25 Last Minute Thanksgiving Appetizers

This post contains links to affiliate websites, such as Amazon, and we receive an affiliate commission for any purchases made by you using these links. We appreciate your support!

Plan ahead and include a few easy last minute Thanksgiving appetizers for your holiday menu to help your family and friends tide themselves over for the big feast.

A photo collage shows several last minute Thanksgiving appetizers that are easy to assemble.

While you're planning your Thanksgiving dinner, don't forget to include a few easy appetizers for enjoying before the main event.

I know you've got oodles of delicious dishes on your Thanksgiving menu, but while everything is cooking away on Thanksgiving day, it can be nearly impossible to wait all the way until dinnertime!

Embrace the holiday season and plan for some light nibbles filled with seasonal flavors that complement that gorgeous turkey dinner you've got in the works.

These last minute Thanksgiving appetizers take very little time to prep and many can even be made in advance.

Jump to:

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

Softened cream cheese topped with an easy sweet cranberry sauce is a make-ahead masterpiece you can serve in minutes.

This crowd favorite appetizer is sized for a generous portion or you can freeze half the cranberry sauce for a second smaller event later.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip
Easy make ahead cranberry cream cheese dip with chopped pecans is served with peppery crackers for a delicious holiday appetizer that feeds a crowd. You can easily split the cranberry sauce to make two smaller appetizers and freeze half of it for even easier prep later.
4.99 from 50 votes
GET THE RECIPE
A platter has a brick of cream cheese with cranberry sauce spooned over the top. Chopped pecans are used for garnish and crackers and fresh rosemary circle the dip.

Cranberry Brie Bites

My favorite dishes are both an easy recipe and elegant appetizer that makes you look like a rockstar.

Even though this is made from a can of refrigerated crescent rolls dough, my friends were convinced it was made from store bought puff pastry. They bake up golden brown and so delicious.

Cranberry Brie Bites
3-ingredient cranberry brie bites are an easy and festive appetizer recipe to serve through the holiday season. You can use homemade cranberry sauce or a canned cranberry sauce to make these in a pinch!
5 from 45 votes
GET THE RECIPE
A platter filled with cranberry brie bites has a sprig of rosemary in the back.

Peppered Glazed Pecans

The best way to fill those holiday candy dishes is to also offer something on the savory side to balance all the sweet. These peppery glazed pecans have the perfect spicy bite and would pair great with chocolates.

Peppered Pecans
These sweet glazed pecans pack a very peppery punch and are an excellent addition to a festive charcuterie board or used as a salad topper. Mix them with dried cranberries and pretzels for a quick and easy glazed pecan snack mix.
5 from 2 votes
GET THE RECIPE
A wooden bowl on a plate is overflowing with glazed pecans.

Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini

Pile up the fresh baguette slices on a snack board and assemble this easy goat cheese appetizer with prepared fig jam and pistachios.

Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini
This elegant crostini appetizer takes just minutes to assemble on a delicious snack board. Make homemade crostini in 10 minutes or save even more time by buying a container of store bought crostini toasts.
5 from 1 vote
GET THE RECIPE
A charcuterie platter has crostini, soft goat cheese, chopped pistachios, and a bowl of fig jam. A few assembled crostini bites are in front.

Cream Cheese with Pepper Jelly

You can keep all the easy ingredients for this festive appetizer on hand in your fridge and pantry and have the perfect snack to offer holiday guests even at the very last minute.

Cream Cheese with Pepper Jelly
This deliciously easy cream cheese appetizer takes practically no time to assemble and serve but will be a huge hit with your guests. Keep the ingredients on hand for last-minute entertaining during the holiday season.
5 from 1 vote
GET THE RECIPE
A block of cream cheese on a plate has pepper jelly spooned over the top with a sprig of fresh rosemary. A plate of crackers is in the background.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs in the Crockpot

Give a generous sprinkle of fresh chopped green onions for festive color over these savory sweet and sour meatballs. It is one of my favorite things to keep warm for hours on the buffet table while friends come and go.

It makes particularly great last minute thanksgiving appetizers because sometimes a beefy meatball is a nice complement to the turkey dinner and the tangy sauce is just so delicious.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs in the Crockpot
Classic cocktail meatballs keep warm on your buffet table for hours in the slowcooker. This wildly popular sweet and sour sauce is made from ketchup and grape jam but is elevated by a dash of hot sauce to keep it from being too sweet.
5 from 46 votes
GET THE RECIPE
The white serving bowl is filled with sweet and sour meatballs in a rich glaze.

Peanut Butter Apple Dip

Serve this creamy peanut butter dip with fresh fruit and salty pretzels as a hearty appetizer.

Parents of the little ones know that it is never a bad idea to have a kid-friendly snack on hand. This lets them fill up on the dip in case your main dish isn't so popular with the picky eaters.

Creamy Peanut Butter Apple Dip
This fluffy and creamy peanut butter dip is the perfect after school snack with fresh crispy apples and salty pretzels.
5 from 1 vote
GET THE RECIPE
A serving bowl has creamy peanut butter apple dip and is topped with salted peanuts. There are green apple slices in the dip and on the plate with pretzels.

Air Fryer Shrimp

It's smart to have a healthy appetizer or two at the ready to add to your holiday buffet. You can make my air fryer shrimp in just minutes and serve it with a wide variety of shrimp dipping sauces.

Air Fryer Shrimp
Learn how to cook frozen shrimp in an air fryer for a fast and easy appetizer or seafood dinner on a busy night. Season the shrimp and use them to add to a pasta dish, top a salad, wrap in a tortilla for shrimp tacos, or add to a healthy rice bowl.
5 from 1 vote
GET THE RECIPE
A platter of cooked shrimp next to a dipping cup of sauce for dunking.

Seasoned Boiled Shrimp

This delicious appetizer is my mom's recipe and only requires THREE ingredients and only THREE minutes to cook!

Boiled Shrimp
Caraway seeds and bay leaves season the boiling water for the most delicious boiled shrimp. This method makes easy peel and eat shrimp for serving with shrimp cocktail.
5 from 43 votes
GET THE RECIPE
A serving dish filled with boiled shrimp with caraway seeds.

Seasoned Pretzels

Seasoned pretzels are the perfect finger food to add to a party table.

The best part is you can pick from 16 different seasoning blends in my recipe card and pair them with an easy dip for a quick snack.

Seasoned Pretzels
Mix and match your favorite spices to make easy homemade seasoned pretzels that your family will love. The only pretzel recipe you need for holiday entertaining all season long!
4.90 from 56 votes
GET THE RECIPE
A serving bowl of square pretzels that have been baked and seasoned.

Raspberry Mustard Dip

Wow guests with this homemade raspberry mustard dip for pairing with those seasoned pretzels. It is a relatively low calorie option compared to all the cheesy, creamy appetizers.

Raspberry Mustard
This sweet and spicy mustard dip is perfect for dunking homemade seasoned pretzels for an easy party snack.
4.34 from 3 votes
GET THE RECIPE
A blue bowl filled with raspberry mustard has a spoon and is surrounded by seasoned pretzels.

Frozen Crab Cakes with Remoulade Sauce

For the easiest Thanksgiving appetizer, pop a batch of frozen crab cakes into the air fryer and serve it with my delicious remoulade sauce.

The best part is that you'll save oven space for other baked nibbles or your main meal.

Remoulade Sauce for Crab Cakes
This spicy cajun remoulade sauce for crab cakes is a great dipping sauce for shrimp or po'boy sandwich spread, too! Made from easy things you have in your pantry mixed with a few classic creole ingredients for a creamy sauce you'll want to use again and again.
4.97 from 52 votes
GET THE RECIPE
The remoulade sauce is on a plate with mini crab cakes and a spoon. Lemon wedges are scattered around and green onions sprinkled on top.

Roasted Gnocchi with Butternut Squash

For special occasions, it is a good idea to make sure your main meal has a vegetarian-friendly option.

While there will be plenty of delicious food, you never know when someone needs a meat-free dish.

This roasted gnocchi is filled with seasonal flavors from the browned butter and fresh sage. If you're not serving it as a side dish, it would make an amazing snack served with party picks for nibbling.

Roasted Gnocchi
This roasted gnocchi with butternut squash and fresh sage has a simple browned butter sauce that pairs perfectly with salty parmesan cheese. 25-minute sheet pan recipe that makes a great side dish or vegetarian main dish for the holiday.
5 from 41 votes
GET THE RECIPE
A platter filled with roasted gnocchi, butternut squash, and parmesan cheese shavings with ripped fresh sage sprinkled over the top.

Monte Cristo Sandwich Pinwheels

It can be so hard for everyone to wait for the main Thanksgiving feast as it cooks alll dayyy longgg.

Give them a perfect brunch appetizer with these Monte Cristo pinwheels, it will help tide them over while the turkey continues to cook.

Monte Cristo Sandwich Pinwheels
These sweet and savory breakfast pinwheels are inspired by the classic Monte Cristo sandwich seen on many restaurant menus. Made into easy nibbles with crescent roll dough, they are perfect for a brunch buffet.
5 from 51 votes
GET THE RECIPE
A plate filled with Monte Cristo crescent rolls and a little cup of strawberry jam for serving.

Cheddar Snack Board

A cheddar snack board with crisp apples pairs amazing with the flavors of roast turkey.

To really nail the Thanksgiving theme, add pumpkin hummus and cranberry cheese ball bites for easy finger foods on the platter.

Cheddar Snack Board
This delicious snack board is inspired by the Ultimate Cheddar Snack Board from Stunning Spreads by Chrissie Nelson Rotko.
5 from 1 vote
GET THE RECIPE
A round snack board has sliced green apples, spreadable cheese, slices of cheese, ruffled slices of various meats, and a bowl of fresh blackberries.

Candied Nuts

You could add these candied nuts to that cheddar snack board I just mentioned to add a festive touch to the charcuterie.

They actually would be just perfect sprinkled over a holiday salad, too.

Candied Nuts
These sweet and slightly spicy candied nuts taste like they just came off a street cart in New York City but only take 5 minutes of prep.
4.17 from 6 votes
GET THE RECIPE
A dish of candied nuts has a red heart decoration. The nuts are coated in a thick sugar crust.

Sausage Crescent Roll Swirls

The simple ingredients in these sausage crescent roll swirls lend themselves to a make ahead recipe you can keep prepped in the fridge.

For even more flavor, add a sprinkle of blue cheese crumbles to the sausage before you roll the swirls.

Sausage Crescent Roll Swirls
Savory sausage rolled in sweet, buttery crescent roll dough, and baked for the perfect easy party appetizer.
5 from 1 vote
GET THE RECIPE
A platter of sausage swirl appetizers is ready to be served.

Cold Spinach Dip

One of the most flavorful dips to serve at a holiday party is this cold spinach dip made from cream cheese, sour cream and frozen spinach. Serve it with bagel chips or tortilla chips for a hearty snack.

Cold Spinach Dip
This easy spinach dip recipe is best served chilled. Simply mix together the spinach and cream cheese base for a delicious dip for bagel chips and crackers.
4.98 from 45 votes
GET THE RECIPE
A bowl of spinach dip is served with bagel chips for dipping.

Artichoke Dip

When I need a low carb appetizer for the holiday, I always bake a dish of my jalapeƱo artichoke dip and serve it with raw veggies instead of crackers.

Personally, I love this hearty hot dip on a thick Triscuit cracker, so I always have a basket of those on hand, too.

JalapeƱo Artichoke Dip
This awesome spicy artichoke dip is thick with chopped fresh veggies and makes a perfect party appetizer. You can adjust the spice to be mild or hot, as you wish!
5 from 41 votes
GET THE RECIPE
A dish of baked jalapeƱo artichoke dip shows diced red peppers and green onions. There's a serving spoon taking a scoop. A bowl of crackers sits in the back.

Veggie Tray with Dill Dip

Nothing is as easy as grabbing a raw veggie tray from the store but the first thing you should do is ditch the processed dip it comes with and take just a few minutes to make my homemade dill dip for veggies instead.

It has a fresher flavor and is much more delicious.

Dill Dip for Veggies
This easy dill dip for veggies or chips is a quick cold dip for serving at your next party. Delicious when paired with fresh baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, raw broccoli, and celery sticks.
4.96 from 47 votes
GET THE RECIPE
A bowl of dill dip has a baby carrot dipping in it. Cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs are on the platter behind it.

Everything but the Bagel Pull Apart Bread

If you've got a spice jar of everything but the bagel seasoning on hand, you must try this Everything Bagel bread in your bread machine!

Formed as a pull-apart bread with small bread "bubbles" loaded with butter and spices, this would be a delicious appetizer to let your guests rip off bites for a snack.

Everything Bagel Bread
This easy, savory bubble bread has layers of melted butter and everything bagel seasoning sprinkled throughout. It bakes into a solid, sliceable loaf for serving once completely cooled or can be served warm as a pull-apart bread. Featured in The Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook by Tiffany Dahle.
4.75 from 4 votes
GET THE RECIPE
The finished everything bagel bread sits in the bread machine bread pan on a wire rack.

Sweet Potato Bites

While I usually bake my crispy roasted sweet potatoes as a side dish, they would actually make an awesome and unique gluten-free appetizer if you serve them on a platter with party picks.

Make a batch of spicy sauce or copycat Chick-Fil-A sauce for dunking.

Crispy Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Cube them up and toss them with olive oil for the best crispy roasted sweet potatoes you've ever had! Slightly sweet from the potato itself with a hint of spice from the red pepper flakes, this is the perfect potato side dish for grilled chicken, savory pork, or even grilled fish.
5 from 2 votes
GET THE RECIPE
A metal baking sheet has chopped and roasted sweet potatoes scattered on it.

More Thanksgiving Recipes

Need some more help planning the ultimate Thanksgiving menu? Don't miss these other fantastic holiday tips:

The photo collage shows pictures of 5 different easy appetizers for Thanksgiving.

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *