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How Long Do Salads From Trader Joe’s Last? (Explained)

How Long do Salads from Trader Joe's Last

Because of its focus on healthy eating at affordable prices, American grocery store chain Trader Joe’s has a wide selection of salads for customers to choose from. From protein-packed options like egg salad with bacon crumbles to spicy southwestern salad with tortilla strips and chipotle dressing, there’s a salad for everyone at Trader Joe’s. 

But how long are Trader Joe’s salads good for? Generally, they last anywhere from a couple days to almost two weeks depending on a variety of factors, such as:

  • Ingredients
  • Form – pre-packaged salad vs. salads designed for on the go
  •  Size – such as personal ready-to-eat salads and large bagged salads fit to feed a crowd 

Read on to learn more about the salads at Trader Joe’s, the selection, storage guidelines, and how long they last. 

Trader Joe’s Salad Selection

When it comes to salad selection, few stores can compete with Trader Joe’s. This American grocery store chain with over 560 stores nationally hails from Monrovia, California and is widely considered a specialty grocery store.

This means that they have a variety of products, including salads, that are vegan, kosher, and are safe for those with specific food allergies such as soy, tree nuts, peanuts, and wheat. 

Many products at Trader Joe’s, including salads, are subject to change due to the store’s small size and the company’s commitment to regularly exposing the customer to new foods and ingredients. 

This means that some salads may be on the shelf one week and discontinued the next – it all depends on the popularity of the salad and, often, the season.

For example, salads with ingredients derived from pumpkin (like pumpkin dressing) are likely to be more available in the fall rather than the spring. 

While this list isn’t exhaustive, some of the most popular salads at Trader Joe’s include:

  • Buffalo Ranch Chopped Salad – cabbage, romaine lettuce, kale, cauliflower, celery, carrots, and creamy buffalo ranch dressing
  • Broccoli and Kale Slaw – dried cranberries, blueberries, kale, almonds, and sesame seeds with a sweet, creamy dressing
  • Sesame Crunch Chopped Salad – bok choy, cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, cashews, sesame sticks, seaweed flakes, and sesame ginger dressing
  • Lemon Arugula Basil Salad Kit – arugula, almonds, carrots, parmesan cheese, and a basil-lemon vinaigrette
  • Southwestern Chopped Salad – cabbage, romaine lettuce, cotija cheese, green onions, tortilla strips, pepitas, cilantro, and spicy avocado dressing
  • Peanut and Crispy Noodle Salad Kit – peanuts, carrots, romaine lettuce, celery, cabbage, cilantro, green onion, rice noodles, and a peanut-lime dressing
  • Harvest Salad with Grilled Chicken – chicken, green beans, hard-boiled eggs, white cheddar, spring lettuce, and Dijon ranch dressing
  • Organic Mediterranean Salad – romaine lettuce, broccoli, celery, radicchio, feta, flatbread crisps, chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, and red wine vinaigrette

Shelf Life of Trader Joe’s Salads

The ready-to-eat salads usually last 2-3 days, with some – especially those without leafy greens which tend to wilt and get slimy quickly – lasting up to a week. 

Bagged salads last about the same amount, with those that include ingredients such as leafy greens not lasting as long as those with hardier greens, such as broccoli and green beans. 

Tips for Storing and Serving Trader Joe’s Salads

After purchasing your salad, it should immediately go inside your fridge. Leaving the bagged salad in a hot car while you run other errands or keeping it out on the counter for too long will only make it spoil faster.

Many salad dressings are dairy based (such as ranch) will spoil quickly if not refrigerated. Your refrigerator’s crisper drawer is the best place to store your Trader Joe’s salads because it has the humidity level and temperature best for fresh produce. 

All Trader Joe’s salads come with a “best by” date, which is usually an accurate representation of how long the salad will remain fresh.

When shopping for salads, if you know you aren’t going to eat a salad right away, try to search for a salad with a later expiration date. 

If you find that your salad has surpassed its best by date, a simple smell test will help you determine if it’s still safe to consume. This method isn’t recommended for salads with dairy-based ingredients, such as cheese or ranch dressing. 

Most bagged salads at Trader Joe’s have individually wrapped ingredients in small packets within the main bag.

Even if you find that your greens have gone bad, many ingredients in these small packets – such as nuts, tortillas strips, and seeds – will remain good long after everything else expires. Make sure to save these packets for future use when you toss your expired greens.

Alternatives for Ready-to-Eat Salads at Trader Joe’s

If you can’t find a salad you want at Trader Joe’s, there are several other healthy options. 

  • Soups – a great alternative for lunch if you can’t find that ready-to-eat salad
  • Fresh produce – grab an apple, banana, orange, or bag of grapes for a quick snack
  • Bagged nuts
  • Granola or fruit bars – made with real fruit, whole grains, and nuts
  • Bottled smoothie – made with real fruit and can be refrigerated

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Long Is a Premade Salad Good For?

Generally 2 -3 days, with some lasting up to a week.

Can You Eat Trader Joe’s Salad After Best by Date?

Yes, as long as it smells fresh. For those with dairy ingredients, no.

How Long Does Prepackaged Salad Last in the Fridge? 

About 2 – 3 days, with some lasting up to a week. Make sure to store in the crisper drawer. 

How Long Are Premade Salads Good for After Expiration Date?

Not usually more than a day or two. Many of the ingredient packets are non-perishable, however, and should be saved for future use even if you must toss the greens. 

Final Thoughts

Trader Joe’s is one of the best places to find new and flavorful salads that will make your meal routine anything but boring. Their bagged salads are great to store in the fridge and their ready-to-eat salads are great for a quick and healthy weekday lunch.

 Pay attention to the expiration dates, however, so you don’t find yourself wasting time and money. Most salads will last 2 – 3 days in the refrigerator with some lasting up to a week. If your salad has passed its “best by” date, it may still be good – just smell it to make sure it’s still safe. 

And don’t throw away non-perishable ingredient packets! They might come in handy in the future. 


Shane is a fitness enthusiast who also has a passion for trying and cooking new foods. His favorite stores to shop at include Trader Joe's, Wholefoods Market, Sprouts, Stater Brothers, and Target.

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