14 Pantry Staples You Should Buy At Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's is often viewed as an adult foodie theme park, cascading with necessary pantry staples, both evergreen and seasonal. Oftentimes, these items outmatch what lines the shelves at other chain supermarkets. So what's the glaring differentiator, you might ask? It comes down to Trader Joe's holistic value strategy that is simply unrivaled. Your standard Trader Joe's pantry products are usually bought directly from suppliers and bargained for the best possible prices. 

Translation: you save, big time. Costs are consciously kept low throughout the entire process. Also, these commodities are vetted to hit aggressive quality standards which aren't just set by a critical tasting panel, but by consumers as well. Trader Joe's won't blink an eye to nix items not briskly flying off the shelves. Plus, all Trader Joe's products are slapped with their own label and hit certain criteria markers — always free of artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, MSG, genetically modified ingredients, and artificial trans-fats. 

So, if you're in a pinch and need pantry staples promptly, you know where to go. Rest assured, you'll always find unparalleled value, taste, and quality. But with so many options, a few stand out above the rest. Here, you'll find our list of must-have pantry staples you should buy at Trader Joe's.

Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Whether you're frying up golden brown tater tots or whisking up a vinaigrette at home, everyone and their moms need olive oil in the pantry. It's just a day-to-day living essential. But with your eyes dialed in on the copious amounts of options, you might feel tempted to just snag basic canola oil to get on with your day. If you don't want to experience this cooking oil frenzy, then just take our word for it: Trader Joe's Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil is not only delicious, but uber affordable at around $7.49 per bottle.

"It's economical, tasty, and I love the pour spout that comes with it," noted Nom Nom Paleo. "Call me crazy, but I don't like sticking my thumb on the bottle opening (á la Jamie Oliver) when I'm drizzling olive oil on stuff." Needless to say, you must save a spot for this one on your grocery list.

Avocado Spray Oil

Calling all cooks: Trader Joe's Avocado Spray is a must-have to keep alongside your other cooking oils. Whether you're prepping muffin tins for Sunday brunch or firing up the grill for veggie skewers, this is a versatile cooking essential that will always come in handy. Per Trader Joe's, this spray is made with ripe, Mexican-grown avocados, containing zero fillers or added ingredients — it's as pure as it gets. It also has a higher smoke point (500 degrees), so you can feel comfortable cranking up the heat. Seems like a done and done deal? Well, it gets better. Trader Joe's employs bag-on-value (BOV) technology, creating a fluid, even spray, omitting chemical propellants — so it's environmentally-friendly too.

Unlike other oil sprays on the market, this one is relatively easy to use, emanating a light mist that won't overpower the flavors of your recipes. The scent is notably mild too. Coming in at $3.49, you shouldn't think twice about tossing good ole' Pam in the garbage.

Hearts of Palm Pasta

If you've scanned social media as of late, you'll know that the new gluten-free and vegan Hearts of Palm Pasta is all the rage and a pleasant change from the typical grain-filled, carb-loaded linguini. This pale stranded pasta incorporates sustainably harvested Ecuadorian hearts of palm. It can be added to a piping hot bowl of chicken "noodle" soup, lightly tossed in basil marinara, or transformed into spicy pad Thai.

According to EatingWell, picky eaters will still thoroughly enjoy this one, with the added benefit of bolstering veggie consumption and keeping calories and carbs low (the pasta is only 20 calories and 4 grams of carbs per serving). It's affordable too — only $2.99 for the 9 oz box.

If you want your Hearts of Palm Pasta to taste like the real thing, Trader Joe's List recommends a simple hack that is pretty easy to remember too. Before prepping the pasta, rinse thoroughly under cold water in a strainer. For optimal texture, sear in a pan with olive oil and garlic powder, then add your favorite toppings.

If you see this in stock, consider yourself lucky as it was revealed on a episode of the Trader Joe's podcast that it is the store's top selling pasta. Apparently Hearts of Palm Pasta is so popular with the masses that it's nearly impossible to keep on the shelves.

Miso Ginger Broth

Traditional miso soup naturally warms the soul almost instantaneously. While it's a staple of Japanese restaurants, Trader Joe's makes it easy to enjoy in the comfort of your home with their Miso Ginger Broth. It exudes a soothing flavor palette intertwining savory miso and spicy ginger with only a few other minimal ingredients: soy sauce, vegetable puree, shiitake powder, ginger juice, and salt.

Trader Joe's Grocery Reviews notes that it's priced at $2 for a quart, making it great value for a high-quality broth that acts as a flavorful base for miso soup. You can easily doctor it up with some chunky tofu slices, slivers of fresh green onion, dried seaweed or kale, and a splash of any spicy hot sauce you desire. Overall, this miso ginger broth packs a punch (at only  10 calories per serving!) and will definitely warm you up during the colder months.

Creamy Salted Peanut Butter

There is a reason Trader Joe's Creamy Salted Peanut Butter is a cult sensation. (The "crunchy" variety is a fan favorite too.) Made with only dry roasted peanuts sourced from Georgia and premium grade salt, it's as basic as it gets, but with an uncompromising taste. Also as a bonus, the oils don't separate in this jar like most peanut butters. According to Become Betty, it's a "true stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth" spread. It's an essential addition for all of your PB&J needs and a solid dipping agent for crispy celery sticks. Creamy salted peanut butter is also vegan, vegetarian, and dairy-free (via Trader Joe's Reviews).

"The best part though is the consistency," wrote a reviewer on Amazon. "It is more like peanut sauce than 'butter.' You can practically pour it out of the jar." If you're hoping to get extra nutty next time you stop in for pantry essentials, give this one a go.

Italian Style Soffritto Seasoning

If a seasoning goddess exists, she would be infinitely proud of Trader Joe's Italian Style Soffritto Seasoning, a harmonious blend of crispy onions, sun dried tomatoes, sea salt, garlic, red peppers, parsley, rosemary, and sage. It's an aromatic sensation that enhances any pasta dish, fresh bread or salad dressing, and certainly revs up your poultry marinade game.

"Look at this stuff. It's beautiful," exclaimed What's Good At Trader Joe's. "It looks very fancy and refined, what, with all the different rustic colors and flakes and crinkles all mixed up. That's just how it looks — but also, how it smells? Wow."

This seasoning also gets all the hype over at Reddit. User Sterlingrose93 wrote, "This is the seasoning blend for the start of pretty much any sauce or soup. I had it in the holiday kit last year and it was the first one I used up completely." Make this one a staple in your spice rack and you won't be sorry.

Organic Bourbon Barrel Aged Vermont Maple Syrup

This one here is a delectable pantry addition that will inspire you to swap out all of your overly sweet maple syrups stored away for weekend brunch. According to Trader Joe's, this syrup is aged in white oak barrels that were previously used to make bourbon. After the process is fully complete, you're left with a luxurious golden liquid amber. Of course, you can top this on your fluffy pancakes and waffles, but the realm of possibilities doesn't stop there. Just imagine drizzling this deliciousness on sweet vanilla bean ice cream — we just can't handle it!

Also the packaging is so eye-pleasing, you can gift it as a sweet token of love. According to Refinery29, this is one of the most popular holiday gifts Trader Joe's keeps on the shelves. Next time you're out of pancake or waffle drizzle, think about picking up this syrup with a distinct bourbon flair.

Ginger Turmeric Granola

Spicy, crunchy and heartwarming, this turmeric-spiced snack takes your average granola to a whole new, intoxicating level. Trader Joe's Ginger Turmeric Granola rolls up clusters of crunchy oats and mixes them with brown rice syrup. Layered into this is coconut and an abundance of seasonal spices like ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, and sea salt. Tiny bites of candied ginger pieces add additional layers of sweet and spice, making this the quintessential crunchy, yet chewy treat. If Ginger Turmeric Granola doesn't scream "best topping for yogurt parfaits," then we don't know what will.

"Both the ginger and the turmeric seem to be held in check by the earthy crunch of the rolled oats, and the respective sweetnesses of the brown rice syrup and coconut pieces balance it all out pretty well," noted What's Good at Trader Joe's? "The turmeric adds more of a warmth than a flavor punch as well."  For obvious reasons, this is the best Trader Joe's cereal, in our estimation.  

Amped Up Almonds

You might be thinking, "so what exactly constitutes an amped up almond?" Does it embody a big, bold taste? Tons of chocolate? Or perhaps a healthy dose of protein? Well, Trader Joe's Amped-Up Almonds checks all of those boxes. The nuts are exclusively U.S. grown almonds drenched in pure dark chocolate. Also, you'll be shocked to learn that there's 16 grams of pea protein in each bag and only 14 grams of sugar. If your mind is blown, so is ours.

According to Trader Joe's List, "These dark chocolate covered, protein infused almonds are my favorite everyday almonds. I eat them throughout the day — one or two here and there, sometimes more — and they satisfy my sweet tooth and my chocolate craving without a sugar high." 

If you don't eat the almonds straight from the bag, you can even toss them on yogurt or add them to trail mix to up-level your snacking game. Do yourself a favor and grab these now.

Sweet Potato Chips

If you're tired of the same mundane potato chip to dunk in over sensationalized dip, then these will Sweet Potato Chips from Trader Joe's will break up the monotony. Described by Dailywaffle as crispy, crunchy, salty, and naturally sweet, you might devour a whole bag within a blink of an eye. These are made with pure high-oleic sunflower oil and salt, lending to its distinct taste and texture. Some suggest crumbling on top of salads or even tossing into breading for chicken!

Per Dailywaffle, "I demolished the whole bag, no problem. They've got a nice crunch, they're not greasy at all. And I have to tell you, they're a LOT tastier than the Terra brand Sweet Potato Chips." Trader Joe's List echoed this statement, writing, "These are incredible and they're relatively healthy for a chip! Just sweet potatoes, oil and salt! They're a perfect snack, but also make a great side to salads, sandwiches, and so much more."  Grab a bag and live life a little.

Vegan Bolognese Style Pasta

When you think of Bolognese sauce, you might envision something ultra hearty, filled with chunks of meat, plump tomatoes, and infused with herbs and spices. It's a prime example of pure comfort food, and basically every carnivores' delight. But there's always been a wide, gaping hole here for vegans who seek out the same level of comfort food. Well, Trader Joe's has come to the rescue again with their decadent Vegan Bolognese Style Pasta Sauce, a definite pantry staple for pasta night. With one bite, you'll pick up small crumbles of pea protein, pepper, and tomatoes freshly imported right from Italy.

"This is $3.99 for 18 oz of sauce — easily enough dinner for two to four people," noted What's Good At Trader Joe's? "We ate ours atop some large spiral pasta and were pleasantly surprised."  

Anyone who is craving a rich Bolognese sauce that checks the vegan box will undoubtedly love this one.

Brown Rice Medley

Sometimes bland jasmine rice is exactly what the doctor ordered, but we think a medley is a bit more enticing. Enter Trader Joe's Brown Rice Medley — a simple blend that only needs a sprinkle of sea salt and a tad of butter. The ingredients consist of long grain parboiled brown rice, black barley, and daikon radish seeds. While the combination may seem unusual combination, it just works.

One reviewer on Trader Joe's Fan exclaimed, "LOVE this rice medley! I kick it up a bit by cooking in veggie broth. The taste, the texture (the daikon seeds offer a little, soft crunch) and the health benefits of all three: brown rice, black barley and daikon seeds — make this one of my new favorite side dishes." So if you find yourself at Trader Joe's in pursuit of rice to stock up your pantry, make a note to grab this popular medley.

Everything But the Bagel Seasoning

This might be the only Trader Joe's seasoning with a die-hard cult following — and for very valid reasons. Everything But the Bagel Seasoning is an absolute bagel topping essential, but its versatile tentacles reach much greater, mouthwatering depths. Many fans top this on chicken, pizza dough, mac and cheese — essentially anything that falls into the savory category.

Reviewer Sassy-Sparkles wrote on She Speaks, "This amazing jar of seasonings is incredible. I put it on my eggs in the morning, avocado toast for lunch, and on celery with cream cheese. It doesn't matter who you are or where you are from ... this is a must-have in EVERYONE'S houses!"

So what's exactly inside this jar of deliciousness? It's a rather straightforward blend of sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried garlic, onion, and sea salt flakes. The combination offers a texture that is exceptionally crunchy. Also, you'll be pleasantly surprised to know that this must-have seasoning won't break the bank. It's only $1.99 for a 2.3 ounce bottle, which is yet another reason this is a definite spice rack essential.

Italian Bomba Hot Pepper Sauce

If you're a heat fanatic, stop and run to Trader Joe's now. Italian Bomba Hot Pepper Sauce is everything you need and more with a reputation for being one of the hottest condiments on the chain's shelves. So what does this vibrant red sauce consist of? Well, the ingredient list includes sunflower and olive oils, dried basil, salt, and ascorbic and citric acids. But it's the addition of fermented crushed Calabrian chili peppers that might rattle your sweat glands. If you're looking to jazz up a non-spicy pasta sauce, just add a heaping tablespoon of this, and you'll be in great shape.

"TJ's Bomba is truly a premium gourmet offering," wrote Trader Joe's Rants & Raves. "Amazingly Trader Joe's sells this for $2.99 a jar, which is frankly incredible. I have found it sold out on occasion, as it's a big hit at TJ. So if you like it, next time grab an extra jar to keep in the pantry like I do (but just one, leave some for the next guy)." 

If you're ready to crank up the heat in the best way possible, throw this spicy jar of heaven in your cart and you won't live with regrets, we promise.