I love cooking for people, but I also love a good shortcut. There's nothing wrong with buying a frozen app (or three) to serve at a party — whether you're hosting or showing up (just make sure to check with your host ahead of time, if you're planning on needing the oven upon arrival!). In fact, I strongly encourage it. You have enough to do this time of year!
Fortunately, Trader Joe's is always there to come to my rescue with an amazing selection of both seasonal and regular products, all at affordable prices. Here are the five best frozen apps in the store right now.
1. Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip, $3 for eight ounces
This is my go-to for every party, and people freak out over it — countless people have asked me for the recipe, and I sheepishly have to retrieve the box from my recycling bin and share my secret! Serve this with tortilla chips, pita chips, or even crudités for a cheesy, crunchy appetizer that's sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
2. Pastry Bites with Feta Cheese & Caramelized Onions, $5 for 12 pieces
This appetizer has always seemed a little pricey to me compared to other Trader Joe's products, but when I think about how long it would take to assemble these myself (who has time to caramelize onions?) and how much it would cost to purchase all the ingredients separately, it's totally worth it. These are two-bite hors d'oeuvres, so plan accordingly and have some cocktail napkins at the ready.
3. Tarte au Brie et aux Tomates, $4
This is essentially pizza with a fancy name — and it's actually made in France, so I guess it kind of is fancy! The thin crust is topped with a base of crème fraîche, along with French brie and cherry tomatoes. It doesn't come pre-sliced, so you can cut it into thin strips and serve with marinara or pesto for a fun take on flatbread. Bonus: It cooks in just 10 minutes!
4. 5-Cheese Greek Spiral, $4
Whenever I'm hosting a get-together, I always grab one of these. Even picky eaters love this cheesy spiral, because let's face it — who doesn't like cheese? This Greek pie has tangy blue cheese, but the overall flavor is fairly mild. I usually slice it into triangles, so people can help themselves with their hands — no utensils necessary. I also leave it in the oven for a little longer than the recommended 25 minutes so the phyllo gets nice and toasty.
5. Pumpkin Marble Mousse Bar, $6
Okay, this isn't technically supposed to be an appetizer, but I love setting out a sweet treat on a buffet table among more savory options. This guy has a brownie base, a beautiful swirled design, and requires no effort — you just have to let it defrost for a few hours before serving. Plus, it's way more surprising than a pumpkin pie.
What are your favorite Trader Joe's appetizers right now?