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60 Super Easy Thanksgiving Appetizers

Looking for easy Thanksgiving appetizers? We bet you have a few minutes to throw together one of these cheesy, flaky, crispy, creamy apps. Now, who's ready to party?

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Pumpkin Cheese Ball

Pumpkin Cheese Ball

No one will guess that this make-ahead pumpkin cheese ball has pumpkin in it, but that subtle ingredient lends harvest color and added nutrition. —Linnea Rein, Topeka, Kansas

Short on time? Here’s how to cook an ENTIRE Thanksgiving dinner in only 3 hours.

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Candied WalnutsThe musical "Waitress"

Candied Walnuts

Turn ordinary walnuts into a taste sensation with this simple recipe that’s prepared on the stovetop. With plenty of brown sugar and a hint of pepper, the crunchy candied walnuts are a nice complement to a fruit and cheese tray. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Creamy Pumpkin HummusTaste of Home

Creamy Pumpkin Hummus

I love to serve this pumpkin hummus with sliced apples, pears and pita chips. Top it with toasted pumpkin seeds, a drizzle of pumpkin oil and even fried sage leaves. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor

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Sausage Cheese PuffsThe musical "Waitress"

Sausage Cheese Puffs

People are always surprised when I tell them there are only four ingredients in these tasty bite-size puffs. Cheesy and spicy, the golden morsels are a fun novelty at a breakfast or brunch…and they also make yummy party appetizers.
—Della Moore
Troy, New York

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Cranberry and Bacon Swiss Cheese DipTaste of Home

Cranberry and Bacon Swiss Cheese Dip

This warm, rich and creamy Swiss cheese dip is guaranteed to please family and friends alike. Served with thin, crunchy slices of French bread, it makes the perfect appetizer—especially since it can be prepared ahead, put in the fridge, and then baked just before you want to serve it. —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota

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Gruyere and Crab PalmiersTaste of Home

Gruyere and Crab Palmiers

I keep these little bursts of flavor in my freezer so they can be pulled out and popped into the oven whenever needed. Crab, pancetta and Gruyere make a sophisticated, elegant appetizer, and you can make your own variations on the filling. Try chicken and pesto, or a Mediterranean version with spinach and feta. —Grace Voltolina, Westport, Connecticut

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Brie with AlmondsTaste of Home

Brie with Almonds

This nut-topped cheese is elegant and impressive for holiday occasions. No one will guess that the recipe is actually a snap to prepare. —Mildred Aydt, Chanhassen, Minnesota

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Caramel Pumpkin DipTaste of Home

Caramel Pumpkin Dip

Served with vanilla wafers, graham cracker sticks or even apple slices, this cool, creamy dip from our home economists makes a special autumn snack.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Pickled Pepperoncini Deviled EggsTaste of Home

Pickled Pepperoncini Deviled Eggs

It's hard to resist these adorable deviled trees on our buffet table. The avocado filling has pepperoncini and cilantro for extra zip. —Carmell Childs, Clawson, Utah

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Pine Nut and Basil GuacamoleTaste of Home

Pine Nut and Basil Guacamole

Guacamole is typically a Mexican dish, but that doesn’t mean you can't try to make it with other global flavors. For an Italian-inspired basil guacamole recipe, top it off with toasted pine nuts and fresh herb ribbons. You can also substitute the traditional lime for lemon juice.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Smashed OlivesTaste of Home

Smashed Olives

My best friend and I came up with this recipe to bring back the wonderful tastes of Spain with us. When you are finished with the olives, use the flavored olive oil for a chicken or shrimp marinade. —Tiffani Warner, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

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Caramel HavartiTaste of Home

Caramel Havarti

Havarti cheese is a wonderful dessert cheese and is made even better by pecans, caramel topping and apples. This recipe is elegant yet simple. —Tia Thomas, Mountain City, Tennessee

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Festive Holiday SlidersTaste of Home

Festive Holiday Sliders

Turkey sliders with ginger, horseradish and cranberry sauce refrigerate well, so I keep them ready for get-togethers when we bake gifts and wrap presents. —Pamela Miller, Big Rapids, Michigan

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Apple-Gouda Pigs in a BlanketTaste of Home

Apple-Gouda Pigs in a Blanket

For New Year’s, I used to make beef and cheddar pigs in a blanket, but now I like apple and Gouda for an even better flavor celebration. —Megan Weiss, Menomonie, Wisconsin

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So Very Berry BrieTaste of Home

So Very Berry Brie

I needed to make something quick for a wine and cheese party, and had a bounty of berries on hand. My creation went great with all the wines and looked so much more impressive than the other plain cheeses! —Kristin Larson-Jantzi, Newton, Kansas

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Savory Cucumber SandwichesTaste of Home

Savory Cucumber Sandwiches

Italian salad dressing easily flavors this delicious cucumber sandwich recipe. Serve them as an appetizer for a holiday party or with tea as a snack. —Carol K Henderson, Chagrin Falls, Ohio

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sriracha AioliTaste of Home

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sriracha Aioli

This Sriracha Brussels sprouts recipe constantly surprises you—it's crispy, easy to eat and totally sharable, yet it's a vegetable! The recipe is also gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo, and it can be vegan if you use vegan mayo. —Molly Winsten, Brookline, Massachusetts

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Sweet Potato Crostini

Sweet Potato Crostini

For party time, I turn this sweet potato side dish into an appetizer by serving it on slices of a French baguette. — Steve Westphal, Wind Lake, Wisconsin

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Turkey Sliders with Sweet Potato "Buns"Taste of Home

Turkey Sliders with Sweet Potato "Buns"

In this healthier take on sliders, I sandwich a burger between roasty slices of sweet potato. My wife took one bite and approved these tasty little guys. —Guy Martino, Charleston, South Carolina

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Cinnamon Toasted Almonds

Cinnamon Toasted Almonds

Crunchy, cinnamon almonds are a spectacular treat to bring to a party or gathering. “They taste just like the cinnamon roasted almonds you get at the fair,” says Janice Thompson from Stacy, Minnesota.

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Crab Crescent Triangles

Crab Crescent Triangles

When friends who love crab were planning a party, I created this recipe just for them. These comforting baked bundles wrap up a cheesy seafood filling in convenient crescent roll dough. —Noelle Myers, Grand Forks, North Dakota

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Five-Cheese Spinach & Artichoke DipTaste of Home

Five-Cheese Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Whenever I go to an event, I'm always asked to bring this hot dip. Five types of cheese make it a standout and oh-so delicious. I love its party-ready convenience— I serve it straight from the slow cooker, so set-up and clean-up are a breeze! —Noelle Myers, Grand Forks, North Dakota

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Savory Party BreadTaste of Home

Savory Party Bread

It's impossible to stop nibbling on warm pieces of this cheesy, oniony bread. The sliced loaf fans out for a fun presentation. It's one of the best savory appetizers I've found. —Kay Daly, Raleigh, North Carolina

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Cherry Tomato BitesTaste of Home

Cherry Tomato Bites

Cherry tomatoes may be small, but these are full of amazing flavor. Plus, they add color to any table. —Rev. David Bostedt, Zephyrhills, Florida

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Pumpkin QuesoTaste of Home

Pumpkin Queso

I like serving this pumpkin queso with veggie chips like sweet potato or kale, but it's also great with good old tortilla chips. It can be made with vegetable stock and gluten-free flour if you have dietary restrictions. —Darla Andrews, Schertz, Texas

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Pressure-Cooker CaponataTaste of Home

Pressure-Cooker Caponata

This Italian eggplant dip preps quickly and actually gets better as it stands. Serve it warm or at room temperature. Try adding a little leftover caponata to scrambled eggs for a savory breakfast. —Nancy Beckman, Helena, Montana

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Roasted Beetroot and Garlic HummusTaste of Home

Roasted Beetroot and Garlic Hummus

This tasty beetroot hummus is the prettiest pink snack I’ve ever seen. The healthy recipe is handy to make in large batches and keep in the fridge for lunches and snacks throughout the week. —Elizabeth Worndl, Toronto, Ontario

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Cranberry Brie Pecan Pinwheels

Cranberry Brie Pecan Pinwheels

This recipe is a twist on baked Brie. My family always requests these during the holidays. They are delicious and make the kitchen smell amazing! —Jacquie Franklin, Hot Springs, Montana

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Sun-Dried Tomato Goat Cheese EmpanadasTaste of Home

Sun-Dried Tomato Goat Cheese Empanadas

I created this appetizer because I entertain a lot and wanted something simple but special. People like these empanadas so much! I always make extra. —Lynn Scully, Rancho Santa Fe, California

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Baked Crab DipTaste of Home

Baked Crab Dip

We enjoyed this exquisite crab dip at my grandson's wedding reception. It looks fancy but is easy to make. You can even fill the bread bowl early in the day and chill it until serving. Just remove it from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. —Marie Shelley, Exeter, Missouri

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Holiday Appetizer MeatballsTaste of Home

Holiday Appetizer Meatballs

These beefy meatballs are a perennial favorite at our holiday parties. You won't believe how easy these holiday appetizers are to make. —Pat Waymire, Yellow Springs, Ohio

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Party ShrimpTaste of Home

Party Shrimp

The marinade for this dish makes the shrimp so flavorful, you won't even need a dipping sauce. Even those who claim they don’t like shellfish really dig this appetizer. —Kendra Doss, Colorado Springs, Colorado

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Cilantro Tomato BruschettaTaste of Home

Cilantro Tomato Bruschetta

This is an easy tomato appetizer that all of my family and friends love. The garden-fresh ingredients capture summer and meld together for a delightful hors d’oeuvre recipe that goes well with many different main dishes. —Lisa Kane, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Cranberry Sauce Meatballs

Cranberry Sauce Meatballs

Cranberry sauce isn't just for turkey anymore! Combined with a few other ingredients, the Thanksgiving staple makes a perfect meatball topper. —Tammy Neubauer, Ida Grove, Iowa

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Spanish Marinated MushroomsTaste of Home

Spanish Marinated Mushrooms

I had some amazing marinated mushrooms in a little tapas bar in Seville when I was stationed in Spain with the U.S. Navy. A couple of months ago, I decided to see if I could make something close, and here’s what I came up with. The longer you keep them refrigerated, the stronger the vinegar taste will be. —Patricia Mitchell, Ingleside, Texas

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Tomato Apple ChutneyTaste of Home

Tomato Apple Chutney

I love to make different kinds of chutney during the holidays and give jars to family and friends for gifts. Cook the chutney in a slow cooker, and you don't have to fuss with it until you are ready to serve. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada

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Cranberry Cream Cheese SpreadTaste of Home

Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread

This festive dip is a snap to make, taking only 10 minutes from start to finish. Thanks to its hint of sweetness, both kids and adults will gobble it up. —Frankie Robinson, Lockhart, Texas

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Antipasto PlatterTaste of Home

Antipasto Platter

We entertain often, and antipasto is one of our favorite crowd-pleasers. Guests love having their choice of so many delicious nibbles, including pepperoni and cubes of provolone. —Teri Lindquist, Gurnee, Illinois

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Fireside Cheese SpreadTaste of Home

Fireside Cheese Spread

When our family and friends get together for holidays or other occasions, I serve this appetizer. It's always a success. If you prefer, try a Swiss cheese spread instead of the cheddar. And, if you enjoy garlic, substitute a small clove of minced garlic for the garlic powder. —Debbie Terenzini-Wilkerson, Lusby, Maryland

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Marinated MozzarellaTaste of Home

Marinated Mozzarella

I always come home with an empty container when I bring this dish to a party. It can be made ahead to free up time later. I serve it with pretty frilled toothpicks for a festive look. —Peggy Cairo, Kenosha, Wisconsin

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Bourbon MeatballsTaste of Home

Bourbon Meatballs

Kick-start your meatballs with a splash of bourbon and vinegar for punchy sweet-and-sour flavor. These Kentucky Derby bourbon meatballs are perfect to snack on while you watch the race. —Kimla Carsten, Grand Junction, Colorado

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Slow-Cooked SmokiesTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Smokies

I like to include these little smokies smothered in barbecue sauce on all my appetizer buffets since they're popular with both children and adults. —Sundra Hauck, Bogalusa, Louisiana

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Dilly Cheese Ball

Dilly Cheese Ball

The whole family devours this herby cheese spread—even my son, the chef. Serve it with your favorite crackers. —Jane Vince, London, Ontario

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Nutty Stuffed MushroomsTaste of Home

Nutty Stuffed Mushrooms

Basil, Parmesan cheese and mushroom blend together well, while buttery pecans give these treats a surprising crunch. Our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren always ask for them! —Mildred Eldred, Union City, Michigan

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Holiday SalsaTaste of Home

Holiday Salsa

When we offer this cream-cheesy salsa of fresh cranberries, cilantro and a little jalapeno kick, everyone hovers around the serving dish until it’s scraped clean. —Shelly Pattison, Lubbock, Texas

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Festive Apple DipTaste of Home

Festive Apple Dip

I came up with this layered peanut butter treat when my dad gave me a big bag of apples. The dip has been one of my favorites ever since. In addition to serving it with apples, try it with graham crackers, vanilla wafers, banana chunks or animal crackers. —Theresa Tometich, Coralville, Iowa

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Cranberry Jalapeno Cheese SpreadTaste of Home

Cranberry Jalapeno Cheese Spread

This easy spread is based on several different relishes and spreads I've tasted or made before. I love the sweet and spicy combination of flavors. —Diane Nemitz, Ludington, Michigan

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Hot Crab PinwheelsTaste of Home

Hot Crab Pinwheels

I got the recipe for these crabmeat bites from a friend. What amazed me most is that my husband, who hates seafood, couldn't stop eating them. —Kitti Boesel, Woodbridge, Virginia

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Baked Onion Dip

Baked Onion Dip

Some people like this cheesy dip so much that they can't tear themselves away from the appetizer table to eat their dinner. But can you blame them? With two kinds of cheese and sweet onions in the mix, this ultra creamy dip is unforgettable. —Mona Zignego, Hartford, Wisconsin

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Gentleman's Whiskey Bacon JamTaste of Home

Gentleman's Whiskey Bacon Jam

You can slather this smoky bacon jam on pretty much anything. It lasts only a week in the fridge, so I freeze small amounts for a quick snack with crackers. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia

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Lemon-Herb Olives with Goat Cheese

Lemon-Herb Olives with Goat Cheese

Greek olives have a fruity flavor that comes into play when you mix them with lemon and fresh herbs. Spoon over goat cheese and slather on crackers. —Jeanne Ambrose, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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White Chocolate Brie CupsTaste of Home

White Chocolate Brie Cups

Try these unique little tarts as an appetizer before a special meal, or save them for a surprisingly different dinner finale. They’re sweet, creamy and crunchy—and very addictive! —Angela Vitale, Delaware, Ohio

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Brandied Blue Cheese SpreadTaste of Home

Brandied Blue Cheese Spread

Pour on the holiday spirit with a splash of brandy and three kinds of cheese. Pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, are a crunchy topping for the smooth spread. —T.B. England, San Antonio, Texas

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Goat Cheese MushroomsTaste of Home

Goat Cheese Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms are superstars in the hot appetizer category. I use baby portobello mushrooms and load them with creamy goat cheese and sweet red peppers. —Mike Bass, Alvin, Texas

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Three-Cheese Pepperoncini SpreadTaste of Home

Three-Cheese Pepperoncini Spread

Our big family loves to celebrate with food. Here’s my take on a cheesy Greek spread known as Kopanisti. We serve it with pita crisps or crackers. —Michael Hall, Goodland, Indiana

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Pickled Mushrooms with GarlicTaste of Home

Pickled Mushrooms with Garlic

I'm always asked to bring these tempting tidbits to holiday gatherings. Easy to make ahead and transport, they're something to celebrate on a festive relish tray. —Joyce Anderson, Chico, California

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Garlic-Herb Mini QuichesTaste of Home

Garlic-Herb Mini Quiches

Looking for a wonderful way to impress guests? You’ve got it—and you need only five ingredients to make these tasty apps! —Josephine Piro, Easton, Pennsylvania

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Sweet & Savory Pineapple Cheese BallTaste of Home

Sweet & Savory Pineapple Cheese Ball

One of my favorite dishes in childhood was my mom's pineapple and green pepper cheese ball. Now I make it, and it’s always a hit. —Susan Harrison, Laurel, Maryland

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Gorgonzola Polenta Bites

Gorgonzola Polenta Bites

I needed a brand-new appetizer for a big party. I covered polenta with Gorgonzola and a tangy sauce. That’s how you spread holiday cheer. —Margee Berry, White Salmon, Washington

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Candied Bacon-Wrapped FigsTaste of Home

Candied Bacon-Wrapped Figs

I stuffed figs with cream cheese and wrapped them in bacon and spices for an addictive flavor combo that’s sweet, salty and delicious. You can use dates, too. —Shelly Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon

Ellie Martin Cliffe
Now an executive editor at Taste of Home, Ellie has been writing about food and parenting for more than a decade. When she isn't at TOH HQ, she's likely trying gluten- and dairy-free recipes, canning whatever's in season, listening to anything with a fiddle, or playing Uno with her family.

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