29 Last-minute Thanksgiving appetizer recipes/ideas!


We are enjoying Thanksgiving in the Bay Area this year because Bubba's family AND my family have both randomly (and independently) congregated here for the holiday (oh so convenient!). I'm in charge of the “pre-dinner finger foods” for for both family dinners (yes, we are tag-teaming not one, but TWO TG dinners. Heaven for my mouth? yes. For my pants? Not so much.). I left all my recipes behind in UT so I gave a shout-out to my readers on Facebook for some last-minute favorite recipes and ideas. The response blew me away…and made me hungry! So, clearly I have to share. Enjoy

Here's what I posted:

“Friends! I'm in charge of pre-dinner finger foods for Thanksgiving tomorrow. I'd love some new ideas (other than my typical veggie tray and cheese platter). What are your favorite appetizer/snacky-type foods? Recipes are helpful!”

Here are some of the responses:

  •   Emily B:  Cranberry Salsa Dip with Cream Cheese
    Served with wheat thins 

    Recipe Type: Appetizer, Cranberries, Dips & Spreads, Chile Peppers
    Yields: 1 1/2 cups
    Prep time: 20 min


    1 (12-ounce bag) or 3 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained
    1/4 cup minced green onions
    2 small (approximately 2 tablespoons) jalapeno chile peppers, cored, seeded and minced
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, minced
    2 tablespoons finely-grated fresh ginger
    2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
    2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
    Cranberries and/or cilantro sprigs for garnish


    Rinse, drain, and pick over cranberries, (discarding all that are soft or bruised).

    Place the cranberries in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped but not mushy.

    Place chopped cranberries in a bowl; mix together with onions, jalapeno peppers, sugar, cilantro leaves, ginger, and lemon juice.

    Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours so flavors develop (salsa will be too sharp and tart to begin with).

    On a serving plate, place cream cheese; cover with the dip. Garnish, if desired, and served with crackers.

    Makes 1 1/2 cups.
  •  Patti B: Simple tomato and basil bruschetta on baguette
  •  Natalie C: Lil smokies w/BBQ sauce
  •  Carissa T:  Sausage cups! (Wonton wrappers stuffed me cooked sausage, ranch dressing and shredded cheese, tucked into mini muffin tins)
    Also, crack dip w crackers. (Sour cream, packet of powdered ranch, bacon pieces, shredded cheese).
  •  Patti B: I like to add balsamic vinegar, but this recipe is close: http://www.tastebook.com/…/3430189-Cheesecake-Factory…


    • 1−1/2 cups chopped roma tomatoes
    • 2 Tbsp.diced red onion
    • 1 large clove garlic, minced
    • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
    • 2 tbsp. olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • dash of ground black pepper
    • 1/2 loaf french baguette or ctusty italian bread, sliced into 5−7 slices
    • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt
    • 2−3 sprigs italian parsley


    • In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, garlic and basil.
    • Add 1/2 Tbsp. of oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and mix well.
    • Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.
    • Preheat broiler, slice the bread in 1″ slices diagonally to make 5−7 slices.
    • Combine remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp. oil with the garlic salt. Brush entire surface of each slice (both sides) with the olive oil mixture.
    • Broil slices for 1 1/2−2 mins. on each side, until surface starts to brown.
    • Arrange bread like spokes of a wheel on plate.
    • Put the chilled tomato mixture in a pile in the middle of the slices. Garnish with italian parsley.


    Cheesecake Factory Bruschetta Recipe from AnnaLee Fuhr Parnetta.
  •  Jamie M: Li'l smokies wrapped in bacon glazed in brown sugar.
  •  Andrea R:  Jalapenos cut in half. Filled w cream cheese and spicy sausage. Topped w cheese and wrapped in bacon. Low broil 5-10m. BEST APPETIZER EVER
  •  Amy W:  Wrap a fresh pineapple chunk in a half slice bacon, secure with a toothpick (not the colored ones-the color bleeds) and bake in 375 oven until bacon is crispy. DELICIOUS! Make sure the pan is covered in foil or parchment paper for easy clean up.
  •  Debby R: CHEAP and EASSSSSYYYY: Get 30 slices of salami cut at a #1. Cut those rounds in half. Smear a tsp of cream cheese inside and add a peppercini – roll up and you're done! Make a ton because they go fast!
  •  Lorraine H: Wontons with sweet & sour sauce or artichoke dip.
    Or…I like 7 layer dip
  •  Jenny P: Put a block of cream cheese cheese on a plate, cover with red pepper jelly, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Serve with assorted crackers. It will be a huge hit!
  •  Sharla Arnold Jordan! You have to go towww.thisisdoable.com click the cook button and then appetizers. Simple and delicious!


    A site dedicated to inspiring creativity in anyone!
  •  Jenny P: Whip together 1 block room temp cream cheese, 3/4 c. brown sugar, cinnamon to taste and 1 tsp. vanilla till very light and fluffy. Then add approx. 2 cups whipped cream or Cool Whip. Serve with apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon. Apples never had it so good!!
  •  Kelly J: A guaranteed hit. Mexican Pinwheels. Med. flour shells. 8oz. Cream cheese. 1 pkg dry ranch dressing mix. 1/2 small can of chopped black olives 1 sm can green chilies. 1 sm. jar of pimentos. 2 diced green onions. 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese mix together and spread on the flour shells. Roll up chill slice in rings and serve with salsa.
  •  Anna H: Ranch cheese ball. 8 oz soft cream cheese and packet of dry hidden valley ranch mix. Roll in bacon bits. Easy and delicious!
  •  Melanie G:  Cranberry Salsa: 1 bag fresh or frozen(thawed) Cranberries,1 Granny Smith apple peeled,cut into 1/8ths,1/2 large red bell pepper seeded,1/2 med. red onion chopped large, 3/4 cups sugar,1/3 cup apple juice,3 Tbs.fresh cilantro,2 Tbs. pickled jalepeno (canned),1 tsp. grated lime zest. Pulse in food processor until consistency you desire serve with tortilla chips.
  •  Jennifer G: Always a hit – Sassy Chicken Enchilada Dip: http://jensrecipebox.blogspot.com/…/sassy-chicken…
  •  Nicole W: Cheap and Easy! one can of corn, drained; one can of mild Rotel, drained; one can of black beans, rinsed and drained; one bag of shredded cheddar cheese; one bunch of green onion, chopped; and ranch dressing (about one cup). Mix me all together and serve with chips or crackers. I never have any left whenever I take to a party!!
  •  Megan P: l Veggie pizza. Roll out crescent rolls on bar pan & bake. Meanwhile mix 1 block cream cheese with a little dry ranch, season salt, & dill. Spread cream cheese over crescents after they cool. Top with broccoli slaw mix, sliced cucumbers, & sliced red bell pepper.
  •  Kent R: Jalapeño poppers. I made them for the last family party and they disappeared in 3 minutes.
  •  Joanna T: I like cowboy salsa (so quick and easy), or a block of cream cheese with that spicy raspberry pepper jelly and crackers.


How amazing are my readers?? I'm going to make the cranberry salsa for sure, that was on my list because luckily I had found the recipe in my email archives (same recipe Emily B posted). I haven't decided on the others, there are so many to choose from! What are YOUR favorite Thanksgiving pre-dinner appetizers? Leave a comment and share!

Happy Turkey Day to all, XOXO

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