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Trader Joe’s best snacks

Art by Grace Gill

Right around the corner from ERHS lies the popular grocery chain, Trader Joe’s. Despite how small the building seems to be, this market is filled with delicious and healthy food options, while still being affordable. Many shop here for their weekly groceries while others stop by just for a snack. Customers always have their favorites, but here are my top five best snacks from Trader Joe’s!

All photography by Kylie Sadsad

#5 Cheese Puffs

If asked what my favorite underrated snack is from Trader Joe's, I will always give the same answer: Cheese Puffs. I’m not a huge fan of Cheeto Puffs, but these are a whole different type of chip. Although, if you do enjoy the original, you’d adore these. Both have that iconic cheesy flavor - different yet similar - and you will always be satisfied with the crunch. They’re also a great study snack, although they do leave a bit of residue on your hands. Nevertheless, their taste makes up for it.


#4 Salted Brownies

Despite what the name suggests, this dessert is still sweet with its generous amount of crushed salt. Though nothing can compare to freshly baked homemade goods, these brownies hit the spot every single time. The bite-sized portions are perfect to avoid the heaviness of baked goods and make it easier to eat them on the go - anytime, anywhere. 

#3 Hash Browns

Whenever I need a quick snack, I can rely on Trader Joe’s frozen hash brown patties to hit the spot. A quick eight minutes in the air fryer cooks the patty to perfection. A crunchy outer layer paired with a soft, melt-in-your-mouth inner layer forms an unforgettable experience each time you bite into the hash brown. It’s an easy-to-go snack for any time throughout the day, and it requires little cooking. However, whenever I want to go all-out for breakfast, I always cook some scrambled eggs and use the hash browns as a base. Overall, it’s a filling and savory snack usually eaten for breakfast, but honestly, could be eaten anytime!

#2 Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips

Many would argue this deserves to be number one, but it’s a bit overrated. These chips are a popular, healthier version of Takis, a popular spicy chip brand, but despite its delicious seasoning, it lacks the same spiciness. Nevertheless, the texture and taste are amazing with corn tortillas that have a satisfying crunch and a savory, mouthwatering flavor. They’re great to snack on throughout the day leaving little to no residue on your hands.

#1 Soup Dumplings

This number one choice shouldn’t surprise many with its popularity and simplicity. They’re always stocked in my freezer with either the pork or chicken variety. My personal favorite is the chicken since I’m not a big fan of the ginger in the pork, but they’re both amazing choices. All you need is a microwave and two minutes. Afterward, you’re left with six dumplings filled with delicious savory soup. If you want to step it up a bit, I love to add chili oil, soy sauce, and sesame oil to brighten up the dish. I usually eat this as an afterschool snack, but if you’re up for it, you can turn it into a full-on meal. 

Moving on to some brief honorable mentions, I’d like to acknowledge Trader Joe’s flowers. Although they’re not a snack, they’re a beautiful staple and a must-buy every visit. With their variety of different colors, you’re able to get a bouquet for any occasion. Trader Joe’s has always been grandmother’s favorite store and she never fails to fill every vase in the house with their vibrant flowers, so I can confidently say that they’re grandma-approved!

On nights when my family doesn’t want to cook a five-star meal, the best alternative is the frozen orange chicken from Trader Joe's. With less than a fifteen-minute cooking time and a bit of rice, it’s a great meal for anybody! The packaging even allows you to customize how sweet you want your chicken to be. You're given two packets of sauce, and usually, I only add one, but you can put as much as you want.

Although not extraordinary, their Scandinavian Swimmers are always a nice candy to have around the house. With its colorful packaging and various shapes, it’s a simple sweet snack with a kick in every bite.  

Trader Joe’s has been and will always be an iconic grocery store; their food is incomparable and they’re always a delicious staple in everyone’s pantry and fridge. I hope to have attracted new customers to this amazing establishment by sharing my favorite must-haves to get them started!

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