In addition to the killer snack selection, it should come as no surprise that Trader Joe's also has an impressive lineup of appetizers that make for an "appy hour" spread. They're fast, yes, and they're all slight upgrades from what you'd usually serve.
Here are 10 things you should always consider.
- Cilantro & Chive Yogurt Dip, $3.70 for 8 ounces: I've shared my love for this herb-flecked dip before, and it's still going strong as my go-to appetizer. If you have a thing for spinach dip, consider this cool and creamy herb-packed option a fancy, flavorful upgrade.
- Fig and Olive Crisps, $4 for 5.3 ounces: These sweet and savory crisps are a step up from your everyday crackers. And they're especially great if cheese or dip is on the menu.
- Creamy Toscano Cheese Soaked in Syrah, $8 per pound: The cheese case at Trader Joe's is no joke. It's stocked with so many great picks — all at a pretty reasonable price. This wine-soaked cheese is the one you should reach for when you want to give your cheese board a fancier twist; it's super creamy and nutty, with fruity undertones from the wine.
- Marcona Almonds with Rosemary, $4.50 for 6 ounces: A total upgrade from your regular roasted almonds, these lightly salted, herby marcona almonds are also way less pricey than the ones in other grocery and specialty stores.
- Sweetened Dried Orange Slices, $2 for 5.3 ounces: If dried fruit is a must on your cheese board, consider swapping the usual dried apricots, cranberries, or cherries for these sweet and chewy orange slices.
- Camembert Cheese and Cranberry Sauce Fillo Bites, $4 for 8: Skip the predictable baked Brie in favor of these sweet-and-savory, two-bite apps. They cook up in a fraction of the time and are much easier to eat.
- Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms, $5 for 12 pieces: Thanks to a cheesy spinach stuffing and a crunchy breadcrumb topping, this crowd-pleaser is just as good — if not better! — than the from-scratch version.
- Mac and Cheese Bites, $3.50 for 10: These crunchy and creamy two-bite apps are a total hit with adults and kids alike. Consider warming up some marinara sauce and serving these instead of, say, mozzarella sticks.
- Pastry Bites with Feta Cheese & Caramelized Onions, $5 for 12: Caramelized onions, puff pastry, and melted cheese — need we say more? They're so much better than mini quiches.
- Tomato Tiropita Triangles, $3.70 for 8: Tiropita translates to "cheese pie." If that wasn't enough to sell you, this version also features a mixture of feta and mizithra (another traditional Greek cheese), plus Kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and fragrant herbs. It's basically an entire cheese plate in a single bite.