Shopping Guide

11 New Trader Joe's Must-Haves We're Adding to Our Carts

These are the latest picks from the beloved grocery store that are worth waiting in line for.

February  8, 2021
Photo by Rocky Luten

Joe may be one of the most average male names in the English language (no bias here), but when you put “Trader’s” before it, you get the beloved national grocery chain that boasts not-so-average products. High in quality and low in price, Trader Joe’s has become so embedded in American food culture and vernacular that we wait with bated breath for the weekly arrival of new items like they’re the latest new game console or Beyoncé album.

2021 has already proven to be no exception, with products that are already making waves and, for lack of a better term, flying off shelves. We’ve rounded up 11 of our favorites—check them out below and be sure to scoop them up before your fellow TJ’s shoppers catch wind and beat you to the register.

Best Trader Joe's Products 2021

Black Truffle Cashew Pesto

America’s truffle obsession knows no bounds, and this spread is as versatile as it is luxurious. The mushroom, nut, and Grana Padano cheese mixture pairs perfectly with a slice of warm, crusty bread or toast, but also serves as an excellent finishing note for pastas, proteins, and roasted vegetables. If you see it, stock up. We have a feeling that this jar, much like its truffle dip sister, will be deemed “limited edition” and only available when—frankly—you’re craving it and it’s completely unavailable.

Hatch Chile Chicken Wraps

Frozen burritos have withstood the test of time, but these hexagonal bundles offer a more elevated meal experience with ingredients like grilled chicken, black beans, mozzarella and Monterey jack cheeses, and—you guessed it—New Mexico's famed Hatch chiles. You can microwave them, toss them in the oven, or toast them on a skillet for a quick, flavorful, stress-free lunch that will put that sad peanut butter and jelly sandwich to shame.

Chewy Chocolate & Peanut Butter Protein Bars

There is, perhaps, no better culinary duo than peanut butter and chocolate. And while these bars are certainly not Reese’s peanut butter cups, they more than suffice in satisfying that occasional (or daily) craving. They also contain 10 grams of protein each, making them a certified health food (said no dietician ever, but ignorance is bliss when it comes to mid-afternoon snacking).

Everything But the Bagel Seasoned Potato Chips

Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning continues to be one of the store’s best-selling items (as well as a spice rack essential), but its role as a kettle-cooked potato chip coating makes it a snacktime gamechanger. It also presents a much harder crunch than the norm, allowing the chip to stand up to your favorite thick dips. Might we suggest a cream cheese-based option to go with the bagel motif? We’ll take any excuse to polish off a bag of these before 10 a.m.

Roasted Garlic & Pesto Pizza With Deep-Fried Crust

Frankly, they had us at “deep-fried crust.” The roasted garlic and pesto are just welcome bonuses, especially as they cushion a superiorly cheesy mix of mozzarella, provolone, Parmigiano Reggiano, and—prepare yourself for this—burrata. Needless to say, we’ve found a new appetizer to nosh on before dinner, though it rarely lasts longer than 3 minutes. And that’s no exaggeration.

French Onion Macaroni & Cheese

It’s winter, it’s chilly, and Trader Joe’s has concocted a creamy hybrid of two renowned comfort foods to give your soul and appetite a huge warm hug. This dish features a duo of Swiss and cheddar cheeses mixed with elbow macaroni and caramelized onions. It’s then topped with croutons because you apparently need even more excuses to not leave the couch on a Friday night as you slip into a heavenly carb coma.

Almond Butter-Covered Almonds

Chocolate takes a backseat to almond butter with this hard-to-put-down sweet treat that strikes a harmonious balance between creamy and crunchy. These coated almonds are also delectably salty, which satisfies both types of cravings. So if you don’t like them, then the problem absolutely lies with you and your palate (kidding, kind of).


We’re never one to turn down a meatball, and the beefy Middle Eastern-inspired delicacies known as kibbeh are no exception. The spiced, oblong bites are wrapped in breading with even more ground beef, then fried to crisp, golden perfection (but we're not opposed to deconstructing the kibbeh formula to save time when cooking at home). They pair best with dips and hummus, but we highly recommend Trader Joe’s refrigerated zhoug sauce: a blend of cilantro, jalapeño, chile flakes, garlic, cardamom, and cumin with subtle heat and not-so-subtle flavor.

Cuban-Style Citrusy Garlic Seasoning Blend

Inspired by the flavors of Cuban cuisine, this zingy lime and garlic-forward seasoning deserves a shake (or seven) on all of your favorite foods, from popcorn and veggies to steak and seafood. But pork is where it really shines, reminding you almost of the succulent roasted shoulders and loins that fill the medianoches found in Miami. Buen provecho!

Mexican-Style Riced Cauliflower

New year, new you? Trader Joe’s hears you loud and clear by keeping the cauliflower rice trend alive. A drool-worthy blend of cumin, cayenne, lime, and tomato concentrate adds Mexican flair while chopped tomatoes, peppers, and pickled jalapeños lend crunch and texture. Consider your Taco Tuesdays upgraded with this vegan side dish that can truly stand alone.

Plantain Croutons

When doused in your favorite salad dressing, these garlicky plantain croutons maintain their crispness while offering a not-so-sweet depth of banana flavor. They’re also gluten-free, making them ideal alternatives to bread-based textural soup or salad additions.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“i like articles like this, and I buy about a dozen items fairly regularly from Trader Joe's, but their packaging (especially as shown in all of the choices featured here) is truly an environmental nightmare. ;o)”
— AntoniaJames

Which one of these Trader Joe's treats will make it into your cart first? Let us know in the comments?

More Fun Food Shopping

What's your favorite new Trader Joe's product? Let us know in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Janet Vicedomini
    Janet Vicedomini
  • Joanne Watkins
    Joanne Watkins
  • Dianne Wham
    Dianne Wham
  • LisaD
  • stellarsuz
Joey Skladany

Written by: Joey Skladany

Writer/Editor, Personality, Author of 'Basic Bitchen'


Janet V. April 16, 2021
Just want to mention a snack that I wish was standard at TJ's.Plantain chips is one thing..but imagine the chips drizzled with dark chocolate...A treat..that makes me want to eat the whole bag at one sitting.Just messy if eaten in the sun..Florida for me. Various flowers and plants are also delightful and not overly expensive.Thanks to all the grand employees here at TJ's ,US1 and Dadeland Blvd.
Joanne W. April 15, 2021
I love the trader Joe's sparkling wines,the peach and the sweet white are to die for....They have such awesome stuff and everyone who works there is always happy and upbeat..I LOVE IT....
Dianne W. March 2, 2021
There are no Trader Joe’s within 100 miles.
LisaD February 20, 2021
I'd also add the Vegetable Samosa Burrito. I slathered it with some cilantro chutney and it was SO good.
stellarsuz February 19, 2021
Went this morning for Black Truffle Cashew Pesto and was told that it's a seasonal item only. As in not this season... Found almost everything else.
jody February 18, 2021
and not an organic item in the bunch.....sorry, definitely not what I would consider "must haves". Mostly processed junk in non recyclable packaging.

Matthew A. February 18, 2021
The everything but the bagel chips are really bad! They taste so strongly of stale garlic powder that you can't taste the other slices or the potato chip. Sad because their everything seasoning is great.
Pete M. February 18, 2021
You gotta be kidding ... processed factory food fit fit a Trump riot.
Shari February 18, 2021
Joey, I am wondering if you really have tried the French Onion Mac and Cheese. It sounds like it would be great, but I have tried it and it really is not good at all. Looks nothing like the photo on the box and I think the photo on the box would have tasted better.
Jennifer M. February 18, 2021
Kibbeh!! I love that stuff and it can be pricey at our local haunt! I know I'll also do the cashew truffle pesto!! I sure hope these are at ALL the TJ's!
robyncardone February 18, 2021
Great article, Joey! (I'm a fan of yours from TSS so it's fun to see your name out in the wild!
Author Comment
Joey S. February 18, 2021
Hey, girl, hey! Thank you so much! <3
Mm February 11, 2021
Ed C - can you tell me what brand of Mozzarella at Sprouts please?
And what about all the EXTRA added ingredients in TJ's packaged and frozen foods.
I love Food52 but not so much fake food.
Ed C. February 11, 2021
I will continue to ignore TJ's cheese case until (and unless) they decide to replace the very average, unpalatable mozzarella...common to every ignorant supermarket in the United States.

There are few exceptions. Here in Santa Fe, the only reason I visit the local SPROUTS is because they took the time and effort to hook up with a dairy that remembers the taste and texture that Italian-Americans require of what is supposed to be an Italian cheese. Not WonderBread.
Francine H. February 18, 2021
You are missing out of the best supermarket seafood to be had from Sprouts. I bought some of the best sushi grade Ahi for...wait for it ...$7.99/pound. Better than $19/# from a fish monger. Their butchers are great and will cut you whatever you want; their meat is USDA Choice.
AntoniaJames February 10, 2021
i like articles like this, and I buy about a dozen items fairly regularly from Trader Joe's, but their packaging (especially as shown in all of the choices featured here) is truly an environmental nightmare. ;o)
Hannah February 12, 2021
Good gosh, I know! All those frozen food bags are going in the trash, and we don’t know how long this stuff lasts in a landfill - definitely more than 50 years, that’s for certain. And believe me, I’m saving all of them to see if I can make my very own durable Trader Joe’s bag from them. Heck, a lunch tote would be nice too.

But yes, the kibbeh is very good, especially with TJ’s tahini sauce. Love that sauce.
Author Comment
Joey S. February 18, 2021
Ugh, I agree. They really need to step it up w/ the packaging, especially when so many other companies have really made a commitment to offer more eco-friendly solutions.
Lauren N. February 9, 2021
Please try real Kibbeh! This Lebanese girl will even have you over if you are ever in Maryland and personally make you some! 😂
Author Comment
Joey S. February 9, 2021
Done and done. :)
Cheryl February 10, 2021
I'm always ready to try new herbs and spices, particularly for ethnic foods.
Rosalind P. February 18, 2021
Raw or baked? Or both? Yum.
clair March 5, 2021
I’m on my way, lol!!!