Your Home Outdoors

The 26 Trader Joe’s Products That Save Us at Every Summer Party

July 19, 2018

Welcome to Your Home Outdoors, our summertime series on tips and tricks that'll help you live your best life outside―no matter the size of your space! So pull up a chair, grab a glass of something icy-cold, and join us.

I’m not really a formal person. I like to hug people I’ve just met, wear shorts to work, eat with my hands. So, one of my favorite things about summer is how casual get togethers—at the beach, in the park, on the patio—turn into full-on parties.

And if any old day could turn into a shindig, it’s best to channel your inner Girl or Boy Scout and "be prepared." Everyone has their favorite places to stock up, and one of ours here at Food52 is the wild, wonderful Trader Joe’s.

Because sharing is caring and also I’m curious, I asked our staff to shout out its favorite party products in our team Slack channel. Everyone had lots of opinions. Below, I’ve gathered the responses to you can learn something, too!

(P.S. I’ve edited and condensed the list for clarity and flow.)

Sophie Corwin, Partnerships Manager: Cowboy Caviar with the Quinoa and Black Bean Infused Tortilla Chips.

Alexis Anthony, Art Director and Stylist: Silver dollar eucalyptus and sunflowers.

Hana Asbrink, Senior Lifestyle Editor: Kinda love the Parmesan Pastry Pups.

A Party Platter If We've Ever seen one

Grace Montgomery, Director, Brand Strategy: This is super basic for a party but I do love Trader Joe’s Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips—they put a little extra salt on them that I absolutely love. A friend also gave out their strawberry licorice in a gift bag recently and I can’t get enough!

Amanda Hesser, Co-Founder & CEO: Obsessed with the the Giant Peruvian Inca Corn. Also their Pita Bite Crackers are excellent.

Jeremy Beker, Senior Software Engineer: Unexpected Cheddar. Always.

Micki Balder, Software Engineer: Nova Salmon Pieces and Goat Milk Brie.

Erin Alexander, Assistant Editor of Partner Content: Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burgers!

Lindsay Jean Hard, Community Editor: I'm a +1 for Unexpected Cheddar! Also, burrata!

Luz Ramirez, Marketing Manager: Flowers! It’s the only thing I go to TJ for (the line gets to me haha).

Photo by Trader Joes

Jackson Fust, Associate Buyer: I love their Mediterranean Hummus—will put it out in a nice bowl topped with a little olive oil and fresh cracked pepper to fancy it up for a crudités platter.

Eunice Choi, Director, Brand Activation: Hmmm Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip as an alternative to hummus for crudités! And their cheeses come in great sizes, e.g. the goat cheese log and those half cheese/half prosciutto packs if it's for a smaller group.

Megan Güntaş, Digital Designer: The Cold-Pressed Watermelon Juice they have. I love anything watermelon, so this is great for a refreshing drink, but also a good juice to make summer-y cocktails.

Danielle Curtis-Williams, Marketing Coordinator: 1. Garlic Chipotle Salsa 2. Brownie Crisp Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches 3. Smoked gouda sliced cheese + lunch meat = best sandwich ever (maybe with their dijon mustard which has an extra kick) 4. Any of their flavored lemonades!

Nina Amjadi, Email Production Manager: My fave is the Trader Joe's Gone Bananas! Chocolate Covered Banana Slices but not really party-approved… // Katie Macdonald: A party of one ;) // Nina Amjadi: hahahaha my Netflix and chill snack, party of one.

What are the Trader Joe's items you turn to in a pinch? Let us know in the comments.


cosmiccook July 22, 2018
Dear gods the Garlic spread rules! And the chocolate nutty pieces. Jalapeno Pub cheese is so addictive. I love that Unexpected Cheddar too! We always have these items on hand.
Rhonda35 July 22, 2018
I like TJ's marcona almonds, "soft and juicy" mango slices (delicious with a little goat cheese), the frozen edamame which keep well and cook up quickly for last minute needs, the Peruvian Inca Corn...I could go on and many easy party food options there! Love all the suggestions below.
Panfusine July 20, 2018
The Zhoug. its an excellent sub for the cilantro mint chutney required for making Indian street food style snacks & appetizers like the Bombay sandwich, bhel etc.<br />
Helene R. July 20, 2018
we are obsessed with their coffee ice cream AND all their nut mixes.
Joan July 20, 2018
Joan<br />Trader Joe's is a temple of food and if I could only buy one item it would be the Bruschetta: an Italian topping with fresh basil and garlic. It is the most authentic amazing jar of deliciousness. It makes a great quick pasta sauce, add some chopped up fresh tomato's, instantly you will be dipping your bread to taste. This is a little piece of heaven. Oh! throw some in a fry pan drop some eggs in, yup! got an anytime meal. I could go on and on, Trader Joe's to me is my hangout. Don't just buy one jar, big mistake grab at least 3, they run out of this quickly. I try everything at least once. I have a bunch of favorites too numerous to mention. Go there have fun!!!!!