The $2 Trader Joe's Product I Never Leave the Store Without

From salads to sandwiches to bowls, this protein-packed product may be the store's best kept secret.

Trader Joe's
Photo: Dotdash Meredith / Sarah Maiden

There's a running joke about how you can walk into Trader Joe's, spend $50, and come out without any tangible meals. It's true, the store presents a veritable maze of tempting treats, sweet and salty snacks, and the ever-exciting new products. It's easy to forget about, you know, meals, when you get in there. But there's one product I always buy to make sure I come out of TJ's with at least one meal option.

Hidden on the inner shelves of the store, near the spices and olive oils, is a tiny, unassuming can that packs a serious punch of protein and flavor. Trader Joe's' Greek Chickpeas with Parsley & Cumin is one of the best products I've ever tried from the store, and it costs just $2 a can.

cans of greek chickpeas on the shelf at trader joes with their signage and price tag in front.
Courtney Kassel

The name says it all: This little can is full of tender chickpeas packed in a seasoned oil, flavored with lemon, parsley, cumin, and garlic. The herbs and spices really come through, and these chickpeas taste like they could have come out of a Middle Eastern restaurant's kitchen. Each can contains two servings, with 8g of protein and fiber per serving. And not only are these little chickpeas seriously delicious, but they're also incredibly versatile.

I add them to salads, rice bowls, and even soups at lunch; I pair them with a few other TJ's dips to throw together a make-shift mezze platter for dinner. But my favorite way to put the Greek Chickpeas to use is in a sandwich.

Chickpea salad is a common vegetarian substitute for tuna salad, so playing off that idea I like to take the Greek Chickpeas, lightly mash them, then put that mixture on a sandwich with my usual accouterments (tomato, lettuce, pickles, and a smear of mayo). The result is unbelievably delicious, and it's a lunch that comes together in under 5 minutes, perfect for even my most packed days.

trader-joes greek chickpea salad sandwich cross section
Courtney Kassel

I've introduced several friends to these chickpeas, and have yet to meet someone who wasn't impressed by their depth of flavor. It's one unassuming can that I can't leave Trader Joe's without, and I bet you'll feel the same once you give them a try.

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