7 Fall Trader Joe's Products Every Customer Should Buy, According to Employees
Believe it or not, we're falling into autumn already. And any Trader Joe's devotee, knows that usually means one thing: Pumpkin-palooza. From Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce and Pumpkin Bisque to Pumpkin Spice Espresso Beans and Pumpkin Blondie Brownies, Joe and his crew members are particularly partial to this winter squash over most other fall flavors. So much so, in fact, that they dedicated nearly an entire episode of the Inside Trader Joe's podcast earlier this month to all things pumpkin.
If you've already pumped up your diet with enough pumpkin products or are looking to mix things up, you still have plenty of fantastic, fresh-for-fall options, employees say. They rounded up several for the brand-new Fall 2021 Fearless Flyer, and we can't wait to stock up on these cozy finds ASAP.
Spatchcocked Lemon Rosemary Chicken
$4.99 per pound
One of the many lessons we've learned from culinary queen Ina: Little is more classically comforting than a roast chicken. So as temperatures dip, we look forward to hitting the "easy" button with this semi-homemade spatchcocked (AKA butterflied) chicken that's brined in citrus juice then marinated in a mix of extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, garlic, rosemary, parsley and fresh lemon. Since this Spatchcocked Lemon Rosemary Chicken is already split and flattened, crew members say, "more of the bird's surface area that comes into contact with the heat source, the shorter cooking time. Shorter cooking time also means a moister bird and evenly crisp skin. We like to remove the lemon slices from the bird and place them in the pan—you still get all the lemon flavor, with the added benefit of evenly crisp, browned skin."
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
$2.99 per 12-ounce box
Yes, we know, this is still a squash selection, but we like to think of what butternut is to pumpkin as pears are to apples; the slightly less popular but equally versatile, nutritious and tasty autumnal produce pick. Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is a frozen product that indicates that fall is really here, and since it's only available in limited quantities (that thankfully increase every year!), these sell out fast. Crew members rave, "This is comfort food, with vegetables built right in!" It features mezzi rigatoni pasta tossed with Cheddar, Gouda and Parmesan cheeses plus a classic béchamel cream sauce, butternut squash purée and spices like nutmeg and sage.
$5.99 per 8.8-ounce package
Speaking of cheese, how does a blanket of ooey-gooey, melted raclette sound on a chilly fall evening? "Alpine communities within Switzerland and the Savoie region of France have been keenly aware of this fact for hundreds of years, going as far as to invent a whole new kind of cheese specifically for the purpose of melting and scraping onto steamed potatoes, sliced bread and crisp, briny cornichons," employees explain. The Raclette is silky, savory and sliced to be ready to broil for 3 to 5 minutes, then melt over veggies, apple slices, roasted potatoes or to showcase as the center of your next charcuterie board.
Sweet Cinnamon Filled Korean Pancakes
$3.99 each per 12.7-ounce box
"A delicious way to bring the sweet sensations of a Seoul street scene to your very own kitchen," crew members say, these Sweet Cinnamon Filled Korean Pancakes are a common street food available on chilly mornings in Korea's capital city. And while they can't beat authentic Korean pancakes, TJ's take make for a delightful brunch menu addition or dessert. Air-fry, microwave or toast 'em up in a skillet on your stovetop, and "once cooked, each pancake develops a marvelously toasty-brown exterior and a pleasantly gooey cinnamon-sugar interior, which plays exceptionally well off the dough's mochi-like chewiness," employees say. "We like them best when they're fresh and hot, sliced in half, and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in between."
Maple and Sea Salt Kettle Corn
$2.49 per 7-ounce bag
Maple isn't just great for showering over pancakes or flavoring doughnut frosting! Maple sugar, what remains after the water is boiled from sap harvested from maple trees, sweetens this trophy-worthy movie or tailgate snack. Maple and Sea Salt Kettle Corn is kettle-cooked and glazed in the aforementioned maple sugar, then seasoned with a hint of sea salt. "It makes a great seasonal snack mix when combined with Dry-Roasted Maple Almonds," employees say.
Fall Leaf Corn Tortilla Chips
$2.99 per 14-ounce bag
In other party-worthy snack idea news, Fall Leaf Corn Tortilla Chips are making their triumphant return to supermarket shelves just in time for football-viewing parties, neighborhood potlucks and chili bar dinners. (BTW, every single year, we can't stop, won't stop making Mom's Chili from the first day of fall until spring arrives.) The leaf-shaped corn chips get their naturally-vibrant hues from beet, carrot, and pumpkin powders.
Cinnamon Bun Cookies
$2.99 per 6.8-ounce box
If cinnamon is your favorite of all the pumpkin spices, then you'll want to add Cinnamon Bun Cookies to your next Trader Joe's shopping list. Two soft-baked cinnamon and brown sugar cookies sandwich a cinnamon-spiced cream filling for a brown bag lunch-appropriate treat that "immediately brings to mind the just-baked, melt-in-your-mouth sensation of a warm cinnamon bun," crew members rave. "It's a bit like getting the whole cinnamon bun experience in just two or three bites—without needing to make the trek to your local mall's food court.
This story originally appeared on eatingwell.com.