The Ultimate Snacky Dinner

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Serve up a snacky dinner for a quick and easy meal that can still feel special.

The Ultimate Snacky Dinner | Good Cheap Eats - Serve up a snacky dinner for a quick and easy meal that can still feel special.

The Snacky Dinner has long been a part of our family’s food culture. I remember when our kids were all under nine years old. Yes, really. We had five children and were living in our four bedroom home in Olathe, Kansas. Winters were long, and so were Sunday nights! Football seemed to drag on all day long.

Though I was not a football fan, I decided to embrace it. That time was mine to do what I wanted. And a snacky dinner was part of that. I would lay out a tablecloth on the floor in front of the TV and the kids would picnic.

Even before children we were happy to dine on appetizers. It’s an easy meal to prepare and a great one to share with friends and family at Christmas and New Year’s. It works for my birthday lunch, a casual summer picnic, and a busy school night.

Here’s what we like to put in our snacky dinner spread:


Sliced French baguette and/or crackers


The Ultimate Snacky Dinner | Good Cheap Eats - Serve up a snacky dinner for a quick and easy meal that can still feel special.


Deli-sliced ham, salami, roast beef, and/or turkey

Vegetables and Dip

Fruits and Nuts

An array of dried and fresh fruits and nuts, such as fresh apples, grapes, figs, and clementines; dried apricots, raisins, and cranberries; and almonds and cashews


Preserved condiments like cured olives, dill pickles, and pepperoncini

Good Cheap Eats Dinner in 30 Minutes or Less

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What do YOU include in YOUR snacky dinners?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Jenni says

    We typically do this on Christmas for lunch. A tasty snack and a break from all the sweets!

  2. Kirstin says

    That looks appetizing! Sometimes we have shrimp and cocktail sauce.

  3. Janet says

    We had relatives arriving yesterday at various times so it was hard to know exactly when we could have dinner. I decided to have a snacky dinner that I could get on the table quickly once everyone arrived. Our spread looked very similar to yours except our mix of cheeses were different and we added small sub rolls, sliced deli ham and roast beef and condiments (mustard and mayo).

  4. Sally says

    This is my meal plan over New Year’s.

  5. Charity L. says

    We do what we call snackerday twice a month on Fridays with a movie. We always have pepperoni and cheddar slices with crackers, grapes, strawberries, chips, cupcakes or cookies and one other item we rotate like deviled eggs or something.

  6. Michelle Allen says

    A super easy addition is deviled eggs. If you have eggs, mustard, mayo and maybe some paprika or olives or pickles in your fridge, deviled eggs are an easy addition to a snack dinner for protein. I make mine in instant pot, the 5,5,5,5 option. 5 minutes to reach pressure, 5 minutes to cook, 5 minutes natural release, and then a quick 5 minute ice bath allows you to then peel and prepare in 30 minute window from start to finish. I’m a southern girl. This is my go to.

    • Yummy! I just started deviling them for CBS potlucks. It’s a good protein that I can take that fits my eating plan. Really good with Everything Bagel seasoning on top!

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