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Thanksgiving Planning: 4 Light Appetizer Ideas

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Appetizers tend to get overlooked at big holiday meals — Often we are so focused on making the perfect turkey or getting the mashed potatoes just right, that we forget to serve something great to guests ahead of time. 

Make this year’s appetizers great by planning ahead of time! Today we are sharing four recipes that are perfect for your Thanksgiving celebration.

Some tips to consider when planning your Thanksgiving appetizers:

• A good rule of thumb for a dinner party is to allow for 6 appetizers per person. Keep this in mind when figuring out how much to make.

• Do as much as you can a day in advance.  Chop anything that can be chopped ahead of time and place it in plastic bags or containers in the refrigerator.

• If you’re tight on refrigerator space, use a cooler and fill with bagged ice. Leftover ice can be used for water glasses and drinks!

• Garnish your serving trays with a green leafy lettuce, herbs or citrus wheels for a nice presentation.

• Have several of the same dishes in different locations so guests don’t have to go looking for the appetizers.

• You don’t have to have fancy serving platters. Use cutting boards, cookie sheet pans or mirrors to serve!

Cheesy Mashed Potato Puffs via The Kitchn — These are a quick-as-a-snap breakfast side dish or appetizer. People love them — they are bite-sized and yummy, warm and creamy inside and crispy on the outside. I mean, it doesn’t get any better than that!

Baked Brie with Maple Roasted Cranberries via the view from great island —  This is an easy holiday appetizer, and it’s so darned pretty!  The baked cheese gets all gooey and the cranberries add a sweet tart punch.


Women of Today’s Cheese Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon — This is an easy comfort-food recipe that has a nice presentation. You could make these as an appetizer, or serve them with a salad for lunch or a light dinner.

Cranberry Chipotle Cocktail Meatballs via Host The Toast — This recipe requires almost no effort, they’re flavorful and balanced, they’re perfect for parties, they’re seasonal, they’re delicious, they’re delicious, and really, they’re so delicious.

Looking for more help with planning your Thanksgiving meal? Check out our Thanksgiving Planning Guide and our Ultimate Preparation Checklist!

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