What to Buy at Trader Joe’s: Family Savvy Faves is a list of TJ’s products that I have tried and tested in my own kitchen and that I heartily recommend!
Trader Joe’s Chicken Goyza Potstickers are fabulous. Each Gyoza dumpling is filled with savory, seasoned chicken and finely minced vegetables. These taste as good as or better than any I’ve eaten at P.F. Chang’s.
These cook in 7 minutes or less. These can be steamed or pan fried. I pan fry these in a bit of oil and water. I cover them to steam, then uncover to finish them to a pan fried, slightly crispy exterior.
Trader Ming’s Gyoza Dipping Sauce is a mixture of soy sauce, rice vinegar, and several other seasonings. It is good, but a bit thick and sweet. I keep a bottle on hand to serve alongside the Gyoza potstickers and on egg rolls or spring rolls.
This is a decent sauce, and I would definitely recommend keeping a bottle on hand to go with any other Asian products you might make from TJ’s.
Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken is one of their best selling products, and it is for good reason. Frozen pieces of battered chicken can be popped into the oven, baked, and tossed in a tangy orange sauce for a delicious Asian entree.
Trader Joe’s Steamed Chicken Soup Dumplings are like “inside out” wonton soup. The dumplings are filled with rich savory broth that spills out once the dumpling wraps are opened. The best way to eat them is to place them each in a small bowl or Chinese soup spoon so that every ounce of broth can be savored.
These dumplings come in a tray and can be removed individually for cooking just what you need
Trader Joe’s Chicken Chow Mein is low fat, filling, and super easy to cook up in less than 10 minutes.
I heat 1 TB vegetable oil and 1 TB light sesame oil in my my 14-inch stir fry skillet before adding two packages of this chow mein (2-3 packages needed to serve a family of 5 or more).
I add soy sauce during cooking and serve this along with the other Asian products mentioned here. It isn’t quite like eating at PF Changs, but it is far easier, healthier, and cheaper than Chinese takeout!
Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice is the easiest, fastest way to make brown rice. A short zap in the microwave yields moist, nutty, chewy grains.
The individual pouches make this a perfect side to take to school or work for lunch. Serve with roasted veggies and chicken for a super healthy meal.
The Jasmine version of TJ’s rice is also good and is pictured on the plate below.
Trader Joe’s Danish Pancakes are novel and yummy. A short stint in a small oven is all it takes to get these from freezer to table. (Note: I wrap these loosely in foil before baking; otherwise, they don’t cook in the middle).
These are so easy. Just bake, remove from oven, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve with individual bowls of maple syrup.
Don’t walk past the Authentic Danish Kringles~one of the best buys at Trader Joe’s. These come straight from the O H Danish Bakery in Racine, Wisconsin.
Kringles are buttery layers of pastry filled with assorted nuts or fruit filling and drizzled with icing. They remind me very much of croissants and are a wonderful Danish pastry to serve alongside breakfast meat and fruit.
Kringles can stay at room temp for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 6 months. TJ’s changes flavors seasonally, so look for the pumpkin (pictured above) in stores during holidays.
I took this Trader Joe’s Karat Cake to a small gathering, and it was quite delicious. It is small, so serve other desserts if feeding more than 6 people.
The cake stays in the freezer until an hour or so before serving, at which point it should be thawed at room temp. The icing gets very soft, so after thawing the cake, I keep it (on a cake plate) in the fridge until ready to serve.
The sweet, smooth cream cheese icing is laced with chopped nuts, and the cake is moist, nutty, and sweetly spicy. If you don’t have the time to make a carrot cake, this is a great alternative.
If you are standing over the frozen desserts wondering if you should buy this Trader Joe’s Rustic Apple Tart, the answer is YES! Small in size (buy one per every 3-4 folks), this tart is fab in every other area.
It is a feast for the eyes and for the palate. Rustic layers of pastry encase caramelized sweet-tart apples and a cinnamon cream cheese filling. Topped with almonds that bake to a golden brown, this dessert is perfection. I couldn’t make this if I tried, and there is no need when I can get this at TJ’s, keep in my freezer, and bake whenever I want to serve.
I hope this list helps a bit as you navigate the often overwhelming aisles at Trader Joe’s! If you have any personal faves to recommend, please do so in the comments. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!