Kitchn Love Letters

This $5 Savory, Cheesy Trader Joe’s Find Is So Good, I Keep Multiple Boxes in My Freezer at a Time

published Aug 19, 2022
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trader joe's freezer section
Credit: Lauren Masur

I’m not sure when exactly it happened, but one day I became staunchly “not a breakfast person.” Breakfast just became “whatever goes with my iced coffee,” merely a vehicle for cold brew so I don’t reach caffeine overload. That is, until I discovered a Brazilian-style breakfast that was very much my speed: Trader Joe’s spin on the popular snack and breakfast food, pão de queijo.

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

What’s So Great About Trader Joe’s Brazilian Style Cheese Bread?

Naturally gluten-free, Trader Joe’s Brazilian Style Cheese Bread is made with a mix of tapioca flour and nutty Parmesan cheese. One bite reveals a crispy, crunchy crust that then reveals an airy, yet chewy cheesy middle. You know when you get a pizza with those glutenous, fluffy, slightly toasty bubbles in the crust (my favorite)? That is very similar to the eating experience of pão de queijo.

What’s the Best Way to Use Trader Joe’s Brazilian Style Cheese Bread?

About as big as a slider bun, these petite cheese breads were always bound for all kinds of kitchen experiments. So far, I’ve sandwiched them around a spoonful of fig jam, dipped them in tomato sauce, or served with slices of papaya, ham, or, yes, more cheese (try Spanish Iberico or Manchego!). While the box doesn’t have directions for the air-fryer (the best and quickest way to prepare them IMHO), they’ll just need a brisk six or seven minutes at 350ºF to get perfectly crisp and cheesy. 

One day, fully in the habit of always having two boxes of TJ’s Brazilian Style Cheese Bread on hand in the freezer, it hit me: duh, of course I love this cheese bread for breakfast! I basically grew up on a steady diet of broiled, melty cheese on toast for breakfast, wrapped up still warm in a paper towel for my walk to school. These Brazilian Style Cheese Breads feel 100% like the more sophisticated version of my childhood breakfast fave.

And while they definitely go well enough with an iced coffee in the morning, they’re also perfectly paired for post-5 p.m. snacking with a cold, crisp beer.

Find it in stores: Trader Joe’s Brazilian Style Cheese Bread, $4.49 for 11 ounces