7 Not-to-Be-Missed Trader Joe’s Groceries That Just Hit Stores, According to a Former Employee

published May 3, 2022
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Somehow, the shelves at Trader Joe’s always seem to get stocked, between every visit, with a bunch of new and returning items. I used to work there, so I know how it actually happens, but it’s still bewildering, every single time, to see the magic as a shopper. Even if you go every week, you’re almost always likely to find something that wasn’t there the week before.

With our calendars freshly flipped to May, these are the newest Trader Joe’s groceries that I’m most excited about. There’s stuff to grill, things to put on top of ice cream, ingredients to mix into a cocktail, and more.

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

1. Guajillo Salsa, $2.79 for 12 ounces

I really didn’t think any other salsa could possibly dethrone my favorite, the Pepita Salsa, but then the Guajillo salsa walked in. I love a smoky salsa with a good texture and heat — and the guajillo salsa more than meets the mark. Guajillos are similar in spice level to a jalapeño, and are slightly fruity. This salsa combines ripe red tomatoes with tangy, sweet, and spicy puréed guajillo peppers, making this my new favorite addition to fish tacos and breakfast burritos. 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

2. Sparkling White Tea with Pomegranate, $3.99 for 4 cans

From the first sip, I knew this was absolutely going to be the drink of my summer. It instantly hits you with delightful floral notes from the white tea and a tartness from the pomegranate. This would be incredible in a gin-based cocktail — especially if you have lavender or another botanical gin on hand. 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

3. BBQ & Black Pepper Toscano Chopped Salad, $3.49

Pro tip: Anytime you see the word “Toscano” on an item at Trader Joe’s, you absolutely must buy it. Amazing to eat alone, the black pepper Toscano cheese is one of my go-tos for when I want a cheese with plenty of bite. And when it comes to eating salads, I opt for ones with lots of toppings. This salad mix brings all the makings of an amazing toppings-focused salad, with a crunchy slaw-like base that adds amazing texture to the bite of the sharper black pepper Toscano cheese. Finished with crunchy cornbread croutons and a sweet BBQ red onion dressing, this salad mix is like the grown-up sister of the BBQ Chicken Ranch salad I’ve been known to eat many a time.

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

4. Caramel Washed Gouda, $11.99 per pound

Cheese is not something you’d expect to be so seasonal, but it is actually the most seasonal. Cows, sheep, and goats only graze and produce milk for cheese at certain times of the year, which makes spring and summer a huge time for all kinds of cheese production. Enter: this caramel-washed Gouda, which is washed in real caramel that develops a slightly sweet, mellow flavor as the cheese matures. It’s ideal for melting on toast, cubed up for snacking, or even grated on a salad with apples. You’ll find yourself wishing every cheese was washed in caramel.

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

5. Portuguese Custard Tarts, $2.99 for four

Yes, they’re back! But if you blink you might miss these amazing Portuguese custard tarts and I sincerely hope you don’t. These bite-sized treats, known as pastéis de nata, are imported straight from Portugal. They’re rich, eggy custard tarts and have one of the flakiest crusts I’ve ever stumbled upon in a freezer section. And I do a lot of stumbling, so trust me!

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

6. Vegan Spinach & Cashew Ravioli, $3.99 for 8.8 ounces

I’m not vegan, but I’ve always preferred the vegan cashew pesto over any other jarred or fresh pesto at Trader Joe’s. So I knew I had to try their newest cashew-stuffed ravioli, especially because I know that the grocer always hit the seasonal raviolis out of the park (looking at you, Burrata, Corn and Basil Ravioli). The cashew filling really makes these pasta pouches, lending a smooth, velvety texture that mimics a rich cheesiness. This was amazing tossed in good olive oil with a bit of salt.

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

7. Crispy Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies, $4.49 for 14 ounces

Let it be known that I’m solidly on the crunchy team when it comes to crunchy versus soft cookies. When I spotted these cookies neighboring my other favorite crunchy cookie, the Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies, I knew these were coming home with me. Be warned: These cookies are a triple threat of peanut butter (they have blanched peanuts, dry roasted peanuts, as well as creamy peanut butter). I have big plans to crush them up and bake them into a buttery pie crust and to sandwich whole cookies around ice cream for mini ice cream sandwiches.

Which of these are you most excited about? Tell us in the comments below.