6. Greek Salad Bites
Rework the classic Greek salad into finger-friendly hors d'oeuvres. First, peel a cucumber and slice it into 1 1/2-inch sections. Use a melon-baller to scoop out the center of each piece without piercing all the way through. Fill the cucumber cups with a mix of crumbled feta, chopped fresh black olives, and diced tomatoes. Drizzle the cups with red wine vinaigrette and serve chilled.
7. Make-Ahead Chipotle Meatballs
Smoky chipotle and cumin give meatballs a Southwestern spin. Our recipe suggests shaping the meatballs into bite-size portions and skewering them on sticks for easy eating. Best of all, the meatballs can be made a day in advance and rewarmed. Serve with a few slices of lime.
8. Pumpkin, Corn, and Lemongrass Soup Shooters
Our favorite autumnal soup is a bracing blend of pumpkin, corn, and lemongrass, perfect for pre-feast individual sips. Make-ahead hint: This soup can be prepared 2 days in advance, chilled, and then rewarmed. Portion the soup into shooters and garnish with cilantro leaves or additional corn kernels.
9. Crispy Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips
Bypass potatoes in favor of this chic leafy green seasoned with salt and vinegar. To make crispy kale chips, wash and thoroughly dry curly kale, then tear it from the stem into bite-size pieces. Drizzle the pieces very lightly with vinegar and olive oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt. Arrange the kale pieces in a single layer on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Bake the kale at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes or until crispy but not burned. Remove and serve, or stash them away in an airtight container until right before the big feast.
10. Roasted Chickpeas with Sage
Cooked at high heat and brightened with fresh herb flavor, the humble chickpea turns irresistibly crispy and downright addictive. Preheat the oven to 425°F and toss two (15-ounce) cans of drained and rinsed chickpeas with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the chickpeas in a single layer on a baking sheet greased lightly with cooking spray. Roast the chickpeas for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until they're golden brown. Remove the chickpeas from the oven and let them cool slightly before serving in parchment paper cones or ramekins for easy snacking.