The Classic Soup You Should Never Skip At Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's is known for their delicious prepared foods. From the classic favorite Mandarin Orange Chicken to new, seasonal items that pop up regularly, there's no lack of meal inspiration in the aisles at TJ's. And while it's true that you can't just come in, sit down, and eat when you visit your neighborhood store, that doesn't mean your meal can't be ready in a flash. Arguably, the quickest meal you can pick up is Trader Joe's soup. And there's one that rises above all others in our ranking, one you should never skip — the New England Clam Chowder.

TJ's clam chowder has everything you'd want in this classic: potatoes, cream, and clams, with a lightly seasoned base so that the clam flavor shines through. This soup just needs careful warming to be a complete and satisfying meal, especially if you pair it with a loaf of sourdough. Chowder is a bit more complicated than other soup recipes, and not everyone is comfortable working with fresh clams, which is why this creamy soup is one you'll be especially happy to pick up from the refrigerated aisle.

Almost better than chowder from scratch

If you wonder what it might take to make clam chowder from scratch, just know that it's a multi-step recipe involving simmering a mixture of cream, potatoes, and aromatics before adding clam meat. Due to the whole clams, homemade clam chowder should only be stored for a day or two — that ready-to-eat clam chowder is looking better and better by comparison!

Of course, you can customize any ready-made soup, and clam chowder is no exception. Add some crumbled bacon for extra deep umami flavors, or top your warm bowl with a little float of sherry and a shower of minced parsley to make it extra fancy. Other quick garnishes to give your chowder a homemade flair are chopped chives, a dusting of smoked paprika, or a handful of crunchy oyster crackers. However, this soup is good enough to stand on its own. We're sure you'll be spooning up every last bit of this top-rated classic.