Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Appetizers

Caramel Popcorn
Overwhelmed by holiday-meal prep? Get a head start by making delicious and easy holiday appetizers now. By doing a little cooking ahead of time, you can avoid the hassle on Thanksgiving Day. Our make-ahead Thanksgiving appetizer recipes include some finger foods that can be prepared up to six months ahead—or the day before.

Sugared Bacon-Wrapped Smokies

Take basic smokies up a notch with a slice of bacon and a light coating of brown sugar. These holiday appetizers are so easy even kids can help prepare them! (Just take over during the toothpick step.) 

Ricotta Meatballs

It's not a dinner party without meatballs, especially when they're simmered in a DIY wine-infused marinara. Pop them in the freezer for up to a month for the ultimate easy Thanksgiving appetizer.

Asiago-Artichoke Dip

Who doesn't love a creamy, cheesy dip to snack on? With prosciutto, artichoke hearts, and roasted red sweet peppers, your guests will be dreaming about this Thanksgiving dip for days afterward. Even better, this cheesy app can chill in the fridge for up to 24 hours before the big feast.

Parmesan-Stuffed Dates

With just three ingredients (fresh dates, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and bacon) it won't take you long to whip up a batch of these Thanksgiving hors d'oeuvres. Store this finger food in the freezer for up to a month, then serve them hot from the oven.

Barbecue Spice Roasted Chickpeas

Every party platter needs a little crunch, and these crispy chickpeas are up for the job. Snacking on these light Thanksgiving appetizers won't fill you up before the big feast either. Store these spicy treats at room temperature for up to a week.

Roasted Roots Hummus

Let's get to the root of things: Hummus is best when made with creamy sweet potato. The Thanksgiving dip gets its sass from cumin and cayenne, and it's delicious smeared on pita bread.

Mini Margherita Pizzas

We know what your Thanksgiving feast is missing: pizza! Bake the crust for these cute mini pizzas the day before, then simply assemble and pop in the oven on the big day. Your guests will be devouring these Thanksgiving finger foods in no time!

Gluten Free Rosemary Roasted Nuts

Almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds are the perfect trio for this easy Thanksgiving appetizer. Rosemary, cayenne pepper, and butter make a delicious seasoning. Store these celebration-worthy nuts in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Creamy Stuffed Peppers

Add a little spice to your appetizer table with these cream cheese-stuffed jalapeno or mini sweet peppers. Slice the peppers and mix the cream cheese and veggies together, then let them chill separately in the fridge for 24 hours before the feast. On the day you plan to serve, spoon in the cream cheese mixture and serve these Thanksgiving cold appetizers.

Root Veggie Chips with Sea Salt

Because you know you'll be eating cheesy potato casserole and your aunt's secret stuffing, it's best to keep your holiday appetizers light. These DIY root chips are crispy and low-cal, and they highlight the season's favorite veggies.

Herbed Breadsticks

Cheese and crackers? Not this Thanksgiving. Impress the fam by serving homemade breadsticks as your holiday appetizers. These little twirlies are baked with buttery rosemary goodness.

Make-It-Mine Slow Cooker Party Mix

Catch up with friends and family over a handful of delicious (and addictive) party mix. This Thanksgiving finger food is made in the slow cooker!

Herb- and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Mushrooms

To save time, assemble these cheesy Thanksgiving appetizers the day before your meal. Topped with thyme, toasted pine nuts, and fresh chives, our stuffed-mushroom recipe bursts with flavor.

Dill and Cheese Beer Bread

Looking for out-of-the-box Thanksgiving appetizer ideas? Remember, Thanksgiving isn't just about turkeys and giving thanks. Football also plays a part, and this cheesy beer bread has game day written all over it. Let it chill in the fridge for up to three days ... before things really get heated.

Triple Olive Tapenade

Three times the olive, three times the goodness. This blender-spun tapenade can be stashed in the freezer for up to three months and will have you saying "olive you" in no time. Out of all the Thanksgiving dips on your table, this one is sure to disappear the fastest.

Cran-Sage Rolls

These savory-sweet rolls have some of our favorite flavors of the season: tart dried cranberries, crystallized ginger, and fresh snipped sage. Make these darling, delicious holiday appetizers up to a day ahead of your dinner.

Gorgonzola-Thyme-Stuffed Olives

These bite-size make-ahead holiday appetizers are tart and flavorful with creamy centers. Assemble them up to a week in advance, then pop them into the fridge until Thanksgiving.

Compound Butters

Downright delectable, this DIY butter was made for your holiday baguette. Whip up one (or all) of our five spreads for easy Thanksgiving appetizers: tarragon-shallot, gremolata, cilantro-lime, raspberry, or blackberry-honey.

Caramelized Onion and Swiss Dip

Combine the ingredients for this Thanksgiving dip recipe a day in advance, and toss them into the slow cooker 7 hours before showtime. The rich make-ahead recipe will cook itself while you work on the other dishes.

Honey-Rosemary Bowknots

Here's a make-ahead Thanksgiving appetizer recipe everyone will love. Honey and rosemary sweeten our twisty, fluffy rolls. Bake them the day before, and heat them up in the oven right before serving.

Blue Cheese-Apricot Bites

Get your fix of fruit this holiday season. The distinctly sweet flavor of dried apricots complements the light Gorgonzola cheese and crunchy walnut topper in this delectable Thanksgiving finger food. Garnish with snipped rosemary to serve.

Sweet and Savory Twist Bread

A literal twist of white and wheat breads makes for one of the prettiest, tastiest Thanksgiving appetizer ideas. Chopped raisins, pecans, and cinnamon bring a sweet and crunchy finish to this make-ahead recipe.

Endive Chicken Boats

At only 80 calories per serving, this savory Asian-inspired appetizer recipe makes the perfect Thanksgiving hors d'oeuvres. Brown sugar adds a sweet flavor that complements the hearty chicken and peanuts in the make-ahead dish. Don't have endive leaves? Use lettuce leaves instead.

Peppered Herb Cheese Ball

This creamy make-ahead cheese spread gets rolled in parsley for a fresh and easy Thanksgiving cold appetizer that you can make up to 24 hours ahead of time, or freeze and keep on hand for company. For the Italian version, stir in salami and roasted red pepper and substitute goat cheese for Fontina.

Saucy Apricot-Spiced Meatballs

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

Beer and Cheese Fondue

Dip in! Thick and satisfying beer-and-cheese fondue (featuring two kinds of cheese and two cups of beer) adds a hearty start to your affair. Mix this Thanksgiving dip ahead of time, then warm it in a slow cooker before serving.

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 to serve as an easy Thanksgiving appetizer.

Caramel Popcorn

Sweet holiday appetizers? Why not. Our low-calorie caramel popcorn recipe is a cinch to make in bulk, and the portable appetizer can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week.

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