Trader Joe's YEA/NAY/MEH, 2023 Edition

I’m pretty happy with the single tube of chocolate in the current version, and might actually prefer a bit less. It kills me that I missed the proof-it-yourself Kouign Amanns of yore.

1 Like

Update: Target’s are “Thinly dipped”

I’m right there with you on the Kouign Amanns. They were sooooo good.

The orange chicken pieces do cook up very nicely in an air fryer.

1 Like

I like Pop Tarts in a “these are vaguely gross and so nostalgic” kinda way. Unfrosted, please. And I came around to mini pot pies this year.

1 Like

as a technology geek, pop tarts were number two on the “best foods to eat while programming” list (I believe we had over 1k voters) second only to twinkies. I absolutely can’t buy them as I can finish an entire box in a day. The key is to get the crust a little dark and crunchy…ok, gotta stop thinking about it.


Twinkies and Pop Tarts come ahead of Hostess pies, Sno-Balls, Ho-Hos, Susie-Qs and Zingers? This typifies all that’s wrong with tech. Even the humble Ding-Dong is superior to those, IMO. Nevermind the Cherry Fruit Pie, under the watchful eye of Fruit Pie the Magician!

Fruit Pie


We had a long running thread on Roadfood about fried pies across America.
Before the bankruptcy, hostess had regional fruit flavors.
Don’t know about now.
I remember sending blackberry ones in particular back east to folks :slightly_smiling_face:


maybe we can agree that rice krispy treats is the real food of the gods?


i’m sorry to admit i’ve never had a small fruit pie that i liked. either too sweet, or gummy fruit or soft crust.

I bought this and the apple caramel version today!

1 Like

Started kitchen reno this week. We have a microwave and toaster oven. Induction burner is a saucepan although I’m not dying to use the latter setup as I’d have to hand wash.

Four of us, including two kids.

Any suggestions for TJ convenience meals? Last night I made their frozen diner max and cheese and tater tots. All approved.



Are you talking about the caramelized onion and goat cheese puffs, or something different?

An inexpensive electric saucepan might be a useful addition to your setup, significantly expands your options.

The indian meals are generally good, as is the frozen naan (and precooked & frozen rice).

The pastas are surprisingly decent (but I think you have to reheat carefully — I do everything at half power, stir, continue, etc).

Pizzas no surprise, flatbreads fit nicely in a toaster oven, my friend’s kids loves the small pizza pack (comes in plain & pepperoni).

Asian entrees need a pan, except the fried rices, which I’m not a fan of but others here enjoy. If you do use your pan or get an electric skillet, all the frozen dumplings are good steamed or pan-fried, especially the gyoza (can also turn them into soup with stock and a bag of spinach or slaw).

Of the mexican options, I like the tamales (the frozen 2 packs, not the refrigerated 6-packs).

Breaded fish / fish sticks, spanakopita pie, and the spiral cheese pie bake up fine in a toaster oven too.


Different. A cracker in a very small box.

1 Like

Air fryer for better reheating results unless your toaster oven is convection.

We recently did the same. And grilled a lot. Hope you can too?
We have an electric kettle which made clea up easier with a plastic dish pan.
Agree on TJ dumplings. Also like their soups, broth and some of the ramen options. And the fresh pasta was an easy cook with butter or jarred sauce
Good luck with the reno. It will be worth it!


The frozen steak and stout pies are great and work in the toaster oven. And the folks on the “what’s good at Trader Joe’s” blog really liked the butternut squash lasagna.


Tried a few new things:

NAY on the Assam tea bags. Noticeably weaker than their Irish Breakfast (which is also Assam); I’m pretty sure those are Barry’s. I don’t know why they needed to make the new ones.

YAY on the frozen karaage. After feeding kids for 20 years we are all pretty sick of the Mandarin chicken, so this is a nice change. Light, lemony breading and the sauce is kewpie mayo but you can toss that if you hate mayo.

YAY on the cinnamon roll blondie bars (mix). I made these for my birthday and my kid can’t stop eating them. I will say that the mix procedure is a little fiddly (three separate baggies of stuff) so I kind of felt like you could make it from scratch just as easily. Google “cinnamon roll blondies” and there’s the recipe, albeit with a different glaze (TJs is just powdered sugar and vanilla). In the future I’ll probably just do that.

Also I’m sure I’ve mentioned them before but the frozen kebabs have become a lunch staple (naan, vegan tzatziki, lettuce, yum).


+1 on the Indian frozen meals. Especially love the fiery chicken.