Vegan is in. As the amount of plant-based or animal-free products in grocery stores and online marketplaces soar, the sheer breadth of the vegan products available is much more expansive than even just five years ago.
Something just as popular as veganism is Trader Joe's, the cult classic grocer that has scores of loyal fans. Across Facebook, Reddit and many Trader Joe's-adjacent fan pages, websites and Instagram accounts, many of these loyal fans have been sharing their absolute favorite vegan snacks and products.
Do not fret, though. You need not scour the interwebs to discover these elusive vegan products. Here, we've compiled a handy list for you to peruse and pick out your favorites so that your next shopping trip (whether that will be completed IRL or via a delivery service) is complete with all of your must-have vegan treats.
Of course, keep in mind that some Trader Joe's locations may not always have all of these products in stock.
In addition to standbys like hummus, olives, guacamole, fruits and veggies (and dried or freeze-dried variations), salsa and pico de gallo, here are the top vegan snacks that you can pick up today.
This list adds to Salon Food's growing library of supermarket guides, encompassing all the best products at Trader Joe's, Costco, Aldi and more.
Vegan Buffalo Style Dip
This comment from Redditor apcb4 sums up the fanfare around this dip. "Not vegan but I eat a lot of plant-based items and that Buffalo dip is amazing," they wrote. "My husband is a carnivore and loves it too! It's not trying to be Buffalo chicken dip. It's a much smoother texture and I think it's made with cauliflower and it is so dang good[.]"
According to the product page, Trader Joe's describe the dip as such: "With an ingredient list laden with vegetables, like cauliflower, red peppers, and carrots, it creates a marvelous canvas for that slow-building, infamous Buffalo, cayenne kick that everyone, not just meat eaters, can enjoy. Tempered by lime juice — not a drop of dairy in sight — to gently cool your taste buds, each mouthful is a roller coaster of thrilling spice, followed by a gentle, vegan-friendly cooling sensation that inevitably keeps you going back for more."
If can be enjoyed with practically any chips, raw vegetables, crudites or even used as a sandwich spread.
Crispy Jalapeño Pieces
As lisambb writes on Reddit, "Those jalapeño pieces are my favorite thing. So good." The production description on the Trader Joe's website states that "the best way for us to describe Trader Joe's Crispy Jalapeño Pieces is: Crispy Onion Pieces, but with jalapeños instead of onions. That's really it. There are only a few ingredients in the recipe—fresh jalapeño peppers, flour, oil, and sea salt."
While these can be enjoyed on a sandwich, in a salad, on top of a casserole or crushed and used as a "breading" of sorts, many fans are proponents of just munching on them directly from the canister.
Vegan Tzatziki Dip
While traditional tzatziki is made with yogurt as the primary component, a vegan tzatiki turns the classic on its head. One Reddit user writes that "the vegan tzatziki is amazing" and Reddit user emblashed concurs, writing, "I second the vegan tzatziki. I'm not vegan and I still think it is absolutely amazing. Great for snacking."
Clearly, it's a snack that has elicited lots of fans.
So what takes the place of the yogurt, you may be asking? Trader Joe's has the answer: "After trying a few variations, we found that a plant-based, dairy-free cream cheese provided the best base, and after mixing in just the right amount of lemon juice and chopped up cucumber, fresh dill, and garlic, we knew we had it: Trader Joe's Vegan Tzatziki Dip was born."
Trader Joe's product page reports that "To make each batch of this delicious and dairy-free dip, our supplier slowly caramelizes onions with balsamic vinegar and brown sugar for over three hours, rendering them exquisitely soft and tantalizingly sweet."
While this product might be more sweet-leaning than savory, it's certainly a fan favorite.
Often underappreciated, plantain chips are an amazing vessel for carrying all of your favorite vegan dips or, instead, simply enjoyed on their own volition.
Trader Joe's website writes "Our Plantain Chips come from Peru, where the plantains are picked when they're just ripe enough to be slightly sweet. They're sliced and cooked in sunflower oil, then dusted with salt." That's the kind of simplistic flavor that really shines when it comes to vegan fare.
Swap out your go-to tortilla chips for plantains chips; I bet you'll be thrilled.
Spicy Porkless Plant-Based Snack Rinds
The notion of a pork-less pork rind is a pretty whacky one, but that's precisely what this product is.
Trader Joe's details the product further, stating that "Made from rice meal, pea protein, and pea flour and seasoned with paprika, cayenne, and a pinch of habanero pepper powder, TJ's Spicy Porkless Plant-Based Snack Rinds are vegan, gluten free, and kosher-certified. Plus, these Spicy Snack Rinds are baked—not fried—and packed with 7g of protein per one-ounce serving."
If that doesn't make you want to pick up a bag, I'm not sure what will.
Chile Spiced Pineapple
In order to capitalize on the popular sweet-spicy dynamic, Trader Joe's created this inventive treat.
According to their website, "we've taken something super sweet and succulent (dried rings of pineapple from Ghana) and paired it up with something truly spicy (a bold chili powder blend with cayenne and traditional chamoy powder), plus a little extra cane sugar and salt to make a snack that hits that special mix of sweet and heat that leaves you craving more with every bite."
For anyone spooked by the spice, though, TJs contends that the heat isn't overbearing.
Peanut Butter Caramel Coated Popcorn
This popcorn is a fascinating study in flavor, texture and consistency. As stated by Trader Joe's product page, "Our supplier starts with puffy, mushroom kernel popcorn, suitably shaped for coating in a sweet syrup of tapioca and cane sugar. This Caramel Coated Popcorn is followed by a second coating, this time in the form of salted Peanut Butter ... And though the Popcorn is contending with two coatings, it somehow manages to retain a seemingly impossible airiness and oh-so satisfying crunch[.]"
Amazing! Any popcorn fan is sure to adore this product.
Garlic & Onion Pistachios
Trader Joe's product page reports that "these are California-grown, in-shell pistachios, dry roasted and dusted with a robust blend of garlic, onion, and sea salt. Some folks like to pop whole pistachios into their mouths, shell and all, to make sure they get all the flavor. Other folks prefer to remove the shell first."
No matter how you're eating them, one thing is for sure: it'll be impossible for you to have just one.
Vegan Banana Bread with Walnuts
While banana bread may in and of itself seem decisively un-vegan, this loaf is devoid of any and all animal products. According to the official TJ's website, it contains only banana puree, flour, cane sugar, canola oil, walnuts, baking soda, natural flavors and salt.
It is moist and rich, with walnuts to bolster the texture and flavor and it also makes for an excellent breakfast, snack or even dessert. Furthermore, as a search of Reddit shows, it's often in stock and is carried by lots and lots of Trader Joe's locations. Win-win!
Quinoa Stuffed Dolmas
Dolmas have been adored for centuries; here, TJs take them up a notch.
"Each Quinoa Stuffed Dolma is made by taking naturally zesty grape leaves that have been brined and marinated until they're soft and pliable, and carefully wrapping them around bundles of earthy quinoa that have been seasoned with lemon juice, herbs, garlic, and onion." states the Trader Joe's product page, describing the soft, cool, easy-to-eat sensation that can be enjoyed straight from the can.
Of course, they can also be eaten in salads, alongside soups or stews, or enjoyed in a multitude of other ways.
Michael is a food writer, recipe editor and educator based in his beloved New Jersey. After graduating from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, he worked in restaurants, catering and supper clubs before pivoting to food journalism and recipe development. He also holds a BA in psychology and literature from Pace University.