I'm a Dietitian & These Are My Favorite Appetizers to Bring to Friendsgiving
Thanksgiving is hands-down my favorite holiday of the year. As a person who writes (and thinks) about food day in and day out, I appreciate a day that is totally devoted to sharing an epic meal with those Ilove and remembering the times I'm grateful for. But as much as one can plan ahead for the holiday meal, things don't always go as planned or according to schedule. This is where appetizers can come in handy. When I think of appetizers to bring to a Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving gathering, there are a few key components they should meet. First off, they should be relatively light. I don't want the snacks meant for grazing to ruin people's appetites for the main event. Second, they should be simple to make and easy to transport, which is especially important if I'm not hosting. Lastly, they should be packed with flavor, so a few little bites go a long way. Additionally, I'm on a budget and I lived without a dishwasher for a long time, so I appreciate recipes that minimize the ingredients and dishes required to make them. Luckily, we have several appetizers like 3-Ingredient Blue Cheese & Fig Bites, Apricot, Prosciutto & Parmesan Bites and Roasted Cauliflower & Walnut Dip that fit the bill and are perfect for the big day. Whether you're hosting or not, these flavorful bites will be a showstopper and can help buy you some time when cooking takes longer than anticipated (...like it does every year). For more beginner- and budget-friendly cooking tips, check out Thrifty.
3-Ingredient Blue Cheese & Fig Bites
Salty-tangy blue cheese pairs beautifully with sweet fig jam in these easy appetizers, which are perfect for a holiday party. The optional minced chives add a nice pop of color, but these are just as tasty without herbs. Keep the ingredients on hand and you can whip these up for impromptu holiday cocktail parties.
Easy Stuffed Mushrooms
This healthy stuffed mushroom appetizer is a nice balance of soft mushrooms, creamy filling and crunchy topping. This combination tastes downright decadent, but it's actually good for you. Be sure to get all of the moisture out of the chopped mushrooms before moving on to the next step; if not, the filling will be soggy and make the mushroom caps watery.
Pear-Pecan Cheese Ball
Sweet pear, salty Cheddar cheese and crunchy nuts make this healthy cheese ball recipe an alluring holiday treat. Serve with an array of crudités and crisp party crackers.
3-Ingredient Cranberry-Brie Bites
Baked Brie is a perennially popular appetizer. Here, we complement the Brie with tart cranberry sauce and bake it in pretty individual tartlets using premade pie crust for an ultra-easy crowd-pleasing appetizer.
Apricot, Prosciutto & Parmesan Bites
These 3-ingredient apricot, Parmesan and prosciutto bites are as simple to make as they look, and they taste even better. Simply layer each ingredient on top of the other and secure with a toothpick for an easy bite-size starter.
Roasted Cauliflower & Walnut Dip
This creamy roasted cauliflower dip has the texture of hummus but swaps chickpeas for roasted cauliflower and walnuts for tahini. A head of roasted garlic--which is cooked at the same time as the cauliflower--gives it great flavor.
Smashed Artichokes with Lemon-Dill Aioli
These smashed artichoke hearts are crispy with a tender, almost flaky interior and are just firm enough to dip in the bright and fresh lemon-dill aioli.
Pomegranate, Cranberry & Brie Bruschetta
Make this simple festive appetizer for your holiday guests. Toasted baguette slices with creamy, melted brie are topped with an orange-cranberry-pomegranate mixture--each bite delivers an explosion of flavor and texture!
Prosciutto-Wrapped Mini Peppers
Wrapping prosciutto around mini bell peppers is an easy way to upgrade the vegetable into an impressive, tasty appetizer.
3-Ingredient Cheddar & Apple Bites
Creamy apple butter and sharp Cheddar cheese are a perfect match in these easy party hors d'oeuvres. This recipe calls for prepared pie crust, which is pressed into mini muffin tins to make little tart shells, so it's super easy to make as well. Add slices of apple for extra crunch, if you'd like, or keep these bites simple. Either way, consider making a double batch--they'll go quickly.
Classic Deviled Eggs
We love the taste of dill relish in the filling of this deviled egg recipe, but if you like a sweeter deviled egg' opt for sweet relish instead. Our secret to healthy, creamy deviled eggs with fewer calories is to swap out half the full-fat mayo for nonfat Greek yogurt.
Winter Charcuterie Board
A cheeseboard is an ideal stationary hors d'oeuvre for holiday entertaining. Select a variety of cheeses, making sure to include an aged variety, a creamy cheese, a blue cheese and perhaps a smoked cheese. Round out the platter with cold cuts, bread, an abundance of seasonal fruits, dried fruit, crudité, nuts and olives. We even included some dark chocolate to cap it off!