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We Asked And You Delivered AGAIN – Here Are The Best Trader Joe’s Appetizers, Dips, And Food Hacks

A couple of years ago, I crowdsourced the best Trader Joe’s appetizers, dips, and food combinations and the response was AWESOME. I was so grateful! So since this is still such a great resource for delicious, affordable apps and snacks for any holiday party (or hanging at home), we wanted to see what was new on the Trader Joe’s shelves that were things not to miss. Again y’all did not disappoint so thank you! We put all of the new suggestions at the top but you can still see everything from the original post after. Everything is still just as tasty:)

I needed help and you seriously delivered. I’m bookmarking this page forever. I shopped exclusively from Trader Joe’s in my 20s (in New York) then in my 30s in LA until we moved back to Los Feliz and I couldn’t handle the 15 minutes it took to wait for parking, not to mention the line to check out. But now that I’m back in Portland, where running mom errands is a JOY. But I literally didn’t know what to bring to an appetizer/crafting get-together a couple of weeks ago. So we put it out there on social media and y’all seriously hooked us up. What we loved so much was how consistent you were – there are CLEAR favorites and not only that but so many of you recommended a combination of two apps that we would have never done (see below). So whether you are hoping for some easy cozy snacks while playing games or serving others this year, here are some appetizer recommendations from Trader Joe’s (unsponsored obviously).

Ok, first the new additions!

1. Unexpected Cheddar Cheese Spread: This was maybe the #1 suggestion when we asked people for their new favorite Trader Joe’s dips and spreads. Gretchen also made SURE it was on the list because she thinks it’s incredible. That’s a lot of praise across the board so y’all this should probably be on all of our shopping lists if you eat cheese.
2. Chunky Artichoke & Jalapeño: This was a big repeat suggestion and it’s easy to see why. Artichokes and jalapeños are incredibly delicious so matched in a dip only makes sense. Then grab a bag of delicious chips and you are set.
3. Vegan Carmelized Onion Dip: Another big repeat suggestion! This also sounds delicious and it’s always nice to have a vegan/dairy-free option for people that doesn’t skimp on flavor.

1. Organic Corn Chip Dippers + Everything and the Elote: Everything and the Elote dip was suggested A LOT. Very excited to try it. But when someone suggested the corn chip dippers it sounded like such a fun and easy combo that would be a huge crowd-pleaser.
2. Organic Jalapeño Seasoned Corn & Rice Puffs: This combo was actually a Gretchen rec! As stated before the Unexpected Cheddar Cheese Spread is a crowd favorite, to say the least. But there weren’t a ton of recommendations on what to eat it with. However, Grethen says they are incredible with the Jalapeño Seasoned Corn & Rice Puffs. According to her, “The puffs have just the right amount of spice and the spread finished it off perfectly”. She also loves the texture combo together!
3. Buffalo Style Chicken Poppers: These poppers were also recommended by a bunch of you and man do they look good! Fried, lots of flavor, and melted cheese? Sign us up.

1. Fig & Olive Crips + Cream Cheese + Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish: Talk about a perfect seasonal appetizer! Who doesn’t love those fig and olive crisps? And then you add that season relish on top of a little cream cheese? Try to keep me away:)
2. Triple Ginger Cookie Thins + Goat Cheese + Fresh Raspberry Jam: Another little delicious snack to assemble yourself or put on a cheese board for others to make themselves! This one is a little more of a dessert since the base is a cookie which I don’t think anyone will complain about. Ha.
3. Raisin Rosemary Crips + Goat Cheese + Honey: If you love the fig and olive crisps and you for some reason haven’t tried the raisin rosemary, then you are in for a treat! This combo is a total crowd-pleaser.

Baked Lemon Ricotta Cheese: I keep hearing about this cheese and how it’s more like a dessert! Y’all recommended pairing it with a berry compote which sounds so good. Definitely is a dish that is going to look and taste fancier than the price tag.

1. Spanakopita: So many of you recommended this. Everyone swears it’s a party hit and is great to have in a pinch.
2. Parmesan Pastry Pups: Sign me up for fancy pigs in a blanket any day of the week. Great for kids and adults!
3. Samosas: The samosas were another greatest hit in our DMs. You guys insist they are a super popular at parties or for a quick and easy snack.

1. Fried Stuffed Olives: I can’t wait to try these. They are breaded fried olives with cream cheese so I can imagine they would be gone very quickly at any gathering.
2. Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese: I am not at all surprised to hear these are fantastic. Jess Note: They are actual pieces of heaven on your mouth.
3. Chicken Cilantro Wontons: I know the frozen chicken potstickers are great but I haven’t tried these yet. I am excited to buy them next time I go to TJ’s.
4. Feta Cheese and Caramelized Onion Puffs: Oh these sound so delicious. A LOT of you said these are the best so I am very excited to try.

1. Buffalo Chicken Dip: This buffalo chicken dip is another clear winner. Y’all suggest pairing with bread or crackers and I imagine there are some great recipes you can use this in too.
2. Vegan Tzatziki Dip: You all said this is great paired with veggies and is a perfect vegan alternative for a dressing or dip.
3. Truffle Dip: If you have had anything truffle based you know it is RICH so I bet this dip would pair so well with celery or carrots.

1. Baked Brie: This baked brie en croûte looks delicious. It looks and tastes fancy and everyone loves bread and cheese, right?
2. Corn Salsa: I didn’t realize tomato-less salsa is such a thing but now I know. We are told that pairing the corn salsa with their blue corn tortilla chips is absolutely delicious.
3. Spinach Artichoke Dip: Almost everyone in the DMs noted that the frozen spinach and artichoke dip is killer.

1. Cooked Lentils + Crumbled Feta + Bruschetta Sauce: We were all blown away by how many of your recommended this combination. You guys suggest putting the mixture on a crostini, crackers, or just serving as a salad. I can’t wait to try.
2. Croissants with Spinach Artichoke Dip: YUM. Bread
+ creamy spinach and artichoke dip never misses.
3. Triple Cream Brie with Raisin Rosemary Crackers: So many of you swear by the triple cream brie cheese and a huge number also suggest pairing it with the raisin rosemary crackers.

1. Roll Goat Cheese in Everything But The Bagel Seasoning and Serve with Crackers: I knew Everything But The Bagel Seasoning was popular and now I am so excited to try it with goat cheese the next time we do a charcuterie board.
2. Pair Brie with Fig Butter on Crackers: Again, the triple cream brie was a very popular suggestion and the fig butter is supposed to pair with it perfectly.
3. Blueberry Goat Cheese and Pepper Jelly: This is a very interesting pairing that I am intrigued to try! A TON of you told us the pepper jelly is a staple and pairs well with so many things.

Big thanks to everyone who sent us their recs and please if you have more drop them in the comments. xx

Opening Image Credit: Design and Styled by Jess Bunge | Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: How To Have Great Holiday Cocktail Party In A Tiny Apartment (All the Hacks You Need to Know)

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Karen
2 years ago

Chocolate humus??? What? It didn’t make the cut?

wally
2 years ago

If you live in Oregon, the only appropriate thing to bring to a get-together is Toby’s Tofu Pate with some really good tortilla chips (i.e., not Doritos)!!! I don’t know where it is avail in Portland – in Eugene it is pretty much everywhere. In Seattle, my mom can get it in the vegetarian section of Fred Meyer. https://tobysfamilyfoods.com/tobys-plant-based-dip-spread/

Cathy
2 years ago
Reply to  wally

Second the Toby’s, widely available in Portland!

kate
2 years ago
Reply to  wally

And the tortilla chips must be Juanita’s!

wally
1 month ago
Reply to  wally

THIS! Or with a really good baguette. When I visit my mom in Seattle she has to get like 4 tubs for me.

Meghan
2 years ago

When I host I usually shop Trader Joe’s with a theme in mind- Greek night, Tex-mex night, Asian night, cheese board night, it adds a unifying touch that makes the party spread feel so put together. I have discovered so many fun new products that way.

One year I hosted a holiday champagne party and wanted to serve heavy food without doing dishes, so the theme became all hand held items- no fork and knife and must be able to hold glass of champagne in the non eating hand! People were floored by the spread and kept remarking what a fancy party it was, even though I didn’t make anything myself.

Oh!! And the chocolate mousse cakes they make are amazing. At Christmas time they are in the shape of presents, at Halloween time pumpkins, at easter time eggs, during the summer flowers. So you can have a delicious and seasonally adorable dessert any time of the year!!!

Carrie
2 years ago
Reply to  Meghan

“Asian night”?! Would you serve Shepard’s pie and Brie and Hefeweizen and call it “European night”?

Ashley
2 years ago
Reply to  Carrie

Um, I think we would all agree that Shepherd’s Pie pairs with an ale or stout. And sign me UP for English Pub Night!

2 years ago

So many tasty-looking ideas! Just wanted to mention that the samosas and vegetable spring rolls are both vegan. My vegan husband also loves the TJ frozen vegetable burritos, Japanese fried rice, vegetable fried rice, and their soy chorizo (so great in tacos).

Marisa
2 years ago
Reply to  Susan

They also have a vegan feta! I’ve never looked at that bruschetta sauce so I’m not sure if it has cheese or something, but it looks like it may be vegan. They also have a vegan boursin cheese spread that is sooo good on crackers.

Alex
2 years ago
Reply to  Susan

The vegan Romero sauce is really good. Also the falafel with the vegan tasiki and hummus. I also love their zhong dip on everything.

Eve
1 month ago
Reply to  Susan

I have def heard the soy chorizo is beloved by many! My hubby loves the spring rolls too!

Becky
2 years ago

Will try the lentil/feta cheese/bruschetta sauce combo but, FYI, the lentils are so good I usually just gobble them up alone.

Lauren
2 years ago
Reply to  Becky

My new fave combo is the tomato pesto with the lentils – kind of a lentil hot pot. Add rice and some greens. Easy, delicious dinner. We always have those lentils in the fridge for easy dinners.

Mary Anne Nurse
2 years ago
Reply to  Lauren

I haven’t seen the tomato pesto! Where is it in the store?

Carlotta
2 years ago

Corn salsa spread on cream cheese and served with crackers is a real favorite.

A.B.
2 years ago

Love, love this kind of post. Don’t forget a bowl of the chocolate sea salt-covered almonds.

Dena
2 years ago
  1. We love the spanokopita- make a quick cucumber sauce with it. Sour cream, 1 garlic clove, salt, pepper, dill, squeeze of lemon and some grated cucumber!
  2. the frozen wontons are the best ever! I make a brothy soup with all the regulars (onion, carrots, garlic, ginger, celery, etc) and just add the wontons at the end!
  3. Chocolate hummus with the fig and olive crackers and some apples.
  4. Frozen chocolate croissants!! They are so so yummy! You leave them out all night to rise (I just leave them in the oven) and then bake in the morning. They smell so good!
Eve Birge
2 years ago
Reply to  Dena

You can also use our (in a box next to the chicken broth ones) Miso ginger broth with the dumplings as a soup! YUM!

Eve
1 month ago
Reply to  Eve Birge

And both of the frozen soup dumplings are the BEST! SO SO GOOD!

Mary Anne Nurse
2 years ago
Reply to  Dena

I use the Miso Ginger Broth, 4 or 5 mini chicken wontons, half a large sheet of roasted seaweed, small amounts of vegetables of your choice (spinach, red bell pepper, broccoli..), seasonings (like their onion salt blend, umami mushroom, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, furikake..) to make yummy single serve bowls of soup. Sometimes add a few roasted pepitas, and green onion at the end.

Annie Lupardus
2 years ago

Omg I just moved five mins from a TJs too and was JUST telling my girlfriends that sometimes I get anxious walking around in the store because I feel like I’m missing some secret that everyone knows and that there is a hole in the blogosphere for entire recipes/weeknight hacks (esp for parents) w TJs ingredients so please do that as a follow up post. A few more: – jarred olive tapenade on goat cheese with pita chips, I now always have a jar of the stuff I’m the pantry, it’s like a fancy appetizer when neighbors come over for a surprise play happy hour/date – General Tso sauce + grape jelly + frozen party meatballs over rice and steam-in-bag broccoli = easy weeknight kids dinner – Can’t get enough of their Fall stock: their Fall Leaf tortilla chips w pepita salsa is AMAZING, my brother is a giant foodie and said this salsa may be his favorite ever. – Also their pumpkin bread mix is surprisingly good…I’m a snob about quick breads but our nanny made it with the kids one weekend and I called her after to ask for the recipe…not knowing it was TJs. – How has… Read more »

Abby
2 years ago
Reply to  Annie Lupardus

There are a lot of TJs whole meal recipes on Pinterest! On Instagram, Trader Joe’s List is a good follow. My kids also love the frozen orange chicken 🙂

Paula Carr
2 years ago
Reply to  Abby

Hey! I love the frozen orange chicken, and I’m a loooooooong way from being a kid! 😋

Emiley
2 years ago
Reply to  Annie Lupardus

Love this post! But I agree about feeling like you’re missing the secret! Cup of Jo did a great Trader Joe’s meal hacks a while back https://cupofjo.com/2016/09/trader-joes-meal-hacks/amp/

Courtney
2 years ago

This is so timely because I’m heading to TJ’s today! One thing I didn’t see was the spinach kale greek yogurt dip, which is a lower-fat version of that spinach dip you put in a bread bowl, but it’s really good. Planning to serve it as a lighter app option (along with other stuff) before our heavy dinner. TJ’s also has great cured meats and fancy cheese, and we’re going to stock up for a Christmas Eve charcuterie platter. Those rosemary raisin crisps are perfect for that!

Courtney
2 years ago
Reply to  Courtney

Just had to follow up that aside from all the food, they also had a really cute red/white/green felt pompom garland there too! Super cute … I got two.

Lea
2 years ago

I love going to the recipes section on their website for amazing combinations and new recipes to try using all Trader Joe’s! Their Fearless Flyer is a fun way to find new things at TJs!

Stevie Huval
2 years ago

I’m shocked – SHOCKED – to see that this article left out the undisputed best party cracker in the world: TJ’s fig and olive crackers. If you know, you know.

Sheila
2 years ago
Reply to  Stevie Huval

I’m a big fan of the fig & olive with goat cheese but honestly, all those little Rainforest Crisp-wannabe crackers are pretty great.

Paula Carr
2 years ago
Reply to  Sheila

We eat them with cream cheese. Decadent and good. No need to add anything else — just the crackers and the cream cheese.

Lily
2 years ago

The caramelized onion dip not being on here is CRIMINAL. I could eat the entire container in one sitting with a spoon. Divine.

Eve Birge
2 years ago
Reply to  Lily

YES I forgot that too-DEF REC!!!!!!!!

Sheila
2 years ago

I’m a big TJ’s fan but found the Fried Olive Bites pictured above to be disappointing. I’ve made fried, stuffed olives and they are delish but a pain so I was excited when I saw these but these are little balls of olive paste that surround a dab of cheese. Not awful but not as good as actual stuffed olives.

Jeanne
1 month ago
Reply to  Sheila

Agreed. I was so excited to try them but ended up actually throwing away the whole pan. They tasted mildewy and I love olives

Jeanne
1 month ago
Reply to  Sheila

Agreed. I was so excited to try them but ended up actually throwing away the whole pan. They tasted mildewy and I love olives

Abby
2 years ago

The feta cheese and onion pastry puffs are SO good! We also like the mini quiches. Comes with two kinds, one is bacon & some kind of cheese and the other is mushroom. Both yummy!

Kelcey Bower
2 years ago

We make big batches of that lentil salad and add roasted butternut, and some of their cooked beets, then portion out with greens and add a poached egg and half of an avocado for lunches. I can easily eat it every day of the week. Easy, filling and cheap!

Emily
2 years ago

If your cheese plate doesn’t have the Truffle Marcona Almonds you are missing out, they are insanely good.

Sally
2 years ago

Easy dip: mix the olive tapenade with cream cheese. Use the TJs frito style chips (so much better than the others!)

Kate
2 years ago

The TJs sweet/hot pickled jalapenos are an absolute staple condiment in our house. They are good on basically everything from eggs to chili to burgers to hummus – not too sweet, not too hot, not too tangy – and at $3, they are a steal!

holly
2 years ago

I am eating the bruschetta, lentils, as we speak! So good 😊 oh this time I am using goat cheese instead of feta-yum!!

Michelle
2 years ago

I can’t find a PINTEREST button in the post to save to my boards. Can you point me in the right direction please? Thanks for this post.

Robin
2 years ago
Reply to  Michelle

All the at the top- under the initial heading

Lauren
2 years ago

We love the tempura cauliflower in the air fryer. Easy to eat with toothpicks or bamboo skewers and dipped in the warmed sauce.

Eve Birge
2 years ago

Hi EHD peeps! I wanted to throw my two cents in on this as I work part-time at a TJ’s in LA (when I am not getting my hours as an AMFT therapist) and also have shopped there since 1998! I agree with all of these except the olive and cream cheese bites-NO ONE at our store liked them=yuck! And two of my fav foods are olives and cream cheese! The fresh bruschetta is one of my FAV store items! It doesn’t have raw onions which is great as some of us can’t take raw ones! 🙂 It’s good as that, as a pasta sauce, etc!!! I DEF REC the artichoke dip AND another hack is it is great to use as a baked dish with chicken breasts or thighs in the oven=easy delish dinner!! I would also DEF REC these apps not seen on here: Camembert Cheese With Cranberry Sauce Fillo Bites, Chicken soup dumplings (actually come out perfect in the microwave and I usu don’t cook anything in the micro), the Mini Quiche trio, the Creamy Roasted Cauliflower & Onion Dip (like the artichoke one-its in the freezer section=so good!), MY FAV dip of all is the (holiday… Read more »

Eve Birge
2 years ago
Reply to  Eve Birge

Oh and the holiday cheeses that come in are amazeballs! My fav is a brie type one, but it isn’t stinky for those who don’t like that (I do but I like all cheese! lol), its more buttery tasting-it is in a little box and says Formage I think on it? The aged gouda’s and all the Toscano’s!

Jeanne
1 month ago
Reply to  Eve Birge

Wanted to add as a former supplier of TJs…. They will drop any product that doesn’t sell a lot within a certain period of time to make space for something new. If you love an item that seems to be getting huge mixed reactions or dislikes (like the Fried Olives & Cream Cheese), load up because there’s a good chance it will not be getting reordered once the contract is fufilled.

2 years ago

Blueberry Goat Cheese and Pepper Jelly combination was super delightful. Thank youu

Liz S.
2 years ago

Fig & olive crisps + Jarlsberg cheese + fig butter. To die for!

Mary Anne Nurse
2 years ago

TJs Cauliflower pancakes, Everything but the Elote seasoning, chipotle black bean dip, pecorino cheese.
Place frozen cauliflower cakes on baking sheet & sprinkle both sides with Everything But the Elote seasoning. Bake as directed.
Spread with chipotle black bean dip & top with shredded pecorino. Place in warm oven and warm through. Tasty!!

D
1 month ago

The frozen wontons are delicious. Sometimes I will make chicken soup and put a bag of these in (and shredded chicken) instead of regular noodles. They are so delicate and tasty!
I make the spanakopita as a snack/ movie night app and make an easy fresh cucumber dip to go with it; sour cream, fresh lemon, grated cuke, fresh garlic or dried, salt and pepper). Yum! Thanks for the new recs. That new cheese looks so good!

Katherine
1 month ago

Ok but have you tried that TJs vegan kale pesto? It’s the absolute best to throw in homemade soup, toss on pasta, or mix with yogurt to make a thinner creamy dip for crudite. I swear I evangelize about this stuff but it is so good!

Bad Kitten on a Rampage
1 month ago

Well, I just can’t with anything that has jalapenos and/or raisins . . . but I’m keen to try the majority of these yummy looking T.J.’s things!

Mary
1 month ago

That combo of bruschetta, feta, and lentils….it’s our family go to for last minute appetizer or lunch/dinner. A pal suggested adding lime juice and some chopped cilantro…..we do…its delicious! Top it with avocado slices and call it a meal. So very good.

Paula
1 month ago

We’ve been eating those fig-olive crisps with cream cheese for ages now, but that cranberry relish sounds like a perfect addition!

Lauren
1 month ago

Greek American here! The spanakopita triangles are far superior to the spiral. Crisp with a better balance of spinach and feta.

Jeanne
1 month ago
Reply to  Lauren

I prefer the triangles to the pie too. I know their supplier revamped them so they present nicer but I love the old ones best. Oh…and my dog LOVES them. She is the pickiest eater but will beg for ages for the Span (as we call it).

Lauren
1 month ago

Greek American here! The spanakopita triangles are far superior to the spiral. Crisp with a better balance of spinach and feta.

Jeanne
1 month ago
Reply to  Lauren

I prefer the triangles to the pie too. I know their supplier revamped them so they present nicer but I love the old ones best. Oh…and my dog LOVES them. She is the pickiest eater but will beg for ages for the Span (as we call it).

Eve
1 month ago

I used to work at TJ’s so I knew about most of these and the combos, but learned a few new ones-cool! I have to say I WOULD DEF NOT TRY the Fried Olive and cream cheese ones-I know it DOES SOUND good but they are GROSS! I have a very good palate as a long time foodie…I don’t know WHO likes these but EWW! We get holiday items in the cheese section too, and I def would want to rec the Toscano Cheese Dusted with Cinnamon! Sounds odd, but it’s so so good ya’ all! You can pair it with many of the crackers, I like it with the holiday cranberry crackers or the pumpkin ones (these two are from the same maker as the fig ones)! I def like our bries with the fig crackers-always a win! Also a holiday arrival–if you are a cheese lover, OMG, def try the little square box of a French type of Brie that tastes like heavenly butter! Def grab it while you can. Your welcome! 🙂 Many of our customers would tell us combo’s they loved. They also reported that the many of the vegan dips tasted even better than the reg ones! I… Read more »