We did it y’all! Our team combed through the frozen food aisles at Trader Joe’s, took some home to try and scrolled through the numerous online reviews to form the mega guide to all things Trader Joe’s frozen meals and more.
But that’s not all! We’ve also created our first ever meal plan guide of quick, simple recipes that uses ingredients exclusively from Trader Joe’s. And because it’s our first ever guide, we’re giving away all 40+ pages for just $1! Scroll to the end of this blog post to learn more.
As far as the best frozen foods at Trader Joe’s, we’ve decided to break it down by categories. Start from the top or skip around to the category that best interests you! Enjoy!
Table of Contents
Best Trader Joe’s Frozen Breakfast
Are you a more sweet or savory fan when it comes to breakfast?
For me, I’m always ordering the sweet item on the menu at brunch because I can make eggs and bacon at home. But the sweet stuff? That feels like next level chef-ing.
So no surprise here then that my personal favorite frozen breakfast item at Trader Joe’s has got to be the 4 Chocolate Croissants. My only problem with these is that they aren’t more filling. So therefore you feel the need (want) to eat more.
In general, I feel like the best breakfast items are the ones you don’t (or can’t) usually make yourself. That’s maybe why I gravitate towards all of the different frozen quiches or even the Organic Frozen Açai Bowl. Not that making an açai bowl is super hard, but it is difficult to nail the consistency of it. That’s why the frozen version at Trader Joe’s is so nice!
Don’t sleep on the Potato Pancakes (aka latkas) either. These crispy
Of all the waffles and french toast variations in the frozen aisle, you want to walk away with the Belguim Waffles (and some whipped cream). Also, trust me and buy two boxes. They wont last as long as you think.
Overall Breakfast Ranking:
#1: 4 Chocolate Croissants
#2: Organic Frozen Açai Bowl
#3: Any of the frozen quiches
#4: Potato Pancakes
#5: Belgium Waffles
Honorable mentions: The Mikey D’s hash brown look alikes are great but they have a hint of chemical-ness to me that I don’t love. Also all the frozen fruit at Trader Joe’s makes your smoothie dreams an easy reality.
Best Trader Joe’s Frozen Apps
Imagine you’re invited to a party last minute. You really want to go but they ask that you bring an app to share. What do you grab?
If you want a stress-free answer to that question, keep any one of these Trader Joe’s frozen apps on hand and you’ll be good to go! But which ones are the tastiest?
Our personal favorite are the Parmesan Pastry Pups. I mean who doesn’t love a good (yet fancified) pig in a blanket? It’ll be a crowd pleaser for sure.
Want to be sure that whatever you bring to the get together, it will be random and original? Try making some of the Trader Joe’s Breaded Fried Ravioli. Make sure you grab some good marinara to go with it because they definitely need to be dipped to be super tasty. Because of the need for a dipping sauce, these fried raviolis rank lower on the list for us.
But BIG NEWS for those faithful lovers of all Trader Joe’s frozen meals. The Mini Beef Tacos are officially back and better than ever! GET YOU SOME. Your freezer, friends and loved ones will all be happy you did. And if you’re really in a pinch for dinner one night, these tasty tacos hit the entree spot too. But word of advice, don’t microwave them if you want to experience them at peak goodness. They are better when cooked in the oven or air fryer.
Other favorite apps from Trader Joe’s include the Fully Cooked Turkey Meatballs because I mean, standard. Plus, for a non meat alternative, you have to try the Impossible Chicken Nuggets – these aren’t just good for Trader Joe’s. According to some online reviews, these impossible nuggets are the best on the market. Tiny humans love them too, so big win there 🎉.
Overall Apps Ranking:
#1: Parmesan Pastry Pups
#2: Mini Beef Tacos
#3: Fully Cooked Turkey Meatballs
#4: Breaded Fried Ravioli
#5: Impossible Chicken Nuggets
Honorable mentions: Fried Olive bites (which are sadly seasonal or they would be top 3 for sure) & Pork Gyoza Potstickers (which I tend to eat as my sad meal or when I randomly find myself home alone for dinner).
Best Trader Joe’s Frozen Meals
Let me just start by cutting to the chase. I’ve got a very unpopular opinion about what some consider the best of all Trader Joe’s frozen meals.
Stop getting the frozen Mandarin Orange Chicken y’all.
You don’t REALLY love it. The chicken is inconsistently good or fatty – and sometimes down right bad. When you bite into those crunchy, fatty pieces, it ruins the whole batch. So with that out of the way, let’s talk about some of the actual tasty Trader Joe’s frozen meals out there. 🙂
As a rule of thumb, you can safely assume that if it’s gnocchi from Trader Joe’s, then it’s going to be good. All that to say, their line of stuffed gnocchi is exceptional. The Outside In Stuffed Gnocchi are yummy bites of goodness that really hit home when you need one a good comfort type meal.
Another safe, tasty category for Trader Joe’s frozen meals is anything Indian. The Lamb Vindaloo, Tandoori Naan, or Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice are all super flavorful. My personal favorite (and a consistent winner of the Trader Joe’s Customer Choice Awards) is always the Chicken Tikka Masala. If you’re feeling crazy, consider trying this recipe that Trader Joe’s created on how to turn Chicken Tikka Masala into a burrito 🤯.
You also don’t have to be a vegan to appreciate the flavor that is the Trader Joe’s Vegan Tofu Scramble with Soy Chorizo. The chorizo gives its a nice little flavor kick and I’m not sure why but the word vegan just makes me feel healthier.
Some last runner ups for the best Trader Joe’s frozen meals are the Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe for a classic pasta dish that you can add a protein too if you’re feeling meaty. Also the Korean Style Beef Short Ribs are crazy tender and a quick way to entertain some folks in bulk. Especially because you aren’t feeling like you’ve got to spend your whole cooking to get something tasty on the table.
Overall Meals Ranking:
#1: Outside In Stuffed Gnocchi
#2: Chicken Tikka Masala
#3: Korean Style Beef Short Ribs
#4: Vegan Tofu Scramble with Soy Chorizo
#5: Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe
Honorable mentions: No one should consume these regularly. But my husband brought home the Steak and Stout pies one night and they made for the perfect wintery meal. That was before we read the back and WOW. Who knew something so
Best Trader Joe’s Frozen Sides
Let’s not forget the real stars of the dinner show, the sides 😋.
All of the sides on this list are regular staples in our Moderately Fit home. If it’s Taco Tuesday, we’re usually pulling out the Mexican Style Roasted Corn with Cotija Cheese. Add a little pinch of cayenne pepper to it and dang it’s good.
The real MVP of this list (IMO) is the Organic Jasmine Rice. Because seriously, no one has time for cooking rice. But also, please name a side that pairs well with almost any kind of meat? Rice it is!
When it comes to sides though, (I guess…) we’ve got to keep balance in mind. So let’s chat about the Trader Joe’s Roasted Seasoned Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan Cheese. Man, oh man. If you’ve been scared of trying brussels sprouts in the past, these will be your gateway into loving them (just sayin’). If you really want to spruce these sprouts up, consider adding some cooked bacon to it or even some balsamic vinegar to the skillet while you cook them. Add your own favorite flavor to give them a tasty, personal touch.
If you’re really looking for some veggie power, grab you a couple of bags of the frozen Organic Green Vegetable Foursome. Consistently substitute your usual side of rice for this bag of vegetable goodness and you might start seeing some serious results. Please please don’t microwave these though. Microwaving these tasty vegetables makes them a little mushy. So if you’re a texture adverse person, you most definitely want to sauté these up in a skillet!
Lastly, we suggest purchasing the Organic Rainbow Cauliflower. Wow your friends because you don’t just use the usual white cauliflower. You use fancy colored cauliflower. But if you have never cooked a tasty batch of cauliflower, you might find this list of recipes helpful! Plus, if it will get a child to eat it, then that’s a bonus too. And also? Why not choose the colored cauliflower over the plain white?
Overall Sides Ranking:
#1: Organic Jasmine Rice
#2: Mexican Style Roasted Corn with Cotija Cheese
#3: Roasted Seasoned Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan Cheese
#4: Organic Rainbow Cauliflower
#5: Organic Green Vegetable Foursome
Honorable Mentions: Cauliflower gnocchi – for the people that don’t like veggies but are trying to get in their daily servings of veggies and Joe’s Diner Mac n’ Cheese – She ain’t the best, but sometimes she just hits.
Best Trader Joe’s Frozen Desserts
Ok but seriously, desserts are where TJ’s is always consistent. All of them are SO GOOD. Honestly, this entire post could have solely focused on Trader Joe’s frozen desserts but alas. Let’s get to the good stuff already.
While we stirred the pot earlier by confessing we don’t love the famous frozen Mandarin Orange Chicken, we won’t go there when it comes to the iconic Hold the Cone dessert. Because seriously, any of the Hold the Cone flavors are always a good idea. Bonus points for this dessert comes from the fact that they are mini sized which immediately means you can have more (just kidding). But the smaller size really does make for a nice sweet tooth option that isn’t too crazy indulgent.
For the coffee fans out there, you’ve got to get your hands on a Brownie Crisp Coffee Ice Cream sandwich. These ice cream sandwiches are THICC but boy are they good. But I’ll be honest, I semi worry about eating them too late at night because they have an extreme coffee taste. Like more coffee flavor than any other dessert I have tried before. But if you love all things coffee, don’t be scared and dive right in. Oh and P.S., don’t be sad when you open one and you see how small they are. I promise they are very decadent and you won’t be wishing you had more.
On a lighter note, if you’re looking for something that doesn’t make you feel oh so full after a meal, try any of the Mochi ice cream. Also not a lie when I tell you all of the flavors of mochi are exceptional at Trader Joes’ but I am partial to strawberry.
Can’t get enough of that cookie butter life? Give your tastebuds a taste of the Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter Ice Cream and I’m pretty sure they will be screaming for more 😂. Cartons of ice cream are so nice though because you can have it plain or add it between two cookies. You can get creative with it, especially when it’s an extra good flavor like this one.
Last but certainly not least, we have to talk about the frozen Trader Joe’s Chocolate Lava Gnocchi. I legit jumped up and down in the store when I first got my hands on this. But I will say that while it is good, I got my expectations up a little too high. So just so you are very aware, these tiny lava cake pockets are not particularly sweet. Each nugget almost just tastes like plain dough on the outside, while the inside packs the flavor punch. Pairing this with ice cream is essentially a must, in order to enjoy them best.
Overall Desserts Ranking:
#1: Hold the Cone – any flavor options
#2: Brownie Crisp Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches
#3: Cookie Butter Ice Cream
#4: Chocolate Lava Gnocchi
#5: Mochi – any flavor options
Honorable Mentions: Although it may sound plain Jane, the vanilla ice cream at Trader Joe’s is comparable to the expensive Häagen-Dazs brand. No lie. As far as other honorable mentions, there are a ton, but I’ll end this list with giving the French Macaroons a shout out. The frozen macaroons (once thawed) are so tasty and look fancy at a party too 💁♀️.
Well, we did it! We made it through our top favorite frozen Trader Joe’s meals and I’m sure we offended some of your flavor palettes along the way. But to each their own and we do hope that from this list you find a new frozen favorite at your local Trader Joe’s.
Let us know your personal favorites!
NEW! Moderately Fit Meal Plan & Recipes
For all of you Trader Joe’s fans out there, we’ve created a four week cooking guide!
Do you feel like day-to-day life is moving a million miles a minute? That life is so busy that the few precious minutes you do have, you don’t want to waste them on cooking? But dang it if you don’t love a tasty, balanced meal…
Well, I think it’s safe to say that our Moderately Fit Busy Season Cooking Guide might be perfect for you! Our new guide includes over 40 pages of things like recipes & grocery lists for quick and easy shopping of our favorite Trader Joe’s frozen meals and fresh produce.
If you love Trader Joe’s frozen meals like us, then we’re pretty darn confident you’ll like our meal plan too. And for a limited time it’s only $1! So what do you have to lose? Try it today and let us know your thoughts!