Trader Joe's is known (at least by college students) for its expansive and delicious selection of frozen food items. Whether you want a quick stir-fry, orange chicken, or a tasty flatbread, you're sure to be satisfied after a trip to TJ's.
Most of the hype, though, is about the lunch and dinner items, so I set out to try some frozen breakfast items that often fly under the radar. Here are the 10 best (yet underrated) cheap Trader Joe's frozen breakfast items that will make your morning 10 times better—and with almost zero effort involved.
1. Chocolate Croissants - $4.49
Croissants are a staple if you're craving something classy and sweet for breakfast. Just like the box says, leave the croissants out overnight so that they can defrost and rise. If you're feeling fancy, brush egg wash on them in the morning before popping them in the oven. This will give them that classic croissant shine and crispy texture.
Your dorm will be quickly transformed into a Parisian café, and all of your friends relying on breakfast bars and cereal will be jealous. In fact, these croissants are easily my favorite of all the cheap Trader Joe's frozen breakfast items on this list.
2. Belgium Waffles - $1.99
Don't let the simplicity of popping these waffles in the toaster fool you—they taste just like they were made from scratch. The outside of each waffle is crispy, and the inside is thick and fluffy. You honestly might end up eating all four from the box in one sitting. Top the waffles off with some fresh berries and maple syrup for the ultimate comfort breakfast to start your day off right.
3. Frozen Fruit - starting at $1.99
Trader Joe's has an amazing selection of frozen fruit, including mangos, berries, figs, and so much more. If you're aiming to get a head start on your fruit intake for the day, or if you're running low on time, make yourself a quick smoothie and take it to-go. An extra bonus? TJ's frozen fruit can last up to nine months—perfect for us college kids who constantly forget about the contents of our freezers.
4. Cheese Blintzes - $3.49
Blintzes require a little extra effort since they have to be made in a frying pan or in the oven, but they are absolutely worth it. If you've never had this breakfast item before, blintzes are pockets of sweet, creamy ricotta cheese wrapped in a thin papery dough. The cheese gushes out with each bite, making this a warm, melt-in-your-mouth breakfast option that's sure to put you in a great mood for the day.
#SpoonTip: Preheat the oven right after hopping out of bed, so that you can multi-task cooking and getting ready. When the blintzes are all done, try dipping them in applesauce for a delicious flavor combo.
5. French Toast - $2.49
French toast is a breakfast classic, and thanks to Trader Joe's we can enjoy this superior form of bread in the same amount of time it takes to make a plain piece of toast. The best way to make it is with a toaster oven, but if you don't have one, feel free to use the microwave.
#SpoonTip: Avoid putting the slices into a regular toaster, since they'll get too hard and lose that signature French toast fluffy texture.
6. Hash Browns Patties - $1.99
If you are from the Chicago area, you will forever have a deep love for Walker Brother's hash browns. But these easy-to-make frozen ones come pretty close to that crispy potato flavor. The potatoes are best the more that they brown, so resist the urge to stir the pan, and let them brown all the way. A few great topping options are ketchup, Sriracha, or even applesauce for a salty-sweet flavor combo.
7. Toaster Waffles - starting at $1.99
These may not be quite as indulgent as the Belgium waffles, but for a quick breakfast, these are sweet and toasty perfection. Trader Joe's offers gluten-free, multigrain, and seasonal toaster waffles, including banana, pumpkin and blueberry—a version to satisfy any craving.
A (somewhat) healthy fix, these waffles are great for the morning, especially if you are pressed for time. For extra sweetness, top with fruit, maple syrup—or if you're trying to treat yo'self—whipped cream and chocolate syrup.
8. Quiche - $2.29
If you are truly a breakfast person, this is the savory treat for you. Trader Joe's offers broccoli and cheddar, Spanish, mushroom, and cheese quiches. Just pop one in the microwave, and it will be ready to go in just a few minutes. The crust is flaky and delicious, and the hearty fillings will keep you full until lunch. These are also great for a Sunday brunch along with a large bowl of TJ's seasonal fruits.
9. Silver Dollar Pancakes - $1.99
These pancakes are delightfully spongy and sweet. One bite will bring you back to the Sunday mornings of your childhood. They are super tiny, too, so it might be hard to resist eating more than a single serving. Before you pop them in the microwave, sprinkle some chocolate chips on top for a quick, sweet, and indulgent breakfast.
10. Potato Pancakes - $2.49
Although potato pancakes (or latkes) are traditionally served up during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, Trader Joe's gives you the option to enjoy them year-round. When making potato pancakes from scratch, it takes a lot of time and effort to master the creamy consistency of the inside and the crispy texture of the outer crust. But these frozen ones taste like the real deal in only a fraction of the time and with minimal effort. Don't forget to enjoy with applesauce or top with a fried egg for a fun twist.
I will be forever grateful that these cheap Trader Joe's frozen breakfast meals are almost as satisfying as fresh pastries from a local bakery or a hot meal from a café. And now you have no excuse for skimping on the most important meal of the day.
Thanks to the TJ's frozen aisle, your breakfasts will become that much more substantial, and everyone will be asking where your extra energy is coming from. Waking up for that 8 am class has never been more worth it.