Here’s a glimpse into a dietitian's shopping cart – this Trader Joe’s grocery list is filled with 130 of my top TJ's essentials. Some fresh faves, some frozen, and some that simply make my life easier! Whether you're looking for Vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options or a few budget-friendly staples, Trader Joe's has you covered.
Check out this dietitian-approved list with lots of healthy recipes, plus a FREE Trader Joe’s shopping guide!
Call me crazy, but up until a month ago I had never been to Trader Joe's. Truth is, I've never lived within driving distance to see what the hype was about. But now that I do, grocery shopping will never be the same.
After sharing my experience on social, my DMs were flooded with Trader Joe's must-haves and fan favorites that are now some of my staples!
As a dietitian, I love that Trader Joe's basically has everything you need to stock your kitchen with healthy, affordable items and dinnertime shortcuts. But navigating their large selection of ever changing products can be overwhelming.
I'm someone who already enjoys the experience of going to the grocery store (I literally made a career out of it), but I know it's not everyone's jam. So I'm sharing my list of Trader Joe's must-haves to make your next shopping trip a breeze!
You'll find 130 options for everything from budget friendly staples, to special diets, meal prep and dinner shortcuts and meal ideas along the way!
Before you dig into this healthy Trader Joe's shopping list, be sure to grab your copy of my FREE printable Trader Joe's grocery list + recipes!
Trader Joe's Must Haves
These products are a dietitian's Trader Joe’s MUST HAVES! They’re pantry, fridge and freezer staples that taste delicious and help you shortcut healthy meals and snacks.
- Green Goddess Salad Dressing - An iconic TJ's find, I love this as a dressing for slaw, a dip for raw veggies, drizzled over cooked veggies, or as a flavor enhancer for tofu and canned beans.
- Cauliflower gnocchi - this version of gnocchi, is made with about 75% cauliflower so there's no wheat, sugar, dairy, or eggs. You can sauté them in a bit of oil on the stove or boil them, but IMO.. the best way to make perfectly crisp cauliflower gnocchi is in the air fryer.
- Steamed lentils - A half cup serving packs 10 grams of protein and over 20% of the daily value for fiber. Add a scoop to salads for a protein and fiber boost or serve them in place of ground meat in tacos, stuffed peppers, and chili.
- Fancy Berry Medley - This frozen combo of blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries provides a year-round source of low sugar, antioxidant rich superfruits. I love adding a scoop to thicken smoothies or to a bowl of oatmeal and making chia seed jam.
- Sunflower seed spread - If you've never heard of sunflower seed butter, you're missing out. This allergy friendly seed butter is a staple in our house, not because we can't have peanuts, it's just that damn delicious. With 8 grams of plant-based protein per serving, we use it for everything from toast to overnight oats and 3 ingredient protein cookies.
- Chili Onion Crunch - With just a handful of ingredients, this chili onion crunch will boost the flavor of pizzas, burgers, burritos, hummus – anything and everything that you’d add hot sauce or even just salt and pepper to. It works especially well for elevating boring roasted veggies and proteins.
Healthy Trader Joe’s Snacks
The real fun at Trader Joe's happens in the snack aisle. The healthy snacks at Trader Joe's are fresh, easy, and surprisingly affordable. Not to mention, they're one of a kind. From dark chocolate delights to gluten-free crackers and veggie chips, these nutrient-dense, fiber-packed nibbles will satisfy all your cravings.
- Cauliflower crisps
- Crispy crunchy okra
- Contemplates Inner Peas - made from peas and are high in protein and fiber!
- Dried fruit bars
- Freeze dried fruit - mix into DIY trail mix, baked goods, or yogurt.
- Organic Apple Carrot Fruit Sauce Crushers - kiddo and travel friendly. Pair with string cheese or nuts for a filling snack.
- Organic Dried Mango Slices
- Marinated artichokes on the go - perfect addition to an elevated snack plate or mason jar salad.
- Almond butter
- Almond butter filled pretzels
- Buffalo style seasoned almonds
- Peanut butter filled pretzels
- Pumpkin seeds
- Slightly coated dark covered almonds - these have notably less sugar than other brands while still providing a really significant snacking experience.
- Sunflower seed spread
- Thai Lime & Chili Cashews
Dips & dairy
- Avocado Tzatziki Dip - freshly diced avocado and jalapeño put a twist on classic tzatziki for a rich and creamy dip filled with healthy fats.
- Everything And the Elote Greek Style Yogurt Dip - creamy yogurt and zesty elote make for a perfect flavor and texture combination for dipping chips, crackers, and even carrots!
- Mediterranean Style Hummus
- Organic Chunky Homestyle Guacamole
- Corn Dippers
- Organic Brown Rice Cake Thins
- Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips
- Plantain chips & plantain crisps
- Super Seedy Cheese Snack Bites
Bars/On the go
- Barebells protein bars - fairly new to the market! TJ's sells them by the box and bar for $1-2 less than other stores!
- Chomps meat sticks
- RX bars
- Chocolate Chip Hold the Cone
- Dark chocolate peanut butter cups
While you can find great prices on certain products, not everything at Trader Joe's is worth buying. These Trader Joe’s products are my go-to’s for saving on my grocery bill. Not only do they deliver on price, but also quality and flavor. Here are the budget-friendly staples worth buying (aka the only produce that lasts longer than 2 days without a fruit fly infestation).
- Bananas (non-organic) - $0.19 for a banana is how it should be! I've found the organic bananas have a shorter shelf life and come with more fruit flies than the non-organic.
- Cherry tomatoes
- Frozen organic wild blueberries
- Frozen organic riced cauliflower - less than $2 for a bag of frozen cauliflower rice is unheard of! I keep my freezer stocked for smoothies, stir-frys, or a quick veggie side dish.
- Petite peas - flash frozen at the peak of freshness, ready to toss in pastas, soups, and rice dishes in 6 minutes or less.
- Teeny tiny avocados - no more "saving" the other half for later. These are the perfect size at the perfect price.
- Cheese - from fancy cheese to string cheese, stock up on your favorites for half the price.
- Greek Nonfat Yogurt Plain - ditch the name brand Greek yogurts and save a few dollars with this 32oz tub. Use it to make protein packed yogurt parfaits, 4 ingredient pizza dough, and smoothies.
- Milk - Trader Joe's dairy and plant-based milks are often cheaper than the store brands at your local supermarket.
- Organic Creamy Cashew Cultured Yogurt Alternative - includes six, live and active probiotics, just like dairy yogurt, so you can still reap those good-bacteria benefits. Available in 5.3oz single servings and 24oz containers.
- Organic Firm Tofu - use crumbled tofu in place of eggs in a breakfast scramble, blend it into smoothies, bake or grill it in place of meat.
- Balsamic vinegar
- Coconut Aminos Seasoning Sauce - lower sodium, gluten-free alternative for soy sauce.
- Extra Virgin Olive oil
- Nutritional Yeast
- Organic Canned Beans - non-organic versions are cheaper but much higher in sodium.
- Organic Hearty Vegetable Broth
- Organic Diced & Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Green Chiles
- Organic Roasted Red Pepper and Almond Pesto Sauce - made with red peppers, almonds and sunflower oil to make it lower in sodium than most pestos.
- Chile Lime Seasoning Blend - sprinkle it on eggs, potatoes or tacos.
- Chili Onion Crunch
- Everything But The Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend - all you need to add flavor to bagels, grilled chicken, popcorn, creamy dips, or salad dressings.
- Salmon Rub Seasoning Blend - giving it a go on salmon, steak, stir-fried tempeh, or even your everyday roasted veggies.
- Sriracha Sprinkle Seasoning Blend - add a little extra oomph in your burgers, egg salad, or chicken.
Pasta & Grains
- Thai Wheat Noodles
- Whole Wheat English Muffins
- Whole Grain Waffles - filled with 30 grams of whole grains, 7 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber for an easy, filling breakfast.
Food intolerance or dietary restriction? Trader Joe's has you covered. Here are some of my favorite vegan, vegetarian, diary-free and gluten-free options.
- Almond, Cashew & Macadamia Nut Beverage Unsweetened
- Banana & Almond Butter Protein Smoothie
- Hold the Dairy! Vegan Chocolate Mini Cones - coconut-milk-based ice cream with just 60 calories per cone (note the serving size is 6 cones). They're the perfect bite-sized treat to satisfy your sweet tooth.
- Non-Dairy Oat Beverage Unsweetened Vanilla
- Organic Buttery Plant-Based Spread - made with coconut and flaxseed oil for the same creamy texture as butter with less saturated fat.
- Vegan Tzatziki Dip
- Gluten Free Pizza Crusts - made with cauliflower & chickpeas (also vegan!)
- Gluten-Free Norwegian Crispbread
- Gluten Free Organic Rolled Oats with Ancient Grains & Seeds - no added sugar, mix this hot cereal with berries or add to baked goods.
- Grainless Granola - clusters of almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and dried coconut with less than 2 grams of added sugar!
- Hearts of palm pasta - technically not a pasta, but a great gluten-free alternative. It's very low in calories and carbs so I recommend mixing with protein and veggies for a well-balanced meal.
- Jicama wraps - a fun way to incorporate more veggies into meals.
- Organic Coconut Aminos Seasoning Sauce
- Organic white quinoa
- Organic Red Lentil Sedanini
- Overnight Oats - pre-made oats for a convenient breakfast (flavors will most likely vary every time you go, but peanut butter or almond butter along with seasonal flavors are usually available).
- Riced hearts of palm
- Spaghetti squash nests - this makes it a great substitute for grains if you’re going gluten free but still craving a spaghetti-like supper you can sauce.
- Chickenless Crispy Tenders - made from a mix of soy and whole grains to give you 13 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per serving. Plus they're lower in sodium than most brands!
- Green Goddess Salad Dressing
- Korean Beefless Bulgogi - made with cauliflower and chickpeas.
- Meatless Ground - something hearty to round out your plant-based pasta sauce or lasagna, or even just as a quick and easy protein choice for weekly meal prep.
- Organic 3 Grain Tempeh - made from soybeans, brown rice, barley, and millet, this tempeh is a nutritional powerhouse full of fibrous grains and plant-based protein.
- Organic Hearty Minestrone Soup
- Sriracha Flavored Baked Tofu
- Vegan Caesar Dressing - mix of plant-based ingredients, including tofu, capers, mustard, and miso.
- Vegan Kale, Cashew & Basil Pesto
Meal planning made easy with these Trader Joe's shortcuts! No more chopping and dicing... use this list to save time in the kitchen and make meal prep a breeze.
- Mirepoix - ready-to-use blend of carrots, onions, & celery perfect for soups and sautéing.
- Cut butternut squash - puree it, mash it, use it for baked goods.
- Cruciferous crunch collection - mix this with olive oil and lemon juice for a quick and easy side dish.
- Holiday veggie hash - perfect for adding veggies to a busy morning omelet.
- Ready veggies - read to cook veggies you can sauté in olive oil with just a bit of salt and pepper, or mixed in with all manner of seasonings and sauces.
- Riced cauliflower
- Root vegetable fries - no added oils or seasonings means these fries are a blank canvas. Spice them up with Trader Joe’s Chile Lime seasoning or Everything but the Elote seasoning and toss in the air fryer.
- Sweet mini peppers
Salad kits & soups
- Avocado Ranch Salad Kit
- Garden vegetable soup
- Green Goddess Salad
- Lemony arugula basil salad kit
- Harvest apple salad kit
- Kale & cauliflower chili
- Lemony arugula basil salad kit
- Mediterranean Style Orzo Pasta Salad
- Sesame Miso Salad with Salmon
- Cottage cheese
- Egg wraps - add a salad to kit to this versatile protein filled wrap for an easy lunch or snack.
- Frozen Turkey burgers - no thawing required!
- Greek yogurt
- Grilled Chicken Strips - if you regularly prep school or work lunches, you’ll especially appreciate how quick, convenient, and tasty these are. Serve with a veggie and starch and you've got yourself a meal!
- Hickory-Smoked Turkey Breast
- Savory Herbed Chicken Thighs - pre-marinated and ready to go! Simply grill, roast, or pan-fry and serve with microwave veggies and rice.
- Skipjack tuna packets
Grains & starches
- Frozen jasmine rice
- Overnight Oats
- Shelled edamame - found in the produce section!
- Steamed lentils - found in the produce section!
Trader Joe’s Meal Ideas
These products are meant to be used as a starting point for well-balanced meals. As long as you have a protein, carb (with fiber), fruit and/or veggie, and healthy fat on your plate, you're good to go!
- Cauliflower gnocchi (pair with protein like chicken sausage or ground turkey + sautéed spinach + tomato sauce)
- Riced cauliflower stir-fry
- Riced cauliflower and butternut squash risotto
- Mandarin orange chicken (roast with broccoli florets + diced peppers serve with scallions + rice)
- Premium salmon burger (make it a sheet pan meal with potatoes + shosito peppers + TJ’s Cuban Style Citrusy Garlic Seasoning Blend + chimichurri sauce)
- Organic sweet Italian chicken sausage (roasted potatoes with peppers + arugula + egg)
- Chicken tiki masala
- Turkey burgers
- Quinoa cowboy veggie burgers (break them up into salads + salsa verde dressing)
- 3-grain tempeh (use in stir-frys or to make a Morning Muffin In a Mug)
- Unsweetened Organic Açaí Puree Packets (mix into a bowl of Rolled Oats for a filling breakfast when you’re on-the-go)
- Korean Beefless Bulgogi (serve with jasmine rice + your favorite frozen veggie for a lazy weeknight dinner)
Now you're ready to shop with your Trader Joe's grocery list!! Don't forget to download your FREE shopping guide and let me know what you make!