Grocery

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

Lots of dumplings included.

August 20, 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

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.

  • Kathy
    Kathy
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    Hannah
  • Dee Ann
    Dee Ann
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    Cynthia
  • Julie O
    Julie O
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., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

75 Comments

Kathy September 13, 2020
Mushroom Medley, Fully cooked Turkey Meatballs, Chicken/Vegetable Fried Rice.
We always have a fall back menu if I keep these in stock. The Mushroom Medley is probably my favorite item to add incredible flavor to anything from eggs, pasta to steaks. Yum!
 
Hannah September 12, 2020
You know what? I forgot to sing my praises for the soup dumplings. They make for a satisfying lunch on a chilly day.
 
Dee A. September 12, 2020
Their Kung Pao chicken, hands down the best frozen Kung Pao out there. I add extra veggies but it has loads of big chicken pieces and is appropriately spicy. And TJ's frozen rice is good too.
 
Cynthia September 12, 2020
Frozen Hash-browns. You can use these in lots of ways besides for breakfast. One of our favorites it’s slightly over brown and cut up for croutons in out salad. Made short ribs and 8 was out of potato’s - yep baked Hash-browns then served with short rib on top,
 
Julie O. September 11, 2020
Not freezer stuff, but almonds and cashews to make my weekly nut butters, dried organic mangos for smoothies and snacking (too much snacking ;)!
 
Emilie R. September 11, 2020
I keep a couple of saag paneers and channa masalas in the freezer for quick lunches. I also keep Kung Pao Chicken and Kung Pao Cauliflower in stock, but I rarely use the kung pao sauce with the cauliflower. I usually just cook it following the directions and use it as a side. I've also made it into buffalo cauliflower - great with ranch or blue cheese dressing!
 
Noreen F. September 8, 2020
On my last trip I picked up a package of frozen shrimp burgers. I was dubious when they came out of the package because they looked grey and unappetizing, but after baking they were pink and delicious! I'll add this to my regular shopping list.
 
Hannah September 7, 2020
The chicken shumai are very, very good...and they come with an excellent sauce packet. I’ve always got the frozen bags of stir fry vegetables, too - talk about dinner in under 30 minutes! And as for frozen desserts...I buy those mini chocolate and vanilla cupcakes and stick them in the freezer.
 
Hannah September 7, 2020
The chicken shumai are very, very good...and they come with an excellent sauce packet. I’ve always got the frozen bags of stir fry vegetables, too - talk about dinner in under 30 minutes! And as for frozen desserts...I buy those mini chocolate and vanilla cupcakes and stick them in the freezer. What’s better on a hot summer night than a sundae topped with one of those??
 
Barbara September 6, 2020
TJ's Frozen Green Tea Mochi - addicting!
Deliciously sweet, but not too sweet, perfection!
My guilty secret: once, after a long depressing day, I ate an entire package in one seating! 6 mochi. Not sorry.
..
 
Emilie R. September 11, 2020
I've done that too. You're not alone.
 
Stitchwiz September 4, 2020
Frozen steel cut oatmeal! Four packages in my freeer right now.
 
Dee A. September 12, 2020
I must buy this!
 
Debbie C. September 1, 2020
Trader Joe’s Cheese Blintzes are the best cheese blintzes I’ve ever tried. I put them in the oven at 350 and let them get a little crispy on the edges. I use tart cherry jam which I warm slightly an purée with a scoop of sour cream ..... quarantine Sunday heaven!!
 
brandyk August 26, 2020
I second that Gorgonzola gnocchi. Add some pancetta and some peas and you have a fast dinner. Not a healthy one, but scrumptious! I also stock the frozen croissants for company. I personally think a lot of the asian picks are overrated, with the exception of the chicken soup dumplings.
 
Catherine August 24, 2020
Paneer tikka, frozen berries (usually raspberries or the mixed berries), black bean & cheese burritos (they're actually from the refrigerated section, but freeze really well!). Their croissants are great, too.
 
Kathy B. August 20, 2020
You’ve got to try the Cajun Style Blackened Chicken Breast’s Fettuccine Alfredo in the deli section! I took a chance on it and now I love it! And I’m not even a fan of cajun but it’s mmm-good!!!!
 
Helen H. April 28, 2019
I forgot their cauliflower gnocchi is fabulous. You have to sauté it in a little olive oil and get it brown. Then toss it in their vegan pesto delicious and I’m not vegan. It’s the bomb. I keep it in the freezer at all times.
 
Helen H. April 28, 2019
I always keep their meat lasagna and their vegetable birds nests. They are fabulous.
 
Madelaine L. April 28, 2019
I always keep TJ’s Roasted Corn on hand. And the Green Chili and Cheese tamales. My go to when I want a quick dinner. It’s a lot different now that it’s just me. And also frozen Vegetable Fried Rice. Vegetarian is a lot easier with TJ’s frozen food selections.
 
Madelaine L. April 28, 2019
I forgot to mention their Trader Jose’s enchilada sauce. It’s bottled so if you don’t use the whole thing, you can put the lid on it and use it for other Mexican meals that week. Love it. If you’re ambitious, pour it over a roast with a little added water and you have some mighty tasty beef for shredded beef burritos and tacos or machaca, etc. so good.
 
JJ L. April 26, 2019
Always keep the microwavable brown rice, some steak burritos, the green chile/cheese tamales, Hatch chili Mac n Cheese, and frozen mangos in the freezer. Oh, and some frozen dark peanut butter cups too!
 
Jaye B. April 26, 2019
I read all the comments and am surprised no one mentioned the frozen Organic Jasmine Rice. Along with many items in the comments, it's always in my freezer. Fast, no clean up, and delicious - kind of magical, really, when you're pressed for time or just feeling lazy.