We love Trader Joe's for its prices, its wine and cheese selections, and its cookie butter spread. But it's the special, seasonal products that make everybody jump up and shout things like, "It's here, it's here! The cranberry sauce is finally here!" Trader Joe's is full of unique things you can't get anywhere else. Here are five things to buy right now from Trader Joe's to make Thanksgiving extra spectacular.
- Cranberry-Orange Relish, $3.50 for 16 ounces: Trader Joe's has been making this cranberry orange-relish for decades, and its fans will never let them discontinue it. It's a seasonal item that only comes out around Thanksgiving, but people stock up on this uncooked cranberry-orange relish and freeze it to eat year-round. (It's great with cheese.)
- Vanilla Pumpkin Scented Candle, $4: When you're getting the bathroom "company ready," light one of these scented candles in the room while you're at it. While you can certainly buy a pumpkin-scented candle at other stores, nothing beats this one. Vanilla-based scented candles tend to be cloying and overpowering, but the touch of vanilla in this candle complements the festive pumpkin scent, while cinnamon, cloves, and caramel give it spice and depth. If you've ever wanted to live in a pumpkin spice latte, you need this candle in your house. It smells amazing, and the tin it comes in is adorable.
- Salad Palette Turkey Harvest, $5 for 10 ounces: Salad tends to be an afterthought at Thanksgiving dinner, if it's not excluded entirely, but this seasonal boxed salad deserves a place next to the turkey and stuffing. Pick up a couple to toss together and save yourself some chopping time on Thanksgiving, or just eat it for lunch the entire month of November. It contains sweet potatoes, turkey breast, roasted Brussels sprouts, sunflower seeds, cranberries, and an apple cider-shallot vinaigrette. It tastes like fall, and will also give you some really good ideas about what to do with your leftovers.
- Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese, $3 for 12 ounces: This frozen butternut squash mac & cheese is a new product for 2017, and people are already going bananas for it. It's got short rigatoni pasta in a thick, creamy sauce made with bechamel, butternut squash purée, nutmeg, sage, and a blend of Gouda, cheddar, and Parmesan cheeses. Get enough for everybody, put it in a casserole dish, and let the top get browned and crispy. You'll be the most popular guest at Friendsgiving.
- Chocolate Mousse Pumpkins, $3 for six: These little pumpkins are a cult favorite at Trader Joe's. Each pumpkin is an individual serving of chocolate cake topped with an airy chocolate mousse, and the whole thing is draped in Belgian chocolate. Set these out on trays for an easy party dessert, or hoard them for yourself for those sudden "I want chocolate cake" moments. They're like a fancy version of the Little Debbie snack cakes people remember from childhood.
What Thanksgiving finds do you buy at Trader Joe's?