While I love putting together a spread of intricate and delicious appetizers for a special occasion, there is one time of year when I always make fast, easy, fuss-free hors d'oeuvres: Thanksgiving. Why? If you're spending days in the kitchen brining a turkey, simmering stock, and baking pies, the last thing you want to worry about is a bunch of finicky finger foods.
Instead, opt for an assortment of quick and simple dishes that can be left out at room temperature without spoiling. Think 15-minute sun-dried tomato and basil pinwheels, parmesan garlic straws, or if you only have a moment to spare, a fail-safe pumpkin hummus dip. Here are 10 easy, uncomplicated make-ahead appetizers that take the stress out of entertaining on Thanksgiving.
Crispy Prosciutto Baked Brie Bites With Honey Pears and Walnuts
The classic French cheese goes bite-size in this effortless recipe. Simply line muffin tins with phyllo dough, and stuff them with brie, walnuts, prosciutto, and pears to make these crispy baked brie bites. Don't forget to drizzle with honey once they're out of the oven.
Herbed Goat Cheese–Stuffed Mushrooms
Put a palate-pleasing twist on a classic appetizer with herbed goat cheese stuffed mushrooms. Your guests won't be able to resist these morsels, so make plenty for a hungry crowd.
Pastry-Wrapped Baked Brie With Maple Butter Roasted Apples
Puff pastry is a host's best friend during the holiday season. Use it as the base for this delectable pastry wrapped baked brie, complete with maple butter roasted apples. If you're serving a crowd, make two because this app is bound to go fast.
Roasted Pumpkin Hummus
Embrace pumpkin season with this flavor-packed roasted pumpkin hummus by Spoon Fork Bacon. If you're in a rush, it's surprisingly easy to whip up. After baking pumpkin halves for 45 minutes, scoop the flesh into a blender with seasoning like tahini, lemon juice, and garlic, and purée until smooth. Top with pomegranate seeds for a burst of festive color.
Parmesan Garlic Straws
Don't have time to make dough from scratch? Use store-bought pizza dough to create these parmesan garlic straws, which can be served solo or with a homemade dip.
Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Pinwheels
Perfect for guests of all ages, these sun-dried tomato and basil pinwheels come together in just 15 minutes. Experiment with different fillings like flavored cream cheese, peppers, or spinach to change the colors in each wheel.
Chickpea Shwarma Dip
Ditch store-bought dips for this quick and easy-to-make chickpea shawarma dip. Unlike preservative-packed, grocery-store-shelf varieties, this wholesome dip is rich in fiber and plant-based protein, thanks to the natural ingredients like garlic, dill, tomatoes, and, of course, chickpeas. Give it a gourmet touch by layering parsley salad and garlic herb sauce on top.
Bacon Butternut Arancini With Pumpkin Seed Pesto Dip
Arancini balls are taken to a whole new level this Thanksgiving with this recipe from How Sweet Eats. Rich bacon and butternut flavors and a pumpkin seed pesto dip give this classic Italian appetizer a distinctively seasonal twist. Just bake, dip, and enjoy.
Baked Brie and Prosciutto Rolls
Who doesn't love the combination of crispy puff pastry, gooey brie, and salty prosciutto? Half Baked Harvest understood this winning combo with these baked brie and prosciutto rolls that can be made in just 30 minutes. Once baked, just drizzle them with honey and sprinkle black pepper, sea salt, and pomegranate seeds for a spicy sweet finish.
Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip
For a seasonal dip that every guest will enjoy, look no further than a hearty hot spinach artichoke dip. This recipe from The Modern Proper is filled with fresh spinach, artichoke hearts, mozzarella, cream cheese, and parmesan cheese. It only takes 30 minutes in the oven and can be served with anything from carrots to tortilla chips, pita bread, and more.
This article was originally published on November 2, 2016, and has since been updated.