5 Italian Appetizers Recipes For Thanksgiving

Whether your main meal will be classic Italian or all American, your guests will enjoy the spicy flavor of these five Italian appetizer recipes for Thanksgiving.

Mild Spaghetti Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 3 tbsp spaghetti sauce
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup cooked potatoes
  • 1/4 cup cooked peas
  • 1 cup cooked spaghetti
  • Bread crumbs
  • Grated cheese

Directions:

  1. Sauté onions in cooking oil.
  2. Stir in spaghetti sauce, cream cheese and salt. Stir well
  3. Take pan off heat and stir in grated cheese.
  4. In a bowl, combine potatoes, peas, spaghetti and onion mixture. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Form into a roll. Roll in breadcrumbs.
  6. Fry until light brown. Serve hot with yogurt or sour-crème dip.

Mozzarella Sticks. Nothing says fattening like cheese – unless its fried cheese. But it tastes so good! Here is proof.

Ingredients:

  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • 1 16-ounce block mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1 cup crushed, toasted macadamia nuts
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/3 cup diced sweet onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed

Directions:

  1. Preheat oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut cheese into three-inch pieces.
  3. In a bowl, mix bread crumbs and nuts.
  4. Arrange three bowls: flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs mixture.
  5. Coat cheese sticks with flour. Dip into beaten eggs; coat with breadcrumbs mixture.
  6. Fry for two to three minutes or until outside is brown and crunchy. Serve hot.

Gnocchi. Gnocchi is an Italian dumpling made from potatoes. They can be made from a mix or bought readymade. They are a must for an Italian appetizer table, because they can be served in an infinite number of variations. Here is a basic potato gnocchi recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package mashed potato flakes
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 

Directions:

  1. Prepare potatoes according to instructions on package.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, make a mound of potatoes with a well in the middle; add egg yolks, cheese, nutmeg and salt.
  3. Mix well with hands. 
  4. Sprinkle 1/2 cup flour over potato mixture and, press it. Fold the mass over and press down again. Sprinkle on more flour, little by little, folding and pressing the dough until it just holds together.
  5. The dough should feel firm but yielding. Keeping your work surface and dough lightly floured, pull off a little dough and shape the gnocchi with your hands. Make an indentation in each to hold the sauce and ingredients.
  6. As you shape the gnocchi, dust them lightly with flour and scatter them on baking sheets lined with waxed paper. Let dry for an hour then drop into boiling, salted water.
  7. Cook for about two minutes after they rise to the surface.
  8. Drain and toss with olive oil, let cool. You are ready to get imaginative.

Italian-American Gnocchi. Now that you have your gnocchi, what can you do with it? Anything! Here is an idea to get you started.

Ingredients:

  • 8 gnocchi
  • 3 tablespoons bacon bits, fine
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 8 oz shredded American cheese
  • 4 oz grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 tsp spaghetti sauce

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in skillet. Add mushrooms and onions and sauté until tender; add bacon bits to mixture, and remove from heat.
  2. Spread one tbsp of spaghetti sauce into each gnocchi. Then, spoon the sautéed mixture onto the sauce.
  3. Arrange gnocchi on a baking sheet, top with American and Parmesan cheese, and place under a broiler until lightly browned and bubbly. Remove and serve.

Sausage rolls. No Italian appetizer table is complete without a sausage dish. Use the type of ground or tube sausage that suits you best.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg crescent rolls
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups finely shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 pkg sausage (your choice)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. If using an uncooked sausage, cook it now, then drain.
  3. Unroll crescent rolls. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and place (or spoon) sausage on each triangle. Roll into crescent rolls.
  4. Place on baking sheet sprayed with nonstick coating. Bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Cut each triangle into thirds, and serve.
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