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Hi! I’m Hannah and maybe it’s in my DNA, but if you don’t already know, I’m a huge Trader Joe’s enthusiast.

T.J.’s is my favorite grocery store of all time, but I especially love it during the holidays when the aisles are filled with seasonal items. It’s safe to say I’ve sampled the majority of the store at this point — so here are a ton of Trader Joe’s holiday items ranked for your shopping pleasure from skip it to stock up on it.

(And if I missed your favorite, tell me in the comments! 🎁)


Mini Peppermint Meringues

Two containers of Trader Joe's Mini Peppermint Meringues.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

I can’t even keep track of all the delicious holiday desserts I want to eat every time I enter a Trader Joe’s this time of year..but peppermint meringues just aren’t one of them.


Peeled and Cooked Chestnuts


Spiral Sliced Fully-Cooked Ham

A fully cooked spiral ham wrapped in gold foil.

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Convenient? Yes. Tasty? Eh.


Cocoa Baton Wafer Cookies

A package of Cocoa Baton Water Cookies.

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These are passable for dunking into your morning coffee, but I won’t go out of my way to buy them again.


Gingerbread Coffee

Two containers of Trader Joe's Gingerbread Coffee.

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If you want your morning coffee to taste like cookies, maybe??


Frozen Branzino Fillets

A bag of frozen branzino fillets.

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I am a fan of any holiday that involves feasting on seven fishes, but I’d prefer flimsy frozen fish fillets to not be one of those dishes.


Family Style Meat Lasagna

A box of Family-Style Meat Lasagna.

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Sure, it’s edible, but that’s about it. If you’re looking for a frozen, premade pasta for your holiday table, Trader Joe’s has much better options.


Mini Gingerbread People

A box of Trader Joe's Mini Gingerbread People.

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Nothing is sadder than opening a box of mini gingerbread people missing their heads. About half of my cookies were sadly decapitated.



A box of Trader Joe's fondue.

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While I’d never reject a big bowl of melted cheese, this doesn’t come close to my first T.J.’s cheese aisle pick.


Chocolate Pecan Pie Bar

A few wrapped Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars from Trader Joe's.

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If you’re a fan of pecan, you definitely wouldn’t turn down this dessert, but I find it overly sweet and I wish there was some bourbon or spice flavor to round it out.


Gluten-Free Italian Panettone

Several boxes of Gluten-Free Italian Panettone from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

The taste and texture of this gluten-free Christmas treat is actually quite similar to the glutenous version. That being said, Trader Joe’s has much better holiday desserts.


Tarte Aux Champignons

A box of Tarte Aux Champginons from Trader Joe's frozen aisle.

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Mushroom fans might be disappointed by this French-style flatbread. The flavors are dull and the puff pasty is a tad soggy.


Caramelized Onion Dip

A container of Trader Joe's Caramelized Onion Dip.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

The onions are finely chopped and more or less unnoticeable. I’d rather exert the extra tiny bit of effort, buy the Lipton soup mix, and make this dip myself.


Dark Chocolate Stars

A box of Trader Joe's dark chocolate covered short bread cookies.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

These are fine and all for chocolate lovers, but they don’t have that same butteriness I expect from shortbread cookies.


Chocolate Coins of the World

A pile of chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil.

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We all know that gelt (or as Trader Joe’s calls it, “chocolate coins of the world”) is just synonymous with passable-but-not-great chocolate. There’s better stuff in the chocolate section than this.


Frozen Mashed Sweet Potatoes

A bag of frozen mashed sweet potatoes.

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These are bland and lack a sweet or spicy component, but you can jazz ’em up with the help of some cinnamon, pecans, maple syrup, marshmallows, or paprika.


Brie en Croûte

A box of frozen Brie in puff pastry from Trader Joe's.

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You’re better off making this cheesy app from scratch, especially since you really only need two ingredients: a wheel of Brie and puff pastry.


Maple Leaf Cookies

A box of Maple Leaf cookies with cream filling from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

These cookies are actually pretty solid, especially the light and airy maple filling. But ultimately, there are just so many better holiday desserts elsewhere in the store.


Over The River & Through The Wood Trek Mix

Several bags of Over The River & Through The Wood Trek Mix.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

Definitely a step above your average trail mix, but it’s heavy on the almonds, pepitas, and cranberries when (let’s face it) we’re all wanting more pumpkin pie pecans and chocolate-covered pretzels.


Panettone Classico

A box of individually-sized Panettone Classico.

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It’s just kind of hard to get really excited about panettone, you know?


Hasselback Potatoes With Butter & Sea Salt

A box of Hasselback Potatoes With Butter & Sea Salt.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

Here’s the plan: buy some potatoes, slice ’em, and top them with butter and sea salt. We’ll call them homemade hasselback potatoes.


Nog Protein Beverage Smoothie

Two bottles of nog protein smoothies.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

I don’t know…does anyone really need an eggnog-flavored protein drink? It just seems like a bit much.


Mushroom Ravioli With Mushroom Truffle Sauce

A bag of frozen mushroom ravioli from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

This frozen ravioli in truffle sauce is decadent, but it’s tough to avoid it getting soggy. For more al dente, tasty premade ravioli, stick to the refrigerated section.


Chocolate Lava Gnocchi

Bags of chocolate lava gnocchi.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

I just can’t get over the texture of this. In my mind, gnocchi should be savory. It hits different when it’s full of melted chocolate.


Antipasto Assortment

An antipasto assortment.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

I’m all for lazy appetizers, but it’s easy enough to build your own affordable and far-more-delicious antipasto plate out of Trader Joe’s snacks.


Black Truffle Cashew Pesto Sauce

Jars of black truffle cashew pesto sauce from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

Trader Joe’s went a little wild with the truffle products this fall. Unfortunately, this isn’t one of the must-tries. If I were you, I’d grab the Geneva Pesto and season it with some T.J’s truffle seasoning.


Seafood Paella

Bags of Trader Joe's seafood paella in the frozen aisle.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

This frozen paella made with calamari, shrimp, and mussels won’t change your life, but it’s a solid addition to any Feast of the Seven Fishes.


Tapas Style Grilled Artichoke Quarters

Marinated grilled artichoke quarters in packaging from Trader Joe's.

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Add these to your pasta or chicken…or just serve them tapas style for an easy appetizer.


Festive Chocolate Collection

An assortment of holiday themed dark, milk, and white chocolates.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

These taste exactly how you’d expect them to, but they’re are absolutely adorable, especially if you’re celebrating the holiday with kids.


Dark Chocolate Collection

A bag of European dark chocolates with different fillings from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

These little assorted dark chocolates taste fancy, like the stuff you’d receive in a holiday gift. Grab a few of these little baggies for stocking stuffers.


Cauliflower Pancakes

A box of frozen cauliflower pancakes from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

A welcome addition to T.J.’s frozen cauliflower products, these little guys are a lower carb alternative to potato latkes that still taste satisfying.


Gingerbread House Kit

A stack of gingerbread house kits from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

At $7.99 per box, these DIY gingerbread houses are an excellent holiday bargain. It even comes with a generous portion of icing and candy for decorating.


Raisin Rosemary Crisps

A box of Trader Joe's Raisin Rosemary Crisps.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

This classic T.J.’s cracker has been reimagined for fall, and they’re good. Serve these with any dip or holiday cheese plate.


Cookie Mug Hangers

A box of Trader Joe's Cookie Mug Hangers.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

Do I need a little gingerbread cookie that clings tightly to my mug of hot cocoa? Absolutely not. Do I love having the option? Yuuuup.


A Dozen Sweet Bites

A box of "A Dozen Sweet Bites" from Trader Joe's.

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You’ll want to serve these slightly cold so they don’t get mushy. Each box contains a satisfying mixture of fruity, chocolate-y, and espessso-flavored dessert bites.


Mushroom Risotto

A bag of frozen mushroom risotto from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

If there’s one frozen food I’ll never feel bad about buying, it’s risotto. With all that stirring, it’s a pain in the neck to make from scratch. This stuff takes about six minutes in the microwave, and it tastes as good as anything I’d make myself.


Blue Cheese & Roasted Pecan Dip

A container of blue cheese roasted pecan dip from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

An OG Trader Joe’s dip, there’s something delightful about the blending of tangy blue cheese, creamy cream cheese, and sweet pecans.


Crispy Crunchy Ginger Chunk Cookies

A bag of Crispy Crunchy Ginger Chunk Cookies from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

Think: Tate’s cookies, except cheaper and perfect for enjoying with eggnog. As a bonus, these crispy, melt-in-your-mouth cookies happen to be gluten-free.


Frozen Pie Crusts

A box of frozen pie crusts from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

They’re just pie crusts so don’t get too excited, but at $3.99 for two frozen crusts, Trader Joe’s is easily the best value out there.


Charcuterie Pinwheels

A bag of charcuterie pinwheels from Trader Joe's.

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This glorious duo features both pepperoni and sopressata rolled up with creamy mozzarella. Your holiday antipasto platter would greatly benefit from the addition.


Macarons des Fêtes

A box of frozen Macarons des Fêtes from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

TBH, I had pretty low expectations for frozen, boxed macarons, but they’re surprisingly delicious. I also appreciate the variety of flavors that comes in every box.


Almond Nog

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A totally fine option for those try to avoid dairy. (But this almond nog just ain’t the same as the real deal.)


Cheese Blintzes

A box of cheese-filled frozen blintzes from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

These are basically premade crepes loaded with creamy ricotta filling, and they’re a must-have holiday breakfast in my book. Serve with sour cream or your favorite fruit preserves.


Cranberry Chevre

A cranberry-covered goat cheese log from Trader Joe's.

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This fruity chèvre is an effortless addition to your holiday cheeseboard that no one will be upset about.


Spanakopita Filled With Spinach, Ricotta, and Feta Cheese

A box of frozen Spanakopita with Spinach, Ricotta, and Feta Cheese.

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It would be a travesty to find my freezer without this crowd-pleasing party app inside of it.


Decked Out Tree Cookies

A box of Decked Out Tree Cookies from Trader Joe's.

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These shortbread cookies in the shape of Christmas trees are topped with milk chocolate filling, drizzled with white chocolate, and garnished with festive sprinkles. So you tell me, what could be bad?


Triple Ginger Brew

Several glass bottles of triple ginger brew from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

This is some of the most flavorful ginger ale I’ve ever tasted, and it’s excellent either straight or in a cocktail. Moscow mules, anyone?


Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip

A box of frozen creamy spinach and artichoke dip from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

Holiday or any day, this creamy spinach dip is a staple in my kitchen. Piping hot from the oven, it tastes as if it were made from scratch.


Chocolate Peppermint Loaf Baking Mix


Cocoa Chile Spiced Pecans


Butter Toffee Pretzels

A bag of butter toffee pretzels from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

Sweet and sugary meets salty and savory, and I’m here for it.


Hand-Braided Challah

A hand braided challah wrapped.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

This packaged challah is low-key one of the best buys in the bakery aisle. It’s moist and eggy and brioche-like underneath the golden crust. Plus, it makes for some amazing French toast.


Braised Beef Roast

A box of fully cooked braised roast beef with demi glace from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

If you follow the microwave instructions, you’ll be disappointed in this main. But if you heat it up in the oven, the result is tender, glazed beef you can basically cut with a fork.


Sweet Potato Gnocchi With Butter & Sage

A bag of frozen sweet potato gnocchi from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

TBH, I’d eat anything coated in rich butter sage sauce.


Danish Kringle


Raclette Sliced Cheese

Boxes of sliced raclette cheese from Trader Joe's.

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Add this presliced, melty raclette cheese to anything from sandwiches to potatoes. You won’t regret it.


Chunky Artichoke & Jalapeño Dip

A container of chunky artichoke and spinach dip.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

I love the texture of the artichokes and the fact that there’s actually a little kick to this dip.


Corn Pudding

A box of frozen corn pudding from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

This cheesy corn casserole is indulgent in the best way.


Uncured Bacon Wrapped Porchetta Pork Roast

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Well-priced, tasty, and festive, this bacon wrapped porchetta checks off all the important boxes for your holiday main.


Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies

A package of gingerbread sandwich cookies from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

For boxed cookies, these taste seriously homemade. The cookies are soft and chewy and the cream filling is good enough to eat by the spoonful.


Bruschetta Sauce

A container of bruschetta sauce from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

Buy a baguette and top it with this tangy, cheesy bruschetta sauce for the easiest appetizer ever.


Better Than Leftovers Dog Treats


Scallops Wrapped In Uncured Bacon With Brown Sugar Glaze

A box of frozen Scallops Wrapped In Uncured Bacon With Brown Sugar Glaze.

Reddit via u/closed_book / Via reddit.com

Get a little fancy this holiday season without trying too hard.


Cabernet Beef Pot Roast

A Cabernet beef pot roast in its packaging from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

On its own, this fully trimmed pot roast is a bit dry and bland, but with a few simple ingredients, you can turn it into an impressive main. Try cooking it in the slow cooker with beef broth, garlic, and herbs.


Butternut Squash Ravioli

Packaged butternut squash ravioli from Trader Joe's.

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Cold weather is just an excuse to stay home and eat tender pasta filled with sweet butternut squash.


Sweet & Salty Snack Mix

A bag of sweet and salty snack mix from Trader Joe's.

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If a snack mix includes peanut butter–filled pretzels, you know you’ve got a winner.


Brie Cheese With Wild Mushrooms

Several blocks of Brie cheese with wild mushrooms.

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Creamy Brie gets an umami-packed mushroom seasonal twist, and I’m here for it.


Truffle Mousse Pâté

Chicken and black truffle mousse pate from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

If you’re a liver mousse person, this truffle-y, creamy pâté might just be your new favorite T.J’s item. And for under $6, you won’t find a bargain like this anywhere else.


Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Cremes

A box of Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Cremes.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

They’re minty, creamy, and chocolatey in every darn bite.


Organic Italian Nocellara Olives

A big jar of Organic Italian Nocellara Olives.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

Italian Nocellara olives (aka Castelvetranos) are, IMHO, the king of the olive world. And for under $5, these buttery olives in herbs are always worth it.


Grass Fed Beef Sirloin Roast

A box of fully cooked Grass Fed Beef Sirloin Roast from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

Trader Joe’s has a handful of fully cooked main dishes, and this sirloin roast is one of the best. It’s well-seasoned, juicy, and tender, and it’s a great dinner option when you’re pressed for time or just don’t feel like cooking.


Roasted & Salted Truffle Marcona Almonds

A bag of truffle salted marcona almonds.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

In the land of nuts, marcona almonds reign king. You’d spend triple the amount buying marcona almonds from anywhere else, let alone almonds seasoned in truffle oil.


Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s Dark Chocolate Bar

A Candy Cane Joe-Joe's Dark Chocolate Bar.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

What happens when you combine Candy Cane Joe Joe’s and dark chocolate? It’s a rich, crunchy, cookie-filled, peppermint-y burst of deliciousness.


Cold Smoked Salmon Fleurettes With Creamy Filling

A box of smoked salmon and cream cheese roll-ups.

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I might be too excited about these fancy schmancy salmon and creamy cheese roll-ups.


Egg Nog

A carton of Trader Joe's egg nog.

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Is it OK to drink eggnog all year long? Because I totally would…


Mini Cheesecake Cones

A box of mini cheesecake-filled cones from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

These are so good. Imagine the decadence of cheesecake and cannoli combined into one bite-sized dessert. Yeah…you’re going to want the whole box for yourself.


Spicy Chai Tea Latte Mix

A jar of Trader Joe's Chai tea latte mix.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

What I love about T.J.’s chai mix is that it’s the ideal blend of spicy and sweet. It’s cozy and comforting and I crave it often.


Italian Mushroom & Black Truffle Sauce

Bottles of Italian Mushroom & Black Truffle Sauce.

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Good stuff! For a fancy holiday feast, just add pasta.


Cacio e Pepe Ravioli

A box of pre-cooked Cacio e Pepe Ravioli from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

Of all Trader Joe’s premade raviolis and tortellinis, this cacio e pepe version is unparalleled IMO. It’s delightfully cheesy with the perfect amount of pepper. Toss it in some butter and call it an Italian feast.


Traditional Latkes

A box of tradtional latke potato pancakes from Trader Joe's,

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

Hanukkah is a great excuse to eat potato latkes, but I keep a bag of these crispy fried pancakes stashed in my freezer all the time. Pro tip: heat ’em up in the air fryer. You won’t regret it.


Truffle Dip


Burrata, Prosciutto, and Arugula Flatbread

A box of frozen flatbread from Trader Joe's.

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It would be a giant understatement to call this wonderful creation a mere “frozen pizza”. Topped with rich burrata and thinly sliced prosciutto, it’s so much more than that.


Peppermint Flavored Mini Hold The Cone Ice Cream Cones

A box of peppermint flavored "Hold the Cones" from Trader Joe's.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

Confession: I can’t walk into a Trader Joe’s and not buy a new box of Hold the Cones, especially if a seasonal flavor is available.


Jingle Jangle


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