All aisles in a Trader Joe’s are—how do I put this?—absolute chaos. But the freezer section, perhaps most of all. From peeled-and-chopped produce to microwave-and-eat meals, there’s no shortage of time-saving finds. Which is why I asked our staff: What do you always have in your freezer?
Here’s what they said, plenty of dumplings included.
“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. Their cauliflower pizza crust is also great. If you’ve ever made cauliflower pizza crust from scratch, then you know how much work it can be, so this saves so much time!” —Megan Güntaş, product designer
“I never leave 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
“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
“Also, +1 to the pork gyoza! I 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.” —Erin Alexander, assistant editor of partner content
“I always stock up on the Very Cherry Berry Blend and on the Uncooked Wild Blue Shrimp. They're both so great to keep in the freezer—the berries for breakfasts and smoothies, and the shrimp for the quickest garlicky shrimp and broccoli pasta on a weeknight.” —Joanna Sciarrino, executive editor
“Eeeek! Gorgonzola gnocchi is 🔥! I can eat it alone, or add whatever veggies or protein I happen to have in the fridge. Always have two to three bags in my freezer. Also, their chicken spring rolls!” —Danielle Curtis-Williams, marketing coordinator
“I love the TJ freezer section for the staples: broccoli, artichokes, green peas. I’m never above their microwave “Joe’s Diner” mac and cheese. And I’m not gluten-free, but they even have a gluten-free mac and cheese that’s very good. The paneer tikka masala has my heart, as does the butter chicken (any of the Indian-food entrees, really). God, I love TV dinners.” —Eric Kim, senior editor
“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
“Green chile and cheese tamales, as well as the pork gyoza. They're tasty, easy, and filling!” —Funmi Ojo, junior web developer
“I love to stock up on simple staples in the TJs frozen isle to keep on hand. I always get the tri-colored cauliflower and cauliflower rice, along with other frozen produce (beets! artichokes! mango!). I also buy the minced ginger packs. It's not as good as fresh, but saves me time!” —Annalee Leggett, strategy and finance manager