From vegetables to ice cream, here are the top 10 dietitian-approved foods to buy from Trader Joe's this January.
A paper bag full of Trader Joe's groceries on a designed background
Credit: Trader Joe's, Getty Images / Javier Zayas Photography

Something old, something new, a few things that are frozen, and plenty to chew!

We tapped three dietitians to help us assemble the ultimate Trader Joe's shopping list for January, and their lineup includes all of the above and more. No deprivation here: They're all firm believers in the 80/20 rule (eat whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats 80% of the time and feed your cravings for chocolate, ice cream and pasta the other 20%).

The 10 Best Products to Buy at Trader Joe's in January, According to Dietitians

Jot down your own must-haves (we don't know about you, but Everything But the Bagel Seasoning is a must!), consider including the 9 best Trader Joe's products of 2021, according to customers, then tack on these dietitian-approved picks for January 2022.

1. Cauliflower Gnocchi

No keto dieting here! Jenna A. Werner, RD, creator of Happy Strong Healthy in Middletown, New Jersey, is all about fueling up with a balanced blend of *all* the macronutrients—carbs, protein and fat.

"What I always depend on and stock up on from Trader Joe's no matter what the time of year: their frozen food items! I can always find meal-starters and sides in their frozen food department," Werner says. "I always go home with frozen carbohydrates, like Cauliflower Gnocchi, to pop in the air fryer." ($2.99 for 12 ounces)

2. Ricotta & Lemon Zest Ravioli

In the refrigerator aisle, Werner (a busy mom of one, business owner and fitness maven) grabs more starches for semi-homemade suppers, including Ricotta & Lemon Zest Ravioli.

"I will never leave that store without stocking up on the latest seasonal fresh ravioli," Werner explains. These are also great in the air fryer!" ($3.49 for 8.8 ounces)

3. Mexican-Style Roasted Corn with Cotija Cheese

And to supplement that pasta, Werner suggests snagging a bag of frozen veggies.

"Trader Joe's always keeps up with the trends and seasonal flavors, so you better believe in January they will have a ton of seasonal frozen produce and fun trendy flavors to choose from," she adds.

Try the Mexican-Style Roasted Corn with Cotija Cheese for a freezer aisle heat-and-eat riff on elote that can be paired with pasta, tossed into soups or salads or savored as a side to any grilled or roasted protein. ($3.29 for 14 ounces)

4. Blueberry Lemonade Sparkling Water

To wash it all down, Trader Joe's has ample options beyond their affordable wine selection, especially if you're planning to take a break from alcohol.

"Some of my clients are planning to do a Dry January," says Michelle Hyman, RD, a registered dietitian at Simple Solutions Weight Loss in New York City. "It can be challenging to go from consuming delicious beverages throughout the holiday season to only plain water, so I encourage exploring sparkling waters like Trader Joe's Blueberry Lemonade Sparkling Water. The extra flavor and carbonation make it feel special while satisfying your tastebuds." ($3.29 for eight 12-ounce cans)

5. Organic Split Pea Soup

Come winter, Mary Stewart, RD, LD, a registered dietitian and the founder of Cultivate Nutrition in Dallas, is sweet on soup.

Her top pick, Organic Split Pea Soup, is new to the shelves and is an instant winner and a "perfect pantry staple when you need a healthy meal in minutes," according to Stewart. "Using whole foods and flavorful spices, this vegan, gluten-free, thick and hearty soup offers a nutrition profile that is on point. A serving of this soup provides 11 grams of fiber, which is almost 40% of the daily recommended intake, plus 9 grams of protein."

Enjoy the soup on its own as a snack or pair it with an open-face grilled cheese or a side salad for a cozy and satisfying meal, she suggests. ($1.99 for 15 ounces)

6. Organic Green Vegetable Foursome

In other green news, Hyman digs the frozen Organic Green Vegetable Foursome. The blend of broccoli, peas, green beans and zucchini is one of her favorite side dishes available at Trader Joe's thanks to a major flavor boost by way of garlic, onions, spices and parsley.

"Many of my clients are interested in increasing their produce intake but don't necessarily want to wash, chop and cook a variety of fresh vegetables and don't like the taste of bland veggies. Frozen vegetables are a great option because they are so convenient, you don't have to worry about them going bad and they are budget-friendly," Hyman says.

She likes to pair this 30-calorie-per-serving foursome with whole-wheat or lentil pasta, marinara sauce and meatballs for a well-rounded, quick-fix meal. ($2.99 for 14 ounces)

7. Creamy Cauliflower Jalapeño Dip

In addition to their 19-cent bananas and killer cheese selection, Trader Joe's is known as a superb source for all things dippy and saucy.

"They're so much fun to mix and match! I love so many of the different dips and use them not only as dips with veggies, crackers, pretzels or chips, but also as sauces for entrees," Werner says.

Try the new-ish Creamy Cauliflower Jalapeño Dip as a chilled or hot dip with crudités, or slather it on chicken breasts before roasting for a speedy and low-calorie (40 per 2-tablespoon serving) "crust." ($3.49 for 10 ounces)

8. Herbed Tahini Sauce

You're probably most familiar with tahini as an ingredient in hummus, but it's time for this ground sesame seed sauce to step into the spotlight on its own, Stewart believes. And Trader Joe's refrigerated Herbed Tahini Sauce makes that possible at a fair price and with so much flavor.

"Sesame seeds offer fiber, protein and other nutrients that may have a positive impact on your heart health, while also supporting a healthy digestion. This sauce is also packed with parsley, an herb rich in antioxidants and immune-supporting nutrients," Stewart says. "If you struggle to reach your veggie quota each day (most people do!), this sauce is the perfect match."

With a rich, nutty flavor and smooth consistency, this sauce is super-versatile. Use it as a dip for vegetables, add it to stir-fries, spread it on burgers or sandwiches or add oil and lemon juice for a delicious salad dressing. ($2.99 for 8 ounces)

9. Wild Salmon in Yogurt and Mint Sauce with Orzo Pasta, Spinach and Zucchini

Whether you're an official resolution-setter or not, "the first of the year is a common time for people to refocus on their health, yet for many, their schedules are still packed and it can be hard to find time to prepare a healthy meal, especially after a long day at work," Stewart says.

This is where frozen meals like the Wild Salmon in Yogurt and Mint Sauce with Orzo Pasta, Spinach and Zucchini can come in clutch. Salmon delivers heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and plenty of protein (33 grams in the 310-calorie entree), while the vegetables and orzo offer fiber and fueling carbohydrates. ($4.99 for 12.3 ounces)

10. Chocolate Chip Hold the Cone

If you ask us, and Werner, ice cream has no season—it has all of them! So for a sweet way to cap off any day of the year, add a box of frozen desserts to your cart.

"The mini cones are a must," Werner says, referring to Chocolate Chip Hold the Cone or any of the Trader Joe's portion-controlled chocolate-dipped cones. Each craving-curing cone has just 93 calories and comes with a decent dose of calcium too. Oh yes, and plenty of chocolate chips! ($3.29 for 7.9 ounces)