Published: November 24, 2015

    Five Quick and Tasty Thanksgiving Appetizers

    Thanksgiving is all about family and sharing. With the entire clan gathered under one roof, you can expect people to get hungry long before dinnertime. Keep them occupied with these tasty, easy-to-make appetizers.

    Marinated Olives

    Olives have a distinctive flavor you don’t want tainted by the odor or taste of tap water. When rinsing olives for this recipe, be sure to only use filtered water for a crisp, unadulterated taste.


    • 2 cups un-pitted olives, rinsed in filtered water and drained
    • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 orange slices
    • 3 lemon slices
    • 2 sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary
    • Red pepper flakes


    Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan, adding red pepper flakes to taste. Simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer olives, fruit, and herb sprigs to a serving dish. This is a great make-ahead appetizer, and can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.

    Glazed Nuts

    A classic Thanksgiving snack, glazed nuts are a hit with children and adults alike and can be made ahead of time.


    • 1½ lbs. whole blanched almonds, cashews, peanuts, or pecan halves (or any combination of these)
    • ½ cup sugar
    • 2 tsp. butter


    Combine all ingredients in a heavy skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the nuts are toasted and the sugar is golden and melted. Spread nuts on a cookie sheet, lightly sprinkle with salt, and let cool.

    Swiss Bacon Dip

    This hearty bacon-based dip reduces your risk of kitchen raids by hungry guests while you prepare the main meal. It’s also filling, so don’t serve it too close to dinnertime.


    • 8 slices bacon, chopped
    • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
    • ½ cup mayonnaise
    • 2 rounded tsp. Dijon mustard
    • 1½ cups shredded Swiss cheese
    • 3 scallions
    • ½ cup smoked almonds, chopped coarsely
    • Baby carrots, celery sticks, and bread to dip


    Cook bacon over medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet until crispy. Drain on paper towels.

    In large bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, Swiss cheese, scallions, and bacon. Bake at 400 degrees in a small baking dish or casserole until golden at edges and bubbly, about 15–18 minutes. Top with almonds.

    Cheese-stuffed, Prosciutto-wrapped Dates


    • ¼ cup goat cheese
    • ¼ cup mascarpone cheese
    • ¼ cup finely chopped basil leaves
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 16 Medjool dates, pitted
    • 8 thin slices prosciutto, halved lengthwise


    Bring the cheeses to room temperature, and mix them with the basil, adding salt and pepper to taste. Carefully pull dates apart, stuffing with ½ teaspoon of the cheese mixture. Close dates around filling, wrap with prosciutto, and secure with a toothpick.

    Pomegranate and Arugula Salad

    Start the meal off right with this colorful, tangy salad that looks as good as it tastes.


    • ¼ cup pomegranate molasses
    • ½ lemon, juiced
    • 2 TB. honey
    • 2 TB. red wine vinegar
    • ½ cup olive oil
    • Salt and black pepper, to taste
    • 6 cups lightly-packed arugula, washed in filtered water
    • Seeds of 1 pomegranate
    • ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings
    • ¼ cup toasted walnuts
    • 1 shallot, sliced


    Combine the molasses, lemon juice, honey, and vinegar in mixing bowl. Whisk to combine, and then slowly drizzle in olive oil while you continue to mix to emulsify the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper.

    Toss remaining salad ingredients and dress with vinaigrette.

    Tap water can impart unwanted tastes to your carefully prepared Thanksgiving meal. No matter what you cook, using water from a convenient point-of-entry Pelican filtration system helps capture the full taste of the meal.