Thanksgiving Hors d'Oeuvres
Crostini with Butternut Squash, Ricotta and Preserved Lemon
A preserved lemon relish adds a bright, salty note to these elegant crostini, balancing the flavors of creamy ricotta and sweet squash.
Port-Glazed Walnuts with Stilton
Encourage guests to cut off small chunks of the Stilton and dip them in the port syrup.
Brussels Sprout, Pancetta and Parmesan Flatbreads
Sara Vaughn loves adding brussels sprouts to just about anything. Here, she thinly slices her favorite vegetable and tosses it with pancetta and caramelized onions for a savory flatbread topping.
Butternut Squash Turnovers
Jeremy Sommer’s buttery squash turnovers also make a perfect fall lunch alongside a big green salad.
Salty Black-and-White Sesame Cocktail Cookies
“In these cookies, you start with a sweet dough and the sesame seeds push it over on the sweet-savory continuum,” says Dorie Greenspan. Blending ground almonds with the flour emphasizes the nutty sesame flavor.
Thanksgiving Make-Ahead Tip: The bundles can be made through Step 1 and refrigerated overnight.
Smoked Salmon-Stuffed Puffs
The unfilled baked puffs can be frozen for up to 1 month and then recrisped in a 325° oven. The filling also can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
We like the variety here—the same toast spread with two different toppings. The green-olive tapenade, which uses pre-pitted olives, can be made in minutes with a blender or food processor. The sautéed mushroom topping is equally savory hot or at room temperature.
Smoky Deviled Eggs
Smoky Spanish pimentón makes these eggs distinctive. It is available at specialty food stores.
Bacon, Fennel and Apple Chutney
Chutney is a favorite British condiment for everything from cheese to roasts. This sweet-and-smoky version is perfect with crackers as a starter, spread on a grilled cheddar sandwich or served with roasted pork.
Warm Camembert with Wild Mushroom Fricassee
Camembert is as rich and runny as Vacherin Mont-d'Or, but much easier to find.
Inspired by the “everything” bagel, Melissa Rubel Jacobson coats buttery puff pastry twists in a mixture of seeds and spices.
Alsatian Potato and Bacon Tart
The tart can be baked earlier in the day; reheat before serving.
Proving that vegetables can be as satisfying as meat, chef Sean Baker serves this mushroom pâté on the vegan “charcuterie” plate at his Berkeley restaurant, Gather.
Creamed Oysters and Leeks On Toast
You can purchase shucked oysters from your local fish market. The oysters should be plump and fresh-smelling.
Smoked Mozzarella Spread with Flatbread Crackers
Marcia Kiesel likes to whiz smoked mozzarella in the food processor with sun-dried tomato pesto and olive oil.
Porcini Mushroom Tartlets
Most of the recipe can be prepared up to 1 day ahead of time.
White Bean Dip with Herbs
Drizzling a high quality olive oil over this dip will add depth and complexity.
Bagel Chips with Ricotta, Chive Puree and Prosciutto
Using bagel chips as the base for an hors d’oeuvre is a quick way to add flavor and crunch. Grace Parisi tops the chips with fresh ricotta, chive puree and prosciutto. As an alternative, she sometimes uses dried apricot halves in place of the chips.
For Anna Zepaltas’s rillettes, inspired by a similar dish at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon bistro in the Napa town of Yountville, she blends fresh salmon and butter with hot-smoked salmon to give the rich spread extra-rich flavor. You can pour melted butter over the top—as Keller does—to seal in freshness.
These nuts are an addictive combination of sweet, spicy and sticky-crunchy.
Ricotta and Roasted Grape Crostini
Designer and blogger Athena Calderone's signature aesthetic comes through in this striking appetizer. Roasting the grapes concentrates and deepens their sweetness.
Sausage-and-Apple Stuffing Bites
Since stuffing is one of the most popular parts of a Thanksgiving meal, try doing it as fun little hors d'oeuvre bites.
Goat Cheese-Stuffed Mushrooms with Bread Crumbs
Goat's-milk cheeses are typically lower in cholesterol, calories and fat--and higher in calcium--than cow's-milk ones. Here, creamy chevre is stuffed into antioxidant-rich mushrooms and topped with crispy herbed bread crumbs.
Roasted Winter Squash and Onion Turnovers
The filling for these turnovers also makes a terrific side dish on its own.