These Are The Best Trader Joe's Products According To Employees

Photo: John Greim/Getty Images.
Our devotion to Trader Joe’s has been fully documented. Shamelessly smitten, we stock up on staples that range from fairly priced to downright cheap and look forward to our favorite seasonal treats with a fervor we normally reserve for the season premiere of The Bachelor.

Like any relationship, though, there are some drawbacks. To shop at Trader Joe’s is to sometimes leave with a gripping sense of FOMO. We grab go-to groceries, but panic at bustling aisles stocked with a seemingly endless array of choices. While the cashier rings up our weekly basketful of Greek yogurt and mini brie discs, we have an eagle-eye on the surrounding carts, wondering what treasures they hold. To avoid any Trader Joe’s-induced anxiety and constantly learn about fresh new finds, here’s a trick: Ask the cashiers what they buy.

The helpful team working at Trader Joe’s (especially the ones giving out free samples) know what’s up. They taste, stock, ring up, and are generally surrounded by gems on every shift, so ask them to spill. Besides discovering new products, we’ve learned recipe hacks and cool facts about the products and where they come from.

We asked Trader Joe’s employees from Brooklyn to Bakersfield, California, what they love to buy, and they’ve generously shared their favorites, ahead.
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Photo: Courtesy of Trader Joe's.
Tracy, Southern California

“You can add the Bacon Jam to almost anything, but in the bruschetta it’s especially good. Add a spoonful to a sliced, toasted baguette.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Trader Joe's.
Chris, Philadelphia

“The Mandarin Orange Chicken, in our freezer section, is so easy. It’s also consistently one of our bestsellers. Just bake it in the oven and serve it over the microwaveable Organic Jasmine Rice.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Trader Joe's.
Mark, Southern California

“Make the easiest stir-fry ever with the Frozen Organic Riced Cauliflower or Frozen Organic Fully Cooked Quinoa and the pre-chopped Vegetable Stir Fry. Sauté with a little garlic, olive oil, and soy sauce, and add Sriracha sauce after for a little heat. It’s low carb and gluten-free, too.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Trader Joe's.
Heather, Central Valley, California

“Use Belgian Endive leaves to scoop up a mixture of the bruschetta, pre-cooked lentils, and crumbled feta cheese. I’ve served this dip at parties and people go crazy for it.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Trader Joe's.
Michelle, Houston, Texas

“Have you tried any of our veggie burgers? The Vegetable Masala Burger and Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burger with Black Beans and Roasted Corn are my favorite.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Trader Joe's.
Will, New York City

“The Super Burrito! It’s vegan, with quinoa, kale, sweet potatoes, and a Peruvian style sauce. I packed one for lunch everyday and it actually helped me lose a few pounds.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Trader Joe's.
Jaime, New York City

“For a simple dessert dip, mix lemon curd and mascarpone and serve it with berries, animal crackers, pretzels. It’s good on everything.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Trader Joe's.
Alex, Philadelphia

“Combine the Frozen Organic Fully Cooked Quinoa with a jar of Island Salsa and a can of black beans. It makes a lot, so I pack this for lunch all week.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Trader Joe's.
Brett, New York City

“The Smoked Salmon Dip with capers, paired with classic water crackers, is perfect for a snack or dinner, on nights I’m feeling lazy.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Trader Joe's.
Dwayne, Westchester, New York

“A jar of Sauerkraut with Pickled Persian Cucumbers. It sounds weird, but try it on a hot dog or chicken sausage.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Trader Joe's.
Shawna, St. Louis, Missouri

Frozen Gorgonzola Gnocchi! It's easy, delicious, and I haven't found it anywhere else.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Trader Joe's.
Danielle, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

“I love the Simmer Sauces. The Thai Green Curry Simmer Sauce, combined with chicken (I use frozen chicken so I always have it on hand) and vegetables, tastes better than takeout.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Trader Joe's.
Rosa, Westchester, New York

“Pour some olive oil and squeeze an entire lemon over a bag of the Cruciferous Crunch (with kale, shaved brussel sprouts, broccoli, green cabbage, and red cabbage) and add a little sea salt. Serve it as a salad or add a forkful to the pre-made pulled BBQ chicken on a roll.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Trader Joe's.
Rich, New York City

“Way before I started working here, I loved the frozen Indian food. The Chicken Tikka Masala, Paneer Tikka Masala, Butter Chicken, and Vegetable Samosas — all great and ready in a few minutes.”
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