8 Best Frozen Appetizers Under $5

The best frozen appetizers work for pretty much every occasion. Maybe you’re looking for spinach dip for a sports watch party. Or frozen dumplings for a nice dinner party. Or pigs in a blanket because they’re the best food ever and sitting on the couch eating an entire platter of them is your idea of a party. Whatever the sitch, if you’re hosting the sort of engagement where budget is a consideration—seriously, entertaining in this economy is a pricey prospect—we have the skinny on the best cheap appetizers from our various taste tests. Here are eight frozen appetizers that are quick, easy, tasty, and will set you back less than five bucks. 

trader joe's mini vegetable samosas review

Frozen Apps!

Trader Joe’s Mini Vegetable Samosas ($3.99)

You’re going to see a lot of Trader Joe’s frozen appetizers on this list. Why? TJ’s sells a lot of frozen apps that taste good and don’t cost a lot of money. Like these mini vegetable samosas. We’re looking at a very high flavor to cost ratio here. These little Indian-inspired pastry pockets are loaded with ​​potatoes, carrots, peas, lentils, onions, and enough spice to make you cough—they’re super filling, they’re vegetarian, and they’re one of those cheap frozen appetizers that no one will suspect cost you less than five bucks. 

Read the full ranking of the best Trader Joe’s frozen appetizers

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

best soup dumplings

Frozen Apps!

Bibigo Chicken & Vegetable Soup Dumplings ($4.29)

Bibigo dumplings are pretty much always delicious, and their chicken soup dumplings—which top our list of the best frozen soup dumplings—are some of the best frozen appetizers. They’re packed with rich broth and they even come with a packet of dipping sauce for extra flavor. The best part? You can get deals on these suckers. We found them at our local Dollar Tree, but they’re probably affordable at your regular grocery store, too. Oh, and did we mention they’re microwavable? This is one of those cheap appetizers no one will suspect you didn’t order in from your local dumpling spot. 

Read the full ranking of the best frozen soup dumplings

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

best frozen spinach dip

Frozen Apps!

TGI Friday’s Spinach & Artichoke Cheese Dip ($4.66)

Warm spinach dip is a god-tier restaurant appetizer, and TGI Friday’s makes a pretty good frozen version. It’s super creamy and has the briny tang of canned artichokes, which we kind of love. It’s affordable, too (not to mention that tossing a tray of this in the microwave is 100 times easier than painstakingly squeezing all the moisture out of frozen spinach to make your own spin dip). If you’re on the lookout for cheap appetizers, keep an eye out for this. 

Read the full ranking of the best TGI Friday’s frozen appetizers

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

best frozen vegetable dumplings

Frozen Apps!

Trader Joe’s Thai Vegetable Gyoza ($4.79)

Veggie dumplings always hit the spot. They taste so fresh and healthy, even if you pan fry them in oil. Trader Joe’s makes some of our favorite veggie dumplings, which also happen to make pretty great cheap appetizers. The filling is moist, the dumpling wrapper is delicate, and they cook quickly. Plus, you get a lot of them for less than five bucks. Like we said, when it comes to the best frozen appetizers, Trader Joe’s is always putting in the work. 

Read the full ranking of the best frozen vegetable dumplings

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Frozen Apps!

Morningstar Farms Veggitizers Veggie Buffalo Wings ($4.89)

You’re probably not going to find frozen Buffalo wings that cost less than five dollars—not ones that taste good, anyway—but the good news is that Morningstar’s veggie Buffalo wings are one of our favorite frozen appetizers, for vegans and non-vegans alike. Morningstar products don’t really replicate meat the way Impossible or Beyond products do, but they’re affordable and they’ve been a standby since the 1990s. Add these veggie wings to your list of the best frozen appetizers if you want an animal-free game day spread on the cheap.

Read the full ranking of the best vegan Buffalo wings

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

best frozen pierogies

Frozen Apps!

Mrs. T’s Classic Cheddar Pierogies ($4.99)

A lot of Asian-style dumplings made it onto our list of the best frozen appetizers for less than $5, but don’t snooze on the pierogies. These satisfying (and cheap) potato pockets are filling and flavorful, whether you boil them or you brown them in a skillet with butter and some diced onion. Mrs. T’s even makes a mini version of these if you’re looking for bite-sized cheap appetizers for your pre-meal snack spread.

Read the full ranking of the best frozen pierogies

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

trader joe'sbreaded cheddar cheese curds review

Frozen Apps!

Trader Joe’s Breaded Cheddar Cheese Curds ($4.99)

None of our favorite frozen mozzarella sticks were cheap enough to make this list, but you can get a bag of breaded cheese curds for less than five bucks at Trader Joe’s, and that’s a big win for your guests. Have you ever been to a gathering where you weren’t extremely happy to see a plate of fried cheese? We rest our case. Put out a few little bowls of dipping sauce and these will disappear fast.

Read the full ranking of the best Trader Joe’s frozen appetizers

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

trader joe's parmesan pastry pups review

Frozen Apps!

Trader Joe’s Parmesan Pastry Pups ($4.99)

Pigs in a blanket are a pretty iconic easy (and cheap) appetizer, but it doesn’t get easier (or cheaper) than these pre-made pastry-wrapped mini hot dogs from Trader Joe’s. These things are greasy, salty, and good. The pastry is buttery, the hot dogs are super savory, and the sprinkling of parm makes these a little fancier than those Pillsbury crescent roll-wrapped pigs you usually make. At $4.99 a box, these just make the cut, so grab them while they’re still one of the best cheap appetizers in the frozen aisle. 

Read the full ranking of the best Trader Joe’s frozen appetizers

Rating:

10/10

Sporks


About the Author

Sporked Staff

The Sporked Staff tastes everything and anything. They are obsessive about groceries and finding the best of any type of food or drink, from frozen fried shrimp to Dijon mustard to gummy candy. And they're always on a hunt for the best new products. When they aren't eating professionally, they're eating recreationally. And often they're browsing grocery store aisles, just for fun.

Thoughts? Questions? Complete disagreement? Leave a comment!

Your thoughts.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • If you want to ramp up that spinach artichoke dip, hollow out a sourdough boule, nuke the dip, put it in the bowl, then toast it in the oven along with cubes of the bread from the hollowed out bowl for dipping.

    Reply