If you’re a foodie, you’re probably inclined to avoid the frozen food section at your local grocery store in favor of fresher options. However, the frozen food aisle at Trader Joe’s is not one to skip. You’ll find smaller portioned meals for a quick weekday lunch, pre-prepped pantry staples to make dinner more realistic, and dessert options that are actually quite tasty. Here are our picks for the Trader Joe’s frozen foods we always have on hand.
24. Belgian Waffles
Light, crispy, and soft in the middle, these toaster waffles are a pleasant surprise. Cook them just like you would any other toaster waffle and enjoy a waffle that stays crisp on the outside without getting tough or hard. They’re nostalgic when topped with maple syrup, or do what the box recommends and top with strawberries and whipped cream for a better-than-Eggos experience.
23. Fully Cooked Falafel
These pre-cooked falafel are the perfect addition to a Mediterranean-inspired bowl, salad, or wrap. They crisp up beautifully in the air fryer, and if you’re really in a time crunch, aren’t bad right out of the microwave. Serve with naan and yogurt sauce or hummus.
22. Grass Fed Beef Burgers
Premade burger patties aren’t typically known for yielding the best burgers, but these grass-fed Angus beef burgers are the exception. Made with an ideal 80/20 mix, Trader Joe’s patties grill up nicely, don’t shrink too much, and make for a juicy, flavorful burger. And while not quite as good as a hand-formed patty, they might be the next best thing.
21. Fruit Frenzy Bars
These delightfully fresh strawberry, lemon, and raspberry-flavored popsicles are exactly what a hot summer day calls for. Made with real fruit and no artificial flavoring, both kids and adults will love them. Grab a box to keep around during warm months.
20. Organic Brown Rice
Rice can be surprisingly hard to get just right. Finding that elusive sweet spot between still-crunchy and glued-to-the-bottom-of-the-pot can be tricky and time-consuming. Enter TJ’s organic brown rice. These brown rice packets cook in just three minutes in the microwave and yield perfectly fluffy steamed rice every time. Grab a box along with the honey walnut shrimp for a low-effort dinner win.
19. Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burgers
A plant-based burger that you’ll actually want to eat (no shade, vegans!), Trader Joe’s black bean and roasted corn veggie burgers are flavorful, have a great texture, and are surprisingly filling. Serve this patty burger-style on a bun or chop it up as a protein for a burrito bowl.
18. Garlic Naan
Soft on the inside, crispy on the outside, buttery, and garlicky – is there anything else you could want in garlic naan? Just a few minutes in the oven turns these frozen frisbees into plush, deliciously fresh-tasting bread that goes great with any Indian dish.
17. Wood Fired Naples Style Uncured Pepperoni Pizza
This TJ pizza is a frozen pepperoni pizza that doesn’t taste like the freezer and is one you’ll actually want to eat. Flavorful, high-quality pepperoni and soft, thick crust make this a staple to keep on hand for ravenous teenagers, picky toddlers, and late-night cravings. A pizza that’s good cold right out of the fridge the next day.
16. Chocolate Lava Cakes
These soft and tender chocolate cakes are filled with a rich chocolate puddle of filling and are ready in a mere 45 seconds. They might “take the cake” for the best microwave dessert out there (ha). One box contains two cakes – share, or don’t. You do you.
15. Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice
Truly one of the best microwave meals out there, Trader Joe’s butter chicken has a delicious sauce, tender chicken, and perfectly cooked rice. It’s amazing as a quick lunch at the office or a solo dinner at home. Serve with garlic naan to soak up all of that amazing sauce.
14. Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches
Quite possibly the be-all end-all of ice cream sandwiches, the cookies in Trade Joe’s sublime ice cream sandwiches stay wonderfully soft, making them easy to bite into without any thaw time on the counter beforehand. The vanilla ice cream inside is creamy and delicious and the mini chocolate chips break up that soft-on-soft texture a bit. A treat that’s just plain fun.
13. Raw Argentinian Red Shrimp
A freezer staple that we always have on hand, these Argentinian shrimp cook up beautifully and are perfect if you live in a land-locked state or can’t get reliably fresh seafood. Poach and serve with a mayo dressing for a Maine-style lobster roll situation or cook in a little butter and garlic and serve with pasta for a 10-minute dinner.
12. Vegetable Fried Rice
As we’ve already learned, frozen rice can be a very good, time-saving idea, and TJ’s vegetable fried rice is another great example. Considering the brevity of its ingredients list, it actually packs a decent amount of flavor and doesn’t rely on soy sauce like many other brands. Dress it up with stir-fried shrimp or an over-easy egg or serve as-is with potstickers.
11. Cauliflower Gnocchi
These little nuggets of goodness taste like cauliflower went to Italy and got a seriously delicious makeover. Heat them on the stovetop or toss them in the air fryer for crispy exteriors and pillowy insides that are hard to achieve on the stovetop (obviously our favorite option). Dip in TJ’s vodka sauce for a dinner with wonderfully fun snack vibes.
10. Mac and Cheese
A classic for a reason. The four cheese sauce made with cheddar, swiss, havarti, and gouda has a delicious real cheese flavor– no orange cheese powder here. While the sauce isn’t exactly silky smooth, the delightful cheese flavor more than makes up for it. Perfect for when you’re craving comfort food, and you need it now.
9. Gnocchi al Gorgonzola
Trader Joe’s excels at all things gnocchi. These gnocchi are chewy and soft, and the gorgonzola sauce has just the right amount of blue cheese funk to it. We were honestly surprised a dish this tasty could come from the freezer aisle – cheers to you TJ! Looking for more delicious gnocchi options? The sweet potato gnocchi should be next on your list.
8. Chocolate Croissants
While not as instant as most other items on this list, the overnight rise time required for Trader Joe’s chocolate croissants is 100% worth it for the delicious, warm, flaky croissants you’ll have for breakfast in the morning. They are impressive enough for a holiday breakfast but easy enough for any old weekday.
7. Pork Gyoza Potstickers
A Trader Joe’s classic, these potstickers are versatile and a staple in our freezer. The gyoza are packed with a generous amount of pork filling that’s studded with ginger and cabbage. Cook like a traditional potsticker or add to an Asian-inspired soup.
6. Roasted Garlic and Pesto Pizza with Deep Fried Crust
For a frozen pizza that’s packed with flavor and is surprisingly high-quality, Trader Joe’s roasted garlic pizza with deep-fried crust is for you. This pizza has a wonderfully crispy deep-fried crust that’s unlike any pizza you’d make at home. We love this pizza as is, but feel free to fancy it up with some lightly dressed arugula and fresh cherry tomatoes on top.
5. Steamed Chicken Soup Dumplings
Trader Joe’s chicken soup dumplings are exactly what they sound like: a soft and chewy steamed dumpling filled with savory ground chicken and broth. One bite in and the soup spills out in the most delightful way. A box contains six little dumplings – we challenge you to find a more comforting lunch.
4. Hold the Cone Mini Ice Cream Cones: Chocolate
These mini treats are the best part of a Drumstick– the chocolate-filled cone. We love the rich chocolate ice cream paired with a fudge-filled cone for a truly adorable treat. Perfect for kids ages 2-99.
3. Ginger and Garlic Cubes
Yes, this unassuming product is truly one of the best things in the freezer aisle at Trader Joe’s. These cubes are perfect for speeding dinner along a bit. The garlic tastes so much better than the jarred stuff, and who wouldn’t love to get out of peeling and grating ginger? Highly, highly recommend.
2. Mandarin Orange Chicken
We were completely unsurprised to learn this is Trader Joe’s top-selling item. The crispy breaded chicken and sweet and sour orange sauce rival your favorite takeout. Throw it in the air fryer for a few minutes for a perfectly crisp, delightfully balanced dish just waiting to be served with a mound of fluffy jasmine rice.
1. Cookie Butter Ice Cream
And the prize for our all-time favorite frozen food at Trader Joe’s goes to cookie butter ice cream. Trader Joe’s has quite a few fantastic ice cream options, but cookie butter is our favorite. This ice cream is chock full of big cookie butter swirls in a premium vanilla base. It scratches the itch if you’re looking for something ultra-decadent, and we’ve been known to grab a spoon and enjoy a few bites right out of the container more than a time or two.