From Twirl to Taste, Frozen Pastas at Trader Joe’s, Ranked!

In a testament to the affordability and variety of Trader Joe’s, a culinary enthusiast embarked on a mission to taste and rank each of the store’s 25 frozen pasta entrées. With a mix of excitement and nostalgia, the journey through Trader Joe’s frozen aisle showcased the diverse range of offerings, from traditional favorites to unique concoctions, all at a remarkable price point of around $17 for the entire selection.

Top Contenders

Trader Joe's Gnocchi Alla Romana

Trader Joe's Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe Reviews - Trader Joe's Reviews


Leading the pack was the Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe, achieving a rare perfect score of 10 for its authentic taste, spicy kick, and creamy, cheese-forward flavor. It was lauded for being indistinguishable from a restaurant-made dish, showcasing the high potential of frozen cuisine. Following closely was the Gnocchi alla Romana, scoring a 9, praised for its tender yet toothsome texture, rich flavor profile of cream, cheese, and nutmeg, and its overall excellence in transcending frozen food expectations.

Solid Choices

Where is the love for Gnocchi al Gorgonzola? : r/traderjoes

The Gnocchi Gorgonzola and Uncured Pepperoni Pizza Mac & Cheese Bowl, each scoring a 7, stood out for their satisfying textures and flavors, though they were noted for being a bit one-dimensional or overly dominated by certain ingredients.

Middle of the Pack

Joe's Diner Mac 'n CheeseTrader Joe's Hatch Chile Mac & Cheese

Several dishes, like the Diner Mac & Cheese and Hatch Chile Mac & Cheese, landed in the middle with scores around 6 or 7, offering decent flavors and textures but not standing out in the crowded field.

Disappointments and Surprises

Trader Joe's French Onion Macaroni & CheeseGluten Free Mac & Cheese

The journey had its lows, with the French Onion Mac & Cheese and Gluten-Free Mac & Cheese both hitting a disappointing score of 3, criticized for their texture and lackluster flavor. In contrast, the Sweet Potato Gnocchi surprised pleasantly with a score of 7, balancing butter, cheese, and sage flavors effectively.

This taste-testing adventure not only highlighted the best of what Trader Joe’s frozen pasta section has to offer but also underscored the reality that not all frozen meals are created equal. With a range from disappointing to divine, Trader Joe’s continues to be a haven for budget-friendly, diverse, and sometimes outstanding frozen pasta dishes.

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