5 Popular Products Inducted to Trader Joe’s Hall of Fame—Here Are Our Favorite Ways To Enjoy Them|Recipes Spots

  • on January 6, 2023
Trader Joe's Hall of Fame Store Front Story

Trader Joe's Hall of Fame Store Front Story
Simply Recipes / Getty Images

Two years ago, our family bought our first home. I made a list of non-negotiables for our real estate agent, and on it: the house needs to be within 10 minutes from Trader Joe’s. That’s how essential this grocery store is to me—and to my three boys, who rely on their samosas, mini tacos, and potstickers for school lunches. So it’s not a surprise to me that their popularity has reached an all-time high, and it’s finally time for an official Trader Joe’s Product Hall of Fame.

Earlier this week, for the first time, Trader Joe’s inducted five popular products to their Hall of Fame. The criteria? Winning the annual Customer Choice Awards—the best products according to fans of Trader Joe’s like you and me—at least five times. From the often sold out Mandarin Orange Chicken and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups to vegans’ favorite plant-based chorizo, all of the products are worthy of such honor.

Here are the five inductees, plus Simply Recipes’ tips and recipes for enjoying them:

Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken
Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken

I remember my first time: I bought one package of Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken on a whim and cooked it for my boyfriend (now husband) in our tiny rental on the Upper West Side in New York City. That was nearly 15 years ago. Now I cook two packages at a time for our family of five, and it’s still as good as the first time.

Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Cups
Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

I have a friend who bikes a dozen blocks through New York City’s treacherous roads to get to Trader Joe’s. She fills her backpack with Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, and weaves her way back home through traffic. That’s how delicious these treat are.

Our Favorite Ways To Cook With It

  • Peanut Butter Pie
  • Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Icebox Cake
  • Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets
Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets

The number of busy mornings I pour these peanut butter-filled pretzels into snack containers for my kids’ lunch boxes? “Infinity times a million!” as my five-year-old would say. We toggle between this one and the almond-filled pretzels, another family favorite.

Our Favorite Ways To Cook With It

  • Strawberry Pretzel Pie
  • Peanut Butter Pretzel Magic Bars
  • Caramel Apple Nachos
  • Christmas Cracker Candy
Trader Joe's Unexpected Cheddar Cheese
Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar

As the name suggests, this cheddar cheese is not what you’d expect. It’s sharp and tangy, but not bitter. It’s a little crumbly, yet creamy. It’s salty—the kind that makes you go back for more. It’s basically king of the charcuterie board!

TJ’s tip: Let the cheese sit for at least 30 minutes out of the fridge to soften before enjoying.

Our Favorite Ways To Cook With It

  • Classic Cheese Ball
  • New England Apple Cheddar Galette
  • Cheddar and Jalapeño Biscuits
  • Broccoli Cheddar Egg Bites
Trader Joe's Soy Chorizo
Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo

Our editorial director, Ariel Knutson, made this recipe 10,000 times one year: Break up and brown this vegan chorizo. Then sauté it with butternut squash, broccoli, and seasonings. Serve it over a bowl of rice and top it with poached eggs. Yum!

Our Favorite Ways To Cook With It

  • Chorizo Mac and Cheese
  • Chorizo-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
  • Migas with Fried Eggs
  • Chile Relleno Casserole
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