Crispy apps in minutes? Yes, please!
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trader joes parmesan pastry pups
Credit: traderjoes.com

Listen, we don't need any convincing when it comes to shopping at Trader Joe's, but for any naysayers out there, a new appetizer hack might just convince you to give the California-based grocer a try. 

In addition to the chain's bevy of chocolate finds, array of truffle items, and litany of healthy options, there are also dozens of drool-worthy appetizers to choose from. Per a recent post on the Trader Joe's website, some of these appetizers, which are often microwaved, can be made in the air fryer, and may even taste better once you get the popular kitchen appliance involved. According to the Trader Joe's experts, three apps that really shine with a little help from this versatile gadget are the Black Bean & Cheese Taquitos, Parmesan Pastry Pups, and Organic Veggie Bites.

What's more? Since these eats are bite-sized, the TJ's pros note that you can cook all three of 'em in the air fryer at the same time. Translation: Preparing for your next gathering—a Super Bowl shindig, perhaps?—just got a lot easier. 

All you need to do is spray some oil in the basket, place four to six of each appetizer inside, leaving space between each one so they can get nice and crispy, and set the temperature to 400 degrees. Then, set the timer for 10 minutes, but pause the air fryer about halfway through so you can give your apps a little shake. And that's it! If you're not a fan of the below appetizers, Trader Joe's shoppers also note that the customer favorite Mandarin Orange Chicken can be made in an air fryer, as can the chain's Buffalo Style Chicken Poppers and Breaded Fried Ravioli. Keep reading for more info on how to make a tasty party spread in less than 15 minutes.

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1 Black Bean & Cheese Taquitos

The taquitos, which are made in Mexico, are corn tortillas that are rolled and filled with black beans, Monterey Jack, onion, jalapeños, and spices. When cooked in the air fryer, these treats develop an "even more appealing crispness." Serve them with some homemade guacamole or whip up a spicy street corn salad.

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2 Parmesan Pastry Pups

These pastry pups taste delicious no matter how you cook them, but when you pop 'em in the air fryer, the cheese that's sprinkled on buttery puff pastry becomes aromatic, while the pastry itself develops an irresistible flakiness. And let's not forget about the mini beef franks wrapped inside! The tiny hot dogs manage to stay perfectly tender, and would go great with some homemade ketchup or mustard.

3 Organic Veggie Bites

Yes, you can make these vegan tot-like treats in the air fryer, and yes, they taste delicious. The gluten-free medley of carrots, celery, onions, kale, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and tomatoes develops a golden, crispy exterior when thrown in the air fryer, but retains its delightfully soft middle. Toss them in a hearty grain bowl for a balanced meal, or, if you prefer to enjoy them as an appetizer, serve them alongside a vegan ranch dressing.