While Trader Joes is always a fun trip filled with interesting new finds to try, Whole Foods has been our trusty weekly staple for groceries, especially over a year of quarantine thanks to their delivery service! After sharing our Trader Joe’s favorites, a bunch of you asked for some Whole Foods love too, so below are some things that are repeats in our cart. Btw, everything on this list is dairy free!
And yes I have been living in these petite friendly joggers … they’re soft enough to sleep in, the knees do not bag out after a long day of sitting (or kneeling down to potty train my toddler ; ) and a pocket for my phone. Plus, looks presentable paired with sneakers or even combat boots for stepping out of the house when necessary!
One of my favorite Whole Foods buys – good source of omega 3s, kid-friendly, tasty AND versatile! These have tender, flaky fish on the inside with an outer that is not too heavily breaded, and crisps up wonderfully in the air fryer or oven.
Meal ideas: We love these in a classic fish sandwich with the easiest homemade tartar style sauce. I also cut them into strips for Nori (more fish and less breading this way compared to buying fish sticks).
These are also sooo good in fish tacos at home (see below!) paired with the simple chipotle mayo sauce I’ve been obsessed with – simply mix together 1-2 chopped up chipotle peppers in adobo sauce with ketchup and mayo (or plain yogurt or sour cream) for sweetness! Note the peppers have some heat so just start with 1 in the sauce.
We love these for shortcut chicken parm – just bake or air fry with cheese on top and serve with your favorite pasta and marinara sauce. We like De Cecco brand boxed pasta (great bite & texture) and Bove’s brand sauce for a lower sodium than usual but still tasty option. I like that Bell & Evans is made with super straightforward, real ingredients but note that their products are un-cooked, so be sure to cook thoroughly.
The De Cecco pasta is also my favorite to use for our popular addictive garlic noodles recipe!
We make these in the air fryer and they’re better than I expected – crisp but still tender inside and nicely seasoned. Many of you also mentioned loving their sweet potato fries, waffle fries and tater tots so I can’t wait to try those next!
These have a hint of coconut flavor from the dairy substitute (which I enjoy!) and they perfectly replicate the soft wafer and creamy texture of the classic ice cream truck version. I also like the mini size for just a small treat! If you do eat dairy, their 365 regular ice cream sandwiches are one of their highest rated products.
Another great dairy free brand of frozen treats.
These are not like the bland animal crackers you grew up with and are much better than the Trader Joe’s ones. They taste more like Teddy Grahams or mini Biscoff cookies – I bought them for Nori, but Nick and I polished off the whole bag!
Pipcorn Truffle Corn Chips
Can’t find online, but these are one of my all time favorite snacks that I always stock up on when there’s a sale! A must try for Fritos lovers. They taste like an elevated version with a hint of truffle flavor and are very additive.
These also don’t last long in our house…flavorful, zesty with a little heat.
Back to Nature chewy oatmeal cookies, crackers & thin mints
We go a little overboard whenever this brand is on sale. All of their products are dairy-free and plant based. The chewy oatmeal cookies are my favorite, and many of you love their version of Oreos & peanut butter sandwich cookies!
This box has a little something for everyone’s tastes: a ritz-like cracker, a multigrain veggie cracker, and a graham style cracker that is Nori’s favorite and always disappears first (I wish they sold it just by itself!).
White, pinto, black, and chickpea. Not always easy to find no salt added versions at other grocery stores. These are great for soups and stews, such as white chicken chili or a simple jambalaya-inspired meal.
Again, a basic that’s sometimes hard to find without the added salt! Especially for canned crushed tomatoes, which we use the most often (i.e. in classic chili, homemade tikka masala, or creamy tomato soup)! We get 365 or Muir Glen.
Our Favorite Broth
My personal favorite is Imagine chicken broth (they make a ton of vegan options, too!) – very aromatic like homemade broth, but we do typically add a sprinkle of salt or soy sauce if getting low sodium. Other stores do carry this brand too, but I noticed it’s usually cheaper at Whole Foods. For beef we like the one from Pacific broth. Here are a few recipes that we use these for:
I know sardines do not usually get a tasty rap. But we started getting these for Nori around age 1 after reading about all the nutritional benefits of sardines for kids (with minimal mercury levels, esp. compared to tuna). I serve them with avocado on wheat bread, or with mayo like tuna salad, or rolled up into pinwheels.
Soft on the inside with a slightly crisp outer. We devour this lightly toasted with some seasoned olive oil.
My favorite flavor is basically an organic Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Also avail. at Target for a tad cheaper.
Whole Foods multigrain or white pizza dough
The BEST! They have a few different types of dough though, so make sure to get the refrigerated one. We use this dough for cast iron pan or sheet pan pizza (following Kenji’s method for the cooking – 1 ball of dough makes 2 pizzas for us) and shortcut “naan” bread on the grill or frying pan (seen here). We’ve tried a lot of readily available grocery store doughs including TJs and they don’t compare with the rise and chew of this one. We let it rest at room temperature for a few hours before rolling/tossing it.
Vegan cheese selection
We’ve tried pretty much every brand at WF, and for basics like grilled cheese, quesadillas, or pizza, our favorites are Violife mozzarella cheese shreds (melts nicely) and epic mature cheddar block – literally one of the only vegan cheeses that I like enough to eat straight up! For a parm substitute on pastas, we use Follow Your Heart.
A pantry staple for drinking as well as subbing in recipes and baking for milk. I would rank this right behind original Oatly in terms of creaminess and flavor, and better than both Trader Joe’s and Chobani brand oat milk.
Sliced Turkey (cooked)
They make this in house and they don’t add salt which is hard to find in a sliced deli meat. It tastes and feels more like thinly sliced Thanksgiving turkey than processed deli meat and is great if you’re in the mood for a Thanksgiving style sandwich. Based on the reviews, though, it seems this can be inconsistent depending on the store and how its sliced.
Whole Foods Chicken Sausage Links (uncooked; at butcher’s counter)
One of my favorite WF products perfect for soups and stews, such as our lentil soup recipe (I usually cut open the casing and sauté it like a ground sausage crumble). It’s a nice option because they offer several flavors at the meat counter (chorizo, garlic, etc) and you can get just 1 link if that’s all you need.
Chicken Wing Segments (uncooked; seasoned or plain)
For those who like lean, smaller wing segments. We always pick up 1 – 2 packs for our chicken adobo recipe.They also sell pre-seasoned wings packaged up or by pound at the butcher’s counter in flavors like buffalo or chick magnet, which we then air fry or bake. P.S. I was told that if you’re shopping in-store, they can season pretty much any meat for you with one of their seasonings at the counter.
A few more reader favorites from my Instagram poll: 365 frozen pre portioned salmon (for easy defrosting & quick meals), WF house made guacamole, WF deli Sonoma chicken salad, berry chantilly cake, and vegan croissants!
Let me know any other favorite Whole Foods meal ideas or items to try!