Kitchn Love Letters

The $5 Trader Joe’s French Find You Should Always Have in Your Freezer (No, It’s Not the Croissants)

published Feb 11, 2024
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head on shot of an assortment of trader joe's frozen food in a yellow freezer bag, and some scattered on the counter around it.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Tom Hoerup

In a perfect world, I’d breeze out of my charming Paris apartment every day to pick up gooey cheese at an affinois (they’d know me by name, bien sûr); stop by the vegetable stand for just-picked, in-season produce; head to a butcher for a chop or two; and then nip into the boulangerie for a still-warm baguette. 

French folks buy baguettes every day because the harsh truth is, baguettes aren’t made to last. They go from crusty, springy objects of pure pleasure to desiccated drywall-like batons in what seems like seconds. In our house, we don’t always finish a whole baguette the day it’s purchased; it ends up being made into breadcrumbs or, worse, some of it lands in the compost bin.

That’s why I was thrilled to find Trader Joe’s new frozen Mini French Baguettes. Ever since I found these frozen heat-and-serve breadlettes, I can have fresh, warm baguette without running an errand or feeling pressured to eat more baguette than I really want, just to use it up.

Credit: Ivy Manning

What’s So Great About Trader Joe’s Mini French Baguettes?

As the name suggests, these little baguettes are a petite version of French-style baguettes in frozen form. Coming in at about 1.6 ounces, they’re a little larger than a puffy breadstick and about one-fifth the size of a full-size baguette. One mini baguette is the perfect serving size for one person, although two is a good serving size, too. 

Because of their diminutive size, these baguettes go from frozen to golden-brown, crispy-chewy perfection in the oven or air fryer fast. TJ’s recommends four to six minutes, but I prefer my baguette “bien cuit,” well-done and deep golden-brown, so I bake mine for eight to 10 minutes in my Ninja countertop air fryer

My only complaint? There are only six baguettes per bag, and my family burns through them like oxygen, so I have to stock up with multiple bags. I’d love to see a 12-baguette size package.

Credit: Ivy Manning

What’s the Best Way to Use Trader Joe’s Mini French Baguettes? 

These warm, crusty baguettes are my new BFF for charcuterie boards because they are quick (and, honestly, aren’t they adorable?). I’ll often make a few to serve with soup, because soup without bread is just hot water. I’ve also converted them into chic Parisian-inspired ham and Brie sandwiches and served them alongside beef stew as a sopping-up device. 

Credit: Ivy Manning

They’re also aces served by themselves with a little dish of salted French butter for a little personal la-vie-est-belle moment. 

Find it in stores: Trader Joe’s Mini French Baguettes, $4.49 for 9.5 ounces

Have you tried TJ’s Mini French Baguettes? Tell us about it in the comments below.