The Essential Trader Joe's Grocery List |

The Essential 2019 Trader Joe’s Grocery List

Any Trader Joe’s fans out there? Nahhh, probably not. (haha, yeah right!)

I’ve been a huge fan of Trader Joe’s since I first visited one back when I lived in Kansas City. It’s always been a great place to discover great products, find inspiration for recipes and stay on budget with your grocery shopping.

A lot of my recipes feature products from Trader Joe’s and so I can’t believe it’s taken me over a year of doing Cook It Healthier to write this post! It wasn’t until my friend, Erika, messaged me one day and said I needed to send her a list of all the things she needs to get on her next trip to Trader Joe’s that it dawned on me, “there needs to be an essential grocery list to Trader Joe’s!”

The Essential Trader Joe's Grocery List |

So this has been QUITE the post to put together. There are so many great things that I love to get at Trader Joe’s. For this post, I tried not to get too distracted and focus on the essential items that I have to have in my house to make just about any of my recipes.

I may have thrown in a few snacks in this list too because snacks are essential items to any grocery list, right?

The Essential Trader Joe's Grocery List

I went ahead and broke up this post into groups of items and how they are grouped around the store. This is also how I make my grocery lists… SUPER TYPE A. Grouping things I need by produce area, baking essentials, cold items, freezer items, snacks, meat.

Produce & Meat Must-Haves

Bagged Lettuce: the bagged lettuce from Trader Joe’s is my favorite from a price standpoint and from a selection standpoint. I usually pick up a couple bags every trip.

Fresh Basil: they have a HUGE package of fresh basil that is about $3 and will take you all week to enjoy.

Chopped Brussel Sprouts: I love their pre-seasoned and sliced brussel sprouts. They are super easy to throw on a baking sheet as an easy, healthy side dish for a weeknight meal.

Mini Heirloom Tomatoes: I have good luck with any tomatoes from Trader Joe’s, but I love the colorful mini heirloom tomatoes because they are affordable and delish.

Organic Ground Beef (grass fed): I usually am a white meat girl, but since being pregnant I’ve really craved red meat, so I will get a pound of the Trader Joe’s grass-fed ground beef to put in our freezer. It’s the best priced grass-fed organic beef out there y’all.

The Essential 2019 Trader Joe's Grocery List |

Sauces & Dips

The Essential Trader Joe's Grocery List |

Vegan Kale, Cashew & Basil Pesto: I can’t make this essential Trader Joe’s list without this stuff. I have it on hand at ALL TIMES. In fact, I wrote a whole product review about it that you can check out here.

The Essential Trader Joe's Grocery List |

Garlic Hummus: This is my favorite garlic hummus out there. It’s not so garlicky that it will knock you over and has just the perfect texture. I always have this in our fridge for snacking or for adding to recipes!

Spicy Hummus: Another hummus fav is the spicy hummus flavor. Hey, we’re just big fans of hummus in our house and go through it like it’s going out of style. This spicy hummus is moderately spicy and very well priced for a household that goes through hummus as quickly as we do!

{seasonal} Autumnal Harvest Pasta Sauce: this sauces section can’t be complete without mentioning this pasta sauce! It appears every fall around late September/ early October and is so delicious. I always buy a few jars and we enjoy it throughout the fall months!

Baking & Seasoning Favs

Chile Lime Seasoning: This is one of my FAVORITE seasonings. I use it on a ton of stuff and it is featured in a lot of my most popular recipes… like my Spanish Cauliflower Rice and Turkey Stuffed Peppers. It just adds the right salty, spicy flavoring to a dish.

The Essential Trader Joe's Grocery List |

Everything Bagel Seasoning: Ok, if you haven’t tried this seasoning yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? It really is as good as everyone makes it out to be. I love it on avocado toast mainly, but I have seen people use it to make homemade bagels, breads and even on some savory oatmeal (not sure how I feel about this, but hey, if it sounds good to you, go for it!)

Lemon-Pepper Grinder: I love this grinder. It has the perfect balance of pepper to lemon flavoring. It’s great as a quick seasoning on fish or chicken!

Taco Seasoning: Sometimes you just need a simple taco night. I love having these packets around because it looks like actual seasonings that you would use, instead of some of those other seasoning packets that look powder. Plus, these bad boys are around $1.99 per packet.

The Essential Trader Joe's Grocery List |

Almond Flour: This almond flour is so great to bake with and it is probably the best bang for your buck when it comes to nut flours. I believe this bag is $6 or $7, which is pretty good when you compare other nut flour prices.

The Essential Trader Joe's Grocery List |

Freezer Staples

Organic Brown Rice: Hello easy side dish you can pop in the microwave and have ready in 4 minutes. Plus, anything that is pre-portioned out for me is a real winner in my book! Snag these brown rice packs in the freezer section at TJs!

The Essential Trader Joe's Grocery List |

Sweet Potato Gnocchi: Holy cow these are so good. My husband specifically requests these as a side dish all the time. Plus, they are super easy to make. A really win-win.

Cauliflower Gnocchi: Another great freezer staple is the Cauliflower Gnocchi. Super simple and basically guilt free dinner at your fingertips. Cook, toss in some of the Vegan Kale, Cashew & Basil Pesto and dinner is served!

Cauliflower Pizza Crust: Many of my favorite recipes have used these crusts. I love them because they are very inexpensive and come out so tasty every time. Pro-tip: always pre-bake the crust before putting any toppings on to get it to crips up!

Cauliflower Rice: I love the bags of cauliflower rice from TJs because they are probably the best priced. I stock up on bags of this stuff as an easy, low-carb side dish like my Spanish Cauliflower Rice.

Roasted Corn: I really love this corn because it has the flavor of coming right off the grill, but without the work! I use this corn in many Tex-Mex dishes, as well as use it as a super easy side dish for a week night taco night!

The Essential Trader Joe's Grocery List |

Just…Grilled Chicken Strips: Yes, that’s the name of these chicken strips. They are pre-sliced and grilled chicken strips. These make meal prepping super quick because you can throw them on top of a salad and by the time you’re ready to eat for lunch the next day, they will be thawed and ready to eat.

Pantry Basics

Fire Roasted Diced Green Chiles: I usually snag at least 2 cans when i’m at TJs. It’s an essential ingredient in my Spanish Cauliflower Rice and Skinny White Chicken Chili. Not to mention it is super easy to throw in a crock pot with some chicken breast for easy green chile chicken tacos or as a flavor pop in some black beans!

Black Beans: Since we’re on this topic, I love the black beans from Trader Joe’s as well. Both the whole beans like in the picture below AND their refried jalapeno black beans. These items I always try and have in my pantry because we love them as side dishes or with some type of chicken bowl i’ll throw together.

Recipe | Healthy Refried Black Beans with Green Chiles |

Roasted Plantain Chips: I promised some snacks for you and I love these things… probably a little too much. Try them with the spicy hummus I recommended above for the best snack of your life!

The Essential Trader Joe's Grocery List |

Simply Nutty Bars: Is a pantry even complete without some type of bar? I always love these for a quick grab-and-go bar that doesn’t pack on the extra sugar. Just 6g per bar.

RX Bars: There isn’t the biggest flavor selection, but they have a few flavors at a good price. These are also bars I carry around with me in my purse in case of emergency. So I like to stock up on them when i’m at Trader Joe’s. Hey, the less trips to the store I have to make the better.

Organic Tricolored Quinoa: For some reason quinoa can get expensive at certain stores. I have found that this bag of Tri-Colored Quinoa is a great price for the amount you get. It’s a great pantry staple to have and usually saves me during my “No Shopping Weeks” where I clean out my fridge and pantry.

The Essential Trader Joe's Grocery List |

I’m going to call this list done for now, but feel free to check back in as I plan to update it a couple times a year. Especially when Trader Joe’s brings out their seasonal items, you can expect me to update this list to include more of those as I try them and approve (because sometimes they are a big fail in my opinion.)

I hope you all find some new products to try from this list and enjoy adding them to your pantry/ fridge/ freezer!

If I missed something on this list that you think is an absolute MUST BUY item, please comment below and let me know!

xoxo, Ashley

  1. Thank you for this! Adding sweet potato gnocchi to my list this week and trying the kale pesto with cauliflower gnocchi!

    1. yay! So glad you enjoyed the list. Let me know what you think of the sweet potato gnocchi! It’s possibly my favorite frozen item they have. So easy and so yummy!

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