Trader Joe’s Is the Place to Go For Party Appetizers

There’s a reason Trader Joe’s is a cult favorite—it makes the ordinary chore of grocery shopping extraordinary. The equally inventive and appetizing products infuse a sense of fun and discovery into this otherwise mundane task. Plus, the brand has really upped its vegan selection, even offering its own plant-based meats and cheeses.

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Below, we’ve got the best vegan appetizer options fit for any summer celebration. But if you’re planning a party or gathering, don’t stop at just Trader Joe’s vegan food, you can also stock up on a great drink selection for your guests too. Here’s how.

RELATED: 18 of the Sweetest Dairy-Free Dessert Finds at Trader Joe’s

Vegan drinks at Trader Joe’s 

The type of event and menu should guide your gathering’s beverage selection, but Trader Joe’s stocks vegan options for any type of event, from a kids’ party to an adults-only dinner.

For those who aren’t old enough or choose not to partake in alcohol, try the Sparkling Watermelon Juice or the Raspberry Lime Sparkling Water. Sparkling Coconut Water with Yuzu is another great option.

Sparkling Watermelon JuiceTrader Joe’s

For alcoholic options, the universal Charles Shaw brand of wine is vegan. The chain’s French Sparkling Wine range is also vegan, and for beer, there’s JosephsBrau and Simpler Times Lager, for example.

If you’re perusing the aisles and a bottle intrigues you, just run it by barnivore.com to ensure it’s completely plant-based. This comprehensive database contains more than 56,000 alcohol entries and offers a handy search option so you can quickly check any kind of beer, wine, or liquor you’re interested in purchasing. (VegNews also has convenient vegan wine and beer guides for quick reference!)

13 party-ready vegan appetizers at Trader Joe’s

So you’ve got the soda and the booze, now it’s time for the really important part: the food. All of these appetizer ideas feature Trader Joe’s products, and of course, they are tasty, vegan, and guaranteed to please a crowd.

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1 Kimbap

Infuse international cuisine into your celebrations with Trader Joe’s kimbap. This vegan-friendly Korean dish comes together in a flash. Simply heat up in the microwave and place on a serving tray. Gussy it up with a thin coating of sesame oil and a sprinkle of sesame seeds (or, if you’re feeling adventurous, Everything but the Bagel Seasoning).

 

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2Bruschetta sauce for lentil feta bruschetta dip

Sampling is back at Trader Joe’s, and the team is getting creative with vegan options. This three-ingredient, homemade dip combines the brand’s Bruschetta Sauce with cubed vegan feta and packaged steamed lentils for a protein-packed appetizer that’s just begging for a toasty pita chip. We’d never think to combine these products together, but it definitely works.

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3Soy chorizo for cheesy spicy soyrizo dip

For those who love a good cream cheese-based dip, this one’s for you. Brown up Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo in a non-stick pan then add a tub of vegan cream cheese. Loosen the consistency by adding a few splashes of non-dairy milk then stir until you’ve got a well-combined, thick dip. Turn off the heat and add an optional can of drained diced tomatoes or pico de gallo. Serve this indulgent, slightly spicy spread warm with Trader Joe’s plantain or tortilla chips. 

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4Crescent rolls for vegan pigs in a blanket

Some parties just call for something nostalgic and familiar, and vegan pigs in a blanket never fail to delight. Like many pop-can doughs, Trader Joe’s crescent rolls are vegan. Use them to wrap vegan hot dogs (or pieces of vegan hot dogs), then spray the dough lightly with olive oil spray and sprinkle with Everything but the Bagel Seasoning. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes, then serve warm with spicy dijon mustard or other appetizing TJ’s-branded condiments. 

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5Vegan Kale, Cashew & Basil Pesto for cheesy pesto crescent rolls

For a more sophisticated finger food that doesn’t involve mini vegan hot dogs, give this easy appetizer a go. Roll out each crescent triangle and slice in half lengthwise to create two long triangles. Spread each with Vegan Kale, Cashew & Basil Pesto then carefully roll into a tiny crescent. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Serve on a platter garnished with fresh rosemary.

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6 Mediterranean-style hummus for Mediterranean charcuterie

In lieu of a vegan cheese board, try this lightened-up version. Drain canned olives and marinated artichokes and arrange on a platter alongside your favorite vegan feta, Trader Joe’s Mediterranean Style Hummus, warmed pita, and assorted vegetable sticks (carrots, jicama, celery, and pepper strips are great). Everyone loves a good grazing platter.

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7Garlic spread dip for canapé

A canapé is simply a small hors d’oeuvres that can be enjoyed in one bite, traditionally served on a round cracker or pastry. While classically served at soirées and fancier events, they don’t have to be fussy. Take a Trader Joe’s Pita Bite Cracker, slather with Trader Joe’s Garlic Spread Dip, then top with a radish slice and a leaf of fresh parsley. 

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8 Vegan buffalo dip for mini buffalo potato bites

A classic veggie board is sure to satisfy when paired with Trader Joe’s buffalo dip, but if you’re looking to amp up your bites, we’ve got just the app for you. Toss mini potatoes in a bit of olive oil and bake in a 350-degree oven until fork-tender. Cut each in half and carefully scoop out some of the potatoes to create a well. Place the scooped-out potato into a bowl with a scoop of Trader Joe’s Vegan Buffalo Dip and mix. Scoop this filling into each carved-out potato, top with dairy-free Trader Joe’s mozzarella shreds, and bake once more for 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Serve with vegan ranch for dipping. 

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9 Frozen favorites

Those truly adverse to cooking can rely on TJ’s frozen section for a throw-together gathering. Crowd-pleasers include Mini Vegetable Samosas and Thai Vegetable Gyoza. Both pair well with the grocer’s award-winning Crunchy Chili Onion. Alternatively, the Meatless Meatballs are another quick and easy appetizer. Simply toss them in your air-fryer, warm up some jarred marinara sauce, and presto—your appetizer is ready!

Bubble WafflesTrader Joe’s

10Bubble Waffles

For a delicious sweet appetizer option, check out Trader Joe’s vegan bubble waffles. They’re the perfect combination of sweet and savory, and they’re perfectly chewy, too. Take them to the next level by topping them with vegan whipped cream, or maybe fresh fruit and dairy-free ice cream. Whatever you decide, they’re guaranteed to be a hit.

For more vegan Trader Joe’s finds, read: