14 Trader Joe’s Items That Will Basically Change Your Life
According to Real Simple editors, anyway. Take a peek into our grocery carts, and add these favorites to your shopping list.
Trader Joe’s Vegetable Masala Burgers
“I am recently a vegetarian, and this is the best pre-made veggie burger I’ve found. It has Indian spices (kind of like a samosa’s filling) so the flavor is great and I don’t miss having meat when I eat these. It’s just a really unusual product that you won’t find anywhere else and great for a quick meal.” —Naomi Lindberg, senior photography editor
To buy: $2.49 for a 10 oz. package.
Trader Joe’s Frozen Turkey Meatballs
“They are a great addition to a weeknight soup or pasta dish. Just add them to broth, then add spinach, orzo and voila!” —Filomena Guzzardi, editorial production director
To buy: $3.69 for a 16 oz. bag.
Trader Joe’s Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Dip
“I once made the copycat version of Hillstone’s Chicago-style spinach dip from scratch, and it was a lot of work and didn’t really resemble the actual dip. This frozen one comes closer (a friend actually thought it was homemade when I served it)—and it takes just minutes to heat up in the microwave. For the family, one package is fine, but if you’re having people over, you’ll need at least two.” —Betsy Goldberg, home director
To buy: $2.99 for 8.8 oz, container.
Trader Joe’s Vegetable Bird’s Nests
“They are my go-to get-together food. Crispy patties— or ‘nests’ if you will— of shredded carrots and zucchini along with the accompanying soy sauce dip makes this easy appetizer a no-fail crowd pleaser.” —Stephanie Sisco, staff home editor
To buy: $3.29 for a 10.5 oz. package.
Sesame Honey Almonds
“The honey and sesame seeds add a sweet, extra-nutty crunch that no one I know who has tried them can resist. They’re also a very satisfying snack and I have never found myself needing more than a small handful.” —Antigoni Gouras-Manzi, RealSimple.com producer
To buy: $6.99 for a 1 lb. bag
Trader Joe’s Roasted Seaweed Snack
“They’re cheap, healthy, and yummy. They go great over salads—a perfect way to get an additional health boost without heading to China Town or scouring the seas for weeds yourself.” —Jamiyla Chisholm, reporter/researcher
To buy: $0.99 for a .4 oz. package.
Trader Joe’s Pound Plus 72% Dark Chocolate
“Most baking chocolate bars are around 4 ounces, but this one is a whopping 17.6 ounces, and costs only $5. It tastes surprisingly complex, like coffee and tart cherry, and is great for baking or snacking (preferably both—at the same time).” —Heath Goldman, food assistant
To buy: $4.99 for a 17.6 oz. bar.
Trader Joe’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups
“Bite sized, delicious and addictive. They boast the perfect ratio of peanut butter to chocolate and the peanut butter is actually good, unlike the dry, crumbly stuff sometimes found in Reese’s. Because of their small size, you can eat them by the fistful or use them in lieu of chocolate chips when baking cookies.” —Brenda Dargan-Levy, RealSimple.com managing editor
To buy: $3.49 for a 12 oz. tub.
Trader Joe’s Diner Mac ‘n Cheese
“We buy them by the dozen. Very cheesy, in a good way. The perfect giant after-school snack for 17-year-old, or lunch for everybody else!” —Kristin van Ogtrop, editor of Real Simple
To buy: $2.99 for a 14 oz. tray.
Trader Giotto’s Goat Cheese & Sun Dried Tomato Ravioli
“They’re a cinch to heat up and make Monday nights feel fancy. Top with a pat of butter, sprinkle of pepper and serve with Two Buck Chuck (no shame).” —Brandi Broxson, associate editor
To buy: $2.99 for an 8.8 oz. container.
Trader Joe’s Lite Kettle Corn
“I love the 6-pack of Trader Joe’s Lite Kettle Corn. Whether for lunch or dessert, it’s nice to have a tasty snack (with only four ingredients!) that’s pre-portioned.” —Brigitt Earley, RealSimple.com senior editor
To buy: $2.99 for six 1 oz. bags.
Trader Joe’s Creamy Unsalted Almond Butter
“It’s my go-to nut butter. I divide each jar into smaller glass containers, so I can keep one at home and one at work. It’s delicious paired with bananas and apples.” —Grace Elkus, RealSimple.com editorial assistant
To buy: $7.99 for a 16 oz. jar.
Trader Joe’s Rice Medley (Brown Rice, Red Rice, and Black Barley)
“It’s a super convenient staple that can become the base of a zillion different healthy-ish breakfasts, lunches, or dinners.” —Sarah Karnasiewicz, RealSimple.com deputy editor, food
To buy: $3.49 for a 30 oz. package.
Trader Joe’s Whole Milk Yogurt Cups
“Their yogurt is so creamy and delicious; we always get it. Sometimes, I have it as a dessert and add whipped cream on top.” —Rebecca Hart, RealSimple.com art director
To buy: $2.99 for six 4 oz. yogurt cups (sold in a six pack)
Chicken and Cheese Tamales
“When the fridge is bare and I’m in no mood to cook, this is an easy and yummy go-to!” —Casey Stenger, photo director
To buy: $2.49 for a 10 oz. package.