The Absolute Best Freezer Finds, According to Trader Joe’s Employees

Every Trader Joe’s shopper has a psychological record of “must buys,” and apparently lots of these issues come from the freezer aisle. In episode 34 of the Inside Trader Joe’s podcast, the hosts level out that during the last yr the freezer part of the shop has seen wild progress — possible from individuals consuming at residence way more, they theorize, and likewise presumably from individuals all getting air fryers. While the merchandise can all be baked, individuals love utilizing their air fryer. So a lot so, the truth is, that the hosts even spill the beans that this month they’re introducing a brand new product, Breaded Fried Ravioli, that would be the retailer’s first product with air fryer directions proper on the field. How thrilling!

As with most issues at Trader Joe’s, there are at all times a treasure trove of things to uncover, so the oldsters on the Inside Trader Joe’s podcast determined to assist prospects determine what they may be lacking out on from the freezer part. Here are their high picks!

The President of Stores, Jon Bassalone, kicks off the dialogue with this vegan bagged pasta that he admits to usually gussying up with slightly Italian sausage or grilled rooster.

When it comes to non-meal objects, Jon additionally admits to consuming one in all these popsicles each single night time. He describes it as “three different flavors on one easy-to-handle stick.”

Bags of pasta, as an alternative of single-serving trays, have been well-liked this previous yr. The hosts say that is possible due to youngsters being residence and other people needing to feed their households. Matt Sloan, the vp of promoting, additionally suggests that folks like objects that replicate restaurant experiences. 

French Onion Mac and Cheese

Tara Miller, advertising and marketing director, describes this as “basically French Onion Soup mixed with mac and cheese, flavor-wise.” It’s topped with croutons, too.

Breaded Chicken Tenderloins

Nikki from buyer relations pops in to discuss her go-to freezer merchandise: breaded rooster tenderloins. She likes to serve these contained in the Hawaiian rolls with slightly marinara sauce and a layer of Parmesan cheese — type of like a rooster Parm slider. 

Nikki additionally likes to cook dinner the Mandarin Orange Chicken — winner of the twelfth annual Customer Choice Awards — within the air fryer earlier than tossing it with chopped walnuts and sauce. She says her household picks it up weekly and serves it over rice and steamed broccoli. Crew member Alex additionally likes this fan favourite, including that his household typically will get takeout after which wonders why it’s inferior to the Trader Joe’s model at residence. Rollyn, one other crew member, additionally provides that she tosses among the sauce with tofu for her child who isn’t as into meat.

Read extra: The 5 Most Popular Products from Trader Joe’s in 2020

Frozen Gyozas & Cha Siu Bao Pork Buns

Rollyn makes use of the gyoza as a go-to aspect for her youngsters after they have the Mandarin Orange Chicken, whereas Tara mentions that they do it with the pork buns. 

Alex says he makes use of the air fryer to make this freezer favourite, and typically provides a protein and a sauce, though he admits that when they arrive out cooked from the air fryer, they’re nice simply popped into your mouth as a snack. “Who doesn’t love a big bite of crispy cauliflower goodness?”

Alex additionally talks about pulling these out of the freezer for fast meals. The shrimp come peeled and deveined, however uncooked, so it requires slightly cooking. Alex talks about tossing it with the Cuban Garlic Citrusy seasoning, saying, “I was thinking I was going to toss it on rice and make a meal out of it, but I ended up just eating a whole bowl of shrimp and it was delicious.”

Alex says this freezer discover is a wonderful worth — particularly because the beef is available in frozen blocks that stack within the freezer (which implies it’s simple to refill on). “With the current climate in the world, I’m kind of reducing the amount of times I go to the store. So instead of going every other day, like I used to, I’m going once every two weeks — or once every week.”

Burrito Bowls & Rice Bowls

Another factor Alex retains within the freezer always are these simple meal staples that require little considering forward and no prep time. “Cause you got to have something that’s all in one ready to go.”

Vegetable Foursome & Organic Rice Cauliflower

Crew member Mary Ann says she takes these two merchandise and tosses them collectively for a stir-fry with some garlic and soy sauce. Frozen greens have seen plenty of progress this yr, she says. This is partially due to the lengthy shelf-life, but in addition as a result of you’ll be able to simply toss them into one other dish — like she does with the cacio e pepe.

Mary Ann additionally likes the roasted potatoes and peppers that the shop brings in from Italy. “It’s interesting cause I get a lot of good feedback and it could be the variety of potatoes that they’re using, but people really loved that.”

Rollyn says the Branzino is one other favourite. Her husband apparently sears it with coconut oil, and will get the pores and skin crispy and darkish. Then he flips it over and sticks it within the oven for a bit.

Many of the crew members point out that they love the pizzas at Trader Joe’s. Ben stated he was a fan of the 3-cheese natural pizza, in addition to the cauliflower crust gluten-free pizza, and the brand new fried-crust model. Tara says the Margherita is in common rotation at her home. 

Ben additionally talks about that eternally freezer favourite, ice cream, with the coconut chocolate taste as his number-one decide, though he admits to loving the vanilla half-gallon, too. Matt seconds the vote for the vanilla, evaluating it to well-known ice cream in Paris, whereas Tara votes for the mint chocolate chip. By gross sales, although, Ben notes that Hold the Cone small ice lotions promote extraordinarily nicely. And he mentions the upcoming frozen cheesecake with strawberry swirl as a product that may quickly make the favourite record.

Garlic Naan, Butter Chicken, Palak Paneer, Channa Masala, Vegetable Samosas, Vegan Tikka Masala, Fiery Chicken Curry, & Paratha

Mary Ann additionally mentions that she loves to arrange a mini-Indian restaurant in her home, beginning with the samosas, then serving an entrée with the garlic naan. Tara provides that she additionally actually likes the paratha, which her youngsters referred to as “naan to a different level.” But on this section Mary Ann additionally spills that even class managers at Trader Joe’s have merchandise that they miss that the shop not carries, as she mentions pining for the Baingan Bharta. 

What’s your favourite factor to purchase from the Trader Joe’s freezer part? Let us know within the feedback!

Naomi Tomky


Seattle-based author Naomi Tomky makes use of her unrelenting enthusiasm for consuming all the things to propel herself all over the world as an award-winning meals and journey author.

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