31 Trader Joe’s Products You Can’t Live Without (updated)

My obsession with Trader Joe’s is REAL. I insta-story my way around the store on a fairly frequent basis and and it’s high time I spill all my secrets here too. So here we go…31 Trader Joe’s Products You Can’t Live Without…

(ps – quick side note – I buy very few pieces of produce from TJ’s because I find that it goes bad rather quickly! So I get produce from the farmers market and other stores. But TJ’s wins hands down for just about everything else…)

ONE MORE SIDE NOTE – if you have favorites that I missed, shout them out in the comments section so I can snag them and try them next time I pop in!

Greek Feta in the Brine. Trust me, this will change your life. You’ll be buying feta in the brine forever and ever – it’s the best.

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Port Salut – it’s the best soft and creamy cheese for your cheese boards!

Dark Chocolate Caramel Bars!! Actually, you probably shouldn’t get these if you don’t want to eat all of them in one sitting. Addictive doesn’t even come close to describing them,

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Mediterranean Hummus. Easily the best hummus TJ’s has to offer. It’s creamy, smooth and topped with some pine nuts and herbs! I like to stir in a teaspoon or so of fresh lemon juice to get it some extra pop!

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Pizza Dough! Because we can’t always be bothered to make it from scratch!

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Naturally we need Pizza Sauce for the pizza dough! Duh!

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Quinoa! I buy it in bulk because I go through about 1 bag a week! They also have red quinoa and tri-color quinoa… so feel free to go crazy and buy them all.

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I know I said I don’t buy produce at TJ’s but I make an exception for 2 things… one of which is avocados! I buy them when they are rock hard so they can ripen on my counter at home. And if you need to speed up the ripening process, throw them in a brown lunch bag with a banana! The gas from the banana speeds up the avocado ripening process.

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Chocolate Chips!! DUH! There are never less than 10 bags at my house at all times. In case we need cookies, or banana bread, or melted chocolate… better to be safe than sorry!

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These roasted red peppers are everything! Because you can use a jar and make this red pepper pasta in 10 minutes flat.

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Refried Beans. DUH!! Mandatory for nachos!

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Some of my favorite crackers ever – perfect for a cheese board!

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Easily the best blue corn tortilla chips on the market. The salt ratio is spot on

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THIS Dark Chocolate Bar is basically everything you need in life!

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The other produce exception I make at TJ’s is their Broccolini! Mostly because I eat about a pound of it daily and I use it up so quickly!

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Cauliflower Pizza Crust! It took me a while to get on the cauliflower pizza train but I’m into it!

TJ’s has the best nuts at super reasonable prices! Their coconut cashews are my go-to 3pm snack!

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Tomato Sauce. For when you just can’t bother to make a complicated dinner and whip up a chicken bolognese!

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Chocolate Covered Grahams. I mean, enough said!

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Balsamic Glaze!! Mandatory for a caprese salad!

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Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels. Literally my husbands life line.

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Quick cooking farro – because with this dinner can be ready in 10 minutes plus a little prep time.

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These savory thin mini crackers are THE BEST for dipping in hummus and my homemade tzatziki!

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Coconut Milk!!! Because sometimes you gotta make a coconut curry!

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Prosciutto – cause we need this for cheese boards!

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Fresh Mozzarella. No explanation needed.

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THIS is easily one of my favorite vinegars ever. It makes a killer salad dressing!

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Don’t tell anyone but sometimes I buy this spinach artichoke dip when I’m too lazy to make it from scratch and claim that it’s homemade. IT’S SO GOOD!   IMG_9411

Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds. Go-to car food. Also are you noticing a theme? Anything covered with dark chocolate is fair game.

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and lastly…. Roasted Corn!!! Use it in all of your recipes that call for corn. It’s loaded with flavor from fire roasting and I want it all day, every day!

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82 Comments

  1. I love to see other people’s Trader Joe’s lists! How have I missed the fig and olive crisps? I need to try those. I always pick up a bag of limes when I zip through the produce section. One of my favorite indulgences are the frozen chocolate pastries, You let them proof overnight and then bake them. They are perfect for lazy Sunday mornings.

  2. I live in Germany and I am obsessed with visiting grocery stores in other countries. Will be spending two weeks in LA in January and so much looking to stroll the aisles at TJs. Thanks for your list, will keep that in mind!

  3. TJ Fig Butter – put some with a charcuterie board, Ah-mazing. Also use as a pork tenderloin glaze (mix with Balsamic vinegar).
    Frozen Potstickers – super easy meal with rice and their orange chicken (also frozen) – better than take-out.

  4. The relatively new garlic spread is amaze-balls! Also the Chicago Style popcorn (caramel & cheddar popcorn) is CRACK addicting!!

  5. I don’t buy produce from TJs for the same reason but I have been OBSESSED with the bagged shishito peppers lately and just cooking them with olive oil and sea salt. Also, the refrigerator section olive tapenade (there’s one in a jar I haven’t tried) is a charcuterie board staple for me along with the fig butter and Le Délice de Bourgogne triple cream cheese.

  6. I love the frozen açaí packets for smoothies! Also their unexpected cheddar cheese is my absolute favorite.

  7. LOVE Trader Joes! A few favorites include:
    – Any of their popcorns, but especially the olive oil popcorn and the herb popcorn
    – Their dried fruit (unsweetened mango and unsulphured apricots in particular)
    – Trail mix
    – Frozen pork gyoza
    – Their salsas- haven’t had a bad one yet!
    – Their coffee. We’re total coffee snobs and still prefer TJ’s to most local coffee shops. Cheap, fair trade, delicious.
    – Dark chocolate covered pretzels
    – Ginger chews- a blessing for me since I have tons of GI issues
    – Cruciferous crunch mixed with their peanut dressing
    – I agree with others who mentioned the pre-cooked lentils mixed with bruschetta and feta. SO GOOD.
    – Excellent prices on grains- quick cooking farro, quinoa, pasta, etc.
    – Pizza dough

  8. Buy the frozen almond croissants, let them sit on a baking sheet lined with parchment overnight and bake at 350 for 20 minutes…..they triple in size overnight so leave enough room between them. Better than a French bakery!!!!!! Serve with quiche and strawberries for a delicious brunch.

  9. I love their guacamole and mild salsa. Whenever I buy avocados from there, they are ALWAYS stringy. Not sure what causes that so I don’t buy those from there. (Weird strings grow inside the avocado) Thanks for your post!

  10. You really need to try TJ’s 73% dark belgian covered almonds, don’t think you’ll ever go back to the regular ones!

  11. Bag of dark chocolate chunks for making cookies. My husband likes the dried ginger for his hot tea. Sumatra Fair trade coffee beans, steel cut oats, potato chips with olive oil, frozen chimichurri rice (I add extra white or brown cooked rice as there is more than enough sauce)

  12. I live near a great (East Coast) farmers’ market, where I, too, buy most of my produce. But I highly recommend Trader Joe’s belgian endive (spoon boursin cheese onto separated leaves for the best, easiest appetizer I know), small persian cucumbers (perfect for refrigerator pickles), leeks (already cleaned and ready to use), bags of lemons and limes (always better quality and at a better price than my local super market’s), and, in season, unusual varieties of figs and apples.
    And I never leave my Trader Joe’s without crumpets, hand-made flour tortillas, brioche, marcona almonds with rosemary, praline pecans, pistachios, cheddar cheese with carmelized onion, salmon dip, and pre-cooked pork belly (just brown until crisp for fabulous tacos, chili, etc.). And it can’t be beat for wine prices.

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