The 10 Best Freezer Finds We Bought at Trader Joe’s This Year

published Dec 15, 2021
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Credit: Lauren Masur

Whether you went to Trader Joe’s for the first time this year or you frequent the store on the regular (so much so, you’ve become a member of a Trader Joe’s-themed Facebook group), chances are high you have a favorite freezer find (or four?). It’s hard to pick just one! Because, while Trader Joe’s specializes in a lot of things, the grocer really shines when it comes to frozen foods.

With the end of the year quickly approaching, we took a stroll down memory lane (turns out, it snakes through the freezer aisle!) to remind ourselves about the very best frozen finds we bought at Trader Joe’s this year.

Credit: Lauren Masur

1. Chocolate Croissants, $4.99 for 12 ounces

These are some of the closest-tasting to true Parisian croissants that we’ve ever had — and they couldn’t be easier to heat up. Just remember one thing: The night before you want to eat them, simply take them out of the box and lay them on a greased baking sheet to proof overnight. You can even skip the brush-the-dough-with-a-beaten-egg bit (it doesn’t alter the look or taste much). The result is a perfectly warm and crispy outside and a luscious and melty dark chocolate inside. In a word: voilà!

Credit: Antonia DeBianchi

2. Eggwich Sandwich, $4.99 for 7.8 ounces

Whether you’re looking for a breakfast-for-dinner shortcut or just a delicious sandwich to start your day, this new, breadless breakfast sandwich is one we’ve been adding to our cart on repeat. The turkey sausage and American cheese are sandwiched between two egg patties. It’s gluten-free, zero work, and 100% what we want for breakfast tomorrow!  

3. Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Bites, $3.99 for 10 ounces

Employees, including famed Inside Trader Joe’s podcast hosts Tara and Matt, raved about these creamy, saucy, extra-yummy bites that take just eight to 10 minutes in the oven or the air fryer. These bites were such a standout hit, they made our list of the best things we bought at TJ’s in general — freezer aisle or otherwise!

Credit: Julian Montijo

4. Cheese Filled Fiocchetti with Pink Sauce, $3.99 for 16 ounces

Are you feeling fancy? We felt extremely fancy while eating this pasta, which is stuffed with ricotta, Taleggio, and mozzarella cheese, and blanketed in a flavorful yet light, creamy tomato sauce. In a way, it reminded us of tortellini en brodo. If you pick up just one frozen pasta on your next trip to TJ’s, let it be this one.

Credit: Antonia DeBianchi

5. Country Potatoes with Haricots Verts and Wild Mushrooms, $3.29 for 16 ounces

This vegetable trio is the perfect side for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Serve it with a hearty steak dish or top it off with a homemade fried egg. Lightly seasoned with pepper, paprika, and parsley, this veggie combo finds most of its bursts of flavor in the meaty mushrooms, thinly sliced potatoes, and tender green beans.

Credit: Lauren Masur

6. Mexican Style Roasted Corn with Cotija Cheese, $3.29 for 14 ounces

Speaking of flavorful frozen veggies, this frozen bag is filled with charred kernels of corn, already off the cob (obviously), and smoky sauce pellets that melt upon heating. It’s also got a touch of lime juice, cilantro, and a packet of cotija cheese meant for sprinkling over the finished dish. It’s a little spicy, very satisfying, and one of the best things we bought all year!

Credit: Julian Montijo

7. Channa Masala, $2.99 for 10 ounces

Of the five best frozen dinners we fell in love with, this was the only one to receive a perfect score: 21 (the remaining four were way above satisfactory; the lowest pick scored 19). It’s deliciously seasoned, immensely flavorful, and ready with a speedy two-minute zap in the microwave. Of course, pairing with TJ’s garlic naan is essential, which conveniently sits right next to the chana masala in the frozen aisle’s Indian cuisine section. 

Credit: Lauren Masur

8. Organic Brown Rice, $2.99 for 30 ounces

Salads, DIY sushi bowls, the easiest-ever “risotto” (stir in broth, frozen shrimp, frozen artichokes, and a lot of Parmesan cheese) — there are countless uses for this quick-cooking rice. And it could not be simpler to make: Remove a bag from the freezer, give it a zap in the microwave for three minutes, let it stand for a minute (it’s super hot!), and you have the perfectly al dente start to your dinner. 

Credit: Mercedes Davis

9. Cauliflower Gnocchi, $2.79 for 12 ounces

What is a frozen food list at Trader Joe’s without Cauliflower Gnocchi on it? There’s a reason it sells out pretty much the second it hits shelves. There are so many ways to make it; which one is your favorite?

Credit: Mercedes Davis

10. Fruit Frenzy Bars, $2.69 for 4 bars

The trio of flavors — raspberry, lemon, and strawberry — in these Popsicles are incredibly refreshing, even more so when they’re dunked in a glass of Champagne. Yes, 2021 was the year we drank our Popsicles with a little bubbly over brunch. Come to think of it, we’ll be doing this in 2022, too.

Don’t see your favorite freezer find on the list? Tell us about it in the comments below!