32 Trader Joe’s Products We’re Obsessed With—and How to Pack Them for a Picnic

Al fresco all the way.

By Caitlin Clark
Trader Joe's picnic foods.

We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

The art of eating al fresco is more difficult than it looks. Thankfully, there’s one source we turn to when packing up for an outdoor meal. You can score all the best picnic foods from Trader Joe’s, but knowing how to curate a selection for every occasion—well, that requires a bit more finesse.

Ahead, we’ve gathered the essentials for an indulgent French-inspired picnic (complete with an insulated basket), a breezy beach gathering, the ultimate al fresco charcuterie set-up, and beyond. Whether it’s an impromptu affair or you just don’t feel like fussing with recipes, we’ve made our picnics as effortless as possible with foods curated exclusively from Trader Joe’s. Because filling your picnic basket should be easy on your budget—and we’ll take any excuse to hit up TJ’s.

Featured image by Michelle Nash.

camille styles with picnic spread
Image by Michelle Nash

How to Pack a Breezy, Beachside Picnic

Unless you’re lucky enough to have an oceanfront address, a beach picnic likely means a bit of a haul. To save room for the integral wine (scope our TJ’s faves), we’ve kept our suggestions on the lighter—but no less satisfying—side.  

The Beach People Lune Round Towel

For balmy beach days and seaside sunsets. The celestial design is the perfect backdrop for any picnic.


Mediterranean Style Orzo Pasta Salad

For when you can’t be bothered to put a pasta salad together yourself. Pick your idyllic Mediterranean setting of choice, and the briny and bright flavors will transport you immediately.


Brioche Hot Dog Buns

A picnic rule to live by? Hot dogs are only as good as their buns. These get even better with a little light toasting on the grill.


Organic Grass-Fed Uncured Beef Hot Dogs

No-fuss, quick to cook, and sure to satisfy all your picnic guests? Check, check, and check.


Super Sweet Fresh Corn

It’s not summer without corn on the cob. Buttery, sweet nostalgia—delivered.


Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

If your life hasn’t yet been transformed by the deliciousness inherent in these peanut butter cups, prepare your tastebuds. You’re in for a treat.


How to Pack a Gluten-Free Picnic

Perhaps your group is well-versed in the limitations of Celiac. Or maybe your friend just so happens to be avoiding gluten for trendier reasons. No judgment here—a gluten-free spread can be as substantial as a hearty glass of wheat beer thanks to our picks for the best picnic foods from Trader Joe’s.

Woven Fabiana Picnic Blanket

The vibes are chill, and the energy is laid-back. This cheery, printed picnic blanket is the perfect piece for your go-with-the-flow gathering.

$69.95 (reg. $98)

picnic spread on white linen cloth
Image by Michelle Nash

Gluten Free Mac & Cheese

Just because you’re dining gluten-free doesn’t mean you can’t indulge. Rice flour pasta gets jazzed up with the magic of Monterey Jack and white cheddar cheeses. Proof that you really can have it all.


Gluten Free Hamburger Buns

Some gluten-free buns are dense (we’re talking hockey puck-dense). Instead, these are airy and lightly sweet—the perfect match for your picnic-winning burgers.


Organic Ground Beef Patties 85:15

Speaking of all-star burgers, we have your pick right here. Grass-fed beef means premium flavor and well-marbled patties. The foundation for a picnic to remember.


Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips

These chips bring the maximum crunch. Made from the finest organic, stoneground blue corn that money can buy, you can trust that these are the perfect partner for your preferred dip.


Everything and the Elote Greek Style Yogurt Dip

Delicious creamy yogurt pairs with Everything But The Elote Seasoning Blend to create all the flavors of a classic, freshly grilled elote, just without the corn that normally carries them.


Gluten Free Joe-Joe’s Chocolate Vanilla Creme Cookies

Arguably the best Trader Joe’s product in the store’s entire inventory. That’s right—I said it and I’m not taking it back.


Camille Styles picnic_best picnic foods from trader joe's
Image by Michelle Nash

What to Pack for an Indulgent French Picnic Spread

We tend to think of relatively light fare when we think of picnics. But when your al fresco dream looks like a scene from Marie Antoinette, it’s time to call in the Trader Jacques heavy hitters.

Hearth & Hand x Magnolia Heathered Stripe Woven Throw Blanket

If you’re hosting a French-inspired picnic, easygoing elegance is the goal. The good news is that this throw only looks expensive and will lay the groundwork for a chic fête to come.


The Beach People Insulated Picnic Basket

This unsuspecting, minimalist basket is filled with everything you need to come to your picnic prepared. The basket is fully insulated, and the lid doubles as a cheeseboard. Genius, no?

$89.99 (reg. $149)

Brut Rosé French Sparkling Wine

The closest thing to imbibing in a French vineyard. This classic, crisp, and clean sipper will save you the trip.


Mini French Baguettes

It’s well known that the best baguettes come from France. Good thing these are made by a French bakery—crusty, chewy bread you can trust.


Unexpected Cheddar Chicken Sausage

These sausages’ smoky, spicy flavor can’t be beaten, and if you haven’t tried the TJ unexpected cheddar—get ready for your world to change. These are your ticket to a delicious, easy-to-prep picnic.


Whole Grain Dijon Mustard

The best mustards boast a bit of tang alongside the expected spicy-sweet flavor. Bonus: Whole mustard seeds add a textural element that’ll only amplify everything you spread it on.


Mixed Mushroom & Spinach Quiche

We’re always down for assembling and baking a homemade quiche. But when you don’t have the time and are craving a bit of ease (relatable), this option always wins.


A Dozen Macarons Variés

The obvious dessert choice for ending your Parisian picnic on a high note.


Ashleigh Amoroso happy hour_best picnic foods from trader joe's
Image by Michelle Nash

The Ultimate Charcuterie Picnic

Ah, the most leisurely picnic of them all. No cooking—just slicing, organizing, and nibbling. Feel more than free to pair with your favorite wine.

Oniva Blanket Tote Outdoor Carnaby Street Collection Picnic Blanket XL

Classic plaid and charcuterie—is there anything better for your next picnic?


Chevre with Honey

Your favorite tangy goat cheese is made all the more delicious with a drizzle of honey. The options are endless when it comes to this cheese: spread it on crackers, use it to top your burger, or serve atop your salad.


Olive & Herbs Mixed Nuts

A little herby crunch goes a long way.


Spicy Uncured Charcuterie Collection

When you’re tasked with designing a charcuterie board to remember, you want to dedicate all your focus to aesthetics. Make it easy on yourself and pick up this trio of charcuterie classics.


Fig & Olive Crisps

Fruity, crispy, and tasty topped with just about anything—these crackers can truly do no wrong.


Unexpected Cheddar Cheese

Rich, indulgent, and very unexpected—this pick will be the star of your charcuterie board.


Cheddar & Gruyere Mélange Cheese

Cheddar may be basic, but when combined with a bit of nutty gruyere, get ready for beautiful, tasty magic to occur.


Jumbo Pitted Greek Kalamata Olives

The best charcuterie boards benefit from a healthy dose of variety—and these olives mix up your palate in the best way.


Fig Butter

Just when you thought you’ve enjoyed any and all iterations of fruit and nut butter—fig butter steps in and steals the show.


camille styles sitting in a field of flowers with picnic
Image by Michelle Nash

The Best Prepared Foods at Trader Joe’s for a Picnic

We weren’t about to do a roundup of the best picnic foods from Trader Joe’s without devoting an entire section to what the beloved grocer does best: prepared foods and killer dips. 

Swap out something in our curated lists for these bestsellers below—or simply supplement. You can’t go wrong with a parmesan pastry pup or two.

Vegan Tzatziki Dip

Even if you’re hosting a plant-based picnic, you shouldn’t have to miss out on the herby, tangy (and, of course, creamy) combo that is tzatziki. This dairy-free take is it.


Parmesan Pastry Pups

Presenting: the aforementioned Parmesan Pastry Pups. Bite-sized pigs in a blanket—only better.


Broccoli & Kale Slaw

The perfect rainbowed base for all the best veggie-friendly picnic sides.


Lemon Chicken & Arugula Salad

A picnic lifesaver if there ever was one. A mix of Moroccan-inspired couscous, parsley, mint, currants, peppery arugula, and lemony chicken. Oh, and don’t miss out on the spicy red pepper dressing.


Buffalo Chicken Dip

Football season came early this year, and we’re here for the snacks.


Shelled Edamame

A sprinkling of sea salt is all that’s needed to bring out edamame’s nutty, just-a-touch sweet flavor. You can’t have a picnic without your veggies!


Vegan Caramelized Onion Dip

A picnic non-negotiable that’s irresistibly creamy without any dairy. The caramelized onions send this dip over the top.