13 Trader Joe's Cheeses, Ranked

It's nearly impossible to not enjoy cheese, seeing as there are so many types and flavors to exist. Even if you aren't a fan of all cheese — after all, blue cheese certainly isn't for everyone — there's a good chance you might appreciate a good cheddar, Swiss, or Gouda. Now, not all cheese is created equal, so if you steer clear of Kraft American singles, we can't blame you for that one. But if you aren't enjoying the occasional cheese board or topping off your pasta with freshly-grated Parmesan, then we have to say — you're missing out.

Nearly any grocery store sells cheese, but not all grocery stores sell as many types as Trader Joe's. As if we needed another reason to love the grocery store, its phenomenal cheese selection just adds yet another perk to the list. All of the cheeses on this list are absolutely worth the hype, each providing a unique flavor profile. From basic cheddars to herby Havartis, Trader Joe's has an impeccable variety of cheese, and at a great price point, too.

Even if you're a bit discerning when it comes to cheese, there really is something for everyone on this list. None of these cheeses are bad by any means; some are better than others, whereas some are more crowd-friendly in general. It comes down to personal preference, but if you want to up your cheese game and are looking for a good place to start, these 13 Trader Joe's cheeses won't let you down.

Traditional French Brie

Very few charcuterie boards are complete without Brie, and if you're looking for a brie that packs a punch, Trader Joe's French Brie will definitely do the trick. Like all types of Brie, this French Brie is a soft-ripened cheese, and you can eat both the interior and exterior — just expect an even stronger flavor in the latter. Speaking of strong flavor, this Brie definitely tastes riper than your typical Brie. It's a double cream cheese that is buttery, rich, and a little bit nutty. Particularly ideal for those who really love Brie, this strong cheese does not disappoint. 

One of the best things about Brie is that it melts so well; although you could eat it as-is, you'll appreciate the rich flavors all the more if you warm up the wedge in the oven for a bit. Slather some melty Brie onto a crostini and top it off with some jam for the perfect sweet-salty-buttery flavor combination. 

The only real downside to this Brie is that it is quite pungent; from the second you unwrap it, you're hit with a scent that is impossible to ignore, to say the least. Again, if you like strong Bries, then this traditional French variety will certainly pique the palate. If you like milder Bries, then it's best to opt for one of Trader Joe's other types. 

Cage-Aged Blue Cheese

Perhaps the most polarizing cheese on this list is Trader Joe's Cave-Aged Blue Cheese. Yes, blue cheese is injected or straight-up mixed with edible mold spores, and that alone is enough to turn many people off to the cheese altogether. If you happen to enjoy the pungent flavor or are at least willing to give it a try, then the Cave-Aged Blue Cheese is a good option to go with. 

This cheese features all of the flavor notes that one might hope for in a blue cheese; it's funky, strong, earthy, and a bit more citrusy than your typical blue cheese. The flavor is undeniably bright and not at all muted, so if strong, in-your-face flavor profiles are what you enjoy, then this one is most definitely a winner. 

It's also worthwhile to note that, while you certainly could shovel blue cheese crumbles into your mouth as-is, blue cheese is best when featured amongst other flavor profiles. The best way to enjoy this cheese would be as a crumble in a salad — plenty of funk would come through but ultimately taste much more mellow amongst the lettuce, vegetables, and dressing. Because blue cheese isn't the most versatile type of cheese in the world, it doesn't rank as high on this list as it could. That doesn't mean it's bad cheese by any means, but there are certainly more crowd-pleasing options out there.

Chèvre with Honey

Chèvre refers generally to any type of cheese made with goat's milk — in this case, we have Trader Joe's Chèvre with Honey, which provides a sweet twist. On its own, goat cheese is notably creamy, often tasting tangier than other types of cheese, specifically those made of cow's milk. 

Trader Joe's Chèvre with Honey is ideal for those who love goat cheese but want some extra flavor complexity. This cheese certainly is earthy and somewhat tart, and it doesn't taste overbearingly like honey — it's more of an aftertaste that melts nicely onto the palate. And, if you're afraid of this cheese tasting too sweet, fear not; it still tastes like savory cheese more than anything else, and any sweetness really just helps balance out any tanginess. As for the texture, it's very similar to cream cheese, making this a spreadable delight for crackers, toast, or whatever your heart desires. 

Before purchasing this cheese, it's a good idea to make sure that you enjoy goat's milk cheese and that you enjoy super creamy cheeses. Despite all of the subtle flavor notes, this chèvre is ultimately very mild, and while the honey does add some complexity, this is easily one of the blandest cheeses on this list.

Double Cream Gouda Cheese

Gouda is an ideal cheese for those who want something mild but not too mild. Trader Joe's Double Cream Gouda definitely fits that bill, as it has a rich, creamy flavor at its core, along with some slightly nutty undertones. As the "double cream" in the name suggests, this cheese is super creamy — more creamy than your typical Gouda, which makes this cheese really stand out above any type of cheese, not just other Goudas. 

If you enjoy mild cheddar or Havarti cheeses, then you'll definitely enjoy this Gouda. This Double Cream Gouda is delicious on a cracker, with the rich, creamy, salty, and buttery flavors pairing well. If you want to get more creative, this Gouda would also make for a delicious grilled cheese, as it gets nice and melty without turning into straight-up liquid. This cheese would actually work well on just about any sandwich — it's not as hard as other Goudas, so the texture holds up nicely alongside deli meats, vegetables, or whatever else you might pair it with.

Jalapeño Monterey Jack Cheese

Monterey Jack is one of the mildest cheeses out there, so when you seek it out, it's good to look for one that features another flavor. Trader Joe's Jalapeño Monterey Jack cheese is a great example of one to seek out, as it has that classic mild flavor with just the right amount of peppery heat. For those who aren't fans of excessive heat, don't worry — this cheese does have some spice to it, but it's nothing overbearing. You won't be desperate to down a glass of water after enjoying a couple of slices of this stuff; instead, you'll be left with a pleasant tingliness on the tongue.

Of course, if you are a fan of spice, you can't go wrong with this cheese, either. Not many kinds of cheese would taste very good with the inclusion of jalapeño (could you imagine a jalapeño Brie?), but in neutral bases like Monterey Jack, it works oh-so-well. This cheese would be especially tasty in a grilled cheese, with the jalapeño adding just the right flavor boost without overpowering the whole sandwich.

Despite the inclusion of jalapeño, some people might ultimately find this cheese a bit boring. Sure, Monterey Jack isn't the most exciting type of cheese out there, so if your palate craves something with more flavor complexity, this may be one to skip.

Cheddar and Gruyère Mélange Cheese

If there's one thing that Trader Joe's likes to do, it's combine two cheeses into one — case in point, the Cheddar and Gruyère Mélange Cheese. As you might have guessed, this cheese is a cross between classic cheddar and Gruyère, so there are no unexpected flavors going on here. This cheese is ideal for those who enjoy Gruyère but find the flavor too strong on its own. The cheddar balances out any robustness nicely, leaving you with a pleasant cheese that isn't too cheddary, and isn't too Gruyère-y.

Another perk of this cheese is that it's good for melting. You could make an elevated grilled cheese with it, or you could put a few slices on top of French onion soup. The downside is that there isn't much complexity going on here; what you see is what you get, and this is both a good and bad thing. It's good for those who want a mostly mild but not offensively boring cheese to feature on their cheese board, but bad for those who are looking for a cheese with dozens of flavor notes and undertones. Simplicity is key with this cheddar and Gruyère mélange.

Italian Truffle Cheese

Not everyone enjoys truffles, and if you happen to be one of those people, then there's a good chance that you steer clear of Trader Joe's Italian Truffle Cheese. While we certainly can't deny that this cheese has an earthy, truffley flavor to it, we can say that it isn't too overbearing. The cheese itself is mild and creamy, whereas the truffle flavor is slightly musky without being pungent. If you absolutely cannot stand truffles, then this cheese is a no-go. But if you're willing to give them a try after being scorned before, then this cheese certainly won't leave you gagging.

While this cheese is delicious with just a simple cracker, it's also ideal for building flavor complexity in various dishes. Shred some of this cheese up and add it to a creamy pasta sauce or even sprinkle some onto a baked potato — the truffle flavor will add a nice earthy depth without becoming the only flavor profile you can pinpoint. 

This Italian Truffle Cheese ultimately wins points for striking great flavor balance, but loses some for being a bit of a one-trick pony. It pretty much only works in savory contexts, so for those who enjoy pairing a bite of cheese with something sweet, definitely don't try that combo with this cheese.

White Stilton with Apricots

If you're a fan of blue cheese's texture but absolutely cannot, under any circumstances, handle the taste, then boy are you in for a treat with white Stilton. On its own, white Stilton is very neutral, tasting creamy and not much like anything else. Some people might avoid Stilton for that very reason — its boringness — but luckily Trader Joe's White Stilton Cheese with Apricots is here to save the day from total blandness. 

This apricot Stilton is very similar in texture to blue cheese and would easily crumble with a small amount of force. You can slice it, though don't be surprised when it breaks down pretty easily. As for the taste, it is delightfully fruity and sweet, very reminiscent of apricot preserves. Those who enjoy crumbly cheese and especially love sweet, fruity flavor notes will adore this white Stilton. If you don't like sweet cheese, then it's best to steer clear of this one. For those who like to include some sort of fruity element or jam on their cheese boards, this apricot Stilton plays double duty and tastes oh-so-good while doing it.

Cheddar Cheese with Caramelized Onions

It's pretty hard to resist the flavor of caramelized onions, and it's even harder to resist Trader Joe's Cheddar Cheese with Caramelized Onions. This cheese is an absolute masterclass in savory goodness — there's the creamy cheddar cheese base, then there's the rich, buttery flavor of caramelized onions infused throughout. It is important to note that this cheese does taste very, very strongly of onion, which is ideal for allium fans everywhere, but less ideal for those who don't enjoy them or can only handle the flavor in small doses.

Like most types of cheddar, this cheese holds its shape well and isn't too soft or too hard. Perfect for slicing and adding to a cheese board, there's no doubt that this caramelized onion cheddar will add some variety to the spread. Of course, you could also use this cheese in a sandwich, add an onion-y flair to mac and cheese, or top off a bowl of French onion soup with it; after all, it does taste like the iconic soup but in cheese form, so why not double-down on the savory goodness?

The biggest drawback of this cheese is its intensity. Those who enjoy onions won't find it too pungent, but those who don't will find this cheese nearly unbearable. And no, this isn't an example of a cheese that features a flavor but does so subtly — instead of cheddar with a side of onion, it's more like an onion with a side of cheddar.  

Havarti Cheese with Dill

Anyone who has enjoyed a slice of plain Havarti knows that it is incredibly mild and neutral tasting. We say this with the utmost appreciation — not all cheese can taste quite as mellow as Havarti while still somehow being interesting enough to purchase again and again. Perhaps it's the ultra-creamy nature of the cheese, or its nice firm-but-not-hard texture that keeps us coming back for more.

Or, perhaps it's the fact that Havarti comes in various flavor varieties. Take Trader Joe's Havarti with Dill for example — it's such as simple cheese yet it somehow has so much to offer. It's creamy and mild while simultaneously bursting with herby flavor. The dill works so wonderfully in this cheese that even those who aren't huge fans of the herb will probably enjoy it nevertheless. The grassy dill flavor certainly adds more complexity to the otherwise very neutral Havarti, but it's still obvious that you're eating Havarti and not something like Gouda or Monterey Jack (though they are all similar cheeses).

If you absolutely can't stand the taste of dill then it's best to avoid this cheese or opt for a plain Havarti instead. Also, if you're looking for a cheese that offers lots of flavor undertones, you aren't going to find that here, so some may find this cheese a bit boring or lackluster overall.


Fans of Swiss cheese may want to add Comté to their cart during their next Trader Joe's haul, as the French cheese has a similar flavor profile to everyone's favorite holey cheese. Comté is a little more elegant than your typical Swiss, however, offering more nutty undertones and even offering a similar robustness to Gruyère. Ultimately, however, Comté is mild and buttery, and this flavor pairs especially well with just about any type of wine out there, including reds, whites, and even sweet varieties.

Comté is a semi-hard cheese, so it's not as hard as Parmesan, but it's not as soft as cheddar. It really is the perfect addition to a cheese board, providing a certain air of elegance without being stuffy. The flavor is mild enough to pair with just about anything but strong enough to taste good without any added frills. For being a pretty mild cheese all-around, Comté offers just the right amount of complexity without veering too far from its buttery nature. 

Unexpected Cheddar Cheese

If you're at all familiar with Trader Joe's, then you'll know that its Unexpected Cheddar Cheese is incredibly popular. According to the packaging, this cheese tastes like "an aged premium cheddar with hints of Parmesan," and we can safely attest truth to this statement. 

When you first slice into the Unexpected Cheddar, you'll notice right off the bat that the texture is harder than your typical cheddar — it's not quite as hard as Parmesan, but it falls somewhere in-between, as the blend of flavors would suggest. It holds its shape well enough to slice and put on a cracker but also breaks down easily enough to grate on top of pasta. The texture alone makes this cheese incredibly versatile, which no doubt attributes to its popularity.

As for flavor, it's nice and mild, though it does have a bit of sharpness from the cheddar and a buttery aftertaste from the Parmesan. Almost anyone who enjoys cheese is going to enjoy Unexpected Cheddar, so this is a great crowd-pleaser option that has a welcome place on any charcuterie board.

Parmesan Reggiano

When you think of cheese that is good for snacking or adding to a larger spread, it's likely that Parmesan isn't the first option to come to mind. That said, Parmesan is one of the most versatile types of cheese out there, and its rich, buttery flavor is unbeatable. Not all Parmesans are created equal, and some types, like the kind you buy in a plastic container and sprinkle onto spaghetti, are downright atrocious. The right Parmesan, however, hits all the right flavor notes, and Trader Joe's Parmesan Reggiano is a great example.

We especially love this Parmesan because it hits every flavor note that one might hope from such a cheese: It's a little bit nutty, tangy, sharp, and very bold. The texture is very hard, though that very much works to the Parm's advantage. You could easily grate this cheese right onto a bowl of soup or pasta, or you could flake it and add it to a salad. Are you looking to make Caesar salad from scratch? Grate some of this Parmesan Reggiano into your homemade dressing and you'll never go back to the bottled stuff ever again. There really is no downside to this cheese, which is why it's so worth the Trader Joe's price tag.