Trader Joe's Pickle Products, Ranked

People have strong opinions about pickles. People also have strong opinions about which Trader Joe's products are worth buying. So, I decided it was time to tie the two together and figure out which Trader Joe's pickles, and pickle-y products were worth adding to my cart.

Trader Joe's carries a selection of jarred pickles, like basic kosher dill pickle chips, sandwich pickles, and bread and butter pickles. However, it also carries a few creative products that get their inspiration from pickles and infuse familiar, vinegary flavors into items like mustard and popcorn. For such a small grocery store, the number of pickle-adjacent products it offers is rather astounding.

If you love all things pickle, you're going to want to know which products are the best ones to buy — and you're probably excited by the prospect of having as much as pickle as possible in your life. I went to my local Trader Joe's and bought every single pickle product I could find, tasted them back-to-back, and ranked them from worst to best based on factors like basic taste and texture, as well as how well the pickle-inspired products capture the flavor profile of the source material (aka pickles themselves). Hopefully, using this guide, you can make well-informed choices about what to add to your cart next time you're at Trader Joe's.

10. Cornichons

Cornichons are tiny, sweet little pickles that often appear on charcuterie boards. They also make a great ingredient to add to egg salad because they provide a crunchy texture and vinegary flavor. Cornichons are typically bite-sized or two-bite-sized and often are something of an acquired taste. Most of the time, I really like them; my friends often give me the extras off their plates. Unfortunately, I didn't like Trader Joe's version at all.

I smelled something funny and slightly artificial as soon as I opened the jar. I'm not saying that there's anything artificial going on with these pickles — the odor just made it seem so. When I bit into one, I noticed the immediate flavor was extremely sweet, almost in a hard candy-like way. Pickled candies? Not for me. This was a rare miss for Trader Joe's, and since I would actively avoid buying them from the store in the future, it was clear that the cornichons were deserving of the last place spot in this ranking.

9. Kosher Sandwich Pickles

Pickles belong on some sandwiches more than others. A Cuban sandwich? Pickles are non-negotiable. A grilled cheese? Debatable. A Fluffernutter? Yeah, probably not. But if you do decide to put a pickle on your sandwich, no matter how ill-advised that decision may be, you're going to want to go for pickles that have been sliced specifically for sandwiches, like these organic kosher sandwich pickles.

This jar looks promising. The pickles certainly long enough for even the most substantial sandies and have the right thickness for a balanced bite. But the flavor just wasn't there. I thought that the slices tasted dull and watery and the only flavor that came through was an odd tartness. This flavor wasn't sour, as pickles should be, but was rather distinctly tart. If there was nothing else around and I was desperate, you might be able to convince me to use these — but I'd never buy them again. After all, just because you love pickles doesn't mean you should purchase ones that are sub-par. You deserve better.

8. Organic Sweet Pickle Relish

I had been disappointed by the two prior pickle selections and hoped for more from this organic sweet pickle relish. It's important to note that relish isn't just pickles chopped up for convenience, and it doesn't necessarily have to be made with pickled cucumbers, either. Though, most shoppers associate relish with pickles, which is what this Trader Joe's condiment is made up of.

A good relish should, like a good bread and butter pickle, add both a savory and sweet element to your meal. This Trader Joe's relish tastes like it was made from cornichons — which means that the flavor comes out far too sweet. That hard candy-like flavor appears again, which isn't as out-of-place, considering that relish is supposed to be slightly sweet. The cloying flavor in the relish wasn't as unpleasant as the flavor in the whole pickles, but this sweet pickle relish still lands at the bottom of this ranking because of its overtly sweet flavor.

7. Organic Sweet Bread & Butter Pickle Chips

Bread and butter pickles are not made using bread and/or butter. If anyone has a recipe that says otherwise, please let me know. Rather, what makes bread and butter different from other types of pickles is that they are flavored with sweet onions, garlic, spices, and plenty of sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. Like the other pickles I sampled, Trader Joe's organic sweet bread and butter pickle chips are, no doubt, sweet.

I really wanted these chips to be game changer and restore my faith in Trader Joe's pickles again. After all, a nice bread and butter pickle is such a fun little tease of a snack because it's neither completely sour, nor mild. These pickles were not as bad as some of the others I tried, but they still weren't great. They tasted slightly musty and old, like the jar had been sitting on the stores shelves a few years too long — even for something pickled. There are just better brands that do bread and butter pickles better. Sorry, TJ's, better luck next time.

6. Kosher Dill Pickles

Kosher dill pickles are, perhaps, the quintessential pickle. Cumbers, plenty of dill, and a rich brine create something that's just so satisfying. There's nothing like one of these babies and a bag of chips to accompany your sandwich at lunchtime. And pickle lovers, rejoice, because this jar of kosher dill pickles that I picked up from Trader Joe's was the first of the store's pickles that I would actually buy again.

That's not to say that there's anything particularly special or excellent about these. They were, honestly, still pretty bland and lifeless, but at least they didn't have any major failings apart from a lack of flavor. They tasted slightly sterile for a minute, but it wasn't too offensive. If I was on a shopping trip to Trader Joe's and had run out of pickles, I'd be fine with picking these up instead of going home without any pickles at all. But, they wouldn't be my top pick of all the pickle products that Trader Joe's has to offer.

5. Kosher Dill Pickle Chips

Despite being the top-ranked of all the actual pickles, the kosher dill pickle chips didn't even make it to the top three on this list. The fact of the matter is that Trader Joe's does pickle-flavored and pickle-adjacent products better than it does actual pickles. That being said, the kosher dill pickle chips are actually pretty good. The flavor of these rounds aren't spectacular and I wouldn't run out to Trader Joe's to buy them and only them. But, they will suffice in a pinch. Overall, these pickles don't have a ton of flavor, but they do taste relatively fresh and vibrant.

Since these are solid, basic pickle chips, they are the perfect ones to use in a recipe. For example, you may want to try baking your pickle chips with cheese to add a crispy, crunchy texture. You're going to wish you'd thought to do this sooner, since it completely transforms the texture and taste of the pickle.

4. Seasoning in a Pickle

I don't often think of "pickles" and "seasoning" in the same context. Pickles are an accouterment, a snack, or a side, but they can't exactly season other foods. Or can they? Trader Joe's is famous for its inventive spice blends like Everything But the Bagel seasoning and Everything But the Elote seasoning, but attempting to put the flavor of pickles into a shaker jar just seems impossible. Wouldn't that just be, well, dried dill? It's a seasoning many of us already have lying around our kitchens and one that we don't need to buy again. But, the trader Joe's Seasoning in a Pickle is something else entirely.

This seasoning does include dill, but it also brings in powdered vinegar, garlic, onion, and sugar. Using this seasoning medley is like sprinkling pickle juice on top of something without making it wet. I could taste every element — including the sour vinegar, the zesty onion and garlic, the floral dill, and the touch of sweet sugar. If you're crazy about pickles, you will definitely want to add this Seasoning in a Pickle to your spice drawer. But, if you're just an average pickle consumer, I'm not sure how useful this spice blend will be. Since it probably won't appeal to everyone and because it's such a niche product, I think ranking it in the middle is fair.

3. Popcorn in a Pickle

Popcorn is such a classic snack. It's simple, yet still the classic nostalgic snack we all know and love. Plus, it's the perfect accompaniment to a movie night with friends. But if you're a pickle lover, you're going to want step up your popcorn game and try this Popcorn in a Pickle from Trader Joe's. It's an utterly unique, playful twist on classic popcorn.

The go-to flavoring for popcorn is, of course, butter. This bag of popcorn isn't dripping with melted movie theater butter, though. The kernels are light and pillowy rather than sticky and greasy, which means you can eat a lot of it without feeling sick. But the best part is, of course, the pickle flavor. This product is basically popcorn doused in Trader Joe's Seasoning in a Pickle. It tastes a little sour like salt and vinegar potato chips, but then comes in that hint of sweetness and the dash of dill. Overall, I really enjoyed this pickle product. The only critique I have would be for Trader Joe's to amp up the intensity of the pickle flavor, and then it may scoot up higher in my ranking.

2. Perfectly Pickled Pups

Pigs in a blanket are arguably more beloved than pickles. Everyone loves little hot weenies wrapped in dough and baked until golden-brown — right? So I was really excited when I saw that Trader Joe's carries a creative, upgraded twist on pigs in a blanket called Perfectly Pickled Pups. These are mini hot dogs coated in a crunchy, pickle-infused batter. The flavor was interesting, and in-line with the other pickle-flavored products I had already sampled for this ranking.

This pickle product was undoubtedly amazing. I prepared mine from frozen in the air fryer, and would highly recommend you do the same. The hot dogs were juicy and the batter tasted a bit like cornbread if you added lots of dill to it and sprinkled some vinegar on top of each square. Plus, the coating came out pleasantly crisp. I thought they wouldn't really taste pickle-y, but I was wrong. There's a lot of pickle flavor here, and it's done very well. But, there's one condiment that takes the title of the TJ's best pickle product that has a little more utility in the kitchen.

1. Dill Pickle Mustard

I loved the Perfectly Pickled Pups. But I have a small confession to make: Part of the reason I loved these pickle-infused weenies so much might be because I was dipping them in Trader Joe's dill pickle mustard. This Trader Joe's condiment is gold for you pickle lovers out there. Even if you're not big on mustard, this condiment might just convert you.

Yellow mustard by itself is pretty boring, but when you add tons of bright dill flavor and tangy vinegar, it becomes far more fun. Anything you dip into this condiment will come out tasting very pickled indeed. It's ideal for those pigs in a blanket, but would also be fantastic on sandwiches and with french fries. If you want even more pickle flavor, I suggest sprinkling some of that Seasoning in a Pickle on top or mixing it right in to the mustard, but that move is only for the brave. In short, I would unequivocally recommend picking this item up during your next trip to Trader Joe's.


I made a trip to Trader Joe's and scoured every section for anything pickled or pickle-related for this piece. Then, to properly rank the products, I tried them all back-to-back. First, I tasted every pickle chip, spear, and relish, before moving onto the pickle-adjacent products like the Popcorn in a Pickle and the Perfectly Pickled Pups. I took notes on each one and ranked them based on a few factors.

The first thing I considered were how good the jarred pickles were in comparison to other popular brands like Mt. Olive and Vlasic. Then, I looked at how accurately the pickle-inspired products captured the flavor and essence of a proper pickle. And last but not least, the most important factor to me, was whether or not I would buy the product again. The lower-ranking ones I would likely wouldn't pick up a second time, while the top three I would actively seek out.