10 of the Best Summer Items at Trader Joe's, According to Employees

Including three condiments that will take any burger or hot dog to the next level!

Each month we look forward to diving into the what's old (and returning!) and what's new recommendations in the Trader Joe's newsletter. The most recent May 2021 Fearless Flyer was jam-packed with potluck-perfect finds, just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

So before you sign off and go stock up for your soiree, take a peek at our hand-picked selection of the products Trader Joe's employees can't stop talking about this season. As always, supplies are limited and may vary based on your location, so call your local market before making the trek if you have your heart set on one item in particular. Dibs on a pint of the Southern Peach Crisp Ice Cream!

Trader Joe's store in North Brunswick Township, New Jersey
Getty Images / SOPA Images

10 of the Best Summer Items at Trader Joe's, According to Employees

Dill Pickle Mustard

Calling all pickle lovers! "Dill Pickle Mustard couples the savory versatility of mustard with the snappy, herbaceous kick of a well-dilled pickle via the addition of natural pickle flavoring, dill weed, and actual diced-up pickle pieces. Together, these elements form a superbly summer-y sauce that's even tastier than the sum of its parts," the Fearless Flyer writers say. Ideal atop burgers, hot dogs or sandwiches, or mixed into marinades, dressings, deviled eggs or potato salad, this new condiment is mixed up exclusively for Trader Joe's by a fifth-generation mustard maker. ($1.69 per 9-ounce jar)

BBQ Pulled Chicken

Think of this as TJ's shredded chicken 2.0! "We offered a BBQ Pulled Chicken in our refrigerators for many years, and while it had a loyal fan following, over time it became evident that there was room to improve this heat-and-eat favorite for our customers," they say in the Fearless Flyer. "And so, we did!" The new BBQ Pulled Chicken combines chicken breast and thigh meat, all tossed with "a tangy, tomato-based marinade that's rounded out with molasses and vinegar, along with a host of savory spices and notes of hickory smoke." It's oven-roasted, shredded, then covered in more sauce and cooked again via sous vide (temperature-controlled water bath) to lock in the juices. Tucked inside tortillas, sandwich buns or piled over lettuce, BBQ Pulled Chicken might just steal the potluck show—even if you don't have a grill or smoker handy. ($5.99 per 16-ounce container)

Tomato Ketchup with Black Summer Truffle

Truffle cheese, fries, pasta sauces and more have flown off shelves around the fall and winter holidays, the Trader Joe's grocery buyer says, which brought her to ask, "Why must truffles be wintry? Why can't backyard barbecues, pool parties and picnics in the park be truffle-tasting occasions, too?" Enter: Tomato Ketchup with Black Summer Truffle, ideal for dunking fries, dressing hot dogs and more. Made in Italy with Italian tomatoes and tartufi neri estivi (AKA black summer truffles) from Italy and Eastern Europe, it packs a sweet, tart and umami punch in each spoonful. ($2.99 per 10.2-ounce jar)

Carne Asada Autentica

Whether you're seeking a way to add some sizzle to a weeknight family dinner or hosting a crowd for a grill gathering, this pre-marinated beef sirloin can trim down on prep time while pumping up the flavor. The Carne Asada Authentica is vacuum-packed coated "in a classic, northern Mexico-inspired marinade of citrus and spice. The benefits to buying already-marinated meat? One, you'd have to plan way ahead to achieve this level of flavor infusion on your own. Two, because we've done the trimming and cutting, there's no waste when you make it for your family. And three, it cooks so fast you'll be dining in minutes," they say. We're already dreaming about making fajitas, stuffed peppers and taco salads with this. ($9.99 per pound)

Lemony Arugula Basil Salad Kit

Speaking of salads, we're craving one after all this meat and condiment buzz! This three-serving Lemony Arugula Basil Salad Kit with arugula, shaved Parmesan, carrot ribbons, roasted almonds and a "pesto-like" basil-lemon vinaigrette takes seconds to toss together, and can be enjoyed alone as a starter or topped with chicken, shrimp, fish or a big scoop of the vegan feast that's up next. ($3.99 per 9.75-ounce bag)

Vegan Chickpea Masala Salad

Allow us to introduce that stellar salad-topping vegan treat we mentioned: Vegan Chickpea Masala Salad. It's like a totally plant-based riff on tuna or chicken salad, that sounds dreamy over greens, as part of a naan sandwich or scooped up with crackers or crudites. "We're thrilled to find it in the refrigerated case in our neighborhood Trader Joe's—we shop there too, and we've been anxiously awaiting this arrival," the Fearless Flyer contributors say. ($4.99 per 12-ounce container)

Chile Lime Mayonnaise

Chile Lime Seasoning is one of the longest-sold spice blends at Trader Joe's, and the Chili Lime Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips consistently earn top ratings from customers. With that in mind, the brand's buyer dreamed up a "Trader Joe's exclusive, only-for-summer spread that celebrates the season's hottest seasoning," they say. Featuring ancho chile pepper powder, chipotle pepper powder and a dash of lime juice concentrate, this Chile Lime Mayonnaise upgrades mayo with "extra tongue-tingling tanginess." Try it on burgers, in coleslaw or drizzled over fish tacos. ($2.99 per 12-ounce jar)

Sweet Corn, Burrata and Basil Ravioli

All it takes to make this two-serving Sweet Corn, Burrata and Basil Ravioli a meal? A drizzle of olive oil, a spoonful of basil pesto...ooh, or a handful of the season's freshest cherry tomatoes! That's because each pasta pillow is already loaded with summery goodness: kernels of sweet corn kernels, creamy burrata and ricotta cheese, Cheddar, Parmesan, bread crumbs and fresh basil. Each batch takes about 5 minutes to boil to al dente, and it's perfect for enjoying alongside a glass of the next pick. ($3.69 per 8-ounce container)

Cecilia Beretta Prosecco Rosé

Few Trader Joe's round-ups are complete without a nod to their incredible wine deals. "Crisp and bubbly with a hint of fruity sweetness, this show-stopping, Northern Italian sparkling wine stuns year-round. But when one of our winery partners had the idea to blend this Prosecco with a bit of rosé (the unofficial wine of summer), they truly captured lightning in a bottle," they say. This pretty-in-pink Cecilia Beretta Prosecco Rosé has a bit more body and structure thanks to some pinot noir grapes in the mix, making this ideal for sipping with a wide variety of plant-based, seafood and charcuterie creations. ($9.99 per 750-milliliter bottle)

Southern Peach Crisp Ice Cream

Ice cream is a year-round fan fave, but during summer, sales really take off, employees confirm. The new Southern Peach Crisp Ice Cream is designed with that in mind. "In addition to the dreamy, sweet cream ice cream base, our Georgia-based supplier also makes the inclusions in-house—specifically, swirls of luscious peach jam and chunks of buttery oat crisp imbued with hints of cinnamon and sugar," the Fearless Flyer writers say. It's like peach crisp a la mode, all in the same pint...and we can't wait to spoon. ($2.99 per pint)

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