The 5 Best Trader Joe's Products of All Time, According to Customers

Trader Joe's just introduced a new Product Hall of Fame — did your faves make it on the list?

Trader Joe's is known for many things: great prices, creative products, and seasonal snacks, just to name a few. But there are a few products that feel like they define Trader Joe's, and apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks that. On the heels of announcing the store's 14th annual edition of Trader Joe's Customer Choice Awards, the chain just announced another award for the best of the best.

trader-joes-ketchup-seasoning-realsimple-GettyImages-1236969291

Bloomberg/Getty Images

Trader Joe's has decided, as of 2023, to honor these esteemed products with a new annual designation; by inducting them into the brand-new Trader Joe's Product Hall of Fame.

A gold medal with Trader Joes on it
Trader Joe's

The Inaugural Inductees Into the Trader Joe's Product Hall of Fame

a big of trader joes mandarin chicken
Trader Joe's

Mandarin Orange Chicken

This freezer find has been a crowd favorite since it debuted in 2003. TJ's Mandarin Orange Chicken has also been a mainstay on the annual Customer Choice Awards list since they started, sweeping the Best Entrée and Favorite Overall product categories for the last few years. Naturally, it was a no-brainer as the first-ever inductee into the Hall of Fame.

At just under $1 per serving, this sweet-and-savory take on an American-Chinese classic is easy to love. I like to air fry the chicken pieces to get them extra crispy before tossing them in the zesty sauce, then serving them alongside rice and broccoli or TJ's stir-fry veggies. On hectic weeknights, it makes pretty much the easiest dinner ever, and may just have you ditching takeout for good.

A box of Trader joes dark chocolate peanut butter cups
Trader Joe's

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Winner of the Best Desserts/Sweets category, the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups are perennially popular at TJ's. And you can see why — I mean, just look at that peanut butter-to-chocolate ratio?! Well, now they've been inducted into the Hall of Fame, cementing their place in Trader Joe's history.

I keep these in my freezer year-round for that perfect after-dinner (or after-lunch, or after anything) treat to satisfy my sweet tooth, but they're also amazing chopped up and mixed into cookies, brownies, and blondies.

A pile of trader joes peanut butter filled pretzels with the bag in the background and crayons in the foreground.
Trader Joe's

Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets

One of the O.G. snacks from Trader Joe's, these endlessly poppable Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets have been around since 1992. Salty pretzel nuggets filled with creamy peanut butter (and I mean filled) are a sweet-and-salty snack lover's dream come true. A previous winner of the Best Snack category, these veteran goodies have finally been given the recognition they deserve as one of the inaugural entrants into the Hall of Fame.

My tip? Give the variations a try as well: Trader Joe's now makes Almond Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets, Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Pretzel Nuggets, and even Milk Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pretzels — and they're all just as delicious as the original, if not more.

a cheese ball covered in nuts surrounded by butter crackers
Trader Joe's

Unexpected Cheddar Cheese

Since it was introduced in 2011, Unexpected Cheddar Cheese has become synonymous with Trader Joe's, and for good reason — it's unexpectedly and unbelievably delicious! Described as, "a smooth, creamy Cheddar that shares some similarities with aged Parmesan", Trader Joe's changed the game with this crowd-pleasing cheese.

I not only love Unexpected Cheddar for its sharp flavor and the satisfying crunch of the Parmesan-like crystals, but also for its incredible versatility. Obviously, it's great as part of a charcuterie board, but I personally love to put it in a grilled cheese with a smear of jam or apple butter, add it to mac and cheese, or mix it into a cheese ball like the one pictured above. It's sharp enough to stand out in a crowd (of other cheese) and brings umami-rich, cheesy flavor to any dish.

3 breakfast tacos recipe on a wood board; recipe made wth TJ's Soy Chorizo
Trader Joe's

Soy Chorizo

Ironically, the Unexpected Cheddar is not the most unexpected item entering the Hall of Fame — it may just be this vegan protein. Introduced to the store over a decade ago, the Soy Chorizo has proven a consistent customer favorite, sweeping the Best Vegetarian/Vegan product category year after year.

A seasoned, slightly spicy meatless protein option, TJ's soy chorizo is beloved by vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores alike. Personally, I think it's a delicious addition to Mexican-inspired dishes like quesadillas, breakfast tacos, chilaquiles, and restaurant-style queso dip. Once sautéed and mixed into dishes, you'd never know it's not meat!

Now that these five lauded items have been inducted into the Product Hall of Fame, they can no longer be nominated for the Customer Choice Awards, clearing a path for new products to get some recognition this year. I'll be anxiously awaiting the announcement of the winners, and snacking on these five in the meantime. Which of these Hall of Fame products have you tried?

Was this page helpful?
You’ll Also Love