This updated list of my favorite Trader Joe’s vegan products highlights some of the store’s must haves. Items include pantry staples, refrigerated sauces and spreads, enticing frozen items, as well as tasty snacks and treats.
Going to Trader Joe’s is like a treasure hunt. You never know what you may fall in love with at your next visit. New and exciting products appear on store shelves in regular rotation.
But being a TJ’s fan is also a lesson in detachment. As soon as you’ve found a product you love, it may be discontinued.
Products are taken off the shelves because they’re seasonal, not selling well, or for quality control reasons. So when you like something, you’ve got to buy it and enjoy it while you can. Some products stick around for years, others for just weeks.
Today I’m sharing an updated list of 35 favorite Trader Joe’s vegan products. Some former items have been removed because they’re no longer sold at Trader Joe’s. Or they’ve been replaced with newfound loves.
Obviously, you can buy young green jackfruit other places. It’s available at Asian grocery stores, in addition to natural food stores. But it’s very handy to buy at Trader Joe’s when I’m doing my regular shopping run.
And for people who are confused about which jackfruit to buy for savory dishes, it’s an easy place to point them.
This green jackfruit packed in brine works well for things like vegan BBQ pulled pork. And there are lots of vegan barbecue sauce options at Trader Joe’s that you can use for it.
Ways to use Trader Joe’s jackfruit:
- Jackfruit carnitas tacos with red wine (Pick up wine while you’re there!)
- Vegan French dip sandwich with au jus
- Vegan reuben jackfruit sandwich
- Vegan Philly cheesesteak
- Vegan taquitos with jackfruit
- Vegan crab dip
Sprouted wheat 7-grain bread
This grainy bread is great for sandwiches and toast. It’s hearty enough to feel substantive, but the flavor & size doesn’t overwhelm.
It’s made with sprouted organic whole wheat berries, quinoa, millet, oat groats, barely, rye berries, and amaranth. It is sweetened with agave syrup and molasses. Two slices are 140 calories.
Ways to use sprouted wheat bread:
- Vegan tuna salad sandwiches
- Vegan egg salad sandwiches
- Vegetable sandwich with jalapeño cashew cheese
- Toasted sandwich with eggy tofu & seitan bacon
Chickenless crispy tenders
Chickenless crispy tenders are a freezer staple. They get beautifully crisp on the outside. And the inside has wonderful bite.
They’re one of those super easy dinners for when you come home famished. Tear open a bag, and throw them into the air fryer. They’re ready by the time you’re in pajamas & have poured a glass of wine.
Pop them into veggie wraps with bell pepper, romaine, and a lemon tahini sauce drizzle. Not too shabby for something that took next to no effort at all!
Or put the air fried strips onto a warmed baguette sandwich, smeared with vegan mayo and mustard. Add pickle planks & onion slices.
Serve it with french fries (also cooked in the air fryer). You can find bagged french fries in the freezer section. Great for nights when you don’t feel like chopping potatoes.
Everything but the Bagel seasoning
If you’ve ever had an everything bagel, you know what to expect with this seasoning mix. It’s a combination of sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sea salt flakes, dried garlic, and dried onion.
I use it several mornings a week on my vegan avocado toast, along with a generous sprinkling of nutritional yeast flakes (also on this list.)
You can also add it to non-dairy cream cheese or as a topping on hummus. A lot of people like to add it to their popcorn or an air fryer baked potato.
Garlic chipotle salsa
I usually prefer fresh salsa, but this jarred salsa has become an obsession. It’s the closest thing I’ve found to the salsa doled out at Chevy’s Mexican Restaurants, which is one of my favorites.
This smoky salsa is rich with the flavors of roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, and chipotle peppers. I would classify this as a fairly mild salsa.
One downside is that it’s a little on the watery side.
Ways to use it:
- Dip it with tortilla chips, breakfast quesadillas, or refried bean quesadillas
- Add a dollop to a vegan taco salad
- Pile it on a burrito bowl
- Add spoonfuls to vegan nachos
Nutritional yeast flakes
Buying a big canister of nutritional yeast flakes can get pricey. However, a bag of nutritional yeast at Trader Joe’s is only $2.99.
And unless you’re making massive amounts of vegan mac & cheese, it will probably last you a while. (And if you are making massive amounts of vegan mac & cheese, invite me over, okay?)
What is nutritional yeast? <— Find out here
Use Trader Joe’s nutritional yeast flakes in:
- Crustless mini vegan quiche
- Vegan cheese dip
- Vegan breakfast tacos with tofu & black beans
- Vegan chili cheese tater tots (with Trader Joe’s potato tots)
- Warm vegan spinach artichoke dip
Shakshuka starter kit
I know there are eggs on the package of this shakshuka starter kit, but everything inside is vegan. You’re directed to add an egg to it in the instructions. However, it’s terrific with eggy tofu instead!
Just brown slabs of super firm tofu with kala namak and black pepper. Then add it to the warmed sauce. Finish with vegan feta cheese and a handful of spinach.
It’s also nice with avocado or hash brown patties. Scoop it up with toast, pita, or flatbread.
(Prefer to make your own shakshuka from scratch? Check out this recipe for vegan shakshuka.)
Chipotle black bean dip
I’m a massive fan of this chipotle black bean dip. It has a kick of heat and smokiness from the chipotle peppers. The protein in it also makes it a satiating snack when you want something more substantive than salsa.
Scoop into this spread with a hefty tortilla chip. The lighter restaurant-style ones will break since the dip is so thick.
It’s terrific as an afternoon snack. Or use it instead of refried beans in a double decker taco.
Vegan Caesar dressing
While it’s easy to make salad dressing, you can’t beat the convenience of a bottled sauce. Salad making is that much faster.
This vegan Caesar dressing is made with tofu, miso, mustard, and capers for brininess.
Organic shredded cabbage
Sure, you could easily shred a head of cabbage yourself. But this shredded cabbage mix is a terrific shortcut.
And since cabbage and carrots are relatively dry vegetables, this mix keeps well in the refrigerator for a while without going bad.
Ways to use shredded cabbage mix:
- Use it as a topping on vegan fish tacos
- It’s a great base for vegan coleslaw
- Use it as a topping on a vegan BBQ sandwich
- Add it to a Southwest salad for extra crunch and interest with no added chopping
Lentils aren’t hard to make from scratch. And they only take about 30 minutes to cook.
But you know what’s even easier & faster? Opening a package of fully cooked brown lentils that are ready to go.
A lot of lentils are packed into a pouch. It contains five ½ cup servings.
These steamed lentils are a refrigerator staple for me.
Use steamed lentils in:
- Vegan burrito bowl with lentils & black beans
- Lentil chili with pinto & black beans
- Lentil balls with zesty lemon rice
- The best marinated lentils (Obviously skip the “cooking” part of the recipe.)
Thai vegetable gyoza
These veggie-packed envelopes of deliciousness have won over everyone I’ve served them to – from grandparents to grandkids.
There’s rarely a time when I don’t have a bag in the freezer ready to go for a quick snack, or to use as a side dish to a stir fry. Of course, they also have a starring role in vegan potsticker soup.
Filled with cabbage, carrots, chives, white radishes, onions, ginger, garlic, and soy sauce, they have a great taste that isn’t too overpowering.
These days I usually fry them in the air fryer (400 degrees for 10 minutes with a spritz of oil, stopping once to shake.) However, they’re also great fried or steamed in a skillet.
I like to serve them with tamari or Chinese hot mustard for dipping.
Vegetable spring rolls
Unlike uninspiring, cabbage-heavy spring rolls, these are stuffed with kale, edamame, tofu, and mushrooms. The wrapper gets delightfully light & flaky in the air fryer.
I serve them with Chinese hot mustard for dipping.
(By the way, I also buy the bagged baby spinach & tri-color peppers shown above almost every visit!)
Grilled artichoke halves
I may be a little bit obsessed with these grilled artichoke halves.
I’ve been an artichoke lover for decades, but these grilled ones add a certain something that makes them totally craveable. The artichokes take on a smokiness from the grill and have those beautiful, dark grill marks that I adore.
Prefer water-packed artichoke hearts? (I usually have both kinds on hand.) Trader Joe’s has those as well, and they are delicious as an appetizer of fried artichoke hearts.
Organic kosher sandwich pickles
It may seem strange to put sliced pickles on the list, but when Trader Joe’s wasn’t in my area, I’d stock up with 5 or 6 jars when I happened to be near one.
They have a good dill flavor, crunch, and work perfectly for those of us who want our sandwich to include a taste of pickle with every bite.
Plus, they’re organic and only $2.99. That’s a really good deal when organic pickles can sometimes cost $5 or more. (It’s just cucumbers, people!)
Trader Joe’s hashbrowns
While I often make hashbrowns from scratch on the weekends, sometimes I want the delicious crispy crunch of hashbrowns without having to clean the food processor afterwards.
These hashbrown patties remind me of a certain non-vegan fast food establishment I used to visit as a kid. They are great with a tofu scramble. Don’t forget the seitan bacon & avocado!
Did you know you can even cook them on the grill? My usual method for cooking them is in the air fryer. However, if you’re already making a cast iron breakfast skillet, add some hashbrowns to a grill basket!
I’m not usually a big candy person, but I can’t resist these fruit jellies. They’re in the same wheelhouse as a gummy product, except that they’re softer with a gel-like interior.
They come packed in multiple flavors – orange, grape, lemon, raspberry, blueberry, and mandarin. And they’re finished with granulated sugar, which adds great texture.
Right out of the can at room temperature, these chickpeas are fine. But roasted or air fried, they are wonderful!
The oil they’re packaged in makes them extra brown and crispy on the outside. And the seasonings of cumin, parsley, and lemon intensify as they cook. (See a picture of how they look roasted on Instagram.)
Here’s how to roast or air fry them: Drain them. Then air fry at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes or until they reach your desired level of crispiness. Or roast in the oven on a baking sheet for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Stop occasionally to shake the air fryer basket or baking sheet.
Add them to a charcuterie board. Or use them as a salad topping.
Trader Joe’s is my go-to stop for nuts. I always have a wide variety in my lazy susan – peanuts, raw & roasted cashews, shelled pistachios, salt & pepper pistachios…
Two of my favorites are these Marcona almonds in truffle & rosemary. Marcona almonds are the best, because they aren’t as dry as your typical almond. I love their thin crunch.
These are seasoned and go beautifully on a vegan cheeseboard, with salad, or as a snack.
Plus, since they have a very specific flavor, it’s easy to be satisfied with a few. (That sounds like a back-handed compliment, but it’s true!)
Canned dolmas are another thing I would buy in groups of five whenever I went to a Trader Joe’s location out of town. Obviously they keep well in the cupboard. So there’s no worry about them going bad before I can use them.
I know that canned food often doesn’t inspire confidence, but these stuffed grape leaves are really good! They are tightly packed and firm, not mushy like some underwhelming dolmas you buy in cans.
Extra firm tofu & baked tofu
Trader Joe’s is my go-to stop for alllllll of the tofu.
First, my main, all-purpose tofu is extra firm in vacuum packaging. I like that it doesn’t require pressing before using.
It is a little drier than the water-packed kind. However, now I’ve been using vacuum-packed tofu for so long, I really don’t even notice.
Use super firm tofu for:
- Vegan egg & toast
- Breakfast tacos
- Baked tofu recipe with lemon & rosemary
- Bulgogi tofu bowls
- Curried tofu salad
- Vegan blue cheese dressing
(Need more ideas? Check out these 30 tofu recipes.)
Trader Joe’s teriyaki flavor baked tofu is a good snack on its own straight out of the fridge. I also like to put it on avocado toast.
When I need a quick stir-fry in a flash, I like to cut the baked tofu into cubes and pop it into the air fryer until crisp around the edges.
For another baked tofu option, they also have a sriracha flavor, which I like a lot too.
Organic brown rice
Frozen brown rice is so darned convenient. No more waiting for rice to cook.
And you can use it straight from frozen when making vegan fried rice. Just get your vegetables softened. Then add the rice straight from the bag into the skillet.
Ways to use organic brown rice:
Organic tomato basil marinara
I love the full-bodied flavor of this sauce. It’s not too sweet like some spaghetti sauces. And the ingredient list is really wholesome.
Plus, it has a V for “vegan” right on the label. That’s super handy when you’re scanning the list of options at the store.
Ways to use it:
- A dipping sauce with fried ravioli or vegan arancini
- A sauce in air fryer stuffed peppers or zucchini lasagna
- A topping for vegan eggplant parmesan
- A spread on bagel pizzas
Monteli Organic Pizza Crusts
These frozen, organic pizza crusts have become a staple. They come two to a package, have a neutral flavor, and great texture.
They are all ready to go straight into the oven. No rolling required – just ladle on your favorite pizza sauce and toppings.
Lately, we’ve been making a lot of supreme-style pizzas with Beyond Meat sausage, Herbivorous Butcher pepperoni, bell pepper, and onions. It’s also an awesome base for a vegan taco pizza or this cheeseburger pizza recipe.
The cooking time on the package suggests 6 to 7 minutes at 420 degrees. I like to cook it for 12 minutes to get a crispier crust.
The ingredients are wheat flour, water, sunflower oil, extra virgin olive oil, salt, malted wheat flour, dextrose, semolina, dried wheat sourdough, and yeast.
This pizza crust is also terrific on the grill! You can grill both sides or just one. Then load it up with your preferred sauce and toppings. I like to use toppings that have also been grilled in a basket. Get more details in my post on camping meal ideas.
Under the allergens it says that it “may contain” milk and soy. Because I’m not allergic to dairy, I don’t worry about possible cross contamination.
Ridge cut potato chips
These potato chips are my obsession.
I hardly ever buy them, because once the bag is open, I can’t stop thinking about them. I love the balance of salt and pepper, and the crunch from the ridges.
(If it’s mid November or early December, don’t miss my very favorite potato chips with horseradish & chives!)
Vegan caramelized onion dip
This onion dip has big chunks of caramelized onions in every bite. It is almost too good. I really have to use self restraint not to blaze through it in a day or two.
The texture is incredibly thick – like cashew cream or cream cheese. So be sure to grab some very sturdy chips like the salt & pepper kettle chips also on this list.
This creamy cucumber dip has the flavors of lemon, dill, and garlic. It is terrific on a pita with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and falafel. (Check out the falafel in the freezer section!)
Or instead of falafel, use crispy chickenless strips or homemade seitan chicken.
Non-dairy shreds & slices
Trader Joe’s has stepped up its vegan cheese game. They’re all pretty mildly flavored and nice in complement to a full dish.
The cheddar slices and mozzarella are cashew-based. The American slices are potato starch & coconut oil-based. The slices especially remind me of Parmela, if you’re familiar with that brand.
Mini Vegetable Samosas
These flaky samosas are made with a phyllo-type dough and loaded with peas, carrots, potatoes, lentils, onions, and spices.
I cook them in the air fryer. They get beautifully crisp on the outside. Cook them in the air fryer at 400 degrees for 7 to 8 minutes. Stop once to flip half way through.
I like to serve them with homemade apple chutney or Zhoug sauce.
Frozen fully cooked falafel
Sometimes you just need a hummus bowl with falafel, dolmas, kale salad with lemon tahini dressing, sauerkraut, and brown rice.
I like to make my own homemade hummus. Then I throw some frozen brown rice in the microwave, whip up a kale salad, and make frozen falafel in the air fryer.
The Trader Joe’s falafel is on the dense side, but it gets the job done. They are very filling, and usually two are plenty with a bowl. That means that I can really stretch one bag out for a while.
Riced cauliflower stir-fry
The first time I had cauliflower rice, I wasn’t totally sold on it. I tend to be a chewy grain person, and cauliflower rice kind of reminded me of couscous, which I’m not really keen on.
I’m really loving this cauliflower rice stir-fry, though. It already has added vegetables packed into it and is seasoned with sesame oil. So it’s ready to go for a quick lunch. (It goes well in a packed lunch too!)
I especially like to add it to brown rice. The brown rice bulks up the texture, while the cauliflower rice provides more vegetables.
Serve it with vegan orange chicken, potstickers, or cubed baked tofu.
Strawberry oat ice cream
This beautifully creamy dessert lets the strawberries shine. It really tastes like your classic strawberry ice cream. It’s finished with almond brittle and candied strawberries. So perfect for warm weather months!
The base of this ice cream is oat milk. It includes tapioca and coconut oil. It’s sweetened with agave syrup.
For maximum pleasure, spoon it into a Trader Joe’s sugar cone when they’re available.
Dukkah is a seasonal item. So you will only find it on the shelves certain times of the year.
(When it’s not in season, use this dukkah recipe to make your own! It’s based on the Trader Joe’s dukkah nut and spice blend.)
To use dukkah, fill one small dish with good olive oil. In the next, pour some of the dukkah.
Then dunk warm, crusty bread first into the oil, and then into the dukkah. The dukkah clings to the oil.
When you bite into it, you get the nutty flavors of almonds & sesame seeds. There are undertones of sausage & licorice because of the fennel, anise, and coriander. Finally, there’s kosher salt, which makes it all the more snackable.
Use it as a topping for hummus or toss it with roasted potatoes.
For more TJ’s love, check out this post detailing my Trader Joe’s grocery list. That’s where I share the staples I buy on my regular weekly visits.
Content, photographs, and printable list updated May 11, 2021. Originally posted March 2018.