It goes without saying that Thanksgiving is quite a big deal. I’d venture to say that it’s the most labor intensive meal you’ll make or have the opportunity to eat all year! Nonetheless, people generally expect appetizers, whether out of tradition or for practicality (what do you mean, the turkey takes six hours?). Since holiday food is often on the heavier side, it’s easy for appetizers to lean that way too. This handy guide will give you some ideas to ensure that you can make a Thanksgiving turkey, and still have room to eat it. After all, everyone’s real favorite is dessert!

1. Use spices: Holiday food demands flavor, and while butter is one way to achieve this, spices will wake up your palate without the heaviness. // Spiced Eggplant Hummus

2. Try different textures: The crunch that comes with many vegetables makes them entirely satisfying, and if you pair that with unexpected flavors, you’ll be inclined to eat less before the meal. // Peppered Pickled Carrots

3. Individual servings: If you have a large bowl out, it’s way too easy to keep going back for more. Individual servings make your guests a bit more conscious of exactly how much they’re eating, and ensure there’s a finite supply. // Quinoa Salad in Endive Cups

4. Less is more: I think we can all agree that life is nothing without cheese. That still doesn’t mean that cheese plates are necessarily the best option for Thanksgiving. Just a sprinkle, especially when paired with fruit, generally does the trick. // Caramelized Apple and Blue Cheese Crostini

5. Full of air: Things that are light tend to be, well, full of air. This means you’ll get full less quickly than with something very dense, such as nuts. // Brown Butter, Lemon, and Rosemary Popcorn

I’d love to hear, what’s your take on Thanksgiving day appetizers?


  1. La Torontoise

    Clara, in line of this guide, I have something really ‘spicy and textured’ in mind:
    it’s garlic cookies and mango vinaigrette added to salad greens.
    The mango vinaigrette is based on mango vinegar and sugar. It’s sweet/tart flavor is distinctive. In a saucepan, mix 1 cup mango vinegar with 2 tbsp. of brown sugar (you can add more sure, based on how sweet you like your dressing). Heat slowly, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved.
    When cooled down, I take part of it (just as I would need for dressing) and add olive oil to it. The exact amount of olive oil would depend on how oily you want your dressing to be.

    The garlic cookies:
    100 g all-purpose flour (organic, I’d prefer )
    100 g brown sugar (can be organic)
    40g butter (I use organic)
    5 cloves garlic
    Beat together flour, butter and sugar in a deep bowl until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the thin slices of garlic and beat until cloves are incorporated. On a baking sheet, form with a tee spoon small cookies (1 inch) and move them to a preheated oven (175 degrees Celsius, which is 350 degrees on the Fahrenheit scale ).
    Bake cookies until the edges are golden-brown, approximately 7 to 10 minutes (this would depends on the oven).
    When styling the salad in plates, add 2-3 cookies per person.

    We had last night a team event for 10 people, which was a French cooking worksop. This recipe was simple and delicios, everyone could do it. I will make it one more time at home this weekend.

    All the best.

    • Thanks for sharing that recipe! Hope you have a great weekend

  2. La Torontoise

    PS. Thank you for the reference to the Kitchen Stories blog (I was unaware of it). I love blue cheese and I’m vividly imagine now how I will make the Caramelized Apple and Blue Cheese Crostini the pillar
    of my dinner tonight:-) My husband will love it!!
    Clara, I have a very hectic day job and cooking is what I do to get my mind off all the job-related problems…

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