Trader Joe’s is known for many things, like its killer snack collection. In addition to cult favorites like pita chips with sea salt and cookie butter sandwich cookies, new products like crunchy nutty rice bites disappear from shelves just as quickly. But which are worthy of your next Netflix binge or road trip to the beach?
Here at TT, we take our taste tests very seriously, so we tasted as many TJ’s snacks as we could to find the best grub you should fill your cart up with—and they’re each under $5. From pretzel slims to oven-baked cheese bites, we’ve got 10 suggestions to help make sure your pantry or work desk is fully stocked.
Pita Chips with Sea Salt ($2)
These crunchy pita chips are always a crowd favorite. When someone starts snacking on them with hummus or guacamole in the office, the bag is gone within minutes.
Caramel Ginger Popcorn ($3)
When we’re looking to satisfy our sweet tooth, we open a bag of this caramelized popcorn that has pieces of crystalized ginger and a hint of sea salt.
Crunchy Nutty Rice Bites ($3)
Nothing stops the 3 p.m. munchies like these little bite-size squares packed with cranberries, almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds. They are made with rice and quinoa, so they are naturally gluten free.
Pretzel Slims ($2.50)
We’re already fans of Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend, so we usually have a bag (or two) of these pretzel slims covered in the stuff stored at our desks at all times.
Oven-Baked Cheese Bites ($2.50)
We can’t get enough of these cheese bites made with 100 percent real cheese. Keep them in your desk for an afternoon snack, or crumple them up and sprinkle on a salad for a little crunch.
Cranberry Coconut Snacking Crackers ($2.50)
To balance out all the recipe tastings we do in the office, we try and eat something healthy-isa every once in a while like these cranberry and coconut crackers. We like them plain or paired with our favorite cheeses.
Organic Chia Bars ($3 for five bars)
For the mornings when a full breakfast isn’t an option, one of these chewy chia seed bars is great for eating on the go. With five grams of whole grains per serving, it’s also an ideal afternoon snack to hold you until dinner. Other perks are they are naturally gluten free and made with almonds, pumpkin seeds, and cranberries.
Ghost Pepper Potato Chips ($2)
We love all things spicy, and ghost pepper potato chips definitely fall into that category. Not for the fainthearted, the chips are coated in actual ghost pepper seasoning.
Gluten-Free Pretzel Twists ($3)
These gluten-free pretzels pass the gluten eaters sniff test. In fact, most of our testers agree they are even better than the regular ones. Corn, potato, and rice flours are used in replace of wheat flour, providing a nice crunch.
Cookie Butter Sandwich Cookies ($4)
We believe life is all about balance—like balancing cookie butter evenly between two perfect butter cookies. Does it get any better than that?
This story was originally published by Delia Mooney on Tasting Table.