Easy Ways to Zhuzh Up Trader Joe’s Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Trader Joe’s Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup is delicious, creamy, and flavorful all on its own. Let’s make it even better with a few delicious add-ins.

Easy Ways to Zhuzh Up Trader Joe's Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup

When I think of my favorite powerhouse items I always want to keep in the pantry, Trader Joe’s boxed tomato soup is at the very top of the list. The shelf-stable soup is usually found next to the broths and jarred pasta sauces at your local TJ’s. There is a low-sodium version but I prefer the regular kind. I first discovered it in college when I needed meals that were filling, quick, and healthy and it’s remained a mainstay ever since.

While it’s flavorful and delicious all by itself, there are a few ways I like to enhance this soup – also with ingredients mostly from my pantry and freezer! So whether you’re at home and swear you “don’t have anything in the fridge to eat ” or it’s a chilly day and you just want to hibernate with a comforting meal, I promise these add-ins will upgrade your day.

Easy Ways to Zhuzh Up Trader Joe’s Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Enhance Boxed Canned Tomato Soup

Inside Out Stuffed Gnocchi:

Frozen pasta sounds like it shouldn’t work but Trader Joe’s makes it happen. Found in the freezer section, the Inside Out Stuffed Gnocchi are potato dumplings stuffed with tomato sauce and mozzarella that perfectly complements the soup. Prepare them according to the package directions, I have a personal preference for the skillet method. Toss the flavorful potato pillows into your soup once it’s fully heated on the stove and you are in business!


I like to keep fresh spinach on hand to easily add into salads, morning smoothies, and, in this case, to up-level boxed soup. For this add-in, fresh spinach is the way to go. I’ve tried adding frozen spinach to this soup and it just completely waters the flavor down and makes the soup way too thin. Add the spinach once the soup is hot on the stove so the greens respond by perfectly shrinking.


Anything I can put pesto in or on, you better believe I will. In fact, this was the very first add-in I ever used in this soup! College me felt so clever doing that in my college kitchen haha. I like Trader Joe’s jarred pesto the best of their pestos but I know people have very strong feelings about TJ’s pesto options so I will defer to you on that one. Whichever pesto suits your fancy, add a healthy dollop into the soup and mix thoroughly.

Red Pepper Flakes:

Probably/almost definitely my most used spice, red pepper flakes truly take this meal up a notch if heat is your thing. Red pepper flakes soften in the hot soup so there is no crunch here. And if you want to add even more heat to your meal, I am obsessed with Trader Joe’s Italian Bomba Hot Pepper Sauce. You can find it right next to the spices and seasonings but proceed with caution. A little bit goes a long way with heat! I also love this sauce on pizzas, pasta, as a dip for pita bread, but that’s for another post.

Grilled Cheese Croutons:

Sometimes just doing something a little bit different than you normally would makes a world of difference. Next time you are craving a classic grilled cheese and tomato soup combo, slice up your grilled cheese into cubes and plop them into the tomato soup. It just feels silly and fun and isn’t that what comfort food is all about?

Creme Fraiche with a Drizzle of Olive Oil:

To make a meal that looks restaurant-quality at home, melt in a spoonful of creme fraiche as the final touch for your soup and swirl to make an easy design. Then top with a drizzle of olive oil.

How do you take tomato soup to the next level?

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