BY :Toni OkamotoPUBLISHED : September 2nd, 2021UPDATED: September 14th, 2021
It’s amazing to see how many new vegan products are on the market nowadays! I can remember a time when only select stores carried vegan products, and even then, the options were slim to none! Now, there are tons of plant-based meats, cheeses, yogurts, ice cream, candy, and snacks that are making their way to your local grocery store – including these 25 new vegan options at Trader Joe’s! It seems that every day, brands are embracing the idea of incorporating plant-based options into their list of products and we are all about it!
Michelle (founder of World of Vegan) and I tried out some new vegan options at Trader Joe’s and were blown away by how many vegan options they had available! From ice cream, candy, dips, and more – we’re excited to share the amazing finds and our new favorites with you!
First up is this amazing casserole that was introduced to us by our friends Chris and Jasmine over at Sweet Simple Vegan and Conscious Chris. It was the first product we looked for! You can find it in the refrigerated section. At first glance, it doesn’t look vegan at all as it looks cheesy and gooey! The ingredients include red chili sauce, seasoned pinto beans, roasted vegetables layered between corn tortillas and topped with mozzarella and cheddar style shreds.
Another great thing about this enchilada casserole is that it’s very heavy and not light like a traditional freezer-based meal. It’s incredibly flavorful with veggies, lots of cheese! If you like the frozen enchiladas from Trader Joe’s, you’re going to love this cheesy product also! This casserole gets two thumbs up from us!
Both Michelle and I are not a big fan of mushrooms and Michelle’s also not a big fan of red lentil pasta so we weren’t very sure of this product going in. At first bite for Michelle, her take on it was that it had a delicious flavor but the mushroom texture was a bit overwhelming for her. She even liked the pasta! As for me, I wasn’t too crazy about it and probably won’t buy it again. It was five dollars so not worth it in my books!
Michelle was impressed with the flavor and said she would buy it if she liked mushrooms and easy meals. Overall, if you’re a fan of mushrooms, we think you’ll like this product!
Next up, is their noodle salad! We’re big fan of noodles over here! The ingredients include noodles, carrots, shredded cabbage, green onions, a small bag of chopped peanuts, and the peanut sauce. Michelle loves Trader Joe’s prepared foods selection as a special treat or when you need something on the go (even though they do tend to contain a lot of plastic). A trick that I use if I end up with plastic containers like this is I’ll use them as to-go containers whenever friends come over. They’re also great to use as your personal to-go boxes for leftovers when you go out.
The sauce and noodles are very good! The noodles do have a bit of the rubbery, packaged-noodles type of taste, but the sauce is very good! It’s very vinegary and goes well with the fresh veggies! Michelle would totally pick this if she was traveling or needed a fast meal.
4. Organic Watermelon Jerky
This is an interesting product and the packaging is really cute! It’s jerky made from dried watermelon. The watermelon jerky is very sticky, not as dry, and doesn’t smell very good. However, taste wise, it tastes like watermelon and tastes sweet and similar to a gummy bear! I personally wouldn’t buy it, but if Michelle did and had it at her house, I would gladly eat it! Michelle would love it if there wasn’t so much packaging. The ingredients are only organic watermelon and it is delicious!
Michelle is excited to share some with her son, Graham. The seeds are really crunchy and hard. On the downside, you don’t get too much in each package.
5. Spring Gummies
Michelle is all about gummies. If you watched our Sprouts video, Michelle talks about her love of them! They had a tone of vegan gummies and a lot of them were vegan but be careful because some of them do have beeswax and gelatin. In my opinion, they were okay but I prefer the Sprouts gummies! Michelle really enjoyed them, though! They taste similar to starburst jelly beans. Each flavor is unique and this package included three flavors. Double thumbs up from Michelle and medium thumbs up from me! (Photo by Mrs. Trader Joe’s)
The ingredients include watermelon puree, cane juice, cherry juice, pectin, citric acid, and ascorbic acid. I liked the packaging! Michelle was not a fan at all. In my opinion, it was good but just very very sweet so I might use it for making thumbprint cookies from the Friendly Vegan Cookbook in the future!
This dip has cucumbers, lemon juice, dill, and garlic! It’s a creamy sauce. The texture was a little bit funky, but taste wise, it tastes like a creamy pickle! If you like dill and pickle, you’re going to like this one!
9. Chocolate Hummus
This one was a pick by Michelle! This dip reminded us of a taste test video at Grocery Outlet that we did with Deanne from Plant-Based on a Budget. The texture was perfect, it smelled like chocolate, and it tasted like pudding with a hummus consistency. This one is a medium thumbs up for the both of us.
If you like the masala flavor, you’re going to like this dip. It was very tasty! Michelle doesn’t really go for flavors like this and she was very impressed!
11. Organic Marbled Halvah
I’ve had fresh halvah before and Michelle has tried it when she was in Israel at Jewish events. It’s like a tahini dessert treat. the ingredients include organic tahini, sugar syrup, cocoa powder, vegetable oil, and vanilla flavor. It’s very crumbly. It reminded me of marzipan and also a Mexican candy that is shaped like a circle and falls apart very easily. Michelle felt like these were culturally nostalgic! It’s a fun treat to have for guests and tahini is really high in calcium! Two thumbs up from the both of us!
Dark Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter Cups
Trader Joe’s has sold these in bigger sizes similar to Reese’s Cups but these are awesome because they’re in mini form! The packaging is nice because it reminds me of my sunflowers in my garden! To Michelle, these come second to chocolate peanut butter cups, but the chocolate and sunflower butter make this just as creamy. Thumbs up from the both of us!
This is similar to hot chili oil except that it has onions and garlic and is very chunky. You can put it on pasta, dip in crusty bread, and more! Taste-wise, it’s very good! It reminded us of a Ramen place in Sacramento that we loved that had this dehydrated garlic that you added to your Ramen called godzilla style.
14. Cheddar Style Slices
The same woman that advocated for the Caramelized Onion dip, raved about these slices! She said that they melt very well, she puts them in quesadillas, and that she loves them. Trader Joes has had a vegan cheese and a soy-free cheese for a while now that we both do not recommend, so we are curious about this style! I had to eat this with a cracker because I have not met a vegan cheese that I could eat plain.
At first touch, it’s a bit oily. But taste-wise, it tastes very similar to Cheez Wiz. Michelle felt that the texture was a bit grainy but the flavor was good. It seems very meltable and perfect for a grilled cheese.
15. Mozzarella Style Shreds
The ingredients include cashews, coconut oil, potato starch, modified cornstarch, sea salt, natural flavors, yeast extract, cultures, and annatto extract. How impressive, right? This would be great on a pizza! I thought it tasted similar to the cheddar style slices.
This includes plant-based crumbles. Michelle has a recipe for Lentil Bolognese Sauce on worldofvegan.com if you want to check it out! This sauce is slightly chunky, and tastes like Campbell’s tomato soup and Chef Boyardee sauce. Michelle wasn’t very impressed. Michelle really loves and highly recommends their arrabiata sauce if you’re looking for a sauce!
17. Artichoke Antipasto
The ingredients include artichoke, sunflower oil, olive oil, white onion, distilled vinegar, salt, spices, garlic, ascorbic acid, and citric acid. Michelle prefers the artichoke dip from our book, The Friendly Vegan Cookbook but it’s edible! To me, it seems like they took the artichoke hearts from a glass jar and put them in a blender. If you’re trying to make quick horderves or if you want to add a little extra flavor to a pasta dish, it would pair well!
Michelle and her husband, Dan love these! They gave them to one of their non-vegan friends and he loved them too! It’s coconut based and really good. They come in a really cool case and Michelle uses it to store her date balls. It comes with 6 domes and is really good, similar to a mini coconut-y Klondike bar. I loved the outer chocolate! Michelle and I want to write a cookbook in ten years called the Big Book of Vegan Balls that would include deep fried mac and cheese balls and desserts like these bon bons! Stay tuned!
These have caffeine in them so I opted out because I limit my caffeine in the afternoons, but Michelle really enjoyed them! She said that the mochi was soft and chewy and very good. There are 15 balls in each package.
I love boba, but I had to opt out of this one also although it did smell amazing! Michelle was very impressed with how different the experience was! She said that the ice cream was very soft and the boba balls are soft and squishy, despite being in the freezer. She loved it and said that it may be her new favorite ice cream.
These are really good! Michelle and her husband Dan really love these. They would be great on top of our mac and cheese recipe from The Friendly Vegan Cookbook! These were two dollars, but I think these would be great to make at home via a dehydrator or in the air fryer.
And that’s a wrap! The Vegan Enchilada Casserole was my absolute favorite and the Peanut Udon Noodle Salad was Michelle’s favorite. Let us know if you’ve tried these products also or if we missed anything! We absolutely love Trader Joes and are so happy, impressed, and excited about these vegan items and what new products will pop up on their shelves next!
About Toni Okamoto
"They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
'Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways...
we got to start taking better care of ourselves " - Dead Prez