The 5 Trader Joe’s Products I Always Keep in My Pantry

If you are feeling uninspired by your usual grocery list, add these SideChef favs to your cart.

April 3, 2019

Hack Your Grocery List

Trader Joe’s is saturated with such great items. You might even find yourself experiencing decision paralysis. Too many options! Not enough meals in the week! After much trial and error, I’ve narrowed in on 5 glorious products that are always stuffed somewhere in my kitchen cabinets. These staples are versatile but still a bit unusual to keep things different throughout the week.

Israeli Couscous

Trust me, I love quinoa as much as the next gal, but there is something so special about this Israeli Couscous. The pearl shape provides a unique texture, perfect as a simple side dish, or as the star component of a main dish. I pretty much substitute pearl couscous for regular couscous in all recipes.

Use it with this recipe:

Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend

Alright, if you haven’t gotten your hands on this yet, you must be living under a rock (or out of the country!) This seasoning has quickly become a Trader Joe’s fan favorite, mixing up all the quintessentials like chunky sea salt, garlic flakes, and dried minced onion. Mix this into your favorite ragu recipe, flavor up your standard roasted veggies, or use a few shakes to top off your avocado toast.

Use it with this recipe (can sub out the shallot, garlic, and sesame seeds!):

Indian Fare

Trader Joe’s now offers a variety of pantry-safe instant Indian meals. These come in handy when you have unanticipated hanger or can be used as a quick and easy lunch. Warm it up in the microwave or on the stove and serve with rice. Add some protein and one packet is enough to feed two people. I bought a whole bunch of these to add to our earthquake emergency kit since everything is pre-cooked and has a long shelf life.

Use it with this recipe:

Nutritional Yeast

I’ll admit, the name is less than appealing. And it’s nickname “nooch” is certainly not any better. The wonders of nutritional yeast, however, will wow vegans and non-vegans alike. It’s cheesy flavor makes it a great replacement for cheddar and parmesan. Add this savory kick to popcorn, pasta, or even salads.

Use it with this recipe:

Disctinqt Tequila

The overwhelming selection of food items often leads to Trader Joe’s patrons missing out on one of the best parts of our favorite grocery store--the liquor aisle! While two buck chuck put Trader Joe’s alcohol on the map, I want to make sure all our SideChef-ers are aware of the incredible deals in the liquor aisle. As margarita lovers, we always keep a bottle of tequila on hand.

Use it with this recipe:

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