7 Unexpectedly Popular Snacks for a Party

POV: Your friend is having a party and you absolutely cannot come empty-handed. Also, you absolutely cannot bring the same thing someone else brought (a social faux pas, to be sure). If this is your POV IRL, DETD (don’t even trip, dawg), because we’ve got you covered with our list of unexpected party snacks.

Kirkland Butter Toffee Cashews

I know what you are thinking: “What? Are you nuts?!” Nope. But these sure are. That’s right, Costco’s take on Butter Toffee Cashews is absolutely glorious. Plus you can be sure no one else will bring this snack, because who the heck brings a bag of toffee nuts to a party? You do, that’s who. And the people will love you for it. These cashews are “so buttery, so toffee-y, so crunchy,” and they, “taste like a carnival,” according to editor-in-chief Justine Sterling.

Related: Best Costco Snacks to Feed an Office (or One Hungry Family)

Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion Soup & Dip Mix

This one definitely makes the list of unexpectedly popular snacks for a party. First of all, it’s a mix that serves double duty as a soup OR dip mix (she contains multitudes), and second of all, this slaps no matter what food you add it to. But if you bring this mixed with some sour cream to a party, mmmMmmmMMM, the people will go wild for it. Sporked contributor Danny Palumbo said that “it’s got a creamy, cheese-like consistency to it once you mix in the proper amount of sour cream, and the onion flavor is rich.” This one seriously goes with veggies, chips, potatoes, a spoon—really and truly anything. And the other people at the party won’t even see it coming.

Related: Best Dip Mixes: Ranch Mix, French Onion Mix & Beyond

Ore-Ida Extra Crispy Tater Tots

I know, right? Tater tots. Who would think of bringing tater tots to a party of all places? Hi, it’s me, I would. Why? Because who the heck doesn’t like tater tots? Borrow your friend’s oven when you arrive, heat these puppies up, and then let all the new friends come pouring in. People will praise your potato-y genius for eons to come. They will want to be your best spud (hey, I had to). Heck, these are so good that managing editor Gwynedd Stuart said flat out, “I’m confident that in a blind taste test, I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between Ore-Ida’s Extra Crispy tots and tots that just emerged from a restaurant’s fryer.” And that pretty much does it for me. I’m sold.

Related: Fill Up Your Pockets with the 7 Best Tater Tots

A Single Pickle

I mean…no one will expect this. And I think the fact that you did this will be popular. The question then becomes, “Who gets the pickle?” Which, by the way, is a great icebreaker.

Parmesan Pastry Pups

No one will expect how goshdang decadent these are for a thing that came frozen from a Trader Joe’s. These certainly fall on our list of unexpectedly popular snacks for a party. I mean warm cheesy, buttery pigs in a blanket? What’s not to love? Gwynedd described these by saying the “juicy mini hot dogs and buttery puff pastry combine to create a delicious, greasy slurry, and the parm on top gives them even more savory flavor.” Ugh, I want it. But I’m going to wait and surprise guests with it at the next party I go to because my friends deserve only the best surprises.  

Related: Best Trader Joe’s Frozen Appetizers: 7 to Pick Up for Your Next Party

Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar

It’s like Trader Joe knew when he made this cheddar with his own two Southern Californian hands that this cheese would surprise a lot of people. You’ll bring it to a party, people will see it’s from Trader Joe’s and write it off as “just another Trader Joe’s gimmick.” Then, in a moment of weakness later in the night, they will try this cheese that you have brought and it will blow their ever-lovin’ minds. This stuff is Cabot quality and it’s only 4 dollars. Even Gwynedd pointed out that this “crumbly, delicious white cheddar was an awfully nice surprise.” People won’t expect the unexpected cheddar, so you gotta bring it to them.

Related: It Doesn’t Get Better Than the 7 Best Cheddars

Casa Sanchez Foods Hot Salsa Roja

Lastly, salsa. Yes, people may expect you to bring salsa, but will they expect you to bring a salsa this good? I don’t think so. People have kind of accepted salsas like Pace as the norm, and while there is certainly a time and place for Pace, I think most times and places call for this salsa instead, including that party where they asked you to bring the Pace and you surprise them with this absolute fire salsa from Casa Sanchez instead. This stuff is so, so good. Senior writer Jordan Myrick noted how “the minimal ingredient list of tomatoes, onions, peppers, and cilantro shines, while also seamlessly melding with the others to create the perfect restaurant-style salsa.” This salsa will be a hit. We are 99.9999% sure. Unless your friends are a bunch of salsa haters, in which case maybe you have some things to reconsider.

Related: Best Store Bought Salsa: The 7 Best Salsa Brands to Spice Up Your Life

About the Author

Jessica Block

Jessica Block is a freelance contributor to Sporked, a comedian, a baker, a food writer, and a firm believer that Trader Joe's may just be the happiest place on earth. She loves spicy snacks, Oreos, baking bread, teeny tiny avocados, and trying new foods whenever she can. Also, if you give her a bag of Takis she will be your best friend.

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