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10 Trader Joe’s Frozen Appetizers Perfect For Holiday Parties

November 22, 2023

Holiday parties are about to be in full swing, and that means capping off a busy day of work and errands with having to have a bunch of festive party food ready and prepared for our guests.

We love parties and entertaining, but sometimes they are a lot of work! One way to streamline the party prep is by picking up some frozen appetizers at Trader Joe’s! They are sure to be crowd-pleasers, and all you have to do is reheat and plate.

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1. Frozen Artichoke Timbales

Are you having holiday guests following a keto diet? Don’t worry.

“The individually portioned artichoke timbales are keto friendly with only 2 grams of net carb,” says Laura Cipullo, RD, who practices in New York City and New Jersey. “Each Timbale is a blend of artichokes baked with mozzarella and grana Padano cheese for only 130 calories, 9 grams of total fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 7 grams of carbohydrate, 5 grams of dietary fiber, and 4 grams of protein. This means they are low calorie, high in healthy fats, low carb, high fiber, and moderate in protein.”

Perfect to serve before the main course so your guests can sate their big appetite. What a way to impress your guests and meet all the different dietary requests.

2. Frozen Organic Veggie Bites

Appeal to vegan and vegetarian holiday guests by serving these heart-healthy veggie bites. Kids may love them, too!

“They are reminiscent of Dr. Praeger’s Littles Veggie Bites, just cheaper and with more fiber,” says Cipullo. “Choose them because they are organic, GMO-free, high in unsaturated fats, and even contain protein.”

Pair with one of Trader Joe’s dipping sauces, such as their Eggplant Garlic or Red Pepper Spreads, for an extra measure of flavor. Serve with toothpicks!

3. Frozen Vegetable Samosas

Trader Joe’s has done it — they made a relatively healthy samosa! Buy a few boxes, bake and serve them as apps. This would also be perfect in the air fryer. These samosas are the perfect finger food to start the holiday party.

“A great vegetarian option that will not spoil your appetite and even meat eaters will approve,” says Cipullo.

Mini apps like these are the perfect way to serve your guests a lot of different foods without them overeating. These pair beautifully with Trader Joe’s Mango Ginger Chutney

Related: I’m a Nutritionist and I Always Buy These 9 Trader Joe’s Products

4. Frozen Mac and Cheese Bites

Eat the real thing! You always hear dietitians saying just eat the real version of foods rather than the diet version and this holds true with the Trader Joe’s Mac and Cheese Bites.

While their Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Bites may sound healthier (they do contain vegetables), Cipullo points out they are more calories and have pro-inflammatory saturated fats.

You can make these mac and cheese bites in an air fryer and serve with warm with one of Trader Joe’s Marinara Sauces.

5. Mini Spicy Pumpkin Samosas

Trader Joe’s Mini Spicy Pumpkin Samosas are an excellent appetizer option for your Thanksgiving meal. The spice will add a nice change to the traditional Thanksgiving dinner while keeping the loved pumpkin flavor.

“A 4-piece serving is just 170 calories, less than 1 gram of added sugar, and packed with dietary fiber and protein,” says Lisa Richards, nutritionist and creator of the Candida Diet. “If your family and friends will be waiting for a long period before the main course, these will keep them feeling full and satisfied, but not overstuffed.”

6. Steamed Lentils

“Another one of my favorite appetizers is to combine a package of Trader Joe’s steamed lentils, a jar of bruschetta sauce, and a package of feta cheese,” says Alyssa Wilson, RD and Metabolic Success Coach at Signos.

You can serve this as a salad or on whole wheat crackers.

“The lentils are already cooked, which is a huge time saver when you’re busy preparing a holiday meal,” she continues. “You can enjoy them hot or cold (in this case, cold) and they’re fiber-rich to keep you full longer. A half-cup serving is only 120 calories, includes ten grams of protein, and is packed with six grams of fiber. Lentils are also low on the glycemic index (GI), which means it is unlikely to spike your blood sugar.”

Related: The 6 Best Trader Joe’s Soups Worth Buying, Says Dietitian

7. Scallops Wrapped in Uncured Bacon

This is an easy appetizer that looks fancy, but requires no prep other than cooking!

“They are a high protein option, which makes them perfect if paired with foods rich in carbs,” says Ashlee Welter, RDN. “Also, they contain uncured bacon, which means there are no added nitrates.”

8. Vegetable Bird’s Nests

These are a great source of carrots, onions, and kale, yet still look fancy and taste great!

“They are a great way to sneak in some extra vitamin A,” says Welter. “The appetizer comes with a side of soy sauce, which can be high in sodium, so go easy on this sauce!”

9. Frozen Chicken Shu Mai

chicken shu mai cooked on a plate


These chicken shu mai are delicious and so addictive.

“These little bites are full of flavor making them perfect for passed or plated hors d’oeuvres at your next holiday gathering,” says Cipullo. So good there’s actually no need for the dipping sauce (allowing you to avoid drips and more salt).

“Just heat and serve these low calorie, low carb yummies (130 cals and 16 grams of carb),” Cipullo continues. “While they are higher in sodium (780 milligrams), it is because all Trader Joe’s products are free of preservatives. The salt allows these products to last longer.”

Pair these with edamame for plant protein and fiber.

10. Spinach and Stuffed Cheese Mushrooms

mini stuffed mushroom appetizer

The first two ingredients in this appetizer are veggies (mushrooms and spinach!).

“These are a low-carb and low-calorie option,” says Welter. “They do contain some processed ingredients, so always watch portion sizes!”

Read next: 10 Frozen Foods at Costco Nutritionists Love To Buy

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