The 9 Best Appetizers for the Holidays I'm Buying at Trader Joe's

·4 min read

Courtesy Trader Joe's

Getting excited for the holiday season? Trader Joe's is a fantastic go-to for delicious, affordable items that still feel special. Between frozen appetizers for cocktail parties to pantry snacks for spontaneous visits or pre-dinner nibbles, Trader Joe's offers an amazing array of delicious offerings to make your festive season that much more special. Here are the 9 best things to stock up on for the holidays from Trader Joe's.

Courtesy Trader Joes

Trader Joe's Mini Spicy Pumpkin Samosas

Trust TJ to go all in on pumpkin in time for the holidays, with delicious results. I'm over the moon with their Mini Spicy Pumpkin Samosas for $3.99, which combine paneer cheese and chunks of pumpkin with spices like garam masala, cumin, coriander, chile powder, and fennel seeds. (Want more pumpkin in your life? Check out the Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps for dips and cheese and the Pumpkin Tortilla Chips!)

Courtesy Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Bites

If you are a fan of TJ's Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese, buckle up. They have taken that popular recipe and made it hand-held with these breaded and fried bites that are totally addictive. A 10-ounce box is $3.99, and while you might think they are for the kids, be sure to buy enough for the grown-ups!

Courtesy Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's Breaded Fried Ravioli

Speaking of pasta you can eat with your fingers, these fried raviolis are a surprising item to put out in your appetizer spread, but I promise your guests will love them. You can go classic with marinara or ranch dips, or a little fancier with something like a mango chutney or hot honey. They are $3.99 for a 1-pound bag.

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Trader Joe's Parmesan Pastry Pups

I am always a sucker for a pig in a blanket, so I cannot resist this elevated version with Parmesan cheese baked into the pastry. At $4.70 for a 10-ounce box, they are going to be a fan favorite at your house without breaking the bank.

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Trader Joe's Kibbeh

These Middle Eastern-inspired stuffed meatballs are completely addictive. If you like your holidays to have some global flair, you cannot go wrong with serving these instead of (or in addition to) the usual cocktail meatballs. They are $4.79 for an 11-ounce box.

Courtesy Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Butternut Squash Bisque Soup

Love to put out a soup as part of your appetizer spread? Don't miss the seasonal slam-dunk of TJ's Pumpkin Butternut Squash Bisque Soup for $3.99. With the added layers of onions, carrots, honey, brown butter, and fresh sage leaves, I would defy anyone to know it wasn't homemade.

Trader Joe's 5 Cheese Greek Spiral

Presentation is everything at a holiday get together, so I love this impressive ring of cheese-filled phyllo pastry as the centerpiece to an appetizer buffet. Filled with a blend of Gouda, kasseri, blue, kefalotyri, and semi-hard cheeses, all encased in that crispy, flaky, buttery crust, it is a showstopper for only $3.99.

Trader Joe's Lightly Smoked Mussels

It is very Spanish to pop open a can of preserved shellfish as part of an appetizer spread, but often these delicacies can be exorbitant. Trader Joe's has some beautiful options in this area for affordable prices. I grab the Trader Joe's Lightly Smoked Mussels for $1.99 per can, and the Crown Prince Smoked Oysters for $2.99 and give my guest the feel of fancy for pennies.

blue_dolphin via egullet.org

Trader Joe's Smoked Rainbow Trout

Smoked salmon is all over during the holidays, so I love to switch it up whenever I can. Trader Joe's has an 8-ounce package of smoked rainbow trout for $7.49 that is a terrific thing to have in your larder. Whether you serve it flaked on top of canapes, make it into a smoked trout dip or paté, or just serve with crackers, it is an elegant and unusual item your guests are sure to love.