We’re coming down to the wire on Thanksgiving, and if you’re feeling stressed, don’t be afraid to employ some smart shortcuts. If you’re brave enough to fight through crowds, Trader Joe’s Thanksgiving treats are here to save the day, particularly when it comes to holiday desserts. They’ve got everything from classic hits (pumpkin pie!) to brand new options that will add some intrigue to your Thanksgiving dessert table (yes, we’re talking about those chocolate gnocchi).
stuffing, a heaping pile of mashed potatoes, and second rounds—okay, Though typically we eat ourselves into oblivion with extra scoops of third rounds—of turkey, we have to make room for dessert, too. Sweets are equally as satisfying and deserve some of the spotlight during the holiday. Luckily for hungry dinner goers everywhere, Trader Joe’s just so happens to take its dessert game to the next level.
So don’t overdo it with the first course because you’re going to want to have a little room in your belly (better grab those stretchy pants anyway). Have a look at the best Trader Joe’s desserts that need to make an appearance at your family get-together this year, including a brand-spanking-new arrival to the TJ’s freezer case. Trust us, your relatives will thank you.
And you’ll be thanking Trader Joe’s for making Turkey Day a little easier.
Obviously your Thanksgiving table calls for a little taste of pumpkin. This frozen cheesecake—which serves eight to 10 guests—catapults pumpkin desserts into a new category. Adding an easy chocolate hot fudge drizzle and sweet and spicy pecans atop the dessert are excellent finishing touches (and, of course, you can pick up both of those things at TJ’s too).
3 Tier Twist Fold Party Tray, $10.99 on Amazon
A great way to display all your Thanksgiving treats (and make store-bought look homemade).
There is also a traditional pumpkin pie for purists—but if you’re usually too stuffed to eat a whole slice, follow TJ’s lead and cut the pie into bite-size pieces, then dip one end in melted chocolate and toasted nuts for an elegant option. Or just chuck some pie in a blender with a few other ingredients and make a milkshake! (A great way to deal with leftovers.)
Amazon Fresh Grocery Delivery
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Maple Ginger Cookie Swirl Ice Cream
Sick of pumpkin? Maple syrup and ginger make a fine fall flavor combo, especially turned into creamy ice cream with a cookie swirl. It’s like two desserts in one. But it would also be great as a trio, topping off…pumpkin pie, of course.
Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Mix Pumpkin Bars
If you’re not at all sick of pumpkin, Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Mix can go beyond the loaf pan and transcend the muffin tin—their Pumpkin Bars recipe transforms the mix into more of a brownie or blondie-like dessert, with all the fall flavor you love. The sweetened sour cream glaze with vanilla and pumpkin spice should definitely not be skipped.
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Mix, 2 boxes for $16.55 on Amazon
Double up on the good stuff.
Related Reading: How to Take Boxed Cake Mix from Basic to Baller
Mini Cheesecake Cones
Only around for the holidays, these decadent little bites are made from crisp and delicate almond cookie cones stuffed with thick, velvety cheesecake filling perfectly balanced between sweet and tangy. All you need to do is take them out of the freezer 20 minutes before dessert time (and hoard as many boxes as possible, obviously). Drizzle with chocolate sauce and sprinkle with powdered sugar to make them even fancier.
The brand-new Trader Joe’s chocolate gnocchi currently taking the internet by storm are another nice option, though not as convenient since you need to heat them up before you serve. This Instagram post likens them to “warm mochi with a liquid chocolate center,” so it’s at least worth picking up a bag to treat yourself once all your guests are gone (especially if you send the leftover pie home with them).
Pistachio Cranberry Bites
Every so often on Thanksgiving you’re pained with the question of, “Should I eat more, or should I cool it?” For those in-between moments, snack on these Pistachio Cranberry Bites. They’re the perfect middle ground when you’re feeling overwhelmed from your meal but don’t want to forgo dessert, either.
Trader Joe's Pistachio Cranberry Bites, $13.81 on Amazon
Also available online, but at a premium.
Chocolate Pecan Pie Bar
This rectangular-shaped delight comes in a box that reads “Rich chocolate and pecans in a buttery, tart shell.” We think they meant buttery tart (this isn’t particularly tangy), but buttery is the operative word in any case. Do you need any more convincing after that? Okay, then back up to the chocolate—even classic desserts are better with a little cocoa. This fantastic find comes in a 15-ounce box.
Gingerbread Turkey Kit
Since Thanksgiving is the gateway to the holiday season, you might as well get the best of both worlds with a Gingerbread Turkey Kit. The turkey cookie comes equipped with icing and gummies so you can decorate your bird however you’d like. This is a must for tiny tots—a snack and an activity all in one.
Trader Joe's Gingerbread Turkey Kit, $26.94
Another one you can score online if you're willing to pay more than in-store.
Pumpkin Ginger Mini Ice Cream Cones
An autumn treat if ever there was one, these gingerbread cones come complete with pumpkin ice cream that’ll send you into a cinnamon and nutmeg coma. The sweet confectionary coating is the icing on the cone. One box includes eight treats. How many that serves depends on how big your Thanksgiving dinner is.
Related Reading: Our Favorite Trader Joe’s Frozen Food to Stock Up On
A Dozen Sweet Bites
This classic Trader Joe’s dessert offering is good for any occasion, but their petite size means they’re a great bet for following a historically overindulgent meal. Each flavor (Chocolate & Coffee, Raspberry Macaron, and Caramel & Chocolate Cake) is made up of pretty layers of pastry, fruit fillings, chocolate ganache, and/or cream.
Cheesecake in a Bite
That said, if you want something with a bit more seasonal flair in the flavor department, their mini cheesecake assortment is completely perfect: Maple Vanilla, Gingersnap Spice, and Peppermint bring plenty of autumn and winter flavor to the party.
Gone, but Not Forgotten
Here a few past favorites that we keep hoping to see back on store shelves.
Apple Cranberry Tart
Sometimes people might forget that apples were the original fall favorite fruit—the pumpkin just decided to steal the show. These tarts, which are available in a box of two, will make you fall in love with apples (and cranberries) all over again. A dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (obviously both) is highly encouraged.
Related Reading: This Easy Spiced Walnut Apple Crisp Is Perfect for Fall
Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Pixie Pie Mix
The sweet potato-marshmallow combination makes for a heavenly side dish, but when your favorite Thanksgiving food gets the dessert treatment, it’s out of this world. What’s even better is the fact that this will only take about a half an hour to make, so you’ll thankfully have stress-free prep. The 17-ounce boxes are a must for the holidays and won’t stick around for the whole year, so if you stock up during your next TJ’s outing, we certainly won’t judge (in fact, we’ll probably do the same—if we ever see them again).
Pumpkin and Roasted Pepitas Cookies
A five-ounce bag of these babies is kind of like a cross between a pumpkin potato chip and a pumpkin cookie—thin, crunchy, and packed with a taste of autumn. Again, we won’t judge if you decide to buy in bulk.
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Header image courtesy of Trader Joe's