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The 10 best pumpkin things to buy at Trader Joe’s this fall, ranked

We sifted through the treasure trove that is TJ’s seasonal drop to bring you the must-have pumpkin items to buy.

By
Virginia Gil
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Fall is the season for leaf-peeping, changing weather and, most importantly, all things pumpkin. No place does the seasonal favorite better than Trader Joe’s, where each year brings a new selection of pumpkin-flavored items among its widespread inventory of fall-inspired food. There’s a lot to choose from in the pumpkin category and TraderJoe’s carries much more than we’ve included here. For purposes of this ranking, we’ve omitted the lackluster items and focused on only the 10 best pumpkin things you need to include in your next Trader Joe’s haul.

It goes without saying, but, these items go quickly and won’t be replenished once they sell out. We suggest stocking up on the things you can freeze or the shelf-stable products that will keep for a while. There are many reasons you might need to hunker down over the next several months (snowstorms, hurricanes, global health crises), and having your favorite fall foods on hand will make it all the more bearable. Trust us.

1. Pumpkin brioche twist

This bread is one of the more versatile pumpkin things on sale at Trader Joe’s. It’s got a mellow flavor with hints of cinnamon, and it’s soft and delicious right out of the bag. You can also toast it and top it with the seasonal apple cider spread for dessert, throw on some almond butter for extra protein at breakfast or use it for an autumn-style french toast for your weekend brunch.

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2. Pumpkin rolls

Break-and-bake cinnamon rolls with notes of pumpkin and fall spice—what’s not to like? These are a standout product you’ll want to keep in your fridge all season long. They’re easy to make and bake up crispy on the edges and soft and tender in the center. The dough itself is made with dried pumpkin while the icing packets are flavored with more pumpkin, ginger and cinnamon for a double dose of all things fall.

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3. Pumpkin samosas

These savory triangles are the Indian version of a turnover. They’re filled with everything you’d expect a vegetarian samosa to include, like paneer cheese, regular and sweet potatoes and lots of spices (garlic, ginger, turmeric). Toss them in the air fryer (or bake them, but never the microwave) and they’ll come out crispy and light, just like you ordered them at your favorite Indian restaurant. Looking to double-down on the fall flavors? Trader Joe’s sells a pumpkin curry sauce that’s great for dipping.

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4. Pumpkin Ginger Hold the Cone! mini ice cream cones

These tiny cones make dessert feel less like a splurge and more like an extension of your meal. Cap off dinner with a ginger-flavored cone filled with creamy pumpkin ice cream that’s sealed in with a hard icing coating. It’s sweet, packed with notes of nutmeg and cinnamon and won’t break the calorie bank.

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5. Honey roasted pumpkin ravioli

We’re on the fence about this one, but it’s our fault for assuming it would taste like an amped-up butternut squash ravioli. Not only are the ravioli sweeter than what we expected but the filling is closer to what goes into a pumpkin pie than what gets piped into pasta squares. Besides the honey-roasted pumpkin, the ravioli is stuffed with brown sugar and molasses, plus a little cheese. You’ll need more cheese and a good, garlicky butter sauce to temper the pumpkin flavors in this one. Proceed with caution.

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6. Autumn harvest soup

This soup is like getting a big pumpkin-flavored hug when you need it most. It’s creamy and comforting like a fall soup should be, and enjoyable even if you live somewhere where autumn doesn’t exist (Hi, Florida!). It’s balanced (the roasted California tomatoes in it cut through the sweetness of the butternut squash and pumpkin) and relatively healthy. A cup of this rich, filling soup clocks in at just 150 calories.

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7. Pumpkin butter

For the people who want to put pumpkin in and on everything, this one’s for you. Get yourself a jar of this spreadable gourd paste and go nuts. It’s shelf-stable, which means you can fill your pantry with pumpkin butter and eat like it’s fall well into summer.

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8. Pumpkin Joe-Joe’s

Picking a single type of pumpkin cookie is when it starts to feel like the Trader Joe’s version of Sophie’s Choice. You have the pumpkin spice cookies, the pumpkin Joe-Joe’s and pumpkin chocolate chunk oatmeal cookie mix (which is technically a cookie once you make it)—and they’re all great. But if we had to pick just one, it’d be the Joe-Joe’s. We’d compare the sandwich cookies to a vanilla Oreo that’s heavy on the pumpkin flavor (it’s made with both purée and powder) and with a soft center that oozes out when you take a bite. Be warned: these are very sweet.

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9. Pumpkin ale

Toast to the season with a beer fit for fall. There’s nothing subtle about TJ’s spice-driven pumpkin ale, whose notes of nutmeg and cloves hit you over the head the moment you take a sip. It’s aggressive but not enough to pass up this limited-time beer.

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10. Trader Joe’s turkey and pumpkin mole burrito

If you’re buying this for the pumpkin flavor, we don’t recommend it. But if you’re in the mood for something Mexican that’s quick and easy and ticks off the boxes of a fall-inspired dish (pumpkin, sweet potatoes, turkey), give the molé burrito a shot. It’s flavorful but isn’t spicy, which could go both ways depending on your tolerance for heat. You can always add a couple of drops of Tabasco if you like your Mexican food with a kick.

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