28 Best Trader Joe's Snacks, Ranked

That Trader Joe fellow sure knows how to barter. Every aisle of the beloved grocery store seems to contain new surprises with each return visit. Sometimes the unfamiliar items on offer are more seasonally focused. But Trader Joe's is also intent on introducing new edible delights to its loyal consumers — and if they gain enough traction, they can be found year-round.

We would argue that the most tempting selections from Trader Joe's are the snacks. There are plenty of exciting and intriguing finds in the refrigerator and frozen sections of the store along with oodles of shelf-stable pantry items. There's something for everyone whether you're into chips and dips, fun candies, dried fruits, crispy crackers, or savory nuts. Any visit to Trader Joe's has a bevy of bite-sized morsels that you can graze on while you're flying solo, or sharing with a wider group during a festive gathering.

We selected the snacks in this list based on our own reviews as well as those posted by other customers online. When ranking them, we took into account the flavor and physical characteristics, as well as whether the snack was a good value for the money. Further details on our methodology can be found at the end of the article. Until then, let's jump into Trader Joe's best snacks.

28. Peanut Butter & Jelly Frooze Balls

Here's a portable snack that's worth packing for a hike, a road trip, or stuffing into the gym bag for a protein-filled energy boost before or after your workout. And that's especially true if you are sticking to a vegetarian diet because its peanut butter and jelly contents are plant-based.

This New Zealand-based product is not a Trader Joe's brand, though you will find it at many of its locations. But as for an everyday snack, we would pass on a repeat buy of this particular item. We found the overall texture to be unpleasantly gummy and overly dry. The flavors didn't really overcome these issues, unfortunately.

27. Buffalo Style Chicken Dip

While we're absolutely not averse to the spicy, tangy, vinegary elements of Buffalo sauce, sadly Trader Joe's Buffalo Style Chicken Dip was one of our least favorite snack items. It just tasted like a tray of Buffalo wings were put into a blender and pulverized.

We expected hearty chunks of cooked chicken breast, but the meat was more like soft, limp shreds. Some primary ingredients are cream cheese, sour cream, followed lastly by Monterey Jack cheese — and they rather dominated the dip. That recipe alone may turn certain palates off, but it's also not a great idea as a snack for those who are lactose intolerant.

26. Guajillo Salsa

While Trader Joe's Guajillo Salsa is conveniently shelf stable (until it's opened), the fresh salsa options in the refrigerated section of the store are more often than not going to be superior. The smokiness of the guajillo and chipotle peppers are certainly there, and those spices linger on the palate, but we considered it to be much too forward with its tomato flavors.

We just felt that the silky smooth texture was overly pureed and nearly into the soup category. It could very well make a solid grilled cheese dip — and quesadillas would be our preference. It would absolutely be excellent to top over enchiladas or burritos, or try it as a drizzle over eggs. But as for a snack, we're not so sure — so it's getting a lower ranking.

25. Dark Chocolate Drizzled Plantain Chips

As tempting as it might be to reach for a bag of Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Drizzled Plantain Chips, we have a few reasons to walk further down the aisle and seek a different snack. By design, these chips are only coated with dark chocolate on one side. But far too many chips in the package that we opened barely had any chocolate drizzle at all. 

Bottom line, it's hard to really make a case for why this pairing might actually work well. We found that the plantains were actually the dominant flavor with dark chocolate and sea salt taking the backseat. We'd advise you to save yourself a dollar and stick with the regular plantain chips offered by Trader Joe's.

24. Chewy Chocolate & Peanut Butter Protein Bars

Trader Joe's Chewy Chocolate & Peanut Butter Protein Bars do deliver on the promise of protein. A nice portion of 10 grams is found in each bar, which is 15% of your daily recommended value. Of course, because it contains chocolate and peanut butter, there's going to be added sugar which offsets some of the health benefits.

Taste-wise, we found them to be just a touch too salty. There are also not quite enough nuts or seeds in our opinion. It's not super chewy despite its name — we found it to actually be more on the crispy side. It's certainly tasty enough but doesn't really revolutionize the protein bar concept, so we can't give it one of our higher rankings.

23. Chile Spiced Pineapple

In terms of visual appeal alone, Chile Spiced Pineapple isn't the most appetizing snack that Trader Joe's has to offer. But while they look like tough pieces of jerky, their texture is surprisingly soft and chewy. We were also fans of the sweetness of the pineapple coming through at the end of each bite.

Ultimately, these fruit rings are overwhelmed by a heavy smoky spice blend. They could be helped with less paprika and cayenne. We'd make the case that it could work very well as an inspired garnish in certain tiki cocktails, but it's definitely not our top choice as a snack item.

22. Oven-Baked Cheese Bites

Oven-Baked Cheese Bites from Trader Joe's send you on quite the roller coaster ride. The cheesiness doesn't hit you immediately, but then it comes on rather strong, and it lingers on the palate. To its credit, this Italian import is gluten-free and packed with protein — a whopping 13 grams in half the package.

The unfortunate drawback with this particular Trader Joe's snack is that it's sold at a rather high price point — $2.99 for an incredibly small package at just a little bit over 2 ounces. To extend its mileage, we think it might work very well if paired with a topping such as avocado, or Trader Joe's bruschetta sauce.

21. World's Puffiest White Cheddar Corn Puffs

We're ranking these corn puffs mid-tier on the snack list because they've long been a familiar sight around Trader Joe's, and frankly, they're just not as eye-grabbing as some of the newer, more exciting entries on the shelves. To us, they're also a bit more corn than white cheddar in the flavor department when compared to rival products.

But we will concede that these puffs have stuck around for a reason — with their gentle cheesiness and soft crunch, they're broadly appealing both in terms of taste and texture and are not going to offend picky palates. It's also hard to quibble about the price — $2.49 scores you a hefty 7-ounce bag.

20. Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips — Chile & Lime Flavored

Spun from stone-ground masa before they hit the fryer, Trader Joe's Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips are then heavily — and we mean heavily — seasoned. The bag might merit a warning label because the flavors could be too intense for some, so they're not getting the highest of marks from us.

There's just nothing subtle about them. The acidity from the concentrated lime juice really comes through. And, they're certainly spicy. There's also the visual appeal of that bright orange that comes courtesy of paprika and turmeric as part of the seasoning. The general feeling from us is that they're trying a bit too hard, but we wouldn't pass up pairing them with a flight of tequila.

19. Organic Elote Corn Chip Dippers

With their curly shape, you're darn right these are dippers. You almost don't even need a dip at all, though, because they're good enough on their own merits.

The packaging features a bowl of guacamole and we would agree that's a great approach. No need to overwhelm these elote-inspired corn chips with even more flavor because they're already packed with it. Before you even take a bite, you're hit with sweet corn aromas. We place it a little lower on the list because while they're not overly fiery, there's some heat with the inclusion of powdered chipotle and habanero peppers. So whether you love spice or loathe spice, they're neither here nor there. Maybe go with the regular Organic Corn Chip Dippers if you want a plainer option.

18. Trail Mix Crackers

In terms of presentation, the Trail Mix Crackers from Trader Joe's look quite appealing. We found that most of the individual crackers in the package delivered with the promised ingredients on the label (except for cashews, which we couldn't find in every bite). 

We're not ranking it quite so high because, despite the well-balanced flavors of nuttiness, sweetness, and saltiness, there's just not much within this package at less than 5 ounces for $2.49. And while we enjoyed their crispy crunch, we question their sturdiness on an actual outdoor trail hike — they are a bit thin and susceptible to breaking. If served as an appetizer at home, one bag would be enough to add to a cheese board for a small gathering, and we found that they paired very well with Brie.

17. Plantain Chips

The Plantain Chips sold by Trader Joe's are a no-fuss, no-muss affair. Three simple ingredients are listed on the package — plantains, sunflower oil, and salt.

Despite their close genetic connection and visual similarity to bananas, plantains are starchier and not particularly sweet. In the case of Trader Joe's chips, they're not overly salty and we would argue they don't even need a dip. They're pretty good on their own. And for the price of $1.99, they're a decent deal — and unlike other chips out there, this isn't an airbag situation. We found that ours was pretty much filled to the top, so that earns it extra points. 

16. Super Seedy Cheese Snack Bites

There are many things people don't know about Trader Joe's products. However, one thing nearly all customers do know is that Trader Joe's Super Seedy Cheese Snack Bites are a delightfully moreish, crisp, oven-based snack. The snack is made from a base of parmesan cheese that's blended with a host of seeds and grains. Suitable for dipping and eating on their own, these bites are one of Trader Joe's most versatile snack foods.

There are two reasons that Trader Joe's Super Seedy Cheese Snack Bites don't rank higher on our list. The first is that, at $3.49, they are more expensive than several other snacks on this list. Second, and more important, is the presence of whole peppercorns in the snack bites. While adding flavor and a bit of spice, these whole peppercorns prove overwhelming for some Trader Joe's customers.

15. Grainless Granola

Trader Joe's Grainless Granola is a vegan and gluten-free snack blend that's chock full of almond nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and coconut flakes. Because of the nuts and seeds, there's a high amount of saturated fat — 55% of the daily recommended dose in a serving — but that's balanced out by 9 grams of protein.

When it comes to taste, the only knock we have against Grainless Granola is that it's perhaps a touch too salty. For texture, adding chunks of dried fruit would help provide another layer and make it an even sweeter mid-day snack. And when it's breakfast time, adding fresh fruit or vegan yogurts to this would make for an excellent vegan start to the day.

14. Dried & Pitted Deglet Noor Dates

We're happy to give a solid ranking to the quality dates that Trader Joe's serves up with its organic Deglet Noors. They're quite plump and nicely sized, and they're not cloyingly sweet. There's a decent amount of chew. The skin is a little bit crisp and can produce some sharp edges where the date has perhaps seen a bit more sun.

Since these dates are pitted, you can make an even bigger meal out of your snack. Try your hand at making a date smoothie. Or, stuff them with cheese like salty Manchego or creamy ricotta. And of course, you can't forget about the option to wrap them in bacon for an oven-baked treat that also works well as a crowd-pleasing appetizer.

13. Soft & Juicy Mango

If you're feeling like you need a sugar boost when it comes to a snack, look no further than Trader Joe's Soft & Juicy Mango. This 6-ounce bag of dried mangoes imported from Thailand goes for $2.29, and we would argue that's a reasonable price.

But, as if the fruit itself wasn't sweet enough, there's added sugar. Despite the core ingredient being fruit, the sugar content is not a health benefit, and we rank this snack lower because there unfortunately isn't much to offer in terms of nutritional vitamins and minerals. A three-piece serving has a shocking 21 grams of sugar.

12. Soft Strawberry Licorice Twists

Unlike some of its licorice competitors — especially the name brand giants — Trader Joe's is swinging a pretty heavy stick. While Trader Joe's offers its twists in the classic black licorice flavor, that can be a bit polarizing. Our sweet tooth gravitates more towards the Soft Strawberry Licorice Twists that Trader Joe's has sourced from New Zealand, and we're giving it a higher ranking for a few reasons.

Compared to other licorice products on the market, even though they're a bit on the waxy side, there's still a lot of flavor. The strawberry notes come off as natural, not created in a lab, and not overly sweet. The sticks are also not hollow, and dense in quite a positive way.

11. Buffalo Style Seasoned Almonds

We are in broad agreement that these almonds do indeed immediately take you to Buffalo, New York. You're instantly hit with that signature spicy tang. That does dissipate and mellow out a bit once you're crunching on the mellow nuttiness of the almonds at the core, but overall, we found this to be a very solid marriage of textures and potent flavors.

Trader Joe's Buffalo Style Seasoned Almonds are also a great value at $3.99 for 8 ounces of protein-packed nuts. And this is an especially convenient item to have in the pantry if you're a major fan of Buffalo wings but don't want to go to the trouble of making them yourself, ordering in, or dining out.

10. Everything and the Elote Greek Style Yogurt Dip

There's certainly a lot going on with Trader Joe's Everything and the Elote Greek Style Yogurt Dip. The "everything" in the title is rather apt, but it all coalesces together quite nicely — and we're happy to have it in the upper ranks.

For fans of the popular Everything But the Elote seasoning blend that Trader Joe's offers, this is a spin-off you're definitely going to want to sample — especially if you're a fan of sour cream and onion dip because it has the same tangy zing. Parmesan cheese gives it a hint of umami. The corn adds subtle sweetness, and you'll find a bountiful harvest of kernels with each scoop. We recommend letting it shine on its own and avoiding heavily seasoned chips that might clash.

9. Jerk-Style Plantain Chips

The third plantain-based snack featured in our list is Trader Joe's Jerk-Style Plantain Crisps. This snack boasts both a moreish, crisp texture and excellent flavor. Each chip is generously coated with a jerk seasoning that contains many spices including allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The chips also contain a hit of chili, providing this snack with a nice level of spice.

As many customers note, this seasoning is something special. A review on Reddit reads: "They're delicious! Didn't think I'd be a fan because I don't like plantain chips but the seasoning is so good I don't mind."

Priced at $1.99, Trader Joe's Jerk-Style Plantain Chips cost exactly the same as Trader Joe's Plantain Chips. This means that customers get a whole load of extra flavor without spending a cent more. As such, we'd more than recommend adding this snack to your weekly shop. After that, the only thing left to do is hope that Jerk-Style Plantain Crisps never join the list of Trader Joe's discontinued products that shoppers miss the most.

8. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

These Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups from Trader Joe's are appropriately shaped like a crown. Going on flavors alone, they deserve a spot in the royal court of top snacks from the grocer — and our advice is that they taste even better when they're served chilled.

Unfortunately, we can't award them the top spot as king of all Trader Joe's snacks. There has been a class action investigation into the contents of Trader Joe's dark chocolate products due to purported high levels of lead and other heavy metals. While one cup here or there probably won't do much damage, making these treats part of your daily routine is probably not wise until the dust settles on this case.

7. Crunchy Chili Onion Peanuts

Snack nuts tend to have a rather thick and overzealous amount of coating. In comparison, Trader Joe's Crunchy Chili Onion Peanuts appear to be way under-seasoned. But don't let appearances fool you.

This peanut snack seems innocent at first glance, and even at first bite. But after about five seconds, these roasted peanuts really come through with a pungent hit of the dried pepper seasoning blend. The gentle flavor of the legume is there to calm things down,  and then you're ready for another handful. The best part about this snack, and why we rank it highly, is that the seasoning doesn't overpower the underlying ingredient and allows it to shine.

6. Perfectly Pickled Pups

Trader Joe's loves an innovative pickled snack and Perfectly Pickled Pups are perhaps the brand's most daring one yet. The pups feature small, uncured beef frankfurters that have been coated in a light and crisp dill pickle flavored batter. Although not actually pickled, this snack boasts plenty of pickle flavor, is delightfully salty, and presents great textural contrast thanks to the bouncy frankfurter and the crisp batter coating.

Given these characteristics, it's not hard to see why Trader Joe's customers have been raving about the snack. One person wrote on Reddit: "Amazing. Tastes exactly like you'd expect. Hot dog with some dill pickle flavor. Crispy crumby crust. Less 'doughy' than a corn dog because the breading isn't as thick. Nice balance of hotdog and dill flavor." With reviews such as these, Trader Joe's Perfectly Pickled Pups have more than earned themselves a spot in our top five.

5. Chips in a Pickle

We have great news for fans of dill pickles and potato chips who are in the mood for a snack and want the best of both worlds: You can find it all in a bag from Trader Joe's. We rank them quite high on the list of Trader Joe's snacks because we've seen those a bit averse to pickles going back for repeat bites. 

The aroma of dill hits you immediately when you open the bag. And then you see that these are quality chips — the potato skins are visible, and they're thick cut — so, you're not stuck with tons of crumbles at the bottom of the bag. They're seasoned with just the right amount of salt, dried herb, and a sharp vinegar flavor that might make your mouth pucker a bit, but also have you coming back for more.

4. Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets

As the name suggests, Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets combine two of the US' most beloved snacking foods. These nuggets sell so quickly that they have customers wondering how often Trader Joe's restocks its shelves. This is for good reason, the snacks are stuffed full of smooth peanut butter and covered with coarse salt.

While many people will be initially drawn to the pretzel itself, this snack's main appeal is found in the peanut butter's flavor. The filling is rich, smooth, and undeniably delicious. It's not just taste where this snack excels either; customers often celebrate the pretzel nugget's size and ease with which they can be eaten too. Because of this, many people like to eat Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets on the go. At $2.49 per 16-ounce bag we can't blame them; these pretzel nuggets are an absolute steal.

3. Mini Hold the Cone! Ice Cream Cones

Beyond the cute name, we loved these mini ice cream cones. The coffee flavor was rich and bold, but if java isn't your favorite, be aware that Trader Joe's also offers them in chocolate chip in addition to a vegan chocolate option.

Owing to their compact size, they don't require any time to defrost — unlike a pint of ice cream. This handheld dessert is ready to go the second you grab them from the freezer and immediately have a soft, cool gentle bite. And assuming you don't waste too much time before taking that first chomp, there's no melt and they don't create a mess — much like Mr. Owl from the Tootsie Roll Pops commercials of old, you'll probably finish this top-tier snack in three bites.

2. Zhoug Sauce

Zhoug Sauce from Trader Joe's was one of our favorite snack options by leaps and bounds. The grocer's take on this Middle Eastern sauce has incredibly vibrant flavors and an appetizing verdant hue. As far as flavor, it's similar to chimichurri, and it has an especially herbaceous and spicy punch given that cilantro and jalapeño are prominent ingredients.

This works well as a snack dip — and Trader Joe's has you covered with fresh pita as well as pita chips and naan crackers. You could also pair it with a platter of crudites. But it has plenty of uses beyond that. We would recommend trying it as a seasoning rub for meaty entrees or serving it as a condiment on the side. It's also great as a spread for sandwiches and wraps.

1. Gone Bananas!

Trader Joe's has Gone Bananas! We're not trying to be insulting. That's an actual snack in the store's frozen aisle. They're slices of bananas grown in Thailand that have been coated in Belgian dark chocolate and you serve them ice cold.

This was our favorite Trader Joe's snack by far. Before you try them, there's some trepidation that the bananas will be tough and dehydrated from freezer burn. But, we found them surprisingly soft to the bite. The chocolate was snappily crunchy and the fruit coins were generously coated with it. This is a great mini treat for anyone who is only looking for just a morsel or two to satisfy a sugar craving.


We included snacks based on a mixture of personal and customer reviews. Both of these focused on the physical characteristics of the snacks evaluating their flavor, texture, and aroma. When it came to ranking the snacks, more flavorful, textural engaging, and enticing smelling snacks performed best. We also took into account the snack's price. Those that presented good value for money were ranked above those that did not.