When your guests arrive, welcome them with a glass of sparkling wine and some simple yet festive appetizers. The recipes featured here fit the bill nicely—they’ll satisfy hungry diners yet won’t spoil appetites for the feast to come. And best of all, you can do most of the preparation in advance.

Roasted spiced walnuts, seasoned with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and orange zest, are perfect for nibbling. Toasted bread slices known as crostini can be served with a variety of toppings, such as red pepper pesto or goat cheese embellished with minced shallots. Or try our cucumbers with pickled ginger and crab; they make a light and refreshing starter for your Thanksgiving feast.