The best Thanksgiving appetizers have to include some no-cook options, and make-ahead dishes too, as well as plenty that can be served at room temperature, because there’s enough going on in the kitchen as it is.
Friendsgiving is no exception, unless you go the full potluck route: all of the delicious foods that you love from Thanksgiving without any of the family drama. Plus, you’ll have leftovers and you can probably get away with paper plates—thankfully, Aunt Deirdre isn’t around to make you feel bad for your non existent fine china.
They’re so delicious they’ll make you forget you ever wanted anything to do with the turkey. And most are easy enough that you can tackle them yourself, even if you’re doing the rest of the meal too—or assign them out to friends no matter what their culinary skills.
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Room Temp Appetizers
Because that oven space is precious.
This is super easy since it requires zero cooking, just finding tangy-sweet Peppadew peppers and marcona almonds, them combining them with soft goat cheese, good olive oil, and oregano. They’re nice light bites to tide people over until the meal, and literally anyone can pull these off—even the friend you normally only assign to ice duty. Get our Stuffed Peppadew Peppers with Goat Cheese and Marcona Almonds recipe.
Related Reading: How to Assign Friendsgiving Dishes Based on the Zodiac
If you’ve got a cheese lover in attendance, this is the one for them. Weighing in at five pounds of cheese, this turducken-inspired 12-layer cheese ball is not for the faint of heart. It contains cream cheese, chorizo, Manchego, Emmentaler, sharp cheddar, blue cheese, walnuts, goat cheese, almonds, bacon, pecans, and a washed rind semi-firm cheese of your choice. Get our Turducken of Cheese Balls recipe.
This bright, spicy carrot hummus gets a kick from harissa and can be made up to four days ahead, so all you have to do on the day of is set it out with dipping accompaniments. As long as you use veggie broth or water to cook the carrots, it’s a great vegan option too. Get our Spicy Carrot Hummus recipe.
These sweet and salty cashews are an excellent choice for cocktail hour. Mix raw cashews with vegetable oil, light brown sugar, honey, water, and four teaspoons of kosher salt for the right mix before roasting in the oven. Get our Honeyed Cashews with Kosher Salt recipe.
Ceramic Squirrel Candy Dish, $20.99 on Amazon
Perhaps the perfect serving vessel for these nuts.
Two cans of chickpeas mixed with some olive oil and spices—cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and sea salt—come together to make another addictive cocktail hour snack that can easily be scaled up for a crowd. Serve them warm if you like, but they’re also great at room temperature. Get our Spicy Oven Roasted Chickpeas recipe.
Related Reading: How to Make Cocktails with Your Thanksgiving Ingredients
Who doesn’t like deviled eggs? They’re crowd-pleasing (even keto-friendly!), and they’re easy on the host since they can be made ahead. These feature Sriracha for a spicy bite, plus pickled veggies for garnish. Get our Sriracha Deviled Eggs recipe.
Popcorn isn’t just for movie night. It’s a light but compulsively crunchable snack any time, and seasoning it with black pepper and grated parm makes it fancy enough for a party; just be sure to use the good stuff when it comes to the cheese. Get our Parmigiano-Black Pepper Popcorn recipe.
If you do have room in the oven to spare—or a countertop toaster oven to press into service—these are winners.
You can make these ahead of time and keep them in the freezer sealed in Ziploc bags. Reheat them on a baking sheet (or in the toaster oven) and serve with a side of aioli. Get our Easy Crab Cakes recipe.
If you’re trying to find an easy recipe to pass off to a friend who isn’t confident in the kitchen, these bacon-wrapped squash bites are perfect. Roast the squash until the bacon is crispy (about 20 minutes) and serve on toothpicks. Get our Bacon-Wrapped Squash Bites recipe.
Great for Game Day as well as Friendsgiving, these russet potatoes are borderline healthy with the addition of broccoli florets (on top of the shredded cheddar cheese and yellow onion). Serve with ranch dip. Get our Broccoli-Cheddar Potato Skins recipe.
There isn’t anything that doesn’t taste good dipped in this baked artichoke and cheese combination. Heavy cream, brie, Monterey Jack, bacon, parmesan, marinated artichoke hearts, and almost two pounds of baby spinach are mixed together with seasoning for a dreamy dip. Get our Baked Artichoke Dip recipe.
Make a big pot of refried beans and then combine with pickled jalapenos, hot sauce, and sharp cheddar cheese. Serve with tortilla chips or some chopped vegetables (keep a bottle of hot sauce on the side for friends to kick the heat up a notch). Get our Warm Cheesy Bean Dip recipe.
As long as you keep the pieces of squash, kale, and toast on the smaller side, these are perfect autumn appetizers. Plus, you can roast the squash and saute the kale ahead of time, then just briefly rewarm them while toasting the bread to pile up with all that veggie goodness. Get our Butternut Squash and Kale Toasts recipe.
Leakproof Plastic Containers with Lids (Mixed Sizes), 40 for $17.99 on Amazon
Send your friends home with leftovers packed securely in these deli-style containers.
For more great tips, tricks, and hacks, see our Ultimate Guide to Friendsgiving.