74 Easy Thanksgiving Appetizers

Updated: Apr. 28, 2024

Looking for easy Thanksgiving appetizers? We bet you have a few minutes to throw together one of these cheesy, crispy or creamy apps.

Thanksgiving day passes by in a blur, so why not try to slow it down with these quick and easy holiday recipes. Whether you prefer cold plates like festive salads and veggie dips, or hot and savory bites like stuffed mushrooms and baked brie, there’s something for everyone.

Appetizers will set the tone for the rest of the party, so let color palates and flavors inspire which recipes to serve before the big Thanksgiving dinner.

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Taste of Home

Pickled Pepperoncini Deviled Eggs

With your ultimate Thanksgiving dinner coming later in the day, keeping appetizers light and poppable is a good way to go. For this buffet-friendly bite, deviled eggs get extra zip from pepperoncini and cilantro, and avocado replaces mayo for a more healthful spin and festive color.

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Sausage Cheese Puffs

You only need three ingredients and less than 30 minutes for these cheesy, golden morsels. The tasty bite-size puffs are made with any kind of sausage you like, vegan included, but hot Italian links add a nice kick. Serve with your favorite jam, jelly or maple syrup, and they’ll disappear in no time.
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Swiss Cheese Bread

This 6-ingredient make-ahead bread is crispy on the outside but soft and pillowy on the inside. The buttery, cheesy appetizer can be molded to the size of your party. If it’s a smaller gathering, just cut the bread in half!
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Fireside Cheese Spread

When our family and friends get together for holidays or other occasions, I serve this appetizer. It’s always a success. If you prefer, try a Swiss cheese spread instead of the cheddar. And, if you enjoy garlic, substitute a small clove of minced garlic for the garlic powder. —Debbie Terenzini-Wilkerson, Lusby, Maryland
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Pumpkin Cheese Ball

Swapping in pumpkin boosts this delicious make-ahead cheese ball to must-try status. It adds a hint of autumn color and flavor, making it the perfect thing to add to a quick Thanksgiving dinner menu.
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Candied Walnuts

Make these a day or two ahead of time so you can focus on other dishes on the big day. These candied walnuts nicely complement any holiday cheese board, or make salads sing (like in this apple and walnut salad). Don’t like walnuts? Swap in another nut, such as pecans.
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Creamy Pumpkin Hummus

For all the added harvest color, the pumpkin in this creamy hummus isn’t at all overpowering. Dress it up with roasted pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds or fried sage leaves for the Thanksgiving appetizer table and serve it with sliced apples, pears or pita chips.
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Parmesan Mushroom Tartlets

These easy tartlets are loaded with a cheesy mushroom filling. Using refrigerated crescent roll dough makes them come together in a snap. They will look beautiful on any holiday table.
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Pumpkin Pinwheels

These devilishly delicious pinwheels are the perfect ode to fall. Cream cheese, mozzarella and roasted red peppers provide the perfect amount of heat and creaminess.
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Sausage Wonton Cups

This tasty hot appetizer is such a fun finger food. The wonton cups are floral-like in presentation, which makes them a nice decorative piece as well as a savory and hearty snack.
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Cranberry and Bacon Swiss Cheese Dip

Savory and rich, this make-ahead dip can easily go from the oven to the table. The dried cranberries are like little jewels hidden in a delicious cheesy, bacon-y landscape. Serve thin, crunchy slices of toasted bread alongside it for an indulgent appetizer.
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Gruyere and Crab Palmiers

These sophisticated savory pastries look impressive but are so easy to put together. All you need is a good store-bought puff pastry and a few other ingredients, and you’ll have superstar hors d’oeuvres to pass around. Pancetta pairs well with the fresh crab meat and gruyere filling, but you can do anything, from pesto and ham to all cheese. You can even make these palmiers ahead of time and freeze them until you’re ready to bake.
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Apricot-Glazed Bacon Spirals

This 5-ingredient appetizer has all the best fruity and smoky flavors rolled into one delightful spiral. The sweet and salty bites are prepped in a cinch and are a great introduction to a hearty dinner.
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Tuscan Truffles

For holiday potlucks, these appetizer truffles are the perfect creamy go-to. They’re made with prosciutto, figs and toasted pine nuts for a creative combination of ingredients.
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Caprese Salad Kabobs

Trade in the usual veggie platter for these fun kabobs. They’re bright and elegant looking but most importantly, they’re not so heavy that you lose sight of the main course. The assembly is so easy that kids can help put them together.
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Bacon Cream Cheese Pinwheels

A crescent roll, bacon and cream cheese makes for an irresistible appetizer. The 5-ingredient rolls are so versatile that you can try it with different flavored cream cheeses or even different meats.
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Brie with Almonds

Talk about an effortless Thanksgiving appetizer. This nut-topped baked cheese is perfectly elegant and comes together in a snap. Keep it simple and serve it directly in a cast-iron skillet or other decorative baking dish.
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Spinach Dip-Stuffed Mushrooms

This classy combination of spinach dip and mushrooms is creamy, savory and perfect for an on-the-go dish. The appetizers fit neatly into muffin tins or deviled egg trays for traveling.
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Caramel Pumpkin Dip

Who said appetizers can’t be sweet? Cream cheese and sour cream paired with caramel sauce and pumpkin—it’s like a holiday bonanza in a bowl. Serve vanilla wafers, graham crackers, and slices of apples and pears with this creamy pumpkin dip for a fun twist on finger food.
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Blue Cheese-Stuffed Shrimp

These mild flavored shrimp are perfect for your next potluck. The hot and cheesy appetizer has a strong flavor from the blue cheese. Plated, they look festive and are easily passed around.
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Pine Nut and Basil Guacamole

For an alternative to traditional guacamole, add pine nuts and fresh basil for texture and extra herbal notes. Crostini, fresh vegetables and, of course, crisp tortilla chips are the best accompaniments.
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Caramel Havarti

Turning a hunk of havarti cheese into a sweet-savory appetizer is simply brilliant. With pecans, caramel topping and apples, this clever and simple dish is a delightful change of pace for any party.
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Apple-Gouda Pigs in a Blanket

What would a celebration be without pigs in a blanket? Wrap smoked sausages with a slice of tart apple and Gouda cheese in buttery pastry for a creative variation on the party classic. The only way to make these better is to serve with a honey mustard dipping sauce.
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Pickled Mushrooms with Garlic

Easy to prepare in advance, these pickled mushrooms are a delicious addition to any relish tray. Because they’re pickled right in the jar or container, they’re perfect for transporting to potlucks. Don’t stop at mushrooms: You can quick pickle everything from apples to radishes, eggs and more.
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So Very Berry Brie

You’re already making a slew of Thanksgiving sides, so keep the appetizers as easy as can be. This baked brie topped with blackberries, blueberries and strawberries (frozen is fine!) takes little time in the oven and looks like a celebration on the table. Another recipe we love for fall? This adorable pumpkin baked brie.
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Savory Cucumber Sandwiches

One way to balance this food-filled holiday is to serve refreshing Thanksgiving appetizers for snacking before the main event. The surprise ingredient here is Italian salad dressing, which adds just enough flavor and acid to the cream cheese spread. Thinly sliced cucumber and fresh dill make picture-perfect toppings.
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Sweet Potato Crostini

This party-time appetizer riffs on one of our favorite vintage Thanksgiving recipes. The handheld version has all your favorites: Sweet potatoes, butter, brown sugar, pecans, and tiny marshmallows that get nice and toasty on top.
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Cinnamon Toasted Almonds

If you love cinnamon roasted almonds at the state fair, you’ll love how easy they are to make at home. Tossed with vanilla, cinnamon and brown sugar, the crunchy caramel-sweet snack tastes great on its own or served on a fruit and cheese board.
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Crab Crescent Triangles

These baked bundles are stuffed with a creamy, cheesy crab filling that’s reminiscent of crab dip in bite-size packets. The best part: They bake in only 10 minutes, leaving plenty of time for visiting with guests before dinner.
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Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

One taste of this outrageously delicious hot spinach artichoke dip and your guests will not stop eating it until it’s gone. The savory blend of artichokes, spinach and Parmesan cheese is positively addictive! It tastes even better if you make it the night before and chill it in the fridge before baking. —Michelle Krzmarzick, Torrance, California
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Savory Party Bread

It’s like a blooming onion, only with bread. What could be better? Deceptively easy, all you need is a round loaf of sourdough bread, butter, Monterey Jack cheese and green onion. Poppy seeds definitely add some pop. Baked all together, the tear-and-share becomes a delicious appetizer that’s impossible to pass up.
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Cherry Tomato Bites

These one-bite wonders might be small but they’re big on flavor. Brightly colored cherry tomatoes filled with a cheesy bacon filling look and feel festive. Use round cherry tomatoes instead of oblong shapes—they’ll be easier to fill and balance upright.
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Warm Feta Cheese Dip

Cream cheese, feta, basil and sweet peppers make for a creamy and simple appetizer. With so few ingredients, you’ll be surprised at the power behind the punch of flavor. You can serve it with bread or your favorite chips.
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Pumpkin Queso

Who knew that pumpkin could actually make queso better? Canned pumpkin added to a traditional queso blend (butter, flour, cream and cheese) is a great alternative for holiday snacking. Serve with tortilla or veggie chips, like sweet potato or kale.
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Pressure-Cooker Caponata

One thing to love about this eggplant dip is that it takes only three minutes in a pressure cooker. The other is that it gets better as it stands, especially at room temperature. When you have an entire Thanksgiving meal to prepare and a household of guests, it’s a great go-to. Use any leftovers on scrambled eggs or sandwiches after the holiday.
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Roasted Beetroot and Garlic Hummus

Roasted beets add wonderful color to traditional hummus. Served with fresh veggies and crisp crackers, this bright dip adds festive flair to any holiday table. It’s even good on a leftover turkey sandwich.
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Cranberry Brie Pecan Pinwheels

If you want your kitchen to smell even more amazing on Thanksgiving day, this twist on baked brie combines all the best elements of the classic appetizer, with warm gooey cheese, sweet fruit and toasted nuts wrapped in a buttery puff pastry. Once these bites are baked to a golden brown, your guests will gobble them up. If you like this, then try our favorite baked brie with jam.
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Best Ever Stuffed Mushrooms

Calling a recipe the “best ever” is a tough title to live up to, but these easy stuffed mushrooms do. Filled with a creamy and cheesy pork sausage mixture, the breadcrumb-topped appetizer will quickly become a staple at your holiday dinners.
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Party Shrimp

A sweet and savory marinade makes these shrimp so good, they won’t need a dipping sauce. After the shrimp sit in Italian herbs, garlic, lemon juice and brown sugar, you just broil them for a few minutes and then send directly to the appetizer table.
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Sun-Dried Tomato Goat Cheese Empanadas

Dinner guests will think you worked for hours making these empanadas, but in reality it’s just a few ingredients tucked inside pockets made out of refrigerated pie crust. Baked to a golden brown, they’re simple, taste great and are oh-so-satisfying. Make extra because they’ll go fast.
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Broccoli & Chive Stuffed Mini Peppers

This crunchy appetizer is a wonderful way to present your veggies. The creamy and colorful snack can be made for daily use or spruced up for a holiday potluck. The red, orange and yellow peppers perfectly match the fall color palette (and will hopefully satisfy your palate as well).
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Baked Crab Dip

You can’t beat a bread bowl for a beautiful and delicious centerpiece to any Thanksgiving appetizer spread. Prepare the dip and fill the bowls in advance, refrigerate and simply pull out 30 minutes before baking. Use the extra bread for dipping along with crisp vegetables, crackers or bread sticks.
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Garlic Tomato Bruschetta

I drew inspiration from my grandma’s recipe for this garden-fresh bruschetta. The crisp bread and tomato goodness make a great party appetizer, but the dish also works alongside your favorite Italian entree. —Jean Franzoni, Rutland, Vermont
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Cranberry Sauce Meatballs

Cranberry sauce isn’t just for turkey! Combined with a few other ingredients, the holiday condiment makes a tasty glaze for meatballs. Use frozen beef or vegetarian meatballs, smother them in sauce and serve. It will quickly become one of your new favorite Thanksgiving recipes.
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Tomato Apple Chutney

Apple, raisins, curry, jalapeno, and allspice are just a few things that make this chutney perfect for the fall. Both sweet and savory, it’s a great addition to cheese platters, or serve it with crunchy pita chips.
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Asparagus Wraps

What a fun take on asparagus! Not only are they wrapped in pastry, but also in prosciutto for an extra savory and salty element.
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Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread

Taking only 10 minutes to make from start to finish, this super-easy cheese spread is merry and bright. Thanks to a hint of sweetness, adults and kids alike love it. Serve it with rice crackers, crostini or sliced French bread.
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Ravioli Appetizer Pops

Ravioli on a stick is a great conversation starter. It satisfies a pasta craving you didn’t know you had. Use packaged dipping sauces or make your own if you have time.
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Smashed Olives

Add a global spin to your Thanksgiving appetizer spread with these Spanish-inspired olives. Crushed green and black olives marinated with citrus and herbs are fabulous alongside cheeses or on a charcuterie board. Save the flavored olive oil for a chicken or shrimp marinade later.
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Nutty Stuffed Mushrooms

Filled with basil, Parmesan cheese and crunchy pecans, roasted mushroom caps become savory, umami-filled flavor bombs. They’re easy to prepare and look great with other canapes, like stuffed tomatoes.
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Bacon Cheddar Potato Skins

This restaurant-quality snack can be fixed with your favorite baked potato toppings. The hearty and crispy appetizer is full of all the things guests love, but might usually miss out on during a traditional Thanksgiving meal. With smoky bacon and rich cheesy goodness, you really can have it all this holiday season.
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Marinated Mozzarella

Put these cheese cubes out with toothpicks for an immediate snack. A quick marinade turns everyday mozzarella into a festive party treat, and because it’s so easy and takes minutes to prepare, you’ll have more time to focus on the rest of the Thanksgiving meal prep.
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Butternut Thyme Tartlets

This light and crunchy appetizer is filled with the ultimate fall flavors. Make the creamy butternut squash and goat cheese filling a few days early, then fill the pre-made phyllo cups right before guests arrive.
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Fried Prosciutto Tortellini

These fried tortellini are crunchy, gooey goodness. The fresh tomato sauce really elevates the dish to the next level. If you don’t have access to prosciutto tortellini, cheese tortellini does the trick!
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Dilly Cheese Ball

Spiked with dill pickles and rolled in fresh parsley, this cheese ball is a showstopper but so simple to make. Set it out with your favorite crackers and other Thanksgiving appetizers, and watch it get devoured in no time.
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Mushroom Bacon Bites

These tasty bites are easy to assemble. While it’s not as hearty as a steak, the earthiness of the mushrooms makes this a filling and rich appetizer.
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Holiday Salsa

A sweet and spicy cranberry salsa transforms an ordinary brick of cream cheese (or goat cheese) into a holiday appetizer that explodes with flavor. The colors are vibrant and festive. Set it out with crackers, toasted flatbreads or tortilla chips.
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Candied Bacon-Wrapped Figs

Stuff figs with cream cheese and wrap them in bacon and spices for a crowd-pleasing flavor combination that’s sweet, salty and delicious. Can’t find figs? Dates work well in this recipe, too.
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Cranberry Jalapeno Cheese Spread

A hint of five spice and chile pepper adds some real pizzazz to this creamy holiday cheese spread. Pair it with hearty seeded crackers for more layered flavors.
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Baked Onion Dip

Bake this dreamy dip in a pretty oven-safe dish so it can go directly from the oven to the Thanksgiving appetizer table. Two kinds of cheese and sweet onions ensure all of your guests will love this dip, especially anyone looking for more meatless options.
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Gentleman’s Whiskey Bacon Jam

Bacon makes everything better, especially when it’s mixed with brown sugar and spices. This jam can be served on its own with crackers, but it’s truly a cheese board’s best friend. Freeze the bacon first for easy prep.
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Herbed Cheese Wafers

These bite-sized snacks are rich, buttery and full of flavor. Serve them alone or with a dip.
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Lemon-Herb Olives with Goat Cheese

Really good Greek olives need little embellishment, but blended with citrus and fresh herbs they become a lovely condiment for goat cheese. The flavored olives are also great solo with your favorite crackers or fresh-baked bread.
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Gorgonzola Polenta Bites

These colorful polenta bites with Gorgonzola cheese will look lovely on your Thanksgiving table. The sauce is a heavenly combination of orange marmalade and balsamic vinegar. Need we say more?
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Marinated Olive & Cheese Ring

Antipasto is a great way to kick off an Italian dinner. This pretty platter is sprinkled with pimientos, fresh basil and parsley for even more pizazz. You can try out your favorite cheeses and even tuck salami in between the slices.
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White Chocolate Brie Cups

With brie, orange marmalade and kumquat slices, these unique little tarts feel special without the fuss. The sweetness serves as a good foil for all the other Thanksgiving appetizers and dishes typically served throughout the day.
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Sausage Mushroom Appetizers

You can make these stuffed mushrooms with crabmeat, pork sausage or even venison depending on what the rest of your dinner looks like. With spicy mustard and cajun seasoning, they are cheesy and hot. What more could you ask for in an appetizer?
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Chunky Blue Cheese Dip

Every time I make this quick blue cheese dip, someone asks for the recipe. It only requires a few items, so its a snap to put together. I often prepare the thick spread with Gorgonzola cheese and serve it with toasted pecans. —Sandy Schneider Naperville, Illinois
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Goat Cheese Mushrooms

When choosing the right mushroom to stuff, it’s best to stick with a good medium-sized button mushroom, like baby portobellos. Load them up with creamy goat cheese and sweet red peppers for a superstar appetizer.
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Apple-Pecan Baked Brie

This fruity and savory Brie will fill your home with aromas of cinnamon and apples. Who needs candles when you can serve this festive and gooey cheese?
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Three-Cheese Pepperoncini Spread

Taking cues from Kopanisti, a spicy, peppery cheese spread famous on the island of Mykonos, this creamy spread has three cheeses (cream, blue and feta) plus lots of punchy pepperoncinis. Serve it with crackers or quartered pita bread.
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Savory Stuffed Cherry Peppers

When it comes to antipasto recipes, these anchovy-stuffed peppers steal the show. Serve them warm or cold with a loaf of Italian bread.
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Garlic-Herb Mini Quiches

If you’re looking to really wow your guests, these impressive mini quiches will do the trick. Made with only five ingredients, including creamy herbed cheese and frozen phyllo shells, it’s an easy and elegant Thanksgiving appetizer.
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Fireside Cheese Spread

Who knew such a simple cheese spread could pack in so much flavor? This recipe calls for cheddar cheese spread, but you can also use Swiss; instead of garlic powder, use fresh instead. Keep a lot of crackers and bread sticks handy for this one.