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 (get all my Thanksgiving planning advice in this easy guide!) 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.

overhead view of a colorful and festive thanksgiving appetizer board

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, this 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.

sliced turkey breast on thanksgiving appetizer board
red wine in stemless glasses

How to Build Your Festive Thanksgiving Appetizer Board

festive thanksgiving grazing tray


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:

  1. This will whet your guests appetite for the main event.
  2. They are easy to find this time of year.
  3. 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.

ramekin of pecans


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.

side view of festive thanksgiving appetizer board


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.

thanksgiving themed napkins next to tray of snacks

Do you plan on serving any Thanksgiving appetizers this year? Check out my Flawless Thanksgiving Guide to get your whole menu right. And sharing is caring so be sure to pin this appetizer board on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!


P.S. More Thanksgiving ideas:

Thanksgiving snack board on table with candle


5 from 8 votes
overhead view of a colorful and festive thanksgiving appetizer board
Festive Thanksgiving Appetizer Board
Prep Time
10 mins

An edible spread of seasonal colors, textures, and flavors to appease your Thanksgiving guests until dinner is ready

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: holiday appetizer board, holiday cheese board, thanksgiving appetizer platter, Thanksgiving appetizers, thanksgiving charcuterie board, thanksgiving cheese board, thanksgiving grazing board
Servings: 10 people
Author: Jazzmine from Dash of Jazz
  • cooked turkey breast
  • cheddar cheese cubes
  • Honeycrisp apples sliced
  • dried cranberries
  • mandarin oranges halved and segmented
  • pretzels
  • Swiss cheese slices cut into quarters
  • dill pickle spears
  • pecans
  • walnuts
  • sweet and savor jams or spreads
  1. 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.

  2. Fill in your ingredients, one color at a time so that you have a visually-appealing variety of colors spread out across the tray.

Recipe Notes
  • 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.

overhead view of appetizer tray with text overlay "how to build a Thanksgiving board"

photo of sliced turkey on Thanksgiving appetizer board with text overlay




thanksgiving appetizer board collage with text overlay