When it comes to easy entertaining, finger foods are the name of the game. Instead of serving tired been-there-done-that hors d’oeuvres at your holiday party, revamp your menu with festive throwback bites. Though they’re each small in size, these appetizers bring big flavors and breathe new life into retro recipes.
While you want your Thanksgiving dinner guests to have something to munch on when they arrive at your house, you don’t want them to fill up on snacks and ultimately be too full to enjoy the feast. So, when it comes to dishing out appetizers on turkey day, less is more; think small bites of crunchy nuts, a simple soup or a creamy cheese. These fuss-free starters will satisfy the crowd and leave them craving the main event, but — as a bonus for you, the host or hostess — most are quick to prepare. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five Thanksgiving appetizer recipes to find ideas fit for the feast, then check out Thanksgiving Central for more appetizer inspiration.
5. Devilish Eggs — Ready to eat in less than 25 minutes, these classic deviled eggs are lightened up with the help of tofu, which stretches the traditionally indulgent mustard-laced yolk filling.
4. Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip — Follow Alton Brown’s lead and save time in the kitchen by starting with frozen spinach and frozen artichokes to make his quick-fix dip. He mixes tangy sour cream with cream cheese, plus a dollop of mayonnaise and a pinch of garlic powder, for over-the-top richness.
Hummus is one of those foods that most people enjoy and has a ton of great health benefits. Rich in protein, it can help you feel fuller longer. Chickpeas are the main ingredient in most hummus recipes, but sometimes you need to switch things up a bit — even if that means cutting the chickpeas and starting anew. These recipes have taken hummus to the next level, calling on everything from black beans to edamame, so you never get bored of the Mediterranean treat.
Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus: It’s definitely one of the most-loved flavors to pair with hummus, and this recipe makes it the star of the show. Guy Fieri calls for the roasted red peppers to be pureed in with the chickpeas and even adds in some chipotle pepper in adobo to kick the flavor up a few notches. It makes a great spread for sandwiches too.
The right dip recipe can get you through anything. The kids surprised you with a houseful of small-but-hungry friends? Bring out the chips and dip — vats of the stuff. A friend’s going through a breakup? There’s no better method for sopping up their tears than doing so over a bowl of guacamole. Perhaps most importantly, however, a solid dip recipe can help hit your cookout or picnic out of the park, especially this time of year. Before you peel open a tub of sorry store-bought dip, witness how these dip giants can come together in a flash, especially with a little how-to help.
We’ve all been there: Friends dropped by unexpectedly (yay!). You’ve nothing to serve them (boo!). Or do you? Odds are, tucked away in your cupboard or fridge are a few familiar ingredients that can easily be turned into tasty snacks. You just need to know what to look for. Here are simple ways to transform kitchen standbys into beyond-the-basics appetizers.
With the constant flurry of tree trimming, gift wrapping and cookie swapping going on this month, the added task of preparing a big holiday dinner can quickly become overwhelming. Take some of the stress out of the season with the help of these easy appetizers that take just 10 minutes to prepare or assemble. Start off with Food Network Magazine’s colorful Walnut-Pepper Spread, which balances earthy toasted walnuts and roasted red peppers with honey and a pinch of red pepper flakes for subtly sweet heat. As an added holiday bonus, this dip can even be made a day in advance and refrigerated.
Similar to Thanksgiving, the Christmas supper is often a rich, hearty meal complete with beef, turkey, lamb or ham, among other sides and salads — not to mention dessert — which is why party starters tend to be simple and light fare. But while you don’t want your guests to fill up on appetizers, it’s best to offer a few pre-dinner munchies to satisfy their cravings when they walk in the door and to hold them over until the main dish is ready. Quick-fix snacks like dips and mini meatballs are go-to picks, as is crostini or cheese and crackers, since they don’t require forks and knives, and guests can grab them as they mingle. This holiday, stick with Food Network’s top-five appetizers below to ensure casual, stress-free get-togethers that let crowd-pleasing recipes shine.
5. French Onion Dip — The secret to Guy’s top-rated recipe is cooking the onions slowly over a low temperature so they have time to become sweet, soft and caramelized, which will add to the overall depth of flavor in his sour cream-based dip. Click the play button on the video after the jump to watch Guy make it.
4. Crostini with Thyme-Roasted Tomatoes — For an elegant appetizer presentation that’s deceptively simple to achieve, Chopped host Ted Allen slow-roasts slices of tomatoes until they’re tender, then features them atop garlic-rubbed toast.
Whether it’s football Sunday or you’re planning appetizers for a holiday party, you can’t go wrong with a crowd favorite: mozzarella sticks. This week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week is a crispy, oozy recipe for the whole family — and one that is calcium-packed. The pizza flavor profile makes them extra tasty to kids’ palates.
Get the Recipe: Crisp Mozzarella Sticks
With so much effort spent on the Thanksgiving turkey and sides, there’s rarely any time left to whip up a savory spread of starters for guests to snack on. To take the stress off, try these easy appetizers that take just 15 minutes to cook or assemble and leave you more time to put finishing touches on the big feast. Start with Food Network Magazine’s 50 Easy Toast Toppers, which offers a ton of creative ideas for dressing up toasted baguette rounds.
Pomegranate, Arugula Salad: Tyler’s fall-flavored salad takes mere minutes to toss together, including the sweet pomegranate molasses vinaigrette.