More favorite things to buy at Trader Joe’s

More favorite things to buy at Trader Joe’s

I’ve been lucky enough to have a Trader Joe’s nearby for a decade now and I’m still grateful every time I stop in. The pandemic has changed many things, not the least of which is when and where we shop for groceries.

One unintended consequence of this change in routine is that we’re not near Trader Joe’s as often as we used to be. I didn’t even realized our habits had changed, until I woke up one day and realized I wasn’t buying the flowers regularly anymore. That was an easy thing to change once I realized it, thank goodness—and I think that change in frequency now helps me appreciate the store that much more.

Trader Joe’s is justly famous for their specialty products, which they do really well, and they inevitably lure me in for seasonal favorites. I know I’m not the only one!

It’s been a few years since I last shared my favorite things to buy at Trader Joe’s. With pumpkin season around the corner, I thought it would be fun to more of my favorite things. And of course I’ll be very interested in hearing about yours in the comments!

Chile lime seasoning

Citrus + spice is my happy place! While this goes wonderfully with any number of main dishes, we use it most frequently on eggs and avocado toast.

Halloumi cheese

I’ve become an evangelist for halloumi: if we hang out in person I’ve inevitably talked about this special cheese you can bake, fry, even grill. I especially love it paired with something zingy, like the preserved lemon I’m so fond of. This is a seasonal item at Trader Joe’s and we stock up because I can’t find it anywhere else in town.

Chomps Jerky Sticks

This isn’t a Trader Joe’s product but it’s my favorite place to stock up, for convenience and price reasons. I keep these in my purse and in the car for a high-protein snack on the go.

Ice cream

We have strong feelings about ice cream at my house, and we like the highly curated, high quality selections at Trader Joe’s. I personally prefer the Premium Vanilla and Ultra Chocolate (especially with their Dark Chocolate Cacao Nibs sprinkled on top); my kids reach for the Cookie Butter and Mint Chip flavors. My dairy-free friends swear by their Chocolate Coconut Milk ice cream. It’s on our list of things to try!

Frozen Meals

Everyone probably knows about their Mandarin Orange Chicken by now (we’re fans) but have you tried the Kung Pao Chicken? It’s a regular addition to our cart, and a lifesaver on many a busy weeknight.

Sweet and Spicy Jalapeños

I’ve mentioned this before but this is one of our very favorite products and it bears repeating. We know we NEED a TJs run if we get close to running out.

Big Churn chardonnay

One of our buttery chardonnay-loving friends turned us on to this one. If you prefer unoaked chardonnay, you’ll probably want to stay away. But if oaked chardonnay is your thing, it’s a tasty and very affordable option!

Sunscreen

This item may look a little out of place on this list, but we ADORE their SPF 50 Spray Sunscreen. My daughters and I have sensitive skin, and this is the least irritating sunscreen we’ve found anywhere. We stock up every summer.

Pumpkin Everything

In recent years the dozens of pumpkin season offerings available at TJ’s have been verging on ridiculous. I wondered, Do we really need so many pumpkin items? But in 2020 my son and I loaded up our cart with one (or three) of everything. So many regular fun things were cancelled last fall, so we decided to take our fun where we could find it—and we taste tested basically every fall item on offer at TJ’s. (I’m certain we’re not the only ones.)

In all seriousness: my kids can’t wait for their favorite pumpkin item, the Pumpkin Bagels, to reappear on the shelves. We’re also looking forward to the Pumpkin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin Waffles, and whatever new-for-2021 items Trader Joe’s rolls out.

Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s

This seasonal favorite has devotees far and wide. We don’t tend to buy multiple boxes like so many do but they are an enjoyable holiday treat. And I always have to buy at least one box of their Chocolate-Covered Joe-Joes for a holiday splurge.

What are YOUR favorite things to buy at Trader Joe’s?

P.S. Don’t miss this previous post on TJ’s favorites or this list of go-to items. we tried not to duplicate (much) with today’s post so go check them out! I still vouch for every item on these lists.

P.P.S. That photo is from the launch party for my first book Reading People—and the beautiful food on display was sourced from Trader Joe’s!

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139 comments | Comment

139 comments

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  1. Angela says:

    We love TJ’s frozen French onion soup. I always have a stash in our freezer for nights when we need a quick dinner of soup with a salad or sandwich.

  2. Kaylee Vida says:

    So many things – how to choose my favorite? Their Lemon Curd is amazing! I love their bagged salads (currently loving the Zatar one). My daughter loves the gummy penguins. And, their natural peanut butter is my favorite of any brand.

  3. Linda Korey says:

    Love TJ’s selection of frozen veggies often not found in other grocery stores! The Colorful Carrot Coins, shelled edamame, Melodious Blend, and artichoke hearts are always healthy additions!

  4. Carol Greetham says:

    TJ’s peanut butter is the best! I also like to get coffee especially the fair trade and shade grown Breakfast Blend. My daughter loves the Everything Bagel topping which is now going on TJ’s chips and other products I’ve seen. At Christmas, everyone in the family gets a $1 advent calendar with a little chocolate in each window.

  5. Margot says:

    My son loved their Autumn Maple coffee last fall and we are hoping it returns. Occasionally, in the past, they have carried a mint chocolate covered espresso bean that was incredible – but also incredibly hard to find. Hope to stumble across that again one of these visits.

    My oldest niece and I like to exchange TJ’s shopping bags. We’re always on the lookout for a state / design we might not have and then mail them between Colorado and Illinois – just another way to stay connected. 😊 My daughter is moving to Seattle soon so we’ll be able to add some NE locations to our collections.

      • Jill says:

        I too have been looking for those mint coffee beans!!! They stopped carrying them a few years ago. If anyone is reading this with any sort of pull…bring them back!

    • Suzanne C says:

      In 2019, our TJ’s had a ‘bag grab-bag’, where you could buy three TJ’s shopping bags and it was a surprise which states you got. So fun!

    • Jill Fitzpatrick says:

      I still have my bags from when our TJ’s first opened, so they’re 10ish years old. Apparently TJ’s employees consider them “vintage”. More than one cashier has commented on them and one cashier gave me two new bags, completely unsolicited! I still use my “vintage” bags though.

    • Jacklyn says:

      I have a San Francisco bag from my first ever Trader Joe’s visit in San Francisco on my honeymoon and it’s a prized possession. Love that you do this!

  6. Katie says:

    Oh, if only we had a Trader Joe’s! I was able to go once when I was visiting my parents and enjoyed walking the aisles.

  7. Katie says:

    Two “can’t get enough of’s” from TJ’s:
    1. Goat and Sheep’s milk cheese – learned that I can’t have cow’s milk products – and was devastated that my only cheese would be chevra (which is amazing, but can get boring). But TJ’s has so many amazing cheeses!!
    2. Coffee dairy dessert with tapioca made with coconut milk. By far the best non-dairy ice cream ever!

  8. Louise Lopez says:

    If we’re talking seasonal, the Blarney Scone around St. Patrick’s Day is not to be missed. It’s a small round like a soda bread, but has a more buttery scone flavor. I buy extra and freeze!

    • Sarah Williams says:

      Someone earlier mentioned the rosemary marcona almonds. They are delicious! I also buy their 10 minute farro and use it for everything. I use it as a base for the sesame orange chicken. I make Greek farro salad, I do a farro shrimp scampi-and so one. I love their vanilla ice cream, too.

  9. Sue A. says:

    My new favorite is the Organic Elote Corn Chip Dippers with their Mexican street corn seasoning. In fact I like their Everything but the Elote seasoning too.

  10. Kaylin says:

    Yes to all do the above! We love Trader Joe’s and I have taken many a Saturday 2 hour round trip jaunt to go to the closest one to us and stock up. My favorite is their Frozen green Vegetable Foursome. I buy 6-7 bags every time I go because it is my favorite quick frozen veggie option!

  11. Heather says:

    Looks like it is time for a trip to TJs! I love their Thai Yellow Curry Sauce and the toasted coconut granola. We finally have a large freezer so I’m looking forward to stocking up on quick frozen meals & veggies. Some great recommendations here!

  12. Janel says:

    Big Churn Chardonnay is my FAVORITE Chardonnay. I buy several everytime I go to stock up. I may drink pricier reds but when it come to Chardonnay, this is perfection for my taste buds.

  13. Amanda says:

    My new favorite thing from TJs is the Brazilian cheese bread, found in the freezer. It only takes a few minutes to cook, it’s gluten-free (we have celiac in our house), and it’s delicious.

    If you like the lime-chili salt, try it sprinkled on pineapple. Seriously, it’s my favorite flavor combination in the world. It’s good on peaches, watermelon, cucumbers, and cantaloupe too, but pineapple is the best.

  14. Melly says:

    Their peanut butter pretzels for one thing. We don’t have a TJ here in Savannah. I’ve been to several stores when traveling.

  15. Rhonda Vandergriff says:

    We don’t have Trader Joe’s locally, but we have Aldi’s which is part of the family. I have a friend who says how nice it is to be able to get gluten-free products. I especially love to get specialty cheese and nuts from Aldi’s. When we go to St. Louis, we try to stop by TJ to see what’s new. I confess, as a “bag lady” I have a collection of TJ totes that often make it to work with me.

  16. Alex says:

    As a Canadian, we always take the opportunity to stock up on a few shelf stable staples. The yellow Thai curry is great for adding to soups that need a kick. The dark chocolate, sea salt caramel chocolate bars are perfection. As are the one pound milk chocolate bars. Yummmm.

  17. Janet says:

    We love Trader Joe’s. New for us this summer are the frozen French toast, Gorgonzola gnocchi, and the fizzy rhubarb-strawberry drinks in a can.

    Always get corn chips, blue corn tortilla chips, which go great with the spinach-artichoke dip (frozen), different kinds of olive oils, peanut butter, tea, frozen gyoza, sparkling rosé, ginger beer and chocolate batons.

    If you can find the 6+-oz bag of unsweetened chocolate bits, they are perfect for making brownies. The recipe I always use calls for 6 oz chopped chocolate, this is a great shortcut and the bonus amount of chocolate is never a problem!

  18. Ruth O says:

    Where do I start? Love the Quattro Formaggio cheese for pasta, the canned cat food for the kitties, Scandinavian Swimmers especially the sour ones, the green Thai sauce. Picked up a Cacio e Pepe pasta sauce just yesterday to try, after reading about it somewhere (kitchn blog maybe??). Around Christmas season they have Chocolate mint star cookies that are essential here. It’s both good and bad that the nearest TJ’s are an hour away!
    Anne, I think of you and the flowers whenever I walk into that store!

  19. S says:

    Perfect timing – I’m going there this afternoon!
    I’m with you on the spray sunscreen and echo another commenter’s love for the new elote flavored chips.
    I lost all motivation to cook during the pandemic and instead often “assemble” from various (mostly frozen) TJs options. The rice/grain blends work well for this and I also enjoy the pouches of Indian dishes (in addition to the frozen chicken you mentioned, of course).

  20. Brenda W says:

    I have a friend who is allergic to peanut butter so we tried the almond butter pretzels and they are yummy. I also tried the Mixed Nut Butter and enjoyed that as well as the Watermelon Fruit Spread.

    Later this year, I’m going to be moving to a place where the closest TJs is an hour away. I have a feeling I’ll make the trip though. It’s a wonderful store!

  21. Beth says:

    My daughter is gluten free and TJ’s cinnamon raisin bread is the only gf bread that she likes. We also love the chili dried mangos, almond butter coated almonds and frozen steel cut oatmeal.

  22. Sharon says:

    TJ Reduced Fat Mac and Cheese. I add Tysons Frozen Blacken Strips to it. Absolutely delicious. Also, TJ Frozen Cauliflower Gnocchi. I add Parmesan cheese and shrimp to this,

  23. Patricia Harrison says:

    My favourite Trader Joes items are their mayonnaise, salsa, frozen gluten free waffles, hummus, raw milk cheddar, gluten free chocolate cupcakes, and sweet and salty nut mix.

  24. Beth B. says:

    Please, please try their Coffee Bean ice cream. It’s out of this world. I wasn’t a coffee ice cream lover until I tried this and now it’s always in our freezer.

  25. Rita Morgan says:

    I am also a bag lady and have been gathering TJ bags for year. When my daughter in law came into the family she got m a Wisconsin bag. I love their frozen fish, irs packaged perfectly for two and I never leave the store without their almonds.

  26. Sally says:

    I love the peeled garlic in the produce section, the frozen cauliflower rice, the jarred bruschetta, the boxed miso broth paired with their tofu for a quick lunch and the frozen cod pieces, which are perfect for fish tacos.

    • LL Terry says:

      As far as I know they are made in Wisconsin. I have not see the raspberry. !! They are sold out the day they arrive at my TJ. You just have to be lucky enough to be there. However I must say last Christmas you could ask when they would arrive and place some on hold. But….my TJ is also 50 miles away. Sounds long, but just hope in the interstate.

  27. Tricia says:

    Current favorite lunch item is the (frozen) Chicken Dumpling Soup! Also their Raisin Rosemary crackers dipped in the Cilantro Jalapeno hummus – sounds like a crazy combo, but they were sampling it years back and it’s amazing!

  28. Erin says:

    Giant Inca Corn, Caramelized Onion Dip, alllll the cheese, Everything but the Elote seasoning, Mushroom Umami seasoning, the French hand soap, rice crackers… and we always have an “emergency” Tarte aux Champignons in the freezer.

    • Jennifer says:

      They’ve stopped carrying the Giant Inca Corn at our local store. This comment makes me hope they bring it back! I’m also a fan of the Caramelized Onion Dip, especially when mixed half and half with Greek yogurt. I’ll have to check out your other suggestions since we obviously share some of the same tastes!

  29. Sheila Pallotta says:

    45 years later, my college roommate and I live 500 miles apart. We plan trips together, and one question we ask is “Is there a Trader Joe’s there?” We stock up on items for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. Example: we both flew into SEATAC Airport in Seattle, and rented a car to tour the Olympic National Park. First stop, the Trader Joe’s two miles from airport!

  30. Joan Fishburn says:

    Their rosemary Marcona almonds are amazing! I could eat an entire bag in one sitting. Perfect with the Big Churn Chardonnay!

  31. Sally says:

    Only been there twice because it is close but inconvenient and so crowded I can hardly get close to the shelves so I try to go at odd times but the Vanilla Scones & Pickle in a Chip potato chips are worth the effort!

  32. KTC says:

    We love their jarred pizza sauce, their canned turkey chili, everything bagel seasoning, candy cane Jo Joe’s, their jelly beans, and their tea tree tingle body wash.

    • Mary Lou says:

      Love the Tea Tree Tingle body wash – have you tried the Tea Tree Tingle shampoo? It’s wonderful. Also love the canned turkey chili.

  33. Regina Orlando says:

    My Favorite Trader Joe’s items are: Vegan Mac & Cheese, so creamy and delicious!! I also love the Chickpea Masala Salad, Cajun Alfredo Sauce try it with shrimp & rice or over your favorite pasta, Vegan Bolognese Sauce, TJ’s Cauliflower Crust Pizza and TJ’s Coconut Milk Ice Cream and TJ’S Premium Ice Cream. Oh my gosh, I am getting hungry writing this!!

  34. emily says:

    So many great ideas here! My family (especially the teenaged boys) loves the frozen reduced fat mac and cheese, chocolate croissants are a fun weekend treat, guara almonds are the best snack, and lemon arugula bagged salad is a summertime staple!

  35. lindsay says:

    We LOVE Trader Joe’s!!! The classic potato chips are the best. And 21 Seasoning Salute (with EVOO on salmon, yum). Seedy crackers. Frozen gnocchi. And during the holidays, I may or may not eat an entire bag of peppermint pretzels on my own.

    Also, for non-food, the towels they have are great. We cut them in half and use them in lieu of paper towels in the kitchen.

    • Anne says:

      I don’t think I’ve ever bought their potato chips, but I do love those seedy crackers!

      (Cracking up about the peppermint pretzels 😂)

  36. Elaine Pappas-Puckett says:

    We keep two of the frozen Shakutra (spicy peppers and tomato sauce) on hand. Just add two eggs per person. We came home at 7:30 last night and were eating it with toast in 15 minutes. You can add 3 eggs per package. One package serves one person for dinner but with two packages, you could safely 6 eggs and serve three. OR, have a lot of side dishes.

  37. Jennifer says:

    My favorite frozen meals are the Paneer Masala with Basmati Rice and the Korean BiBimBap bowl. Sadly, it looks like they stopped making the Korean BiBimBap bowl since I can never find it in the frozen section any more. A few other long-gone favorites, Sour TJs and the Masala Chips (essentially like papadum, but sold in a bag like potato chips!). Not unique to TJs, but they have the best prices on nuts, dried fruit, and nut butters in the local area so I stock up when I go. Around Christmas baking time my hauls are 50% nuts.

  38. Suzy says:

    When I can get to Trader Joe’s (it’s 4 hours away, one way) I do like the Mandarin Orange Chicken, and other froz entrees that I stock my freezer with, including the Risotto Rice with asparagus or mushrooms! So yummy and easy to make.
    Another favorite is the very authentic looking and tasting French Macarons! So colorful for a party or a tea!
    I think we’ve gotten a very good Garlic Teriyaki sauce there…
    And I always notice the flowers, but don’t buy because of the long road home to water and a vase. (should plan ahead.)

  39. Amy says:

    WOW! We love Trader Joe’s and I’m not familiar with a lot of your choices. Our family loves the Barbeque Teriyaki chicken, with our own homemade fried rice. The Lemon curd (I saw someone else liked that as well) is a go to for pancakes, muffins, waffles, etc. We LOVE the chocolate croissants. And the yogurt- we go through at least 10 a week. I have food sensitivities and this is the only yogurt I can eat anymore.

    The bagged salads are great and the Feta Tomato soup. I could go one. But we’ll try some of your suggestions- looking for to it!

  40. Jennifer H says:

    For sure those Candy cae Jo-Jo’s! Also, we just discovered a YouTube channel about all things Trander Joe’s and she said her favorite sauce from there is the masala simmer sauce and we just tried it last night with chickpeas, zucchini and potatoes served over rice and it was delicious! I also really love the Savory Rice Crackers and the Chocolate Covered Blueberries. I love the cookie butter, but I can’t buy it anore because it’s too addicting for me.

  41. Susan Bradford says:

    We love the Veggie Masala burgers in the frozen section! They are delicious and I serve them with rice and chicken tikka masala or butter chicken!

    • Kat says:

      So many good things – but trying not to repeat what I’ve seen above – in the frozen section, the soup dumplings (chicken and ginger pork) and the Hong Kong fried rice (which is very amenable to having leftover vegetables added to it, which helps me avoid food waste) Also the steel cut oatmeal (which is especially good with TJ’s Pumpkin Pie Spice and a sliced up banana).
      The Veggies and Greens Salad kit -with a honey ginger dressing. It’s a winter-ish seasonal offering that I look forward to every year (I tend not to use all the pear bits – they add a lot of sugar.).
      For treats, the frozen cold brew latte bars, the maple leaf cookies and the Cafe Rio candies. And the Hold the Cone minis – I’m partial to chocolate chip.

  42. Suzanne C says:

    Definitely try the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dunkers, especially the Chocolate Coated ones. I always stock up on the big soft frozen pretzels- so good with honey mustard! We also love the goat’s milk Gouda, Fleur de Sel Caramels, and the cheese straws. And I like to have a snack of their frozen Naan with the organic Hummus.

  43. Molly Pisula says:

    I have so many favorites! Many on this list, but I’ll specifically call out a few that I can’t live without: Everything but the Bagel Seasoning, Chile-Lime Seasoning, Vanilla Extract, Cauliflower Gnocchi (try roasting instead of sautéing– will change your life), candied walnuts/pecans for salads, frozen naan, and how has no one mentioned the dark chocolate peanut butter cups?? Also, the salt and pepper grinders are the best I’ve found–perfect grind, and cheap too!

  44. Sharon says:

    Oh, candy cane joe-joe’s are the absolute best!!! My other favorite things are the microwaveable jasmine rice and the grilled chicken in the refrigerated section. Two time-savers for my family of 6.

  45. Carol says:

    As a lifetime WW, I am always on the lookout for point-friendly options at Trader Joe’s. My favorites are the Chile Lime Chicken Burgers, Chicken Cilantro Wontons, Wonton Soup and Frozen Roasted Corn. My favorites are their Rosemary Raisin and Fig Olive crackers which I eat everyday as an afternoon snack with coffee.

  46. Barb says:

    Cookie and a Book!
    TJ’s almond windmill cookies are perfect with whatever book I’m currently reading. Right now I’m reading “Her Heart for a Compass” by Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York. Just add tea!

  47. Vanessa says:

    Maybe a weird one, but my favorite thing is the coconut aminos! They are lower sodium than soy sauce/tamari plus gluten free and soy free which makes it a very friendly sauce when different friends have different food restrictions.

    I love your lists and all the comments. I end up trying new things based on your recommendations!

  48. Shyla Strathman says:

    *Red Chili Scalloped Crackers
    *Antioxidant Facial Serum
    *Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup
    *Dijon mustard
    *Pub cheese with horseradish
    *Refrigerated olive tapenade
    *Unexpected Cheddar
    *Frozen Roasted Corn
    *Regular tri-color carrots

  49. Sandy says:

    I agree about their Kung Pao Chicken! We keep some in the freezer for quick dinners. Goes great with some broccoli and TJ’s Stir-Fry Riced Cauliflower. Also, have you tried their dark chocolate cookie butter filled bars? they are the BOMB!!

  50. Cynthia says:

    I have so many things I love about TJ – chocolate- but my all time is their canned pumpkin- and I almost hate to “tell” this – because last year I had to call 3 different TJ and then I had to get my daughter-in-law and a friend to get enough canned pumpkin to last me for the year!! So don’t go buying every can on The shelves this year because I’ll probably be calling your TJ’s!!! Their fish is really good too!

  51. Adrienne says:

    This is SOOOOOO timely, because our Trader Joe’s in Chattanooga just opened. Squeal!! I have been waiting and hoping for years for TJ’s to open here, and when the crowds die down in a few weeks, I’m going!

    So many great suggestions in the comments, that I’m going to need two trips! My TJ favorites are the milk chocolate peanut butter cups and the triple-ginger gingersnap cookies, which are so good for dunking in tea.

  52. Sue B says:

    My TJ faves:
    – Turkey Summer Sausage – it is shelf-stable, low calorie, delish!
    – Fresh Fennel in produce – you get 2 bulbs for less than the cost for one in my grocery store
    – Espiral Vinho Verde wine – inexpensive and refreshing!
    – Everything But the Elote seasoning – gives veggies and meat a delicious southwest flavor
    – Frozen cod and wild-caught shrimp – fresh and reasonably priced
    – Chocolate covered almonds with turbinado salt – addictive!

    • Mary Lou says:

      Love the frozen shrimp, which I defrost and stir fry. Goes great with a TJ’s bagged salad kit. I live alone, so I can get three meals out of the shrimp, and two out of the bagged salad. Also enjoy a shrimp stir fry with TJ’s fennel, as I can’t eat onions. Never tried fennel before and it is really tasty. When I do the stir fry with fennel, i put it over TJ’s Japanese vegetable fried rice. So yum. And I use TJ’s General Tsao Stir Fry Sauce in making the shrimp stir fry. Total guilt free decadent heaven is that meal.

  53. Jill says:

    Trader Joe’s is one of my “happy places”! I literally feel better the minute I walk in the store. Lots of favorites, but here are a few…
    -In the fall they carry Cinnamon-dusted Toscano cheese which is yummy on crackers or Granny Smith apple slices. Also grated into cheese sauces for mac and cheese and so forth. They sell out fast and are seasonal only. Honestly their cheese department in general is a favorite. My daughter loves the mini-brie bites.
    -Our TJ’s sells wine (we are in VA). A favorite red is Amarone della Volpolicella. It’s expensive by TJ’s standards ($17) but a bottle in another store would cost at least 2x that. My best friend lives in PA, where TJ’s is not allowed to sell wine (state law). So every time I visit her I bring anywhere from 6-12 bottles of wine with me! Guaranteeing that my TJ’s will never stop carrying it! I’ve also recently discovered their Moon X red blend is delicious (and much more reasonably priced).
    -Love the macarons! Both the assorted and the chocolate and vanilla.
    -It is always an occasion when the Brandy Beans arrive for the holidays! Last year they didn’t get them–another thing to blame on the pandemic! Hoping they’ll be back this year.
    -Cauliflower gnocchi! Great for a quick meal. A tip I picked up is to heat them in a pan with a little olive oil instead of boiling–keeps them from getting gummy. Throw in a couple of handfuls of spinach and some grape tomatoes and bam! dinner.
    -Candy Cane Joe-Joes are great–but have you tried the “chocolate-enrobed” Joe-Joes? Another only-at-the-holidays treat. The box they come in is so pretty and festive-looking, they make great hostess gifts–just pop a bow on top and head to your holiday party!
    -This is a small thing, but I prefer their Stevia to any other brand.
    -I’m picky about my Greek yogurt. TJ’s non-fat Greek yogurt is second only to Fage in my book.

    So many others, but these are off the top of my head. Now I will go back through this list and add other people’s favorites to my TJ’s shopping list!

  54. Ashling says:

    My mom & sister love the almond butter almonds, and my kryptonite used to be the cookie butter. Now my favorite things to buy are the cauliflower gnocchi and the seasonings. The Za’atar seasoning and the umami seasoning are so good!

    I wish I lived near a Trader Joe’s that sold alcohol. Everyone always talks about the amazing wines they’ve found there, but NJ’s liquor license laws make it difficult for supermarkets to sell alcohol. The next time I’m on vacation I’m going to see if there’s one nearby so I can stock up.

  55. Laura Knoop Very says:

    One of my favorite recipes with Haloumi is to grill the cheese and halved pears, both sprayed with olive oil, and to serve it over a bed of arugula with a lemon vinaigrette!!!!!!! Yummmmm

  56. Jill says:

    I’m surprised there’s been no mention of the holiday Jingle Jangle candy tins yet. We stalk TJ’s for the date it comes out then stock up to give as gifts. Our family usually begins asking us about it around Thanksgiving.
    We love buying the frozen red shrimp and making tacos with it topped with the broccoli kale slaw and salsa verde. We put the salsa verde on everything.
    We love the African Smoke seasoning, Mushroom Umami and Chili lime.
    I look forward to the pumpkin cream cheese on top of the pumpkin bagels every year.
    In the frozen aisle, we like Mango sorbet, riced cauliflower, cauliflower gnocchi and sweet potato gnocchi (both are good with TJ’s pesto), and of course the French Macarons.
    I still miss the Jo-Jo’s with the chocolate filling and wish they would bring them back.

  57. Karen J says:

    I love reading these comments! I keep a “favorites” TJ list on my phone. My must buy list includes triple ginger snaps, pizza dough, gyoza pot stickers, Thai green curry simmer sauce, dry roasted sliced almonds, dark chocolate peanut butter cups, sun dried tomatoes, and garlic naan.
    After reading this post yesterday, I drove to Trader Joes and bought lemon curd, a jar of sweet and spicy jalapeños, and two new bags. 🙂

  58. Hilary says:

    I miss TJ’s so much! There’s one not too far from my house but because of COVID there is ALWAYS a long line out front just to get in the door. While I love it, i’m an impatient person and I don’t love the idea of waiting in line to go grocery shop.
    However… this list is making me rethink that.
    I love the quatro formaggio. Their frozen fruit is by far the cheapest of everywhere (for smoothies).

    • Mary Lou says:

      Try going first thing in the morning when it opens. Arrive a little early and you will probably be fine. I didn’t think they were still using the covid protocols – in Denver the TJ’s are back to pre-pandemic business as usual. Some folks are masked up, others are not. I still like to go early in the day, because parking is always a challenge.

  59. Kelly Cook says:

    I have a note in my calendar to start looking for the Christmas items November 1st. My kids (now teens) love having the chocolate Advent calendar. I stock up on the dark chocolate covered star cookies. The mint ones are good too. Cornichon pickles. Green Fin table wine. Shiraz soaked cheese.

  60. Lauren says:

    Am I the only one who lives the meringue cookies? The chocolate ones are so so SO good! I make an americanized version of eton mess with them… literally just crushed meringues, cut up strawberries and whipped cream all layered together. . Amazing. I also use the vanilla ones mixed with applesauce and whipped cream for a lazy version of maids in a veil, a Danish dessert that’s really good (and is best with the gingersnap cookies).

  61. Ruth-Anne Hayes says:

    My daughter loves the Chili & Lime seasoning on popcorn. Will have to keep a look out for the sweet & spicy jalapeños! ❤️

  62. Shelly says:

    THE FLOWERS (of course)!!!! Also the frozen minced garlic- saves so much time and my hands don’t smell like garlic!! The frozen French onion soup- absolutely delicious! The spicy pecans- I can not stop eating them. The frozen chocolate covered banana slices and the frozen mini ice cream cones…SO good!!! And I always buy bags of the frozen haricots verts as they are fantastic and hard to find in my local grocery store. The grapefruit flavored Italian soda is delightful (it might be seasonal, but I’m not sure).

  63. Kristen says:

    I’m on an elimination diet for some health issues and my number one treat has become the sweet plantain chips! I buy 6 bags at a time (they’re small) and try to make them last until my next trip.

    Also, the cards for almost any occasion! 99 cents! I always check them out on my way in and usually leave with at least 1 or 2.

  64. Terri Freeman Terpstra says:

    How I miss Trader Joe’s! I pretty much shopped there exclusively until I moved to the islands 10 years ago. And I still haven’t gotten over it. And no, the sunsets do not make up for no Trader Joe’s LOL 🙂

  65. Linda Terry says:

    No one has mentioned TJ’s canned Tuscano Marinara Sauce or the shelf-stable whipping cream. I would have not believe the cream can sit on the shelf and still be whipped, but it actually does perfectly. I have also used it in baking.
    Thanks for some new ideas and pleased to know soooo many of you like just what I like. !!

  66. Eileen says:

    I love their Everything but the Elote seasoning which is amazing on corn on the cob, Bite size Everything crackers, multigrain Pita Bite Crackers, their yogurt and frozen fruits for smoothies.

  67. Courtney L says:

    I loved reading these comments, so I thought I’d add our favorites
    – my teenage son loves their sample of turkey chili heated up with pub cheese and eaten with corn dippers.
    -🍒montmarcy dried cherries for adding to muffins, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies or granola
    -🍫pound plus semi sweet chocolate bar (a tip from smitten kitchen) chopped up makes the best chocolate chip cookies because you don’t have the wax used to keep bagged chips and chunks separated
    – 🥖 Mimi baguettes frozen are amazing and perfect size
    -🍕tarte tomato (or champignon) French style frozen pizza
    -my favorite pumpkin seasonal item was a jarred curry sauce that I only got once last season, hoping it comes back
    -citrus dish soap
    -multi grain pita crackers
    – my kids are In love with their cereal bars, granola bars, rocket crackers, 6 pack yogurt cups and whole wheat pretzel sticks

  68. kara owen says:

    Alex Beggs @ Bon Appétit writes a regular piece on new TJ offerings. Don’t let the BA name intimidate you, it’s not stuffy or pretentious and so so SO funny! Also, TJ east Asian and Indian frozen selections are my fav, haven’t met a bad one yet.

  69. Glen says:

    TJ’s frozen Indian meals are the best. My daughter will eat 2-3 containers of palak paneer and a package of paratha bread each week (at least she’s eating spinach 🙂 ). My husband is partial to the chicken tikka masala, and I like the chana masala (warning: it’s a tad spicy) and garlic naan.

    Favorite seasonal items are the autumn harvest salsa and the pumpkin butter in fall, the peppermint mini ice cream cones at Christmas, and gone berry crazy (frozen chocolate covered strawberries) in summer.

  70. Lucia Diaz says:

    I just started going to Trader Joe’s ever since my best friend mood near Trader Joe’s a live at least 40 minutes away from Trader Joe I tried a lot of different healthy food one was artichokes in a can I never ate artichokes I tried it because I read about artichokes is good for your liver it was so delicious I ate it off the jar or add into all my food like my vegetables scrambled eggs I also tried mushroom ravioli I also add artichokes in that as well I have a lot of different recipes he can’t go wrong appearance different food and season in your own kitchen.

  71. Sheri Elmont says:

    Loving these suggestions. My favorites list is long, but here are some highlights. Almond Butter Granola, (Made me stop making my own.) Almond Butter Almonds, great price on avocados, guacamole with yogurt-best eaten with corn chips, not the tortilla, egg nog, mayo, olives, tuna. Their tamales make a fast meal, just steam for 20 minutes. With TJ’s sour cream of course. As far as GF-all the bread and the cinnamon coffee muffins! Hopefully they will have their “Fox” tea, a harvesty flavor. I second the Brazilian cheese bread. And the cheese! Parmesan, blue cheese crumbles, and raw, oh my! Dark chocolate mint creams, and the Swimmers. Mint and Caramel Ice cream. So. Many. Favorite. Chips! I’ll stop now…

  72. Paula Reid says:

    In a plastic container in the produce department, there is mirepoix. It’s chopped celery, onion and carrot and saves a lot of time as a base for soups or stews. Also love the avocados and the Heavenly Tomatoes, bigger than a cherry tomato and such great flavor. In fall hopefully they will bring back the Pumpkin Pancake mix, it’s the best!

  73. Sarah says:

    My kids go crazy for the dried coconut sticks! I love the Zhoug sauce (in refrigerated section by the hummus) — super spicy and delicious in hummus, on cheese, to perk up beans and rice, etc. I can’t buy their cookies or cookie butter because I will eat them all immediately…
    Their organic dairy is the cheapest we can find in our area. And, I know this might be blasphemous, but we are instant coffee drinkers and their Instant Cold Brew is the best we’ve found!

  74. Lisa says:

    Nobody had mentioned the beauty Advent calendars! My teenage daughter and I look forward to sharing this each year. It’s under $20 and great to share and try all of the mini versions of their beauty products.

  75. Kristin says:

    Literally just got back from loading up on all their pumpkin items!!!! I love the everything seasoning, Almond Croissants in the frozen section, sparkling black tea with peach, tiny avocados, and cinnamon raisin bread!

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