Trader Joe’s is one of the BEST places to find staple items and the occasional speciality item that will fit into your Paleo diet for a fraction of the cost of other grocery stores. While we all know that Trader Joe’s doesn’t allow any artificial flavors or preservatives, synthetic colors, MSG, genetically modified ingredients, or partially hydrogenated oils (artificial trans-fats) in their Trader Joe’s branded products there are still tons of highly processed frozen food items with ingredient lists as long as a novel. If you’re someone who is new to Paleo this list should be helpful to navigate the store and find some awesome products and awesome deals. Let’s get started!
I love TJ’s produce section! They have a great organic selection and their prices are consistently cheaper than anywhere else. I’ve heard some sources say that the produce quality can be hit or miss but I simply haven’t found that to be true in my case. Only once have I had to return something (their return policy is spot on by the way, if you try it and don’t like it simply return it for a full refund) from the produce department and they were gracious and apologized profusely. My favorites from the prduce section are the beets, arugula, limes, bananas, bell peppers, broccoli, shisito peppers, mixed salad greens, and melons…All organic and all priced at amazing prices.
Another staple that I never pass up is Kerrygold Grass-Fed Butter! It’s about a dollar cheaper than anywhere else and it’s the best butter on the planet. I usually purchase a few packs and make a large batch of ghee everytime I make a trip to Trader Joe’s.
3. Hemp Seeds
A fantastic source of vegetarian protein, I love the nutty flavor and they are very versatile. Use them on a salad, mix them in your smoothie, or use them as a “breading” for meat.
TJ’s uncured bacon ends and pieces has no sodium nitrates, for a considerably reduced price from competing bacon. Buying the ends and pieces is a little bit of a gamble, you never know if you’re going to get thick or thin pieces, but every package we have ever purchased has had full strips of delicious perfectly fry-able bacon.
Recipes that use bacon: Herb Wrapped Pork Loin / Baked Sweet Potatoes with Brown Butter, Bacon, and Herbs / Tricolor Grilled Potato Salad with Bacon, Spring Onions, and Mustard Vinaigrette / Jalapeño Bacon Deviled Eggs / Sweet Potato Casserole with Bacon Pecan Streusel
Personally one of my favorite meats. Eat it by itself or with olives, melon, chicken, or as a salad topper. The possibilities are endless! The $3.99 price tag is almost half off from other brands I’ve seen, and it is also nitrate free.
Recipes utilizing prosciutto: Honey Glazed Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken / Cantaloupe Gazpacho with Frizzled Prosciutto / Crispy Prosciutto Wrapped Green Beans
6. Pork Belly
Pork belly is a newfound love of mine. This one is super easy to prepare since it’s already cooked. Just brown on all sides until super crispy. The inside stays moist and it’s perfect for eating with mashed potatoes, glazing with a fruit compote, or throwing into tacos! Just last night we had jicama taco shells with pork belly and cantaloupe salsa…so good!
Recipes that use pork belly: Paleo Pork Belly Tacos
7. Simply Roasted Chicken
This pre-cooked chicken is great for those of us on the go. Throw it on a salad or wrap it up in a large collard or chard leaf and you’ll have a easily portable, delicious, and time-saving meal.
8. Grilled Cauliflower
This is a a new item I’ve seen lately, along with riced cauliflower (which has been out of stock every time go). This makes a great vegetable sides to replace the standard American grain side dish. I love how these are grilled too, I’ll have to try that with some fresh cauliflower from our garden and let you know how it turns out.
9. Coconut Flour
This baker Josef’s 16oz bag of coconut flour is organic and has an unbeatable price, other brands can range to $10 or more per pound. Coconut flour is essential is you are trying to do any type of paleo baking.
10. Almond Flour
Another staple in paleo baking is TJ’s just almond meal. You can also dredge chicken through it for a nutty, crunchy crust. The price, once again, is unbeatable so you better stock up when you go.
Recipes using almond flour: Fat Head Pizza Crust / Almond Flour Pancakes / Paleo Jalapeño “Cornbread” Muffins / Chorizo Stuffed Clams / Paleo Brownies / Bison Meatloaf / Paleo Donuts / Strawberry Galettes / Raspberry Swirl Chocolate Tart
Trader Joe’s has a huge nut and seed selection. We always buy a variety of seeds and nuts and make a huge batch of trail mix to take hiking on the weekends or as just a snack while watching a movie.
Recipes that use nuts: Pumpkin Spice Granola / Chocolate Fudge Coconut Granola
12. Coconut Oil
Another Paleo staple, coconut oil is a great source of MCT’s (medium chain triglycerides) and has a high smoking point, so it is my frying fat of choice. There are countless ways to incorporate coconut oil into your daily life.
Recipes that use coconut oil: Just about all of them or my Easy Chocolate Freezer Bark!
A wonderful superfood, at a wonderful price. The value is amazing! I to prepare them by lightly pan frying them and using them as a salad topper like in my Pan Fried Sardine Superfood Salad!
14. Sparkling Water
A great way to up your water intake if you’re like me and really don’t care for plain water. The raspberry lime is delicious, especially with a squeeze of fresh lime!
This is the best deal on organic raw honey that I’ve ever seen. Buying local is obviously best but if you can’t find a local option this is the perfect second option! Great for making Paleo Honey Sesame Chicken!
16. Frozen Wild Blueberries
Man oh man how I love these blueberries! They’re incredibly sweet and perfect for pies, smoothies, and even fruit leather! For a delicious pie check out my Chocolate Blueberry Pie (to make it Paleo simply substitute the sugar for coconut sugar and use the pie crust from my strawberry galettes!). For the fruit leather recipe check out my Strawberry Fruit Leather recipe and you can substitute blueberries for the strawberries!
17. Seafood Blend
Ok so here’s the deal…Frozen seafood is never my favorite but this seafood blend is so versatile I couldn’t not put it on the list. Our favorite ways to use it is grilling it for tacos, and throwing into soups and stir fry’s. Just be sure to not over cook it. If grilling you’ll want to thaw in cool water and pat dry before grilling.
18. Grass-fed Beef
We usually buy ground beef from a local farm, but at $5.99 per pound it’s a great deal!
19. Freeze Dried Blueberries
Another great snack for throwing in your lunch or taking on trips! I especially love these because they’re unsweetened!
20. Teas and Coffee
Trader Joe’s has a fabulous selection of organic and fairtrade teas and coffee. The Rooibos and Honeybush is my favorite!
21. Coconut Cream
Great for curry and desserts this coconut cream is delicious! I also whip it up for a whipped cream topping with fresh vanilla bean!
If you’re not a fan of making your own ghee this is an economical choice. It’s not organic so depending on what your view point on that is you may want to make your own.
And last but not least is guacamole! I couldn’t resist adding this one in. The ingredients are spot on and it has over 5 avocados in one package! I couldn’t buy 5 avocados for that price! I’m guilty of eating it straight up with a spoon but it’s also great on salads, meats, fajitas, and so much more!
These are just a few of my favorite Paleo items from Trader Joe’s. Do you have anything you’d like to add to this list? Leave your favorites in the comments! Or download a free printable shopping list below!
Just so you know coconut oil has low smoking point around 250 , the biggest smoking point has avocado oil around 500, so it’s not good to use it for cooking coconut oil, you can find that info anywhere. Ghee is also great for cooking
Thanks for this list Lauren. I am just starting what I will call Neo-Paleo. Baby steps. Everything I learn helps me make healthier decisions.
Trader Joe’s also has a product called Coconut Aminos. It is a great soy sauce substitute. I prefer Coconut Secret brand but it is twice the price. If I recall correctly, both are organic.
There is no official Paleo Diet. I am on a much stricter Paleo diet (lifestyle). Great List. I may try some things on it. Several of the items you listed are not Paleo to me though.
I must say here that while all McDonalds foods are a chemical s^!t storm, there is no legal definition for “all-natural”. Vanilla flavor made from castoreum (beaver’s butt) is considered natural.
I am looking for a place that has Paleo breads??? With home base in Calif it is hard to believe no Paleo bread ?????
I just found this on instagram called Legit Bread Company. Saw they had places in Cal. I’m in NYC, so hoping to buy it here and try it. Website legitbreadcompany.com
I’ve found Paleo breads in the frozen section of Vons (Safeway) and Barons and Jimbo’s (San Diego county).
Thanks for the list. Will go here on Friday, wish one was near me
Thanks for the list. My husband recently decided to try Paleo as several people in his cyclic vomiting syndrome group have had good success with reducing episodes on it. As a vegetarian myself I was really lost as to what to buy! So this list will get me started for the next couple days while We do our research. 🙂
Depending on how strict you are, many of these are decidedly NOT paleo. It’s got to be organic, free-range, grass-fed, antibiotic and hormone free. That’s including the ghee, which does not specify it’s grass-fed.
Hi Debbie! Paleo means something different to everyone. It’s a template and not a strict “follow all the rules or it’s not Paleo” type of diet. The whole premise of “Paleo” is to eat whole natural foods that don’t contain unnatural and processed ingredients which all of these items do not. As for the free-range, grass-fed, and antibiotic/hormone free…All Trader Joe’s (branded TJ’s) are free from the following:
NO artificial flavors
NO artificial preservatives
NO synthetic colors
NO genetically modified ingredients
NO partially hydrogenated oils (artificial trans-fats)
And all of their meat and dairy contains no antibiotics or hormones. Sounds pretty Paleo to me. If you’re worried about the ghee you can make your own like I do with Kerrygold butter which is grass-fed. I even stated in the post the following statement regarding the ghee -> “It’s not organic so depending on what your view point on that is you may want to make your own.” Thanks for stopping by!
While this is a phenomenal list those bacon ends have sugar added into them. It’s not much but it’s not paleo….I follow whole 30 so I am stricter than paleo but since you avoid added sugar on both diets the bacon is out 🙁 sorry to be a lousy Lisa
Paleo is Organic and free range, the animals is not fed any vegetables, total natural off the land fed, Please do not miss lead the public, thos of us that are strict Paleo know the difference , the stores need to learn to read labels and know the difference. Like the seafood blend, where is it from is a big clue
This is false and why so many people are afraid of not being able to afford eating “Paleo”. It is a common agreement among the top paleo experts, bloggers, and nutritionists that while it’s best to strive for a 100% organic, grass-fed, sustainable diet it’s JUST NOT POSSIBLE for everyone. Do you believe that if someone can’t afford $8.99 a pound organic chicken you would rather them eat McDonalds chicken nuggets instead of all-natural $3.99 a pound chicken?
Lol. You are so well spoken Lauren and cleared her up so politely. This made my day. Continue to put your best foot forward as you have been.
These are some of our favorite paleo products from TJ’s too! The bacon ends & pieces deal just can’t be beat and the fact that they have riced cauliflower is a total game changer at our house. I bought 3 bags last week because I heard it’s been selling out everywhere. Thanks for sharing!
Trader Joe’s is seriously the best. I have definitely bought a few of these items of this list. My husband loves their sardines!
Katie @ Recipe for Perfection
My favorite thing from Trader Joe’s is the amazing deal on a wonderful Arbequina olive oil from California! Must try!
Arman @ thebigmansworld
This is absolutely perfect- I’ve been overwhelmed every time I set foot into a TJ’s since mving here!
I do love Trader Joes and often shop there so this list is absolutely helpful. Thanks and pinning, too!
Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen
This is a really great list. The pure bars are really great too! And I LOVE the smoked salmon for snacking and breakfast. 🙂
I’ve never seen the pure bars…I’ll make sure to check them out! The smoked salmon is a great one as well!
Alisa @ Go Dairy Free
I was just going to do a post like this, this week! It will be neat to compare lists 🙂 I buy several items on your list – including the coconut oil, sardines, and those bacon ends & pieces (which they always run out of!).
Great minds think alike! Can’t wait to see your list! I feel ya on them always being out of bacon. They probably think I’m crazy because I buy 10 packs of it when they do have it!