Let’s kick off Thanksgiving with a bang! Spending time with my family centered around food is where I find the most joy in life. These moments are so special to me and they should be celebrated. My favorite part of Thanksgiving is catching up with everyone, having a toast, and a light appetizer to kick off the time together.

My recipe for cranberry crostini is a great appetizer because it is light and bright in flavor AND it pairs perfectly with La Gioiosa Prosecco. Starting Thanksgiving out with a Prosecco toast is a great way to set the tone with joy and gratitude. “Gioia” means “joy” in Italian and La Gioiosa puts so much joy into the making of this Prosecco. They are a leading producer of environmentally friendly and top-rated wines from Valdobbiadene, the heart of Prosecco. I love serving this at Thanksgiving (and on a regular Friday night) because it is incredibly versatile, it’s low in alcohol, it’s affordable, and everyone LOVES starting and ending the night with some bubbles. The moment the cork is popped, the celebration begins!

La Gioiosa cares about their wine and truly wants people to find joy in celebrating with their Prosecco on special days like Thanksgiving and for everyday celebrations…like Friday.

Head over to wine.com to order yours in time for Thanksgiving.

Tips for making Cranberry Crostini

  • I love using fresh cranberries, but frozen can be used as well.
  • The amounts will vary for this recipe based on the flavors of the cranberries. Some can be more tart that others, so adjust accordingly. All these components come together to create balance.
  • Make this ahead of time!! It can be kept in the fridge a few days before you need it, or even in the freezer for a couple months.
  • Careful not to burn the bread, I speak from experience. Don’t walk away from the broiler!
  • Using room temperature goat cheese helps the cheese to spread easier. If the cheese is cold, it will be much more crumbly to work with.
  • Don’t skip the fresh basil — that little bit of freshness is so lovely.
  • Pair this with La Gioiosa Prosecco! The pairing is beyond perfect. These flavors are meant to be together I promise!
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Cranberry Crostini and a Prosecco Toast


  • 8 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup real maple syrup
  • Zest and juice of one orange
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, plus more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large baguette, or two small
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil
  • 4 oz goat cheese, room temperature
  • Basil for topping


  • Wash the cranberries and pour them into a medium size pot.
  • Add in the water, maple syrup, the zest and juice, and a pinch of salt.
  • Stir and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Once the cranberries start to breakdown after a few minutes, lower the heat to a medium-low heat and allow the berries to cook down. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to help press the berries to break them up.
  • The berries will start to thicken after a few minutes, then stir in the sugar. Start with two tablespoons and then taste it and add two more if needed. The sugar helps to balance out the bitter/sour taste really well but the amounts can vary based on the cranberries.
  • Cook for another 20-30 minutes on low, stirring every so often.
  • Add more juice or water if the compote gets to thick.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  • Check for flavor and add more salt or sugar as needed.
  • While the compote cools, get the bread prepared by cutting the baguette on an angle to get roughly 1 inch slices.
  • Place the bread on a baking sheet lined with foil and drizzle with olive oil on both sides.
  • Place the bread under the broiler in the oven and allow the bread to become slightly golden, be careful because this happens fast! Do not walk away!
  • Remove the bread from the oven, flip the pieces over and toast the other side as well.
  • Once the bread is cool enough to touch, spread the goat cheese onto each piece and then top with a small dollop of the cranberry compote.
  • Top with fresh basil.
  • Serve with lovely prosecco! La Gioiosa Prosecco DOC Treviso and La Gioiossa Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene DOCG pair perfectly with this appetizer.
Author: Maria Provenzano