There are nights when you have a couple hours to shop, cook and arrange a knock-out appetizer spread to greet your guests...but what about those nights when you don't? Even a last-minute gathering can be quick and stress-free if you keep your freezer stocked with the right supplies.
• Nuts: Freezing nuts extends their shelf life and it takes just a few minutes of work to make them a little more special by toasting them in the oven with spices.
→ Recipe: Ina Garten's Chipotle & Rosemary Spiced Nuts
• Edamame: Edamame frozen in their pods are an easy-to-prepare finger food, and shelled edamame can be roasted and sprinkled with sea salt and cracked pepper for an unusual snack.
→ Recipe: Roasted Edamame with Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper
• Pizza Dough: Homemade or storebought raw pizza dough can be frozen for several months. Thaw, roll and top with whatever you like, then cut it into appetizer-size pieces after baking.
→ Recipes: 15 Flatbreads & Pizzas to Start the Party
• Phyllo Dough: Flaky phyllo dough thaws quickly and can be used as the base for savory or sweet tarts, or any number of quick appetizers.
→ Recipe: Asparagus Spears Wrapped in Prosciutto and Phyllo
• Meatballs: Meatballs are a classic appetizer for a reason. They freeze and reheat well, and give your guests something a little more substantial than the usual crudite platter.
→ Recipe: Mediterranean Turkey Meatballs with Herbed Yogurt Sauce
• Cookie Dough: Freeze pre-formed scoops of chunky doughs like chocolate chip, or logs of slice-and-bake dough and bake just before the party. Bonus: your house will smell amazing when guests arrive.
→ Recipe: Peanut Butter and Jelly Icebox Cookies
• Breads: Freezing a sliced baguette has you on the way to a platter of bruschetta, but if you really want to make entertaining look effortless, freeze unbaked gougères and pop them in the oven before the party, so you can serve them warm to your guests.
→ Recipe: How To Make Gougères (pictured)
Related: 10 Fast Freezer-to-Oven Appetizers
(Image: Emma Christensen)