When it comes to hosting other people in your home, we all know there’s an appetizer sweet spot. It can’t look like you waited until the last minute, grabbed whatever was in the fridge, and then asked your friends to come over, but it also can’t look like you slaved over the hot stove all day long and then at the last minute decided to invite your friends over because then they will feel like the afterthought. And if you had not worried about this issue until right this very second, welcome to my stupid little overthinking socially anxious brain. But don’t fret, you harried hosting hero you, these easy two-ingredient appetizers will have your friends saying, “Wow you had time to put this together even though you only just scheduled this hangout earlier today? Impressive.” And then you get a gold star and everybody’s happy.
- Raincoast Crisps Rosemary Raisin Pecan & Trader Joe’s Creamy Toscano Cheese Soaked in Syrah
The classic, the chic, the elegant, the very, very easy to make: crackers and cheese. These Raincoast Crisps, which look like little pieces of toast and have a subtle, persistent sweetness, pair perfectly with Trader Joe’s Creamy Toscano Cheese Soaked in Syrah, which is a salty, rich, nutty, and slightly fruity cheese. The fruitiness of the cheese and the sweetness of the cracker together? Mwah, chef’s kiss. Your guests will be asking for your recipe and when they do, you can look them in the eye and say “crackers and cheese.” I’m sure they’ll love that.
- Whole Foods 365 Roasted Garlic Hummus & Veggies (Dealer’s Choice)
A great choice for healthy and easy two-ingredient appetizers. All you have to do is get some veggies, wash, and/or cut them, and then go buy this hummus, which Sporked Contributor Danny Palumbo described as so roasted garlicky it skews into flavored hummus territory; he added that it has a “nice balance of sesame flavor and lemon, to boot.” But no one on our team was against the garlic. In fact, this hummus delivers perfectly across all hummus-y metrics.
Read the full ranking of the best hummus
- On the Border Café Style Tortilla Chips & Casa Sanchez Foods Hot Salsa Roja
Is chips and salsa perhaps the most iconic two-ingredient appetizer? As my friend the Magic 8 Ball would say, signs point to yes. Plus, these particular brands really and truly knock it out of the park. On the Border’s tortilla chips are “sturdy without being too thick,” according to Sporked senior writer Jordan Myrick, who also said they’re perfectly salted and even have a “fresh out of the fryer” canola oil flavor that makes them taste homemade. As for Casa Sanchez Salsa, this stuff is no slouch. Jordan called it “the perfect restaurant-style salsa” and noted its short list of ingredients: “tomatoes, onions, peppers, and cilantro.” As healthy two-ingredient appetizers go (well, mostly healthy), this is sure go be a hit.
- Authentic Seafood of Patagonia Latitude 45 Atlantic Salmon & Classic Lay’s
I don’t know if you’ve ever had this combo, but I can promise you it will be one of the best, saltiest, and arguably fanciest two-ingredient appetizers you’ve had in your life. Just lay out a bunch of classic Lay’s (y’all know what those taste like, so I don’t have to sell you on them), and put a little piece of smoked salmon on each one. And if you are feeling really fancy, garnish with some cream cheese or crème fraîche and chopped chive (though, I know that brings it over our two-ingredient limit). This smoked salmon can truly carry the dish on its own. Editor-in-chief Justine Sterling called it the “absolute best smoked salmon you can buy at a grocery store,” and, y’all, you can get this stuff for $5 at Walmart.
- Kirkland Breaded Panko Shrimp & Pantai Sweetened Chili Sauce for Spring Roll
Lastly, a hot app. No, not Tinder, I’m talking fried shrimps and sweet chili sauce. Kirkland really does make the best frozen fried shrimp. Managing editor Gwynedd Stuart noted that these were hands down the best frozen fried shrimp we tried, due to the fact that “the breading is crispy rather than soggy” and “the oil they’re fried in is super fresh tasting.” Plus, the shrimp themselves are twice as big as other shrimp we tasted. And, my goodness, if sweet chili sauce isn’t just the best with anything fried, especially fried seafood. This stuff is a delicious, well-balanced, “easy-to-pour sweet chili sauce” that is “flecked with pepper but not spicy,” according to Jordan. I mean. This two-ingredient appetizer is sure to please all of your guests and look high effort—a true double whammy of a dish.