Trader Joe’s Fall Foods: Hits and Misses

Last year, I reviewed a bunch of fall items at Trader Joe’s, and it ended up being one of my most popular posts the entire season! I wanted to do the same thing this year, but try out some new items that I haven’t reviewed before. I accidentally went a little crazy in Trader Joe’s… I don’t know if a lot of these items were brand new to the shelves, but I couldn’t resist grabbing a ton of them to try. We ended up testing more than 15 items… and there were a lot of wins! Hopefully you can find something that piques your interest, too. 😉 So let’s get started!

Hits

Pumpkin Butter

This pumpkin butter is delicious! It contains a lot of sugar, so I try to use only a small amount at a time. The good news is that there’s a lot of flavor packed into a small amount. I have two favorite ways to eat it: the first is to add a spoonful to plain Greek yogurt and top it with apple slices and granola – it tastes like fall in a bowl. Secondly, spoon a little bit over some cream cheese on a freshly toasted bagel for a delicious treat. 😛

Fall Leaf Corn Tortilla Chips paired with Fall Harvest Salsa

I loooove this pairing as an afternoon snack! The tortilla chips taste like normal tortilla chips, but they are cut out in the shape of fall leaves, which makes them so much fun to eat. If you have kids, I’m sure they would love these! The real winner here is the Fall Harvest Salsa, though. This salsa has great, real ingredients you can pronounce like pumpkin, tomatoes, onions, apples, butternut squash and bell peppers. It’s a little fruitier than your typical tomato-based salsa, but I really love the sweet autumnal taste of it. Beware: it’s pretty addicting!

Pumpkin Ravioli

I was surprised to find that I absolutely loved this Pumpkin Ravioli. I’ve had other ravioli from Trader Joe’s that I wasn’t crazy for, so I wasn’t sure how these would turn out. But wow! They were amazing. They’re filled with a creamy mix of pumpkin and ricotta cheese… it is quite dense and the texture almost felt meaty to me. The pumpkin is sweetened with honey and brown sugar, and all of the flavors meld together into the perfect fall dish. We topped these off with a little of the Autumnal Harvest Creamy Pasta Sauce for a satisfying, delicious lunch. Even my husband, who is not a pumpkin fan, loved these as well.

Pumpkin Butternut Squash Bisque

This is a soup in the refrigerated section of Trader Joe’s (I found it near the salads). I LOVED this soup! It tasted incredibly fresh and flavorful, and I could taste both hints of pumpkin and butternut squash, without either being too overwhelming. It has really good ingredients and only 100 calories per cup. The next time I go to Trader Joe’s, I plan to stock up on this soup, as I love having it for lunch!

Pumpkin Spice Pretzel Thins

Have you ever thought that a food item was so good that you actually wouldn’t buy it again? Because you lose all self-control around that said food item? These Pumpkin Spice Pretzel Thins are that food item for me. The saltiness of the pretzel combined with the sweetness of the yogurt covering is absolutely addicting. There is a slight hint of pumpkin spice flavoring, but it’s not super overwhelming. The serving size is only five pretzels (for 150 calories), but it was almost impossible to stop at five every time, so I ended up eating the entire bag in just a couple of days. And for that reason, I probably wouldn’t buy them again, even though I really, really loved them! If you have some strong self-restraint, then definitely buy these. I mean, either way, you won’t be sorry – they taste amazing!

Pumpkin Rolls with Pumpkin Spice icing

Okay this one is a repeat from last year 🙂 But we just loved them so much last year, we had to get them again! I made them recently on a Saturday morning (that also happened to be a Clemson game day). I love these because both my husband and I agree that they’re amazing – and Chris doesn’t really like sweets! The pumpkin flavor of these is not too overwhelming, and they make our whole house smell good. If you don’t eat them all, they’re easy to store in the fridge and re-heat in the microwave whenever you’re craving one. I wish I had picked up two or three packages of them!

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread Baking Mix

This is another favorite from last year! We went over to our friends’ house to watch the Clemson game and I wanted to bring a gluten-free treat (my friend is gluten-free). This was the perfect item to bring… everyone loved it, but there was still some left over so I was able to bring it home and enjoy it for breakfast over the next several mornings. The bread is easy to make and tastes great by itself, but I like adding mix-ins or toppings to make it taste even more homemade. Instead of adding chocolate chips this year, I decided to make a brown sugar oatmeal topping, and the combination was AMAZING! Here’s the exact recipe I used: combine 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 Tbsp melted butter, 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. Sprinkle it on top of your unbaked bread or muffins and bake like usual.

Misses

Halloween Joe Joe’s Cookies

I tried these last year and really enjoyed them, but after tasting them again this year, I have to move them over to this category! They are really not THAT bad, but I wouldn’t buy them again. I tried a couple this year and they tasted overwhelmingly artificial to me. I’m not sure if they’ve changed the ingredients, or maybe my taste buds are more picky! I’m not sure why they tasted so artificial, but I think it’s likely due to the orange dye in the vanilla bean cream filling… I’m not sure. Either way, I ate one and then had to throw the entire box away.

Hold the Cone Ice Cream Cones in the Pumpkin Ginger

If you guys follow me on Instagram at all, then you probably already know that I LOVE the vanilla Hold the Cone ice cream cones from Trader Joe’s. I have been pretty addicted to them during pregnancy, and I usually always have a box in my freezer for when the craving hits. I was super excited to try to the pumpkin ginger flavor, as so many people rave about them! However, I HATED these! You know those really strong smelling pumpkin candles from Bath and Body Works? Now, imagine biting into one of those. It had a waxy, artificial taste that I could only equate to eating a Bath and Body Works Candle. Weird, I know. I think I’m in the minority here, but I really did not like them! I did not even finish the ice cream cone before I tossed it, and the box, away in the trash.

Organic Pumpkin Spice Granola Bark

I didn’t hate this one at all, but I’m listing it as a “miss” because I wouldn’t buy it again! While I appreciate that it’s organic, these were nothing special. I couldn’t really taste the pumpkin spice element at all, and they were so hard to bite into that they hurt my front teeth! They tasted okay, but if I’m going to splurge on some chocolate, I want it to be delicious, indulgent chocolate… not these lackluster granola bites.

What are your favorite Trader Joe’s fall foods?! Let us know in the comments!

Leave a Comment

23 Comments

  1. Kala

    I wasn’t too crazy about the Halloween Joe Joes either but I found they were much better after I stuck them in the fridge! I am addicted to the Maple Sea Salt kettle corn 😍 my other faves were the Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese and the Autumnal pasta sauce. I have the pumpkin ravioli to try in my fridge and the soup sounds good too!

    10.1.20Reply
  2. Ashley

    Cant wait to try the soup! Thanks for the rec! But, this is only eleven items. Where are the other 4 you tried?

    10.1.20Reply
    • The other items were just “okay” and I thought the blog post was getting too long so I left them out! If you guys want me to add them I can though!

      10.1.20Reply
  3. Maureen

    I wonder if you didn’t like the Halloween Joe-Joe’s because you’re pregnant! I know women who say they hate a certain food but when pregnant they are obsessed with it and think it tastes great.

    10.1.20Reply
  4. Lindsey

    In regards to the Joe Joe cookies, your taste buds definitely change when you’re pregnant! I could taste anything artificial in food or drinks and I’m not even one to really care about it lol. I guess it’s your body’s way of protecting itself.

    10.1.20Reply
  5. Kiara

    Thanks for sharing!! Looooove Teader Joe’s & I’ve bought a lot of these items too. I’m excited to try the Pumpkin Ravioli, sounds like I need to go back & grab that sauce for them! Try the Pumpkin flavor of the Joe Joe’s—I had a hard time stopping myself from eating the whole box! 😊😊

    10.1.20Reply
  6. Julie M

    All the Fall foods, yum!! That pumpkin bread looks too good! Now I need to go shopping!! This is such a fun post! Happy Fall Season!! 🍁🍂

    10.1.20Reply
  7. mary

    I made the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies from Trader Joe’s last fall and I thought they were good even though I had heard mixed reviews. I love that they are chocolatey with a spicy fall twist. The gluten-free pumpkin bread mix is also great for muffins. They freeze well and you can microwave them for 30-40 seconds for a yummy on-the-go breakfast.

    I love this post!

    10.1.20Reply
  8. Those pretzels… mmmm!

    10.1.20Reply
  9. Jennifer

    I agree with your list. Also, a big “hit” for us were the pumpkin gluten-free pancakes (for my husband). Also, a big “miss” were the Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk cookie mix – the flavor of pumpkin was way too strong.

    10.1.20Reply
  10. Lena Flores

    Thank you for this post haha!! I’ve been loving anything pumpkin right now 🙂 I’ve tried like 3 pumpkin spice latte recipes this week!! October will be a great month

    10.1.20Reply
  11. My favorite thing ever is the Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancake Mix! I love love it all year round, and always stock up in the fall, ahah. I definitely only make them as a treat yourself breakfast, but they are so tasty and I highly recommend! Happy october!!

    Libby
    http://premedwearspearls.blogspot.com/

    10.1.20Reply
  12. Courtney

    I disagree on the ice cream cones. I loved them and now I’m addicted! You should also try the fall chili. They sell that near the pumpkin bisque.

    10.1.20Reply
  13. You MUST try the pepita salsa! It’s my favorite salsa. Love these Trader Joe’s finds. Nobody does seasonal foods like TJ’s!

    10.1.20Reply
  14. I love Pumpkin very much too! So excited to enjoy october!

    Thanks for sharing

    ♡————————————————————–♡
    Fashion┊Lifestyle┊Japan ―https://happyesme.com/

    10.2.20Reply
  15. Such a fun blogpost, thanks for sharing 🙂
    xx Janine
    https://walkinmysneaks.blogspot.com

    10.2.20Reply
  16. tammy

    thanks for the reviews! fyi you can always return items you try and don’t like to Trader Joe’s! they have the best return policy and customer service

    10.2.20Reply
  17. Lindsay

    I LIVE for those pumpkin ginger mini cones! I stocked up because I think they are so delicious! 🙂 your taste buds could have changed with pregnancy too. Love this post! I need to pick up the soup.

    10.2.20Reply
  18. Thanks for the roundup. I didn’t buy the cinnamon rolls for the same reason you won’t buy the pretzels again…LOL AND I probably won’t try the pretzels for the same reason. Have you tried the Harvest Soup? Oh my goodness. I love it, and when I opened the first jar last year I was super unexcited because it’s chunky, but I ended up loving it with a little (make that a lot) parm sprinkled on top. YUM. XO
    http://www.coasttocoast2.com

    10.4.20Reply
  19. Shannon

    where did you find your loaf pan!? I have never seen one with a ruffled edge like that and I love it!!

    10.4.20Reply
  20. Oh my GOSH- gimme all the pumpkin (spice)! 😍

    This post legit makes me want to run to my nearest TJ’s and get everything you recommended. I seriously just might do that! Like wow!

    xx
    Key
    https://storiesbysuddreth.com/

    10.4.20Reply
  21. kristy

    oo I tried the pumpkin bisque in the jar and it was a total miss for me. However the pumpkin oatmeal choc chip cookie mix was delicious!

    10.6.20Reply
    • Olivia

      Agree the bisque in the jar was way too sweet! I might have to try the refrigerated version mentioned here. I usually love pumpkin soups!

      10.16.20Reply