If you’re lucky enough to have a Trader Joe’s near you, revel in the fact that you are near the most supreme grocery store. Trader Joe’s has high-quality, affordable products that are unique, often good for you and are usually made of amazing ingredients. They even have a plethora of vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, gluten-free and dairy-free options. And like I said, they are AMAZING while being insanely affordable. How can you go wrong? Now that I live somewhere that has one nearby, I pretty much only ever shop for groceries there. Because of this, I’ve been compiling a list of Trader Joe’s must-haves that you NEED to try.
Most important meal of the day? Check! Trader Joe’s has so many unique breakfast options, so even in the morning you can have delicious and luxurious meals. Here are a few of my favorite things to get for breakfast!
These are SO good. If you don’t have time to make breakfast in the morning, or you want to take your breakfast with you, these little pre-made overnight oats are perfect. They have a few different flavors to choose from and are made with almond beverage, so they are dairy-free.
OK, OK, you could argue that these are just halved peaches but they are not. They are in white grape juice and they taste absolutely amazing. I’m addicted and I love to put these on rice cakes or on my oatmeal for breakfast.
Greek yogurt w/ honey
I’m not usually a yogurt person, especially not first thing in the morning, but this one is a game-changer. It has such a sweet taste that makes it perfect for fruit, granola, berry parfaits.
THESE!!! And I have such a life hack for you. If you don’t have time (or forget) to leave them out overnight, it doesn’t matter. Cut them in half and air fry them at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes! They turn out incredible!
Whether you need to take lunch with you or you’re eating lunch at home, TJ has so many simple options. At least for me, I don’t have a ton of time to make lunch so pre-made and frozen options (that are still good for you) are my favorite.
Balsamic vinegar & rosemary chicken
This chicken is precooked and can easily be heated up in the microwave in minutes, which makes it the perfect lunch ingredient. I made a pesto chicken bowl with it the other day and was obsessed with the rich flavor it has! It tastes so insanely fresh, juicy and grilled to perfection!
Chicken tikka masala TV dinner
Obviously, a TV dinner can’t come close to some good authentic Indian food, but it is pretty good! If you need a tikka masala fix, this TV dinner is so easy to make and has a really good flavor. The rice actually comes out pretty good, too, and isn’t too hard or too sticky.
Eating healthy for lunch is never easy for me because I don’t have time to chop, bake or cook. With a pre-made salad, you get all the nutrients without even lifting a finger (except, I guess you have to take the lid off). TJ’s has a whole section of pre-made salads with so many sweet and savory options for you to choose from.
Mac & cheese TV dinner
Trader Joe’s has more than one awesome mac & cheese TV dinner. There are so many to choose from and every single one I have had has tasted awesome. Personally, my new favorite is the hatch chile mac & cheese but I’ve also loved the reduced guilt and the classic one!
For dinner, I usually have way more time to get cooking in the kitchen, but even then, sometimes Trader Joe’s has some amazing frozen dinner items. Here are all of my dinner night favorites:
Garlic & herb pizza dough
This pizza dough is so garlicky and delicious! I made a pizza with it recently and it was so fluffy, gooey and crispy all at the same time. The flavor is impeccable and it is really easy to make a pizza with. Though, I’m also obsessed with the idea of making garlic knots with it! That will be on my dinner menu soon!
Beef & Broccoli
This takes like you got it from a takeout restaurant. Everyone always talks about the Trader Joe’s orange chicken (which is good too) but I haven’t seen as many people talk about the beef and broccoli! I like to make some rice with it and it is so so tasty! One of my favorite easy dinners.
My fiancé and I really wanted to make fish and chips and we saw these nuggets while shopping! At first, I wasn’t sure how good they would be… but they turned out amazing. So crispy, so juicy and just the right amount of fish flavor! For processed nuggets, I was really pleasantly surprised with how fresh they tasted. This fish taco recipe looks amazing, too!
Seems like everyone on TikTok air fries these, which looks really good! Usually, I sauté these bad boys in a skillet with some oil and some seasoning for an amazing dinner. They already have sauce inside them, so I usually opt to eat them without sauce, but I’ve seen some pasta recipes too! These are so cheesy and fluffy and can also be so versatile!
Fried rice & cilantro wontons
First of all, you gotta try the Trader Joe’s bagged frozen fried rice. And then, make these awesome cilantro wontons with it! This is the perfect meal combination, especially if you are feeding more than one person. There are also so many different sauces to try out with these wontons, like gyoza sauce, general tso sauce, sesame teriyaki and more!
When it comes to dessert, TJ’s has way more options than you would even realize. Cookies and candies line the aisles and they have a full section of frozen dessert options! Here are some of my favorites:
Mini peanut butter cups
If you buy anything on the list, make it these. These are an absolute godsend. They are so creamy and delicious. They melt in your mouth and are the best dessert at the end of the day. I’ve even used them in place of chocolate chips in pancakes, or in a mug cake and it was incredible. As either a recipe or eaten by themselves, they are incredible.
Hold the cone
These little ice cream cones are Trader Joe’s classics. They have so many usual flavors but also come out with seasonal flavors as the year goes on like pumpkin, peppermint and coffee! Personally, I have the coffee ones in my fridge and I’m always so excited to have one for dessert! They are the perfect size, too! Not too big, not too small.
These are such a cheap and awesome dessert option. To me, they even feel like a healthy alternative since they are primarily fruit. They have bananas and strawberries, so you can mix it up each time you head to Trader Joe’s!
These are potentially the most underrated item on this list. I usually don’t go for gummies when it comes to dessert – I usually latch onto chocolate, but these are the best gummy candies I’ve ever had. Because they are kettle-cooked, they are so gooey and soft. They taste like you just pulled them out of the oven
These usually come around in the fall, so grab them whenever you can. Maple is one of my favorite fall flavors (especially because pumpkin seems to be the most popular everywhere), so I’m always looking for some maple finds. These are incredible!
Trader Joe’s has some amazing breakfast, lunch and dinner specials, but they also have some awesome extras that you can gotta pick up!
If you ask any of my friends, they’d tell you I’m obsessed with hot honey. This one is just as good as Mike’s Hot Honey, maybe a tad different in taste, but it does the job! You can drizzle it on pizza, avocado toast, bagels, yogurt and so many other things. It gives a sweet and spicy taste to anything you add it to.
This isn’t a food item, but Trader Joe’s is the best place to get fresh flowers. They have bouquets of all sizes for super cheap! Little ones can be as low as $3.99 and giant ones for $9.99! Every time I go grocery shopping, I grab a little bouquet and put it on my dining table to lighten up and freshen the house.
Everything but the bagel seasoning
You can pretty much put this season on anything, but I’m really intrigued by this stuffed pepper recipe! It has such a garlicky, rich taste that I’m obsessed with. It might seem overrated but it definitely is beloved for a reason.
What Trader Joe’s must haves would you recommend? What’s on your TJ’s grocery list? Let us know in the comments below!