If you're lucky enough to have a Trader Joe's near you, you know that it offers great savings and delicious options. However, not everything fits into our whole food plant-based lifestyle. I've created a list for you so when you DO shop at Trader Joe's you can take it with you and save money, as well. Scroll down to see what Trader Joe's has to offer and then join my list and receive a printable option.
If you're wondering if eating processed foods is ok, be sure to check out my article, "Should You Eat Packaged Foods on a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet?" It also includes tips on reading labels which is an important skill to have when shopping at Trader Joe's. The short answer... is yes, but it depends.
Remember, Trader Joe's often phases out products and brings in new ones so don't be surprised if something is missing at your Trader Joe's. However, do let me know in the comments if you've found something I've missed. Your fellow plant-based friends will love to know what you've found!
It's easy to find fresh fruits and vegetables at Trader Joe's. Some, but not all are organic.
The only caveat is that they are often packaged in plastic.
Be sure to check the frozen aisle for fruits and vegetables as well, but look at the labels to make sure these don't have added ingredients you're trying to avoid. The list of frozen items is in the "Frozen & Refrigerated" section below.
Some are prepackaged and cut up and others are offered individually.
- Bell peppers
- Salad greens
- Brussels sprouts
- String beans
- Sometimes asparagus
- Plums and more
What other plant-based whole food options are there? Take a look at my list (below) and see what works for you. If you'd like a complete list to print for yourself, join my list and I'll send you a printable version (and my weekly newsletter with new articles and recipes once a week).
SUBSCRIBE TO MY WEEKLY NEWSLETTER and get your printable Trader Joe's Shopping List plus access to all of the freebies in my resource library.
Every Trader Joe's varies somewhat so you may not find everything at yours, but this will be a great start for you. I'll keep the list updated as new products come to my attention. If you have something that should be added to the list, let me know in the comments below. Make sure it's low salt, sugar and no oil.
Dry goods are super on a whole food plant-based diet and you'll certainly find a lot at Trader Joe's. Here's what you'll find...
- Chickpea flour
- Crackers (not usually low oil so check labels)
- Dried fruit
- Herbs and spices (21 Seasoning Salute is popular, Everything But the Bagel has salt)
- Nut butter
- Nuts and seeds (choose unsalted when possible)
- Nutritional yeast
- Whole grains like barley, bulgur, farro, couscous, cornmeal, brown rice, quinoa, and oats.
Dry Bean Choices
Beans and legumes are super for their gut-healthy fiber and high protein content. You can find some canned as well as dried at Trader Joe's. Choose low-sodium or no salt when buying canned if you have an option.
- Black beans
- Kidney beans
- Navy beans
- Pinto beans
- Cannellini beans
Other Pantry items
- Boxed low-sodium vegetable broth
- Jar Pasta, pasta sauce
- Canned tomato paste
- Tomato sauce (fat-free marinara)
- Canned tomatoes
- Chia and flaxseeds
- Canned green jackfruit
- Canned refried beans
- Soy Beverage (shelf-stable, made with soybeans and water and is the least expensive I've found coming in at under $2.00)
- Canned beans. You should be able to find low-sodium versions: black, cannellini, chickpeas, edamame, lentils, pinto
The most whole food option is the sprouted grain bread, but you'll find other whole-grain bread there, as well.
Pickles, sauerkraut, mustard, and ketchup.
- Date sugar
- Date syrup
- Coconut sugar
- Maple syrup
Frozen & Refrigerated
- Look for non-dairy milk such as almond, cashew, coconut, and hemp. They also have oat milk, pea, and rice. They carry a shelf-stable soy beverage that's not in the refrigerated section. This option is best because it's made with only soybeans and water.
- Then you'll also find frozen fruits: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, pineapple, peaches, mango, pomegranate seeds, and figs.
- Frozen vegetables & grains include corn, mushroom medley, cauliflower, cauliflower rice, basmati rice, broccoli, and green beans, pre-cut squash, hash browns.
- Tofu and tempeh
- Corn tortillas
- Super Eight pre-chopped veggies
- Shredded cabbage
- Fully Cooked Organic Quinoa (freezer section)
Here's where the fun begins. There are items that are pre-made and ready to eat which will speed up your time in the kitchen.
- Hummus, the eggplant hummus has tahini, but no oil
- Cashew Fiesta Dip
- Chipotle Black Bean Dip
- Tofu, fresh plain and flavored
- Non-dairy yogurt
- Korean Napa Cabbage Kimchi (can be salty)
- Raw sauerkraut
- Broccoli slaw
- Fully Cooked Organic Quinoa
- Hatch Vally Salsa
- Boxed Organic Split Pea Soup
What Have I Missed?
Well, there you have it, my list of items that you can purchase at Trader Joe's. Let me know if I've missed any items. I'm looking for no or very low oil, sugar and salt.
Want more of Plant-Based Cooking?
Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.
Their store is wonderful. Always find the most amazing and delicious food there.
The cashew fiesta queso is WFPB and oil free! In the refrigerated section.
Yep, thanks, Angela! 🙂
Thanks for this list. You did miss a component of one of my easy, quick late night dinners! It’s the (canned) Grecian style eggplant, tomatoes & onions. Although, you do need to use a slotted spoon to leave the excess oil behind~ It makes a wonderful light meal with their steamed lentils!
That sounds delish! Can’t wait to give it a try. 🙂
My Trader Joe’s has Pita Bread. It is perfect for sandwiches and I also use the Pita Bread to make chips.
Great to hear, thanks for letting us know.
I’ve tried this and it’s delicious. I eat it as a snack with crackers or bread. The dolmas are good too.
Thanks for the tip, Lucia!
I love monk fruit. I don’t see it mentioned on any of the whole food web sites I visit. Sweet as sugar & no aftertaste.
Yes, I have tried monk fruit and it’s good! Thanks for the tip. I’ll add it to the list. 🙂
I have found at trader joes Oat Milk or Coconut Milk Ice Cream treats via Ice Cream Sandwiches, mini Ice Cream Cones and Bon Bons. We also have found their Mexican Cauliflower Rice all in the freezer section. I also like their Coconut Milk Coffee Creamer, Butternut Squash Ravioli’s and Spinach with Cashew Ricotta Ravioli’s. I think the ravioli’s are plant based but I might have missed something, I know the rest are. =)
Thanks for the suggestions, Jeannie. There are quite a few vegan options at Trader Joe’s. The only thing is to watch for added oils, processed sugars, and high sodium if you’re trying to stay with healthier options.
Have you tried their Beefless Bulgogi (freezer section)? Not sure it’s as HEALTHY as some vegan options, but I haven’t eaten beef in years and it is delicious stir fried with Broccoli on a bed of brown rice.
I haven’t tried it. I tend to avoid some packaged items if they’re higher in sodium, fat, and sugar, but I love convenience as much as the next person and will try something occasionally! It sounds delicious and a great way to satisfy a beef craving. I just discovered a new plant-based meat from a company called Meati. It’s not everywhere yet, but they got a huge investment and will be expanding. We tried it, and it’s good. It’s made from mushroom mycelium and not the fruiting body, which is what we think of as mushrooms.