A fun spread of Thanksgiving appetizers can be a lifesaver. Hosting the holiday dinner can feel daunting for even the most seasoned cooks. First, there’s the sheer number of dishes to make, from the turkey to the sides to the pies. Then there’s the logistical issue of how to get everything in the oven and have it all hot and ready at the same time. Add the normal stresses of having lots of people in your home and navigating family dynamics—and the fact that a 15-pound bird almost always takes longer to roast than it’s supposed to—and the day can easily go from celebratory to stressful.
We find that the easiest way to take the pressure off is to start the meal with a few simple delicious crowd-pleasing bites. Set out some fun snacks when your first guests arrive, along with some fall-appropriate cocktails, and everyone will be happy to nibble and mingle—and no one will notice if dinner is served a little later than you expected.
Below you’ll find our favorite easy Thanksgiving appetizer ideas, including classic dip recipes and cheese balls, as well as fun finger foods and twists on the traditional relish platter. Prepare a few of these simple apps ahead of time and you’ll instantly take the pressure off of your Thanksgiving day.