Three No-Bake Thanksgiving Appetizers

three no-bake thanksgiving appetizers

I’m not a simple person by nature. The simple life has always appealed to me but I tend to over complicate things and end up going overboard. That ‘s partly why this blog is so important to me. It helps to remind me to keep things simple and enjoy life. I try to think of ways to help simplify others lives and in turn it helps to simplify mine. So thank you for being my inspiration!

I think the most important thing I have learned this year is to just be myself and not try to fit into the crowd.  I am who I am and I will never live up to someone else’s standards (including my own). I’ve really tried to share things on here that our family truly enjoys and not things that I don’t actually put into practice myself. Sometimes I wish I would put certain things into practice but I’m trying to steer clear of appearing to be and do something I’m not.

All that being said, these no-bake thanksgiving appetizers come straight from my heart. I’m a big believer in make-ahead dishes and at this point in my life the easier and quicker it is to throw together, the better. I do love my time in the kitchen but I love my family more. :) These three recipes can be thrown together in minutes and will hopefully relieve a little bit of holiday meal stress.

Mini “Pumpkin” Cheese Balls

Mini "Pumpkin" Cheese Balls

Contrary to their name these don’t actually have any pumpkin in them, but they do have a cute pumpkin shape. I have shared one of my favourite cheese ball recipes below but feel free to use your own and just follow the shaping instructions.

My cheese balls were a little loose because I had to use spreadable cream cheese. I haven’t been able to find the firm blocks here in Norway yet. One day I will find some and then be prepared for baked cheesecakes galore!

Mini “Pumpkin” Cheese Balls

Makes: 24 cheese balls (4-6 servings each, depending on the size of crackers.)

  • 1 (250g/8oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 green onions
  • paprika, or dusting
  1. Beat cream cheese, red peppers, garlic and cayenne until well blended. Stir in cheddar cheese. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm enough to handle.
  2. Roll into 1 inch balls and then coat in paprika. Make indents in the side of each one with a knife to make a pumpkin shape (refrigerate longer if needed  before shaping with knife).
  3. Slice green onion into 1 inch pieces (green parts only). Slice each piece in half lengthwise. Roll each half back into a circular shape and stick into the top of the cheese ball. Refrigerate until serving.

Smoked Salmon Pinwheels

Smoked Salmon Pinwheels

We had something similar to these at a taste-testing at the grocery store and I quickly took stock of the ingredients they were using so I could try to re-create them at home, rather then run off with the tray like I wanted to. Although they didn’t turn out exactly the same, they still are delicious. The dijon/honey mixture really compliments the smoked salmon. It’s such a quick and easy recipe to throw together but they look so elegant your guests will never know.

Smoked Salmon Pinwheels

Serves: 6 (3 pinwheels each)

  • 1 teaspoon dijon
  • 2 tablespoon mayo
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • pinch of dried dill
  • 100g thinly sliced smoked salmon
  • 3 (6 inch) flour tortillas
  1. Mix together djon, mayo, sour cream, honey and dill. Spread 1 tablespoon of the mixture onto each tortilla. Top with a thin layer of salmon, leaving a 1 inch gap on one side (to leave room for the shifting fillings when rolling). Roll up toward the gap and wrap firmly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
  2. To serve: Trim the ends and slice each roll into 6 slices. Serve immediately.

Creamy Pumpkin Pie Dip

Creamy Pumpkin Pie Dip

I have been having major problems finding pumpkin of any form here. Whether it be canned or whole. I have seen pumpkin pie filling (which is what I use in this recipe) but have only seen canned pumpkin puree once, and they were sold out. Needless to say, as soon as I see some I am buying a wackload to last me through the winter. Now you know why I make so many ingredients from scratch. I’m too lazy to search the city, I’d rather do the work in my kitchen. :)

This pumpkin dip is probably my favourite of the three. James said he liked it even better then pumpkin pie! It’s cool and creamy with a hint of those spicy fall flavours we all love so much. I served mine with Cinnamon Almond Crisps, which I purchased from the store. I have to find a recipe for those soon because the combination is addictive!

Creamy Pumpkin Pie Dip

Makes: 2 cups

  • 1 (250g/8oz) package spreadable cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  1. Cream together cream cheese and pie filling until smooth. Stir in cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and sour cream. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving.
  2. Serve with graham crackers, ginger snaps, cinnamon cookies or fruit such as apples and pears.

* If using plain pumpkin puree ADD: 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (or: 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice). PLUS: 3/4 cup icing sugar.

I hope all of my fellow Canadians have a wonderful and stress free Thanksgiving weekend! (And, everyone else too.) :)

Cheese ball recipe adapted from Kraft Canada.