Every shopping trip at Trader Joe's almost feels like a treasure hunt for the most interesting and delicious food items. The chain sells classic groceries like fresh produce, chicken and laundry detergent, but it also keeps customers on their toes by frequently releasing unique spins on typical food items. Look no further than the Cheeseburger Burrito or its baked Pizza Bread Cheese.
Trader Joe's freezer section is no exception to this trend. In a recent thread on the Trader Joe's subreddit, one user asked for insight on the best frozen meals offered by the retailer, and fans quickly came to their aid with a range of interesting, tasty, and convenient suggestions.
Follow along to learn which frozen Trader Joe's foods customers are currently raving about.
Hatch Chile Mac & Cheese
Trader Joe's offers several types of frozen macaroni and cheese, but it appears to have struck gold with a variation that includes roasted Hatch chiles to bring some smoke and heat to the classic dish.
The Hatch Chile Mac & Cheese, priced at $2.99, appeared several times among Reddit suggestions for the best frozen Trader Joe's meals. One user, u/Particular-Choice896, wrote that the product "is something I always keep handy when I don't feel like cooking."
Though fried rice works as a side in many instances, Trader Joe's fans have found that some of the chain's offerings are good enough to serve as full meals. Multiple Reddit users specifically suggested the Japanese Style Fried Rice with edamame, tofu, and Hijiki seaweed. Another user, u/hollahalla, said they "love" the Korean-inspired Bulgogi Beef Fried Rice with kimchi, priced at $5.49. Other variations offered by the chain include Chicken Fried Rice and Spicy Thai Shrimp Fried Rice.
For nights when ordering takeout would be too time-consuming or expensive, Trader Joe's customers love the brand's frozen Butter Chicken and other Indian-inspired or curry-based meals. Though some Reddit users mentioned that the protein portions in this product are slightly lacking, this has yet to turn customers away from the product.
"They definitely are stingy with the amount of chicken they give you but it's still so good," u/Neontiger_98 wrote.
The Butter Chicken conveniently comes with a side of Basmati rice and heats up in the oven in less than a half hour. To elevate this meal even more, some Reddit users suggested pairing it with Trader Joe's Garlic Naan.
Trader Joe's tamales also made several appearances in the Reddit thread. And luckily for customers, the chain has been known to offer different varieties, though availability may depend on the store. Reddit users suggested the Cheese & Green Chile Tamales, Beef Tamales and even a pulled pork variety that, unlike the others, comes refrigerated instead of frozen.
Mandarin Orange Chicken
Since it was introduced in 2004, Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken has become one of the most beloved staples at the chain. In fact, it earned itself a spot in the Trader Joe's Product Hall of Fame after several consecutive wins in the company's Annual Customer Choice Awards.
So while this product's popularity is nothing new, it should come as no surprise that Reddit users continue to rave about the $4.99 Mandarin Orange Chicken today.
According to u/ali-lamberson, the chicken is "super easy to make and when served with rice, it can make easily 3 meals. Another user, u/daylightcinema, said that the orange chicken paired with broccoli and vegetable fried rice was a "go-to."