Traditional recipes

6 Best Things to Buy at Trader Joe’s

6 Best Things to Buy at Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s has a knack for being good at pretty much all the things... but these are our favorite things to buy there!

We mean come on, you get clever puns and everything!

Cheese

We are not talking about your typical grocery store, run-of-the-deli cheeses. Trader Joe’s has a selection of fine gourmet cheeses and tasty cheese combos, like apple cinnamon goat cheese.

(Flickr/Tassandra)

Paper Products

For paper products you can't get by without, trust in Trader Joe's! Their TP is all organic so your flushes won’t destroy the planet. As much.

(Flickr/dcoetzee)

Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacamole or Guacamole Kit

Flavorful, fresh, and as delicious as homemade guacamole, this prepackaged dip is perfect for party on guilt-free munchies on your couch. Or if you are insistent on making your own, they can give you all the fixins’ at a great deal too!

(Flickr/isgonline)

Fresh Flowers

There is no shortage of beautiful blossoms at Trader Joe's. For a reasonable price, you can liven up your table or bring a fresh bouquet to a dinner party and get the flower shop look for less!

(Flickr/isgonline)

Chocolate

And by chocolate, we mean all chocolate. From their gourmet desserts to their indigent candy bars, TJ's chocolate is always a welcomed treat.

(Flickr/SeaTurtle)

Nuts

For a healthy snack that won't cost you a pretty penny, try Trader Joe's assortment of nuts. You'll find great deals and delicious varieties there!

(Flickr/apocaknits)


6 Best Things to Buy at Trader Joe’s - Recipes

I love trying new recipes to mix things up, but there’s something about the comfort of old standbys — when all else fails, they’re there for you! Here are 10 items I always grab at Trader Joe’s…

Lemon Curd. This curd is smooth, tart and perfect with breakfast toast. It’s also delicious mixed in with yogurt and granola.

Toscano Cheese. Some days I like to create a little happy hour for myself, with cheese, crackers and maybe a glass of white wine. This cheese is an ideal mix of sharp and creamy, and it’s been aged in red wine (see the purple ridge on top?).

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. Listen closely: if you get nothing else, grab these. They’re always on hand in the check-out lines, and a small bag is only 99 cents. The bitterness of the dark chocolate perfectly offsets the sweetness of the peanut butter.

Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mediterranean Blend. I used to believe that all olive oil was the same. I was wrong! The nutty, buttery taste of this one sets it apart from the collection of EVOO bottles in your cabinet, whether you’re serving it on top of hummus or drizzling it over your favorite pasta.

Sharp Cheddar Cheesy Crackers. Judging by the small animals on the box, I’m pretty sure these are meant for kids, but I like to play fast and loose with my snacking. These sharp cheddar cheese bombs are the perfect afternoon treat.

Burrata, Prosciutto & Arugula Flatbread Pizza. For lunch while working from home, this pizza hits the spot — with lots of burrata (omg YUM). I love to drizzle Mediterranean olive oil on top, as a finishing touch.

Gluten-Free Mini Cupcakes. These mini cupcakes are great to bring to a party (when it’s safe to party again!) or to keep for a sweet treat around the house. Bonus: you seriously can’t tell they’re gluten-free.

Thai Veggie Gyoza. I’m often stumped for dinner, so I keep a bag or two of these handy. They’re delicious crisped in a pan and dipped in soy sauce.

Grapefruit & Lemon Hand Sanitizer Spray. My favorite thing about this sanitizer is that it moisturizes while it cleans, so it doesn’t leave my hands cracked and dry.

Fresh Flowers. There’s nothing that freshens up a room like a vase of flowers. I recently ran to the store to grab some milk and was surprised by all the new spring blooms. I got all these, above, for less than $20.

What are some of your Trader Joe’s favorites? Anything I should add to the list?


COOKIES

  • Cinnamon Graham’s: a great dressed up version of this classic American cookie. You will die over the cinnamony sugary finish.
  • All butter shortbread cookies: I grew up in a shortbread loving family so this cookie is an automatic W for me. The chocolate and jelly filled shortbreads are equally delicious.
  • Cookie thins toasted coconut cookies: my favorite road trip cookie. They’re thin, crunchy, and not so guilt inducing once you’ve realized you just pounded an entire roll.
  • Cookie butter sandwich cookies: these buttery cookies filled with one of Trader Joe’s biggest hits won’t last a day in your pantry.
  • Butter waffle cookies: just an all-around classic cookie. My favorite with a heaping scoop of cookie butter (keep reading).
  • Dark chocolate covered peppermint Joe Joe’s: only available at Christmas time and more calories than you want to know, these cookies are some of my favorite ever! The thick layers of chocolate and peppermint are next level.
  • Way more chocolate chips cookies: think chips ahoy without all the yucky preservatives and ugly packaging. These inhalable (I think I just made up that word) cookies are perfect for sack lunches or and after school snack.
  • Triple ginger snaps: because this is the cookie that every ginger lover needs. I used these to make a ginger cookie crust for a homemade cheesecake and it was a surefire home run TSTL.

Mango Chunks, Pineapple Tidbits, Raspberries, Blueberries, or Cherries

Trader Joe’s isn’t my everyday grocery store, but when I do go, I stock up on its frozen fruits as a go-to healthy snack. I’ve found that both my kindergartener and my fourth-grader will eat a bowl of frozen fruit right out of the freezer. Their favorites are Trader Joe’s Mango Chunks and Pineapple Tidbits, as well as its frozen raspberries, blueberries, and cherries. All are, of course, also great for smoothies. And unlike with fresh fruit, with TJ’s frozen fruits I don’t have to worry about them going bad.

—Kalee Thompson, senior editor


Amazing Trader Joe's Dinners Under $4

These recipes are an even better deal than Two Buck Chuck.

All you need for totally satisfying stuffed peppers? Lean ground turkey, the chain's classic marinara, some shredded pepper jack, and jasmine rice.

Cost per serving: $3.88

You can't hit up a Trader Joe's without stopping by the freezer aisle, which carries tons of convenient&mdashand delicious&mdashstaples like frozen breaded fish. These tacos, made spicy with TJ's Salsa Verde, work great with either cod or tilapia.

Cost per serving: $2.74

TJ's beloved mandarin orange chicken is one of its most popular products year over year. Why? The spot-on sweet-and-sour sauce, which rivals the best takeout. We turned the Chinese favorite into rice bowls using TJ's frozen rice (perhaps one of the greatest shortcuts of all time), sesame seeds, and scallions.


Pantry

Squeezable Ginger – I use ginger A LOT, and this makes it so much more convenient.

Bone Broth – I like making my own broth, but this is next best!

Pickles – You can’t go wrong with all things pickled at Trader Joe’s, but I especially like these hot and spicy ones.

Toasted Sesame Oil – the best ingredient to add to any stir fry, salad dressing, or Asian recipe.

Pepita Salsa – I’ve been a fan of this salsa since it first entered my mouth. SO glad they started carrying it year-round.

Baking Supplies – so so many gluten free and healthy options here! I love the organic coconut sugar, nutritional yeast, almond flour, gluten-free all purpose flour, panko bread crumbs, and gluten-free pancake mixes.

Gluten Free Pasta – These are made from black beans and lentils, so are a little bit healthier than regular pasta.

Risoni – this is also made of chickpeas and red lentils, so it’s a grain-free alternative to rice or orzo.

Fig and Olive Crisps – the perfect addition to any cheese board!

Nuts – Probably one of the most impressive nut sections around, and at reasonable prices. I love pine nuts for pesto, macadamia nuts, and all the flavored ones.

Plantain Chips – these are a great alternative to chips when I want a healthy snack. I dip it in their garlic dip!


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Comments

Cindy, thank you for leaving this comment. I am so happy that these lists were helpful. I’m also glad the podcast was helpful. I wasn’t sure that it would make sense. I’ll try to do more food ones, especially as holidays draw near. Stay well my friend.

Hi Kathy! I do the same! Actually, I drive there at least once a week to get them to have most days of the week. Thankfully, a T.J.’s is close so it is not a huge inconvenience:-) Thanks for reaching out. XoXo

I love lists like these!
You are right about TJ’s flowers. Anytime I have a function at our home, I always drive there for flowers.

Thank you for all the great information about Costco and TJ’s! I am always looking for new food ideas to keep cooking interesting. I also enjoyed the easy weeknight meals podcast.


A party in your mouth. Amazing creation.


These Are the Best Products at Trader Joe&rsquos, According to Customers

Trader Joe’s has built a name for itself on delicious frozen meals and snacks. In the freezer aisle, you’ll find cauliflower gnocchi, chicken tikka masala, and mushroom truffle flatbreads ready to heat up by the snacks, peanut butter filled pretzels and Cowboy Bark wait temptingly. Everyone has a favorite𠅊nd this week, the grocery store shed some light on which products customers love the most, via the 11th Annual Customer Choice Awards. 

The awards, compiled from customer votes, reveal top-rated products in nine categories: favorite overall, favorite entrພ, favorite vegan/vegetarian item, favorite sweet treat, favorite snack, favorite beverage, favorite produce, favorite cheese, and finally, favorite in home, bath, & beauty. Some winners were obvious, like the brand’s famous Everything But The Bagel seasoning, which has practically amassed a cult following at this point others, like the favorite snack and favorite beverage category champions, might surprise you.  


Trader Joe's fans simply can't get enough of the company's famous Mandarin orange chicken, which is a regular winner in the Customer Choice Awards. This time it won the title of overall favorite and best entree.

The frozen meal consists of crunchy breaded chicken in a sauce of Californian orange peels, ginger, garlic, green onions, and soy sauce.

Although it's great served with steamed rice and a side of vegetables, true Trader Joe's fans know that it's also an ideal low-effort appetizer when served on a platter with some cocktail sticks.