I have to admit I’ve been looking forward to writing this post for a WHILE…and now that we finally have a Trader Joe’s, I could hardly wait to share some of my Trader Joe’s favorites with you guys!
If you’re fortunate enough to live near a TJ’s, you probably know how awesome it is. Everything from the quality to the atmosphere, the cute packaging, friendly employees and more make shopping at Trader Joe’s an experience rather than a chore. It also doesn’t hurt that prices are competitive and many options are healthy and organic. Below, I’ll break down my picks from each category and then you can actually download a printable version of my Trader Joe’s favorites to take with you on your next shopping trip!
Trader Joe’s Produce Favorites
I usually buy frozen riced cauliflower, but I really like the fresh version at TJ’s and you can always freeze it for later if you aren’t ready to use it. In general, the fresh produce here is superior to most stores and I buy certain things like grapes, strawberries, carrots, and cauliflower on the regular. The butternut squash zigzags are a good lower carb french fry alternative (though they don’t get quite as crispy) and I love the mini avocados. Buy them while they’re still green and then store them in the fridge once they start ripening to make them last longer!
Trader Joe’s Frozen Favorites
Many people will tell you that the frozen food section is why they shop at Trader Joe’s and I can’t disagree. We don’t eat a lot of frozen food, but what I love about TJ’s is that their options tend to be healthier so if you are looking for a convenience food, this is the place to get it. I usually make my own cauliflower pizza crust, but I like having a TJ’s butternut squash crust on hand in a pinch. The cauliflower gnocchi is amazing, especially if you avoid grains like me and miss certain foods. The frozen veggie selection is the best – I love the asparagus, zucchini and carrot spirals (pasta alternative), rainbow cauliflower, riced cauliflower and mixed bell peppers. The microwaveable brown rice was our go-to for a long time and I keep it on hand for an occasional side dish (since we don’t eat grains that often). The Chili Lime Chicken Burgers are one of my newer Trader Joe’s favorites but I love that they are Whole30 compliant – I will prep one for a quick lunch protein on weekdays. For more indulgent options, the Mandarin Orange Chicken is an easy Asian-inspired dinner, the sweet potato fries are amazing and the French Macarons are a good thing to have on hand for entertaining.
Trader Joe’s Refrigerated Favorites
Another section with lots of good finds! If you’re into cheese, Trader Joe’s has an amazing selection and would be perfect for putting together a gorgeous cheese board. Since I don’t eat dairy, I don’t get to appreciate the Trader Joe’s refrigerated section fully! My husband has a few favorites, like the smoked gouda (which I have had before going dairy-free and can say it’s simply amazing), cheese tortellini and the pumpkin Greek yogurt. I really like the variety of hummus options, the vegan pesto, vegan mozzarella shreds, smoked apple chicken sausage (great easy dinner!), ground turkey, tofu and almond milk.
Trader Joe’s Pantry Favorites
If I had to choose, I think this would be my favorite section – especially when it comes to finding more unique options. One of my absolute Trader Joe’s favorites is the Sweet Chili Sauce – it goes perfectly with any Asian-inspired meal. The coconut aminos (a Whole30 staple) are SO inexpensive at $2.99 a bottle and you can also stock up on Whole30 essentials like coconut milk, ghee and coconut oil, too. The sunflower seed butter is a great peanut butter alternative if your kids can’t have peanuts at school. You can also find things like coconut flour, almond flour, apple cider vinegar, plantain chips, freeze-dried fruit (doesn’t have the sugar, fat and calories of most dried fruit) and some more unique things like pineapple salsa, corn and chile salsa, Chile Lime seasoning (SO good) and Everything but the Bagel seasoning (a cult favorite). Trader Joe’s is also my go-to for reasonably priced Rx Bars.