My trips to Trader Joe’s are always a combination of discovering new finds and crossing my fingers that I can snag my forever favorites, like Hold the Cone mini cones, pizza dough, and cheese, specifically Trader Joe’s Cheddar Cheese with Caramelized Onions, which to my delight took top honors as the best cheese according to the latest Customer Choice Awards.
This English cheese is a bold cheddar with an unexpected sweet nuttiness from the added caramelized onions. I often serve is as a pre-dinner snack with salty crackers and plum chutney—it’s delicious I wanted to find more ways to use it. And though I’m wild about caramelized onions, I’m not keen on chopping a bag of onions and taking what seems like forever to caramelized them. Luckily this cheese has it already packed in, which can automatically improve almost any recipe that calls for cheddar. Here are a few of my favorites.
1. Mac & Cheese
Your macaroni and cheese is due for a serious glow up, and this is the cheese to deliver it. Whether you combine TJ’s Cheddar with Caramelized Onions with other cheeses or use it alone, it will elevate your recipe to new heights. Consider adding more caramelized onions and topping with cheesy breadcrumbs for a kind of French onion-inspired dish.
2. Cheese Ball
If you want to showcase the cheddar front and center and also take it to a different level than just slabs of cheese on a board (though who can say no to a slab of cheese), consider the cheese ball. Here, the earthy flavor of the cheese will be enhanced by Worcestershire sauce, fresh scallions, and crunchy pecans.
3. Next-Level Quiche
The first thing I made with this cheese, after eating a few slices right off the block, was to fold it into a big quiche with ham and chives. This deep-dish bacon and cheddar quiche is practically begging for a caramelized onion cheddar upgrade. The cheese adds a hint of nuttiness, which pairs beautifully with the smoky bacon and rich egg custard.
4. Grilled Cheese
TJ’s cheddar melts beautifully and is a natural fit for a grilled cheese sandwich. I enjoy pairing it with apples or pears in the sandwich, where the sweetness of the caramelized onions gets amped up by the fruit. It’s also a winner when combined with mushrooms in a mushroom melt—a panini with crusty bread slathered in butter and filled with this cheddar cheese and sautéed mushrooms. Yum!
Perhaps the best way to showcase this cheddar is in a croque madame, the classic French breakfast ham-egg-and-cheese sandwich. Gruyere is typically used, but thanks to the caramelized onions, this cheddar hits a similar sweet and nutty note.
5. Broccoli & Cheddar Soup
I very well may be in my broccoli and cheese era given how often I eat this soup. I just can’t get enough. Here, the cheddar does double duty, adding its nutty onion flavor as well as a dreamy, creamy cheesiness. Make sure you have plenty of bread on hand because it will be a total dipper.