5 Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipes

    October 25, 2013

    Halloween season is in full swing, but are you prepared for Thanksgiving? November is a week away. Now is the time to brainstorm for your big Thanksgiving meal! If you're still deciding on your menu, we have some amazing Thanksgiving appetizer recipes that will complement a multitude of menus and are relatively easy to execute. Try them in the coming weeks to perfect them for the big day!

    Pepper-Glazed Goat Cheese Gratin
    This dish is a refreshing new take on a traditional cheese dip and can be made ahead of time. Courtesy of Grace Parisi from Food & Wine.



    1 pound creamy fresh goat cheese, softened
    6 tablespoons apricot preserves
    4 Peppadew peppers, finely chopped
    1 pickled jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
    2 tablespoons minced cocktail onions
    2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    1 1/2 teaspoons dry sherry
    Pita chips and toasted baguette slices, for serving


    1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Spread the goat cheese in a 5-by-8-inch gratin dish in an even layer.

    2. In a small bowl, whisk the preserves with the Peppadews, jalapeño, onions, mustard and sherry. Spread the mixture over the goat cheese and bake on the top rack of the oven for about 5 minutes, until warm.

    3. Turn on the broiler and broil for about 2 minutes, until the topping is bubbling and lightly browned at the edges. Serve hot, with pita chips and toasted baguette slices.


    Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

    For something a little exotic, these crab stuffed mushrooms are a hit, with a variety of flavors that are mouthwatering. You can always substitute fresh crab with canned or imitation. Courtesy of Wilma Scott from All Recipes.



    1 pound fresh mushrooms
    7 ounces crabmeat
    5 green onions, thinly sliced
    1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
    1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/4 teaspoon ground savory
    ground black pepper to taste
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1/3 cup mayonnaise
    3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    1/4 teaspoon paprika


    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

    2. In a medium bowl, combine crabmeat, green onions, herbs, and pepper. Mix in mayonnaise and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese until well combined. Refrigerate filling until ready for use.

    3. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp towel. Remove stems. Spoon out the gills and the base of the stem, making deep cups. Discard gills and stems. Fill the mushroom caps with rounded teaspoonfuls of filling, and place them in an ungreased shallow baking dish. Sprinkle tops with Parmesan and paprika.

    4. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and serve immediately.


    Edamame Hummus

    This beautiful, green concoction can also be made up to two days in advance and adds a pop of color to your appetizer smorgasbord. Courtesy of Martha Stewart.



    1 pound frozen shelled edamame, thawed
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
    2 tablespoons tahini
    2 medium garlic cloves, smashed
    Coarse salt


    1. Steam edamame in a basket insert set over a pan of simmering water until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

    2. Puree edamame, 3/4 cup water, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor until smooth (mixture will be slightly grainy). Transfer to a bowl, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.


    Artichoke and Sun-Dried Tomato Bruschetta Recipe

    Bruschetta is always a classic. Mix it up with this quick and easy recipe by using tangy sun-dried tomatoes and hearty artichokes for a vibrant Thanksgiving appetizer. Courtesy of Taste of Home.



    36 slices French bread baguette (1/2 inch thick)
    2 tablespoons California Olive Ranch® Olive Oil
    2 cups marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained
    1 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1 teaspoon dried basil
    1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Italian cheese blend, divided


    1. Brush baguette slices with oil. Place bread on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 400° for 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned.

    2. Place the artichokes, tomatoes, garlic, oregano, basil, and ½ cup cheese in a food processor; cover and process until coarsely chopped.

    3. Spread 1 heaping tablespoon on each bread slice; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 400° for 5-10 minutes or until top is bubbly. Yield: 3 dozen.

    4. To Make Ahead: Prep baguette slices earlier in the day; store on baking sheets in the refrigerator. Prepare artichoke mixture; cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble. Proceed as directed.


    Ricotta-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Dates

    This is a definite crowd pleaser that will tantalize your tastebuds in anticipation of the big meal. For a slightly more complicated but gourmet Thanksgiving appetizer, check out the recipe courtesy of Dave Lieberman from Food Network.



    1 pound (about 12 to 13 slices) bacon, preferably thick-cut
    25 Medjool dates (about 3/4 pound)
    1/3 cup ricotta cheese
    Special Equipment: toothpicks, a bamboo skewer for removing pits


    1. Cut the bacon in half lengthwise to make twice as many slices. Set aside. To remove the pits from the dates, cut the tips off each end of the dates and insert the flat end of the skewer until it pushes the pit out of the date. Repeat with remaining dates.

    2. Place the ricotta in the bottom corner of a strong plastic bag and seal tightly. Use scissors to cut a small hole in the tip of 1 of the corners. Now use the bag like a piping bag to fill the dates with the cheese.

    3. Wrap the ricotta stuffed dates with a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick through the belly of the date. Arrange all the prepared dates on a parchment-lined baking sheet, allowing at least a little space between each one for good browning. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until bacon is browned and crispy. Remove from the baking sheet and gently remove toothpicks. Serve immediately.


    What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving appetizer recipes? Share with us in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter!