Why is Trader Joe’s so good at making small foods? I’m thinking it’s Newton’s Third Law, providing balance to all of Costco’s extra-large foods. Remind me to bring this up at my next dinner party when I pull a batch of spanakopita out of the air fryer to serve to my guests. If you’ve been a long-time shopper at Trader Joe’s, you know that this grocery store does frozen appetizers better than actual dinners. So if you’re preparing for marathon holiday hosting, here’s my list of the best bite-sized apps, in order from the least messy to most messy. They can almost all be prepared in the air fryer too, which frees up your larger oven for the enchiladas I hope are for dinner. Always hoping.
Mac and Cheese Bites
An absolute icon at Trader Joe’s, these frozen fried mac and cheese balls are arancini’s Gen Z cousin, replacing its job at a quarter of the price (the price of cooking prep time, in this case). Adorable, delicious, crunchy, oozy. If these are at your party, served with a pepper jelly or spicy mayo getup, I won’t sneak out the backdoor like I usually do.
Mess-o-meter: 2/10. You’ll need a cocktail napkin or plate to help contain the ooze.