The Best Foods For Unexpected Guests

Let’s face it, sometimes people just show up. Whether they were uninvited or definitely invited but you completely forgot until just now, house guests can be a hassle. Good thing we’ve been there and can help you out by giving you a list of food to have on hand for unexpected guests (no matter the occasion).

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 Lamb Weston Grown in Idaho Hand Cut Style Fries

This one is for the late-night hangout friends. The ones who come over for one reason or another but you always end up chatting until suuuuuper late at night. When I say there is nothing better at 1:30 a.m. than a warm fry fresh oot the oven, hmmmmm boi, these fit the bill. These fries, according to contributor Danny Palumbo, are soaked and blanched properly, resulting in fries that are “golden and delicious, well-seasoned, crispy, and fatty,” and taste like they are straight from the restaurant frier.

Related: It’s the 7 Best Frozen French Fries

These are a great food for unexpected guests, because whether you have refried beans and cheese, guac, salsa, or artichoke dip on hand, these chips will go beautifully with it. Plus, these are truly the ideal tortilla chips. According to senior writer Jordan Myrick, these chips smell and taste like they’re fresh from the fryer, are “sturdy without being too thick,” and have a “mild corn flavor that makes them feel homemade.” They also noted that these chips are salty enough to be great on their own, but are also mild enough to not overpower a good dip. These are good for mid-afternoon, pre-dinner, or late-night snacking (and really anything in between).

Related: Best Tortilla Chips: 7 Best Tortilla Chips for Dipping in Anything

Pepperidge Farm Garlic Bread

Having a friend over and then suddenly dinnertime hits and now it’s on you to feed them?  Are you like me and the only things in your pantry that are both adult dinner food and big enough for two people are pasta and sauce? Well, keep some of this garlic bread on hand. It will make you look prepared, like you thought ahead and made sides, plus it has a “wonderfully crusty outside,” and the “pillowy, oily innards” taste like garlic and pure distilled happiness. This is an insanely clutch food to have on hand for unexpected guests.

Related: Best Frozen Garlic Bread: From Texas Toast to Garlic Rolls

Speaking of which, if you are looking for a specific pasta sauce to have on hand for just this kind of occasion? Look no further than this delicious Rao’s Marinara. I literally buy this one. It is so good, tastes exactly like homemade, and according to Danny, the oregano and basil flavors create “a savory, mouth-smacking quality.” Your guests will think you did this one from scratch. Joke’s on them; you got it at the Costco.

Related: Best Marinara Sauce: The 8 Best for Your Weeknight Pasta Cravings

Bare Bones Lentil Curry Plant-Based Soup

If you invite your friend for a crafting or baking day, or even if your mom just happens to show up at your apartment at 11:58 a.m. lookin’ for a good lunch place, this bad boi would make an unparalleled soup lunch. Danny described the “lovely combination of lentils, vegetables, and spicy aromatics.” And he is truly on track with this, these are the things that make this soup so McFrickin spectacular.

Related: The Best Lentil Soup to Warm Your Bones This Winter

Trader Joe’s Roasted & Salted Fancy Mixed Nuts

I mean a bowl of nuts. Is there a more iconic food for unexpected guests? I don’t think there is. And, not to pun myself out of house and home, but this fancy mix is absolutely nuts. Editor-in-chief Justine Sterling called these the “platonic ideal of nuts,” and noted that they have the “right amount of salt and all of the nuts are crunchy.” And just like that, you fed all your guests. You’re welcome.

Related: Best Mixed Nuts: 6 Nut Mixes That Drove Us Nuts

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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