Trader Joe's 13 best pizza ingredients to add to your shopping cart right now – Salon

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When it comes to what kind of pizza reigns supreme, homemade always takes home the top prize in my book. Sure, delivery, frozen and takeout ‘zas have their fair share of perks. To name a few, they’re quick, simple and require little to no effort to prepare.
But making your own pizza from scratch allows you to customize it to your liking, experiment with new flavors and even have fun along the way. Today, I’m dreaming of a thin-crust pizza with both banana peppers and mushrooms.
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Thankfully, making your own pizzas at home just got a whole lot easier with Trader Joe’s vast assortment of ingredients and toppings. From spicy cheeses and tangy sauces to a gluten-free crust and fresh veggies, here are 13 pizza ingredients to grab from Trader Joe’s right now.
This list adds to Salon Food’s growing library of supermarket guides. If you’re looking for an autumnal beverage to enjoy alongside your homemade pizza(s), check out the 6 beverages to add to your Trader Joe’s cart this fall.
Volpi Gourmet Uncured Pepperoni
Volpi’s Gourmet Uncured Pepperoni is sold at TJ’s stores, even though it’s not the retailer’s own brand item. This sliced pepperoni is a popular pizza topping on Reddit, where loyal TJ’s shoppers have shared pictures of their favorite homemade pizzas.
 
A few fan-favorite recipes include Volpi’s Gourmet Uncured Pepperoni with store-bought plain pizza dough and TJ’s brand mozzarella cheese and pizza sauce. If you’re not a fan of store-bought pizza dough (or are running low on time to make pizza dough from scratch), you can use TJ’s Garlic Naan as the base and then add your choice of cheese, sauce and veggies alongside the pepperoni slices.
 
According to Reddit user u/night_owl, “I’m very fond of Volpi. They are based in the famous ‘The Hill’ district of St. Louis and have been gradually expanding their distribution across the USA…They produce the TJ’s branded wine-flavored salamis as well as having some of their own Volpi-branded products in store. My local TJ’s always has pre-sliced pepperoni in stock.”
A staple ingredient in Caribbean cuisine, Scotch bonnet chili peppers tout a subtle yet delicious sweet taste. In TJ’s Cheddar Cheese with Scotch Bonnet Chili Peppers, the chilies are incorporated into classic English cheddar to create a one-of-a-kind product that serves well in pizzas, grilled cheese, casseroles and dinner party charcuterie boards.
 
“A delight for heat-seekers and fromage fans of all stripes, this cheddar balances its blend of sweet, spicy, and creamy with remarkable grace,” TJ’s writes on its official website.
TJ’s choice adjective for its All Natural Fresh Mozzarella Cheese is “magical” — and we couldn’t agree more. This cheese, which is encased in a plastic package, is mild in flavor and flaunts the signature “bouncy” texture that is characteristic of fresh mozzarella. TJ’s All Natural Fresh Mozzarella Cheese is also made with milk from cows never treated with rBST, which makes it both a delicious and safe option for homemade pizzas.
If you’re looking for a quality prosciutto to top on classic pizza bianca, look no further than TJ’s Sliced Prosciutto. Per TJ’s, it’s crafted by “a well-known, award-winning Italian salumeria here in the U.S.” The prosciutto is made from full hams that are “cured in the traditional Italian style” and then aged slowly for approximately 10 to 12 months.
 
“As the hams age, their flavor intensifies and their character builds, resulting in richly-flavored prosciutto that is outstanding on panini with arugula and asiago, a natural with melon for brunch or hors d’oeuvres and super on a pizza — try it with pesto or a cream-based sauce and inch-long cuts of asparagus,” the California-based retailer adds.
As the name suggests, TJ’s Quattro Formaggi mixes four kinds of pre-shredded cheeses to create a tasty blend that pairs perfectly with fresh pizzas. The specific cheeses include Asiago (which TJ’s notes is the sharp cheese in the mix), fontina (the creamy one), Parmesan (the nutty one) and provolone (the mellow one).
 
Whether your heart desires red sauce or white sauce on homemade pizzas, TJ’s Quattro Formaggi is a versatile cheese option that boasts an intense aroma and an equally intense flavor.
TJ’s Pizza Seasoned Shredded Toscano Cheese is obviously a great cheese to use in pizzas because it has the word “pizza” in its name. This unique cheese is made with wheels of carefully aged, creamy Toscano cheese that is hand-rubbed and generously seasoned with dried herbs, sea salt and spices. The final concoction is a fragrant cheese that is perfect on homemade pizzas, as well as pastas, potatoes and savory pies.
 
If you’re looking for ways to use TJ’s Shredded Pizza Seasoned Toscano Cheese, check out this recipe for a quick and easy Toscano pizza. All you need are a fresh French baguette, pizza sauce and the seasoned Toscano cheese.
TJ’s Gluten Free Pizza Crusts are made in Italy and include a list of premium ingredients, including cauliflower, chickpea flour, cornstarch and rice flour. To mimic the texture and look of regular pizza crust, this gluten-free crust is folded to create thin layers, which result in a deliciously crisp texture with the classic pizza “bubbles.”
 
For fans of vegan pizzas, TJ’s recommends pairing the Gluten Free Pizza Crusts with its Dairy Free Mozzarella Style Shreds Cashew Cheese Alternative, Campari Tomatoes and Organic Basil. If you’re gluten-free and have no other dietary restrictions, try topping the crusts with TJ’s Spicy Italian Sausage and Lite Shredded Mozzarella.
Priced at $1.49 per bag, TJ’s Ready to Bake Garlic & Herb Pizza Dough is inexpensive, quick and oh-so satisfying. Seasoned with garlic and a medley of herbs — including basil and oregano — this dough is perfect for meaty pizzas with spicy sausages and peppery tomato-based sauces.
 
In addition to making pizzas, the dough can be used to make mini pizza rolls, calzones and even breadsticks.
This signature pasta sauce is great on pizzas, too. TJ’s Organic Tomato Basil Marinara includes tomato purée and chunky tomatoes that are seasoned with garlic and herbs, such as basil, oregano and parsley. This sauce is packed with flavor, but if you’re looking to spruce it up, consider adding butter and fresh chili flakes.
 
On Reddit, TJ’s Organic Tomato Basil Marinara is a must-have ingredient for both pastas and pizzas. User u/sharribarri wrote, “I usually make sauce but if I cannot, I buy the traditional tomato basil marinara. It’s $1.79. It is simple and lovely. We use it for pizzas, lasagnas or pasta dishes, again if I cannot make my own. I tend to like very simple tomato sauce, my own recipe includes tomatoes, oil, garlic and salt/pepper and a few other very simple additions.”
TJ’s rendition of red, Sicilian pesto has remained a customer favorite for years — and it’s no surprise why. Made by the retailer’s Italian supplier, TJ’s Pesto Rosso features a tomato base that is mixed with sunflower oil, Parmesan cheese, garlic, cashews and basil (just enough to preserve the sauce’s bright red color). There’s also carrot purée, which adds a hint of sweetness to the sauce.
 
“Pesto Rosso has a saucy, spreadable texture that is great for topping a toasted baguette or a homemade pizza,” according to TJ’s. “Use some spoonfuls to enhance the flavor of your minestrone or vegetable soup. Of course, tossing this red pesto with your favorite hot pasta is a must!”
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Joy Saha is a staff writer at Salon, covering Culture and Food. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.
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