Don’t skip Thanksgiving appetizers with these simple starters from Ina Garten. The Barefoot Contessa has a variety of bite-sized dishes, from dips to toast, that require little or no cooking at all.
1. Tomatoes and Burrata is a 7-ingredient Ina Garten Thanksgiving appetizer
This might not be what one might expect to see among a table of Thanksgiving dinner appetizers but that’s, in part, what makes it a great addition. Tomatoes and Burrata is typically a no-cook summertime dish for Garten. Although it’s just as easy and simple to prepare come turkey day.
As the name suggests, tomatoes and cheese are the stars. With a few beloved Barefoot Contessa ingredients i.e., good olive oil, fleur de sel, and fresh herbs, the appetizer’s ready to go.
The Be My Guest host serves it with homemade garlic toast. Although a store-bought is fine moment probably wouldn’t hurt either. Swap the baguette for fresh vegetables or a favorite brand of crackers and a ridiculously simple Thanksgiving appetizer is ready.
Bonus: Garten’s Tomatoes and Burrata can be made ahead.
2. Skip cooking with Ina Garten’s Fruit and Cheese Platter for a simple Thanksgiving appetizer
Want a Thanksgiving appetizer that doesn’t require any cooking? Garten’s got it covered. She combines crusty bread with an assortment of cheeses and fresh fruit for a quick and easy appetizer.
Her tips? “Go to the best cheese shop in town and ask the person at the counter which cheeses are ready to serve,” she wrote in The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. Taste them all. Then bring them home and get them to room temperature before serving.
Finally, “the simpler the design, the better the platter looks.” No need to spend a good chunk of time on assembly. After all, the thrown-together-but-elegant look is what Garten specializes in.
Not technically a Barefoot Contessa make-ahead dish, Garten’s Fruit and Cheese Platter can certainly be arranged in advance. Just be sure to add any bread or crackers right before serving so they don’t get soggy.
And, if Garten’s no-cook appetizers are really appealing, she also has a dessert version.
3. The food processor means Ina Garten’s Sun-Dried Tomato Dip comes together in a flash
For some, it might take longer to get the food processor out than it does to make Garten’s Sun-Dried Tomato Dip. She said it herself in The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook it takes “virtually a minute to make.” And, as far as simple Thanksgiving — or any holiday — appetizers go, isn’t that a big draw?
If that’s enough, it was, according to Garten, the most popular dip made at her Barefoot Contessa store. And, like other dishes on this list, the dip can easily be made ahead.
4. Ina Garten’s Fig and Cheese Toasts are a quick Thanksgiving appetizer that amazed Jeffrey Garten
The cookbook author shared in Modern Comfort Food that the swiftness with which she made these stunned even her longtime husband, Jeffrey Garten.
“Jeffrey and I were having some friends for drinks and he couldn’t believe how quickly I put these appetizers together! You put the fig spread on toast, then add some creamy cheese, sprinkle with some microgreens, and drizzle it all with syrupy balsamic vinegar,” she wrote.
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