Raise your hand if Thanksgiving dinner is ready on time in your house. You can’t see me but my hand is not up. 🙂 We always set an arbitrary dinner time that’s more like a lunchtime just so people know when to come by but it doesn’t usually pan out. I’m a planner (see here for my Thanksgiving menu planning tips) but Thanksgiving dinner is a lot of work and, even though I start cooking and prep work a couple of days before, it never fails that I forget an ingredient or something else happens to push back dinner time. This results in hangry guests but today, I’m sharing a festive Thanksgiving appetizer board to remedy that.
I received a package of OVEN READY™ Boneless Turkey Breast from Jennie-O a few weeks back and decided to whip up an easy grazing station of sorts to keep guests satiated until the main event starts. This is my first time hosting Thanksgiving in my own home but some things will be the same as always: my dad and brothers in front of the TV watching football, our family dog desperately trying to sneak into the kitchen for scraps, and someone asking every 10 minutes when the food will be ready. Thankfully, Jennie-O OVEN READY™ Boneless Turkey Breast is ready to go straight from the freezer to the oven without thawing. It cooks in its own little bag and even comes with gravy. That’s perfect for this festive Thanksgiving appetizer board since the holidays are hectic enough without fully cooking a turkey ahead of time just for appetizers. I just thinly slice up the breast to add to the board.
How to Build Your Festive Thanksgiving Appetizer Board
Create balance on your board by incorporating sweet, savory, salty, and tangy flavors. I also recommend you use flavors already associated with the Thanksgiving holiday for three reasons:
- This will whet your guests appetite for the main event.
- They are easy to find this time of year.
- The flavors will play well with what’s coming for dinner.
Example: I incorporated pecans, dried cranberries, and, of course roasted turkey in this board for seasonal flavors as well as pretzels for saltiness, fresh fruit for sweetness, and tangy pickled veggies.
For good variety, use a mix of soft, chewy, crisp, and crunchy foods.
Example: Here, I incorporated nuts and pretzels for crunch, crisp pickled veggies, chewy cheeses, and soft dipping sauces.
This is what truly makes your appetizer board festive! Go for a rainbow of colors in line with the Fall season (or the Fall you see on TV if you live a climate like mine). Think: orange, red, brown, and deep green foods.
Example:The orange segments and halves, apple slices, and dried cranberries help set the perfect festive color scheme.
Do you plan on serving Thanksgiving appetizers this year? I’ve got one more Turkey Day post going up on Sunday so be sure to check back for it. After that, we’re switching gears into Christmas…everything. 🙂 Thanks for reading!
P.S. More Thanksgiving ideas:
- 50+ Sweet Potato Recipes
- Bourbon Sweet Potato Pecan Pie
- Easy Gift Ideas for your Host
- Thanksgiving Menu Planning
- Thanksgiving Desserts Roundup
- Thanksgiving Sides Roundup
An edible spread of seasonal colors, textures, and flavors to appease your Thanksgiving guests until dinner is ready
- cooked turkey breast
- cheddar cheese cubes
- Honeycrisp apples sliced
- dried cranberries
- mandarin oranges halved and segmented
- Swiss cheese slices cut into quarters
- dill pickle spears
- sweet and savor jams or spreads
Place jam jars and any other containers you plan to use on the tray. It's easier to fill in your ingredients around them than to try to find a place for them later.
Fill in your ingredients, one color at a time so that you have a visually-appealing variety of colors spread out across the tray.
- These ingredients are suggestions. Feel free to incorporate whatever you like and omit anything you don't!
- You can use a tray, platter or cheese board depending on what you have on hand.