Make your Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners stress-free with these 25 easy make-ahead appetizer recipes! Spend less time in the kitchen making and more time with guests eating!

Make ahead recipes are the best and you may be thinking about making-ahead your Thanksgiving dessert recipes too. We think our Gingersnap Cookies and Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread will complete your holiday dinner!

25 Make Ahead Thanksgiving Appetizers

Easy Make-Ahead Appetizers

One of my favorite things about the holidays is the food, I especially love Thanksgiving Appetizers. Today I’m going to share 25 of the top make-ahead appetizers for Thanksgiving.

These are all perfect when you want to cross a few items off your menu list to make the day of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving day can get hectic when you are preparing an entire Thanksgiving dinner. Save yourself some time and your sanity with these easy Thanksgiving appetizer ideas!

You are going to have a hard time deciding which ones to prepare, but, don’t worry, they are all super simple and utterly delicious!

Thanksgiving Turkey Cheese Platter | Make Ahead Appetizers for Thanksgiving Entertaining

1. Thanksgiving Turkey Cheese Platter

From Melanie Cooks

Isn’t this turkey just the cutest? This cheese platter is so festive and everyone will gobble it up. You will want to make this every single year.

5 Minute Savory Pumpkin Hummus by Two Healthy Kitchens | Make Ahead Appetizers Recipes for Thanksgiving

2. Five Minute Savory Pumpkin Hummus

From Two Healthy Kitchens

Serving something pumpkin flavor is almost a must for fall. This pumpkin hummus can be made a few days ahead of time and is definitely in season.

Cranberry Brie Appetizers by The Seasoned Mom | Make Ahead Thanksgiving Appetizer Ideas

3. Easy Cranberry Brie Appetizer

From The Seasoned Mom

You all know that I love brie. Naturally, I want to make this cranberry brie appetizer. Make the cranberry sauce ahead of time and then throw a few ingredients together.

Jalapeno Popper Dip by Spend With Pennies | Make Ahead Appetizer Recipe Ideas

4. Jalapeno Popper Dip

From Spend with Pennies

Like spicy food? These jalapeno popper dip will add a little kick to your appetizer table. Be prepared to hand out the recipe.

Mini Caprese Salad

5. Mini Caprese Salad

These mini Caprese salads are colorful and you won’t feel like you are spoiling your appetite before the meal even begins.

Easy Cucumber Appetizer by Blessed Beyond Crazy | 25 Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipes

6. Easy Cucumber Appetizer

From Blessed Beyond Crazy

Adding something lighter to the appetizer menu this Thanksgiving is definitely a plus. Your guests who prefer a little something on the healthier side will thank you for this, but everyone will enjoy this dish.

Cream Cheese Cranberry Dip by Julie's Eats and Treats | 25 Make Ahead Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipes

7. Cream Cheese Cranberry Dip

From Julie’s Eats and Treats

I love a festive dip for Thanksgiving. I don’t love traditional cranberry sauce, but I think I would like it with cream cheese in a dip. Isn’t it beautiful, too?

Bacon Ricotta Crostini Recipe by The Food Charlatan | 25 Make Ahead Recipes for Thanksgiving

8. Bacon Ricotta Crostini

From The Food Charlatan

Crostini always looks so fancy, but it is a breeze to make. Try it with bacon and ricotta cheese for a fun detour from the ordinary.

Onion, Cranberry and Pecan Cheese Ball by Real Housemoms | 25 Make Ahead Thanksgiving Appetizers

9. Onion, Cranberry and Pecan Cheese Ball

From Real Housemoms

This is not your grandmother’s cheese ball. The medley of flavors with the onion, cranberry, pecans and cheese are simply mouth watering.

Easy Smoked Salmon Dip | 25 Make Ahead Appetizer Recipes for Thanksgiving

10. Simple Smoked Salmon Dip

I fell in love with Salmon when I traveled to Alaska and this smoked salmon dip is just so delicious.

Greek Antipasto Skewers by Dinner then Dessert | 25 Make Ahead Appetizer Ideas for Thanksgiving

11. Greek Antipasto Skewers

From Dinner Then Dessert

These Greek antipasto skewers will add a colorful element to the table and also add a certain depth to the flavors you are serving. Just throw these together the day before and sit them on the table.

Pumpkin Cranberry Bites by My Suburban Kitchen | 25 Make Ahead Appetizer Recipes for Thanksgiving

12. Pumpkin Cranberry Bites

From My Suburban Kitchen

Aren’t these pumpkin cranberry bites just delightful? I love pretty food, but I look pretty and tasty appetizers even  more!

Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Spread by She Wears Many Hats | 25 Make Ahead Thanksgiving Appetizers

13. Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Spread

From She Wears Many Hats

This cream cheese spread is a family favorite and your toddler could make it. This is a great, crowd-pleasing appetizer that brings the sweetness to your gathering.

Kahlúa pecan brown sugar baked brie

14. Kahlua Pecan Brown Sugar Baked Brie

From Noble Pig

This baked brie looks so fancy and tastes even fancier. It looks hard, but it isn’t at all. This one just went on my menu.

Bacon Chipotle Cheddar Cheese Ball

15. Bacon Chipotle Cheddar Cheese Ball

Bacon… need I say more? Every single person that visits you during the holiday season will love this chipotle cheddar cheese ball. Yum!

Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Appetizer by Honey and Birch | 25 Make Ahead Appetizers for Thanksgiving

16. Cranberry Jalepeno Cream Cheese Appetizer

From Honey and Birch 

This recipe looks so intriguing. A little heat, a little cream and a little sweet. Looks like a winner to me!

Healthy Ranch Dip

17. Healthy Ranch Dip

When in doubt, make a ranch dip. Everyone loves it and you can serve it with just about anything. I love to put in on a platter of fresh vegetables.

Dried apricot and blue canapes on a black dish

18. Dried Apricot and Blue Cheese Canapes

From Tidy Mom

I’ve never made anything called a canape, but this recipe looks incredible. Watch out Martha!


A cheese ball with crackers surrounding it on a white plate

19. Gouda and Sun Dried Tomato Cheese Ball

From Amanda’s Cookin’

I love the flavor combination for this cheese ball. Don’t gouda and sun dried tomatoes sound like a match made in heaven?

How to make a turkey veggie tray

20. How to Make a Veggie Turkey Tray

This is always a hit. Always! Everyone gets a kick out of devouring this sweet veggie turkey.

Tomato and Bocconcini Salad by Happy Hooligans | 25 Recipes for Make Ahead Thanksgiving Appetizers

21. Tomato and Bocconcini Salad

From Happy Hooligans

I love the sound of this recipe… tomato and bocconcini salad. Isn’t it so pretty? This one can be served as an appetizer or a side dish.

5 Minute Taco Dip by Spend with Pennies | 25 Thanksgiving Make Ahead Appetizers

22. 5 Minute Taco Dip

From Spend with Pennies

There is something about taco dip that brings people together. It is simple and everyone loves the flavor. This recipe only takes 5 minutes to make, too!

Crockpot Nacho Cheese Dip - the perfect appetizer for a crowd

23. Slow Cooker Nacho Cheese Dip

This Crockpot Nacho Cheese Dip is perfect for holiday parties and get together with friends and family. It’s a loved recipe by all. And it makes a ton!

Avocado Dip by Together as a Family | 25 Make Ahead Thanksgiving Appetizers

24. Avocado Dip

From Together as a Family

The avocado is super popular right now. It is delicious and this avocado dip looks incredible.

Harvest cheese ball

25. Harvest Cheese Ball

During this time of the year, it makes perfect sense to serve a harvest cheese ball. It is filled with all of your favorite fall flavors.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these 25 Make Ahead Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipes. Let me know which one you’d like to try!

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25 Make Ahead Thanksgiving Appetizers

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