33 Things You Absolutely Need To Be Buying At Trader Joe’s

From drinks, to snacks, to dinner hacks, sauces, and everything in-between – these are the products I love right now at Trader Joe’s!

Trader Joe's products in a grid of images.

Trader Joe’s is one of the all-time great grocery fun-run stores!

Sure, you can buy great produce, milk and yogurt, pantry essentials, and normal practical things at Trader Joe’s.

But for this post I wanted to convince you to try some of these unique “fun run” items – the things that, if you’re making a special trip from out of town or stocking up on your quarterly trip, you should absolutely be buying here.

I split this post into three sections:

For a total of 33 items that deserve a spot on your shopping list!

If you love something that I didn’t mention here, let me know in the comments! I’m always eager to try the things that you all love and recommend.

1: Sodas – In Particular, Strawberry Or Watermelon Soda

Sparkling strawberry juice in a package.

Why I love it:

  • Made sweet with real fruit juice and no added sugar.
  • Taste is so nostalgic to me!
  • Perfect little skinny can size with just the right amount in each serving.

2: Nuts – In Particular, Chili Lime Cashews

Thai Lime and Chili Cashews in a bag.

Why I love it:

  • Tons (I mean tons) of seasoning!
  • A little spicy.
  • Great in a Thai-ish chopped salad (see here, and here).

3 – Unexpected Cheddar

Unexpected cheddar cheese.

Why I love it:

  • Tastes hard and salty and aged, like a Parm.
  • Eats really nicely with crackers.
  • A little slice melted over the air fryer chicken is *chef’s kiss* amazing.

4 – Frozen Roasted Corn

Roasted corn in a bag.

Why I love it:

  • It’s hard to find frozen corn that is *roasted*!
  • Only need a little bit in each recipe so the bag lasts forever.
  • Perfect in the red chile chicken taco corn dip topping (which, conveniently, is also great for eating with chips).

5 – Frozen Vegetable Fried Rice

Vegetable fried rice in a bag.

Why I love it:

  • Great basic meal starter that is, as advertised, ready in 5 minutes!
  • Plays really well with a shot of soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, some scrambled eggs or tofu, and a few more fresh veggies.
  • My kids love it!

6 – Frozen Chicken Wontons

Chicken cilantro mini wontons in a bag.

Why I love them:

  • These ones are mini-size which I absolutely love.
  • They’re deliciously chewy / tender and the chicken isn’t weird.
  • They are a must for saucy wontons.

7 – Frozen Brown Rice

Microwaveable brown rice in a box.

Several of you also recommended this and guess what? I LOVE IT. It’s a new staple for me – thanks for the recommendation! Why I love it:

  • It’s extremely convenient.
  • This is truly some of the only brown rice that I actually like – it is very soft and tender and eats more like a white rice!
  • Organic!

8 – Sea Salt and Turbinado Sugar Dark Chocolate Almonds

Sea salt turbinado dark chocolate almonds in a container.

Why I love these (and have loved them for years):

  • I think they also recently may have increased the amount of chocolate around each almond? They are hefty and chunky.
  • They are a perfect grab-a-handful-for-a-hit-of-chocolate moment.

9 – Sun Dried Tomato Focaccia

Roasted tomato focaccia bread in a bag.

Why I love this:

  • For this specific turkey sandwich.
  • It’s heavy and dense but also has a good amount of squish and bounciness to it? Is that possible?
  • The roasted tomato topping is elite.

10 – Everything Crackers

Everything but the bagel seasoned crackers in a box.

Why I love them:

  • They go with everything (get it?)
  • Such great texture.
  • My favorite is loading these bad boys up with the olive tapenade. I buy them specifically for that purpose.

11 – Multigrain Crackers

Multigrain crackers in a box.

Why I love them:

  • These are an actually delicious basic cracker.
  • They have sunflower, flax seeds, and other good stuff in them.
  • My girls love them and they make a perfect kid-friendly snack starter.

12 – Trail Mix Crackers

Trail mix crackers in a bag.

Why I love them:

  • They’re just fun.
  • They’re loaded with seeds, nuts, and dried fruits and they eat almost more like a buttery cookie but still salty?
  • They don’t need any toppings whatsoever (although these with a slice of Unexpected Cheddar is a next-level combo).

13 – Salt and Pepper Chips

Salt and pepper ridge cut potato chips in a bag.

Why I love them:

  • Salty, peppery, and max amount of textured ridges.
  • They make any sandwichy / grilled hot dog / burger meal feel just a little more special and fun.
  • Amazing with a creamy dip – like, dare I say, the bacon cheddar ranch dip!

14 – Dill Pickle Chips

Chips in a pickle dill pickled chips bag.

Why I love them:

  • Best dill pickle chips of all time.
  • Extra seasoned – like, TONS of dill pickle flavored powder on each chip.
  • Very substantially cronchy.

15 and 16 – Zhoug and Chimichurri

Containers of zhoug and chimichurri sauce.

Why I love them:

  • 99% of the time I don’t like pre-made herb sauces, but these are my two exceptions to the rule.
  • The chimichurri is more of a fresh and zingy herb sauce (yum)…
  • Whereas the zhoug has warmish spices and tends to be spicy (also yum).

17 – Olive Tapenade

Container of traditional olive tapenade.

Why I love it:

  • This is hands-down the best olive tapenade I’ve ever bought.
  • It’s not cluttered with any raw onions or anything else we don’t want in there. Just lots of olives, herbs, olive oil and little flecks of pimento.
  • It is SO DELICIOUS loaded onto those Everything crackers.

Serving size is 7, but it only takes me 2-3 passes at this to finish it all off myself. Woopsies.

17 – Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Container of roasted tomatillo salsa verde.

Why I love it:

  • Great as a salsa.
  • But also great as a semi-homemade sauce starter!
  • I like to whisk it with their mashed avocados to make an avocado-tomatillo sauce. Add a bit of extra salt, maybe some fresh garlic if you’re feeling sassy, and it’s an amazingly fast, actually good sauce shortcut.

18 – High Protein Tofu

Package of high protein organic super firm tofu.

Why I love it:

  • It doesn’t require much pressing.
  • It’s super high protein.
  • It’s my go-to tofu for Air Fryer Tofu!

19 – Non Alcoholic Beer

Package of non-alcoholic beer.

Why I love it:

  • It’s non-alcoholic!
  • It’s mild-tasting, wheaty and golden, and just really good.
  • Perfect end-of-night bev when you want to chill out without the alcohol.

And The Most Loved Products By Our Community On Instagram

Bag of brookie caramel candy clusters.

This is a list of a few products that didn’t make my best of list (and/or things I haven’t tried) but these were recommended over and over again by our community on Instagram!

  • Brookie clusters
  • Cinnamon Roll JoJos
  • Everything seasoning
  • Buffalo chicken dip
  • Elote chips
  • Frozen veggie birds nests
  • Dark chocolate peanut butter cups
  • Pizza crust
  • Kimbap / Gimbap
  • Scallion pancakes
  • Snacky clusters
  • Chili onion crisp
  • Cannoli dip

Don’t Hate Me – 3 Popular Items I Think You Can Skip

Orange Chicken

Why I DON’T love it:

  • The orange sauce is underwhelming. Too sweet, not enough contrast.
  • The fried chicken has dark meat. Not a fan.
  • The house always gets a weird smell when I make it.


Bag of bamba hazelnut snacks.

Why I DON’T love them:

  • Flavor is meh.
  • Texture is meh – very dissolve-y on impact.
  • Leaves a weird film in my mouth.

Cauliflower Gnocchi

Package of Trader Joe's cauliflower gnocchi.

Why I DON’T love it:

  • I used to love it… so, the potential is there, but maybe I overdid it and now I’ve ruined it for myself. (Also it’s easy enough to make my own!)
  • Smells and tastes a bit too watery and/or cauliflowery.
  • Never really something I look forward to eating.

Got anything to add? Give me all your best Trader Joe’s intel and I will note it for my next trip!


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