Frozen fried appetizers are the perfect foods. They’re always packed with flavor, they’re easy to make and eat with your hands, and if you eat enough of them, you can pretend you had a full meal! I’m a big proponent of turning a plate of apps into a meal—a serving size is just a recommendation, after all. Okay, so we’re all on the same page with appetizer supremacy, right? Now all we need are the dips. Mozzarella sticks are great, but they’re better with a savory marinara sauce. Egg rolls? Perfect, but even more perfect with the best sweet chili sauce at the grocery store. So, the next time you’re putting together a frozen app buffet for friends (or for yourself), make sure to stock up on the best dipping sauces, too.
- Whole Foods 365 Mozzarella Cheese Sticks + Rao’s Marinara
Mozzarella sticks are a staple on any appetizer menu and rightfully so. A little log of milky, creamy, fatty, stringy cheese, coated with breading and deep fried so you can easily pick them, bite them, and get that epic cheese pull? I mean, come on—how could it get better than that?? With Rao’s Marinara, of course. It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Rao’s Homemade here at Sporked, and rightfully so. It’s a quality sauce made with great ingredients that’s absolutely perfect right out of the jar. And since Whole Foods 365, maker of our favorite mozzarella sticks, doesn’t include a marinara packet in the box, but that’s fine. Just crack open a jar of Rao’s and then use the rest for your next plate of spaghetti.
- Minh Pork Egg Rolls + Pantai Sweetened Chili Sauce for Spring Roll
When you think about it, egg rolls are perfect appetizers to turn into a meal on their own. You’ve got your pork and you’ve got your veggies, all rolled up in a crispy, crackly, oily wrapper. Although out taste testers thought these Minh Pork Egg Rolls were flavorful enough to eat without a dipping sauce, they’ll be even more flavorful if you pair them with Pantai sweet chili sauce. This sauce is thick, gloopy, and tangy—it tastes like chili peppers, but it isn’t hot, so you can eat a lot of it. This is the perfect app and dip combo.
- Foster Farms Hot & Spicy Chicken Wings + Bob’s Famous Bleu Cheese Salad Dressing & Dip
Okay, in theory, frozen, pre-sauced chicken wings are great, but why the hell do they all stick to the baking sheet and why is everyone okay with this?? Well, one of the reasons we love these Foster Farms Hot & Spicy wings? They didn’t stick! Hallelujah! They’re also crispy, tender, and evenly coated. All we need now? The perfect blue cheese dressing, and that’s Bob’s Famous. It’s packed with flavorful chunks of cheese and bits of peppercorn, but it isn’t so aggressive that it will overwhelm the flavor of a good buffalo wing. Not only will its creamy texture cool your mouth down from the warm spice of our wings, it has a little funk that pairs well with a (fully intact) wing.
- Gardein Ultimate Plant-Based Buffalo Chick’n Wings + Sprouts Plant Based Ranch
For the blue cheese averse, buffalo chicken and ranch dressing are a classic combo, and it’s a beautiful thing they’ve both been veganified so everyone can enjoy this app and dip combo. Even if you eat meat, Gardein Ultimate Plant-Based Buffalo Chick’n Wings taste good as hell. They have a great texture that pulls apart like real, dark meat chicken and they come with a spicy, tangy sauce to coat the nuggets with. Beat the heat with our favorite vegan ranch. It’s so thick, herby, and creamy, you really won’t think about the fact that it’s dairy free. It’s the perfect vegan dip for the best vegan wings.
- Trader Joe’s Parmesan Pastry Pups + Maille Dijon Originale
Trader Joe’s is Mecca when it comes to frozen apps, but their Parmesan Pastry Pups are on another level. I genuinely cannot allow myself to buy them if I won’t immediately be serving them to a group, because I’ll eat them all. They’re just too damn addicting. Buttery pastry puff blanketed around a little wiener with tons of seasonings and parmesan on top? God tier food. The only thing that could make them better? Maille Dijon for dunking. If you like a powerful dijon mustard, Maille is perfection—bright, punchy, and zesty. Grab some of those toothpicks with the celleophane frills and get dipping.