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3 Easy Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Appetizers

3 Easy Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipes

The year is rapidly drawing to a close, and Thanksgiving is HERE – the holiday season is upon us! Are you having trouble deciding what tasty dishes you would like to serve your family this year? When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, the turkey is definitely the star of the show. But before you reveal the beautiful bird, there are plenty of other opportunities to impress your guests. If you are like me, something to keep guest happy and occupied and not in the kitchen looking for tase tidbits is a huge help. Something simple that I can make ahead and have on hand for hungry guests is a must!

To help you start your dinner off on the right foot, I’ve put together three of the best make-ahead Thanksgiving appetizers. Enjoy!

Sausage Balls


1 lb. Owens Hot Sausage

3 cups Bisquick Mix

1 lb. package shredded sharp cheese

Black pepper and paprika


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using your clean hands, mix all ingredients until blended into a soft dough. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and arrange on a buttered baking sheet 1 inch apart.

Bake for 15-20 minutes

(these sausage balls freeze well before cooking.).

Cowboy Caviar


1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can whole corn, drained

1 tomato

2 cups red onion, diced

1 cup green onion, minced

1/4 cup jalapeno, minced

1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbl. picante sauce

2 Tbl. cilantro, chopped


1-2 Tbl. picante sauce, or a few dashes of tabasco sauce

2 Tbl. olive oil

2/3 cup lime juice

1 Tbl. Dijon mustard

2 Tbl. herbal vinegar of choice or rice vinegat

1 Tbl. oregano


Seal dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to mix.

Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl and pour dressing over the top. Stir well and refrigerate until ready to serve. (This recipe can be made several hours ahead of time or the night before.) Stir again before serving and serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

Onion Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball


8 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 cups sharp white cheddar, shredded

1 cup Craisins

1/2 cup green onions, chopped

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 cup pecans, chopped, toasted, and cooled completely


Stir together the softened cream cheese and cheddar until it’s evenly combined. Mix in the Craisins, green onions and parsley. Spread toasted pecans onto a baking sheet.

Form the cheese into a ball shape, and roll it around on the pecans. Be sure to completely coat the outside of the ball.Cover with plastic wrap and store overnight, or at least 4 hours to allow the flavors to mix. Serve with whole grain crackers.

So, if you’re looking for a tasty recipe or two in the next couple of weeks, check out this appetizer roundup of my family’s holiday favorites! The best part about these recipes? These delicious Thanksgiving appetizers can be prepared the day before your party or dinner starts, giving you more time to spend with the ones you love most this holiday season.

What are some of your go-to Thanksgiving appetizer recipes? Leave a comment!

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