The 8 Best Snacks We Bought at Trader Joe’s This Year

published Dec 16, 2022
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Trader Joe's canvas bag filled with groceries on countertop; some grocery items displayed on countertop.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Trader Joe’s certainly doesn’t need to go as hard as it does in the snacking department, but year after year the geniuses there just … well, they go off. And this year was no exception. As far as we’re concerned, we wouldn’t be surprised if the product development team played a few games of Flavor Mad-Libs in order to create the playfully delicious snacks we bought in 2022. 

They packed classic Italian pasta flavors into crunchy puffs, turned a drink into a cookie, and made PB&Js even more irresistible. Of all the bites, dips, puffs, patties, and more we tried this year, these eight are our absolute favorites. Some might surprise you.

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

1. Organic Cacio e Pepe Puffs, $1.99 for 4.9 ounces

This year solidly found us in the midst of the Great Cacio e Pepe Enlightenment; the creamy-salty-peppery flavor was everywhere in 2022 and we are all the better for it. These puffs pack the namesake classic pasta flavor into each airy-yet-crunchy bite. 

They’re perfect to set out for a game night or as a crunchy accompaniment on a charcuterie board. We’ve been tossing them on top of a Caesar salad in lieu of croutons, crushing them to bread chicken, and storing them passenger-side for a higher-brow road-trip snack.

Credit: Alyse Whitney

2. Crispy Crunchy Mochi Rice Nuggets, $2.99 for 6.35 ounces

Everything about Trader Joe’s Crispy Crunchy Mochi Rice Nuggets — a mouthful of a name that matches our insatiability for this absolutely bonkers-delicious snack — is excellent. Each bite-sized morsel of fried glutinous rice is ultra crispy and crunchy, and is coated with just the right amount of salt to be able to eat a handful without needing to chug water. 

The undertone of sweetness in glutinous rice also comes through to balance out the salt, making it an ideal dipper for both sweet and savory dips. We love them with Trader Joe’s Green Goddess and Caramelized Onion dip as much as we enjoy them as a surprising dunker for chocolate fondue.  

Credit: Laura Manzano

3. PB & J Snack Duo, $3.99 for 12.7 ounces

Trader Joe’s has wasted no time reinventing this classic duo in an interactive way for all our daily on-the-go PB&J needs! In these PB&J Snack Duos, peanut butter wafer sticks come safely stacked in a small plastic canoe, accompanied by a sidecar of raspberry fruit dip for, well, dipping. 

The peanut butter wafers are like those fancy Pirouette cookies your mom hid from you as a kid, but better. They’re flaky, a little salty, and are as good on their own as they are dipped in their small cup of thick, sweet jelly. If we’re in a particular kind of mood, we’ll even stick them in ice cream, drizzle the jelly on top, and call it a sundae.

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

4. Garlic Spread and Dip, $2.99 for 8 ounces

More complex than the sum of its parts, Trader Joe’s Garlic Spread is made with garlic, lemon juice, and oil, whipped into a light, mayo-esque spread — and a little goes a long way. Also known as toum, this fluffy, white spread is likely a familiar sight at your neighborhood Lebanese takeout spot. We’ve found very few situations that this spread doesn’t improve. 

Trader Joe’s Garlic Spread is great for topping kebabs, tossing with roasted vegetables or pasta, or stirring into rice or mashed potatoes. It will instantly brighten up your standby avocado toast (or any sandwich, really) and really add pizzazz to your next batch of garlic bread. 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

5. Jamaican-Style Beef Patties, $4.49 for 9 ounces

Beef patties were arguably one of my favorite lunches at school. So there was never a reality in which I didn’t immediately heat up a batch of these spicy, savory, handheld meat pies now easily available at Trader Joe’s

The combination of flaky, turmeric-laced crust and rich curried beef filling didn’t disappoint. The patties are great on their own as part of a meal or as a street-food-esque snack (along with a fizzy ginger beer or Red Stripe).

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

6. Strawberry Lemonade Joe-Joe’s, $2.99 for 16 ounces

Personally, we really didn’t think another cookie could top another favorite Trader Joe’s seasonal cookie, the Peppermint Joe-Joe’s, but here we are. These cookies did it. The lemon-y wafer cookies made with dried lemon combined with the strawberry creme filling pack in as much of the classic drink flavor as possible. 

After a bite (or two) of these summer-y cookies, we guarantee you’ll start to dream of all the endless ways you can use them (outside of merely dunking in a cold glass of milk). We love crushing these up to crumb-coat a cake, using them as a base for cake pops, and crumbling them into a milkshake. 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

7. Brownie Crisp Ice Cream Sandwiches, $3.99 for 10 ounces

Delightfully bite-sized, these ice cream sandwiches take TJ’s crispy (and naturally gluten-free!) Brownie Crisp cookies and sandwich them around a creamy scoop of coffee ice cream. The combination of the chocolate chip-studded cookie and coffee ice cream won us over with the layers of flavor. 

These fudgy, buzzy ice cream sandwiches are equal parts reminiscent of the experience of drinking a Java Chip Frappuccino at the mall and a chocolate-y affogato. 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

8. Umami Flavored Corn Tortilla Chips, $2.99 for 9 ounces

These Umami Flavored Corn Tortilla Chips are like a full meal in one bite, like the magical gum from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory — maybe without the blueberry pie moment. The chips have a caramelized onion-ish sweetness, plus the savory meatiness that defines umami in things like soy sauce, Parmesan cheese, and mushrooms. 

They’re reminiscent of Funyuns mixed with a light sprinkle of a Top Ramen chicken seasoning packet. It was impossible not to try these chips before exiting the parking lot. We highly recommend grabbing a few bags and adding a handful of chips to your next turkey sandwich.