We Tried Every Single Bag of Frozen Pasta at Trader Joe’s — These Are the 5 You Shouldn’t Miss Out On
There is no section of Trader Joe’s that’s more beautiful to behold than the frozen pasta selection. Not only are there countless varieties to fill up your freezer with, but they also go from the freezer to your stomach in a matter of minutes, making them pretty much the most convenient dinner ever. When Trader Joe’s announced the release of several new frozen pasta options, my life purpose was clear: I had to try them all.
The list of pasta and pasta-adjacent options currently in store is quite expansive. Swirly, spiral-y options neighbor raviolis, which sit next to gnocchi, flanked by frozen penne — and so on. So much variation made for a challenging side-by-side comparison. How could I compare fettuccine with gnocchi, or penne with ravioli?
In short, I couldn’t. But that’s okay. Instead, I expanded my horizons and simply tried them all. Then, like a pageant judge, I crowned each of my favorite frozen pastas with their own special titles.
The One for When You’re Feeling Fancy: Cheese Filled Fiocchetti with Pink Sauce, $3.99 for 16 ounces
The Cheese Filled Fiochhetti with Pink Sauce is one of Trader Joe’s latest (and greatest) frozen pastas. I was especially excited to sample it because it’s one of those pastas that I’m not so sure I could easily recreate at home. This pasta is stuffed with ricotta, Taleggio, and mozzarella cheese, and blanketed in a flavorful yet light, creamy tomato sauce. In a way, this reminded me of tortellini en brodo. The best way to explain this pasta is to tell you that I felt extremely fancy while eating it! If you try just one frozen pasta in TJ’s, let it be this one.
The One That Will Never Let You Down: Cacio e Pepe, $3.99 for 16 ounces
Another freezer aisle favorite that just launched last year, Trader Joe’s Cacio e Pepe easily climbed to the top of my spaghetti ranking. Note: This pasta comes packaged in little nests that you have to prod apart while cooking to ensure that they don’t stick. The end result is deliciously creamy and peppery, and so fast and easy to make. I especially loved the high sauce-to-pasta ratio, which ensured that I could easily dip bread in the remains. (I’ll have my carbs with a side of carbs, please!)
The One for When You’re Feeling Extra Hungry: Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Butter and Sage, $2.99 for 16 ounces
Of all the different types of gnocchi that Trader Joe’s offers, this one rose to the top. It is very flavorful and filling, although not too heavy on the sage. It purportedly offers three servings, but my roommate and I split it in one go. This is great for a frozen lunch option, too — you could easily cook half and save the rest in the freezer for later. Tip: Try it in this recipe.
The One with an Added Protein Boost: Fettuccine Alfredo with Grilled Chicken, $5.49 for 18 ounces
Believe it or not, this is the only multi-serving frozen pasta item with meat that Trader Joe’s carries. (When will they have a frozen Bolognese?) That being said, I found this to be a winner. The Alfredo sauce has a great peppery flavor and the chicken makes this feel like a complete meal.
The One That’s Not Really Pasta at All: Harvest Spaghetti Squash Spirals, $3.99 for 12 ounces
This veggie noodle situation was a total surprise for me and turned out to be one that I will definitely be revisiting again and again. These spaghetti squash spirals are served with chunks of butternut squash, tomato sauce, and cheese. I made it with the hopes that I would save some for my roommate to try when she got home, but I couldn’t help myself and ate the entire thing in one sitting. On that note, the serving was a little small, so I recommend perhaps grabbing more than one bag if you want to stretch it for family dinner. Or just serve this as a side dish.
Which of these Trader Joe’s frozen pastas are you adding to your grocery list? Tell us in the comments below!