Gallery: 22 Starters For Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Bourbon Old Fashioned Glazed Pecans
Bourbon Old Fashioned Glazed Pecans

Not your ordinary spiced nuts for the holidays, these Old Fashioned-inspired pecans are doused with bourbon and dotted with old-fashioned accoutrements of orange zest and cherries (dried cherries made plump by a soak in more bourbon).

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[Photograph: Marvin Gapultos]

Mushroom Gruyère Pinwheels
Mushroom Gruyère Pinwheels

Earthy mushrooms and gooey Gruyère fill these addictive puff pastry bites, which puff up golden and buttery in the oven.

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[Photograph: Carrie Vasios Mullins]

Great Deviled Eggs
Great Deviled Eggs

The key to making these deviled eggs so great is perfect cooking coupled with high-quality olive oil, white wine vinegar, and a hit of crunchy sea salt. It doesn't hurt to boil a few more eggs than you plan on serving so that you have enough yolks to overstuff the whites, making for even more of a good thing.

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[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Smoky Fried Chickpeas
Smoky Fried Chickpeas

This is a perfect bite to greet your Thanksgiving guests—an elegant little pre-dinner snack that wows without requiring all that much effort. These briefly fried canned chickpeas crisp in olive oil scented with lemon and thyme, getting addictively crunchy on the outside while retaining a bit of creaminess within.

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[Photograph: Sarah Shatz]

Pumpkin Potato Latkes
Pumpkin Potato Latkes

No Thanksgivakkuh table would be complete without a cute little hybrid of traditional Jewish and Thanksgiving foods. Enter these latkes, which have a good, crispy-fried crust but get their creaminess from the addition of pumpkin purée.

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[Photograph: Olga Massov]

Oven Roasted Chestnuts with Spiced Melted Butter
Oven Roasted Chestnuts with Spiced Melted Butter

They're not roasted on an open fire, but these chestnuts are seasonally spot-on, and their creamy, nutty sweetness is magnified with cinnamon-nutmeg melted butter.

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[Photograph: Marvin Gapultos]

Irish Stout Granita with Raw Oysters
Irish Stout Granita with Raw Oysters

A cold pint of stout and a plate of freshly shucked oysters may seem like an odd coupling at first. But the dry bitterness and roasty malt flavors of a stout play very well against the sweet and briny flavors of a fresh oyster—even more so when the stout is frozen and flaked into an icy granita that can be spooned over the fresh oyster just before slurpage.

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[Photograph: Marvin Gapultos]

Sea Salt and Vinegar Peanuts
Sea Salt and Vinegar Peanuts

Raw peanuts are soaked in apple cider vinegar, drained, then dried. The vinegar-infused peanuts are then fried in a bit of oil until golden, then given a heavy dose of fine sea salt. Chopped parsley adds a bit of color and freshness, while a final sprinkle of vinegar brings additional tang.

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[Photograph: Marvin Gapultos]

Anchovy, Red Pepper, and Manchego Pintxos
Anchovy, Red Pepper, and Manchego Pintxos

In all of ten minutes, you'll top rounds of crusty, garlic-rubbed baguette with anchovy fillets, roasted red pepper, and salty Manchego, which get a quick broil before they're drizzled with sherry vinegar right before serving.

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[Photograph: Marvin Gapultos]

Roasted Mushrooms with Rosemary and Garlic
Roasted Mushrooms with Rosemary and Garlic

You can throw these together on the fly, making for an ideal snack to keep your guests busy if you're stuck doing some last-minute cooking. As they roast, the mushrooms not only absorb the sharp and herbaceous flavors of the dressing, but their own meaty mushroom flavor intensifies as well.

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[Photograph: Marvin Gapultos]

Coffee and Chipotle-Rubbed Steak Kabobs with Stout Molasses Pan Sauce
Coffee and Chipotle-Rubbed Steak Kabobs with Stout Molasses Pan Sauce

The coffee and chocolate notes in the beef's crust echo those of the stout, while the smokiness and heat of the chipotle is complemented by the rich, sweet flavor of the molasses.

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[Photograph: Marvin Gapultos]

Cheddar and Beer Battered Shrimp
Cheddar and Beer Battered Shrimp

In a nod to the Southern classic of shrimp and grits, this version of crispy fried shrimp leans heavily on beer, cornmeal, and cheese, with a spicy kick and a lemon spritz to finish.

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[Photograph: Marvin Gapultos]

Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Tartlets
Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Tartlets

The hardest part of making this tart is waiting patiently while the onions slowly caramelize into sweet, dark brown threads, which are a perfect match for both tangy goat cheese and earthy thyme. Frozen puff pastry makes assembly a breeze.

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[Photograph: Carrie Vasios Mullins]

Brown Butter Cornbread
Brown Butter Cornbread

Brown butter and maple syrup give this cornbread nutty undertones and a whisper of sweetness, making for a small departure from the classic. Bonus: It's gluten-free.

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[Photograph: Elizabeth Barbone]

Crispy Seedy Breadsticks
Crispy Seedy Breadsticks

Crunchy breadsticks are happy to share the plate with fluffy dinner rolls and rich gravy. They make a low-maintenance snack that you can bake ahead of time and keep eating after you get through the leftovers. Use your favorite combination of seeds to lend flavor and texture.

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[Photograph: Donna Currie]

Spicy Cocktail Meatballs
Spicy Cocktail Meatballs

These meatballs on a stick are a surprisingly classy little hors d'oeuvre, made with a mixture of sweet and spicy sausage, breadcrumbs, egg, and sage that's simmered in a mildly spicy chili sauce.

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[Photograph: Carrie Vasios Mullins]

Black Tahini and Beet Hummus
Black Tahini and Beet Hummus

The perennial party dip is made more festive with the purple punch of beets, and more complex when it's whizzed with sweet black tahini.

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[Photograph: Molly Sheridan]

Guasacaca (Avocado Salsa)
Guasacaca (Avocado Salsa)

Guasacaca, the Venezuelan answer to guacamole, packs a more acidic hit than its Mexican counterpart thanks to a drizzle of vinegar. It'll make a fresh, lovely snack before dinner starts, but it'll be equally welcome when the turkey's been devoured and you're sprawled on the couch for Thanksgiving Day football.

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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

Rosemary and Lemon White Bean Dip
Rosemary and Lemon White Bean Dip

Lightly flavored cannellini beans provide a creamy base for the lemon and rosemary to shine, giving an herbal, zesty, and fresh flavor that guests will gobble up.

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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

Herby Goat Cheese Ball
Herby Goat Cheese Ball

Inspired by the creamy herb and garlic-studded cheese Boursin, fresh chèvre takes a roll in chopped fresh basil, purple basil, mint, parsley, chervil, chives, and thyme, and some grated garlic. That said, use whatever fresh herbs you like best.

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[Photograph: Kerry Saretsky]

Creamy, Three-Cheese Artichoke Dip
Creamy, Three-Cheese Artichoke Dip

Like any self-respecting artichoke dip, this one has a velvety consistency and flavorful finish. But this one has a bubbly top crust of melty Parmesan, Romano, and mozzarella cheeses, and so it reigns supreme.

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[Photograph: Jennifer Olvera]

Spicy Crab Dip
Spicy Crab Dip

Southeast Asia meets Baltimore in this chili-spiked spin on creamy crab dip. Although there's nothing quite like crab meat freshly picked from the shell, there's no shame in using canned crab meat or even imitation crab for this recipe.

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[Photograph: Marvin Gapultos]