The Best New Trader Joe’s Groceries That Hit Shelves This Year (So Far)

published Jun 16, 2022
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Design: The Kitchn

Could we have gotten through the first half of the year without these new groceries from Trader Joe’s? Sure. Did they make our mornings easier, our dinners snappier, and our snacks sweeter — and a pinch saltier? You betcha. While we wait (a little impatiently) to see what the grocer has in store for the rest of 2022, let’s take a look back at our favorite bites, bottles, pints, and pouches of this year.

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

1. Incredisauce, $3.29 for 11 ounces 

This sauce truly earns its name. Just like their Magnifisauce, Incredisauce mimics a sauce from a fast-food favorite. Sweet, tangy, and smoky with a honey mustard base, Incredisauce is amazing squeezed on french fries or a buttered bun for a pickle-brined fried chicken sandwich (just for example). If you haven’t picked it up yet, please tell us what you are waiting for!

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

2. Okie Dokie Non-Dairy Dessert, $3.99 for 16 ounces 

Whether you’re vegan or just dairy-averse, you should say a hearty okie-dokie to Trader Joe’s newest non-dairy dessert. Inspired by the New Zealand “Hokey Pokey” ice cream, which traditionally combines rich vanilla ice cream and honeycomb toffee, this vegan version swirls decadent oat milk ice cream with crunchy-creamy sponge candy and caramel. We like to add a light dusting of flaky pink sea salt to balance the sweetness of the Dalgona-esque candy bits.

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

3. Beef Birria, $7.99 for 16 ounces

If you haven’t experienced the glory of a late-night Los Angeles street taco, this beef birria is a tears-of-joy-inducing alternative. Yup. We nearly wept when we spotted it in the freezer section earlier this month. It’s truly so frighteningly spot-on that we had to corroborate our feelings with a Californian friend to make sure our tastebuds weren’t playing tricks. (She agreed.) The birria is ridiculously tender, brothy, and needs no embellishment outside of some fried tortillas, a bit of chopped white onion, and cilantro.

Credit: L. Daniela Alvarez

4. French Chocolate Crêpe Wafer Cookies, $2.99 for 3.52 ounces

Whenever Girl Scout Cookie season is in full swing, it’s hard to notice any other cookies. These chocolate wafers, however, caught our eye for their petite size, which make them the ideal snack for an afternoon tea (or iced coffee or cocktails or any beverage, really) with friends. Now, for the taste: The cookies are perfectly crispy, airy, and light and without the overt sweetness of most cookies. We definitely ended up going back for a second (and third) box!

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

5. Portuguese Custard Tarts, $2.99 for four

These aren’t new, but they did make their comeback last month. And yes, we’re thrilled about it! If you blink, you might miss these amazing Portuguese custard tarts — and we sincerely hope you don’t. The bite-sized treats, known as pastéis de nata, are imported straight from Portugal. They’re rich, eggy custard tarts with one of the flakiest crusts we’ve ever stumbled upon in a freezer section. And we do a lot of stumbling, so trust us!

6. Trader Joe’s Mini Chocolate Chip Pancake & Waffle Mix, $3.69

The best and most surprising part about this pancake and waffle mix can be summed up in five words, which appear on the front of the packaging in bold, yet small type: Just add water for pancakes. And, yes, these just-add-water pancakes are delicious — thick, fluffy, everything we want out of a homemade pancake with minimal effort. The mini chocolate chips are studded throughout and add a nice bit of chocolate decadence to EVERY bite, too. These were another TJ’s limited-time-only special. We can only hope they’ll be back later this year!

Did your favorite make the list? Tell us about it in the comments below.