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Snack Dinner Holiday Trader Joe's
Credit: Sara Tane

We’ve now officially entered the thick of entertaining season, and stakes are high to throw the most exciting (yet least demanding) dinner party. We’ve preached it before, and we don’t mind preaching it again...snack dinner is the solution to this problem. Highly customizable by nature and sure to please whatever kind of crowd you’re expecting, snack dinner is the perfect party platter that not only impresses, but is a fun point of conversation throughout your lovely evening.

In this rendition, we’ve taken our local Trader Joe’s by storm and stockpiled all of their best seasonal food items. From cheeses to crackers to fresh produce, you better believe that TJ’s has us covered with their fun and festive eats. Grab them while you can, throw ‘em on a sheet pan, and get to snackin’!

Beet and Garlic Hummus

This hummus for the tried-and-true beet lover (in other words, if beets aren’t your thing, then neither is this hummus). With a vibrant hue and silky smooth texture, this dip is a surefire showstopper. We’ll let you off the homemade hummus hook and give you the green light with this one.

Watch Now: Smoky Cauliflower Hummus

Fire-Roasted Cranberry Tomato Salsa

Cranberries? In salsa? What? Yes, I know. Mind blown. While it may sound a little bit out there, this fresh salsa finds the perfect happy medium between sweet and savory. Plus, it’s way better than that jellied cranberry “sauce” that you’ll find in the can.

Pumpkin Tortilla Chips

What good is a bowl of salsa without a handful of chips to dunk into it, right? Even if you’re anti-pumpkin spice, these ever-so-slightly sweet chips deliver a warm, nutty flavor that doesn’t overpower your palate like most pumpkin spice products tend to do. Not to mention, they’re a pretty wicked match with the cranberry salsa.

Uncured Three Peppered Salami

This is exactly the kind of charcuterie that you’ll want during the holiday season. Pequin, ancho, and green chili pepper powders give the meat a hearty kick of personality without being overtly spicy. Served with a soft goat or brie cheese, this is an easy crowd-pleaser.

Double Creme Brie with Truffles

Okay, what tastes more indulgent and holiday-worthy than truffles, amiright? This special wheel of Brie boasts a subtle, earthy flavor that is sure to intrigue and delight your guests. You. So. Fancy.

Hasselback Potatoes with Butter and Sea Salt

Word to the wise—there is truly nothing more impressive than a hasselback potato. If you’re bogged down with other holiday prep, go ahead and take a stroll down the frozen aisle at Trader Joe’s and pick up a package of already-hasselbacked potatoes. Your guests will never know that these special spuds required so little effort on your part.

Candied Pecans

There is little to be said about these nuts... except that they are freaking delicious. Seriously, there is no way that you’ll be able to have only one (handful), and there is nothing that will get you in the holiday spirit faster than a crunchy, candied pecan.

Pistachio and Pomegranate Crisps

These cutesy crackers look just as festive as they taste. Equally nutty and sweet, they hold their own alongside bright fresh fruit and rich cheeses and provide the perfect vessel for the majority of your goodies on the snack board.

Butternut Squash Zig Zags

Crinkle cut fries are without a doubt the best way to eat your vegetables. Carve out 30 minutes before it’s time to serve your snack board and give these babies a quick roast in the oven with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. They’ll be crispy and crackly for you and your guests’ snacking pleasures.

By Sara Tane and Sara Tane