Trader Joe’s is my go-to grocery store for snacks. From excellent frozen appetizers and chips to nuts and dried fruit, they have it all. And while I’m often sticking new products in my cart to try, there’s a short list of snacky items I keep stocked at all times.
These affordable and incredibly delicious snacks are ideal for keeping stocked in your pantry. I find myself pulling them out to feed surprise guests, and it’s comforting to know that I always have a snack handy should the inevitable hunger pangs strike.
Next time you’re at Trader Joe’s, grab these top-notch snacks. I guarantee you’ll keep reaching for them again and again.
1. Trader Joe’s Salt and Pepper Pistachios
This is truly my number one pick. I buy a bag of these practically every time I step inside a Trader Joe’s. The shell-on pistachios are tumbled with just the right amount of salt and plenty of black pepper. Somehow they get the seasoning inside the shell—don’t ask me, I’m not a snack scientist—and they are bursting with flavor.
I’ve brought these pistachios to a number of gatherings and almost always set a bowlful out for guests, and without fail everyone asks where they’re from. Now they’re popping up at my friends’ houses, so I get to eat them everywhere I go! A win.
2. Trader Joe’s Cowboy Caviar
A relative newcomer, here’s hoping Cowboy Caviar sticks around. The chunky salsa-like dip contains black beans, corn, onion, peppers, chipotle, and spices. It’s savory, very lightly spicy, a little sweet, and a nice mix of textures. The jar is shelf-stable, so it keeps well. I like it better than other TJ’s salsas and have found that keeping a dip stocked in the pantry is key.
I serve cowboy caviar with Trader Joe’s Organic Corn Chip Dippers (a better version of Frito’s, in my humble opinion!). It’s also great in a taco salad or as part of a layered dip with avocado and sour cream.
3. Trader Joe’s Garlic & Jalapeño Stuffed Olives
I’m not a big olive person, but anytime I serve these to olive-loving folks they swoon. The fat green olives are stuffed with fresh garlic and pepper for a flavorful bite. If you serve them in a nice little bowl with toothpicks, everyone thinks they came from a fancy olive bar. I keep a jar stocked so I can put them out as a snack to go with beer or wine, to fill out a cheese plate, or simply for noshing.
4. Trader Joe’s Sweetened Dried Orange Slices
Dear Trader Joe’s, please never stop carrying these. Occasionally when I visit the store, I can’t find them and I panic. Then there they are on my next visit! Every time I breathe a sigh of relief and quickly buy two packages.
Sweetened Dried Orange Slices are the hero of the already fantastic dried fruit section at TJ’s. They’re pretty, they’re the right amount of sweet and tart, and they’re chewy. They’re not too dry or tough as some dried oranges tend to be. They’re also versatile. I eat them as a sweet snack, chop them up and add them to baked goods and granola, and halve them for a cocktail garnish.
5. Trader Joe’s Popcorn with Herbs and Spices
I resisted buying this Trader Joe’s popcorn for a long time. I’m a popcorn fanatic and I make my own on a regular basis. Something about the name (what are these mysterious herbs and spices?) just didn’t appeal to me.
Boy was I wrong. This popcorn is vegan, gluten-free, and impossible to stop eating. Whatever the herbs and spices are, they are good. I do know the mixture includes nutritional yeast, which makes everything it touches delicious, including popcorn. I have at least one bag in my pantry at all times for the desperate moments when I can’t bring myself to pull out my trusty Whirly Pop.