Trader Joe's Fall Favorites Ranked From Worst To Best

Nothing screams autumnal bliss quite like a trip to Trader Joe's in October. Well before the temperatures drop, or a single leaf has started to fall, the shelves get stocked with dozens (and dozens) of fall-themed products. Pumpkin spice, maple, cider, and squash seem to take over the store, and we aren't complaining. Over the years, fans have come to love and look forward to Trader Joe's seasonal goodies, and the company continues to add new, inventive products to its lineup every fall. 

As much as we'd like to bring it all home, our kitchens can only hold so much. So we've done the work for you to narrow things down. We ranked some of Trader Joe's fall favorites from worst to best. The list includes tried-and-true staples that keep coming back every season and some newer items that already have shoppers buzzing. Before you head to the store to stock up for the season, keep scrolling to check out the list.

16. Turkey and Stuffing Kettle Chips

Trader Joe's Turkey and Stuffing Kettle Chips are strange and fascinating all at the same time. The potato chips are kettle-cooked in small batches and then dusted with a secret seasoning blend that somehow tastes like a Thanksgiving turkey, along with stuffing and gravy (via Club Trader Joe's). The company says it "just may be the most economical Thanksgiving dinner... you can buy." We say that's a lot of pressure to put on one chip.

The chips are tasty and savory for the first few bites, but the flavor becomes too overwhelming after that. The seasoning on the chips starts to taste a little artificial ... and no one really wants that much turkey and stuffing do they? Trader Joe's recommends using the chips as a topping for something like a cheesy hash brown casserole, which could probably be really delicious. By themselves, though, these chips are probably not the go-to snack you want to reach for.

15. Pumpkin Bisque

Pumpkin Bisque is a new and apparently improved spinoff of Trader Joe's Pumpkin Soup. While it tries to hit on all the right fall notes, we're gonna call this one a pumpkin spice overload.

The bisque is thick, creamy, and decadent in more ways than one, with 27 grams of fat per serving. It's made with pumpkin purée, heavy cream, honey, and of course those warming fall spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. There's also onion, garlic, and white pepper to add some savory flavors. The twist that's supposed to bring it all together in this soup is tahini. The sesame paste does give it a nutty undertone and a serious depth of flavor. 

However, it's just not enough to overcome the intense sweetness of this soup. One jar of Pumpkin Bisque has more than 60 grams of added sugars, and you can definitely taste it. The spices are also quite overwhelming. Overall, this feels kind of like eating pumpkin pie filling, with a hint of onion and garlic. No thanks.

14. Pumpkin Empanadas

The Pumpkin Empanadas are one of the most recent additions to Trader Joe's fall lineup. Available in the frozen section, they're made from flaky pastry dough, filled with a slightly sweet pumpkin filling, and then fried until crispy. The filling mixture is made from real pumpkin purée and coconut milk, spiced up with cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and ginger. While that sounds great (like a handheld pumpkin pie!), the results don't quite live up (via Club Trader Joe's).

The Pumpkin Empanadas seem like a unique and promising snack idea, but unfortunately, the taste is somewhat disappointing. Trader Joe's calls them a dessert, but they aren't quite sweet enough to satisfy our sugar craving. They aren't really savory either, so they end up tasting kind of bland. 

However, it is worth noting that these Pumpkin Empanadas could easily be made to feel more like a seasonal dessert if paired with something super sweet like vanilla ice cream.

13. Maple and Sea Salt Kettle Corn

Kettle corn in and of itself is such a treat, with the perfect balance of sweet and salty. Trader Joe's fall version is no exception. Plus it's made with maple and flaky sea salt, making it a great seasonal snack option. 

This Maple and Sea Salt Kettle Corn is a little bit sweeter than most regular versions. It's made with maple sugar and has an almost candy-like coating on the fluffy chunks of popcorn (via What's Good at Trader Joe's). While it might become too sweet for some after a few handfuls, we still think it's a tasty option to munch on during your Halloween movie marathon

The only issue with the Maple and Sea Salt Kettle Corn is the maple itself. It's hardly there! The whole reason shoppers want to buy this snack is for the sweet, rich taste of maple, but the flavor on the kettle corn is just a little too subtle.

12. Non-Dairy Maple Oat Beverage

Oat milk has been having a major moment. The non-dairy alternative has become one of the trendiest new ways to enhance your coffee and more. This season, Trader Joe's wants you to give your morning cup an autumn-inspired twist with it's new Non-Dairy Maple Oat Beverage. This drink is creamy and subtly sweet, with a hint of the pure maple syrup it's infused with. 

Much like the Maple and Sea Salt Kettle Corn we just mentioned, the only thing we'd ask for here is more of the maple flavor. If you don't use enough, the distinct twist on this drink can be hard to detect. It is a little sweeter than the regular, unflavored oat beverage you can get year-round at Trader Joe's. 

The company suggests pairing this Maple Oat Beverage with their Autumn Maple Coffee to really bring out the fall flavor we're craving. Overall, it's still a great mix-in for not only coffee. It also tastes good mixed in oatmeal and smoothie combos or poured over your favorite fall cereal.

11. Pumpkin Butter

Pumpkin butter is an autumn classic, and Trader Joe's version does not disappoint. There's no missing the pumpkin flavor here. It's the main ingredient in this so-called butter ... which actually contains no butter. The product is made from pumpkin purée, sugar, honey, lemon juice concentrate, and a blend of spices. It has a bright, slightly tangy flavor and the warming spices really come through. Fair warning, though. It's incredibly sweet with nine grams of added sugars in every tablespoon. 

This smooth, thick Pumpkin Butter is great for spreading on toast, bagels, waffles, and more. It also works great as a topping for yogurt parfaits and oatmeal to add a little fall festivity to your morning. However, because of how sweet it is, it might feel more like a dessert after a few bites. That's okay though, because this Pumpkin Butter goes great in all kinds of dessert recipes, from cheesecake to baked goods.

10. Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps

For the perfect addition to your fall cheese boards and appetizer spreads, look no further than Trader Joe's Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps. The sweet and savory crackers hit all the right seasonal flavor notes. They're made with real pumpkin and accented with tart cranberries and warm, earthy spices like thyme, rosemary, cinnamon, and nutmeg. They are light and crispy and have sunflower seeds baked right into them as well, for an added crunch. Plus, they also pack a nutritional boost from ingredients like rolled oats, flax seeds, and turmeric.

These Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps might get a little dry if you try to eat them solo, but they pair perfectly with so many different dips and cheeses (via Fooducate). You can go sweet with them — Trader Joe's recommends dunking them in their Pumpkin Cream Cheese. They also make great vessels for salty spreads like garlic and herb goat cheese, or a slice of smoked Gouda.

9. Pumpkin Tortilla Chips + Fall Harvest Salsa

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Tortilla Chips and Fall Harvest Salsa make the ranking together because they are such a tasty, dynamic duo of fall flavors. 

Let's start with the Pumpkin Tortilla Chips. They are crisp and salty, just like you want a tortilla chip to be, with a hint of pumpkin from real pumpkin purée. Made with corn flour and pumpkin seeds, these chips are definitely savory and have a nice crunch. However, they're also seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg, making them tricky to pair with traditional salsas and dips.

Enter the Fall Harvest Salsa, made with pumpkin, apples, and butternut squash. It's bright, fresh, and slightly sweeter than most regular salsas. Despite the added ingredients, this still tastes like salsa, and it contains all the basics like tomatoes, garlic, jalapeño, and lime. But the flavor of the pumpkin, apples, squash, and a touch of honey just add a little something extra, and the festive flavors practically beg to be scooped up by a crispy pumpkin chip.

8. Apple Cider Jam

Trader Joe's Apple Cider Jam is everything you want in a fall fruit spread. It's sweet, it's tart, and it's full of spices that will transport you to the nearest apple orchard with the first bite. This jam literally smells like spiced apple cider right when you open it. 

This Apple Cider Jam is made from just a few simple ingredients, including diced apples, cane sugar, cider, lemon juice, and spices. It pretty much tastes like classic apple pie filling. While it is thick and very sweet, the acidity from the lemon juice cuts through nicely, making it taste balanced no matter how much of it you eat in one sitting. 

Much like Trader Joe's Pumpkin Butter, this jam goes great with breakfast and dessert. It can also be used to "spice up a pork or chicken recipe" according to the suggestions right on the jar's label. We also wouldn't blame you if you ate this Apple Cider Jam with nothing more than a spoon.

7. Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Baking Mix

A classic in the fall lineup, Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Baking Mix has been featured on store shelves for well over a decade. This box mix is great because it takes most of the work out of baking for you. Just add some eggs, vegetable oil, and water, and an hour later you'll have classic pumpkin bread (or muffins) that's moist, spicy, and flavorful. 

This Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Baking Mix also rocks because it's versatile in so many ways. Shoppers have found all kinds of ways to add to and spruce up the basic box recipe, from adding in real pumpkin to substituting oil for fresh applesauce, and more. Plus, the mix can be used to make all fall treats, like Trader Joe's recipe for Pumpkin Bars. There's also a gluten-free version of this mix so everyone can enjoy this seasonal staple.

6. Autumnal Harvest Creamy Pasta Sauce

Trader Joe's has a full lineup of popular pastas sauces on its shelves all year, and it steps up the game with its seasonal selection. The Autumnal Harvest Creamy Pasta sauce is an indulgent and satisfying favorite for a cold fall night or winter night. If you love pumpkin or squash soup, then this dish is for you. 

It's made with a hearty and nutrient-dense mixture of vegetables including tomatoes, pumpkin, butternut squash, and carrots. The creaminess in this pasta sauce comes from butter and heavy cream, so you know it's decadent. There's also an assortment of savory spices including rosemary, sage, garlic, and cayenne pepper that add a warm depth of flavor. The sauce is smooth, but still retains some of the texture of the harvest veggies. 

This Autumnal Harvest Creamy Pasta Sauce is delicious on its own. It also works great with chicken, sausage, or more vegetables mixed in.

5. Cinnamon Bun Spread

Of all the sweet seasonal treats from Trader Joe's, the Cinnamon Bun Spread might be the most decadent of all. When we think of sugar, spice, and everything nice, this spread is the first thing that comes to mind. It tastes like all the best parts of a cinnamon roll rolled into one — the warm, spicy, and sweet filling plus the gooey, sticky, vanilla glaze that gets drizzled over a freshly made batch. 

The spread is made with butter and cream, sweetened with honey, and bursting with vanilla and cinnamon (via PopSugar). You can literally see the spices when you're slathering this stuff on waffles and toast, or drizzling it over ice cream, apple pie, and everything else in sight.

Our only dilemma is that we can't decide whether Cinnamon Bun Spread goes better with breakfast or dessert. So we'll just have to keep eating it with both for now.

4. Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

The Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese from Trader Joe's is the only frozen dinner you need this fall. It is so hearty and delicious, it's full of seasonal flavors, and it can be ready to eat in just a few short minutes. 

This take on mac and cheese is made with short rigatoni noodles, which are perfect for soaking up all the creamy béchamel sauce (via PopSugar). That's made from a mix of cheddar and parmesan cheeses, plus Gouda which lends a hint of smoky flavor. The sauce has butternut squash purée cooked right in, giving it a seasonal vegetable kick that blends perfectly with the cheeses. It's also seasoned with nutmeg, sage, and thyme to pump up the fall notes. 

The results are a creamy, cheesy, well-flavored pasta with a lot of butternut squash flavor coming through. This mac and cheese is the ultimate quick and easy autumn comfort food.

3. Spiced Cider

There are few things that scream autumn more than a hot mug of spiced apple cider. Get your fix this season with Trader Joe's delicious Spiced Cider. It's been returning to the shelves every fall for more than 20 years for a reason. It's the perfect blend of sweet and tangy with a warm, spicy kick. 

Trader Joe's Spiced Cider is made from apple juice and a blend of spices, including cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. It's also got some added lemon and orange juice for a tart citrus kick. Overall, this cider has got great fruity, apple flavor, the spices come through without being too strong, and the juice isn't too sweet either. 

There are so many reasons to stay stocked up on this Spiced Cider all season long. It tastes great cold, so you can drink it straight out of the fridge. It's warm and delightful when you warm it up and serve it with a cinnamon stick. It's even better when you add a shot of whiskey or rum. Plus, this cider works great in all kinds of fall-themed cocktails or sangria recipes.

2. Pumpkin Ice Cream

Ice cream may not come to mind when you think of your favorite fall foods, but the Pumpkin Ice Cream from Trader Joe's is a major exception. This ice cream hits all the right seasonal notes. Even when the weather gets cold, we'll still be sneaking spoonfuls of this treat out of the freezer. 

This ice cream is light, yet so rich and creamy. It's smooth and sweet, and has the perfect balance of flavor. It's made with real pumpkin and doesn't taste artificial, like so often happens with other store-bought pumpkin-flavored treats. The spices — cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves — all come through without being too overpowering.

This ice cream is addicting on its own, but it also pairs so well with so many other fall desserts. Scoop some on to a warm piece of pecan pie, or try it sandwiched between two snickerdoodles. Oh, and did we mention it's absolutely decadent with the TraderJoe's Cinnamon Bun Spread drizzled on top?

1. Honey Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli

The top spot of our fall favorites ranking goes to Trader Joe's Honey Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli. This seasonal creation has all the cozy, seasonal vibes. Plus, it's soft, textured, so flavorful, and super versatile. 

All you have to do is boil the pasta for a few minutes and you're on your way to autumnal bliss. The ravioli are stuffed with a cheesy pumpkin filling. It's made with creamy ricotta and mozzarella cheese, along with honey, brown sugar, molasses, and a slew of spices. The resulting flavor and texture are so rich, tasty, and satisfying, without being too sweet.

This Honey Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli is perfect when you let it shine in nothing more than a simple brown butter sauce. It also pairs beautifully with any one of Trader Joe's signature pasta sauces, like the Autumnal Harvest Creamy Pasta Sauce we mentioned above. No matter how you serve up this ravioli, you're going to be in honey-roasted pumpkin paradise.