A haiku in honor of Trader Joe’s Pecan Pie Filling In A Jar:

Pecan pie filling–
for those of us too lazy
to bother with crust.

There are two kinds of people in this world: people who love pecan pie, and people who I will never be friends with. Pecan pie is everything that a dessert should be. It’s got texture, it’s got decadence, and it’s got enough sugar to make your teeth cry. There’s nothing like breaking through the solid mass of pecan glue on top and diving into the simple, sweet, nutty filling. So, it only makes sense that Trader Joe’s would get into the pecan pie game and bring us Trader Joe’s Pecan Pie Filling In A Jar. After all, these are the glorious bastards that gave us butter made of cookies and pie. But if you ask me, this is a whole new level of awesome: pecan pie filling in a jar could cut out the annoying middleman of baking, and bring me one step closer to my life goal of never having to get up from the blanket mountain I’ve created on the couch.


Once I read the label, though, I was a little confused. There’s a pie recipe on the back, along with suggestions to enjoy this product with “ice cream, Belgian waffles, or cheesecake.” It seems like Trader Joe’s is protecting themselves against future health-related lawsuits by pretending like they hadn’t intended for people to eat it right out of the jar. Because you will definitely die after eating this: one serving size has 40g of sugar and 270 calories. That’s a pretty hefty penalty to pay on top of those already-terrible-for-you ice creams, Belgian waffles, and cheesecakes. Since ain’t nobody got time to bake a pie today, I decided to try this pecan pie filling two ways: straight outta the jar like God (and Trader Joe’s, whether they admit it or not) intended, and with ice cream.


Welp, straight outta the jar was a terrible idea. This stuff is waaaay too sweet on its own. Even the most hardcore sugar fans will have a hard time turning this into a snack food. It’s basically just pecans floating in syrup. This was a genuinely terrible idea; why didn’t any of you stop me?


With my heart racing from the sugar bomb I had just detonated inside myself, I moved on to Option #2: ice cream topping. I used Trader Joe’s French Vanilla ice cream, which is one of my favorites. This was a much more successful route. The ice cream cuts the syrupy sweetness of the pecan pie filling and the two flavors blend wonderfully. There’s some subtle bourbon in the filling that comes out nicely with the vanilla ice cream. The only problem is, it tastes pretty much exactly like pecan ice cream. Okay, not a problem exactly, but nothing special. There’s no wow factor here that makes me want to pour this stuff on everything I eat, the way I feel about cookie butter or even Pumpkin Butter. Maybe it would be really fantastic in a pie, but if that’s really TJ’s intention, then it’s weird that the pecans aren’t chopped up.

I’m left feeling confused and pretty disappointed about Trader Joe’s Pecan Pie Filling In A Jar. It’s a neat idea, but the end result feels gimmicky. At $7 for the jar, I don’t think you’re saving yourself much money by buying this instead of making your own filling. And making the filling is super easy, so the effort piece isn’t really there either. And eating it on its own is downright unpleasant. The ice cream route worked well, but now that I know how much sugar is in there, I just don’t think I’ll be using this Diabetes In A Jar very often. If anyone ends up making a pie with it, let us know in the comments and send me a slice in the mail. Ice cream on top is optional but encouraged. I leave you with a revised haiku:

You can’t win them all,
especially in this case.
I hate this product.

Awesomeness of my Blanket Mountain Rating: 10 out of 10
My New Life Expectancy Rating: Lower Than It Used to Be out of 10
Overall Rating: 3 out of 10

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14 Responses

  1. Sarah says:

    I have to agree with you. I think the idea is completely gimmicky. It’s a cool idea, but when you stop and think…it really isn’t that useful or tasty compared to the real deal.

  2. Sarah says:

    Great review as always!!

  3. Kaitlyn says:

    i need a slice of pecan pie now. stat.

  4. Jan Michael Sauer says:

    Thanks for the tip on the Trader Joe’s French Vanilla Ice Cream. I picked up a quart 2 days ago and I have to say it is the best vanilla ice cream that I have tasted. Also, the Ben & Jerry’s Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream that Junk Male reviewed is killer too ! I have gone through 3 pints already. I am defrosting the TJ’s Pumpkin Macarons right now and the waiting is driving me nuts ! Thanks for the excellent consumer advice.

    • Drunk Female says:

      Glad you agree about the ice creams! I’m so jealous about the Ben & Jerry’s one; I still haven’t been able to find it by me. I hope you enjoy the macarons as much as I did–would love to hear your thoughts!

  5. Jan Michael Sauer says:

    TJs Pumpkin Macarons are both delicate and decadent at the same time. I love the way they melt into happiness. I got very, very lucky yesterday and found Ben & Jerry’s Bourbon Pecan Pie Ice Cream here in San Antonio. It is a Texas exclusive and quite possibly the best ice cream in the history of The Universe. I found out that I Was Wrong ! God does exist. There is no way any mortal human could have created this Ice Cream. The Bourbon taste is beyond beautiful. Life is amazing now that I have found Ice Cream Religion !

    • Drunk Female says:

      I just looked it up and WOW–I’ll pray to the Ice Cream Gods that this makes it out to Colorado one day!

  6. jensenly says:

    What made this pie so icky was the whole pecan pieces. I was skeptical when I poured out the jar and saw all the huge pieces of pecans. My instincts were correct. I am going back to the “Dear Abby” pecan pie recipe, which is from scratch, and tastes much better.

  7. Heidi says:

    I just made this and I used a gluten free crust. I loved this. I thought it had great flavor! Highly recommend.

  8. Christopher Van Horn says:

    Large pecans are the best in pie, my guess is you people don’t like Yoo-hoo. Or cast iron skillets or biscuits or deep fried pickles! Shaking my head you people are probably from Wisconsin!

    • Junk Banter says:

      Christopher, you’ve done the impossible: literally everything you said is wrong. Yoo-hoo is the best, cast iron skillets are the best, biscuits are the best, deep fried pickles are okay, we are from New Jersey, and Pecan Pie Filling In A Jar is the worst. Welcome to the blog!

  9. Nibbles says:

    I made a pie with this and it was inedible. The texture was off, it was way too sweet, and there was an unpleasant metallic flavour that permeated the entire filling.

    Seriously, you’re better off buying your own pecans and adding some sugar. It’s not hard and it will undoubtedly taste better than this.

    My trash can has 95% of a pie in it.