21 Trader Joe's must-have grocery items

I consider myself somewhat of a Trader Joe’s connoisseur. I almost shop exclusively there and for many good reason. The primary being pricing, produce and unique products or dinner hacks that simplify my life during the work week. You can find healthy, gluten free, organic product at TJ’s no different than anywhere else.

I’ve been receiving lots of inquires lately regarding my favorite products so here goes nothing. Now these are the product I buy ritually but there is ALWAYS something new on the shelf. Overall, I like most new product launches and I am constantly trying to find a unique spin or recipe that my family will enjoy. Preparation time is key!

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Let’s start with the staples:

  1. Sparkling Coconut Water with Yuzu: A great alternative to plain water which I have to choke down. Also a nice alternative to La Croix and not to sweet. My only complaint is that I wish the package quantity was more.

  2. Honey Crisp Apple Chips: A healthy snack that feels indulgent. We’re a family that likes texture and crunch except I don’t have to feel bad about giving this to my kids.

  3. Organic Cranberry Apple Kombucha: I like their house brand kombucha over most mainstream types. This flavor is a Fall limited edition hence I buy in two’s. It’s so crisp!

  4. Everything But the Bagel Seasoning: I put this shit on everything. Pairs best with avocado, tomatoes, green beans…honestly, the name is says it all. Packed with flavor; not carbs.

  5. Mandarin Orange Chicken: This is somewhat of a cult favorite and new to our family. It’s so damn good and super quick to make. I usually make their 10-minute faro and serve the chicken atop. My kids beg for this.

  6. Chile Lime Seasoning: This is a flavor punch. My favorite trick is to sprinkle it on mango slices or watermelon. It tastes like authentic Mexican seasoning. It’s delicious on meats, tacos and so much more.

  7. Albacore Tuna: When I work from home, I serve a can atop fresh TJ's arugula with tomato and their champagne vinagarette. It’s delicious and guilt free. No midday slump. Get the tuna packed with olive oil.

  8. Peruvian Inca Corn: If you follow my IG stories, you know this is like crack to me. It’s the loudest snack you’ll ever eat but it’s crunchy, salty and satisfying. I’m actually pissed because they were out on Sunday and I usually buy two bags.

  9. Curried Chicken Salad: This is a less expensive version of what you can find at Whole Foods. Tiny hints of curry, carrots, shallots and generous heaps of chicken make this a great spread on a slide of gluten free toast. It’s not strong, just right!

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Hungry yet? I have more:

  1. Kale + Edamame Salad: My pre-made salad of choice. The dressing is phenomenal but light and it’s packed with super food veggies. Always fresh and lots of texture due to the kale base.

  2. Mexican Style Roasted Corn: This is also a new favorite. You pan fry it for about six minutes and it’s ready to rock. It comes with a packet of cotija cheese but I usually skip it because my kids like it as is. I usually serve this with their Carne Asada down below. It’s pre-grilled corn, onions and peppers. Great week night staple!

  3. Cauliflower Gnocchi: The hype is real on this item. It’s phenomenal. But be careful how you prep. My TJ’s gave me a tip…brown the gnocchi <no water> in a pan with a bit of butter or the fat of your choice. Takes about six minutes <everything takes six minutes to prepare!> and it’s the perfect autumnal pasta indulgence except not. They just came out with a sweet potato one as well. This is a 5-star product!

  4. English Crumpets: Easy breakfast hack. Cholesterol and fat free, I pop them in the toaster and add a smear of TJ cinnamon brown butter spread and my kids are thrilled. It has a sourdough taste and is the perfect, cozy, school breakfast.

  5. Shishito Peppers: I love these because they are not spicy but just kick-y. I pan sear them with Everything But the Bagel seasoning and a bit of avocado oil. That’s all you need. Quick way to add color and greens to your meal. I could snack on these.

  6. Almond Butter Coconut Greek Yogurt: The flavor is so creamy and a great way to get your protein in. My girls love this yogurt and it’s a great price when matched against Fagé or Chobani.

  7. Autumnal Harvest Creamy Tomato Sauce: Oh my god! I buy this in bulk because it’s seasonal and there’s nothing bad about this. I pair this with zoodles, which I also buy at TJ’s, and it’s phenomenal. I pour it on green beans, fish…you name it. It’s fantastic!

  8. 10 Minute Farro: Another dinner hack! Balsamti and quinoas usually take 25+ minutes and I am usually behind on dinner prep. This is a great alternative! We love the nuttiness of it and we can still get a grain in. It’s gluten free, too and everyone loves it. Not just me pushing my agenda.

  9. Pumpkin Spice Almond Beverage: I was really reluctant but gave it a whirl after I saw my gf rave about it on Insta. I hate PSL’s but this is almond milk and very subtle. Again, another seasonal beverage but I love it. I pour it in my coffee and it feels so guilty pleasure but not. It’s creamy and cozy. They have other flavor profiles, too but I am loving this one while it lasts.

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Last but not least:

  1. Korean Short Ribs: Whoa. Jack introduced these to me when we started dating. Grill ‘em up and add a TJ broccoli slaw. Damn. Instant dinner and the marinade is outta this world.

  2. TJ’s Gluten Free Bread: Better than Udi’s, Ezekiel…you name it. Perfect little portion size and all it needs is a schmear of avocado with Everything But the Bagel seasoning. Hot damn and you’re welcome. Great for hot/cold sandwiches, too. My kids really enjoy the texture, too.

  3. Carne Asada: This is a wonderful option to grill or bake. I usually throw everything in the oven when Jack is not around. Slice it really thin alongside some shishito peppers and grab a handful of corn tortillas. Dinner is served. I also recommend snagging TJ’s fresh salsa. So bueno!

That completes Round 1 of TJ faves. What did I miss? Leave a note in the comments!