best easy Thanksgiving appetizers for Friendsgiving

There is nothing more satisfying than a well-planned Friendsgiving: 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. But when you’re planning a potluck for a big group, the best way to prevent four of your pals from bringing hummus and pita chips is to start making some appetizer assignments.

Check out these foolproof apps for a stress-free Friendsgiving that are so delicious they’ll make you forget you ever wanted anything to do with the turkey.

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Easy Crab Cakes

easy crab cakes with aioli and lemon

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You can make these ahead of time and keep them in the freezer sealed in Ziploc bags. Reheat them on a baking sheet and serve with a side of aioli. Get our Easy Crab Cakes recipe.

Bacon-Wrapped Squash Bites

Bacon-Wrapped Squash Bites

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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.

Honeyed Cashews with Kosher Salt

Honeyed Cashews with Kosher Salt

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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.

Spicy Oven Roasted Chickpeas

easy roasted chickpeas

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Two cans of chickpeas mixed with some olive oil and spices—cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and sea salt—come together to make an addictive cocktail hour snack that can easily be scaled up for a crowd. Get our Spicy Oven Roasted Chickpeas recipe.

Broccoli-Cheddar Potato Skins

Broccoli-Cheddar Potato Skins

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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.

Baked Artichoke Dip

Baked Artichoke Spinach Dip

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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.

The Turducken of Cheese Balls

turducken of cheese balls

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If you’ve got a cheese lover in attendance, this is the assignment 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.

Warm Cheesy Bean Dip

Warm Cheesy Bean Dip

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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.

Pea and Ricotta Bruschetta

Pea and Ricotta Bruschetta

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Almost impossible to mess up, this bruschetta requires grilling crusty Italian bread (coated in olive oil and garlic) and then topping with shelled peas. Make sure to use the freshest ricotta cheese you can find (or try making your own). Get our Pea and Ricotta Bruschetta recipe.

For more great tips, tricks, and hacks, see our Ultimate Guide to Friendsgiving.

Related Video: The No-Cook Appetizer You Should Bring to Holiday Parties

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Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC’s best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.
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