Over the years, my idea of a perfect date has changed significantly. I used to want to be wined and dined at a downtown Chicago steakhouse where the bill totaled greater than $300 per person. I used to want my suitor to pick me up in a Mercedes-Benz and shower me with roses. I used to want to wear a little black dress with sky-high heels and to mutter “Oh, this old thing?” when you complimented it. Now? I want to be at home in my pajamas, and I want you to bring me an arranged bouquet of wine and Trader Joe’s dips.
While my idea of a good time has changed a bit over the years, my everlasting love for a good, hearty dip to complement my go-to box of crackers or my beloved bag of kettle-cooked chips has remained. If you’ve ever stared in awe of the impressive (and near-overwhelming) selection of dips that Trader Joe’s has to offer, I’ve got you covered. I tried these 19 Trader Joe’s dips, and here’s how they ranked:
19. Organic Creamy Cashew Fiesta Dip
There was a time in life when I thought I couldn’t dislike anything more than candy corn—and then I had this dairy-free fiesta dip. And though I sound like a certified fiesta dip hater, hear me out. I grabbed this dip with high hopes and an open mind. A guilt-free “not actually cheese but tastes like cheese” concoction with organic veggies like potatoes, carrots, onions, green chile peppers, jalapeño peppers, and tomato paste sounded like my idea of a good time. But one scoop of this faux-cheese mush was followed by instant sadness and regret. I came for the fiesta, did a lap, and promptly ordered an Uber home.
18. Organic Buffalo Style Hummus
This buffalo-style hummus is the exception to the theory that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” If I had to pick two traditional dips that I hold near and dear to my heart and above all others, it would be a spicy buffalo sauce and a basic hummus. I expected their love child to be my new go-to dip, but alas, I was left completely unimpressed. I can’t go on to say this as-close-to-baby-food-as-it-comes dip was bad, per se. But as somebody who takes their buffalo and hummus game seriously, I can honestly say that I’m not mad, just disappointed.
17. Dill Pickle Hummus
While I may have disliked this dill pickle-infused hummus the most of all that I trialed, I simply can’t be upset with it. For what it is (dill pickle hummus), it absolutely made good on its promise. And I, an upstanding citizen who enjoys a hungover, crunchy pickle every once in a while, can respect that. It’s like ignoring the red flags and the “I’m not looking for a relationship” disclaimer of your favorite f*ckboy. I saw the signs (dill pickle hummus) and I wasn’t surprised when I got ghosted. And for that upfront honesty and solid delivery, it has secured a reputable “not last” spot on this list.
16. Romesco Dip
Romesco, Romesco. Where art thou Romesco? While I can’t tell you its exact whereabouts (I’m not Google Maps, after all), I can tell you where it is not. And by that, I mean that you won’t find it in my TJ’s cart again anytime soon. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I will repeat myself, and I welcome the consequences. This dip didn’t make me want to frisbee it out of the fifth-floor window of my apartment building, but it wasn’t great either. I expected this bright and zesty Spanish-inspired dip made with red peppers, tomatoes, and crushed almonds to sweep me off of my feet, but instead, it sent me a “u up?” text at 2 a.m. Though I’ll give credit to the slight kick of spice at the end, I was widely disinterested in it.
15. Reduced-Guilt Chunky Guacamole
As someone who snoozes her alarm eight times before actually waking up in the morning, skips the gym more than she makes it to the gym, and treats herself to a $350 Sephora trip once a month, I carry a lot of guilt. So, yes, I was stoked to lay eyes on this reduced-guilt guac. Not that I ever actually feel guilty when eating guac, but in lieu of my other less redeeming qualities, I’ll take any help I can get at this point. This guacamole made with Greek yogurt boasts 50 percent less fat and 40 percent fewer calories than your average guac, if you’re into that sort of thing. This guacamole was fine. It didn’t make me want to do backflips, by any means, but I give it points for being fresh (tasting), creamy, and almost guacamole. But to call it guacamole is a slight to traditional, hearty guacamole everywhere. And for that, I welcome the guilt.
14. Everything but the Bagel Greek-Style Yogurt Dip
If we’ve ever crossed paths, you know that my Everything but the Bagel Seasoning and I are inseparable. My EBTB jar is like an old friend and my dearest comfort show (The Office, and yes, it does hurt being this basic). It brings me joy, consistency, and is one of my most favorite familiarities that life has to offer. So when I saw that my most beloved seasoning gave birth to this Greek-style yogurt dip, I grabbed it faster than an overbearing aunt could say, “How far along are you?” And while I’ll go as far as to say that this dip was actually not too shabby, I found myself wanting to reach for my EBTB seasoning to add more flavor. It didn’t blow me away, but I’m not writing it off just yet.
13. Spicy Hummus Dip
The spicy hummus dip is that one average date that you went on three years ago, only to unintentionally wipe it from your hard drive. I didn’t hate this Spicy Hummus Dip. In fact, I may have actually had a decent time. But the problem is that I don’t remember much of it, and for something to be labeled as spicy but also not stand out is a concept that I just can’t wrap my brain around. It boasted mild to medium heat, but if you’re looking for something truly spicy, look elsewhere.
12. Tomato & Basil Hummus Dip
OK, bear with me here. This Tomato & Basil Hummus Dip performed really well on its own as a tomato and basil dip that just so happened to have a trace of hummus in it. On those grounds, I call it pretty darn good. But if I picture it as hummus with traces of tomato and basil, I kind of deem it not as good. If you’re still following me, let’s be friends. If you don’t, I completely understand. 12th place. Moving on.
11. Chocolate Hummus
I was all over the map when rating this chocolate, dessert-like hummus amongst a plethora of non-dessert dips. This Chocolate Hummus is truly one of a kind and has a lot of hype behind it for good reason. This non-dairy chickpea-tahini combo with a generous amount of cocoa powder is smooth and subtly sweet. I can’t say that it took my breath away as much as I thought it would (probably because I ate it with a kettle-cooked chip as opposed to using a pretzel or an apple as a dipping vessel—it’s a personal problem that I am currently addressing), but I will say: I’m with the believers on this one.
10. Horseradish Hummus
I consider this Horseradish Hummus and I to be star-crossed lovers. In fact, before I picked it up for this trial and for this trial only, I deemed us to be sworn enemies. With the exception of an occasional shrimp cocktail, I wouldn’t label myself to be a fan of horseradish. But as all classic enemies-turned-lovers rom coms go, I ate my words and found a love I wasn’t even looking for. It was tangy yet complementary—I’d even go as far as saying delightful. Maybe even charming enough to meet my parents.
9. Everything and the Elote Greek Style Yogurt Dip
You’ve heard of Everything but the Elote (seasoning), but have you heard of Everything and the Elote? This Everything and the Elote dip got a glimpse of the disappointing miss that was the EBTB dip and decided that it wasn’t taking any chances. They would include said elote and they would dive headfirst into who they were at their core. This dip adds the missing corn aspect of its sister seasoning, and let me tell you: It made all of the right moves. It’s boldly flavored with garlic, parm, and chipotle pepper powder and features kernels of sweet yellow corn. It pairs perfectly with tortilla chips and veggies and was a strong contender amongst the rest of the competition.
8. Garlic Spread Dip
If your idea of heaven is a fluffy cloud of garlic, look no further than this Trader Joe’s Garlic Spread Dip. If you see me eating this stuff by the spoonful, respectfully, no you didn’t. Even with the known consequences of feeling like a fire-breathing dragon post-consumption, I would still pick, choose, and love this garlic dip every time. I tried it with naan bread and would sell my soul to Satan for that alone, but I’ve heard through the grapevine that cooking with this dip can take your mashed potatoes from the first Twilight-level production to Breaking Dawn Part 2 presentation in no time flat.
7. Artichoke & Jalapeno Dip
When I got the concerned look from the Trader Joe’s employee who scanned 14 dips with five to go, I word vomited my intentions to trial and rank every single one to ensure (mostly to myself) that I wasn’t certifiably unwell. When he laughed with relief, he looked me dead in the eyes and pointed sternly at this Artichoke & Jalapeño Dip. “This is the one,” he declared confidently as if he were scanning a lineup of briefcase-stealing suspects. And when a TJ’s employee gives me a recommendation, I take it more seriously than sound advice from my mother. And the guy was not wrong. This stuff hit the spot. The texture alone was reason enough to get it again, but the jalapeño flavor truly sent it home.
6. Roasted Garlic Hummus
All of the things that have happened to me in life fall into one of two categories: B.R.G.H. (Before Roasted Garlic Hummus) or A.R.G.H. (After Roasted Garlic Hummus). Once I started getting this creamy hummus with mellow roasted garlic flavor, I unknowingly became a better person. I said “good day,” to strangers on the street, I didn’t punt my cat across the room when she chewed through the cord of my laptop charger, and I even said “thank you so much” to an automated robot voice when confirming that my Walgreens prescription was ready for pickup. This hummus has had my back for years, and I always have at least two in my fridge at a time. Pair with naan and balsamic drizzle for the late-night snack you’ll turn to time after time.
5. Green Goddess Dip
I’ll admit that I didn’t expect to like this sour cream-based Green Goddess dip as much as I did. I’ve had the sister dressing on salad before and I was largely unimpressed. But since tasting this dip with an assortment of veggies, I can’t help but wonder if the Green Goddess dressing wasn’t the problem and that maybe, just maybe, my personal vendetta against salads is the root of my issue. With garlic, parsley, and basil, this herby dip is light, fresh, and the perfect pairing for any veggies you’re trying to trick yourself into eating.
4. Pimento Cheese Dip
As a cheese enthusiast, it hurts my soul almost as much as it does my credibility to admit that I’ve never had any sort of pimento cheese dip before. So when I picked up this Trader Joe’s rendition, I truly didn’t know what to expect. I don’t know how exactly this would perform in direct comparison with other cheese dips of its kind, but as an isolated dip, I freakin’ loved this stuff. My dip-to-cracker ratio was that of nightmares (3:4), almost to the point where I considered ditching the cracker and subbing in an inedible spoon.
3. Sour Cream Spinach Dip
If you took this Trader Joe’s dip and served it to me in a slightly fancier bowl from a five-star restaurant, I wouldn’t ask a single question. If this spinach dip told me that the sky was green, I would believe it. If this spinach dip cut me off in traffic without using a turn signal, I would wholeheartedly allow it. The texture and taste of this stuff took me to another dimension, where Lizzo is my best friend and John B. is my boyfriend. If you need to pick up a solid dip that will leave your guests begging for your “homemade recipe,” this is it.
2. Bruschetta Sauce
Ordering bruschetta for the table at an Italian restaurant is one of my strongest personality traits. There’s something about it that simultaneously feels like home and a fancy night out, and so when I saw this Bruschetta Dip that can also double as a sauce, I did a double-take. And when I heated it up and lapped it onto a toasted crostini, I gasped. This dip/sauce extravaganza is a foolproof way to elevate an at-home date night and is also the perfect complement to a night of binge-watching Love Island (U.K.) at home by your lonesome.
1. Caramelized Onion Dip
If you think I’ll ever not have one of these in my fridge at all times, you simply don’t know the power that this dip holds. With one deep dive of a kettle-cooked chip and a delightful crunch followed by cool, whipped (yes, whipped), caramelized onion goodness, I was hooked. I could as easily eat this entire tub in one sitting as I could fall into a gentle slumber on a quiet beach after two margaritas. She’s decadent, she’s lovely, and she’ll put the card down for the entire table after a night of drinks and casually say, “Don’t worry about it.” She has your back. And she’ll be a permanent go-to in my book until the end of time.