Thanksgiving Appetizer and Snack Recipes

Whether you're looking for Thanksgiving snacks to munch on throughout the day or healthy Thanksgiving appetizers to hold your guests over, we've got you covered with dips, cheese spreads and more!

Staff Picks

Curried Butternut Squash Dip

Rating: 4.5 stars 2
This healthy squash dip recipe, spiced with curry and made creamy with the addition of coconut milk, is a delicious alternative to hummus. You can also use other types of winter squash, pumpkin or sweet potatoes in place of the butternut squash in this dip. Serve with crisp raw vegetables or toasted pitas for dipping.
By Mary Cleaver

Easy Stuffed Mushrooms

Rating: 4.5 stars 2
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.
By Karen Rankin

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!
By Charlotte Autry

Spiced Pumpkin Cookies

Rating: 4 stars 11
The deep flavors of molasses, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg make these wholesome pumpkin cookies delicious without the addition of butter--and they lend themselves beautifully to the inclusion of whole-wheat flour. They are also the perfect texture for a sandwich cookie--fill them with a slightly sweetened cream cheese frosting.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Slow-Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip

Rating: 5 stars 1
This creamy, crowd-pleasing dip comes together with ease in your crock pot. Leave it in the slow cooker all party long to keep it warm for serving with perfect, melty cheese in every bite. Whole-wheat bread and raw veggie dippers allow you to dig in without the guilt.
By Carolyn Casner

Creamy Spinach Dip

Rating: 3 stars 4
Try this light spinach dip made healthier with reduced-fat cream cheese, nonfat yogurt and low-fat cottage cheese instead of full-fat cheese, mayonnaise and sour cream. It will save you a whopping 84 calories and 10 grams of fat per serving when compared to traditional versions. Serve it with pita chips and crunchy vegetables or spread it on a sandwich.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Chile-Lime Peanuts

Rating: 2.5 stars 5
These spicy nuts were inspired by ones sold by street vendors across Mexico. If you can only find salted peanuts, omit the added salt. Add the maximum amount of cayenne pepper if you want an extra hit of spice.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Apple-Cinnamon Fruit Bars

Rating: 4 stars 4
These easy apple-cinnamon fruit bars make a big batch--perfect for fall potlucks and parties.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Jonathan Perno's Spiced Candied Pecans

At home or at Campo, the restaurant he oversees at Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm in Albuquerque, chef Jonathan Perno likes to welcome guests with spiced New Mexican pecans. You won't see this in most spiced-nut recipes, but Perno blanches them to reduce some of the bitter tannins in the skin that can sometimes overwhelm the pecans' delicate flavor.
By Jonathan Perno

Nutty Pimiento Cheese Balls

Rating: 5 stars 1
These bite-size pimiento cheese balls from Jamie and Bobby Deen are a huge hit with kids (of all ages). They're the perfect appetizer to bring to a summer picnic. Jamie and Bobby share a passion for great home-cooked food with a Southern flair with their celebrity-chef mom, Paula Deen. These brothers are following in their mom's footsteps with their own TV shows, books and website. Our favorite part of what they're up to: healthy makeovers of some of Paula's recipes! Recipe adapted from The Deen Bros. Get Fired Up, by Jamie & Bobby Deen and Melissa Clark (Ballantine Books, 2011).
By EatingWell Test Kitchen
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Inspiration and Ideas

Best-Ever Thanksgiving Hors d'Oeuvres
Set the tone for the big Thanksgiving dinner with easy, delicious appetizers. These healthy bites will keep guests out of the kitchen and give them something light to munch on throughout the day.
Sausage Balls
These homemade sausage balls are a healthy riff on the original—we add riced cauliflower for moisture and a veggie boost, whole-wheat flour stands in for prepared biscuit mix, and sharp Cheddar adds flavor. The best part? They're the perfect make-ahead appetizer that'lll keep your Thanksgiving guests satisfied until dinner.
Cured or Smoked Salmon Appetizer Platter
Rating: 4 stars 2

This smoked salmon platter requires little effort but the spread makes a big impression. Served with all the fixings--capers, hard-boiled eggs, cucumber and more--a smoked salmon platter is the ultimate make-ahead appetizer. Lay out everything listed in the ingredients below or just a few of the elements along with an assortment of crackers, cocktail bread and/or sliced baguette.