The best part? This recipe can freeze for up to 3 months.

Creamy BLT Coleslaw

    All the flavors -- bacon, mayonnaise, tomatoes, and greens -- without the bread. Make, cover, and chill, then serve to ready your guests for the main course.

Cran-Sage Rolls

    These savory-sweet rolls have some of the favorite flavors of the season -- tart dried cranberries, crystallized ginger, and fresh snipped sage. Make it up to a day ahead of your dinner.

Roasted Tomato Tart

    A light and refreshing way to begin dinner, these tomato-topped tarts feature light flavors, such as garlic, ground black pepper, olive oil, and roma tomatoes. A make-ahead dressing features cream cheese, ranch salad dressing, Parmesan cheese, and parsley.

Multigrain Mustard Baguette

    Transform frozen wheat bread dough into a special Thanksgiving appetizer in no time. With chopped nuts or seeds, an egg, water, and mustard, you can enhance the harvest, wholesome flavors in this easy appetizer.

Veggie Spring Rolls with Chimichurri Sauce

    A light shopping trip is all you need to collect the ingredients in this delightful bite. You make the chimichurri sauce from scratch, but you'll be amazed that sweet rice vinegar is the most out-there ingredient. Bonus: This appetizer can be made the morning of and refrigerated for zero on-the-spot prep.

Sugared Bacon-Wrapped Smokies

    Take basic smokies up a sweet bacon-enhanced notch with a slice of bacon and a light coating of brown sugar. So easy and so simple you can make it the day before your dinner.

Sweet and Savory Twist Bread

    A literal twist of white and wheat bread makes for a pretty, tasty Thanksgiving treat. Chopped raisins, pecans, and cinnamon bring a sweet and crunchy finish to this make-ahead appetizer.

Cheesy Millet and Black Pepper Breadsticks

    Sharp cheddar cheese offers the surprise kick in these twisted breadsticks. You can make these the night before your event and keep them wrapped in the refrigerator for a day-of 12-minute warm-up.

Simple Stromboli

    Freeze this stuffed-bread Stromboli for up to one month. The ham, mozzarella, spinach, turkey, red sweet pepper, and olive filling will be just as tasty after warming it up the day of your event.

Caramel Popcorn

    A sweet appetizer? Why not. Low-calorie, sweet-savory popcorn is a cinch to make in bulk and can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week.

Browned Butter Toffee Tartlets

    Phyllo dough never had it so good. These easy, make-ahead tartlets (you can freeze them for up to 3 months), feature toffee pieces, bittersweet chocolate, and basic baking ingredients stuffed into phyllo dough. It's a touch of sweet before the main course arrives.


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