Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipes

From our showstopping Pecan-Pear Cheese Ball to our one-bite meatballs, find all the gluten-free Thanksgiving appetizer recipes you need to make sure everyone is satisfied until dinner!

Staff Picks

Smoky Pumpkin Seeds

Smoked paprika and garlic powder punch up the flavor in this easy roasted pumpkin seeds recipe.

Baked Broccoli-Cheddar Quinoa Bites

Rating: 5 stars 4
These savory muffin-like quinoa bites are low in carbs and a good source of protein--plus we love their cheesy flavor.

Broiled Oysters with Anchovy-Almond Butter

Topped with a buttered-up blend of toasted almonds, savory anchovy and fresh herbs, this broiled oyster recipe is rich, intense and downright delicious. Serve the oysters as a first course with a dry amontillado sherry and crusty bread.

Pear-Pecan Cheese Ball

Rating: 4.67 stars 3
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.

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.

Sweet and Salty Roasted Nuts

Spicy seasonings add a bit of zing to roasted nuts for an appetizer that's perfect for any occasion.

Roasted Pears with Brie & Pistachios

Rating: 4.33 stars 2
Roasted pears with Brie and pistachios is delicious as a first course or a side with roast pork or lamb. Leave the stems on for the prettiest presentation.

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.

Chile-Lime Peanuts

Rating: 3 stars 3
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.

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).

Creamy Spinach Dip

Rating: 3.5 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.

Tangy Cherry Barbecue Sausage

Cherry preserves, tomato paste and chipotle chile pepper combine for an unexpected sauce that provides sweet heat.
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Inspiration and Ideas

Pear-Pecan Cheeseball
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.
Baked Spaghetti Squash Fritters
These crispy loaded fritters are perfect for parties. Baking them instead of frying cuts down on labor (and oil splatters). Be sure to squeeze as much of the liquid out of the spaghetti squash and onion mixture as possible—moisture is the enemy of crispiness.

Roasted Vegetable Antipasto

Rating: 4.67 stars
3

A zesty vinaigrette makes these roasted Brussels sprouts, fennel, carrots and beets pop. If you can't find small carrots, halve larger ones crosswise then quarter lengthwise. Serve this vegetable antipasto as a side dish or appetizer.