We can pretty much all agree on our mutual love of Trader Joe’s. Tasty prepared meals and exotic ingredients, without the high prices of other specialty grocers, make it a food-lover’s favorite. But, some struggle to figure out what to DO with those ingredients. With a limited, albeit interesting inventory, TJ’s can be a difficult place to stock all of your cooking needs. Well, you just may be able to skip your “other” grocery store this week. Here are six delicious meals using only Trader Joe’s ingredients.
Simple Chicken Stir Fry
- Goddess Dressing
- Cruciferous Crunch Salad Mix
- Frozen (Fully Cooked) Rice
- Chicken of your choice (breasts or thighs work well)
Just when you thought stir-fry couldn’t get any easier, here is a version that requires no veggie chopping! Slice and season chicken with salt and pepper. Sauté in your favorite cooking oil until cooked through. Add the salad mix and stir until greens are wilted. Mix in a generous amount of Goddess dressing, and serve over brown or white rice. Who knew a salad dressing could be so good heated?!
Sausage and Kale Pasta
- Pasta of your choice
- Chicken Sicilian Sausage (or any other uncooked variety)
- Bag of Chopped Kale
- Fresh Grated Parmesan
- Olive Oil
Not a fan of marinara sauce, but still love pasta? This is the perfect recipe for you. While your pasta boils, remove the casing from chicken sausage and brown in a deep skillet, breaking it up into crumbles. Add kale and stir until cooked. When pasta is almost finished, reserve about 1/4 – 1/3 cup of cooking water. Drain pasta and add it to sausage mixture. Drizzle with olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and a handful of parmesan. Stir in pasta water to moisten and combine. Serve with additional cheese sprinkled on top. Fair warning, this one is easy AND addicting.
Spaghetti Squash Bake
- Ground Turkey or Beef
- Spaghetti Squash
- Vodka Sauce (or any other jarred tomato sauce)
- Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Cut spaghetti squash in half and spoon out seeds. Bake, skin sides up, for about 30-45 minutes or until flesh is easily forked out in shreds. Meanwhile, sauté ground turkey or beef with chopped onion and garlic. Add the sauce and simmer until heated through. Combine meat sauce and spaghetti squash shreds in a casserole dish and top with shredded mozzarella. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown. You won’t even miss the pasta.
Pesto Farro Bowl
- Package (dry) Farro
- Uncured Bacon Ends & Pieces
- Bag of spinach (or any other greens)
- Genova Pesto Sauce
- White or Rice Vinegar
Cook desired amount of farro according to package directions. When done, chop and cook the bacon pieces (discarding any excess fat, if necessary). Regular bacon is fine as well of course, but this is a great way to utilize that less expensive package! Meanwhile, heat up a pot of water to poach eggs. When bacon is done, stir in cooked farro, spinach, and a heaping spoonful of pesto. To perfectly poach eggs, add a few tablespoons of vinegar to simmering water, carefully drop in your eggs and let cook for three minutes before removing with a slotted spoon. Spoon farro mixture into bowls and top with a poached egg or two, and an additional drizzle of pesto if desired. Who says you have to leave the house for a fancy brunch?
Creamy Paprika Steak with Egg Noodles and Roasted Asparagus
- Steak of your choice
- Butter (Kerrygold Grass-Fed is the best!)
- Sour Cream
- Dijon mustard
- Egg Pappardelle Pasta
- Asparagus (or any other veggie)
This one is sort of an elevated stroganoff that will impress any red-meat lover. Toss veggies in olive oil and roast in a 425-degree oven. Boil water and begin cooking pasta. Meanwhile in a super hot skillet, cook steak to medium and set aside. Add a generous pat of butter to the pan and sauté onions and mushrooms in it. Add lots of paprika and stir until fragrant. Reduce heat to low, and whisk in about half the container of sour cream and a spoonful of Dijon mustard. Add any juice that has been released from the cooked steak, and thin the sauce with water or beef broth if necessary. Slice steak (against the grain). Plate egg noodles beside veggies, top noodles with sliced steak and spoon over sauce. A bottle of “Two Buck Chuck” will round out this decadent meal perfectly!
Pork Tenderloin With Gorgonzola Gnocchi and Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
- Pork Tenderloin
- Gnocchi al Gorgozola (or any frozen entree of your choice)
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts
- Balsamic Glaze
TJ’s frozen concoctions can be a meal on their own, but they also work well as a side dish for an easy home-cooked meal. Preheat oven to 425-degrees, and coat the tenderloin in olive oil and spices of your choice. Roast for about 40 minutes, flipping halfway through (until internal temperature reaches 145-degrees). When the pork is nearly done, thinly slice shallots and sauté with shaved Brussels sprouts in olive oil or butter. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, prepare frozen gnocchi according to package instructions. When the Brussels are fully cooked, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Dinner is served!
What are your favorite Trader Joe’s recipes? Share below.