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

    • Liron

      Love the rice
      Don’t care much for TJ’s. Orange chicken though.

  1. Laura (Untwisted Vintage)

    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.

    • Nicole J. Johnson

      Omgooodness!! I purchased them just to try thinking I’d be throwing them away. I sat here and before I knew it with absolutely nothing else ate the entire box. The first through 5 you’re like ehhh hmmm next thing an empty box lol

    • Alyssa Tierney

      The raisin rosemary crisps are awesome with a bit of cream cheese on them!

  2. Catharina

    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. Teresa

    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. Gena Gonzales

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

  5. Carmen

    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. Claire

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

    • Jannell

      I love all of the pumpkin products that they have. The pumpkin butter is perfect just the right amount of sweetness.

  7. Hilary

    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. Pam C.

    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. Molly

    Two things you NEED:

    -Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds w/ Sea Salt and Turbinado Sugar
    -Truffle Marcona Almonds

    Will change your life forever.

    Let me know what you think!

  10. Lori Bit

    Multigrain blend with vegetables in the frozen section. Yummy and easy to eat well!

  11. Wendy McConnell

    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!

  12. Martha

    Dark Chocolate Nutty Bits – they come in a small bag. Warning: they are addictive!

    • Susan Foster

      The cinnamon roll wreath (frozen) is a Christmas must! I always peruse the flowers and plants, because why not treat myself at those prices? I love their triple cream Brie (check the date), and they carry Boursin cheese at a good price.

  13. Donna

    THE best ice cream ever!!! They have limited flavors, but they have the best mint chip, chocolate, coffee and let’s not forget cookie butter!!!
    This doesn’t fall under the food category, but their soaps are fantastic ….lavender, oatmeal, verbena. Love them.

  14. mary beth

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

  15. Sabine Walter

    Purple carrot juice! It’s organic and soooo good when sipped out of a wine glass! I also love the fresh edamame beans, the Persian cucumbers, goat yoghurt (to top my spicy lentils with), and lotsa cheese– especially goat.They have a lot more choices than others and they are actually not as pricy!

  16. Sandy Taylor

    Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Raisin Bread is so good. I buy several loaves at a time and freeze them.

  17. Danita

    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)

  18. Brittney

    I just moved into a new apartment and TJs is downstairs so this is very timely! Here are some faves:
    -Frozen Gorgonzola Gnocchi- perfect for a quick meal. great with peas or broccoli added in and fresh ground black pepper
    -unsulphered dried apricots
    -Mini Brie bites – 70 cals each, so yummy for a Brie fix
    -rosemary and raisin crisps (great with the Brie!)
    -Single serve packets of manzanilla olives
    -frozen garlic naan – so good toasted with butter
    -gluten free oats – the BEST
    – half salt almonds ( love all of the trail mixes and nuts)
    – mini peanut butter cups – both the milk and dark- soooo addictive and so good
    – mini sheet cake – chocolate with chocolate ganache buttercream icing ( this was the biggest mistake ever to buy because it is literally so good I have to talk myself out of getting it every time)

  19. Veronica

    Trader Joe’s Coffee Bean Blast Ice Cream – best coffee ice cream out there!!!

  20. gagibson

    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.

  21. Amber

    Do you have this list of items in a printable format? Much love to WGC from Nebraska 🙂

  22. Lauri Shifman

    Trader Joes Fresh Bruschetta in the refrigerated section! I love it on so many different things – vegetables, chicken, salmon etc! Rather low in calories too!

    Corn Salsa in a bottle, again it can be used on so many different foods. I love it on salmon and also sometimes use in my guacamole! Great to keep in the house for those unexpected appetizer parties!

    • Candie

      The $0.99 cards – quality for price cannot be beat anywhere. Buy a big pile and never not have the perfect card on hand again! While your at it grab a box Pink and Whites cookies to munch on while you enjoy TJ coffee. I’m from Alaska so don’t get to go often enough but always shop there if I’m close.

  23. Cheryl

    Salted Carmel ice cream and panko bread crumbs. Avoid most of the produce too, but l do buy their lemons, limes, and avocados.

  24. Link Lovin' | The English Room

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  25. Lea Schor

    I love their bagged brussels sprouts. They are chopped up enevenly so when you sauté them in olive oil some of them get charred. My family loves Brussels sprouts but I hate prepping them. This is so easy and quick to cook since they are small pieces. It makes a sort of hash? They don’t always have them, but when they do, you should try them!

  26. Gail

    Love Trader Joe’s! I always pick up snacks for my grandkids, they adore the hummus (especially Rachel)

  27. Cathleen Hardisty

    What happened to the season lamb chops.? Boy they were absolutely fabulous. I am sooooo sad.

  28. Rob Dee

    I love Trader Joe’s.. Their raisin bread, cornbread mix and frozen meatballs are terrific. We also buy their breaded eggplant patties, meat lasagna, potato salad and dry cereals.
    The one item we purchased recently which was HORRIBLE was their frozen turkey burgers. They were so rubbery and had a nasty taste.

  29. Janet Hughes

    I haven’t noticed anyone mention the Kalamata olive oil. I always have an extra bottle in the pantry so I don’t run out. The fresh English peas are awesome and always added to the Basmati rice medley which is always on my list. I have to add that a trip to Trader Joe’s always includes flowers !! Oh, and don’t forget the 1 lb chocolate bars @ $5.00 !!

  30. JN

    Trader Joe’s is Now Available ONLINE!! Traderjoesonline.com
    I always send Trader Joe’s products to my relatives who don’t live near one and now they can order online and not wait for me. Thought I would share the good news…

  31. Katy Lopez

    -Cowboy Caviar – great with the blue tortilla chips
    -Vegetable Fried Rice in the frozen section is a great quick meal. Bonus if you pick up a rotisserie chicken and add some to the cooked rice. I do add a tad of soy sauce and sometimes some frozen peas and roasted corn to add more veggies.
    -Balsamic Fig Salad Dressing
    -Thai Peanut Salad Dressing (refrigerated in the produce section)
    -Yogurt Smoothie drinks are great for kids
    -Brioche Sliced Bread is perfect for French Toast
    -Thai Chili and Lime Cashews/Almonds are both great chopped up as salad toppers for crunch without crutons
    -The dried Blueberries are so good on a kale salad with toasted almonds and crumbled feta
    -Dried Mango with Chili and Lime, great for snacking
    -Gluten Free Everything Bagels are so good, won’t even know they are gluten free

  32. Anne

    Yikes, they discontinued the orange champagne vinegar….and the California olive oil, it was one of our faves?!

  33. Marla Tracy

    I love so many TJ products but I am missing the TJ brand of ginger pear tea bags! Will they (please oh please) come back soon? It’s my very favorite tea!

  34. Terry Fest

    FROM TRADER JOES: Dark Chocolate Wedges 73% chocolate in round tins by checkout Belgian Cacoa. TO DIE FOR AND GREAT IN THE PURSE
    1. For laundry – sorry but it is a real activity – lavendar pack of softener packets
    2. sponges – the little gold packets that are flat til they are hit with water….
    3. FROZEN organic rice – so helpful when in a hurry for breakfast or lunch
    4. Other marinara sauce in large green can – trader Joe’s is the absolute best

  35. Andrea D Wiener

    let’s see – i like the TJ’s Almond Butter (and the Tahini Butter), their greens are really good, their riced cauliflower (new item) is really good (and VERY reasonably-priced) – and their gluten-free brown rice penne pasta – the BEST!!

  36. Lauren Kowaleski

    Unexpected cheddar! Truffle Brie around the holidays. Pita crackers. Their frozen vegetable fried rice (goes well with the mandarin chicken). Heirloom navel oranges (in season- usually January??) I buy four bags at a time. Their ‘ultimate’ ice cream flavors.

  37. Alyssa Tierney

    My most recent discovery is the corn & chile tomatoe-less salsa – it’s in a jar. Put it over goat cheese and then sprinkle some diced avacado on top – it’s a crowd pleaser.