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9 Easy 3-Ingredient Appetizers To Make For Thanksgiving

Obviously you're gonna need some snacks while you wait for that turkey.

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If you're cooking Thanksgiving this year, appetizers are probably the last thing on your mind.

In the few days before Thanksgiving, you'll be plenty busy cleaning your dining room, figuring out your seating/serving situation, and stocking up on drinks. And, oh yeah, cooking ALL OF THE THINGS for actual dinner.

But actually, putting out a few quick ~hors d'oeurves~ is a great way to get things started (and keep your guests from constantly asking when the turkey will be ready).

Lots of these three-ingredient appetizers can be partially made ahead of time, and all of them are easy enough for anybody to make. Pssst...If you're smart, you'll pick a couple and assign 'em out to trustworthy guests.

Pssst... "3-Ingredient" doesn't account for olive oil, salt, and pepper.

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Some of these recipes call for one or more of these staples, plus the three main ingredients billed in the recipe.

1. Cheesy Pear Crescent Rolls

Design by Ellie Sunakawa / Photos by Taylor Miller

Halve, core, and very thinly slice 1 medium pear. Cut 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese into 4 slices, then cut each slice in half, lengthwise, so that each piece is a long strip. Open an Unroll an 8-ounce can crescent roll dough onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment, then separate the triangles. Lay a piece of cheese and one or two pieces of pear at one end of each triangle, then roll into crescent rolls. Bake at 375°F for 10 to 12 minutes, until rolls are puffy and golden brown. Cool slightly before serving.

Don't make this one ahead of time — it'll taste much better fresh out of the oven!

2. Cheesy Brussels Sprouts Pinwheels

Design by Ellie Sunakawa / Photos by Taylor Miller

Thaw one sheet puff pastry (roughly 8 ounces) and lay it on a cutting board. Microwave 6 ounces soft goat cheese for 10 seconds, just to soften. Spread goat cheese over puff pastry in an even layer, then sprinkle on ½ cup shredded or very thinly sliced Brussels sprouts (pre-shredded, or sliced from about 1 ½ cups whole, trimmed Brussels sprouts) on top. Tightly roll puff pastry into a long log, then use a very sharp knife to cut round slices about 1-inch thick. Lay rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 400°F for 18 to 20 minutes, until pastry is puffed and lightly browned. Cool slightly before serving.

If you want to make these in advance: Bake pinwheels up to 24 hours in advance. Cool completely on baking sheet before loosely covering with plastic wrap and storing at room temperature.

3. Sweet Potato-Pecan Rounds

Design by Ellie Sunakawa / Photos by Taylor Miller

Wash and dry 3 large sweet potatoes, then slice into disks about a ½-inch thick and transfer to a large sheet tray. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and some salt and pepper. Roast at 375°F oven for 40 minutes, taking them out and flipping them halfway through, until they’re soft and golden brown in places. Cool slightly, then spread each one with about 1 teaspoon whipped cream cheese, at room temperature. Sprinkle with roughly chopped toasted pecans.


If you want to do some prep in advance:
Roast sweet potato rounds up to 2 days in advance and store in an airtight container in the fridge. To serve, reheat sweet potatoes on a sheet tray in a 400°F oven for 5 to 8 minutes, then top and serve.

4. Kabocha Hummus

Design by Ellie Sunakawa / Photos by Taylor Miller

Cut about 2 inches off of the top of a medium kabocha squash, so that seeds are exposed and squash is in the shape of a bowl. Scrape out seeds and pull off most of the orange, stringy flesh stuck to them. Put seeds in a bowl, then toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Put squash “bowl” on a sheet tray lined with parchment .Rub inside of the squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast at 400°F for 40 minutes. Scatter the seasoned seeds around the squash, then roast another 15 to 20 minutes, until seeds are golden brown and crispy and squash is cooked. Cool slightly, then scrape most of the cooked flesh out of the squash and into a blender, leaving enough inside the skin so that the bowl doesn’t collapse. Puree squash with one 10-ounce container roasted garlic hummus until smooth. Transfer squash bowl to a serving plate, fill with hummus dip, and garnish with roasted kabocha seeds. Serve with root vegetable chips, or whatever chip, cracker, or crudite you prefer.

If you want to do some prep in advance: Roast squash, scoop flesh, and blend hummus up to 2 days ahead of time. Keep squash bowl and hummus dip in two separate airtight containers in the fridge, then bring to room temperature before serving dip inside squash bowl.

5. Blue Cheese and Honeycrisp Apple Flatbread

Design by Ellie Sunakawa / Photos by Taylor Miller

Unroll a 13.8-ounce can pizza dough onto a large sheet tray lined with parchment. (Or, roll out about a pound of your favorite pizza dough really thinly, and shape it to fit a large sheet tray lined with parchment.) Top dough with 1 medium, thinly sliced honeycrisp apple and 8 ounces crumbled blue cheese. Bake at 400°F oven until crust is cooked and golden brown around the edges and cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Don't make this one ahead of time — it'll taste much better fresh out of the oven!

6. Butternut Parmesan Breadsticks

Design by Ellie Sunakawa / Photos by Taylor Miller

Peel one small butternut squash. When skin is gone and bright orange flesh is exposed, peel 18 long ribbons about ½-inch thick. (Save the rest of the squash for later — I love to cube and roast it!) Thaw two sheets puff pastry (from one 17-ounce box) and cut each one into 9 long strips. Sprinkle (⅔ cup shredded parmesan over the puff pastry (⅓ cup over each sheet), then lay one ribbon in the center of each strip. Twist each strip a few times to form a breadstick, then lay breadsticks over two large baking sheets rimmed with parchment and bake at 400°F until breadsticks are puffed, crispy, and lightly golden, 12 to 14 minutes.

If you want to make these in advance: Bake breadsticks up to 24 hours in advance. Cool completely on baking sheet before loosely covering with plastic wrap and storing at room temperature.

7. Roasted Grape and Mozzarella Skewers

Design by Ellie Sunakawa / Photos by Taylor Miller

Spread 3 cups red grapes over a large sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Roast at 450°F until grapes are soft, and starting to brown. Cool slightly, then drain 8 ounces mini mozzarella balls. Skewer one grape, one mozzarella ball, and another grape on a toothpick, then lay skewer on a serving platter. Repeat until all ingredients are gone, then drizzle skewers with balsamic glaze and serve.

If you want to do some prep in advance: Roast grapes and make skewers up to a day in advance, and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before drizzling with glaze and serving.

8. Pretzel-Dusted Butternut-Sage Skewers

Design by Ellie Sunakawa / Photos by Taylor Miller

Peel one medium butternut squash, then remove stem and cut in half, lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and discard (or save for later!). Cut squash into rough 1-inch cubes and place in a large mixing bowl. Finely chop 10 large sage leaves and add to the mixing bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and some salt and pepper. Spread over a large baking sheet and roast at 400°F until soft and lightly browned, about 45 minutes. Cool to room temperature. (Squash can be roasted up to a day in advance and then brought to room temperature before coating with pretzels and serving.)

While squash bakes, coarsely crush 2 cups mini pretzel twists. Combine cooled squash and crushed pretzels in a large mixing bowl, and toss to combine. Skewer cubes (we used 6-inch skewers) and serve.

If you want to do some prep in advance: Roast squash up to 2 days in advance and store in an airtight container in the fridge. To serve, reheat squash on a sheet tray in a 400°F oven for 10 minutes, then coat with pretzel dust, skewer, and serve.

9. Baked Brie with Fig Jam

Design by Ellie Sunakawa / Photos by Taylor Miller

Place 16-ounce wheel double- or triple-cream brie on baking sheet. Spread 8 ounces fig spread on top. Bake at 350°F for 6 to 8 minutes, until brie is very soft and feels almost liquid inside. Carefully transfer to sheet tray and serve immediately, with 1 large, sliced baguette (toasted or not).

Don't make this one ahead of time — it'll taste much better fresh out of the oven!

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