The Best Trader Joe’s Items to Bring to a Dinner Party

Whether you are hosting or attending, dinner parties are the crème de la crème of social gatherings. All your friends get together to feast on delicious food, without the need to shout over background noise at a crowded restaurant or bar. Perhaps best of all, it’s a fabulous excuse to finally wear that dress you’ve been saving for a special occasion. But, as much as I adore dinner parties, they’re always accompanied by a last-minute panic as I dash out the door wondering, “What on earth should I bring?” This question inevitably spirals into an internal interrogation: “Is an appetizer enough? How much wine do we really need? Who is in charge of dessert again?” Thankfully, Trader Joe’s is always there for me and all my last-minute needs. Its aisles are brimming with dinner party-ready picks, and let’s be honest: If you pop it in a cute dish, it could totally pass as homemade. Keep reading for the best Trader Joe’s items to bring to a dinner party, guaranteed to have everyone raving.

1. Cultured Salted Butter and a French Baguette

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The “bread and butter” of the appetizer world is literal bread and butter. Pick up a package of this authentic French butter (yes, it’s so much better than basic American butter) and a French baguette from the baked goods section for a simple yet delicious combo.

2. Garlic & Asiago Cheese Dip

trader joes dinner party

You can never go wrong with a cheese dip, and this garlic and asiago version is much fancier than your basic queso. All you need to do is heat and serve alongside some crackers or toasted bread, and your guests will inhale it in seconds.

3. Blueberry Vanilla Chevre

trader joes dinner party

If you’re doing a Trader Joe’s run before a dinner party, you cannot leave the store without grabbing one of these. Goat cheese brings me joy like no other cheese can, and the addition of blueberries makes this one even more special. The sweetness of the blueberries with the tartness of the cheese is a match made in heaven. Spread it on a multigrain cracker to add some saltiness and crunch into the mix.

4. Parmesan Pastry Pups

trader joes dinner party

A hot dog, but make it sophisticated. This pigs-in-a-blanket-inspired frozen appetizer just needs a little grainy mustard for dipping and you’ll be set. 

5. Everything but the Bagel Greek Style Yogurt Dip

trader joes dinner party

How much everything bagel is too much everything bagel? To me, there’s never enough. Trader Joe’s has taken their beloved Everything but the Bagel Seasoning and turned it into a creamy dip. Pair it with their Everything Crackers for a fun appetizer that’s reminiscent of your favorite bagel and cream cheese. Not too sure about the double everything bagel combo? Opt for organic pita chips instead. 

6. Burrata, Prosciutto & Arugula Flatbread

trader joes dinner party

This flatbread is absolutely delicious and looks like a Gordon Ramsay-approved appetizer for just $4.99. The arugula flavor gets a little bit lost since it’s added pre-bake, so if you want it to stand out, buy some fresh to add on top before you serve.

7. Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts

trader joes dinner party

When Brussels sprouts are perfectly crispy and drenched in a zesty sauce, they make an unbeatable side dish for a dinner party. These Trader Joe’s ones wow thanks to a bold sauce made of hoisin, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and chili peppers. The best part is you don’t have to do any of the prep work.

8. Mediterranean Style Orzo Pasta Salad

trader joes dinner party

If you need some greens on your plate but want something a little more fun than just a salad, this pre-made Mediterranean pasta salad from Trader Joe’s is perfect for your dinner party. It compliments so many different entrées and will taste just as good as the main event.

9. Baby Beets with Feta and Candied Walnuts

trader joes dinner party

Beets can be difficult to prepare, so you might as well let your good friend Trader Joe take the grunt work out of it. Drain and chop a pack of these baby beets, toss in feta crumbles, and top with candied walnuts.

10. Kettle Cooked Chicken Soup

trader joes dinner party

Nothing says a cozy dinner party like a bowl of steaming soup. Throw a couple of these containers into a crockpot on “warm” and bask in the soup glory all night. If you want to make it into a chicken noodle soup, you could easily add your own TJ’s Egg Pappardelle Pasta. 

11. Sweet Potato Gnocchi

trader joes dinner party

I’m honestly tired of cauliflower masquerading as gnocchi. Bring back the potato version—specifically this sweet potato option covered in butter and sage. The texture of this gnocchi is to die for and complements any dish.

12. Lemony Arugula Basil Salad Kit

trader joes dinner party

I’ll say it: I’m the worst at making salads. I always choose flavors that don’t go well together and then throw whatever dressing is in my fridge on top. I don’t want to put any dinner party guests through that, so bagged salads are a godsend. Everything comes in its own package within the bag, so all you have to do is toss it all together, and you can leave out any ingredients according to your preferences!

13. A Dozen Sweet Bites

trader joes dinner party

These dessert bites SCREAM dinner party. There’s a little something for every palette, and the tiny size is just so elegant in an amuse-bouche sort of way.

trader joes dinner party

This cookie dough is just like most things Trader Joe’s makes: immaculate. Chocolate chip cookies and Trader Joe’s are both overall crowd-pleasers, so a combination of the two will definitely win you points.

15. Lemon Ginger Cheesecake

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Cheesecakes are difficult to get right when made from scratch, so it’s not worth taking chances when serving a large group. Head to TJ’s freezer section to grab one of these lemon and ginger-infused cheesecakes, or opt for a classic New York cheesecake that you can dress up with fresh fruit or caramel sauce if desired.

16. A Dozen Macarons Variés

trader joes dinner party

There is something so elevated about macarons, and they add a chic touch to any dinner party. Trader Joe’s macarons include six different flavors, offering an impressive spread with something for anyone. Whether you’re a chocolate girl or a fruit lover, these macrons are for you. They’re so delicious, your guests might think they’re fresh out of the oven from your nearest French bakery.

17. Flowers

trader joes dinner party

Trader Joe’s has the best (and most affordable) flower selection out there. Grab a bouquet of assorted flowers and one of eucalyptus to create your own beautiful bouquet. You can even use a TJ’s paper bag as wrapping (turn it inside out first, of course!).

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