I Tried Trader Joe’s Brand-New Pasta Sauce and It Was the Best $3 I’ve Spent This Month

published Jul 20, 2023
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overhead photo of pasta with lemon pesto in white shallow bowl on white surface
Credit: Photo: Tara Donne; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite places to visit. Whether I’m looking to try popular pastries or limited-edition treats, I know I can depend on TJ’s to supply my needs. I love the brand so much that I regularly follow Trader Joe’s-centered accounts to stay in the know of new products. So when the popular creator @TraderJoesList posted the new Trader Joe’s Lemon Pesto Sauce to their account earlier this month, I knew I had to snag it immediately for my next pasta dish. 

Lemons are a pretty common ingredient in pasta recipes, so I was eager to see how the Trader Joe’s Lemon Pesto Sauce tasted. Armed with some noodles I had in the cabinet, I whipped up a quick pasta dish to put it to the test.

Credit: Choya Johnson

How to Use the Trader Joe’s Lemon Pesto Sauce

There’s really no wrong way to use this sauce, but as suggested on the Trader Joe’s website, you can use lemon pesto on grilled chicken breast, shrimp kebabs, toasted baguettes topped with sliced prosciutto, and, of course, pasta. 

I added one tablespoon of the sauce to a pot of cooked bowtie noodles along with a half cup of cooked, sliced bacon. After mixing everything together and letting it simmer for a bit, I lightly topped it with some Parmesan cheese and oregano before serving.

My Honest Review of the Trader Joe’s Lemon Pesto Sauce

When I first opened the sauce, it made me think of my favorite lemon dessert or pastry because of how sweet the smell is. The smell alone made me want to dig in. 

I tasted the sauce before adding it to my pasta, and it was good. But the flavor was very strong, so I knew I had to take it easy when mixing it in; I used only one tablespoon. Overall, though, I think it made a great pesto for the pasta and I can’t wait to try it on some grilled fish or shrimp. 

Credit: Choya Johnson

2 Tips for Using the Trader Joe’s Lemon Pesto Sauce

  1. Less is more. I used 1 tablespoon and that was just enough to do the pasta that I made justice. You can start light and then add more as you see fit.
  2. Try it out on different items. As Trader Joe’s suggests, this pesto is great on a number of things, so test the waters. I can’t wait to top some seafood or chicken with it, and can even see myself using it as a topping on a sandwich.