This Thanksgiving, skip the munchies and the “Can we eat yet?” chorus. We’ve rounded up crowd-pleasing appetizers that prep your palate for the big meal and are super easy to pull off. Best of all, the kiddos can help make (and serve!) these super snacks. Bon appétit!
Photo: Also, That’s It
1. Turkey Cheese Plate
This ain’t your average party cheese plate! In fact, we’re loving how getting creative with cold cuts can lead to such a cute turkey spread. To make your own, get inspired over at Also, That’s It.
Photo: Amy Roskelley via Super Healthy Kids
2. Portion Controlled Apps
Want to avoid spoiling little appetites before the Thanksgiving meal? We’re digging this appetizer from Super Healthy Kids, which is all about providing tasty and healthy pre-meal bites in small baking cups. Go for nuts, hummus and dippers, and more.
Photo: Say Yes
3. Pumpkin-Shaped Baked Sweet Potato Chips
Who can resist a chip? This sweet potato version is super easy to make yourself, doesn’t involve any frying, and can be made extra festive with the help of a pumpkin cookie cutter. Learn all about it over at Say Yes.
Photo: Mom Endeavors
4. Turkey Veggie Tray
Re-create the bird of the day with a veggie sculpture that will have everyone smiling. It’s an easy way to get kids to happily eat their veggies, too. Get all the details from Mom Endeavors.
Photo: Erin at Well Plated
5. Apple Cranberry Turkey Meatballs
You can’t have too much turkey, right? These oh-so-tasty meatballs are a little bit sweet, very juicy, and guaranteed to disappear fast! Plus, they’re bursting with fall flavors. Get the recipe at Well Plated.
Photo: Hungry Happenings
6. Veggie Pizza
Colorful, flavorful and easy to put together. These veggie leaf pizzas are everything on your appetizer wish list. Young ones can even get in on the action by helping with the sprinkling of veggie toppings. Just yell “pizza” and they’ll come running. Get the recipe at Hungry Happenings.
Photo: Lexi’s Clean Kitchen
7. Sweet Potato Sliders
These simple sliders have a lot going for them: delicious and guilt-free, they can also be turned into a build-your-own bar for kids who like to get in on the kitchen action. Get all the info at Lexi’s Clean Kitchen.
Photo: Simple and Chic
8. Puffed Pastry Bites
Isn’t Puffed Pastry the best? We love how it automatically ups the wow factor but is still so easy to work with. The beauty of these bites is that you can customize them to suit your tastes. This recipe, from Simple and Chic, has zucchini, dried tomato and ricotta. Yum!
Photo: Boulder Locavore
9. Creamy Hot Artichoke Dip
Let’s face it, cheesy dip is a guaranteed appetizer touchdown–and this recipe is no exception. With plenty of cheese and artichoke, this dish is gluten-free and can be made in about 15 minutes! Learn more at Boulder Locavore.
Photo: The Yummy Life
10. Leafy Cheese Platter
This appetizer is so genius you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself. Simply snag some leaf-shaped cookie cutters and turn a standard cheese platter into an autumn-y delight. Serve with a cranberry relish for extra T-giving tastes. Get all the info (plus the relish recipe!) at The Yummy Life.
Photo: Bakeaholic Mama
11. Pumpkin and Cranberry Crostinis with Maple and Brie
Imagine a fall flavor checklist and you’ve got this crostini appetizer. Maple? Check. Pumpkin and cranberry? Yep. Brie? You’ve got it. Learn more at Bakeaholic Mama.
Photo credit: Of Winds and Water
12. Pumpkin Cheeseballs
Isn’t it great when an appetizer looks super impressive but is actually easy to pull off? These pumpkin cheeseballs may look like feats of wonder, but the magic is in the paprika. And since kids love food that comes in fun shapes, we’re betting these will be a hit all around. Find out more at Of Winds and Water.
Photo: The Kitchen is My Playground
13. Spinach Balls
This tasty app is part stuffing, part spinach, and just big enough for a couple of bites. We like that it adds some green goodness into the kiddos’ meal. Get the scoop at The Kitchen is My Playground.
Photo: Averie Cooks
14. Six-Layer Taco Cups
Want to add a little Mexican flair to your pre-Thanksgiving menu? Try these bite-size taco cups, which sport vegetarian ingredients you likely already have on hand. Snag the recipe over at Averie Cooks.
Photo: Laughing Spatula
15. Caprese Bites
These lollipop-inspired caprese bites are a great way to tide tummies over until the Big Meal. Food on a stick is usually a crowd pleaser, but if your kids are on the younger side you can skip the sticks for less poking opportunities. Get the scoop at Laughing Spatula.
What’s your fave pre-meal snack for Thanksgiving? Share it with us in the comments section below!
— Abigail Matsumoto