I've been a loyal Trader Joe's solo shopper for almost 10 years, so I have several go-to products.
The instant falafel mix and garlic pizza crust are great for whipping up easy, delicious meals.
The chain's balsamic vinegar is my favorite, and I use it to elevate a number of plates.
The broccoli-kale slaw works as a side or a standalone meal.
I always like having wholesome lunches around that I can throw together at a moment's notice, so this salad is perfect. Plus I can eat it as a light meal or as a side with burgers, pizza, and tacos.
I'm partial to this salad kit since it contains ingredients I enjoy but never buy on my own. The blend of kale, broccoli, dried cherries, sunflower seeds, and creamy dressing satisfies my craving for a crunchy, fresh, and flavorful plate.
Best of all, it requires zero prep work — simply open the package and throw everything into a bowl.
Each bag comes with enough for two to three servings of slaw and costs $2.99.
Trader Joe's organic, fresh basil is a lifesaver.
Basil is a fragrant herb that adds a pop of fresh flavor to any dish. I use it almost daily as a topping for foods like pasta, pizza, salad, and soup.
As someone who's been unable to successfully keep a basil plant alive for more than a few weeks, this box is a total lifesaver.
$3.29 is also a great deal for organic, fresh basil.
This baked tofu will seriously upgrade your meatless-protein game.
I have nothing against regular tofu, but making it taste good and eliminating all of the excess moisture can be a bit of work. So I'll gladly pay $3.69 for this prebaked, firm option.
Trader Joe's currently sells two varieties — Sriracha and teriyaki — that are great for adding a kick of flavor to dishes where meat is normally the star, like lettuce wraps, tacos, and salads.
I'm a huge fan of the teriyaki tofu's soy and ginger flavors with a subtle touch of sweetness. I simply cut it into cubes and add it to a stir-fry.
I can generally get two to three servings out of each package, plus the tofu stores well as leftovers.
I like to blend Trader Joe's berry medley into smoothies for a dose of antioxidants.
I love that I can get a bag of preservative-free blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries for less than $5. Blended into a smoothie, they taste just as good as fresh fruit for a fraction of the price.
As a midmorning snack, I like to blend half a cup of it with a banana, some greens, almond milk, and a bit of honey. I don't need to add ice to it since the berries are already cold, so the end result is always deliciously thick and creamy.
Each package contains approximately 16 ounces and costs $2.99.
Trader Joe's also sells several packs of frozen fruit, so you can find a blend that works for you.
This herbed pizza dough deserves an award.
All this pizza dough needs is a little bit of proofing and rolling to whip up a meal that tastes like it was made from scratch. It's so good.
You can cover the rolled dough with whatever fresh toppings you're craving — I like to use Trader Joe's spinach-artichoke dip and sliced mozzarella — then bake it in the oven for 15 minutes.
It tastes like the kind of pizza crust you'd order at a quality restaurant, with a garlicky, herbaceous flavor and an airy texture that's absolutely divine.
Best of all, the dough makes a pretty good-sized pie, so I always have leftovers. You can snag a bag for just $1.49.
These garlic naan crackers are the only crunchy snack I need.
Ever since I found these garlic naan crackers, I haven't gone back to buying regular pita chips.
They taste like chain's frozen garlic naan — complete with actual garlic flecks — shrunken into deliciously crunchy, bite-sized pieces.
Their mild buttery, garlicky flavor pairs well with pretty much all of the chain's dips, especially the hummus. Though they're also scrumptious on their own.
A 10-ounce box costs $2.99.
The chain's fire-roasted peppers and onions make cooking dinner easy.
Fajita-style peppers are one of my favorite foods, and this product has made it possible for me to enjoy them without a cast-iron skillet or an open flame.
Each bag contains a melange of precut onions and yellow, red, and green peppers that are the perfect size for tacos, salads, and burrito bowls. The peppers have a slight char that makes them taste as if they came straight off of the grill.
I simply heat them on the stove with some extra seasoning and throw them in a tortilla or rice bowl.
Best of all, they're reasonably priced. A 14-ounce package costs about $4, which is a great deal considering individual peppers can sell for $1 apiece.
The soy chorizo is one of the tastiest vegetarian products I've ever had.
I've previously written about my devotion to Trader Joe's soy chorizo, and I'll continue to sing its praises. It's the one vegetarian product I believe could sway even the most devoted carnivore.
I've been buying it for years, even though I'm no longer a total vegetarian.
With a huge burst of spicy, savory flavor in every bite, it works well with eggs in a breakfast scramble, though also tastes excellent in chili, tacos, sandwiches, and salads.
You can pick up 12 ounces of soyrizo for $2.29
Pita bread is a versatile carb to have on hand.
One of my favorite items to have on hand, pita bread can be a vehicle for hummus, tzatziki, and falafel or a stand-in for a wrap.
It can even work as a base for a small pizza, simply top the pita with a little bit of sauce, mozzarella, and whatever else you'd like, then throw it in the oven for a quick broil.
Each package comes with six pitas and costs $1.99.
This is one of the best instant falafel mixes I've ever tried.
This instant falafel mix has been a total game-changer. You'd never guess it came from a powder once it's cooked — it tastes homemade.
I simply add water and bake the rolled balls in the oven, serving them alongside hummus, pita, roasted red peppers, onions, and tzatziki for a delicious meal.
They also stay together and crisp up perfectly in the fryer.
This convenient mix is one of the foods that keep me from ordering takeout.
Trader Joe's cheese tray is perfect for snacking alone or with guests.
I first got this cheese platter as a last-minute snack for a party a few years ago and loved it so much that I kept buying it, even when I wasn't having guests over.
It contains just the right amount of the four kinds of cheese: colby jack, pepper jack, cheddar, and Swiss.
I use the Swiss and cheddar for sandwiches while snacking on the pepper jack and colby jack with mustard and crackers, or vice versa. One of my favorite meals is an open-faced croissant with a slice or two of Swiss, scrambled eggs, and avocado.
It's a bit pricey compared to individual blocks of cheese, but since it's presliced and ready to eat, I think it's worth the money. Each 1-pound package costs $5.99
This spicy peanut vinaigrette makes me enjoy eating salad.
Nothing beats a dressing that makes me fall in love with eating salad.
It has a slightly sweet, peanut flavor that's irresistible, along with a strong kick of spice helmed by the addition of cilantro and jalapeño.
I love pouring this dressing over a simple iceberg-lettuce mix with lots of carrots or on a bitter leaf like kale with some actual peanuts or chopped almonds. It's also delicious drizzled over chicken or tofu lettuce wraps and cold noodle salad.
I've heard it works wonderfully as a marinade, too.
I've spent many nights trying to whip up peanut dressing from scratch and it's never been quite as good as this one. That alone makes the $3.49 price tag worth it.
Trader Joe's hot-and-sweet pepper jelly is always a crowd-pleaser.
I've been serving this pepper jelly on cheese boards for years and someone is always blown away by it.
Its combination of sweet and spicy is absolutely divine and tastes wonderful with a variety of cheeses, crackers, and meats.
My favorite way of enjoying it is with plain goat cheese and one of Trader Joe's Social Snackers. It's also wonderful with the chain's fig crisps and Brie.
At less than $3 per jar, it's an incredible deal for an ingredient that will turn your cheeseboard into something people will talk about for days. It also keeps for a long time in the fridge.
I go through hummus like it's nobody's business, so this 1-pound tub is a household staple.
With a super smooth, creamy texture and mild chickpea-tahini flavor, Trader Joe's hummus is the perfect snack and topping for many dishes.
In addition to eating it with carrot sticks and crackers, I spread it on bread, tortillas, and pitas for different sandwiches and wraps.
I'm also a big fan of Trader Joe's other varieties — like the spicy and eggplant hummus — but nothing compares to the classic.
A 1-pound tub sells for $3.49. Since we eat so much of it, it makes sense to pay a little extra instead of buying the smaller container, which costs $1.99.
I cook a lot of vegetarian meals, and these steamed lentils are awesome for bulking them up.
Lentils are a popular plant-based staple because of their high protein content. Most grocery stores sell them dried or in a can, so this steamed, ready-to-eat pack is super convenient.
The legume is also loaded with fiber, so a serving is super filling. You can add them to soup, salad, curry, and more.
I love using them as a base for veggie-burger patties or vegetarian sloppy joes since they have a slightly meaty taste that works well as a swap for ground beef.
Each box comes with five 1/2-cup servings and costs $3.29.
This balsamic glaze is one of Trader Joe's best products.
Ever since I first discovered this product, it's remained my all-time favorite thing Trader Joe's sells.
The glaze's rich, candied-balsamic flavor never fails to upgrade a meal to a perfect 10. I use it on pretty much anything I can, like Caprese paninis, salads, Brussels sprouts, grilled summer veggies, fish, and chicken.
And since this glaze is essentially a super-concentrated reduced balsamic, a little bit goes a long way.
I'm an OK home cook, at best, but whenever I use this stuff, I feel like I've made something I'd pay for.
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