Thanksgiving Appetizer Ideas

Keep Your Kitchen Full this Year with These Thanksgiving Appetizers

What’s the best part of the Thanksgiving meal? Some say it’s the turkey. Others will tell you it’s the sides. At Reno’s Appliance, we believe the appetizers are the stars of Thanksgiving. Having an array of appetizers ready when your guests walk in makes them feel welcome and gives them an opportunity to enjoy a wide range of tastes and textures before sitting down to the traditional dinner. Here are 5 Thanksgiving appetizer recipes that’ll make this year’s celebration one to remember.

Zucchini and Goat Cheese Tarts
Simple and savory, these mini-tarts will definitely disappear before dinner is served.


  • 1 refrigerated pie crust
  • 2 to 3 pounds of zucchini cut into ⅛-inch thick slices
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place pie crust on floured work surface. Using a round cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out 24 rounds and transfer them to a prepared sheet. Leave about ½ inch of space between them.
  3. Place sheet in freezer until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
  4. Toss zucchini with 1 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Let stand 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry with a paper towel.
  5. Place zucchini in another medium bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and thyme.
  6. Spread goat cheese generously over each frozen dough round. Fold 3 to 4 zucchini slices in half and place them in a concentric circle on top of 1 dough round, creating a flower-like pattern. Repeat with remaining zucchini and dough.
  7. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake until crusts are light golden, about 20 minutes.
  8. Remove sheet from over and transfer tarts to platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Jam
The bacon jam turns this classic fall vegetable into an appetizer that will surprise and delight your guests.

Ingredients for the bacon jam

  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon cut into ¼ inch strips
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (packed) dried apricots (4 ounces), roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for the Brussels sprouts

  • 16 medium Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves smashed
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • Kosher salt

Directions for the bacon jam

  1. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until brown and crisp, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add onion and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute more.
  3. Add sugar, apricots, vinegar, and ¼ cup water and bring to a boil, while stirring. Add thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf and simmer until liquid is syrupy, about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove herb sprigs and let bacon mixture cool. Transfer to a food processor and pulse to a chunky purée. Season with salt and pepper.

Directions for the Brussels sprouts

  1. Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil and prep a bowl of ice water.
  2. Add Brussels sprouts to boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and transfer to ice water to cool. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add Brussels sprouts, garlic, and thyme and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender and browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Discard garlic and thyme.
  4. Arrange Brussels sprouts cut-side up on a serving tray and top each one with a dollop of jam. Spear each Brussels sprout half with a toothpick and serve

Spicy Vegetarian “Meatballs”
This vegetarian take on meatballs combines white beans and mushrooms for a hearty and delicious appetizer.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can white beans, rinsed, drained
  • 4 ounces button mushrooms
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup hot pepper sauce
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives, divided


  1. Arrange a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 400°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with oil.
  2. Pulse garlic in a food processor until finely chopped.
  3. Add celery, beans, and mushrooms and pulse until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in egg, panko, and ¾ teaspoon of salt.
  4. Using your hands, roll tablespoonfuls of bean mixture into balls. Transfer to prepared baking sheet, packing them snuggly.
  5. Roast veggie balls, turning halfway through, until firm and cooked through, about 25 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, cook butter, hot sauce, and maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted. Stir until smooth and set aside.
  7. Whisk sour cream, buttermilk, blue cheese, pepper, chives, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt in a medium bowl.
  8. Transfer veggie balls to a large bowl. Toss with hot sauce mixture from step 6 and serve with blue cheese dip.

Olive Oil Toasts with Greens, Pine Nuts, and Raisins
These thin crisp toasts are the perfect Thanksgiving appetizer to satisfy hungry guests while you put the finishing touches on your meal.

Ingredients for the toast

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 baguette, cut into 24 slices ¼-inch thick
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Ingredients for the topping

  • 1 bunch of chard washed, with stems removed
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons raisins (preferably golden), soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, drained and chopped

Directions for the toast

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Brush 1 tablespoon oil evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet. Arrange bread slices on top and brush them with remaining tablespoon oil and season with salt.
  3. Place baking sheet in oven and toast for 6 minutes. Then, rotate the pan front to back and toast 2 minutes more.
  4. Remove toasts from the baking sheet to a separate container and let cool to room temperature.

Directions for the topping

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add 2 tablespoons oil. Add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender and just slightly colored, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and red-pepper flakes and stir until the garlic is fragrant, but not browned, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the chard leaves with 1/2 teaspoon salt and let them begin to wilt. Lightly toss and add salt and oil until chard is tender but not mushy, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the pine nuts and raisins and then spoon the mixture onto a cutting board to cool for a couple of minutes. Chop the chard, then scoop into a medium bowl and mix in the cheese and the remaining tablespoon of oil. Top toasts with chard mixture and serve warm or at room temperature.

Prosciutto of Plenty
Your guests will be thankful to you for serving these festive appetizers that are easy to make, but full of flavor.


  • ¼ cup of pine nuts
  • 24 thin slices of good-quality prosciutto
  • 1 small bunch arugula
  • ¼ pound gorgonzola
  • ¼ cup currants


  1. Spread the pine nuts on a baking sheet and bake in the over or toaster oven at 350°F until they turn golden brown, about 4 minutes.
  2. Transfer them to a small bowl and let them cool.
  3. Cut each slice of prosciutto in half, crosswise.
  4. Top each half-slice with a small piece of arugula, a dab of gorgonzola, a few pine nuts, and few currents. Then roll them into a cone shape and serve. They should resemble a cornucopia.

These Thanksgiving appetizers are sure to get your holiday started right and leave guests satisfied. All of us at Reno’s wish you and your family a safe, happy, and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.

Reno’s Appliance was founded in 1951 as Reno’s Radio & TV. Since then, the shop has grown to become the one-stop home appliance source trusted by thousands. Reno’s sons continue to carry on the tradition set forth by their father and exhibit exceptional customer service. Stop by our showroom in Paterson, NJ to view our selection.