The 10 Best Trader Joe’s Buys for Right Now

published May 14, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Design: The Kitchn

After spending the dark, cold days of winter comforting ourselves with rich stews, casseroles, and braises, lighter spring flavors can feel like a welcome breath of fresh air. I’ll admit, though, it’s hard to celebrate spring while cooped up inside, sheltering in place. That’s why subtle reminders of the season — especially ones you can eat and drink in the comforts of home — are all the more needed right now.

With this in mind, I recently picked out some of the best Trader Joe’s finds for right now — the groceries that are either making a seasonal comeback, or just simply fitting for this time of year and everything that’s going on. Here’s what I came up with.

Credit: Danielle Centoni

1. Chickpea and Red Lentil Risoni, $2.99 for 10.58 ounces

When you’re craving a savory pilaf to go with that fillet of salmon, but want to pack in more protein than grains or pasta can provide, this “risoni” comes to the rescue. It’s made with fiber- and protein-rich chickpeas and lentils and cooks in 10 minutes. Use it anywhere you’d use orzo and rice.

Credit: Trader Joe's

2. Vegan Chicken-less Seasoning Salt, $1.99 for 3.3 ounces

In Australia, they don’t season their fries with salt, they season them with chicken salt. Think of it like instant umami — a deeply savory and salty powder that’s great on everything. This version doesn’t list actual chicken as an ingredient. Instead, it’s made with onion powder, turmeric, garlic power, and other spices.

Credit: Danielle Centoni

3. Limone Alfredo Sauce, $3.49 for 15 ounces

Spiked with lemon and rich with cream, butter, and Parmesan, this bright Alfredo sauce would make a great shortcut for pasta primavera with shredded carrots and a bag of English peas from the produce section. Toss it with fettuccini or the beloved Ricotta and Lemon Zest Ravioli, which are back after a year-long hiatus.

Credit: Danielle Centoni

4. Everything But the Elote Seasoning Blend, $2.49 for 2.3 ounces

Mexican street corn covered in cotija cheese and chile powder is truly one of the most delicious things on the planet, and this seasoning blend aims to capture a bit of that magic. It’s made with ground chiles, including chipotles, as well as Parmesan and cumin, plus corn flour and sugar to mimic the sweet taste of corn. Try it on things like popcorn, avocado toast, and pinto beans.

5. Springle Jangle, $4.99 for 10 ounces

Jingle Jangle lovers, rejoice! Trader Joe’s finally launched its spring version of the sweet Christmastime treat: Springle Jangle. It’s made with pink and yellow drizzled yogurt pretzels, Joe-Joe bark, butter toffee peanuts, dark and milk mini PB cups, spring pareils, and pastel candies. When execs teased this launch on the Inside Trader Joe’s podcast, I put it at the top of my future grocery lists. The time to get it is now!

6. Jicama Wraps, $3.99 for 7.5 ounces

Super-thinly-sliced jicama makes the perfect flexible taco shell (with a slightly fresh crunch). Natasha Fischer, the Instagrammer behind @TraderJoesList, recommends heating them up on a skillet before stuffing with whatever you choose!

Credit: Lauren Masur

7. Mandarin-Style Orange Chicken Bowl, $3.99 for 13 ounces

Those bags of Mandarin-Style Orange Chicken in the freezer section have a massive and loyal following — especially among those with air fryers. Because this TJ’s fave is now available in a single-serve rice and veggies bowl form, it’s easier than ever to microwave and enjoy.

Credit: Trader Joe's

8. Plantain Crisps, $2.49 for 5 ounces

These super-crispy chips might be even better than fried plantains. They’re earthy, sweet, and double-fried until shatteringly crisp — the perfect snack for eating outside on your porch or in the yard.

Credit: Trader Joe's

9. Scalloped Potato Chips, $2.49 for 6 ounces

I can’t help but associate cheesy, creamy scalloped potatoes with springtime. Now, TJ’s has transformed the casserole into a crunchy chip. The cheesy snack is made with a blend of Parmesan, cheddar, Asiago, Romano, and provolone cheeses.

Credit: Danielle Centoni

10. Rhubarb & Strawberry Soda, $3.49 for 4 cans

While it might be a little harder to get your hands on this year, rhubarb is in season. If you can’t get the fresh stuff, get your fill with TJ’s Rhubarb and Strawberry Soda.

What have you been buying at Trader Joe’s lately?