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Trader Joe’s Must Haves | Angela Zhang

Joe might be one of the most average guy names in the English language, but when you put “Trader” before it, it becomes the beloved national grocery chain store that boasts not-so-average products. Over the years, Trader Joe’s has become so embedded in American food culture and vernacular that we wait with bated breath for the weekly arrival of new items and restock of our favorites like they’re the last new game console or Harry Styles album.

The year of 2021 has already proven to be no exception, with products that are already making waves and flying off the shelves. I rounded up seven of my favorites — check them out below and make sure to scoop them up before your fellow TJ’s shoppers beat you to the register. 

Chocolate-Covered Wafer Cookies with Peanut Butter Filling

There is perhaps no better snack time duo than chocolate and peanut butter. The perfect harmony of flavors created by the two most beloved ingredients wins again with the companion of tasty wafers that are essentially upgraded Kit-Kats. Although we’re shocked that TJ’s didn’t put this out sooner, we’re by no means complaining. 

Frozen Chocolate Croissants

Don’t be fooled by how they look when you open the package. After letting them sit overnight to defrost and rise, a simple 25 minute bake in the morning will give you the perfect flaky, tasty chocolate croissant. As someone who wants something fresh in the morning but also doesn’t want to spend too much time, this is the perfect bakery good to enjoy at the start of the day. 

Portuguese Custard Tarts 

There aren’t many egg yolk-based dishes that disappoint and these custard tarts are no exception. The rich and creamy custard is cushioned by a flaky pastry crust, downright drool-worthy and all-too-easy to make. Simply pop them in an oven, air fryer, or microwave for a quick and not too sweet treat.

Hatch Chile Chicken Wraps

Frozen burritos have withstood the test of time, but these Hexagonal bundles offer a much more elevated meal experience with ingredients like grilled chicken, mozzarella, black beans, and Monterey Jack cheese, and of course, New Mexico’s famed Hatch chilis. You can simply microwave them, toast them on a skillet, or toss them in the oven for a quick, stress-free, and flavorful lunch that will put the sad PB&J sandwich to shame.

Steamed Pork & Ginger Soup Dumplings 

Even though the name of the product might sound tempting, many store bought soup dumplings turn out to be dry as they miss out on the keyword: “soup”. However, this is not the case with Trader Joe’s soup dumplings. Not only is the flavor authentic and delicious, the ratio of dumpling skin to filling is also perfect. But most importantly, each dumpling explodes with soup as you bite into them. 

Everything But the Bagel Seasoned Potato Chips

Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning continues to be one of the store’s best-selling items, but its role as a kettle-cooked potato chip coating is becoming a snack time gamechanger. It also presents a much harder crunch than the normal chip, allowing it to stand up to your favorite thick dips.

Almond Butter-Covered Almonds

Chocolate takes the backseat to almond butter with this sweet treat that strikes a harmonious balance between creamy and crunchy. These coated almonds are also delectably salty, which satisfies both types of taste buds and cravings. So if you don’t like them, then the problem absolutely lies with you and your palate (just kidding, unless you are allergic).

And that’s a wrap on some of your Trader Joe’s must haves. Now hurry up to the store and add them to your cart before they fly off the shelves again.

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