With so many of us leading very busy lives, it can be hard to find the time to put together homemade dishes for a party. In fact, surveys have found that in many households, just being able to cook dinner is practically a luxury as a 2019 article in The Conversation noted.
Fortunately, there are some great ready-to-eat snacks available that only require the time it takes to go grocery shopping (and maybe a scooch more), including these options.
A Fruit and Cheese Board
The deli section of your local grocery store probably sells ready-made fruit and cheese boards. Fruit and cheese pair well together thanks to the saltiness of the cheese and the sweetness of the fruit. If you can’t find a good option at your supermarket, you can simply buy the cheese and fruit and arrange it yourself. For example, goat cheese goes great with a jalapeno pepper jelly and fruit like pears, apricots, green apples, grapes, dried cranberries, orange slices, and strawberries.
Ready-made charcuterie plates, perhaps with an assortment of Genoa salami and sopressata, Italian dry salami, and calabrese, are fancy enough to serve on their own or to help build a tasty charcuterie and cheese board.
You can often find tapas platters ready to go. A taste of the Mediterranean is always popular, with items like antipasto, olives, marinated artichokes, and seasoned feta. All you have to do is add the toothpicks.
Guac and Salsa with Tortilla Chips
It doesn’t get much easier than buying a few bags of tortilla chips, jars of salsa, and containers of guacamole for the perfect chip ‘n dip.
Potstickers are a bite that few can resist – tasty, light, and super easy to eat, especially when guests are going to be standing around chatting rather than sitting around a table. Making them from scratch can be tedious, but it’s easy to find frozen potstickers in your grocery store freezer case. If you have a Trader Joe’s nearby, their Chicken Gyoza Potstickers are a favorite of many, with umami flavors, finely diced veggies, and onions with a well-seasoned filling.
Smoked Sockeye Salmon
While it’s not cheap, your seafood loving guests will appreciate smoked sockeye salmon, which can often be found in various flavors like lemon pepper. Served with crackers, it’s super yummy, and all you have to do is take it out of the package.
You’ll have to do a little work with this one, but not much. Buy some mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil. You’ll need some skewers if you don’t already have them. Simply put one of each on a skewer, rinse and repeat. If you’d like, drizzle some balsamic vinegar or olive oil to add some more flavor.
There may not be anything better than a shrimp cocktail for the perfect easy party snack. Buy some cocktail sauce and precooked frozen shrimp at the supermarket, thaw out the shrimp just before your party begins by placing it in a colander in the sink, running cold water over it until thawed (it usually takes about 30 minutes per pound). If you want to get fancy, you can put it together in some pretty glasses, but it’s not required.