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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158 comments

  1. Shelley

    I like having a couple of their shelf stable whipping creams in my pantry too Great for when you have a recipe calling for cream and you don’t have any in the fridge.

  2. libby

    you forgot dark choc pb kids. easily the most addicting (in my opinion) at TJ!

    • Laura

      Just got those for the first time and I wish I had purchased more than one because they are amazing!!!!

    • Ellen Whitney

      I love these too! Must be an Ellen thing 😉

    • Rachel

      I second this – hands down my favorite Trader Joe’s product! Closely followed by the flavored tofu (to cut up and put in salads) and frozen fruit (so much less expensive and perfect for smoothies), healthy fruit rolls for the kids and small Persian cucumbers (otherwise I don’t buy produce there normally either).

  3. Kise

    Have you had the chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzels, they are so so so good! My favorite thing there by far!

    • Gaby

      yaaaaaassssssssssss omg I can’t believe I forgot to include those

  4. Kaia Brown

    There sweet potato chips are everything! I serve them with a roasted kale and garlic guacamole. Life changing!

  5. colleen

    try the dark chocolate covered slim pretzels. In a purple bag. so good.

  6. Molly

    I can’t believe speculoos cookie butter didn’t make this list, it’s so good if you haven’t tried it! I also love the frozen brown rice – a package comes with 3 bags and they take 3 minutes to heat up in the microwave!

    • Connie

      I have given the cookie butter as Christmas presents! It really is that good!

  7. RossC

    I’m a big fan of TJ’s… Your selection has a few I’ve missed and must try..
    One product I’ve discovered is the Organic Corn Chip Dippers… A guilty pleasure I try not to overdo but, as good as the brand name ones I used to eat way too much of.. :O)

  8. Steffany

    I love this list, can’t get enough TJ’s! The unsweetened, dried pineapple is a great snack, the chocolate peanut butter cups are better than Reese’s and you can find a lot of different cheeses at really reasonable prices.

  9. Lauren

    I love love love there sweet chili sauce. We out it on everything… Salmon, po boys, stir fry.. The list goes on. It’s a must!

  10. Alexx

    I love how I enjoy every product you said were a must. I agree. I haven’t made or used or even eaten “Faro” excited to try it. You are awesome for doing this. You rock!!!

  11. Yolanda Staff

    Don’t forget the TJ Almond butter, can’t beat the price or selection.

    Also love their fresh and frozen cauliflower we rice

  12. Heather

    Coconut oil, roasted coconut chips (such a great snack- not too sweet with a little salt) and balsamic vinegar -acento Balsamic di moderna. The homemade flour tortillas are delicious as are the wheat corn tortillas. Greeting cards are adorable (and cheap) too.

  13. TraciB.

    I love their TJ’s Fat Free Balsamic Vinaigrette and Fat Free Sesame-Ginger Vinaigrette, plus the Beet Chips and Peach-Mango Salsa from the shelves. From the frozen section, their Meatless Meatballs, Quartered Artichoke Hearts, Pearl Onions and Riced Cauliflower. From the refrigerated meat case, their packages of 4 individually cryovacted grilled chicken breasts (they keep for weeks for those days when you want a single grilled chicken breast for whatever reason and they are SO juicy). From the produce section, I love their packages of two fennel bulbs! They keep forever and are the best price for nice size fennel compared to any other stores in my market!!!

  14. Danielle

    Dark chocolate covered cookie butter! I had to give up eating cookie butter straight out of the jar, so the bars are my go-to when I need a fix!

  15. Lynda Harpe

    Sun dried tomatoes in olive oil are the bomb! I have them on pasta, no other sauce needed.

  16. Amanda

    I have a container of TJ’s mini peanut butter cups in my fridge at ALL times.

  17. Hilary Clark

    Kale and artichoke Greek yogurt dip!
    The dark chocolate covered almonds but WITH SEA SALT!
    Cauliflower rice!

  18. Lily

    +1 for the fennel – one of only 2 things I buy in the produce section (the other is the green onions package – keeps a long time). I would also highly recommend both the frozen artichoke hearts and ‘hearts in olive oil. Also in the condiment section are my favorite find by far, the Hot and Sweet Cherry Peppers. They are great on salads and sandwiches and make a quick appetizer stuffed with a cube of parm wrapped in a thin strip of salami. 🙂 Lots of great cheeses and in the meats section I always get the little container of chopped uncooked pancetta for boosting pasta and soup. Thanks for the post! Can you tell I love this kind of stuff?!

  19. lynn @ the actor’s diet

    WHAT I did not know they carry Kombucha now! I can’t live without my Ginger Chews – I’ve estimated that I’ve eaten probably around 15K of them in the last decade.

  20. Janet O.

    The boxed frozen jasmine rice! Cooks perfectly in 3 minutes. Mini peanut butter cups, vegetable fried rice, Hatch chili macaroni & cheese, salsa verde, I could go on and on lol! love the Traders!

  21. Jasmine

    Black Bean and Quinoa Chips are a must try, so flavorful! Also love their Smoked Gouda Cheese, literally the creamiest Gouda ever (pair with prosciutto for the best grilled cheese sandwich EVER). Obsessed with their frozen mini beef tacos and steamed chicken soup dumplings (which taste just like the real thing). Their fresh squeezed orange juice and tangerine juice are the cheapest around and legit so fresh.

    Not food related but their French Liquid Orange Blossom Hand Soap is amazing..

  22. Tracy

    dude. their corn chips are amazing. the scooper ones that are like fritos! The Cheese Puffs are Casey life line.

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  24. The Wooden Spoon

    You literally tagged all of my favorite things! That is the best TJ’s feta and the hummus is SO good!

  25. Marcy

    I love their almond croissants and hot and sweet jalapeños (these are new)! Fig and honey goat cheese is fabulous, even though I settled for jalapeño and honey yesterday (have yet to try it). I always get a basil plant while I am there, it seems to last awhile for me and the price is great.

    • Marcy

      I just tried the Honey jalapeno goat cheese. Amazing! I slathered a little on the Ghost pepper chips (I did not think that they were that hot) and warmed them up in the microwave. It gives the chips a creamy zip and tastes fabulous. The honey jalapeno goat cheese is good on peaches too!

  26. Ellen Whitney

    Cookie butter! chocolate cookie butter! Dark chocolate cookie butter cups! …yes, all things cookie butter. And some honey sesame sticks because sweet + salty never gets old!

  27. Nora Head

    My 91 year old mother is obsessed with TJ Gorgonzola crackers! Always within reach of her hand and she travels with them as well!

  28. CJ

    Thanks for sharing this. I am a big TJ fan as well, but I discovered so new things with your post and everyone’s favorites. The only thing not mentioned that I like are the green tea breath mints.

  29. Connie Breen

    Try the TJ’s Hatch Chile Mac & Cheese with Roasted Chiles from Hatch, New Mexico. So creamy and full of great flavor. I’m obsessed. I eat it for breakfast sometimes!
    I also buy the frozen Organic French Green Beans and Blueberries to put as a topper for my two fur babies dog food.

  30. Amy

    Love the list – it’s inspired my next blog: what to shop and have as staple items in your pantry!
    A few other must have for me from Trader Joe’s:
    1. Organic Chia Seeds – I add them to oatmeal, my muesli, and yogurt
    2. Organic Unsweetened Flake Coconut – good to have around for baking. Most recently added into my muesli.
    3. Freeze Dried Strawberries (or whatever fruit): just added this to my muesli as well (wouldn’t say it’s a must have, but they are cheaper at TJ’s)
    4. Organic Tahini – it was a new item a month or so ago, gotta try it, but the price was spot on.
    5. Creamy Almond Butter – price is right and a must have for me as a vegetarian protein source.
    6. NUTS – you said it – best assortment around. I load up every time I go.
    7. Toasted Sesame Oil – good price and flavor
    8. AkMak crackers – my local grocery store doesn’t have these, but they’re a whole grain cracker that’s packed with flavor. LOVE them.
    9. Goat Cheese Log – I made an herb crusted goat cheese and am now obsessed.
    10. BURRATA – I’m pretty sure I’m obsessed with burrata as well. The tomato peach panzanella was SO delish.

  31. Kiki

    Can’t believe nobody has mentioned their roasted plantains ( found in chip isle). The best!

  32. Amanda

    Gotta love all things Trader Joes! Those peanut butter pretzels are seriously dangerous. Next time try the 5 seed almond bars – they sound lame but are totally delicious.

  33. Tammy

    My life-changing and dangerous obsession…their Kona coffee shortbread biscuits….HEAVEN for those who love coffee and shortbread!!!!

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  35. HW

    I love all those and you should also try their Kale pre packaged salad, the Fire RoastedVegetables ,Curry Chicken tenders, and their Greek Yogurts

  36. heather (delicious not gorgeous)

    a little late to the party! i love so many of the already mentioned items, but also love:
    coffee ice cream (idk how much of it i’ve eaten while watching “grey’s” re-reruns)
    pound plus bittersweet chocolate (i use this in basically all of my baking)
    frozen chicken gyozas (such a quick lunch!)
    frozen vanilla and chocolate macarons (better than the colorful ones)
    peppermint joe joe’s (only during winter! i stock up usually)
    belgian waffle cookies

  37. Sarah | Broma Bakery

    Dude their black tortilla chips are unreal. As are those chocolate caramels!! Love that you did this 🙂

  38. Ttrockwood

    – try the burrata instead of mozzarella next time
    – the frozen meatless balls are a staple for me, really delicious in everything from pasta to soups to chopped and sauteed for tacos
    – chocolate coconut milk ice cream
    – soyaki sauce (sesame soy teriyaki) is a great marinade for about anything
    – cruciferous crunch greens mix, perfect sauteed for a quick side
    – triple ginger snaps, maybe the best cookie ever made

  39. Laura

    I’m so delayed in responding to this post (I have a newborn!) – but I love it all. I didn’t read thru all these comments (I must tho for other great ideas!), but wanted to mention the gone bananas. I’m sure someone else has noted them in this section. They are these heavenly sliced frozen banana discs covered in chocolate. You can find it next to the Mochi! Delicious 🙂

  40. Carlos Vazquez

    All of that looks really good, except I prefer to make my own hummus.

  41. Maggie

    Love this! Regarding that frozen spinach dip…I love to cook, but TJ’s frozen foods are the bomb. I love the gnocchi and orange chicken!

  42. Susan

    Oven baked cheese bites
    Gluten free ginger cookies (not a gf person, but they are fab)