Grocery

27 Trader Joe's Frozen Food Products That Are Always in Our Freezers

Lots of dumplings included.

October 30, 2020
Photo by Bobbi Lin

Between the packed inventory and endless lines of shoppers, the aisles in any Trader Joe's are—how do I put this?—absolute chaos. The freezer section, perhaps the most of all. From peeled-and-chopped produce to microwave-and-eat meals, there’s no shortage of time-saving gems in there, but when making your way through the crowds, it's helpful to know exactly what to look for.

Which is why I asked our staff: What Trader Joe's frozen food products do you always keep stocked in your freezer?

Here’s what they said (lots of dumplings included).

Photo by Trader Joe's

Chicken Potstickers

“The chicken potstickers! They are cheap, easy to make, and perfect for days when I’m not feeling like making an elaborate meal. Just make a side of sautéed veggies or fried rice and you’re good to go." —Megan Güntaş, product designer

Cauliflower Pizza Crust + Frozen Crushed Garlic

"Trader Joe's frozen cauliflower pizza crust is my go-to and worth the sometimes long line to get! It's a great gluten-free option that still allows me to choose my own toppings and take part in the fun of pizza making. Their frozen crushed garlic is another one of my favorites for cooking. It comes in a miniature ice cube tray, and is super handy when you need garlic stat." —Shannon Muldoon, director of client services

Pork Potstickers

“I never leave Trader Joe's without snagging the pork gyoza potstickers. They take 10 minutes tops to fry and last me three meals if I add brown rice and bok choy—and the whole bag costs less than a single serving at a restaurant.” —Maggie Slover, copywriter

Vegetable Potstickers + Quinoa With Vegetables

“Yeah, +1 to gyoza! We always have a bag of the vegetable ones—so easy to make. Also, I always get the Quinoa Duo With Vegetable Melange.” —Alison Green, senior full stack developer

Photo by Trader Joe's

Chicken Tikka Masala + Hold the Cone! Mini Ice Cream Cones

“+1 to the pork gyoza! I also absolutely love, love, love their chicken tikka masala. I'll stock up on two or three boxes at a time so I know I have something quick and yummy on hand at all times. And my love for their mini ice cream cones (which come in vanilla and chocolate, as well as the seasonal pumpkin and peppermint flavors) knows no bounds. You'll rarely find my freezer without them.” —Erin Alexander, associate editor

Gorgonzola Gnocchi + Chicken Spring Rolls

“Gorgonzola gnocchi is 🔥! I can eat it alone, or add whatever veggies or protein I happen to have in the fridge. I always have two or three bags in my freezer. Also, their chicken spring rolls!” —Danielle Curtis-Williams, marketing coordinator

Photo by Trader Joe's

Produce + Mac 'n' Cheese + Butter Chicken

“I love the TJ freezer section for the produce staples: broccoli, artichokes, green peas. I’m not above their microwave “Joe’s Diner” mac and cheese, either. And I’m not gluten-intolerant, but they even have a gluten-free version that’s very good. The paneer tikka masala also has my heart, as does the butter chicken (any of the Indian entrees, really). God, I love TV dinners.” —Eric Kim, Table for One columnist

Yellow Jackfruit Curry With Jasmine Rice

"I always have one of these lying around in my freezer. If you haven’t tried cooked jackfruit yet, I highly recommend it—its meaty texture makes it a great vegan swap for (very moist) chicken breast or pulled pork. The yellow curry is vegan, delicious and plentiful so I drown the rice in it, until it’s basically a soup. Warning: It packs some heat (and that’s half the fun)." —Arati Menon, senior editor

Very Berry Cherry Blend

"Cherries and berries? Hi, hello, sign me up. While so many frozen fruits I've tried are covered in freezer burn, this blend is A+ every time. I blend it into smoothies, stir it into cereal or yogurt, and cook it down into a compote to spoon with abandon on top of pancakes." —Emma Laperruque, food editor

Garlic Naan + Tilapia

“I really like the garlic naan. It goes especially well with the Instant Pot butter chicken! I also really like their frozen tilapia”. —Micki Balder, software engineer

Spanakopita

"I always keep a box of the Trader Joe's spanakopita in the far reaches of my freezer. They (used to be) great for a crowd when friends came over unexpectedly, but these days they're an excellent personal snack with hummus and baba ganoush." —Mollie Doherty, senior account manager

Cheese & Green Chile Tamales

“Green chile and cheese tamales, as well as the pork gyoza. They're tasty, easy, and filling!” —Funmi Ojo, junior web developer

Asparagus Risotto

"This is my go-to anytime I'm in the freezer section of Trader Joe's, thanks to its creamy texture and hint of freshness from the asparagus. It almost feels like an adult mac and cheese situation." —Patrick Moynihan, senior social media manager

Brown Rice

"One of my freezer staples is Trader Joe's brown rice—it's ready in 3 minutes (perfect for those moments when I've come up with a weeknight dinner on the fly), and has a reliably good texture. Bonus points for one less pot to clean." —Claire Chambers, chief commercial officer

Malabar Paratha + Ham, Onion & Gruyère Flatbread

"I recently discovered the malabar paratha because my usual frozen naan was out of stock. I needed something to drench with garlic and serve with my dinner that night, and I'm so glad I grabbed these. They're crispy, chewy, and fluffy all at the same time, and are now one of my favorite-ever items at T-Joe's. I've also been buying the ham, onion and Gruyère flatbread since I discovered it in college, and it almost never lasts longer than the night I buy it. After lugging groceries home on the subway, it's the easiest and most comforting meal to heat up in the oven—even better if I muster the strength for a side salad." —Caroline Mullen, assistant lifestyle editor

Hash Browns

"I love love love potatoes and the Trader Joe's hash browns are one of my favorite ways to eat them. I always keep them stocked so that I'm halfway to a breakfast burrito at all times." —Erin Sanders, customer care operations manager

Pizza Parlanno

"My boyfriend and I never leave TJ's without at least two frozen Pizza Parlannos in our carts— it's the best pizza they have in my opinion!" —Aja Aktay, home buyer

Cauliflower Gnocchi + Cacio E Pepe

"Trader Joe's frozen cauliflower gnocchi is the perfect quick dish for when you want to treat yourself. It’s simple to prepare but also very versatile. You can add protein to the dish or change the sauce. I love to pan-fry the gnocchi to give it a nice, crisp exterior while keeping the interior soft and pillowy. As for their frozen pastas, it's all about the cacio e pepe. Unlike most, it retains its al dente texture and is a quick fix when you’re craving creamy comfort food." —Alana Garcia, senior manager of branded content development


Which Trader Joe’s products do you always have in your freezer? Tell us in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles on the fly, baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., and writing about the history of pie in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's award-winning column, Big Little Recipes (also the cookbook in October 2021!). And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

102 Comments

scoot87501 February 18, 2021
5 Cheese Spiral. With a salad it makes a meal.
 
JJ L. February 10, 2021
Always have the microwaveable brown rice, orange chicken (I add sambal and lots of rice vinegar to the sauce), vegetable birds nests, shelled edamame and a big bag of large uncooked shrimp (tails on)......
 
Judith P. February 10, 2021
There seems to have been some product rotation regarding their frozen pre-proofed croissant line, sadly. I found that their four-packs of almond, chocolate and plain croissants that you proofed overnight were really exceptional! Brushed lightly with an egg wash, they were beautiful and had great texture and flavor.

Also love their frozen green onion pancakes from South Korea. The frozen brown rice was a fridge staple for me in the working-in-the-office days. Toss in some florets of anything, dress with some soy sauce and toasted sesame oil, and lunch is served. . .at my desk.

Frozen sweet potato fries. Great with BLTs and burgers. "Yes" to the chicken tikka, one of our son's favorite grabs; and the pork gyoza; and the green chile-cheese, and beef, tamales. Orange chicken, teriyaki chicken: toss in some broccoli florets or snap peas and sliced red bell pepper; at finish, toss in some chopped cilantro, sliced green onion. Oh! And I liked their hash browns patties.
 
Minona L. November 15, 2020
Love their Arugula Frozen Pizza from Italy. Always keep a frozen one or two handy in case of an emergency. Very good.
 
[email protected] November 15, 2020
I always leave with the Argentine wild-caught red shrimp, polenta with spinach (I could eat the whole bag myself), Japanese hijiki fried rice, potstickers or dumplings of any kind. Also love cauliflower gnocchi and sweet potato gnocchi. I worry that my favorites will someday be rotated out of inventory. It’s happened a lot over the years!
 
Alex S. November 11, 2020
I always learn so much from these posts :) Just went through the freezer to see what I buy (but Hubby eats the sweets): the ice cream bon bons? Those are gone w/in a day; also the mini ice-cream cones (i don’t buy them anymore, gone too fast in my house); the chic & veg pot stickers A+, especially for one, with the Gyoza sauce; Cuban black beans, buy 6, great with turkey Picadillo; frozen shelled Edamame (forget all other brands); frozen organic corn and sweet peas, same vendor; Honey Pale Ale Mustard, buy it now, it’s a seasonal item, delish, make a salad a dressing too. The salami? Great, but I don’t eat meat. In PHX, we get hand-made tortillas, gone by 9AM. They used to have frozen whole in-the-shell shrimp from US Gulf and Coast, not currently available, prob all the hurricanes. I keep checking, they were the same quality as Fish Market 1/4 price. The individually bagged Roasted Almond, Cashew, Cranberry, no salt, just add to your lunch salad for protein. I’ll stop now :)
 
Sleigh1969 November 11, 2020
I always buy a few bags of the Vegetable Fried Rice. Then I combine it with a cut up, sautéed pork chop, for pork fried rice. Sometimes I chop up a portobello mushroom and sauté that too to add to the rice. Dinner is ready super quick. One bag, with one pork chop, and mushrooms is enough for dinner for both of us.
 
Sarah B. November 9, 2020
I agree about the quality of the croissants. Forget the chocolate the regular are so buttery and delicious. Yes things are good with chocolate, but I really think we have forgotten how good many things are without the addition of chocolate.
 
Colman November 9, 2020
I buy Green Dragon sauce ,every time i`m in T.j.`s,also Raw Argentinian Red Shrimp,Coconut Amino`s and coconut oil...Many more, but these are the ones I always get...
 
mhg November 9, 2020
I always have trader Joes frozen croissants on Hand. take them out of the freezer in the evening and bake off in the morning.
also love cauliflower fried rice and their party meatballs
 
Mark F. November 9, 2020
I would include on the list the chicken burritos--solid, convenient and excellent with green chili salsa on top.
 
Mark F. November 9, 2020
What are here termed "potstickers" are Chinese-style dumplings. They can be fried, in which case are known as potstickers/guotie. But many prefer them boiled aka shuijiao. If you boil them, the leftover water can be seasoned as base for soup.
Yes, they are a decent item from Joe's and very inexpensive.
 
MLHE November 8, 2020
In the "remote future"* when I'm remembering what was good about the year 2020, the first thing on my list will be Trader Joe's frozen Mac 'n Cheese.
*Sir Roger Penrose said "remote future" in a recent interview, and that concept is the second thing on that "2020" list.
 
MLHE November 8, 2020
In the "remote future"* when I'm remembering what was good about the year 2020, the first thing on my list will be Trader Joe's frozen Mac 'n Cheese.
*Sir Roger Penrose said "remote future" in a recent interview, and that concept is the second thing on that "2020" list.
 
Sarah B. November 8, 2020
I am blown away that people who love to cook have not mentioned Trader Joe's chicken soup dumplings, not the pork, but the chicken. Also their regular paratha is as good as I have had in good restaurants where you can even find it if you're lucky. I always have at least three boxes of the chicken soup dumplings in my freezer and they only take 2 minutes to prepare they look professional professionally made! Yum!
 
Terry November 3, 2020
Love all their frozen fruit, especially the organic raspberries, and the Tarte d'Alsace. It's perfect for a quick dinner with a fresh salad and a glass of wine.
 
Suzanne M. November 3, 2020
Their seafood blend (scallops, shrimp and calamari, all mini sized) is really good for quick protein with pasta or just in a little butter over rice or roasted veggies
 
Panfusine November 2, 2020
Hatch Chile pepper Mac n' cheese, & the new Misal curry rice. although not a frozen - The spicy Chakri mix..
 
KLCannaday November 8, 2020
Hatch chili Mac and cheese is awesome!
 
Panfusine November 2, 2020
Hatch Chile pepper Mac n' cheese, The spicy Chakri mix..
 
Nellie O. October 31, 2020
Hands down- crispy garlic with chili in oil and marinated eggplant in tomato curry sauce