Healthy Thanksgiving Appetizers Everyone Will Love
Published on November 12, 2021
By Jess Novak
Whether your family serves Thanksgiving dinner at 1pm or 7pm, cooking typically goes on for hours and hours — and eating breakfast on Thanksgiving morning just seems profane. Having a few healthy Thanksgiving appetizers on hand can solve this problem, keeping your guests from getting too hungry without spoiling their appetites.
That’s why we rounded up an assortment of dips, avocado-based snacks, and even healthier deviled eggs — there’s something for everyone on this list, from vegan to Paleo-friendly folks. For more absolutely delicious hors d’oeuvres ideas, try our collection of quick, easy appetizers for last-minute get-togethers.
Corn is a classic Thanksgiving side, but for most of the country, it’s not exactly in season by the time Thanksgiving rolls around. One way around this: opt for an appetizer that uses frozen corn, like this healthy, Mexican-inspired dip. This recipe replaces the traditional street corn’s mayo with Greek yogurt, and swaps Cotija cheese for low-fat feta (although we’d consider opting for old-school Cotija unless you’re on a specifically low-fat diet). We’d serve this healthy Thanksgiving appetizer with sliced red, orange, and yellow bell peppers and tortilla chips.
These hot green bean fries will tide everyone over without filling them up, which makes them the perfect Thanksgiving app. This recipe would also be excellent made in an air fryer if your oven is — somehow! — rather occupied on Thanksgiving day. They’re delicious served on their own, but would be great with a little mustard dipping sauce or our special probiotic ranch dressing.
Sweet potato rounds make an extremely good bread substitute. If you’re in charge of bringing an app to Thanksgiving this year, consider these healthy sweet potato bites, which involve a spread of universally-beloved guacamole and a few Cajun-seasoned shrimp on top. While this recipe calls for a homemade spice blend, we won’t judge if you reach for the Tony Chachere’s. As far as healthy Thanksgiving appetizers go, we’ll admit that this one is fairly untraditional — but among all the components in a Thanksgiving meal, appetizers are one place where you can get creative.
Gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan, this cranberry dip is surprisingly creamy and absolutely delicious, which probably has something to do with all of the cashews. If you’ve never tried using cashews as a dip base before, you are going to be amazed at how rich it is. We like to serve this up with apple and pear slices.
This dish is so easy: You basically put the cheese in a jar of oil with some herbs, which can be done up to three days in advance, and then serve. This can be enjoyed on its own (just offer guests some little forks or toothpicks) or as part of a whole platter. The recipe suggests pairing with Spanish spiced almonds, which would definitely be delicious.
If you’re going to someone else’s home for Thanksgiving, they’ll be so appreciative if you bring a healthy Thanksgiving appetizer that doesn’t require any prep in the kitchen, and this seasonal pumpkin hummus is a great choice. Just bring some chopped crudités to go with it — like carrot sticks, sliced English cucumber, and raw cauliflower — plus a handful of whole-grain crackers, too.
Deviled eggs are a must-have Thanksgiving appetizer in many households, and this healthy recipe is a delicious play on the theme, whether the person eating them is on the keto diet or not. By incorporating Greek yogurt and avocado in place of mayonnaise, you’re upping the protein and healthy fat content (without sacrificing flavor).
Jess Novak is the Head of Content and Audience Development for Clean Plates. She’s obsessed with making meals that taste like they’re not healthy (but absolutely are). You can follow her on Instagram @jtothenovak.