10/05/2018 19:05 EDT | Updated 10/05/2018 19:17 EDT

Quick And Easy Thanksgiving Appetizers To Make Everyone Think You're Fancy

You don't have to be a trained chef or spend a ton of time in the kitchen to make great food.

You and your easy-yet-deceptively-swank appies are going to be so impressive.
GMVozd via Getty Images
You and your easy-yet-deceptively-swank appies are going to be so impressive.

Hosting Thanksgiving is, conservatively speaking, a TON of work. Making a turkey is crazy complicated. (It takes hours! And you have to "baste" it?) Making even a "simple" version of a Thanksgiving dinner often requires a Herculean organizational effort for those of us with fewer than five ovens in our homes.

Luckily, if you've evaded hosting yourself (phew!) and are headed to someone else's home for Thanksgiving, there are lots of easy ways to make smaller dishes that are easy, delicious, and will make you look like you're a fancy person who has your life together.

Here are some quick tips to keep in mind:

  • Seasonal vegetables are cheap, tasty, and embody the fall colour palate. Anything you make with pumpkin, mushrooms, brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower or cranberries is likely to warrant you an impressed eyebrow raise.
  • The autumn version of bruschetta is simple and delicious — and do you see how elegant that ricotta and pumpkin bread looks above? Fancy AF. Just get a nice bread and something hearty and seasonal to go on top, and voila, you've won the Thanksgiving appetizer game.
  • Everyone — everyone!!! — appreciates a nice bottle of bubbly, whether that's champagne for the truly fancy, prosecco/cava for the rest of us, or a tasty sparkling apple cider for the non-drinkers.

Here are some quick and easy recipes, from the looks-very-fancy-but-not-actually-that-hard to the truly disaster-proof. Your fellow Tgiving guests will say "Wow!" and you'll just smile the contented smile of someone who has their life completely and utterly together.

If you want to spend about an hour in the kitchen: Squash toast

Don't worry — most of that time is just waiting for the squash to cook. And don't tell your guests, but you can cut down on cooking time by buying an onion jam rather than making it from scratch. Get a recipe at Food 52.

Some variations: Spinach and almond crostini, chanterelle toast, pumpkin ricotta crostini, or persimmon and brie crostini. Or try this ridiculously easy apple crostini in the video below:

If you want to spend forty minutes in the kitchen: Stuffed mushrooms


As the recipe very helpfully states, these pair well with Chardonnay. Get a recipe at the Food Network.

If you want to spend half an hour in the kitchen: Figs with chile and bacon


This one is shockingly simple, given how sophisticated it looks: cook the bacon, heat up the sauce, heat up the figs, arrange them, and done. Get the recipe at Bon Appetit.

Some variations: vegetarians might prefer figs with goat cheese and almonds.

If you want to spend 20 minutes in the kitchen: Tahini and carrot dip


Seasonal, sophisticated, and the perfect Thanksgiving colour. It required a blender, but it's worth it. Get the recipe at Saveur.

Some variations: spicy sweet potato hummus, charred eggplant dip. (Warning: that last one's a little longer and more complicated.)

If you want to spend 15 minutes in the kitchen: Candied nuts

Snack stress-free this Thanksgiving with this recipe for Maple Bourbon Candied Pecans. The crunchy snacks are ready in minutes and can be prepped a few days ahead of time! What Thanksgiving dish are you looking forward to most? I personally can't get enough of marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes. 😋 . 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter 1 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. cinnamon 2 cups pecan halves 2 Tbsp. bourbon 5 Tbsp. maple syrup . 1) Preheat oven to 325°F 2) Put butter, salt, cinnamon in small saucepan. Heat, stirring until butter is melted. 3) Place pecans in medium bowl and top with melted butter mixture. 4) Add bourbon and maple syrup. 5) Spread mixture on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes until fragrant. 6) Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to bowl to fully cool. . . . . . #f52grams #food52 #feedfeed #foodblogfeed #wsbakeclub #huffposttaste #foodandwine #abmlifeissweet #studiodiysugarfix #pursueprettythings #bhgcelebrate #bakersofinstagram #damnthatsdelish #undiscoveredbaker #topfoodnews #foodbloggerpro #easythanksgiving #bonappetit #pecans #snacks #candiedpecans #glutenfree #thanksgiving #thanksgivingappetizers #thankgivingdinner #autumnbaking #thisisfall #foodinsta #foodpicture

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These are ridiculously simple and endlessly adaptable — use whatever sugar, oil, nut or seed you prefer. The only trick is making sure you stir them enough that they don't stick to the pan. Get the recipe at the Minimalist Baker.

Some alternatives: roasted squash seeds, spiced pecans, caramelized almonds.

And if you want to get out of the kitchen: here's a list of the best Thanksgiving wines.

Happy eating!

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