Trader Joe's Most Popular Dips, Ranked Worst To Best

Trader Joe's is known for its wide variety of basic and unique food items. And while there aren't a lot of things at Trader Joe's we don't like, one of our favorite parts of the entire store is its dip section. TJ's has truly mastered the art of creating a tasty and reasonably priced dip that can be spread on crackers, eaten with raw vegetables, or used as a binder in a sandwich.

The creative team in Trader Joe's food department must work overtime when it comes to creating these dips, too, since new flavors are constantly introduced and flavors from around the world are often showcased. Dill pickle hummus? Elote-style yogurt dip? A spicy Middle-Eastern sauce? There's definitely something for everyone in the dip section.

But, to be fair, not every single dip is a total winner. We've rounded up some of Trader Joe's most popular dips and ranked them from worst to best. Keep in mind that many items go in and out of rotation at TJ's, so these dips may not always be in stock at your local store.

16. Chunky Guacamole

Although Trader Joe's markets plenty of healthy (or, okay, healthier) food items, we have to admit that this one doesn't quite hit the mark. This guacamole is the store's calorie-conscious alternative to regular guac, promising 50% less fat and 40% fewer calories than the regular stuff, given that it is made with Greek yogurt.

First of all, we're not fans of labeling this product as "reduced-guilt." No food should make you feel guilty, much less guacamole made with good-for-you avocados and spices. Plus, labels like "reduced-guilt" or "guilt-free" tend to be code words for "doesn't taste very good." At least, that's the case with TJ's chunky guacamole. The flavor is lackluster and misses the richness of the reduced avocado. Meanwhile, Greek yogurt has a strong flavor and people who aren't a fan of its tanginess will have a hard time with this dip.

At best, this dip is just okay. Try the real stuff instead and don't feel guilty about it!

15. Organic Creamy Cashew Fiesta Dip

Look, we know it's hard to make a decent vegan cheese alternative. Companies have been trying for years and it's still rare to find an option that doesn't taste or feel like plastic. So, all things considered, Trader Joe's did a pretty good job with this nacho-cheese-flavored dip. Instead of being packed with artificial ingredients and thickeners, it's made with cashews, vegetables, and spices that pack a decent kick. The dip smells just like nacho cheese, which is impressive in itself, and has a nutty, spicy flavor. However, each bite has a vinegary aftertaste that we aren't crazy about.

The biggest issue we have with this dip is its thick texture. As a reviewer from Trader Joe's Reviews said, "I couldn't get past the texture. It was not creamy but rather more like gelatin." This dip definitely needs to be heated up for the best nacho cheese experience. Overall, it's not a terrible option if you're looking for a vegan cheese dip, but we wouldn't go back for it again and again.

14. Chocolate Hummus

Chocolate hummus? What has the world come to? Similar to the chunky guacamole, this dip isn't awful but feels like a diet food in disguise. While classic hummus usually includes olive oil, lemon juice, and spices, chocolate hummus subs in cocoa powder and sugar to a chickpea base. And look, we're certainly fans of the health benefits of chickpeas, but we'd rather eat regular hummus (or one of Trader Joe's savory varieties) instead of this.

The dip is pretty sweet and has a decent chocolate flavor considering its ingredients, but it's not as tasty as it looks like it's going to be. Sure, it may seem like decadent brownie batter, but one taste will disabuse you of that notion pretty quickly. So, go ahead and enjoy this dip if you actually like the rather odd flavor, but don't buy it just to fulfill that only chocolate pudding or brownie batter can truly satisfy.

13. Romesco Dip

Trader Joe's romesco dip is a play on romesco, a Spanish sauce made from peppers, almonds, tomatoes, and garlic. However, compared to freshly made romesco sauce, this dip falls a little short. It's not bad, but we find it underwhelming nonetheless, especially compared to the many other, more flavorful dips that Trader Joe's offers. To be fair, this product works decently enough when it's mixed into another sauce or added to a pasta dish. But on its own, we wish it was a little spicier. We're also not big fans of the gritty texture from the almonds or the soupy consistency that makes it a little hard to dip vegetables into the mix.

This dip isn't bad, and it certainly has a devoted fan base. We also have to give it props for being vegan, making it a good option to add to your arsenal if you're plant-based. However, we'd rather use it as an ingredient in a full dinner instead of a dip on its own.

12. Dill Pickle Hummus

Dill pickle flavored snacks are all the rage these days. Pickle lovers can rejoice even further with this funky dip that combines the traditional flavors of hummus with the brininess of a crunchy dill spear. According to Bustle, Trader Joe's begins by cooking dill pickles with chickpeas until the legumes are fully infused with that flavor. Then, they combine those with other hummus ingredients like tahini, sea salt, and olive oil. They also add onion, garlic, and dill weed for more flavor. Once that is all blended together, it creates a smooth hummus with a surprising amount of vinegary kick.

This dip is great with some potato chips or on a sandwich, so why does it still rank relatively low on our list? Just like with dill pickle popsicles or candy canes, this product is great if you love pickles. But if you don't, it will be simply awful. The flavors may be too intense for most people to truly enjoy, so proceed with caution.

11. Caramelized Onion Dip

Anyone who likes the taste of onion will be obsessed with this dip. It's the perfect blend of sweetness, onion, and garlic and pairs well with pretty much anything. But its creamy base is what makes it truly indulgent and just about perfect for the classic dip task of smothering chips, pretzels, or some vegetables.

Yet, this dip shares the same downside as the dill pickle hummus. That means that its main flavor component may be too strong for some people. Onions, even the sweeter and far more mild caramelized ones, have a pretty distinct flavor and an odor that not everyone reliably enjoys. Even when eaten in a small amount, know first that you have to really like onions to enjoy this dip. Anyone who's on the fence regarding onions, regardless of cooking method, may still want to steer clear of this very, very oniony Trader Joe's dip.

10. Zhoug Sauce

We're constantly impressed by Trader Joe's ability to bring world flavors into American grocery stores. Zhoug is a Middle Eastern sauce made from bright herbs and robust spices. It's commonly eaten with falafel, although it's good on pretty much anything. And for people who are really into those ingredients — which includes cilantro, jalapenos, and red chili flakes, along with classic spices like garlic and cumin — this will be a pretty reliable hit.

The only downside of this dip is its spice level. When people call this "very spicy," they mean it. Now, people who are used to and even enjoy spicy foods shouldn't have an issue, but it may knock the socks off anyone who isn't accustomed to a lot of heat. You can offset some of the spice by eating it with yogurt-based tzatziki or even mixing it with plain yogurt. If you're trying it for the first time, start with a small amount before deciding how much you can take.

9. Tzatziki

Tzatziki is another sauce that is frequently featured on Middle Eastern tables, though you're also likely to find it in Greek cuisine and other southern European nations. This is one dip that comes with a completely different flavor profile from zhoug, however. Instead of being herbaceous and spicy, tzatziki is cool, light, and refreshing. It has a yogurt base and is traditionally mixed with cucumber, olive oil, garlic, and oftentimes a sprinkling of dill (though not nearly as much as the pickle dip, we promise). Trader Joe's take on this classic sauce and dip is excellent, with plenty of flavor and a nice cooling element to each bite that is all balanced out with the tang of both yogurt and lemon and savory herbs. We also love the abundance of thin, crisp cucumber slices in the dip, which add a nice crunch to every bite.

Trader Joe's tzatziki is the perfect way to cut through an intense flavor, whether it's the spiciness of zhoug sauce or the richness of a meat-laden gyro. Our only critique of this particular dip is that's it's pretty watery, making it tricky to dip vegetables into or even spread onto a pita wrap without some leakage. Still, it may be worth your while, especially if you're really into Mediterranean food. And, if you happen to be vegan, there's even a dairy-free option that may prove especially attractive.

8. Avocado's Number Guacamole

Look, we know there's no way to beat freshly made guacamole. However, this dip is surprisingly tasty for a pre-packaged product. The name is pretty great too — it's a play on Avogadro's number, a scientific number credited to the Italian scientist Amedeo Avogadro (via Britannica). This dip is packed with flavor and doesn't have the artificial aftertaste that sometimes comes with pre-made guac. The texture is very smooth aside from the occasional avocado chunk you'll find inside.

Overall, it's good guacamole that has a longer refrigerator life than the fresh stuff. However, it can be a bit salty, meaning that a combo with similarly salty dipping snacks could make for a somewhat overwhelming experience. And some dippers might miss the texture of chunky homestyle guacamole. But as long as you avoid dipping overly salty stuff and aren't devoted to chunky guac, you'll be pretty pleased with it.

7. Herbed Tahini Sauce

To be sure, this dip isn't the most visually appealing Trader Joe's product, but its flavor makes up for its looks. It's sort of a mix between hummus and a standard tahini sauce, though the dip doesn't contain any chickpeas and isn't technically hummus. And it's much thicker than a more drizzly tahini sauce. So, if you like Middle Eastern flavors but don't love the taste of chickpeas, this dip may be the perfect solution.

The true beauty of this dip is its versatility. "I eat the Herbed Tahini sauce with everything! Fish, in sandwiches, dip for chips, a dollop on my eggs. Gyros, chicken kebabs or beef," one reviewer said on Reddit.

Any potential bitterness from the sesame seed-based tahini is balanced out by the citric acid and fresh parsley blended into the dip. Meanwhile, the garlic adds a unique depth of flavor while chile flakes add just enough heat. It's a great versatile product to keep stocked in your refrigerator at all times.

6. Buffalo Chicken Dip

Not all foodie risks pay off, as many discarded food experiments will show, but this dip is clearly one of the winners. It's a fun spin on the classic Buffalo chicken wing flavor but in a dippable, spreadable form. We love that Trader Joe's didn't hold back on the amount of chicken they put in the dip, too. 

This dip is super-rich, which may be a plus for some people looking for a quasi-indulgent experience, while others might yearn for something a bit lighter, as it contains quite a bit of sour cream and cheese. The heat level (or lack thereof) may be another issue for people. This dip isn't quite as spicy as most Buffalo wing lovers would probably hope for. Be prepared to add a few shakes of your own Buffalo sauce to knock the heat up if you're looking for something to burn the back of your throat.

5. Everything And the Elote Greek Style Yogurt Dip

Also known as Mexican street corn in some circles, elote is popular street food in Mexico and other parts of Latin America. To make this iconic treat, full cobs of corn are roasted over a grill before being slathered in salt, chile powder, butter, cotija cheese, lime juice, and mayonnaise or crema fresca. And when you bite in, you'll get salty, savory, nutty, tart, creamy, and sweet flavors all at once. It's an out-of-this-world treat that deserves the wider recognition it's now getting.

So what is Trader Joe's answer to the fabulous flavors of elote? Well, turn it into a dip, of course! This hefty spread does a surprisingly good job of capturing the complex and multifaceted flavors of elote. It's creamy, rich, tangy, salty, and comes with a pop of texture from real corn. Serve this dip with vegetables, chips, crackers, pretzels, or just about anything else you think of — it will pretty much all go with elote.

4. Pimento Cheese Dip

Where are our southern readers at? Anyone who grew up eating pimento cheese will not want to miss out on Trader Joe's dip version of the classic spread. Pimento cheese is a staple in the South and is put on practically everything, from sandwiches to crackers to vegetables. This one is extra creamy and smooth, containing several types of cheese to keep things ultra indulgent, along with the classic addition of pimento peppers to the mix.

The main difference between TJ's take on this classic food is that it is marketed as a dip instead of a spread, which is how it's normally used. For pimento cheese purists, this may or may not be an issue, as the consistency of this cheese is softer than other varieties. The texture falls somewhere between queso and classic pimento cheese, which makes it easier to spread than the more traditional stuff. Its spreadability plus its flavor makes it a worthy item to add to your grocery list. 

3. Garlic Spread Dip

If you're the type of person who measures garlic with your heart instead of following the recipe, this dip is for you. Made with just garlic, lemon juice, canola oil, citric acid, and salt, this product has a powerful but surprisingly not overwhelming garlic flavor that is brighter than eating the stuff raw. Its consistency is light and fluffy, to the point where it appears almost like a whipped mayonnaise.

Fans are completely obsessed. "If I could rate this 10 stars I would. Seriously it is addictive," one wrote on Trader Joe's Reviews. "I bought a tub last week and am going to buy two more tubs this week, one for home and one for work." Another person raved, "Incredible... you can use it on most anything if you like garlic!" This dip is perfect paired with chips, veggies, pickles, or falafel. You can also spread a dollop on chicken, fish, sandwiches, or literally anything else that could use a hint of garlic flavor. Seriously, you'll thank us once you try this.

2. Pub Cheese

Pub cheese is another cult classic, but this one isn't limited to the American South. This dippable treat is traditionally made with cheese and some kind of beer, typically a hearty ale that could be drawn straight from, say, a pub's tap. Smoked cheese is often used here, but liquid smoke may also be added to enhance the flavor. This thick, spreadable cheese is a common bar snack in the U.S. and can be served with crackers, vegetables, or bread.

Trader Joe's take on this classic cheese condiment is pretty solid in execution, though it remains plenty spreadable and dippable when it comes to its actual consistency. As for flavor, you can taste the real cheddar and saltiness without the whole experience being too overwhelming. This cheese spreads easier than many pub cheeses, too, making it just about perfect to use as a dip. 

Whether you have a party coming up or you're just looking for another way to add more cheese to your diet, this sharp, savory, crowd-pleasing pub cheese will make all of your dipping dreams come true. And we don't say that lightly.

1. 5-Layer Dip

Topping the list of Trader Joe's most popular dips is the beloved 5-layer dip. We've already established that TJ's does a great job with guacamole, cheese, sour cream, and hummus, so a dip that contains all of those ingredients plus fresh salsa just has to be good. The real game-changer in this product that separates it from other 5-layer dips is the black bean hummus used instead of the more traditional refried beans. This adds an entirely new component of flavors that helps to break through the richness of the cheese and sour cream with a hearty edge.

TJ's really nailed the balance of flavors here. Really, the only bad thing about this 5-layer dip is how easy it is to eat the whole container in one sitting. So, if you're looking to impress, simply bring it to a party with a bag of tortilla chips and you'll be the star of the night. You'd better buy at least two containers though, or you'll be sad that you only managed to grab a bite or two before the dip is obliterated by hungry party-goers.