7 Thanksgiving Appetizers That Might Outshine Turkey

Thanksgiving is nearly here! We understand that hosting people can be a little terrifying, especially if you are the one responsible for cooking dinner, and we know that your oven, stove, slow cooker and maybe even grill will be operating on full-capacity. But even so, don't neglect your appetizers, because they are exactly what will be keeping your guests happy and patient while you scramble to stir the gravy and frantically throw an underdone turkey back into the oven. Plus, most of these are either super easy or can be made in advance.

Of course, you can totally use any of these dishes as sides for the big meal, if you're looking to do something slightly unconventional with traditional fall flavors.

1. Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts with Creamy Lemon Dip

Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts with Creamy Lemon Dip

No one will complain about eating their veggies when they are wrapped in bacon and smothered in bright, zippy cream sauce. That's just a fact.

2. Caramelized Onion and Bacon Pull-Apart Bread

Caramelized Onion and Bacon Pull-Apart Bread

Stuff melty smoked cheese, savory bacon and sweet caramelized onions into a hearty, rustic loaf of bread. Serve it as an appetizer, and no one will bug you about the turkey every five seconds.

3. Holiday Bacon Appetizers

 Holiday Bacon Appetizers

If you find yourself short on time and appetizer-less, whip up these crunchy bacon snacks in no time. All you do is wrap a cracker and parmesan cheese in bacon, then just toss in the oven until crispy for the ultimate savory treat.

4. Sweet Potato Gratin with Chile-Spiced Pecans
Sweet Potato Gratin with Chile-Spiced Pecans

Nothing against the usual sweet potato side dish, but there's no shame in mixing it up every now and again. Upgrade your typical cloyingly sweet yam mash by adding a little texture and spice.

5. Green Olive, Walnut and Pomegranate Dip

Green Olive, Walnut and Pomegranate Dip

If you want something sweet, tart, savory and salty all at once, try this chunky Iranian dip. You'll love the perfect balance of bright, bold flavors, and they'll cut right through the thick, heavy holiday entrees.

6. Apple Blue Cheese Flatbread

You can use pretty much whatever you want for the crust -- flatbread, naan, pizza crust or whatever else you have on hand. You can probably even roll out a can of croissant dough if you want something a little sweeter.

7. Kabocha Bean Dip 

Kabocha Bean Dip

The best part of this squash dip, beyond its satisfying creaminess, is the esthetic factor, since you can serve the bright dip in the actual squash if you want. If you want bolder flavors, feel free to mix in curry powder, smoked paprika, chipotle, or any other similarly awesome seasonings.