News & Features

Foodie Faves: Trader Joe's Finds

May 06 2015 - 9:00 AM

There’s no place more up to date on the latest food trends than Trader Joe’s grocery stores. Make fun of me if you want, but I’ve never seen so many affordable options for quinoa, prebagged kale or – their latest offering – shelled hemp seeds. Aside from being awesome at providing the public with products they never even knew they needed, TJ’s also has an incredible amount of gratuitous foods that just make you smile. Cookie butter, adorable cat cookies, mini wheels of brie cheese…I could go on all  day. You get the picture. Here are our favorite Trader Joe’s finds, straight from the Chicago Foodies staff. Be warned: these may change tomorrow


Two of my go-to foods at Trader Joe’s are the Indian Fare Punjab Choley and the Garlic Naan. Both products combined make for an easy weeknight meal that can be prepared in less than five minutes. It also doesn’t hurt that the Punjab Choley is only $1 per serving, and it pairs perfectly with the naan. I love the naan’s garlic aroma, and you’d never be able to tell it came straight from your freezer.

-Amanda Topper

Spicy Thai Shrimp Fried Rice is the perfect dish to take in when you’re sick of take out.  This shrimp fried rice with a Thai twist will as Trader Joe’s claims will titillate your taste buds, and I’ll vouch that it definitely does!  Sporting a little bit of heat, and a distinctive Thai taste this dish cooks in just a few minutes either on the stove top or microwave. It’s fast, easy and is great for a main dish or to serve as a side, and the best part it’s priced at under $5.00!  This product is available in the frozen section.

-Terese Lang

It’s no secret that TJ’s has their fair share of chocolate covered goodies – from chocolate covered espresso beans to chocolate coated edamame and pomegranate seeds. My personal favorite is their milk chocolate covered potato chips. Salty, ruffled potato chips are coated in creamy, high-quality milk chocolate. The result is an irresistible sweet and salty combo that I tend to crumble into my homemade cookie recipes (do it) or eat straight out of the bag.

-Marly Schuman

I’ve been hooked on too many Trader Joe’s items to count.  My latest indulgence at the world’s greatest supermarket has to be the Baconesque White Cheddar Popcorn. Those who know me well enough are aware that I’m a popcorn freak, especially the gourmet and indie brands. I’ve sampled them all, from Skinny Pop to Popcorn, Indiana, to Cooking Light to Jane’s – you name it.  But none are remotely as addictive as TJ’s Baconesque White Cheddar.

This corn is super crunchy at the center with just the slightest and the right amount of chewiness at the edges.  Two flavors immediately take your palate hostage, tangy white cheddar and smoky bacon.  Granted, there’s no actual bacon in the popcorn.  Some kind of “natural smoke flavor” so effectively replicates the taste of actual bacon that you’d swear it’s pig you’re eating and not a puffed-out corn kernel.

-M. Sheppard

I am a die-hard Trader Joe’s shopper. Though their products are often seasonal, the one thing that has remained a staple in my basket for years is the Asiago with Rosemary. It is a flavorful, aged cheese with tiny hidden crystallized salt pockets. It is the prefect addition to a cheese tray or shredded on salads or pastas; it also pairs great with all wine. The best part, as with most of Trader Joe’s cheese selection – it is a great value!

-Emily Zuker