Coming at you with a SUPER serious post today. 😉 I’m rounding up the BEST Trader Joe’s purchases, in my opinion, that you NEED to try on your next TJ’s trip. I admit I was late to the Trader Joe’s game. I didn’t live in a city with a Trader Joe’s until I moved to D.C. in 2014. Now it’s a qualifier for any city that Michael and I are considering moving to … kidding, kind of. Thankfully there are two in Houston.
I’m sure you’re well aware that Trader Joe’s has somewhat of a cult following. They’re a unique grocer in that they mainly only carry their own brand. They carry a few other name brands throughout the store, but for the most part, everything is unique to Trader Joe’s.
Over the past six years I’ve definitely honed in on the best Trader Joe’s purchases. But they’re always releasing new, fun items throughout the year and around the holidays too. If I missed one of your favorites, drop it in the comments! I’m always down to try out new products!
The BEST Trader Joe’s Purchases
Let’s dive in!
Flowers, Plants, Produce
Flowers & Plants // When you walk in most Trader Joe’s, you’re greeted with fresh florals and plants. I LOVE Trader Joe’s flower selection. Of course it depends on what time of year you’re shopping but my go-to picks are roses, hydrangeas, and eucalyptus. TJ’s also has a great house plant selection. I have a monstera and aloe vera plant in my house right now that I scored at TJ’s as babies – they’re now pretty big house plants!
Local Produce // The produce section at Trader Joe’s is pretty standard, but one thing I really appreciate is the seasonally sourced local produce. For example, I scored the most beautiful heirloom tomatoes at our TJ’s a few weeks ago and Texas grown okra, field peas, and cucumbers too!
Cheeses & Dairy
Ok, here’s where it starts getting good!
Chevre with Honey Goat Cheese // I ALWAYS have this goat cheese on hand for weekend charcuterie plates. It’s creamy goat cheese but with a touch of honey. It’s divine.
Havarti Cheese with Dill // Another one of my favorite cheeses to add to my weekend charcuterie plates. If you’re a dill fan, you’ll love this cheese.
Greek Nonfat Yogurt // I’m a big fan of the large Nonfat Greek Yogurt at TJs. The consistency is on par and it’s great for granola bowls in the morning.
Greek Nonfat Yogurt Cups // I love the fruit flavored nonfat greek yogurt cups for afternoon snacks!
Organic Toasted Coconut Granola // My favorite granola. It has a subtle coconut flavor and is overall delish!
Rosemary Marcona Almonds // Another great addition to a charcuterie plate. These fancy nuts are always a crowd pleaser!
Bamba Peanut Snacks // Like puff cheetos, but instead of cheese, they taste like peanut butter. They’re addicting, but at only 99 cents a bag, it’s fine to snag a few bags each trip. 😉 I also love the simple ingredients in this snack: corn grits, peanut paste, palm oil, and salt.
Roasted Plantain Chips // Another addicting TJ’s snack food. I LOVE the roasted plantain chips! Again, with simple ingredients: plantains, sunflower oil, salt.
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups // My nightly treat! Way better than Reese’s. I keep ours in the fridge.
Popcorn in a Pickle // A new Trader Joe’s find! If you’re a pickle fan like me, you’ll love this pickle flavored popcorn!
Pretzel Slims // I love these crunchy snacks with hummus and cheese.
Sauces & Condiments
Garlic Chipotle Salsa // Hands down my favorite grocery store bought salsa. My favorite combo is this salsa with the plantain chips!
Organic Spicy Taco Sauce // A new find! Remember the Taco Bell sauce packets? This is exactly that sauce! But with all real ingredients.
Jalapeño Sauce // A green sauce that Michael is obsessed with. It’s really good on tacos and taco salads. It’s pretty spicy but adds a nice kick!
Enchilada Sauce // This enchilada sauce makes Mexican themed dinners so easy. I simply add it to shredded chicken, and it has enough flavor on it’s own to carry the chicken in enchiladas or taquitos.
Organic Kansas City BBQ Sauce // I always keep BBQ sauce on hand, especially since we got a grill. This is one of my favorite traditional style BBQ sauces.
Carolina Gold Barbeque Sauce // This gold BBQ sauce is so unique and delish! It’s a thinner consistency than the traditional BBQ sauce and as its name suggests, it’s yellow/gold in color. A mustard based BBQ sauce.
Dijon Mustard with White Wine // Another new-to-me find. I’ve never been a huge dijon mustard fan, but this mustard is fantastic! I’ve been adding it to shredded chicken for chicken salad sandwiches as lunch, and I’ve been using it in a handful of dinner recipes too!
Organic Coconut Aminos // A great alternative to soy sauce!
Sweet Chili Sauce // If you love Chinese takeout, you’ll love this sweet chili sauce! We most recently used it as a dipping sauce for this coconut popcorn chicken.
Creamy Almond Butter // I’m a creature of habit. I have this almond butter with an apple almost every single day. It’s comparable to Justin’s almond butter IMO.
Thai Style Red Curry Sauce // I love using this Thai curry sauce in this Thai chicken ramen recipe.
Masala Simmer Sauce // This masala simmer sauce is great paired with the Thai red curry sauce in this easy weeknight Tikka Masala recipe!
Seasonings & Baking
Everything But the Bagel Seasoning // Exactly what it sounds like! It’s the seasoning that’s on everything bagels! I love adding this seasoning to pizza, pasta, garlic bread, you name it!
Chile Lime Seasoning // This seasoning is a great addition to scrambled eggs and perfect for lining the rim of your spicy margarita!
BBQ Rub and Seasoning with Coffee & Garlic // A new TJ’s find. I recently used this to coat salmon before cooking in our air fryer. It turned out delicious!
Meyer Lemon Cake Mix // I always keep a box of this mix on hand. It’s great for a weekend treat or if you’re in a pinch and don’t want to show up at a friend’s house empty handed. It makes the perfect light, lemony cake.
Pumpkin Bread Mix (seasonal) // I know it’s fall when TJ’s stocks the pumpkin bread mix! There’s nothing better than popping this batter in the oven on Saturday morning while having College Game Day on in the fall.
Trader Joe’s has a robust frozen food section, but TBH, I’m not a huge frozen food fan. But I have a few standouts worth mentioning!
Cauliflower Gnocchi // SO GOOD. If you’re looking for a pasta alternative, you must try out the cauliflower gnocchi. Hot tip: Do not cook the gnocchi like the instructions say to – it will turn out sticky and mushy. Instead, either use a skillet or an air fryer. For the skillet, add a little bit of olive oil, throw in the gnocchi, add salt and pepper, and move the gnocchi around in the pan until crispy and brown on the outside. For the air fryer, pop the gnocchi in the basket, spray or drizzle olive oil on top and add salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown – you probably need to shake the basket around midway through to keep them from sticking to one another.
Frozen Organic Roasted Vegetable Pizza // When Michael is traveling a lot for work, I always keep these frozen pizzas on hand. They’re easy and actually really tasty!
Bertrand Cote des Roses Rosé // This rosé is pretty widely available, but it’s my favorite rosé, and it’s sold at Trader Joe’s. I always pick up a bottle!
Floriana Gruner Veltliner // An awesome, crisp white! Perfect for summer
El Castilla Syrah // This wine is only $7, and it’s AMAZING! TRUST ME!