Trader Joe's shelves

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If you’ve had a case of Trader Joe’s fever, you can probably name five of your favorite products within seconds. The company was established by the Aldi brothers (yes, those are the same Aldi brothers who own the Aldi’s grocery chain) in 1967 and boasts an impressive selection of store-brand products. Although some of the products on TJ’s shelves are name-brand, most of them are not. This keeps costs low for customers. Additionally, unlike other conventional grocery stores, Trader Joe’s does not have a loyalty program (despite having tons of loyal customers), coupons, or discounts — it’s all great prices, all year-’round.

Trader Joe’s isn’t just a haven for thrifty shoppers — it’s also a popular grocery chain among plant-based eaters. Despite being a small store, Trader Joe’s offers plenty of frozen meals, bagged nuts, snacks, and dry goods to satisfy any plant-based home cook. Here are some of the vegan products we reviewed on a recent trip to Trader Joe’s — including some all-time classics and some newcomers!

27. Miyoko’s Organic Fish-Free Cashew Milk Cream Cheese

Miyoko's Fish Free Lox cream cheese

According to VegNews, Miyoko’s Creamery started selling its organic fish-free cream cheese in Trader Joe’s stores in 2018 after releasing a plant-based butter spread in stores in 2016. We were very excited to try this cream cheese, since Miyoko’s has received such positive praise from the vegan community for developing entire lines of plant-based spreads and butter. However, the high hopes we had for this brand faded when we opened the top and took a whiff of the putrid smell coming from the container.

The cashew-coconut-based cream cheese gets its fishy flavor from seaweed; it’s 100% vegan and palm-oil free. But the cream cheese is very tangy and almost rancid in taste — which can probably be blamed on the company combining the flavors of coconut and seaweed. It’s clear that the folks at Miyoko’s Creamery are very inventive in flavor, but the fishy taste, which was borderline artificial, wasn’t as appreciated.

Overall, this product has a much better cream cheese texture than previous iterations of the Trader Joe’s brand cream cheese. But if the taste is that off-putting to you, you’re better off leaving this one in the cooler.

26. Vegan Mac

Vegan mac in store

Shoppers can find Trader Joe’s Vegan Mac in the store’s prepared foods section. It’s thick and almost like a vegan version of Velveeta (without the cheese pull). As a meal, the pasta is lackluster in flavor and overall disappointing. Plus, it will need a generous bit of salt before you dive into the container.

The most disappointing part of this item was the consistency. Granted, this container is pasta submerged in a rich sauce, so you would expect it to get somewhat mushy when heated up. Even after adding a few minutes in the microwave, it was clear that the pasta had almost disintegrated.

Some creative minds at VegNews have tried to improve this mac and cheese by adding veggies, baking with panko bread crumbs, and serving in a bread bowl. But, it’s hard to know if these additions will actually improve the fundamentally flawed idea of adding pre-cooked pasta to a sauce and leaving it in a cooler. Instead of purchasing this item, try making your own vegan cheese sauce at home with nutritional yeast, blended raw cashews, and ample seasonings.

25. Vegan Brioche Loaf

Vegan brioche loaf on shelves

Brioche is a soft, fluffy bread traditionally enriched with eggs and butter. And when you don’t eat eggs or butter, you can walk down to your nearest Trader Joe’s for a Vegan Brioche Loaf. TJ’s dough is enriched with a blend of coconut oil, cocoa butter, and sunflower oil for a shiny exterior and soft, chewy interior.

The flavor and structure of Trader Joe’s vegan brioche are reminiscent of potato bread. It’s not overtly sweet, so it could actually pass as fluffy potato bread. There are benefits to this nuanced flavor; creative vegans can use the bread for both savory and sweet adaptations. Use brioche bread for your sandwich and toast needs, or make a special French toast casserole for a Sunday brunch. Still, we’re not impressed by this product overall.

We’re not the only folks who are adamant about this new product; many Trader Joe’s shoppers are divided about the vegan brioche. While some applaud Trader Joe’s goal to make this bread an option for plant-based eaters, others criticize the long list of ingredients on its label. Only time will tell if this bread is received well enough to remain on store shelves.

24. Vegan Banana Bread with Walnuts

Vegan banana bread with walnuts

We’re happy to report that Trader Joe’s offers some vegan selections in the baked goods and dessert aisle. The grocery’s Vegan Banana Bread with Walnuts is moist and very sweet. Although the walnut count is sparse, it does provide a slightly nutty boost to the banana bread. If Trader Joe’s were to redesign this product, the brand should add more chopped walnuts and less added sugar. The taste is average — it’s nothing to write home about.

The structure of this banana bread is standard for what you’d see in a quick bread. It’s sturdy and could hold the weight of a French Toast egg batter. Plus, the banana flavor and the walnuts complement the sweetness of great maple syrup and a slab of (vegan) butter. You could also add this banana bread to a waffle iron and gently press it to make a banana-bread-waffle hybrid.

23. Trader Joe’s (Accidentally Vegan) Marshmallows

Marshmallows on shelf

If you’re planning to sit around a bonfire at all this year, you have to stock up on s’more supplies. Trader Joe’s Marshmallows sell at $2.99 for a 10-ounce pack — and they’re accidentally vegan! These plush puffs do not contain gelatin or other animal-based products, and the brand melts just like your favorite grocery-store marshmallow. Other vegan marshmallows, such as the popular Dandies brand, sell for close to $4.49.

The texture of Trader Joe’s marshmallows is slightly more gritty than a JetPuffed marshmallow (and less than a Dandies marshmallow) but not too far off. We put these marshmallows to the test with a roast over a fire and found that they performed as expected: the same crusty exterior as a gelatin marshmallow with a sticky interior. When baked, the marshmallows performed more similar to a Dandies marshmallow; they crusted up rather than oozed all over the vegan-ized layer bars we used them in.

In short, the marshmallows are a cheap vegan option if you need marshmallows for a cookout, but the recipe still has some flaws.

22. Trader Joe’s Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing

Vegan Caesar salad dressing with veggies

Plant-based eaters have been racking their brains for years, trying to figure out a way to make caesar dressing vegan. Trader Joe’s Vegan Caesar Salad dressing opens up more possibilities for vegan salad recipes. This bottled mix, which can be found with the other fresh dressings in the grab-and-go section of the store, is made with tofu, capers, miso, garlic, and Dijon mustard — the quintessential mix of savory and umami. Besides adding it to a salad, the company recommends spreading it on a bun for a savory sandwich spread or pairing it with crudités (veggie platter). You might even consider making your own homemade croutons!

Although the dressing is delicious, the biggest complaint we have with it is its shelf life after opening. The bottle is best a few days from opening; it will start to congeal if left in the refrigerator for too long. If there are 11 servings per container, it is a tad unrealistic to expect someone to use all of that dressing in a few days’ time. Luckily, several Trader Joe’s Redditors have come to our rescue; they recommend freezing the fresh bottled salad dressings in an ice cube tray until they are ready for use.

21. Trader Joe San Soyaki

Soyaki bottles on shelf

Soyaki sauce is Trader Joe’s vegan-style spin on teriyaki sauce. It contains hints of garlic, ginger, onion, and sesame with a soy-tamari base. The flavor of this sauce is somewhat lackluster; none of the particular flavors stand-out among the rest. The sauce is also very thin and unreliable as a dipping sauce. If you plan on using this for a stir-fry or a glaze, try stirring in arrowroot starch or cornstarch to thicken it.

Soyaki is a more reliable option as a marinade. Although none of the flavors are especially prominent, it is a good base for imparting Asian-inspired flavors into beef or chicken before it can be finished with a different sauce. When marinating tofu in this sauce, try leaving the tofu cubes in the refrigerator overnight to soak up as much of the soy as possible. This sauce could also be used as a dressing for a cabbage slaw or cold Asian-inspired salad with soba noodles.

20. Vegan Sour Cream Alternative

Vegan sour cream alternative

We were very excited to try Trader Joe’s Vegan Sour Cream Alternative because very few sour cream alternatives are on the market. This alternative is made of coconut oil, potato starch, and white vinegar. It is relatively inexpensive for vegan cheese alternatives; a 12-ounce container is $3.49.

When it comes down to taste and texture, Trader Joe’s had us fooled. We were convinced this sour cream alternative was actually cream cheese. When we opened the container, the product resembled hard plastic, unlike the soft Daisy sour cream of our youth. The consistency was so thick that it surprised us to find out that this was not a tofu-based cream!

After stirring the white gelatinous mass for a few minutes, it was clear that this product would not resemble sour cream any time soon. The flavor was tangy (like a cultured cream) but not smooth as a sour cream should be. The bottom line is that if you need plain vegan cream cheese, try using this product instead. If you’re looking for a sour cream alternative, keep searching.

19. Vegan Tzatziki Dip

Vegan tzatziki dip

Tzatziki is a Greek dip made from yogurt, dill, cucumbers, lemon, and garlic. It’s bright, light, and often eaten with pita or fresh vegetables. And, we’ve been known to recommend adding tzatziki to your egg salad, too. Yogurt has always been a tricky ingredient to derive a plant-based substitute for. Still, Trader Joe’s has concocted its own Vegan Tzatziki Dip using dairy-free cream cheese (made from coconut oil and potato starch). Each 8-ounce container is $3.99 and can be found in the refrigerated dip section of the store with the hummus.

This dip is filled with the same fresh, herby dill flavor as traditional tzatziki. The cucumber bits are also well-dispersed in this dip — to the point where you might not be able to recognize that there are cucumbers in it. Moreover, the vegan tzatziki is thicker than other tzatziki dips. TJ’s vegan tzatziki is a solid option if you’re looking for an herbaceous cream cheese spread for your bagel. As for spreading on a pita or serving with falafel — not so much.

18. Cauliflower Gnocchi

Cauliflower gnocchi at Trader Joe's

Cauliflower may have gotten a bad rap in recent years, but Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi will make you fall in love with cauliflower again. Allison Underhill from Food Network reports that "ever since Trader Joe’s first released the uber-trendy cauliflower gnocchi in April 2018, it’s had a cult following. Instagram is obsessed with this frozen bag of Italian-style dumplings."

The trick to making the perfect cauliflower gnocchi at home? Allison says it’s to disregard the instructions on the bag entirely. She recommends baking the gnocchi from frozen at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes — without adding any water or oil to the gnocchi. She notes that the resulting dumplings were perfectly crisp and indistinguishable from potato gnocchi.

The cauliflower gnocchi would have gotten a higher ranking on our list if the directions were a little more realistic. To prepare the gnocchi, we followed Allison’s advice. We placed the gnocchi on a plate with a paper towel to soak up excess water. After drying the individual dumplings, we poured the plate into a skillet with a little oil. The gnocchi crisped up and browned after cooking for about seven minutes over medium-heat. The flavor was not too far off from traditional gnocchi and was compatible with a generous garlic, sage, and tarragon seasoning.

17. Trader Joe’s Vegan Non-Dairy Oat Milk Creamer (Brown Sugar Flavor)

Non-dairy oat creamer with oat milks

A "good coffee creamer" should be judged by a few important characteristics: creaminess, sweetness, and compatibility with the coffee. The brown sugar flavor of TJ’s Non-Dairy Oat Milk Creamer passes the texture test with flying colors. The oat milk provides a perfectly smooth base for a coffee — you may not even realize it’s dairy-free! The creamer isn’t overly sweet and has a mild brown sugar undertone. Trader Joe’s could add a darker molasses flavor to this creamer for a more realistic "brown sugar" taste.

Each 16-ounce container is priced at $1.99. The 32-ounce bottle of the competitor’s oat milk creamer (Silk Oatmeal Cookie Oat Milk Coffee Creamer) is around $4.50. If you drink a lot of coffee, buying several small containers of the Trader Joe’s brand may be more cost-efficient — especially if the creamer has a self-life that calls for use within seven days after opening.

16. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Trader Joe's semi-sweet chocolate chips

Trader Joe’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips are accidentally vegan and cheap: each 12-ounce bag is $1.99. In comparison, a 10-ounce bag of EnjoyLife Semi-Sweet mini chips is $5.99.

The Trader Joe’s chips are definitely on the sweet side, so they would be best in moderation in a chocolate chip cookie recipe or brownies. You can also melt down these chips in your microwave to dip with fruit, wafer cookies, or pretzels. The most peculiar part of these chips was that they were a little gummy. Adding more fat (like melting down with coconut oil) may help improve the texture, but it wouldn’t be too noticeable when baked into a cookie. For the price, the gumminess was tolerable.

If you’re looking for a stronger chocolate flavor than the semi-sweet chips, check out Trader Joe’s dark chocolate 72% cacao chips. They’ll provide a low sugar content while still offering deep chocolate notes.

15. Peanut Butter Pretzel Filled Nuggets

Peanut butter filled pretzel nuggets

The only thing better than a peanut butter and jelly combo is a peanut butter and pretzel mash-up. Trader Joe’s stuffed creamy peanut butter inside of salted pretzel nuggets — and our world hasn’t been the same since. For folks on #TeamAlmondButter, Trader Joe’s also makes an almond butter pretzel-filled nugget — find it in the snack aisle with the pretzel nuggets.

These vegan snacks are crispy, crunchy, and the perfect amount of salty. Could Trader Joe’s add more salt that actually sticks to the pretzels? Yeah, probably. But overall, the pretzels are salty enough — and the peanut butter ratio is perfect. This product is placed in the middle-of-the-pack on our list because it’s a slightly above-average snack — not an absolute must-have next time you go to Trader Joe’s. And, although you have no reason not to shovel them right out of the bag, consider dipping these nuggets in your favorite strawberry or grape jam.

14. Organic Creamy Cashew Cultured Yogurt Alternative

Vegan cashew yogurt in dairy aisle

Conventional grocery stores have increased their vegan yogurt selection in recent years to include almond yogurt, coconut yogurt, soy yogurt, and cashew yogurt. Trader Joe’s offers an affordable Organic Creamy Cashew Cultured Yogurt Alternative for customers; each 24-ounce container is $4.99 (compared to Forager’s Cashew Yogurt at $6.79). Cashew yogurt can be used as a replacement for all dairy-based yogurts, including in smoothies, parfaits, and for extra-moist baked goods. The texture of this yogurt is thick, velvety, and not remotely close to the filtered cashews and coconut milk that went into making it. The yogurt also has a great acidic tang that mimics the flavor of dairy yogurt.

Trader Joe’s also sells single-serve containers of sweetened cashew yogurt alternatives in strawberry and vanilla bean flavors, according to Freezer Meal Frenzy. Although these containers are better for on-the-go eating, the small containers contain more than 10 grams of added sugar per serving. This statistic is reflected in the off-putting saccharine taste of the product.

Overall, the cashew yogurt ranked higher than other vegan items on this list for its versatility in the vegan home kitchen, price, and distinct tangy flavor.

13. Trader Joe’s Vegan Buttery Spread

Vegan buttery spread blocks

Among the tricks for vegan bakers to know, the importance of good plant-based butter is near the top. Trader Joe’s offers a Vegan Buttery Spread that can be substituted 1-to-1 with dairy butter. The flavor, which is derived from fava bean protein, canola oil, shea nut butter, coconut oil, and sunflower oil, resembles the color of margarine. The taste is super smooth, making it an easy addition to add to brownies, cookies, or on top of your favorite pancakes. We used it to make vegan cinnamon rolls; the spread held together despite the heat and humidity of our kitchen. Overall, it’s really hard to tell that this isn’t actually butter!

Each pack is $3.99. The only odd thing about this product is that the butter spread comes in a single block rather than sticks. An 8.8-ounce package of the spread is equivalent to about two sticks of butter. Therefore, your recipe may require a little finagling to find the perfect replacement for your baking needs.

12. Impossible Chicken Nuggets

Impossible nuggets

Trader Joe’s has extended its meatless selection to include a few items from Impossible Foods — one of which is a 13.5-ounce bag of Impossible Chicken Nuggets. Trader Joe’s retails these nuggets at $6.49; Instacart sells the same bag for $8.99.

While every Trader Joe’s shopper loves a good deal, the consistency of these nuggets is also a selling point. Impossible has nailed down the science of making its products indistinguishable from chicken nuggets. These alternative nuggets are a nostalgic childhood treat that matches the consistency of a traditional breaded counterpart. Plus, the plant-based replacements from Impossible are also perfectly salty and guaranteed to satisfy any late-night nug’ cravings.

We heated these nuggets up in the oven, but you can also use an air-fryer. Pair the nuggets with your favorite dipping sauce — including Trader Joe’s Organic Sriracha & Roasted Garlic BBQ Sauce. The only complaint we have is that Trader Joe’s doesn’t sell any alternative nuggets in dinosaur shapes!

11. Vegan Spinach and Cashew Ravioli

Vegan spinach & cashew ravioli

Fresh pasta is usually a vegan’s worst nightmare because it’s filled with eggs. Vegans can now rejoice in knowing Trader Joe’s offers a fresh pasta — with a vegan filling! Shoppers can find the brand’s Vegan Spinach and Cashew Ravioli with the other cold entrees. It only takes three or four minutes to boil these ravioli before throwing them into your favorite pasta sauce. Each 8.8-ounce package is $3.99, which is reasonable for a ready-made entree at the grocery chain.

The best part about the pasta was the ratio of pasta to filling. The pasta was thin, delicate, and relatively robust. Only one of the ravioli split while boiling!

Although we expected a gritty consistency from the cashew puree, it was relatively smooth. The spinach was relatively indistinguishable, making this item a good option for individuals to sneak more veggies into their meal. The product engineers could add more cheesy flavor to the ravioli, but it is a solid meal choice overall.

10. Vegan Cookies & Creme Vanilla Bean Bon Bons

Vegan vanilla bean bon bons

If you like the flavor of ice cream sandwiches, but would also like a dessert you can pop in your mouth and walk away with, Trader Joe’s Vegan Cookies & Creme Vanilla Bon Bons are for you. They’re like little bites of happiness from your freezer!

These desserts are filled with coconut-base vanilla ice cream and chocolate cookies before being covered in a chocolate coating. It’s hard to tell that these treats are vegan as very little coconut flavor comes through the ice cream. And another plus is that these little bites are not as filling as traditional ice cream, so it is easy to eat a lot of them! (That is a plus, right?)

Each box contains six bon bons and is priced at $3.99. The only complaint you may find with these treats is that the chocolate melts everywhere when you try to eat them in small bites. In the end, just be proud and take one in a whole bite — you won’t regret it.

9. Organic 3 Grain Tempeh

Organic 3 grain tempeh packs

Vegan Service Announcement: Trader Joe’s is your go-to store for cheap tempeh. According to Trader Joe’s website, its Organic 3 Grain Tempeh is made from barley, millet, and brown rice fermented in a soy base. The whole grains are different from whole wheat in that they give the tempeh a crumbly texture but also the capability to soak up the flavor of whatever it is cooked with. You’ll find similarly textured tempeh at other grocery stores (plus or minus some of the grains) for around $3 per 8-ounce pack. Trader Joe’s charges $1.99 per pack.

Although the texture may be off-putting for some, tempeh is a versatile plant-based protein that can be used in dishes across cuisines, including in our vegetarian goulash recipe (made vegan without cheese) or Nora Cooks’ tempeh bacon. Although the tempeh is bland on its own, we recommend purchasing it at Trader Joe’s for its cheap price and utility across cuisines. Plus, this tempeh can last months in your fridge in between meal plans.

8. Peanut Butter Protein Granola

Peanut butter protein granola

Trader Joe’s offers its customers several varieties of granola, including grain-free, fruit & nut, and the all-time best: Peanut Butter Protein Granola. Not only does this granola have protein from oat clusters, peanuts, and peanut butter, but the manufacturer also added pea protein for an extra boost. This granola is uber rich and filled with earthy, peanut-buttery goodness. Unlike other brands, you’ll find actual chunks of peanuts in this granola!

Although the peanut butter protein granola has the same 10 grams of protein and calories per serving as a comparable brand (like KIND Peanut Butter Clusters), Trader Joe’s could increase the protein of this product by changing the ratio of pea protein. However, it may dilute the peanut butter flavor in the granola. If you’re looking for a low-calorie breakfast staple, we suggest steering away from this granola. One serving is 260 for a mere ⅔ cup (60 grams) — which is scant considering the granola is so chunky.

One benefit of this granola is the price. Each 12-ounce bag is $3.69, less than you would pay for a high-end granola brand at a conventional grocery store.

7. Korean Beefless Bulgogi

Korean beefless bulogi

Trader Joe’s Korean Beefless Bulgogi is a new addition to the frozen meals aisle. The strips, which are made with a mix of seitan and textured vegetable protein, are covered in a sweet soy sauce. Each box contains three servings and can be prepared in a microwave, air fryer, oven, or stove-top.

We were pleasantly surprised with the taste of this product. Although it was a on the salty side, the saltiness did not overpower the other garlic, onion, and ginger flavors. The strips were less chewy than seitan and were a great textural addition to a side of white rice and freshly chopped green onions. We also loved that this meal — even for ⅓ of the box — was super filling and satisfying. Hopefully Trader Joe’s can adapt the same meat alternative to other sauces so that shoppers will have more variety when selecting a plant-based dinner option.

6. Trader Joe’s Bamba Puffed Peanut & Corn Snacks

Bamba snacks in hand

Bamba is a peanut-flavored corn puff that, up until Trader Joe’s introduced it to its stores, was almost unheard of in most major American grocery stores. The snack is popular in Israeli culture where, according to Newsweek, 90% of families in Israel purchase Bamba regularly. Israeli immigrants to America (along with others who had gotten a taste for the snack) were forced to order their Bamba from online retailers or the niche international section of local grocery stores. Trader Joe’s introduction of the product has made Bamba more available to these communities — along with potential followers of the delicious nutty snack.

Bamba is the perfect blend of salty and sweet. The texture of these puffs is similar to that of a cheese puff — just with the creaminess of a light peanut coating. Unlike other snack foods, Bamba doesn’t leave a pit in your stomach. They’re light, airy, and something you can eat all day long — one of the best peanut snacks.

Adventurous non-vegan Bamba aficionados can also try Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Bamba snacks: a new version of the same Bamba just dipped in dark chocolate.

5. Mesquite Smoke Seasoned Almonds

Mesquite smoked almonds in store

Trader Joe’s is notorious for its cheap nut selection — so it’s no surprise at least one of its nut blends had to make its way onto the list. Trader Joe’s Mesquite Smoked Almonds are the definition of a perfectly engineered food product: they’re crunchy, fatty, and salty. When we purchased this bag of nuts, it was hard to stop snacking on them on the way home from the store. The smokiness is derived from a ton of seasoned salt, garlic, and onion powder.

These almonds are a great choice for a charcuterie board or mixed into a homemade savory trail mix. If the nuts are too salty, consider mixing the almonds with equal parts unsalted roasted almonds. You’ll also find that your hand quickly becomes gritty with salt and seasonings — although we think that’s a good problem to have when it comes to the sultry coating of these almonds.

4. Cold Brew Coffee Boba Coconut Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert

Coffee boba frozen dessert in bins

If there is an ice cream that makes you feel like simultaneously snuggling up with a warm blanket and being so buzzed off caffeine that you can’t sleep — it’s this one. The brand introduced its Cold Brew Coffee Boba Coconut Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert a few years ago, and it has received nothing but rave reviews. The primary flavor is a strong coffee, which is both milky, earthy, dark, and sweet.

The tapioca pearls are hidden in the depths of coffee ice cream, which emulates the same feeling of finding a sixth chicken nugget in your five-piece fast-food takeout. The small balls are chewy and yet not distracting from the deep coffee flavor of the ice cream. The pint is so good that it could probably do without the tapioca pearls, but they’re not too obtrusive to worry about and actually provide a nice textural contrast. The brand came out with a Black Tea Boba spinoff shortly after the release of this product, but the cold brew coffee boba will be in our hearts and minds forever.

3. Trader Joe’s Vegan Goddess Salad Dressing

Goddess dressing on shelf

When we’re talking about this dressing, it’s the OG Trader Joe’s Goddess Dressing that we mean — not the newfangled Green Goddess Dressing in the refrigerated section. The Goddess Salad Dressing has a citrus tang and savory tahini flavor that is irrevocable in other salad dressings. Unlike the new Green Goddess Dressing, the original Goddess Dressing could be used as a dip for crackers and vegetables and has a significantly longer shelf-life than its refrigerated counterpart. You can use this dressing in place of mayonnaise in potato or pasta salad as well for a garlicky, sesame flavor.

This dressing is an almost perfectly engineered food product. It has the perfect blend of salty, savory, and umami flavors. The goddess dressing is delightfully creamy and a utilitarian option for almost any kitchen. If there’s one Trader Joe’s dressing you need to have in your kitchen — it’s this one. If you don’t live near Trader Joe’s, order this dressing straight from Amazon.

2. Soy Chorizo

Soy chorizo with meatless options

This alternative meat substitute is made of textured vegetable protein (TVP), which is a soy crumble that resembles the consistency of ground beef. The TVP is spiced with a savory blend of paprika, sea salt, vinegar, chili powder, red pepper, and garlic powder for the perfect punch of spice. Each 12-ounce pack of soy chorizo is $2.49.

Trader Joe’s Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo is an excellent plant-based meal ingredient for pasta, tacos, and chilis. You can add it to a vegetarian version of our green chili mac and cheese recipe for an extra layer of protein and Tex-Mex flavors; each ⅓ cup serving provides 8 grams of protein. To prepare, reheat the crumble in a skillet for a few minutes and serve with desired accompaniments.

On its own, the soy chorizo is definitely salty — it’s the only reason why it didn’t take the top spot on our list. The soy chorizo is best diluted with beans, rice, sour cream, or guacamole. However, its functional applications in the kitchen and low price make our hearts swoon for soy chorizo.

1. Super-firm Sprouted Tofu

Super-firm sprouted tofu

Tofu is a mainstay in the homes of plant-based eaters. So why not pick up a pack on your next trip to Trader Joe’s? According to Aisle of Shame, the retailer sells a variety of different texture and flavored tofu products, including firm, baked sriracha flavored tofu, and our favorite: the Extra Firm Sprouted Tofu. Each 15.5-ounce pack is $1.99 and can be found in the refrigerated section of the store.

Sprouted tofu has numerous health benefits compared to its non-sprouted counterpart. Sprouted tofu boasts 20% more protein and three times as much calcium than non-sprouted tofu, per Vegetable & Butcher. Plus, there’s very little flavor difference between the two tofu varieties!

There are many unconventional ways to use tofu, and the extra firm variety can be used for a variety of quirky, plant-based dishes. The best thing about this tofu is that it holds its shape while baking or frying, making it a great choice for air-fried tofu nuggets. You can also crumble the tofu with spices for a homemade Chipotle sofritas recipe.