We rounded up the best Trader Joe’s Thanksgiving staples to complement your homemade turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce.
Trader Joe’s is one of those places I can easily rationalize Ina’s famous “store bought is fine.” Sometimes they hit the mark so hard on their pre-packaged goods, you can’t even tell it’s not homemade. (Shhhh, don’t tell my mom.)
TJ’s has a knack for champagne taste on a beer budget and who says you can’t utilize some of their easy go-to’s to make your snobby brother-in-law rave about your Thanksgiving spread? Yes, yes, you DID make all of this from scratch using Sur La Table recipes, how kind of him for noticing.
Related Reading: 11 Trader Joe’s Employee Picks for Fall
Now of course, we wouldn’t recommend doing a one stop shop here, because they may not have every single thing you need and certain produce or meat is always best when local. However, for the most part, they’ll have all of the specialty items and basic staples you could ever dream of. Here’s your cheat sheet for a deluxe Thanksgiving with half the effort—behold, our favorite Trader Joe’s Thanksgiving staples.
Whether you’re hosting a Macy’s Day Parade viewing brunch, or you just want these babies to fill out your dessert table, nobody can resist an apple cider doughnut. Our favorite thing about this item? Trader Joe’s partnered with a Massachusetts family bakery to ensure everyone’s favorite farm-stand specialty tastes local.
Related Reading: Sweet & Savory Apple Cider Recipes for Fall
These cute and refined looking little crackers are perfect to serve with dips and cheeses like the TJ’s cranberry chèvre (another favorite). A crouton-like crunch and the addition of soft figs makes these crackers feel like they came fresh from a bakery. You won’t find anything similar in the cracker aisle of your local grocery chain, so I always stock up. A must for any harvest cheese platter.
Somewhat akin to a sparkling mulled cider, this autumnal ginger brew is begging to be mixed with a jigger of bourbon. Fall-scow Mule, anyone? Okay, that was bad, but if you’re anything like me you’re always seeking the perfect fall cocktail recipe and this batched drink packs a flavorful punch, with none of the work. Serve over ice and garnish with a cinnamon stick and thinly sliced apples for a fragrant fall refreshment.
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I mean, you’ve gotta nosh on something while you’re doing all that cooking, right? After you’re done munching away your holiday stress, use the leftovers as a crunchy topper for that green bean casserole. And if nothing else, these flavorful chips make the perfect side for your leftovers sandwich midnight snack.
Trader Joe's Turkey and Stuffing Seasoned Kettle Chips, 2 for $16.60 on Amazon
No TJ's near you? You can buy these online too, but it'll cost you.
Let’s be real, salad is usually an afterthought for most Thanksgiving menus, but it’s certainly nice to offer your guests something green that isn’t swimming in oil and/or butter. Consisting of a colorful mix of arugula, baby spinach, lolla rosa, radicchio, frisée, butternut squash spirals, feta cheese, sweetened dried cranberries, candied almonds , and dressed with a white vinaigrette, TJ’s Leafy Greens salad looks and tastes like the epitome of fall produce.
If you’re one of those weirdos who is a diehard Stouffer’s fan like me, you might want to move on to the next item. However, if you’re looking to add a bit more seasonal flavor and take your stuffing up a notch without making it from scratch, even I recommend this mix. Cornbread is generally served alongside a holiday meal, but the bread’s grainy texture is the perfect companion to soak up the juices of a bird.
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Many families have a tradition of serving pumpkin soup in adorable pumpkin bowls before the main meal. That’s a sweet thought, but pumpkin soup takes a long time to make and you’ve already got like 800 other dishes going. Save yourself and get this jar of bisque instead. This take is a much creamier and more flavorful version of their previous pumpkin soup. Drizzle a little sour cream and fresh chives on top for extra pizazz.
Related Reading: 16 Delicious Things You Can Make From a Pumpkin
Pumpkin Bowl with Lid, $14.96 from Sur La Table
This seasonally-appropriate bowl is the perfect vessel for serving up pumpkin bisque and other festive fall foods.
Oftentimes, making gluten-free pastry from scratch can be expensive and requires a slew of ingredients. Anyone else ever spent hours scouring the grocery store aisles for xantham gum? Save yourself the stress. If pumpkin pie is your gluten-free niece’s favorite, this ready to bake pie crust shell is what’s up. Take it from a fellow member of the GF club, nobody will be able to tell the difference.
Related Reading: The Best Trader Joe’s Desserts for Thanksgiving
This cheesecake is a Trader Joe’s G.O.A.T. Even though Halloween is over by the time this holiday rolls around, this cheesecake is so good it feels like black magic. It looks and tastes like you just bought it off of the table at a farmer’s market, but it’s only $6.99. Serve with a dollop of homemade whipped cream if you really want to bewitch your guests.
Header image courtesy of Trader Joe's.