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
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
Convenient? Yes. Tasty? Eh.
Cocoa Baton Wafer Cookies
These are passable for dunking into your morning coffee, but I won’t go out of my way to buy them again.
If you want your morning coffee to taste like cookies, maybe??
Frozen Branzino Fillets
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
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
Nothing is sadder than opening a box of mini gingerbread people missing their heads. About half of my cookies were sadly decapitated.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
It’s just kind of hard to get
really excited about panettone, you know?
Hasselback Potatoes With Butter & Sea Salt
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
Add these to your pasta or chicken…or just serve them tapas style for an easy appetizer.
Festive Chocolate Collection
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
A totally fine option for those try to avoid dairy. (But this almond nog just ain’t the same as the real deal.)
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.
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
It would be a travesty to find my freezer without this crowd-pleasing party app inside of it.
Decked Out Tree Cookies
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
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
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
Sweet and sugary meets salty and savory, and I’m here for it.
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
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
TBH, I’d eat anything coated in rich butter sage sauce.
Raclette Sliced Cheese
Add this presliced, melty raclette cheese to anything from sandwiches to potatoes. You won’t regret it.
Chunky Artichoke & Jalapeño Dip
I love the texture of the artichokes and the fact that there’s actually a little kick to this dip.
This cheesy corn casserole is indulgent in the best way.
Uncured Bacon Wrapped Porchetta Pork Roast
Well-priced, tasty, and festive, this bacon wrapped porchetta checks off all the important boxes for your holiday main.
Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies
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.
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
Reddit via u/closed_book / Via reddit.com
Get a little fancy this holiday season without trying too hard.
Cabernet Beef Pot Roast
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
Cold weather is just an excuse to stay home and eat tender pasta filled with sweet butternut squash.
Sweet & Salty Snack Mix
If a snack mix includes peanut butter–filled pretzels, you know you’ve got a winner.
Brie Cheese With Wild Mushrooms
Creamy Brie gets an umami-packed mushroom seasonal twist, and I’m here for it.
Truffle Mousse Pâté
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
They’re minty, creamy, and chocolatey in every darn bite.
Organic Italian Nocellara Olives
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
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
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
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
I might be
too excited about these fancy schmancy salmon and creamy cheese roll-ups.
Is it OK to drink eggnog all year long? Because I totally would…
Mini Cheesecake Cones
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
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
Good stuff! For a fancy holiday feast, just add pasta.
Cacio e Pepe Ravioli
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.
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.
Burrata, Prosciutto, and Arugula Flatbread
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
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.
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