15 Simple Pantry Staples You Need to Be the Best Hostess Ever

Stash snacks and wine for an impromptu newlywed dinner party

Updated 03/11/19

Photo by Jennifer Causey

Plenty of newlywed dinner parties are definitely in your future, but having people over doesn’t mean you'll have to ruin your whole Saturday planning and shopping. All you need is these 15 pantry staples!

If newlywed dinner parties make you think of your mom and her fleet of votive candles and pressed white linens, it's time for you to reassess. You can liberate yourself from the idea of capital-E Entertaining just by keeping sophisticated munchies and drinks on hand so you can be seconds away from the best kind of get together: last-minute, easy, and, of course, delicious.

Stash away the 15 snacks and drinks below so you'll always be ready for an impromptu newlywed dinner party.

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In the pantry:

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Salty, crunchy, pretty: That’s the trifecta you’re after here. Think Saffron Road Crunchy Chickpeas (Buy them here!) and Trader Joe’s cheese twists (Buy them here!)—because they’re amazing and stand tall in a glass, and Party Display 101 decrees that you need some height!

While you're shopping, load up on cornichons (Buy them here!) and Marcona almonds (Buy them here!), which are like regular almonds but Insta-friendlier with their pretty sheen. Your gluten-free friends—or anyone with taste buds—will like plantain chips (Buy them here!) (from Terra or Whole Foods's bulk section). The same goes for BjornQorn (Buy them here!), which is dusted with umami-loaded nutritional yeast and guaranteed to elicit a “what is this?” from your impressed guests.

In the Fridge and Freezer:

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You can’t go wrong with fig jam (Buy it here!), a baguette in the freezer (slice into rounds before you freeze so it thaws quickly), and a hunk of Parm Parmigiano-Reggiano (Buy it here!). (Check the rind for at least part of the Parmigiano-Reggiano stamp to make sure it’s the real stuff.)

A bag of Stacy’s pita chips (Buy them here!) and a tub of hummus will never fail you: To make it party-worthy, fold in a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and drizzle with really good olive oil (Buy a bottle here!). You can also whirl a cup or two of thawed frozen peas in the food processor with some Parm, olive oil, salt, a dash of vinegar, and fresh mint if you have it. You’ll blow minds left and right, especially when you serve it with those plantain chips.

On the Bar Cart:

bar cart

Photo by Logan Cole

All priced under $20 and curated by Jon Bonné, author of The New Wine Rules, these wines are perfect to stock up on! For a red wine, try Raisins Gaulois by Marcel Lapierre, which clocks in at just $16 (Buy a bottle here!). For your guests who perfer white wine, serve Ovum Big Salt White for just $18 (Buy a bottle here!). And for celebrations that require a sparkling wine, Castellroig NV Penedès Cava Brut is a great option at just $14 (Buy a bottle here!).

This story originally appeared in the April/May 2019 issue of Brides, on sale beginning February 26.

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