From flowers to frozen food, these are our must-have picks.

Alex Loh
March 11, 2021
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It's no secret that Trader Joe's has a legion of dedicated shoppers—and that includes most of the editors at EatingWell. While we love to see what customers and employees are adding to their carts (check out the spring products employees are most excited about), we thought we'd also share our favorite items.

From healthy snacks to ingredients that make dinner easier, check out our 20 items that we can't leave Trader Joe's without buying. And don't worry, we didn't forget about dessert!

20 Trader Joe’s Items to Buy

Flowers

The first thing you see when you walk into any TJ's store is their display of flowers and plants. And Jaime Milan, EatingWell's digital news and lifestyle editor, can't resist picking up a bouquet on her weekly grocery run. Milan says, "It's such a nice treat to start off a new week—and they're usually always under $7!"

Dried Fruit

Trader Joe's dried fruit

Fruit is an important part of any healthy diet, and Digital Senior Nutrition Editor Lisa Valente, M.S., RD, always makes sure to stop by the dried fruit aisle. She usually grabs unsweetened mango and apricots and says, "There are plenty of options without added sugar, but check the labels as some of their dried fruits do [have added sugar]."

Butternut Squash Zig-Zags

To save time on meal-prep, Milan grabs a container of Butternut Squash Zig-Zags. She transforms them into fries with the help of her air fryer.

Seasoned Brussels Sprouts

Also in Milan's cart are these pre-seasoned Brussels sprouts. The healthy vegetable is flavored with salt, pepper and garlic to make a delicious side dish for a weeknight dinner.

Tangerine Juice

Trader Joe's tangerine juice

When Victoria Seaver, M.S., RD, digital senior meal plan editor, wants to eat fruit, she makes a smoothie. Her go-to combination includes frozen fruit, kefir and TJ's Tangerine Juice for a fruity, tropical vibe.

Cheese

Valente also likes to buy cheese from Trader Joe's because it's significantly more affordable than other stores, but still high quality. She's partial to their fresh mozzarella cheese, Parmesan and feta (which she uses to make the baked feta pasta!).

Nuts and Seeds

Trader Joe's pumpkin seeds

Nuts and seeds are a great source of fiber, plant-based protein and healthy fats. While they can often be expensive, Trader Joe's has affordable options, and plenty of them, too. Valente likes to stock up whenever she's running low on peanuts, pumpkin seeds and more.

Olive Tapenade

For Milan, the key to her Mediterranean-inspired salads is this olive tapenade and pre-grilled chicken strips. It's an easy way to add flavor to greens, and she also uses it on homemade French fries for the ultimate savory combination. 

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

trader Joe's Peanut Butter Cups

Seaver also loves the popular Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. She pops them in the freezer and says they make the perfect after-dinner treat.

Pre-Cut Frozen Bell Peppers

Samantha Manning, our Pinterest editor, calls these pre-cut frozen bell peppers "a life saver." Not only are they convenient, but they can be used in a variety of dishes like omelets, potato skillets, fried rice, fajitas, soup and more.

Frozen Gyoza

Trader Joe's Potstickers

These frozen gyoza are beloved by many of our editors, myself included. While I opt for the pork ones, Trader Joe's also has a chicken gyoza and a vegetable gyoza. Try pairing with TJ's Sweet Chili Sauce or a quick cucumber salad for your next weeknight dinner.

Cauliflower Rice

Whenever I'm in the freezer section, I always stock up on cauliflower rice. It's an easy way to sneak in an extra serving of vegetables and I especially love to use it in place of rice in my burrito bowls.

Frozen Veggie Fried Rice

If you're wanting actual rice, Milan swears by this veggie-packed option. She calls it "the easiest, 10-minute dinner" and pairs it with a few scrambled eggs, frozen veggies, soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce and sesame oil for a homemade version that's satisfying every time.

Organic Roasted Teriyaki Seaweed Snack

trader Joe's seaweed snack

There's always a pack of these seaweed snacks in Executive Digital Editor Penelope Wall's pantry. They make a great, easy snack that's loved by kids and adults alike. Plus, they're rich in hard-to-get minerals such as iodine.

Outside-In Stuffed Gnocchi

I always have a bag or two of these gnocchi in my freezer. These pillowy balls of potato are stuffed with tomato sauce and cheese, and they make the perfect weeknight dinner.

Shawarma Chicken Thighs

For another easy dinner, Milan calls these flavorful chicken thighs "a must-have." Milan suggests "baking them on a sheet-pan with veggies, serving over rice or using in soup—you really can't go wrong!"

Cottage Cheese

Trader Joe's cottage cheese

If you're looking to add some protein to your breakfast, Seaver says this cottage cheese is a great option. She opts for the 4% milk fat option, which is creamy and delicious.

Crushed Ginger Cubes

Trader Joe's ginger cubes

When Manning wants to add a flavor boost to her cooking, these frozen ginger cubes are the perfect option. They're convenient and can be used in stir fries, hot tea and more.

Bruschetta Sauce

Bruschetta becomes more than just a tasty appetizer with this quick sauce. Addie Knight, our email content manager, loves to throw it in pasta, on chicken or even just dip crackers into it for a delicious meal.

Dark Chocolate Honey Mints

These simple, three-ingredient mints are the perfect sweet treat for Wall. Made from honey, chocolate liquor and peppermint, these mints are satisfying at the end of any meal.