Believe it or not, eating plant-based doesn’t mean that you must exclusively eat vegetables and nothing else. It just means that you mostly eat things derived from plants. It’s a lifestyle, not a diet. And there are tons of groceries to help you achieve all of your plant-based hopes and dreams — especially at Trader Joe’s.
After a recent trip to TJ’s to scout out plant-based offerings, I was amazed at just how many options they had. Here are the top 10 (okay, okay, plus a few more) to keep an eye out for and add to your cart the next time you go.
According to Kitchn’s resident vegetarian, Deputy Food Director, Grace Elkus, Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo is an absolute must-buy for those seeking a flavorful plant-based protein option. Even meat-eaters love this spicy Spanish “sausage,” which is seasoned with the same spices used in pork chorizo. Your breakfast burritos will never be the same.
Depending on your preference, Trader Joe’s carries a plant-based milk alternative for you. Seriously. You can choose between coconut, oat, soy, almond, cashew, macadamia nut, rice, almond, and hemp beverages — and those are just their shelf-stable options!
If you love crab cakes, but are trying out a more plant-based route, these frozen jackfruit cakes will fill the void. They have a crispy fried exterior, and the jackfruit-filled inside miraculously mimics the texture (and flavor) of a great crab cake.
4. Vegan Dips and Dressings
Plant-based folks don’t have to compromise when it comes to the dip selection at TJ’s. Kitchn editors couldn’t choose just one vegan dip because the store pretty much nails them all. You’ve got Vegan Kale, Cashew & Basil Pesto, Vegan Tzatziki, Vegan Caramelized Onion Dip, Creamy Cashew Fiesta Dip, and more.
4. Chicken-less Mandarin Orange Morsels
Leave it to TJ’s to make a meatless version of their most popular frozen offering — Mandarin Orange Chicken — that tastes spot-on for the real thing.
Amidst their vast cheese selection, Trader Joe’s also has plenty of shredded options for the dairy-free set including Almond Mozzarella Style Shreds, Dairy-Free Mozzarella Style Shreds, and Soy Cheese Blend. They also have slices too!
Remember those alt-milks in #2? Well, in addition to the shelf-stable options, TJ’s sells refrigerated plant-based milks and creamers. My personal favorite for my morning iced coffee? The Coconut & Almond Creamer.
As far as breakfast options go, the Creamy Almond Cultured Yogurt Alternative and Creamy Cashew Cultured Yogurt Alternatives are, well, excellent yogurt alternatives.
8. Frozen Riced Cauliflower
For a great veggie base for a whole lot of meals, Trader Joe’s Frozen Riced Cauliflower is pretty much a flavor shape-shifter. They also sell Spicy Mexican-Style Riced Cauliflower and Riced Cauliflower Bowls if you want someone else to do the work in the flavor department for you.
These tortilla-like wraps are actually very thinly sliced rounds of jicama. They have a slight crunch and are sold in the refrigerated aisle by the salad kits and veggie shortcuts. Get them when you see them because these are a fan favorite and often sell out.
And, last but not least, this wouldn’t be a plant-based list without steamed lentils! You can heat these pre-cooked lentils up and add them to salads, rice bowls, and even soups for a filling punch of protein and fiber.
What would you add to this list?