Thanksgiving is coming and that means you need some crowd pleasing appetizers for Thanksgiving. It's the time of year when all of your family, and maybe some friends-that-may-as-well-be-family, gather together and catch up on the events going on in one another’s lives.
Yes, the holidays are about getting together, but let’s face it; no get-together is complete without food! That’s why Uncle Joe brought his famous three-bean dip…again. And Aunt Sally brought her life-changing fruit salad (for the fifth year in a row).
Well, why not shake things up? Whether you’re hosting or bringing a dish over to a relative’s, here are five simple, crowd pleasing appetizers for Thanksgiving!
1. Cheese or Vegetable Tray
This is a classic, yes, but can easily be reinvented and is one of my favorite crowd pleasing appetizers for Thanksgiving.
As an example, say you were to do a cheese tray. Instead of the classic cheddar, Colby, and pepper jack, you decide to do mozzarella, gouda, and a Havarti dill cheese. For fruit accompaniments, instead of the usual grapes or strawberries, you choose figs or moondrop grapes.
To give you ideas for a vegetable tray, you could substitute parsnip sticks for carrots, or simply add a zesty ranch to give everyone an extra burst of flavor!
2. Cheesy Crescent Rolls
Something else that’s a classic, but a real crowd pleaser! Most people like to use cheddar or swiss for their cheesy crescent rolls, but I like using Havarti. Swiss and Havarti both lend a lovely nutty flavor that works amazingly with the sweetness of the crescent rolls!
Now the recipe for this is simple. A slice or rectangle of cheese, wrapped in a crescent roll, baked according to crescent roll package directions! In no time, you’ll have something everyone will love!
3. Sweet Lil Smokies
This one is going to sound like a complete oddball, but trust me, people love it! Chili sauce, grape jelly, and lil smokies. Put the smokies into a crockpot, mix the jelly and chili sauce and pour over the smokies, then cook on low 3-4 hours! Allow others to serve themselves, or plate with toothpicks in the smokies! Your family will go nuts for more!
4. Hanky Pankies
Beefy, smoky, cheesy little niblets of goodness! That’s what Hanky Pankies are! This one is more of a recipe than all the others, so here you go!
1 lb ground beef
1 lb pork sausage
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 lb Mexican Velveeta, cubed
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1 loaf (1 lb) snack rye bread
First, you’ll want to cook the beef, sausage, and onion over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink. Next, drain it off, and then stir in the cheese, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, and salt and pepper.
Spread tablespoonfuls onto rye bread slices and place on a baking sheet. Broil for 3 minutes or until bubbly!
To add a splash of color, garnish with fresh minced parsley before serving!
5. Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts
This is one I saved for the number one slot because it’s one I remember from my childhood with deep fondness. It was a favorite for me, and I looked forward to every holiday when my grandmother would make them.
This one is simple, too! You’ll need:
A baking pan with sides
Cut your bacon slices into halves or thirds, depending on how long the bacon slices are. Drain the water from the can of water chestnuts. Take one water chestnut and wrap the bacon slice around it, securing with a toothpick. Repeat for all of your water chestnuts, then bake at 325 degrees for 10-20 minutes, until bacon is cooked. Next, take a bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce and pour it on the bacon, then bake another 5-10 minutes until the sauce starts caramelizing on the bacon. Serve on a platter. Don’t count on having any left over!
There you have it! Five sure-to-please appetizers for your holiday dinner! And who knows? Maybe one of these will finally help you win over your in-laws!