Looking to eat less meat? Trader Joe’s can help!
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trader joes Vegan Buttery Spread
Credit: traderjoes.com

The start of a new year often means people are ready to make changes to their home, wellness routine, and diet. Whether you vowed to eat less meat and animal products in 2022, or have been vegan for many years, Trader Joe's is quickly becoming a great source for many plant-based must-haves. In fact, higher ups at the company have been candid about its growing slate of vegan items, which is a result of customer demand.

"There's been a huge growth in the meatless set. These new iterations of products are really going after the flexitarian customer," Amy Gaston-Morales, one of the chain's category managers, said on a 2021 episode of the Inside Trader Joe's podcast. "As people are looking for ways to have a healthier lifestyle and improve their overall general health … they are incorporating meat-free days."

To that end, it's no surprise that Trader Joe's has come out with everything from vegan butter and ice cream, to meat-free takes on bolognese-style pasta sauce and its ever-popular Mandarin Orange Chicken. And since Trader Joe's items typically go through rigorous product testing before they are available for purchase, you can rest assured that the California-based chain's vegan foods are impressively tasty, and will likely satisfy even the most critical meat eaters.

Keep reading to find out which Trader Joe's vegan products will make your Meatless Mondays (and beyond) even easier!

1 Organic Creamy Cashew Cultured Yogurt Alternative

This new product is a dairy-free, vegan yogurt alternative made with crushed organic cashews that have been mixed with filtered water, and enhanced with a hint of coconut cream. It also has six live and active probiotics—just like dairy yogurt—so you can still reap those good-bacteria benefits. Buy the plain, unsweetened version and top it with fresh fruit, or choose one of flavored and sweetened versions for when you're in a rush.

2 Vegan Buttery Spread

There are basically unlimited uses for butter when cooking, but it's often tricky to find a vegan substitute that gets the job done. Enter: Trader Joe's Vegan Buttery Spread. Made in Germany with a combination of sunflower, coconut, and canola oil mixed with a bit of shea butter, fava bean protein, and just a touch of salt, this spread boasts an irresistible buttery flavor. Unlike some other plant-based butter substitutes, this spread can be used as a 1:1 replacement for traditional dairy-based butter in every way. That's right, you can use this spread in everything from vegan baked goods to "buttery" mashed potatoes.

3 Green Goddess Salad Dressing

This healthy salad dressing has been a TJ's favorite among vegans and meat-eaters alike for quite some time. It gets its vibrant green hue from Hass avocados, and is also made with fresh herbs, such as basil and chives, as well as green onions, garlic, and apple cider vinegar. Use it to dress a veggie-filled salad or a hearty grain bowl. Trust us, you won't be disappointed. 

RELATED: 12 Tips and Secrets to Make the Most of Your Next Trader Joe's Trip

4 Vegan Feta Cheese Alternative

Let's be honest, it can be tricky to find vegan cheese that actually tastes good and has the texture of the real deal, but TJ's Vegan Feta Cheese Alternative delivers on both fronts. It's made with a mix of coconut oil, potato starch, and a bit of potato protein, which gives it that creamy, savory flavor feta is known for. Plus, you can easily crumble it and sprinkle it over a salad, or use a block of it to make TikTok's famous Baked Feta Pasta.

Not a feta fan? Try TJ's vegan Shredded Parmesan Cheese Alternative instead. The shreds are made from a base of highly refined coconut oil, and will add a cheesy flavor to salads, roasted vegetables, pasta dishes, and potatoes.

5 Tofu Scramble With Soy Chorizo

Start your Meatless Monday (or any other day of the week) with this savory breakfast bowl that has an impressive 25 grams of completely plant-based protein. It's made with seasoned scrambled tofu and some smoky, spicy, soy-based chorizo. Inside this microwavable meal, you'll also find a sizable portion of chopped peppers, onions, and vegan, Cheddar- style shreds. Top the finished product with a salsa and hot sauce combo or some sliced avocado to make it even more satiating and delicious.

6 Vegan Cream Cheese Alternative

Made from a tasty base of coconut oil mixed with potato starch and chickpea protein, this Vegan Cream Cheese has all the smooth spreadability and silky mouthfeel of a standard, dairy-based cream cheese, but none of the dairy or other animal-based products. Enjoy it on a bagel, add it to a vegan mac and cheese recipe, or use it to help frost a vegan red velvet or carrot cake. Even if you don't follow a strictly vegan diet, it might make sense to pick up one of these on your next trip to Trader Joe's given the current cream cheese shortage!

RELATED: 11 Tips for Making Tastier Plant-Based Meals, According to Professional Chefs

7 Vegan Enchilada Casserole

If you're looking for a comforting meatless meal that's ready in minutes, give this savory Vegan Enchilada Casserole a try. It's got layers of soft corn tortillas and a medley of roasted veggies, including yams, zucchini, onions, and zesty poblano peppers, which are then smothered in a toasty red chile sauce and topped with a mix of mozzarella and Cheddar-style shredded vegan cheese. Once the casserole is fully cooked, the cheese and veggies blend together to create a gooey and satisfying meal.

8 Vegan Pasta Bolognese Bowl

For a plant-based Italian feast, consider TJ's Vegan Pasta Bolognese Bowl. The saucy dish, which you can find in the freezer section, is packed with tube-shaped pasta made from red lentils, and a meat-free "bolognese" sauce. Instead of slow-braised beef, pork, or veal, the savory pasta accompaniment is made with tomato, mushrooms, carrots, onion, wheat protein, and garlic.

If you'd rather make your own pasta dish, you can still get some help from Trader Joe's Vegan Bolognese Style Pasta Sauce, which works as a zoodle or noodle topper.

9 Chicken-less Mandarin Orange Morsels

Since Mandarin Orange Chicken is one of Trader Joe's most popular items, it's no surprise that the company opted to make a vegan version of the dish known as Chicken-less Mandarin Orange Morsels. While the sweet and spicy sauce is the same, the chicken has been replaced by a combination of textured wheat protein, soy flour, and more. Still, this dish tastes very similar to the original, and is practically perfect when served alongside vegetables and rice.

RELATED: Trader Joe's Employees Just Revealed Their Favorite Frozen Foods—and the Results are Hilarious

10 Yellow Jackfruit Curry With Jasmine Rice

If you've spent any time on vegan TikTok, you know that jackfruit is one of those extremely versatile plant-based foods that people can't seem to get enough of. Here, the popular ingredient is paired with a creamy, coconut milk-based yellow curry sauce, which is made with a yellow curry paste that's specifically crafted for Trader Joe's, as well as chunks of eggplant and red bell pepper. And since curry is nothing without some rice, this meal includes a separate package of white jasmine rice that complements the bold jackfruit curry.

11 Vegan Cookies & Cream Vanilla Bean Bon Bons

If you've been to Trader Joe's recently, you're likely aware that the retailer has a decent selection of non-dairy ice creams. However, sometimes you're in the mood for something a bit more decadent. Enter Trader Joe's Vegan Cookies & Cream Vanilla Bean Bon Bons. These bite-sized treats feature ice cream-like centers made from frozen coconut milk, which is then studded with chocolate and vanilla bean creme sandwich cookies. As if that's not drool-worthy enough, the whole vegan treat is then enrobed in a rich, chocolatey coating.

RELATED: A 1-Pound Chocolate Bar and 12 More Trader Joe's Items Chocolate Fans Will Love

12 Vegan Banana Bread With Walnuts

While banana bread isn't as popular as it was many months ago, it's still a tasty treat that can easily satisfy any sugar craving. This vegan version, which is great to bring to or serve at a plant-based dinner party, is made without dairy or eggs, but still has an unmistakable banana-walnut flavor. What's more? While some vegan breads have a gritty consistency, this treat is as dense and moist as the real deal.