31 of the Best Things to Buy at Trader Joe’s

Today’s the day! Here are the BEST things to buy at Trader Joe’s! 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 my secrets. So here we go…31 TJ’s products you can’t live without!

What to buy at Trader Joes:

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 only way to go.

Best things to buy at Trader Joe's from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

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

Best things to buy at Trader Joe's from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Dark Chocolate Caramel Balls!! 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,

Best things to buy at Trader Joe's from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Quinoa! I buy it in bulk because I go through about 1 bag a week!

Best things to buy at Trader Joe's from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

The organic frozen blueberry selection at TJ’s is fantastic. We go through 1 bag a day for our smoothies and these are reasonably prices and VERY delicious!

Best things to buy at Trader Joe's from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

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!

Best things to buy at Trader Joe's from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Chocolate Chips!! DUH! In case we need cookies, or banana bread, or melted chocolate… better to be safe than sorry!

Best things to buy at Trader Joe's from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

And the 1 lb chocolate bars! OMG these are actually incredible

Sometimes we need Mandarin Chicken for dinner that tastes like Panda Express without having to leave the house. No judgement here – I love this stuff!

Refried Beans. Mandatory for nachos!

Best things to buy at Trader Joe's from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Some of my favorite crackers ever – perfect for a cheese board! And way cheaper than the variety at Whole Foods.

Best things to buy at Trader Joe's from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

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!

Best things to buy at Trader Joe's from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

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

Cauliflower Gnocchi. I didn’t want to love it but I actually do!

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

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Chocolate Covered Grahams. I mean, enough said!

If you’ve never had Garlic Spread before… you’re missing out. It’s that dip they put on the side of every order when you go out for Lebanese food. It’s like the most pungent garlic sauce that you’ll want to slather on EVERYTHING.

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!

This is one of my fav nut butters because there is NO PALM OIL in it. Just the almonds. Perf for my morning smoothies!

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!

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.

Sea Salt Butterscotch Caramels!! These are hands down one of the best things to buy at Trader Joe’s. Great in cookies, brownies or just by the handful.

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!

Zhoug  Sauce. OMG this stuff is addicting. It’s great in addition to hummus, on top of protein, with veggies, mixed into quinoa extra. I am fully hooked.

Best things to buy at Trader Joe's from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

This Chili Onion Crunch is new and it’s VERY delicious when spooned over just about everything.

Best things to buy at Trader Joe's from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

What should I not buy at Trader Joes:

To be honest, I only buy a few kinds 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…)

What did I miss at Trader Joes:

What did I miss? Any of your favorites miss my list? Shout out your best things to buy at trader joe’s recs in the comments section so I can snag them and try them next time I pop in!

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241 comments

  1. Mary

    The maple butter is a fall favorite of mine, when I don’t want a pumpkin flavor anymore. Their burratta is delish. The tamari crackers and frozen rice are a buy for me every time. And the frozen fried rice!

  2. Nicole

    I recently bought the frozen chocolate croissants – you just set them on a baking sheet overnight and bake in the morning. I was really surprised at how delicious they were! Obviously can’t compete with my favorite bakery, but let me tell you it was a HUGE win during lockdown. And so good just to have on hand.

  3. Emily

    The organic medium salsa, tomatillo salsa, UNEXPECTED CHEDDAR, garlic naan crackers (holiday season), black truffle ketchup (summer season), Cacio e pepe ravioli, fiochetti, olive tapenade in the fridge section and the Artic Summer ginger lime seltzer’s are all amazing ☺️

  4. Julia

    My new favorite thing is the jicama wrappers! Great for low carb tacos or just snacking on them sprinkled with Tajin

    • Ilene

      Yes to this!! I’m obsessed with the jicama wraps right now. Perfect for taco night and a great replacement for lettuce in Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps. I’ll have to try the wraps with Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Seasoning…love this seasoning on my apples and pineapple!

  5. Monica Smith

    Not for you right now, but for your hubby or social distance entertaining, or gifts – you cannot miss the TJ Reserve Rose or Brut sparkling wine. It’s only available in November & December and sells out quick. $9.99 a bottle and made in California in the traditional methode Champenoise style. No joke, so good can’t miss!

  6. Katie

    Flowers!!!, organic bone in chicken( cheapest I’ve found) , mini ice cream cones( the only ones I can find with no nuts for my allergy kiddos), frozen chocolate croissants.

  7. MD

    Love your list, thanks! A few other items to try:
    -32 oz red or blue whole milk European style yogurt (I’ve heard and believe it’s from Straus)
    -mixed nut butter
    -steamed lentils, ready to eat (near the bagged lettuces) – cook w onion, coconut milk, jalapeño & lime juice for a super quick Caribbean-style lentil/curry-ish dish (or eat cold over Mediterranean salad, or Cook into Italian-style lentil soup…)
    -truffle potato chips (for when you can’t find Torres truffle chips – the best!)

  8. Holley Howell

    Huge TJ’s fan! I don’t know the exact name but in the frozen apps there are these little pastry cups with feta and caramelized onion that are so delicious. Also love the dark chocolate peanut butter cups.

  9. Kayla

    We are obsessed with their garlic olive oil and basically the apple smoked bacon is everything

  10. Jen

    Most of my favorites are on this list, but two more not to be missed – cocoa batons, and butter toffee pretzels. The latter are SO ADDICTING and amazing. I think they’re only available seasonally in the fall or winter.

  11. Sara

    I’m embarrassed at how obsessed I am with pumpkin brioche twist bread. It’s a must buy when I’m there!

  12. Hannah

    Their mini dark chocolate peanut cups are perfection! I have no self control with those things and I am not ashamed!!!

  13. Jennie

    I love a lot of those things but Spud Crunchies Potato Snacks are hands down my favorite thing. In the summer they have a seasonal ketchup flavor and don’t even start me on mixing them! Yum!

  14. Greer

    Love TJ’s! Chocolate covered peanut butter stuffed pretzels and English coastal cheddar cheese. So good!

  15. Susan R

    Maple butter!! It’s just pure maple syrup…I could drink it. It tastes like maple candy. So great on muffins

    • Tommisa Korszeniewski

      I love those… I like to eat them with avocado sprinkled with Tajin.

  16. Lois Redmond

    Tj Mayo in the glass jar is a must , ( blue and yellow label) chicken breakfast link sausage, everything but the bagel seasoning, jicama wraps …

  17. Michelle D.

    TJ’s creamy sesame salad dressing!! It is SO GOOD. Excellent over salads, salmon, rice bowls, or even on a spoon and straight into my gd mouth.

  18. Deborah

    Pumpkin Spice Coffee, Everything But Bagel Seasoning, Double Cream Brie Cheese, dark chocolate almond butter cups, I get about 10 of items you mentioned! Good taste!❤️

  19. Christine

    Probably so many other things, but the Thai Green Curry Simmer Sauce. Mix it with a can of coconut milk and vegetables and chicken/shrimp over rice/quinoa, it’s so tasty!

  20. Laura Sturgill

    Frozen chocolate & almond croissants! Dark chocolate ice cream! Ginger cookies. Hummus.

  21. Beth

    If you’re not eating the almond butter cups you’re not living. They’re shockingly superior to peanut butter cups. It’s jarring how good they are

  22. Tommisa Korszeniewski

    So you need to get the Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Pretzel Slims with crushed pumpkin spiced pumpkin seeds. It’s a limited time item so go out and get it.

  23. Terry Dakin

    Absolutely love Trader Joe’s sea salt and turbinado sugar dark chocolate almonds. My husband saw the 3 boxes stacked in the pantry and said what’s going on? I said Covid and I’m afraid they’ll run out Or stop carrying them! All summer we were eating TJ chicken Sicilian sausages (delish) but they stopped carrying them. So I am not taking any risks with these chocolates!

  24. Connie

    Omg, I can’t believe you left Trader Joe’s without grabbing a tub of TJ’s dunkers either chocolate dipped or plain with chocolate chips. Actually, both. It’s the reason to shop at Trader Joe’s! You’re welcome.

  25. Hayden B

    You’re not living until you try the Creamy Toscano Syrah-Soaked Cheese (purple rind) – this is the best cheese on the planet hands down & no lie. If you buy one thing on this list let it be that.

    Also: The Crispy Crunchy Mochi Rice Nuggets. The mini cones (Pumpkin is seasonal but any other flavor will do). Thai Red Curry in a bottle. Truffle potato chips & truffle marcona almonds. Dark chocolate/almond lace cookies. GF Cripsbread crackers.

  26. Palak & Pooja

    -Bomba sauce. For all things spicy Italian. —Olive tapenade + bomba sauce = best muffelatta
    -their sparkling seltzer’s! The lemon ginger one helps so much with nausea
    -elote seasoning!

  27. Ruth

    Most of my favs are on your list but I’d add their Peruvian Inca corn (like giant corn nuts, kale pesto – it’s so good and unique. These feta and caramelized onion pastry bites in the freezer section, tomatillo salsa in the fridge section, acerola, tumeric, or lemon ginger shots are a steal, cauliflower fried rice in the freezer section. So many more…

  28. Jai

    I use stuff from TJ’s when I need a quick and easy pre-made dinner. Some things I would recommend is the Tikka Vegetables (usually by soup & rice – I’ll add some chicken and serve over jasmine rice or mix it with their roasted pepper soup), frozen gyoza (my Japanese friends love them), frozen Japanese style fried rice (easy lunch or pair it with orange mandarin chicken), Mediterranean style hummus (I know you make TONS at home but this is my favorite store-bought), and multipurpose umami seasoning blend (amazing on chicken)

  29. Shelli

    Turkey Cranberry Apple Salad! Get it before it’s gone…only around until thxgiving. Also, their Raisin Bran cluster cereal. The BEST! Thx, Gaby, for your posts, recipes, books and IG live! You are a bright spot in this uncertain and dangerous time. Good luck to you and your hubby with your baby!!!

  30. Elise

    If you haven’t tried their Cowboy Caviar, you must!! It is my favorite item at TJ’s (beside the PB pretzels 🙂

  31. Rose

    The Pumpkin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds are AMAZING on a winter salad with cheese and apples!
    And a pantry staple is the shelf stable Whipping Cream.

  32. Katelyn

    5 seed almond bars! Going to try to recreate the recipe in the next couple of weeks. Obsessed.

  33. Carly

    Pepita salsa!! Best salsa in the game. Obviously with their blue tortilla chips.

  34. Tory

    The Mac n cheese in freezer is bomb also ours carries a danish cringle from Wisconsin that’s beyond and freezable! Oh and the chocolate croissants in freezer are amaze balls. Fried rice is really good too. And their tarts by freezer pizza. I like the prosciutto one and there’s a Gorgonzola one !

  35. Hayley

    So some things you missed that are MUST buys: cacio e pepe ravioli (I like to pan fry them, my husband just boils them which is also excellent), dark chocolate almond butter cups (don’t buy just 1, trust!), cauliflower thins (comes in 4 in the refrigerator section and great to make pizza, avocado toast, you name it), cowboy quinoa patties (pan fry these bad boys or put them in your air fryer, regardless, you won’t be sorry), cinnamon bun butter – omg, no seriously. So I use this in my challah but also used it as a hack to make monkey bread. I added about a tblspn or 2 butter and a little brown sugar and heated it in the microwave and it was unreal!

  36. Debbie

    Try the Cauliflower Jalapeño Dip in the fresh food section. It’s really good with raw veggies for a snack when you’re trying not to eat the chips in the pantry
    Also I use it as a sandwich spread.

  37. Megan

    The chili onion crunch is everything. But the Italian Bomba Hot Pepper Sauce is becoming a favorite quickly! The frozen almond croissants are a Sunday morning staple. I also love the mini brie bites, the beet crackers, and the garlic onion pistachios!

  38. Jessica Bernardo

    I’ll only mention what I didn’t already see in comments. Frozen falafel balls and mini biscottis!! And I don’t think you mentioned their big package of organic basil!! It’s perfect for making a big batch of your basil vinaigrette!! Now I’m hungry…..

  39. Abbe E

    DISCONTINUED- Dark Chocolate Caramel Balls

    my fav is Dark Chocolate Orange Sticks !!

  40. Susan

    I recently bought Trader Joe’s Pepita Salsa and basically went through a jar in a day. The cacio e pepe ravioli is really good too.

  41. Sukie Carpenter

    Love these recommendations from TJ’s! Gives me lots to add to my list. I happen to love a few things that are not on your list:
    Unepected Chedder Cheese (now it comes shredded as well)
    Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter (I like salted) Valencia
    Organic Vermont Maple Syrup, Bourbon Barrel Aged (THE BEST SYRUP!) – seasonal
    Pico De Gallo Salsa (fresh)
    Mediterranean Style Hummus