Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Appetizers

By: Lauren Miyashiro

In our humble opinion, Thanksgiving is superior to any other day of the year. In an effort to make this year's feast the best of all time (sorry, Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe), we're bringing you the recipes, how-tos and decorating ideas to help you become a Turkey Day pro.



Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

So you have your Thanksgiving dinner game plan all figured out. Festive holiday tablescape, check. Classic sides and a hearty main to please both carnivorous and vegetarian attendees, check. Wine list and kid-friendly beverages, check. Pie, check. (Duh.) But what about appetizers?

Don’t freak out. We’re not suggesting anything that will cost you a bunch of extra time and effort. A few simple snacks will actually make your dinner prep much more relaxing by keeping anxious guests happy and out of the kitchen. So set out some cheese and crackers and choose from our favorite no-fuss dips and spreads below. Who knows? By keeping hunger levels in check, perhaps you have a shot at avoiding some traditional family bickering.

Impressive Italian Spread (pictured above)

Ricotta is actually very easy to make, and tastes so much better than the kind from the tub. Make it ahead (you can start tonight), and serve at room temperature on toasted bread with lemon zest and a drizzle of olive oil.

Get the Recipe: Fresh Ricotta Crostini

Decadent Holiday Deliciousness

This sweet baked brie will spread holiday cheer among guests. For super simple prep work, make the pecan praline sauce the day before and rewarm in the microwave.

Get the Recipe: Maple Pecan Baked Brie

Oldie but Goodie

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip; Alton Brown

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Alton’s hot spinach and artichoke dip is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for any family get-together.

Simple Elegance

Serve crisp crudites alongside tangy goat cheese sauce for a classy appetizer. Light and crisp, you won't have to worry about guests becoming too full before dinner.

More Meatless Appetizer Ideas: 
Keep Reading

Next Up

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Holiday Appetizers

Make sure there are plenty of meatless munchies to enjoy with your holiday cocktails: volunteer to bring one of these make-ahead, vegetarian appetizers to the part

Feeding Guests During the Thanksgiving Holiday

Some smart preparation makes feeding your Thanksgiving houseguests a cinch — even if they're staying the whole holiday weekend.

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Appetizers

Make the first course at Thanksgiving a meatless one; vegetarians will be happy and meat-lovers won't miss the meat one bit.

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Sides

The great news is that most side dishes are either meatless or can be made without meat very easily (and just as deliciously).

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dishes

It may be Turkey Day and all, but everyone knows Thanksgiving is all about the sides, and many of the best ones are meatless.

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Pot Pie

The Meatless Monday cure for the rainy-day blues: Aida Mollenkamp's Vegetarian Pot Pie.

Meatless Monday: 8 Vegetarian Pasta Recipes

Keep your cabinets stocked with dried pasta and whip up easy, meat-free dinners in minutes.

Meatless Monday: Meatless Chili

Rachael Ray's chili is hearty, comforting and filling, even though it's made without meat.


Pick a Side!

The Snackdown

In our new animated series, we debate the most-pressing food matters of our time, like is cereal a soup?

So Much Pretty Food Here