Welcome to our list of Top 10 WW Items at Trader Joe’s. This list highlights recipe components and some snack foods – things that we can’t live without.
I am blessed. I have not one, not two, but three Trader Joe’s in driving distance. I see people post all the time on Facebook and Instagram about having to drive hours sometimes to their closest Trader Joe’s.
Some poor souls don’t even have one close by. Some, even live in Canada, where sadly there is no Trader Joe’s at all. A moment of silence for those who don’t have Trader Joe’s in their lives.
I love the place. It is always crowded as heck and impossible to get a parking spot, but I love the place. I always find something new there. My last trip, I bought Nutritional Yeast because I keep seeing it in cooking videos for vegan cheese sauces.
Am I vegan now? Heck no.
Trader Joe’s is incredibly affordable so I can make weird splurges on ingredients that I want to experiment with. I make it a point to always buy something new each time I go there.
I always make it a point to keep my pantry and fridge stocked with some of my favorites. This is not a definitive list of all of the amazing things they have to offer.
This is my top ten favorite things Trader Joe’s has to offer. Things I swear by. The things I rely on and use weekly.
Dwardcooks’ Favorite things to get at Trader Joe’s
Lite Mozzarella: 1SP per ounce
Yes, the hype for this cheese is legit. Most lite cheese is terrible. It doesn’t melt well and it stays in the shape you bought it in. Gross. Don’t even get me started with the taste of that nasty pale shredded cardboard you are passing off as fat-free cheese, Deborah.
That’s not cheese; I don’t care if it is fewer points. This cheese melts so well, it tastes real (because it is), and it will change your life. You won’t go back. If you are one of those people who unfortunately
Reduced Guilt Spinach and Kale Dip: 2SP per 5 tbsp
Is it spinach and artichoke dip? No, it is not. It is not cheesy, nor is it in a hot skillet surrounded by greasy and delicious tortilla chips on an amazingly greasy appetizer sampler platter.
It is, however, a palatable way to eat kale plus a dip that is snackable and tasty but not terrible for you. I love dip. I don’t like portioning my dip to a tablespoon. My favorite way to eat this is 5 tablespoons of dip + 25 Good Thins Corn Chips.
The saltiness of the chips paired with the creaminess of this dip make it a substantial 4 point snack you can sit down and enjoy without blowing through it in seconds or settling for a tablespoon. Who eats a tablespoon of dip anyway?
Lite Kettle Corn: 4SP for 1oz (individually packaged and sold in a six-pack)
This is a lifesaver. I buy this when I’m traveling because it is a high fiber, incredibly tasty snack that keeps me full. It is salty yet sweet. I have emergency bags stuffed in my car, in my desk at work, in the pantry–this is my favorite snack that I don’t have to assemble or plan ahead with.
They come in a six-pack which is great when you are stashing it throughout your house and workplace. Fun fact, it is AMAZING paired with a tablespoon of peanut butter. Life-changing and indulgent.
Look, you’re already eating healthy. You even committed to eating cauliflower which is nobody’s first choice for a vegetable. Do you really want to bust out a food processor or shred this ghost broccoli by hand with a grater?
No, you don’t. Reward yourself for already committing to eating cauliflower by letting Trader Joe’s do the ricing for you. Also, it is super cheap. I’m a cheapskate. I don’t pay for things I can easily do myself. I buy this stuff.
Spices – 21 Seasoning Salute, Everything but the Bagel Seasoning, Smoked Paprika, Cumin, Cinnamon, Bay Leaves, Oregano – 0sp
- I use 21 Seasoning Salute for everything. I don’t buy spice blends except for this one. This is an upgrade your kitchen needs. It is so amazingly versatile; I use it for roasted potatoes, fresh green beans, turkey burgers, and when I do large batch chicken breast. When I cook with it and have people over, people think I’m this crazy mastermind in the kitchen. It’s just this seasoning blend. I buy it every single time I’m there which is why I currently have 4 in my pantry. If I’m going down the shore, I bring one. I’m that committed to it.
- Trader Joe’s has really affordable spices overall. At most supermarkets, spices can get pricey, and I know I’m not one to be willing to splurge on a $6 spice I know I will only use for one or two recipes (especially if I’m experimenting with something new to me). This solves the problem. Get a
randospice or two next time. If you don’t have smoked paprika and cumin in your life right now, start with those. Both add smokiness and depth to proteins and I use them constantly–my Italian Sausage mix, Mexican chicken marinade, chili. I cannot live without them.
- The Bagel Seasoning, it’s great. I use it for my three ingredient bagels. Sometimes on eggs or avocado toast. It has a cult following for good reason. If you went to Trader Joe’s and didn’t buy this, did you really even go to Trader Joe’s?
Hot Sauces and Salsas (Especially Yuzu Hot Sauce): 0sp
I am new to Yuzu. I was unaware of its majesty. This stuff quickly became one of my favorite things to buy at Trader Joe’s, and I feel like people are really sleeping on it.
It is bright, acidic, and citrusy. It is unlike any hot sauce I’ve had before. Perfect for tacos, but light enough to dress salad with it. Seriously, it is amazing. Add it to guacamole, avocado toast, salmon, shrimp, chicken, anything.
Keep some in your desk at work when you didn’t feel like being innovative and brought a boring sad meal prep of chicken and vegetables. It’ll make your sad steamed in the microwave vegetables taste glorious.
Specialty Cheese – Roughly 4sp per oz as is most full fat cheese
Trader Joe’s is a great way to explore the realm of fancy cheese. My favorites are Smoked Gouda (which is sold in 1oz slices and I use in shrimp and grits), Cheddar Gruyere, and Unexpected Cheddar.
I like picking up a stronger flavored cheese higher in points over bland, fat-free cheese because you don’t need as much and the flavors are more complex. These cheeses go a long way with flavor.
Using a vegetable peeler, shave off some cheese or break it off and crumble it (then weigh it, obvi) and add to scrambled eggs, salads, or sandwiches for an added kick.
Queso (Jarred): 1sp for 5 tbsp
This is great for tacos or nachos. Unlike the typical supermarket queso dips, this has a more fresh taste for a shelf stable cheese dip. There’s cilantro and a hint of sweetness maybe from corn in there. I love it. When I make nachos, I know that the cheese won’t break my points bank.
Fat-Free Refried Beans (pinto or black beans): 0sp
hese are the only refried beans I buy now. They are more flavorful than the ones my typical supermarket had. While I love traditional ones, the black bean ones are especially delicious. Schmear it on thick for tostadas, mix it into your chili, add it to those nachos I was just talking about.
Frozen Roasted Corn: 0SP
andom, right? Frozen corn. Unlike regular frozen corn, these slightly charred corn kernels add depth and a touch of complexity to the dish that is calling for regular old frozen corn.
I live for fresh corn on the grill in the summer. During the summer, I do that. When corn is out of season, however, this is my go-to. Keep this in your freezer when you want a bit of summer in your life. I love it in my chili, love it with tacos, in soup, and once again–nachos.
And that’s my top ten! There are plenty of other amazing things at Trader Joe’s that people in the Weight Watchers community swear by.
Look for anything with cauliflower (gnocchi, pizza crust, fried rice), anything reduced guilt (that’s how they brand their lower-fat foods), fresh or frozen lean protein, and anything new to you.
Trader Joe’s is a magical and affordable place for food. I always go with a list, wander around browsing and scanning, and make a point to come home with one or two new things.
What are your Top 10 WW Items at Trader Joe’s? Check out our essential WW Shopping List for a more comprehensive shopping plan.