Thanksgiving Party Food Ideas: Five Easy Cocktail Party Recipes for 2016 Celebration

Thanksgiving Party Food Ideas

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching; in fact, it is in a few days’ time. Thanksgiving, this year, lands on November 24th.

It’s a great opportunity to spend time with family and friends, whether you host a large Thanksgiving feast, or just opt for a cocktail party with a condensed Thanksgiving menu. Even though you may not serve Thanksgiving food favorites like turkey or pumpkin pie, you can still serve great party food that will have your guests talking.

Your holiday cocktail party should not stress you out. The food should be easy to prepare, but enjoyable for your guests too. The following five Thanksgiving recipes help with that, and even though you’re not going all out with Thanksgiving favorites, everyone will appreciate the effort and good food.

Cherry Basil Bruschetta

Do you want to impress people? All you have to do is make this cherry basil bruschetta!


  • 1 cup of fresh cherries, pitted and finely chopped
  • 3 cups of fresh strawberries, hulled and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of packed fresh basil leaves, minced
  • 1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves, minced
  • 3 tbsp. of finely chopped red onion
  • 4 tsp. of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 fresh baguette, sliced on an angle into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup of balsamic vinegar


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a medium saucepan, bring vinegar to a low boil over medium-high heat, and reduce to a simmer while stirring often for 20 to 30 minutes until it has reduced by two-thirds. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. You should have about a third of reduced balsamic vinegar left in the pan. Remove it from the heat and let it cool.
  • In a large bowl, combine strawberries, cherries, mint, basil, onion, and balsamic vinegar, and set the topping aside for 10 to 15 minutes so the flavors can develop.
  • Brush one side of bread with oil, and place them oil side down on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for five to seven minutes until they are golden brown.
  • Spoon the bruschetta topping carefully onto the toasted bread, and drizzle each piece with balsamic reduction, and serve immediately.

Sweet Potato Sliders

Want a slider that is also a veggie? Try these wonderful sweet potato slider appetizers.


  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 tbsp. of coconut oil, avocado oil, or ghee
  • 1 tsp. of course sea salt
  • 1 bunch of fresh spinach
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1 tsp. of pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp. of toasted sesame seeds


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a bowl, toss sliced sweet potatoes with one tablespoon of oil and half a teaspoon of salt. Place them in a single layer on the cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, flip, and bake for another 20 minutes, or until they get a little crispy.
  • Meanwhile, put an inch of water in a pot, and place the spinach in a steamer basket, and steam for five minutes or just until the spinach appears bright green. Then, run the spinach under cold water, and allow it to drain. Chop the spinach and toss it with one tablespoon of oil, a half teaspoon of salt, cayenne, and maple syrup.
  • Once the sweet potatoes are done, place one to two tablespoons of the spinach mix on each slice, and mix on each slice, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve at room temperature.

Classic Hummus

What’s a party without hummus? Hummus is great for any occasion, and goes well with pitas, tortilla chips, or veggies. Try this great recipe below for classic hummus:


  • 3 cups of cooked chickpeas (two 425-g cans or one cup of dried chickpeas)
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1/3 cup of tahini
  • 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice, from about one lemon
  • 1 tsp. of course sea salt
  • 5 to 10 drops of hot sauce
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, minced parsley, and paprika
  • Pita chips, tortilla chips, or veggies for serving


  • Rinse and drain the chickpeas, and remove the skins if you have time. Set aside a few chickpeas for serving.
  • In a food processor, add garlic to mince then add chickpeas, tahini, salt, lemon juice, hot sauce, and process until it is combined. Add four to six tablespoons of water to each desired consistency. Process until smooth, and scrape the bowl if needed. You may have to run the food processor for a couple of minutes.
  • Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl, and drizzle some more olive oil, top with chickpeas, paprika, and minced parsley, and serve with tortilla chips, pita chips, veggies, or your choice of cracker.

Popcorn with Sesame-Glazed Pistachios

The combination of popcorn and glazed pistachios creates a salty and sweet snack that is great with cocktail and pre-Thanksgiving festivities. Not to mention, it will only take you about 30 minutes to prepare. Check out the recipe below:


  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of popping corn
  • Course sea salt
  • 3 tbsp. of avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp. of coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp. of toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp. of coconut aminos
  • 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder
  • 2 cups of shelled unsalted pistachios


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large saucepan, you will combine the olive oil and popcorn, and cover and cook over moderate heat until the corn begins to pop. Cook and shake the pan until the popping stops. This will take about three to five minutes, then transfer the popcorn to a large bowl and season lightly with sea salt.
  • Clean the saucepan, then add the avocado oil, coconut sugar, sesame seeds, coconut aminos, garlic powder, or two teaspoons of salt, and cook over moderate heat while stirring until the sugar dissolves for about three minutes. Add the pistachios and cook and stir for one minute. Place the pistachios onto the baking sheet, and bake for about 10 minutes, until they start to bubble. Scrape the pistachio mixture into the popcorn and toss well. Make sure you let cool before serving.

Marinated Olives with Orange

Olives are always a great appetizer, but have you ever tried them marinated in citrus juice? Didn’t think so. You’ll thank me for the recipe.


  • 2 tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. of thinly sliced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp. of finely grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp. of crushed rep pepper
  • 1 quart of mixed olives
  • 1/3 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice


  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, then add the orange zest, garlic, and crushed red pepper and cook and stir until garlic softens. It should take about two minutes. Add the olives and cook and stir until hot for about five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in orange juice, and let cool completely while stirring occasionally. Serve at room temperature.


“Popcorn with Sesame-Glazed Pistachios,” Food & Wine web site;, last accessed Nov. 18, 2016.

Liddon, A., The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out (Toronto: Penguin Canada Books Inc., 2014), 79, 89, 297.

Telpner, M., The UnDiet Cookbook (China: Random House LLC, 2015), 135.  

“Marinated Olive with Orange,” Food & Wine web site;, last accessed Nov. 18, 2016.