To know Trader Joe’s is to love it, so much so that it can feel impossible to pick a favorite thing about the store. With their incredible snack foods, friendly Hawaiian shirt-clad employees, low prices, and amazing cheese and wine selection it’s incredibly easy to overfill your cart on any given TJ’s grocery trip. Luckily, we’re here with our list of the top 10 Trader Joe’s essentials so you can try out the best without overextending your basket. (But don’t worry, we won’t blame you if you end up adding on a few extra things as you make your way through the aisles.)
1. Everything But The Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend
To anyone who hasn’t tried it, it might seem odd for a seasoning blend to achieve cult status. To those who have tried it… well, then you already know. From chicken breasts to popcorn to pasta, this stuff improves just about everything it gets sprinkled on.
2. Mandarin Orange Chicken
Trader Joe’s does frozen food better than any other grocery store chain out there, and their Mandarin Orange Chicken is a shining example of that expertise. At $4.99 for a bag that easily feeds two people and tastes better than any takeout, it’s easy to see why customers have voted this their favorite TJ’s product more than once.
3. Speculoos Cookie Butter
This stuff is so good that for a long while it was hard to even find a jar on the shelf. A smooth gingerbread cookie flavored spread, it certainly is as “deliciously unusual” as the jar describes. It’s good on toast or on pancakes or right off a spoon… the bottom line is it’s just really darn good.
4. Bloody Mary Salsa
One delightful thing about Trader Joe’s is that you can find products there that you can’t find anywhere else, like their Bloody Mary Salsa. It’s a newer addition to the lineup and it tastes an awful lot like its cocktail namesake. Tangy, with briny notes and a little bit of a kick, it’s equally good with tortilla chips or some cool and crunchy celery.
5. Cauliflower Gnocchi
Cauliflower is certainly having a moment, but at least some of the thanks for that should go to TJ’s Cauliflower Gnocchi. People have been known to buy bags and bags of this stuff when they can find it in stock, and we can’t say we haven’t been tempted to stock up as well. It has a texture and flavor that defies its healthy veggie make-up and there are countless ways to prepare it. If you can find it, snatch this one up immediately.
6. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
It’s hard to describe just what is so amazing about TJ’s version of the peanut butter cup, but we’ll try. This candy cup has the perfect balance of salty and sweet and their tiny, poppable size makes it all too easy to make your way through an entire tub in a single sitting. (Not that we’ve ever done that. No way.)
7. Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels
View this post on Instagram
#TraderJoes Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels hit the snack spot… Their crisp, crimp-edged, salt-freckled shell makes a prize of a #pretzel—treasured even more so, once that coveted nugget of butter (the #peanut kind) is revealed in the crunch. (No-salt-on-the-pretzel version in the red bag.) — The new (lower!) everyday price for this classic TJ’s product is $1.99 (1 lb. bag). See our just-landed, Feb #FearlessFlyer for more values… (link in bio)
This is just the kind of dependable TJ’s snack that we hope we can always turn to. They’ve been around forever, but they’re still just as addicting as the first time we opened up a bag of that crunchy, peanut butter filled goodness.
8. Gone Bananas
So simple, but oh so good. Is it just a slice of banana covered in chocolate and frozen? Yes. But is it also so much more? Well, maybe not, but they’re a healthy frozen treat that we can’t seem to get enough of. At $1.99 it’s always well worth picking up a box.
9. Fig & Olive Crisps
These crackers are so good that whatever dip or cheese or spread you’ve put out with them starts to seem extraneous. They’re salty and sweet at the same time and they have a way of disappearing super fast.
10. Chile Lime Chicken Burgers
Another frozen aisle pick that gets rave reviews! These juicy chicken burgers make for a quick and healthy meal with so much flavor. You can dress them up with pineapple or avocado or some grilled onion, but we’ve been known to eat them served plain and simple right out of the pan. They’re that good.
Those are our 10 Trader Joe’s must buys. What’s your favorite TJ’s product?