Trader Joe's

I Tried 10 Trader Joe’s Frozen Appetizers—Here’s How They Ranked

written by LAUREN BLUE
trader joe's frozen appetizers"
trader joe's frozen appetizers
Source: Lauren Blue
Source: Lauren Blue

Like everyone else on planet Earth, I’m obsessed with Trader Joe’s. As someone who is more of a throw-a-frozen-meal-in-the-oven kind of chef during the week, it’s the holy grail of grocery stores. However, like all things in life, Trader Joe’s isn’t perfect (though I might argue it comes incredibly close to it). While there are so many hits in TJ’s never-ending repertoire, there are also some unfortunate misses. Normally, you have to find these yourself through trial and error, but today, we are bringing you boots-on-the-ground reporting to rank some of the Trader Joe’s frozen appetizers taking up residence on the shelves.

Whether you’re popping appetizers in the oven for guests or enjoying them all by yourself as a delicious girl dinner, they are an important freezer staple. There’s nothing worse than looking forward to an easy, tasty frozen dinner and the dish just not living up to your expectations. We cooked up an impressive spread of appetizers for our taste testers and judged each one on taste, texture, and whether or not we would buy the product again. Keep reading to see which Trader Joe’s frozen appetizers top our list so you can avoid regret after your next grocery run.

10. Mini Beef Tacos

trader joe's frozen appetizers

We had high hopes for these mini beef tacos, but they fell very flat. We all thought the beef lacked flavor and could have passed for beans instead of meat. The tortilla also didn’t crisp up very well, resulting in a weird, chewy texture. Dipping the tacos in salsa or guac would have made them taste better, but at that point, you are relying on the dips to disguise the flavor of the actual product. In the end, we all agreed we would not buy this appetizer again.

9. Mini Vegetable Samosas

trader joe's frozen appetizer

This is another appetizer we expected to land way higher on the ranking before trying. It had a surprising kick that was a little too much for some tasters. However, if you have a high tolerance for spice, I don’t think you would find it overwhelming. It was also a little bit too greasy for our liking, and one taste tester noted that the dish felt “uninspired.”

8. Mac and Cheese Bites

trader joe's frozen appetizer

As a mac and cheese connoisseur, I thought frying one of my favorite foods would create an immediate five-star app, but this one didn’t wow. The coating around the mac and cheese didn’t get firm enough to hold the mac and cheese ball very well, making it kind of messy. Overall, the feedback was it was very average, and we all agreed we would rather just eat mac and cheese over these. However, we did think this Trader Joe’s frozen appetizer would be a hit with kids.

7. Parmesan Pastry Pups

trader joe's frozen appetizer

I’m going to be honest: These pastry pups had a strong smell that made me think I wouldn’t love the taste, but I was pleasantly surprised. Pigs in a blanket are a classic, nostalgic appetizer, and the parmesan added a nice flair. It would have gotten a spot higher on the list, but we found the ratio of the pup to pastry a little off and wished there were a little bit more pastry.

6. Buffalo Style Chicken Poppers

trader joe's frozen appetizer

These Buffalo Style Chicken Poppers were a divisive appetizer that split our voting committee. I was eager to try them and thought they would be a personal favorite, but they were my lowest score of the evening. I found them to be way too spicy and thought the buffalo flavor was lost to the kick. However, my low score was balanced out by favorable reviews from the rest of the crew. The overall takeaways were that they were spicy but flavorful and a fun alternative to a more basic appetizer.

5. Spizzico di Pizza

trader joe's frozen appetizer

On the flip side of the Buffalo Style Chicken Poppers, I absolutely loved these mini pizzas and gave them the highest ranking, whereas my other taste testers found them to be average. I loved the doughy texture, but others wished they were a little thinner and crisper. As one taste tester so eloquently put it, “They’re good, but they’re not going to impress anyone.”

4. Brazilian Style Cheese Bread

trader joe's frozen appetizer

This Brazilian Style Cheese Bread got great reviews across the board. It had delicous flavor, and we all agreed we would buy it again. The only thing that docked points was that we thought the bread was a tad dry and wished we had something to dip it in. Specifically, we tasters thought it would be delish with Trader Joe’s chimichurri sauce.

3. Pastry Bites with Feta Cheese and Carmelized Onions

trader joe's frozen appetizer

Bringing in the bronze medal are these Pastry Bites with Feta Cheese and Caramelized Onions. This filling packs a lot of flavor in these bite-sized pieces, and we all thought the caramelized onions were an amazing topping. However, we thought the presentation could have been a little bit better—as they cooked, the toppings tended to slide off the pastry, keeping it from a top-two spot on this ranking.

2. 5 Cheese Greek Spiral

trader joe's frozen appetizer

The photo on the packaging of this appetizer made it look simply mouthwatering, and it lived up to the hype. The pastry itself was buttery and flaky, and the warm, chewy cheese really rounded out the dish well. We also thought it was a unique presentation that would look great on any appetizer tablescape.

1. Chicken Spring Rolls

trader joe's frozen appetizer

In our #1 spot for this Trader Joe’s frozen appetizers ranking, we have the Chicken Spring Rolls. The taste testers unanimously agreed that these had a ton of flavor and were perfectly crispy, and we would all most definitely buy them again. One taste tester noted that they tasted surprisingly fresh, which they didn’t expect from a frozen appetizer. Pairing them with some TJ’s fried rice and coconut aminos or soy sauce would truly take them to the next level and make for a delicious easy dinner.