Thanksgiving dinner is the best meal of the year. Fittingly, it also requires a ton of advance preparation and day-of cooking. If you stay organized and gather all the necessary ingredients and recipes ahead of time, hosting a great Thanksgiving dinner can be a ton of fun — but even the most experienced cooks sometimes struggle to get the main course on the table in a timely manner, let alone all of the Thanksgiving sides.
To prevent hungry guests from constantly asking when dinner will be ready (or worse, hovering over you in the kitchen), it’s smart to put out a spread of holiday appetizers that will keep people busy and happy while you put the finishing touches on the turkey. (Little kids can stay occupied with these easy Thanksgiving crafts and coloring pages.) And there’s no reason these appetizers should add to your overall cooking load. To keep things as easy for yourself as possible, pick a few of these no-cook Thanksgiving appetizers ahead of time for your upcoming Turkey Day feast. Most of them travel well too, so they’re great if you’re not the one hosting.
A version of this story was originally published November 2018.