7 Thanksgiving Appetizers your guest will love

Thanksgiving 1

7 Thanksgiving Appetizers your Guests will Love

Thanksgiving is here. That time of year for family, friends and food.  Appetizers are an easy way to fill up the gang keeping your guests full and happy until the main event arrives. Here are 7 Thanksgiving appetizers your guests will love.  

pear bruschetta
Pear Bruschetta

Pear is a great seasonal fruit with this recipe but its easily changeable with any fruit your family loves. Want to make this recipe even faster use a seasonal jelly or marmalade in place to the fresh fruit. 


1 Baguette

3-5 Bosc Pears not peeled

1.5 oz extra virgin olive oil

½ cup Arugula

4 Tbsp Good Balsamic Vinegar

1.5 Tbsp Honey

5 oz of one of the following Blue Cheese Gorgonzola, St Andre triple brie or Goat Cheese

5 oz Cream Cheese

2 oz Sour Cream

1 tbsp fresh fine chopped chives

¼ tsp garlic puree




Chopped nuts (optional)


  1. Mix balsamic, honey and a tablespoon of water. Slice pears in half and cut into wedges (8 equal pcs). Lay each piece flat and use a sharp knife to remove the seeds. Coat the pears in balsamic mixture.  Pull cheese out and let sit to come to almost room temperature.
  2. Place the pears on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes until pears are al dente.
  3. Remove the pears from the oven, strain the remaining liquid into a bowl and reserve. Leave pears to cool
  4. Bake baguette sliced into 12 pieces at 400 degrees for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and cool
  5. To make the cheese spread in a small metal bowl mix 5 oz cheese of your choice and cream cheese until smooth. Once smooth add sour cream, garlic puree and chopped chives. Mix well to incorporate.
  6. Top sliced bread with 1 tbsp cheese spread and 1 pear
  7. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees, line a sheet pan with parchment paper and bake toasts for 1 minute
  8. Transfer toasts to a serving plate. Place a piece of prosciutto on each toast, top with arugula and finish by drizzling with remaining balsamic glaze.
bacon jam
Make Ahead Bacon Jam


1 ½ pounds bacon, chopped

2 teaspoons butter

4 large yellow or red onions, diced

1 teaspoon salt

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup sherry vinegar

1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided and finely chopped

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary finely chopped

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

½ cup water

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil



1. Warm a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add bacon; cook and stir until crispy, about 10-12 minutes. Pour bacon and rendered fat into a strainer placed over a bowl. When fat is drained and bacon is cool enough to handle, remove bacon to a cutting board and finely chop.


2.Return the pot to medium heat; drizzle 2 teaspoons reserved bacon fat and butter into the pot. Add onions and salt; cook until translucent, 7 to 10 minutes.


3.Stir brown sugar, sherry vinegar, 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, 2 teaspoons rosemary, black pepper, and cayenne into onion mixture; add bacon. Stir water into bacon mixture and cook until jam has a thick consistency, 10 to 15 minutes.


4.Remove from heat and add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon thyme; stir until shiny and heated through.

5. You can serve once cool or place this in the refrigerator to serve later. Serve with crackers, sliced baguette and your favorite cheese. This is also great used as a topping on other appetizers or mixed with cheese and stuffed in dates!

Fig Flatbread



1 sheet12-14-ounce puff pastry dough (defrosted according to package directions)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 small red onionthinly sliced

 cup grated Parmesan cheese

4 cups mixed baby greensspinach, kale, arugula, etc., plus more for garnish

10-12 fresh figsstems trimmed and halved (quartered if large)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

½ cup crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese



1. Thaw puff pastry for 30 minutes to room temperature.
2. Heat the oven to 400 (200 C) degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and translucent, stirring often, 10-12 minutes.
4. Place the pastry dough on the prepared baking sheet and unfold. Use your hands to flatten and smooth the dough into a rectangle. Prick the dough all over with a fork.
5. Distribute the onion, Parmesan cheese, 4 cups of the greens and the figs over the dough. Bake 15 minutes, or until the edges of the crust are golden.
6. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle the top with the goat or blue cheese. Drizzle the balsamic over the top. Garnish with fresh greens. Slice with a sharp knife or pizza cutter and serve warm, at room temperature is great too.


2 tablespoons instant dry yeast. Prefer SAF

3 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees)

¼ cup sugar

2 pounds, 8 ounces High Gluten Bread or Pizza Flour

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for coating the sheet pan

3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

½ cup fresh rosemary leaves

1-2 tablespoon Sicilian Sea Salt



1.  In a large mixing bowl dissolve the yeast in warm water and allow to sit for 10 minutes or until the mixture is foamy, if the mixture doesn’t foam discard and start again with a new batch of yeast

2. Add the sugar, 2lbs of flour, and salt, mix together by hand or with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until the mixture is fully blended. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic; about 5 minutes. Add remaining flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking, but it should remain soft. Form the dough into a ball and transfer to an oiled large mixing bowl, and turn it to coat the dough in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then a kitchen towel and set in a dark place until it doubles in bulk; about 1.5-2 hours. The dough can be made at this point. Punch down, and kept covered and chilled overnight. Allow the dough to return to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe.

3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place a rack in the center. Press the dough evenly into well oiled rimmed baking sheet and let it rise in a warm place, covered loosely, for 1 hour or until almost doubled in bulk. Combine 1/3 cup oil, garlic, rosemary leaves in a small mixing bowl and set aside.

4. Using your fingertips, dimple the dough evenly across the surface to make ¼ inch deep indentations. Using a silicone pastry brush coat the focaccia with the garlic and rosemary oil and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Place in preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Allow the focaccia to cool in the pan or a wire rack and serve warm or at room temperature.

5. Serve with fresh ricotta, marinated mozzarella balls, olive tapenade, eggplant dip, balsamic and oil, you get the picture. This make ahead bread is delicious, goes with everything, is filling and will serve a crowd.



Pumpkin Hummus



1 cup pumpkin puree

2 (15 oz.) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 lemon, juiced 

4 garlic cloves

6 tablespoons tahini

8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

4 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste as desired

1 teaspoon ground cumin, plus more to taste as desired

1 teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (plus more to taste if you like it a little spicy!)



1. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or high-speed blender. Reserve 1 tablespoon olive oil for the topping. Process or blend until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl or pitcher. Serve with veggies & pita chips
cranberry brie
Cranberry Brie Skillet


1 Brie Wheel

½ cup chopped pecans , walnuts or nuts of your choice

1 tbsp butter

1 tsp fresh minced rosemary

2 sprigs thyme (separated)

1 ½ cups dried cranberries or canned cranberry

3-4 Tbsp Honey

1 baguette





  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the top of the rind off of the brie.
  2.  In a small cast iron skillet or oven safe skillet add butter over medium heat. Add cranberries and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. 
  3. Add nuts and cook for another 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in rosemary, 1/2 of the thyme and honey
  5. Remove mixture and wipe the skillet completely. 
  6. Add brie to the skillet and bake 20-25 minutes until soft and bubbly
  7. Remove from oven, top with cranberry mixture, salt and pepper to taste and serve with sliced baguette or crackers.
Sausage Stuffing Bites with Cranberry dipping Sauce


Sausage Stuffing Bites (about 40 bites) :

2.5 cups Homemade Stuffing

½ pound of hot Italian sausage

½ pound of mild Italian sausage

Sea salt and pepper to taste

½ cup of shredded Monterey jack cheese

1/3 cup dried cranberries minced

2 tbsp minced thyme

2 tbsp minced rosemary

1 tps garlic

2 beaten eggs

¼- ½ cup chicken broth

Cranberry dipping sauce:

1 cup cranberry sauce either homemade or canned whole cranberry

¼ cup of orange juice

2 tsp minced rosemary

Pinch of sea salt and pepper



1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine all stuffing ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix with your hands.
2. Using a cookie scoop or roll out and scoop the sausage balls onto a greased baking pan or a parchment paper lined baking pan.
3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, till they are browned on top.
4. While they are baking, prepare the cranberry sauce in a small saucepan. Combine the
ingredients, stirring frequently to help breakdown the cranberry sauce. Simmer until sauce has slightly thickened.
5. Remove bites from oven, place dipping sauce in a bowl and surround with sausage bites. Enjoy!
Cooking not your thing? We’ve got you covered. Check out our article on Orange County restaurants to pre-order Thanksgiving dinner. 

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