The best party snacks are truly the reason for the season. As we get into the colder months of the year, you may think it’s cuffing season. You may even think it is sweater season, or simply “winter,” but those are all wrong.
No, the season on the horizon right now is party season, baybee! And it runs straight through from Thanksgiving to the new year (though, if we are being real, it starts with Halloween and ends never). And everyone knows parties aren’t about the company or the music or the atmosphere—no siree bob, it’s all about the snacks. And there ain’t no party like a Sporked team party because a Sporked team party has the below items (aka our picks for the best party snacks, in no particular order).
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If you find what you really need at a party is protein, then hummus is your guy. Not only that, but it is garlicky and delicious and goes with most any savory thing you could think of dipping in it. As for this specific hummus? Well, Sporked staff writer Danny Palumbo thinks this is the best hummus you can buy. The roasted garlic in it gives it a “deep garlicky flavor with none of the pungency of the raw stuff,” and he also said the hummus has an amazing thick texture and “a nice balance of sesame flavor and lemon to boot.” An elite party snack.
Related: Dip into the 7 Best Hummus Brands
Is it really a party without spinach and artichoke dip? I would argue that it is not. Whether served hot or cold, spinach-artichoke dip is one of the best dairy-based party snacks, along with onion dip, queso, and ranch. And this specific Spinach and artichoke dip? Ho. Ly. Crap. This one is made with cream cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, and asiago, giving it that smooth decadent mouthfeel and umami punch. Plus, according to Danny, you can see big chunks of artichoke in the dip and they “add some extra earthy tang, and really bring the whole thing together.” If you ask me, this dip is a party in and of itself.
Speaking of dairy products that just make sense at parties, this stuff is pure magic. My mom made this for every single party we had growing up and I can honestly say that it is impossible to get tired of this dip. You just mix a powder packet oniony, salty, umami goodness into sour cream, and then you dip vegetables, chips, or even your face in there, and I promise it will change your life. As Danny said, this dip is “impressively viscous and flavorful. 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.” Yes to all of that. Another thing he said? “We’re powerless against it.” Truer words have never been spoken.
What do you call a party without chips and salsa? You don’t. That’s not a party. And if it is red salsa you are looking for, this flavorful store-bought salsa is one of the best party snacks you can buy. Casa Sanchez’s Roja salsa has got “tomatoes, onions, peppers, and cilantro” which meld together to create “the perfect restaurant-style salsa,” according to Sporked staff writer Jordan Myrick. Chip n’ Dippers, this one is a must-try.
Speaking of Casa Sanchez, if you are one of those people whole loves salsa at a party but are also a tomatillo armadillo (people who like tomatillos), then this spicy and complex salsa verde will butter your biscuit (er…salsa your chip?). Jordan said this one has “big pieces of garlic, springs of cilantro, and whole pepper seeds make it seem homemade. The flavor is bright, garlicky, and tart.” Ugh, I am salivating. This sounds utterly fantastic and if a friend had this at their party I might just move in…so I guess serve this at your own risk if you’ve got tomatillo armadillo friends—you may just end up with another roommate.
Related: The Best Salsa Verde to Buy in 2022
We’ve now given you two salsa choices but it would be weird if we didn’t then give you our pick for the best party tortilla chips. Now personally, I believe tortilla chips are the best kind of chip. Yes, I am aware that Lay’s Classic exists, I stand by what I said. What can I say? I, much like a sweet boy named Tariq, love corn, and I will tell you all about it. But let’s get back to these On the Border tortilla chips, which Jordan called “literally the perfect tortilla chips.” They have a “mild corn flavor that makes them feel homemade rather than mass-produced,” and they are also salty enough to be eaten plain, but not so salty they taste like licking your friend’s lamp to see if it’s real. They also have a slight canola oil taste that makes them seem like they are fresh oot the fryer. Overall, a fire party chip that will have you camped out in the kitchen eating and not socializing for hours.
They actually had these at the take-out dining halls when I was in college and, let me tell you, these were a fan favorite. The fan was me. I was the fan and they were my favorite. They are crunchy, salty, and avocado oily (yes, you can actually taste the rich and slightly green flavor of the avocado on every chip). And that’s not all—Danny and Mythical Kitchen‘s Trevor Evarts found these to be “crunchy, substantial, and great for dipping,” plus they have ridges so they can grip even more dip. Now I know what you’re thinking: what about these dipped in the aforementioned onion dip?! Good idea. Do it. I’m telling you, you will NOT be disappointed.
Have you ever put a pretzel and a Ritz cracker into your mouth at the same time and then waited for the music to start playing, Ratatouille style? Well, look no further than Flipsides for a bona fide party in your mouth. Er, sort of. It’s basically a cracker that’s a pretzel on one side and a buttery Ritz-esque cracker on the other. On their own, they are pretty darn good. Throw in a dip, sweet or savory, and cowabunga—it’s a textural, flavorful dream. They have a “toasty, oven-baked quality” to them that the Sporked team liked, and were able to hold up in hummus and other dips without breaking. In other words, these are the best of both worlds, in more ways than one.
Ore-Ida may have invented tater tots, but they are not a one-trick po(ny)tato. Believe me when I say that Ore-Ida is an expert in all things fried in the frozen aisle. These deliver on the promise of restaurant/bar quality onion rings from the comfort of your own home. Sporked managing editor Gwynedd Stuart pointed out that with “nice, thick slices of real onion, these things are like big, greasy bangle bracelets with a breading that packs a lot of crunch.” Which, mind you, is what onion rings should be. These are so good that I might just have to throw an onion-themed soiree this party season just so I can justify buying these and sharing them with friends (and justify buying a Shrek onesie and baking my family recipe for onion cookies—a real thing that exists).
Lastly, mozzarella sticks. These are more for get-togethers with a few friends than the big pulsating music, dancing till sunrise, forgot-my-jacket-somewhere-and-will-probably-never-see-it-again kind of parties. That being said, the best kinds of parties are the ones where mozz sticks match the energy and, quite honestly, these particular TGI Friday’s Mozzarella sticks could match the energy at any party—even a rager. Because, seriously, who doesn’t love a good mozzarella stick? Not to mention that these have “good flavor, great quality cheese, and a crispy, crunchy panko breading.” In addition, Danny confirmed that the “mozzarella blend […] melts perfectly while still maintaining a nice, creamy flavor.” A mozzarella stick with an ooey-gooey, stretchy center can even make a non-party into a party, so serve them at an actual party and who knows what might happen…the greatest party on earth, perhaps?