I Tried Some Of Trader Joe’s Fall Items To See What’s Actually Worth Buying
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I Tried Some Of Trader Joe’s Fall Items To See What’s Actually Worth Buying

Updated on Sep 29, 2020. Posted on Sep 29, 2020

Trader Joe’s: your one-stop shop to cozy fall cooking.

It’s finally fall, and boy, oh boy, is Trader Joe’s already on top of the season with their autumn-themed products. As someone who loves fall, TJ’s, and, well, eating, I decided to take one for the team and taste-test some of the most popular products so you know exactly what to buy — and skip — on your next grocery trip.


Kirby Beaton

The only good thing to roll out of 2020.

I made a list of what I wanted to try and naturally came home with a few things not on my list — oops.


Kirby Beaton

Not pictured: the pumpkin ravioli that I ate too quickly to photograph 🙃.

After a careful taste test, here are my thoughts in no particular order:

1.

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese


Kirby Beaton

I mean, it’s mac ‘n’ cheese, so it’s prettttttty hard to go wrong here. This one gets baked in the oven right in the packaging, so super easy. It’s extra creamy from the butternut squash, with just a touch of sweetness. Honestly, it was hard not to eat the whole thing. I do think it would benefit from something salty, like a bread crumb topping or crumbled bacon, for next time!

Rating: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃/🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

2.

Pepita Salsa and Fall Leaf Corn Tortilla Chips


Kirby Beaton

It’s kind of hard to resist festive chips and dip, right? These leaf-shaped tortilla chips are adorable but just taste like normal chips, so don’t expect anything too special. The salsa, however, which is made with pumpkin seeds, was deliciously creamy and the perfect amount of spicy — almost like a blend of pesto texture mixed with salsa flavor.

Rating: 🎃🎃🎃🎃/🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

3.

Non-Dairy Maple Oat Beverage


Kirby Beaton

Despite its kind of odd name, this maple-flavored oat milk was pretty good! It seems like the same formula as TJ’s regular oat milk (which I love), but with a subtly sweet hint of maple. I put it in my iced coffee and it was creamy, sweet, and overall pretty darn tasty. I do kind of think you could get the same effect with plain oat milk and a dash of maple syrup, but overall, you can’t go wrong with this!

Rating: 🎃🎃🎃/🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

4.

Creamy Toscano Cheese Dusted With Cinnamon


Kirby Beaton

Look, there are just some things cinnamon doesn’t belong on, and I think cheese is one of them. While this wasn’t inedible, I didn’t go back for a second bite. The cinnamon just felt too sweet and overpowering and didn’t pair well with any of the crackers I had. I’m a big fan of the Creamy Toscano Cheese Soaked in Syrah, so I think I’ll stick with that one for now!

Rating: 🎃/🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

5.

Cinnamon Bun Spread


Kirby Beaton

This delectable spread has the consistency of melty caramel and the taste of a warm cinnamon bun — what’s not to love? Fair warning: It is quite sweet, so if that’s not your thing, maybe steer clear. But when it’s spread onto a slice of toast and paired with a cup of coffee, I found this to be a delicious alternative to a freshly baked pastry. Now I want to try it on a cinnamon bun…🤔.

Rating: 🎃🎃🎃🎃/🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

6.

Pumpkin Ginger Hold the Cone!


Airbnb

I live in LA, where fall usually means 80-degree temperatures, so this ice cream is actually perfect. Sometimes pumpkin desserts can be a bit artificial tasting, but the addition of ginger in these helped mellow that out. Plus, they’re a great size for when you’re craving something sweet but don’t want a whole-ass dessert.

Rating: 🎃🎃🎃🎃/🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

7.

Maple & Sea Salt Kettle Corn


Kirby Beaton

I LOVE kettle corn — it’s the perfect blend of sweet and salty. TJ’s regular kettle corn is delicious, so I figured this seasonal one would be a step up. It’s a bit sweeter and has more of a thick candy coating, so it’s a bit crunchier, which I like. However, the maple flavor doesn’t come across as much as I would expect. Overall, still a great snack for any spooky movie marathon!

Rating: 🎃🎃🎃🎃/🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

8.

Rustic Apple Tarte


Kirby Beaton

This dessert is basically a topless apple pie, oh my. Baked in the oven, it’s super easy to make but looks pretty fancy, so it’s great for trying to impress someone. Taste-wise, it’s sweet and cinnamony, and I loved the addition of almonds for a little crunch. However, even with extra baking time, the middle still felt kind of mushy, which I didn’t love.

Rating: 🎃🎃🎃/🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

9.

Autumnal Harvest Soup


Kirby Beaton

I’m a huge tomato soup fan, so I really expected to love this soup. And look, the flavor was definitely there, with notes of sweet pumpkin and a creamy base (the kale was my addition), but my one qualm was the butternut squash. It was super undercooked and left the soup way too chunky for my taste. Next time I’d maybe put it through the blender before eating!

Rating: 🎃🎃/🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

10.

Honey Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli


Kirby Beaton

These little pockets of deliciousness are filled with a sweet and savory pumpkin-ricotta blend and just ooze fall flavor — probably why they’re around every single year! They are a tad on the sweet side from the natural flavors of the pumpkin, but paired with a simple sauce of browned butter and sage, they become a comforting meal you’ll be making all season long.

Rating: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃/🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

11.

Protein Maple Muffin


Kirby Beaton

Warning: Keep an eye on this guy in the microwave because he may or may not have exploded halfway through. I’m not really sure what the texture of this is supposed to be, but if they were aiming for wet, soggy muffin crumbs, then they got it exactly right. I would definitely pass on the sugar and get your protein elsewhere.

Rating: 🎃/🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

12.

Cookie Butter Beer


Kirby Beaton

Okay, so cookie butter isn’t necessarily just a ~fall~ flavor, but this item is brand new this season, so I had to try. I’ll admit I’m not the hugest beer fan, but I do love cookie butter, so I actually found this pretty tasty! It’s a fairly light beer, with a slightly sweet taste, and would low-key be amazing poured over some vanilla ice cream for a little boozy dessert.

Rating: 🎃🎃🎃🎃/🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

Did we miss any of your TJ’s fall favorites? Disagree with our ratings? Let us know in the comments below!

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