We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

We could easily spend a morning just staring at Trader Joe’s cheese section. Chèvre with honey! Aged Havarti! Buttery blue cheese! Anything your recipe calls for and then some can be found under the display lights—and that’s precisely what can make this an overwhelming process if you have no idea where to start. (What exactly is Unexpected Cheddar, anyway?) A brand-new TJ’s podcast episode has some valuable intel, just in time for charcuterie board—er, holiday entertaining—season. 

Hosts Tara Miller and Matt Sloan walk through everything from how to make your purchase last longer (shred it, then pop it in the freezer) to the best Trader Joe’s cheeses based on what you’re cooking. Here are the recommendations we’re bookmarking, plus our tips for serving your cheesy goods: 

If You’re Starting the Day Off With an Omelet

Drop in some Chèvre with Fine Herbs—it’s how Sloan makes an otherwise run-of-the-mill egg dish super-creamy and decadent. 

If You’re After the Perfect Grilled Cheese

For your next snow day, the TJ’s team suggests whipping up a batch filled with either Smoked Gouda or English Cheddar with Caramelized Onion. Finish it off with a bowl of tomato soup for a healthy hit of childhood nostalgia.

If You’re Making Burgers for a Crowd

Step one: Pick a colorful serving tray. Step two: Layer in some Unexpected Cheddar. “It has enough vibrant sharpness to cut through everything else that’s going on,” explains Sloan. 

See more Trader Joe’s products to try now: Will This New Trader Joe’s Spice Be the Next Everything But the Bagel Seasoning?  I Use These Trader Joe’s Sauces on Literally Everything  The Best Trader Joe’s Products You’ve Never Heard Of