Find out which TJ's items dietitians can't live without.

Carolyn Williams, Ph.D., R.D.
January 23, 2020
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Trader Joe's has become one of the most popular places to grocery shop, and there's good reason for its cult-like following. The growing chain has become a place where you can stock up on high-quality produce and basic weekly needs at low prices, but it also offers a line of unique products (like cauliflower gnocchi and Everything but the Bagel Seasoning) that's constantly changing and evolving.

I'm always in search of new TJ's products to try, so I asked some of my colleagues to share their favorite foods. The feedback was pretty overwhelming, and I'm already planning my next trip to load up on a few.

Check out this list of 28 Trader's Joe's products that RDs love and buy regularly!

Broccoli and Kale Slaw

"All the ingredients are packed together; just assemble and add 3 to 4 ounces of protein such as chicken, shrimp or tofu. It's a great way to have a quick healthy meal (with a gourmet flair) when time is limited or you're tired from a long day of work!" —Wendy Kaplan, M.S., RDN, CDN

Cheddar Cheese with Caramelized Onions

"You'll find this cheese on my grocery list every single time. This mild English Cheddar cheese has bits of caramelized onion dotted throughout the entire block, ensuring that you'll taste the savory and sweet in every bite. It's the perfect companion to crackers and fruit, or as an addition to mac and cheese, grilled cheese or a hearty kale or other dark leafy green salad or dish. Creamy and flaky at the same time, a little bit goes a long way." —Robin Plotkin, RDN

100% Red Tart Cherry Juice

"I love its taste, plus the fact that it's 100% juice, so no added sugars. My kids love it as well, even though it's not overly sweet. I also like that it's a great way to get some of tart cherries' health benefits into to our diets. Plus, I have sleep issues, and I think adding more tart cherry juice has helped me relax a little more before bedtime." —Melissa Nieves, M.P.H, RD

Artichoke Antipasto

"I love TJ's Artichoke Antipasto. I serve it with grilled chicken and salmon, combine it with plain Greek yogurt for a dip, top pizzas with it and warm it up and use it in pasta dishes. It's a convenient, delicious way to add flavor!" —Elizabeth Ward, M.S., RD

Fresh Pizza Dough

"I love buying their fresh dough in the refrigerated section! It's only about $2 and saves me a ton of time! It can also be frozen for later use." —Maggie Farley M.A., RD

Non-Sorbate Pitted Prunes

"With no added sugar or preservatives, these dried plums have the perfect sweetness to hit the spot, along with some nutritional benefits including vitamin K and fiber. We eat two or three as an after-dinner sweet treat or along with a handful of nuts for an afternoon snack. They can even be chopped and stirred into hot cereal." —Jennifer Hunt, RDN, LD

Everything but the Bagel Greek Yogurt Dip

"We have all been enjoying Everything but the Bagel Greek yogurt dip because it's delicious—why didn't I think of this?" —Jenn Lefton, M.S., RD-AP, FAND

Riced Cauliflower Stir-Fry

"My absolute favorite item at Trader Joe's is the frozen Riced Cauliflower Stir-Fry. It's made with several different veggies, sesame oil and ginger, making it the perfect flavorful base for a weeknight dinner. Heat it up, add some edamame or shredded chicken and a dash of soy sauce and you'll have a balanced meal in no time. Plus, since it's frozen, you don't have to worry about it going bad!" —Lizzie Streit, M.S., RDN, LD

Pound Plus Dark Chocolate

"I like to stock these big bars (17.6 ounces) for baking projects or to nip off a small piece for an afternoon treat. They're antioxidant-rich with 72% cacao, and are good quality at a fair price. I'll chop them up to add to cookies or melt them to make dark chocolate bark." —Katie Sullivan Morford, M.S., RD

Avocado Tzatziki Dip

"This dip combines good-for-you ingredients—like avocado, Greek yogurt and cucumber—plus a tiny bit of heat from jalapeño pepper, and becomes one of the most versatile items in my kitchen. I regularly recommend this dip for veggies and as a spread for a variety of burgers (plant-based, beef, chicken, lamb or turkey) as well as sandwiches, pitas and more. Try it as a salad dressing too!"Robin Plotkin, RDN

Multigrain Hot Cereal

"Two of my favorite food buys at Trader Joe's go hand in hand. Trader Joe's Multigrain Hot Cereal (100% whole-grain rye, barley, oats and wheat) with a handful of Trader Joe's raw almonds mixed in is my breakfast of choice every day. The fiber and protein and the texture of crunch and chewiness from the almonds in my bowl of cereal offers sustained satiety." —Toby Smithson, M.S., RDN, CDE

Organic Brown Rice and Quinoa Fusilli Pasta (Gluten-Free)

"This is one of my favorite items. It's made simply with brown rice and quinoa flour, and once cooked, the texture is quite similar to regular pasta. Each serving has 2 grams of fiber, and it provides a lovely canvas for so many nourishing meals. My son eats a gluten-free diet, so when we're craving pasta, the whole family enjoys this TJ's product. We like the fusilli shape, and for a fast meal, I top it with lots of sautéed veggies (spinach, mushrooms and zucchini) and shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese." —Liz Weiss, M.S., RDN

Happy Trekking Mix

"I love the trail mix options at Trader Joe's! My favorites are Happy Trekking mix if I want chocolate or the Oh My Omega mix if I don't. They're a wonderful mix of carbs, protein, fat, fiber and flavor—a perfect snack that I always keep on hand." —McKenzie Caldwell, M.P.H., RDN

Marinated Olive Duo with Lemon and Herbs

"I discovered these vacuum-packed olives there that are delightful. They are inexpensive and great for a party or for a healthy snack between meals. I like them because the price is right, and I love olives with cheese or whole-grain crackers as a snack." —Lisa Andrews, M.Ed., RD, LD

Trader Giotto's Balsamic Glaze

"I'm a sucker for a great garnish or sauce to take a dish over the top. This premade balsamic glaze is a perfect way to add some fancy to your meal without having to dirty an extra sauce pan. I especially love it on pizzas and caprese salads in the summer!" —Leanne Ray, M.S., RDN

Frozen Riced Cauliflower

"Freezer staples are helpful when it comes to throwing together a weeknight family meal, and cauliflower rice is a staple in our home. I will toss it with spices and salsa in a hot nonstick pan for a 'Mexican Cauliflower Rice.' It is also the perfect way to bulk up grains like quinoa and brown rice. Simply add a bag of frozen cauliflower rice into a pot along with 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of broth and cook according to the quinoa package directions to make a nutrient-dense side dish." —Jennifer Hunt, RDN, LD

Shredded Swiss & Gruyère Cheese Blend

"This has been a game-changer in my household! My husband loves cheese, but must adhere to a low-sodium diet. This shredded cheese only has 55 mg of sodium per 1/4-cup serving compared to other shredded cheeses that can have almost 200 mg for the same amount. The Swiss-Gruyère blend tastes great in everything and melts extremely well. I haven't been able to find an equivalent product anywhere else!" —Lindsey Pine M.S., RDN, CLT

Rice Medley

"I keep this stocked in my freezer. It's a medley of brown rice, red rice and black barley, so it provides more fiber than plain white rice. It also is ready to eat after just 3 minutes in the microwave. I often use it as a time-saver or shortcut if preparing a stuffing for bell peppers, zucchini boats or salad. It is also great with a quick stir-fry." —Jenn Lefton, M.S., RD-AP, FAND

Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burgers

"I absolutely love the Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burgers with black beans and roasted corn! The burgers provide a quick, nutritious and tasty bite. The burgers are only 180 calories and have 8 grams of fat. They also offer 5 grams of protein and are an excellent source of fiber (6 grams). Simply microwave for a minute and a half and throw on a whole-grain bun with lettuce, tomato and a drop of mustard!" —Wendy Kaplan, M.S., RDN, CDN

Frozen Cauliflower Gnocchi

"Trader Joe's Cauliflower Gnocchi is frequently requested by my family members, and we have found the air fryer to be the perfect cooking method. Simply toss with pesto or marinara and serve with a quick cooked frozen broccoli and broiled salmon for an easy meal." —Jennifer Hunt, RDN, LD

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

"My absolute favorite TJ's find is their dark chocolate peanut butter cups. I love peanut butter and chocolate together. After trying these, I can't eat any other type of peanut butter cup because these are so good." —Rebecca Clyde M.S., RDN, CD

Giant Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce

"My family loves gigantes at Greek restaurants, and Trader Joe's canned version is such an easy way to bring Greek dinner to the table at home. Plus, they're an excellent source of fiber and protein!" —Jessica Levinson, M.S., RDN, CDN

10-Minute Farro

"I love mixing up the whole grains I serve my family, but some of them take a long time to cook. That's why Trader Joe's 10-Minute Farro is so handy. It's the perfect base for Buddha bowls (like this one) and is a quick side dish on its own." —Jessica Levinson, M.S., RDN, CDN

Old Fashioned Blister Peanuts

"I'm crazy about these salted peanuts. They're a Virginia-style peanut, so they're big, super-crunchy and perfect for snacking or adding to recipes. The fact that peanuts are high in fiber, folate and healthy fats is a big plus for me." —Katie Sullivan Morford, M.S., RD

Rainbow Cauliflower

"Two of my favorite products to buy at Trader Joe's are frozen rainbow cauliflower and frozen jasmine rice. They are really convenient to have on hand for busy nights. I will thaw them and sauté them together in a pan with whatever other produce I need to use up in the fridge (like peppers and onions), add seasonings and maybe crack in some eggs for protein, and it's an easy, complete, 15-minute meal!" —Kelsey Stricklen, M.S., RD

Shishito Peppers

"My TJ's is the only store in my area that consistently carries shishito peppers. These are a great side for any Taco Tuesday—simply roasted with a little olive oil and salt." —Jenn Lefton, M.S., RD-AP, FAND

Sparkling Water

"Trader Joe's has a wide variety of sparkling water flavors that have no sugars, juice or artificial sweeteners. Many years ago my husband began drinking their sparkling water as an alternative to soda and now we don't go a week without grabbing some for ourselves. This has helped my entire family drink more water." —Jennifer Hunt, RDN, LD

Balela

"I discovered this Mediterranean chickpea salad a few months ago, and I can't get enough of it! It's got chickpeas, black beans and tomatoes tossed in a light olive oil dressing. Serve it by itself as a plant-based main dish or side, or serve it with grilled chicken, fish or shrimp. It's delicious any way you serve it! In fact, my closest TJ's is 50 minutes away, and I've definitely contemplated a drive just to get more of this salad!" —Carolyn Williams, Ph.D., RD

Carolyn Williams, Ph.D., RD, is author of the new cookbook, Meals That Heal: 100+ Everyday Anti-Inflammatory Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less, and a culinary nutrition expert known for ability to simplify food and nutrition information. She received a 2017 James Beard Journalism award. You can follow her on Instagram @realfoodreallife_rd or on carolynwilliamsrd.com.