Style mavens have fashion week. Music aficianados look forward to Friday album releases. But thanks to Instagram announcements and frequent online updates, food fans need not wait for a special occasion to stock up on the latest and greatest culinary delights.
Always on the hunt for budget-friendly buys, we've been keeping an eye on the fresh-for-2018 items recently revealed on Trader Joe's "What's New" column. Here are 10 that caught our eyes—plus scrumptious ways to put these goodies to great use.
1. Cocoa Almond Cashew Beverage
With zero lactose and more cocoa and nutty goodness than plain cow's milk, this non-dairy drink is made with two kinds of nuts and real cocoa powder.
Use It: To Replace Plain Milk in This Brownie Pudding Cake
Come dessert time, crank up the decadence factor without altering the calorie count. Trade the rich and creamy chocolate nut milk for the standard milk called for in this supersize chocolate lava-like cake.
Get the recipe: Brownie Pudding Cake
2. Frosted Sugar Cookies
Remember those melt-in-your-mouth sugar cookies that were all the rage in the early '00s? These taste-alike sprinkle cookies have the same cakey texture and rich, buttery frosting, but with a bit more protein and a touch less sodium than the original treat.
Use It: To Sandwich Sweet Cream Ice Cream
Since two cookies are always better than one, use two frosted cookies as the bookends for a dessert sandwich stuffed with homemade ice cream. Kids big and small will devour every bite long before the ice cream melts.
Get the recipe: Sweet Cream Ice Cream
3. Italian Marinara Sauce with Barolo Wine
Inspired by a trip to Parma, Italy, this marinara is infused with plenty of full-bodied Barolo wine (in fact, it's No. 3 on the ingredients list!). For extra nutrition and flavor, carrot, celery, garlic, pepper, and basil are also blended.
Use It: As a Topping For Baked Eggplant Parmesan
This restaurant remake recipe cuts nearly 600 calories from the original, yet keeps all the crunchy breading and cheesy topping. Instead of the usual tomato-basil pasta sauce, try this new Italian marinara.
Get the recipe: Baked Eggplant Parmesan
4. Zhoug Sauce
Cilantro, jalapeno, and chile flakes are the three key flavors in this pesto-like sauce that was likely invented in Yemen. It's made with just eight (totally pronounceable) ingredients, so you can feel good about zhoug-ing up some pasta or grilled steak.
Use It: To Dress Weeknight Falafel
Follow the Middle Eastern example and use a scoop of zhoug as a dressing for falafel or a gyro sandwich. Might we recommend our easy chickpea patties that require just 8 minutes of cooking time?
Get the recipe: Weeknight Falafel
5. Citrus Medley Greek Whole Milk Yogurt
Calling all fans of tangy Greek yogurt! This whole milk snack turns up the tanginess even more with lemon juice, lime juice, blood orange juice, and grapefruit juice concentrates. Your body will be as happy as your taste buds: Each cup features live and active cultures—in other words, gut-friendly bacteria.
Use It: To Add Extra Citrus Zing to Greek Yogurt and Cornflakes Tart
For not one, not two, but three doses of citrus goodness, swap two cartons of the citrus medley yogurt for the 1¼ cups plain Greek yogurt in this brunch-ready tart. Once the tart is chilled and just prior to serving, top with orange slices and melted orange marmalade.
Get the recipe: Greek Yogurt and Cornflakes Tart
6. Creamy Tomato Soup Seasoned Crackers
Crackers in soup? So 2017, according to Trader Joe's. How about crackers flavored like soup? These crunchy brown rice flour bites are sprinkled with a seasoning blend of tomato powder, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, and more.
Use It: For Scooping Up Beer-Cheese Fondue
Sure, you could simply top each cracker with a slice of mozzarella for the old-school tomato soup and grilled cheese flavor combo. Or you could upgrade your snack by melting cheddar with a splash of lager and a spoonful of brown mustard to create an irresistible slow cooker cheese fondue just right for dipping!
Get the recipe: Beer-Cheese Fondue
7. Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie
Behold: The quintessential pizza parlor dessert—the pizookie (pizza-cookie)— can now be found in the freezer aisle. TJ's says the buttery chocolate chunk cookie serves 10, but let's be real...it's probably more like five. Or three.
Use It: As a Vehicle for Chocolate Cookie Butter
Vanilla ice cream is nearly mandatory on a warm-from-the-oven deep-dish cookie like this. And rather than using hot fudge, we suggest melting a scoop of our easy five-ingredient cookie butter to drizzle over each slice.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Cookie Butter
8. Thai Green Curry Simmer Sauce
Taking notes from a trip to Thailand, a Trader Joe's Product Innovator boosted the complexity of this meal-starting green curry sauce with lemongrass, galangal (a pungent cousin of ginger), Thai lime, and other herbs and spices.
Use It: For Super-Speedy Thai Cauliflower Curry
Snag a jar of this warmly spiced creation and skip ahead to midway through Step 2 in our takeout-inspired vegetarian curry. The simmer sauce can replace the first seven ingredients in our already-easy Asian entree!
Get the recipe: Thai Cauliflower Curry
9. Organic Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage
Step aside, brats. These Italian sausages are made with organic antibiotic-free chicken, basil, and garlic—and no unnatural additives—for a smarter selection come grilling season.
Use It: In Gnocchi and Sausage
Dig in to a big bowl of these potato pillows for less than 370 calories. With plenty of fresh veggies and lower-fat chicken sausage, each 2-cup serving offers a lot of satisfaction in a fairly skinny supper.
Get the recipe: Gnocchi and Sausage
10. Brownie Crisp Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches
Like the dessert version of a mocha, these ice cream sandwiches combine fudgy brownie cookies and espresso ice cream in one handheld package.
Use It: As the Base for Neapolitan Pops
The original three-layer ice cream pops are stacked on a crust of cookie crumbs. Bypass that messy step and build your foundation with a layer of brownie ice cream sandwiches to replace both the crust and the chocolate ice cream layer. All that's left to do: Spread on vanilla ice cream, then strawberry ice cream. Add a stick, and enjoy.
Get the recipe: Neapolitan Pops
Bonus: Supermarket Swaps and Takeout Fake-Outs
Prefer to DIY than buy? Keep reading to discover how easy it is to make delicious recipes just as good as (if not better than) anything you'll find in a box or bag: