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17 Delicious Frozen Appetizers to Serve For the Holidays

Easy, ready-to-heat apps always come in handy when visitors show up, whether you expect them or not.
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With the holidays just around the corner, now's the time to make sure you're stocked up on frozen appetizers for guests—both the invited and the surprise ones! Apps are one of the easiest things to have on hand. Keep one or two in your freezer and pull them out when friends pop in, or buy lots of different ones to pass around at your next holiday party.

With the popularity of air fryers, there's no need to microwave your frozen apps and end up with a soggy mess. In just a little time, you can have hot, crispy food to serve to your friends and family. But, even if you haven't joined the air fryer bandwagon, most apps are easy to simply pop in the oven and bake. You can get creative with different dipping sauces or just serve them as-is! Pair your apps with a great homemade cocktail and you might just forget about serving dinner altogether.

We sought out the best frozen appetizers on the market so you can be sure the ones in your freezer will be guest-pleasers. Whether you're shopping for something that will appeal to both kids and adults alike, or ones that will bring a touch of class to your holiday event, we've got you covered with these must-have starters.

Trader Joe's Perfectly Pickled Pups

trader joes perfectly pickled pups
Trader Joe's
Per Serving (4 pieces): 250 cal, 15 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 850 mg sodium, 21 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 7 g protein

These mini uncured beef franks are coated in a dill pickle-flavored batter and breading and make for a deliciously lip-puckering app to dip in mustard and serve your holiday guests. Brining ingredients, including sea salt, sugar, onion, garlic, vinegar, and dill weed, help give these pups their unique and tasty flavor. Prepare them in the oven or an air fryer for a treat that's meaty on the inside and crispy on the outside. "The flavor is zippy, and the franks stay moist and juicy," according to the blog Sweet on Trader Joe's. "These puppies are awesome."

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Whole Foods Market Small Bites Quiche Trio

whole foods quiche trio
Per Serving: 270 cal, 16 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 400 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 9 g protein

You get 15 mini quiches in this box, including three cheese, spinach Florentine, and mushroom varieties. This is a perfect app to please vegetarian guests and everyone else, too! "Restaurant quality in an easy-to-bake format," wrote one reviewer on Amazon. "I originally bought these for a party when I did not have time to do homemade. I was pleasantly surprised by their taste and quality. I'll definitely buy them again."

Good & Gather Jalapeno Cream Cheese Wontons

good and gather jalapeno cream cheese wontons
Per Serving (5 pieces): 290 cal, 15 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 370 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (2 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 7 g protein

If you want your holiday party to be on the spicy side, serve up these yummy wont-ons with sweet chili dipping sauce included. You get 10 wontons to a pack, and they are made with real cream cheese. "Easy to make!" wrote one reviewer on Target's website. "Throw in air fryer and within a couples minutes, you have an appetizer. Easy!! And delicious!"

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Trader Joe's Pastry Bites Feta Cheese & Caramelized Onions

trader joe's pastry bites
Trader Joe's
Per Serving (4 pieces): 240 cal, 18 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 300 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (1 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 5 g protein

If you love a sweet-and-salty combo in your appetizer, these are for you! Buttery puff pastry is filled with feta cheese and cream cheese and topped with caramelized onions for a melt-in-your-mouth experience. Pair these babies with beer, wine, or a holiday cocktail, and you won't care much about dinner. They come 12 pieces in a package. "Oh they are goood, puff pastry bite filled with feta cheese, topped with caramelized onions. So stinking good I eat the whole tray to myself," wrote one fan on Reddit.

Whole Foods Market Spanakopita

whole foods spanakopita
Per Serving (3 pieces): 190 cal, 11 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 320 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 6 g protein

What's better than flaky phyllo dough filled with spinach and cheese? These Greek-inspired pockets are filled with three cheeses: feta, cream cheese, and ricotta. Just turn on the oven and heat them up. They come 12 to a box. "These are flaky and light with lots of flavor, hard to believe they were frozen. Taste great," wrote one reviewer on Amazon.

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TGI Fridays Mozzarella Sticks

TGI Fridays mozzarella sticks
Per Serving (3 pieces): 290 cal, 15 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 640 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 10 g protein

Get that Fridays feeling at home with these yummy mozzarella sticks. You'll get 4.5 servings per box of real mozzarella cheese, coated in a crispy, garlicky, panko breading. Comes with a zesty marinara dipping sauce. "Honestly one of the best mozzarella sticks I've had especially when put and cooked inside of an air fryer," wrote one reviewer. "The way the cheesey goodness melts into your mouth and the marinara sauce all comes together."

Trader Joe's Kalua Pork Spring Rolls

trader joe's pork spring rolls
Trader Joe's
Per Serving (2 pieces): 290 cal, 14 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 500 mg sodium, 33 g carbs (2 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 8 g protein

Take your guests on a trip to the islands of Hawaii with this fun appetizer. Smoky, savory shredded pork is nestled inside crispy spring roll wrappers along with a variety of veggies including cabbage, onion, carrots and scallions. Serve with TJ's Thai Sweet Chili Sauce for an app your guests will want to double dip. "They were crispy, sweet, full of pulled pork," wrote one fan on Reddit. "I've picked them up twice now."

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Feel Good Foods Pork Potstickers

feel good pork potstickers
Thrive Market
Per Serving: 530 cal, 17 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 1760 mg sodium, 80 g carbs (5 g fiber, 15 g sugar), 14 g protein

If you have friends coming over who are gluten-free, this appetizer will satisfy them and all of your other guests, too! These dumplings are filled with pork and vegetables and come with a tamari dipping sauce. Skip the microwave and pan fry these for the best taste. "Feel good foods gluten free pork potstickers cooked with the pan fry method. These are so good," wrote a poster on Reddit.

Good & Gather Elote-Inspired Mini Empanadas

good and gather empanadas
Per Serving (4 pieces): 230 cal, 12 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 210 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (2 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 6 g protein

These mini empanadas are filled with a yummy blend of creamy corn, cheese, cilantro, and spices. Kids and adults will love the soft pastry dough and the flavorful filling. A box contains eight, and they're so easy to heat up in the oven. "THESE RIGHT HERE, ARE IT!" wrote one enthusiastic reviewer on Target's website. "I Air Fried for 6 minutes on high and they came out delish. I'm sad they are so little. I ate them all in one sitting. Nice little appetizer! HIGHLY RECOMMEND."

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Trader Joe's Crispy Vegetable Pouches

trader joe's crispy vegetable pouches
Trader Joe's
Per Serving (5 pieces): 200 cal, 10 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 430 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (2 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 3 g protein

These handmade pockets of pastry dough are filled with veggies including jicama, shitake mushrooms, cabbage, taro, onions, and carrots. They are tied together at the top with a string of more pastry dough. The top acts as a little handle, making them perfect to serve at cocktail parties. "These are everything you like in a spring roll filling but in a really fun shape," wrote food blogger Become Betty.

Whole Foods Potato & Pea Samosas

whole foods samosas
Per Serving (2 samosas): 110 cal, 5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 250 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 2 g protein

These samosas are filled with a savory combination of potatoes and peas that have been slow roasted in fragrant herbs and spices, such as cumin, garam masala, coriander, and turmeric. There are eight to a box and you can prepare them in the deep fryer or the oven. "These samosas taste just like the ones in a restaurant. They're so good, crunchy & filling," wrote a reviewer on Amazon.

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Good & Gather Frozen Pork Soup Dumplings

good and gather pork soup dumplings
Per Serving (3 pieces): 130 cal, 2.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 290 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 9 g protein

Delicious soup dumplings stuffed with pork, scallions, and onions, and flavored with ginger and garlic? Yes, please! Steam them in a pot and be sure to puncture a little hole before you bite in. These dumplings are filled with delicious hot soup! "I'm addicted," wrote one reviewer on Target's website.

Trader Joe's Mac and Cheese Bites

trader joe's mac n cheese bites
Courtesy of Trader Joe's
Per Serving (3 pieces): 190 cal, 10 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 280 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (2 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 7 g protein

The legendary bite-sized balls of breaded mac and cheese from TJ's got a revamp, and fans are loving it. Now even cheesier, they are made with a blend of cheddar, Havarti, Swiss, and gouda, plus cream cheese, Monterey jack and pecorino romano for good measure. "Tried the Mac & Cheese bites for the first time!" wrote a fan on Reddit. "I dipped them in a spicy sauce instead of marinara and it was 10/10." Warm these up at your next party and your guests will be coming back for seconds.

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Whole Foods Vegetable Egg Rolls

365 egg rolls
Per Serving (1 egg roll): 180 cal, 6 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 250 mg sodium, 27 g carbs (2 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 5 g protein

Treat your guests to egg rolls filled with green cabbage, edamame, water chestnuts, carrots, celery, onion, and brown rice. They have a crispy, flaky crus, and you can bake or deep fry them for the best results. "These are absolutely delicious!" wrote a reviewer on Amazon. "I prefer them over restaurant egg rolls. Very hearty with lots of veggies. I make mine in the air fryer and they are delicious and crispy."

Wegmans Frozen Cooked Shrimp Family Pack

wegmans shrimp
Per Serving (3 oz): 70 cal, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 360 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 16 g protein

There's nothing classier than a shrimp cocktail. Pair it with some bubbly and you've got a party! These shrimps are pre-cooked, peeled, and deveined—all you have to do is thaw and add the cocktail sauce. A family pack contains about 70 shrimp and ensures there will be enough for you and your guests. Tail on, baby!

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Hebrew National Frozen Beef Franks in a Blanket

Hebrew National Beef Franks in a Blanket
Hebrew National
Per Serving: 310 cal, 25 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 590 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 8 g protein

What appetizer party would be complete without pigs in a blanket? These premium, savory hot dogs in puff pastry are a classic for a reason. There are 32 in a box, so there's enough to share with all your friends. "I have been earing Hebrew National Beef Frank's in a Blanket for years," wrote one reviewer on Target's website. "The beef and pastry are perfect together. I've never had a bad batch. Definitely a winner."

Wegmans Frozen Oven Baked Mini Meatballs

wegmans mini meatballs
Per Serving (27 pieces): 290 cal, 24 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 530 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 12 g protein

Made with beef, breadcrumbs, and seasonings, these mini meatballs will be a hit at your holiday party—just add toothpicks! Serve with marinara, barbecue sauce, or an Asian dipping sauce for a fun taste treat.

Ronnie Koenig
Ronnie Koenig has written about food, drink, travel and culture for The New York Times, TODAY, The Atlantic and many others. Read more about Ronnie