Published on November 3, 2018

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Courtesy of Half Baked Harvest
If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, the stress is inevitably about to set in. While you may have some semblance of what the main dinner menu will entail or how you will decorate your home, we’ve got our minds on the appetizers we’ll be serving before the party.Now, the idea of spending extra time in the kitchen to make the pre-dinner snacks may seem less than enticing, hence why we have our eyes on these make-ahead dishes instead. Seriously, serving a few easy apps before the meal never hurt, especially if your kitchen is filled with tummy-grumbling guests.Enter a few simple recipes, which you can whip up the night before, that will keep the crowd satisfied (and busy) until dinner time. Take a look!

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Photography by Eric Wolfinger

Bruschetta with Mushrooms and Fontina

An Italian classic gets an autumn-approved revamp, brimming with melty fontina, a garlic-herb mushroom mix, and a red wine base. Whip up the mushroom blend ahead of the party, assemble the bread and cheese once the guests arrive, and pop it into the broiler before you serve. Get the full recipe on Good Housekeeping.

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Courtesy of Vegetarian Ventures

Pumpkin Cheddar Cheese Ball Appetizer Recipe

It’s only fitting that we embrace the quintessential flavors of the season, and pumpkin most certainly reigns supreme. Cream cheese, cheddar, and pumpkin combine with a medley of spices, paprika included, to form this indulgent app from Vegetarian Ventures. Serve with a slew of fall-friendly crudites and baked baguette slices.

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Courtesy of Half Baked Harvest

Baked Brie and Prosciutto Rolls

Allow us to paint you a picture here: Half Baked Harvest‘s brie and prosciutto rolls will hardly come close to anything else on the menu. See, you wrap a generous chunk of Brie and a thin slice of prosciutto with a flaky phyllo dough sheet and bake the pairing to a crisp, gooey perfection. Drizzle the finished product with honey and garnish with pomegranate seeds to serve.

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Courtesy of Rachel Schultz

Fig and Gorgonzola Baked Bruschetta

Fall figs and cheese make for the ideal pairing and what better way to indulge in them than by way of these bite-sized treats? Easy to assemble and a breeze to bake, it’s a low-effort app that will garner plenty of acclaim. Get Rachel Schultz’s full recipe here.

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Kabocha & Havarti Pockets

These cheesy pastry pockets from I Will Not Eat Oysters definitely falls on the less-than-traditional side of Thanksgiving appetizers but all the more reason to embrace them in the first place. Kabocha squash, Havarti cheese, and hints of thyme and tarragon earmark this one as a flavorful explosion. Whip it up the evening before your fete and pop them into the oven right as the guests begin to arrive—20 minutes later, they’re ready to serve!

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Prosciutto-Wrapped Cantaloupe with Balsamic Glaze

A three-ingredient appetizer should be a given for any entertaining opportunity. While seasonal bites are mainstay of the holidays, we’re all for switching things up—after all, what better way to offset the cold weather than with summer-inspired flavors? Serve up this (healthyish) take on the classic Italian app, which boasts an ingenious mix of sweet and savory flavors. Slice up the melon ahead of time and wrap with the prosciutto. Before serving, drizzle with the balsamic glaze and sprinkle with sea salt for an added flavor element.
Get the recipe on Plays Well With Butter.
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Salt-and-Butter-Roasted Pecan Cheese Balls

We’re all for bringing back this retro concept—but really, since when did cheese balls go out of style? This mod take on the recipe, from Vivian Howard’s Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South, comes crusted with salt and butter-roasted pecans, scallions, and plenty of hot sauce for a spicy kick. Serve alongside a plate of freshly baked crostini, which you can easily prep the night before. Simply slice a baguette and assemble on a baking sheet—drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper before baking, and set in the oven for about 10 minutes, under 375F. We definitely won’t be passing on that.

Get the recipe on Garden & Gun.

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Photography by MY MODERN COOKERY

Crabby Deviled Eggs With Tarragon Gremolata

Since most guests tend to arrive on the earlier side—or in some cases, overnight—brunch-friendly appetizers become a must. While deviled eggs are a classic party staple, this reimagined recipe features a seafood-inspired take. Old Bay seasoning becomes a defining flavor, coupled with crab meat, hints of tarragon for a refreshing note, and a splash of lemon garlic.

Get the recipe on My Modern Cookery.

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Antipasto Skewers

What’s a party sans a little antipasto? These make-ahead skewers come loaded with tortellini, roasted red peppers, and fresh mozzarella, making for the ideal pre-party snack.

Get the recipe on The Sweetest Occasion.

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Photography by Katrin Björk

Thai Pumpkin Soup

Featuring a spiced blend of pumpkin and butternut squash, this Thai-inspired take boasts a bold array of fresh flavors including lemongrass, coconut milk, and ginger.

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Photography by WHAT YOUTH

Devils on Horseback

Or, just a fancy way of saying stuffed dates wrapped in bacon—what better way to open up an appetite than with a little crispy baked bacon?

Get the recipe on What Youth.

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Photography by ANSON SMART

Spicy Heirloom Bean Chili

This veggie-friendly version comes with a kick—thanks to the medley of various chili and spices—accentuated by a hint of cocoa powder (yes, really) and splashes of lime.

Discover more mouthwatering recipes here:

8 Chefs to Follow on Instagram on Thanksgiving
Why you should start planning friendsgiving in October
18 Totally Unexpected Ways To Do Thanksgiving

This article was originally published November 2016, it has been updated with new information.