The 6 Best Gluten-Free Products at Trader Joe's, According to a Former Employee
Being a gluten-intolerant person, having to forego some of my favorite glutenous products can make me feel left out (looking at you, crusty baguettes). But in my (maybe controversial) opinion, sometimes gluten-free products can even taste better than their gluten-containing counterparts. They can be incredibly buttery, fluffy and just as satisfying. A lot of ingenuity comes from having limits, and limiting (or completely avoiding) gluten should never mean missing out on amazingly tasty food.
Thankfully, Trader Joe's has plenty of gluten-free products that you and your family may be shocked are completely gluten-free. From tender cookies begging to be dipped in coffee to crunchy, chewy Brazilian-style cheese bread, here are all the best gluten-free products from Trader Joe's, according to a former employee.
1. 3-Seed Sweet Potato Crackers
Consider these your new favorite companion for your future charcuterie and cheese boards. Wonderfully nutty with a bit of sweetness from the sweet potatoes, these crackers beckon me every time I go to Trader Joe's. I often switch between a box of these or the 3-Seed Beet Crackers, but these particular ones have a special place in my heart. They almost taste like a less-salty tortilla chip, but with plenty of healthy fats from the blend of flax, chia and black sesame seeds. While amazing on their own, they are even better dipped into hummus, topped with salsa for a quick party snack or crumbled on your next soup.
2. Gluten-Free Egg Fettuccine Pasta
Gluten-free pasta can get a bad rap, and sometimes it's for good reason. It can lack texture and flavor and fall apart when you toss it with sauce (or merely look at it). Fresh pasta, like fresh baguettes right from the oven, is one of those products I've been begging the universe to give me a gluten-free version of. Thankfully, this fresh gluten-free egg fettuccine more than satisfies my craving for fresh, doughy noodles. It cooks up in a matter of minutes, has that toothsome texture that will remind you of your favorite hole-in-the-wall Italian joint and is perfect when slicked with your favorite sauce. I love tossing this with a quick homemade Alfredo sauce or a hearty Bolognese sauce for a simple, yet fancy-feeling weeknight dinner.
3. Gluten-Free Mac & Cheese
From working at Trader Joe's, I know there are a few special items that even people who can tolerate gluten choose over their gluten-containing counterparts—and this is one of them. This Gluten-Free Mac & Cheese blows other frozen mac and cheese products right out of the water. Each corn, rice and lentil-based rotini noodle is perfectly coated with four—count 'em, four—cheeses, just like the classic diner-style mac and cheese that the grocer carries. With plenty of melty, creamy havarti, Cheddar, Swiss and Gouda cheeses (not to mention a gluten-free béchamel sauce), this mac and cheese will have you in disbelief that it's 100% free of gluten.
4. Brownie Crisp Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches
One thing I miss the most being gluten-free is getting an iconic ice cream sandwich straight from an ice cream truck. Or at a baseball stadium. Or from a gas station. As you can see, I really miss it and really anywhere is a great place to grab an ice cream sandwich. But not many places have gluten-free ice cream sandwiches that are delicious and not crazy expensive. Trader Joe's helps solve these problems with these Brownie Crisp Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches. Taking their crispy, crunchy Brownie Crisp Cookies (that are also delicious and naturally gluten-free) to sandwich a hearty scoop of coffee ice cream, these sandwiches are hard not to eat in two bites max. These are perfect for a satisfying occasional gluten-free treat (in fact, I've been know to break into one of these perfectly-sized ice cream sandwiches on the drive home).
5. Brazilian-Style Cheese Bread
Also known as pão de queijo, this cheese bread is a popular snack, breakfast food and traditional recipe from Brazil. Made with tapioca flour and Parmesan cheese, these bite-size cheese breads have a crusty exterior that gives way to a fluffy, cheesy interior. If you've ever had a French gougère, you'll be instantly reminded of those savory, airy Gruyère-laced pastries when you have a bite of these. I personally love Brazilian-style cheese breads as a savory breakfast, a dipper for tomato sauce or soup and even halved to top like a slider bun. And if you love the magic that happens between cheese and fruit, these would be ideal for serving with fresh, sliced guava or your favorite fruit preserves.
6. Soft-Baked Snickerdoodles
These soft snickerdoodle cookies are the definition of a sleeper hit. They look so humble in their small box, but these tiny, delicate cookies are a wild mix of spicy, fluffy and chewy. In the wintertime, I love dipping these into hot, milky tea lattes and coffee, or I simply eat them straight up any time I need a tiny treat to perk up my day. On my future to-do list is to find a way to take these cookies and turn them into a gluten-free pie crust, like one would do with crushed graham crackers. I have a feeling it will be a cinnamon-speckled success. And, even better, these cookies are vegan-friendly and free of many common allergens (wheat, eggs, soy, milk and peanuts).