9 Easy Trader Joe’s Recipes to Save Supper

9 easy trader joe's recipes

In a perfect world we’d all have heaps of time to plan, shop for, and cook every meal from scratch. Heck, in a perfect world we’d have time to grow our own vegetables, make homemade yogurt, and bake golden loaves of sourdough bread. But, that’s not reality, at least for most of us. Plus, plenty of folks aren’t all that interested in spending time at the stove. This line up of recipes answers the call for meals at home when you don’t have a lot of time or interest. You’ll find 9 easy Trader Joe’s recipes that lean on a combo of fresh ingredients and convenience items. Every recipe calls for fewer than five core ingredients. They all includes vegetables, whole-grains, and a source of proteins. Plus, they take under 20 minutes of hands-on time. For a plant-based spin on this concept, here are 10 Easy Vegetarian Trader Joe’s Meals.

A few things to know before you go:

  • These recipes are inspired by Trader Joe’s ingredients. Since these stores aren’t everywhere, I’ve included enough detail so you can find similar ingredients at other markets.
  • Make adjustments depending on what you like. Swap whole-grain burger buns for English muffins, kale for spinach, or add extra pasta sauce if that’s how you like it.
  • Adjust the portion sizes to suit your appetite. Toddlers may eat one taco while teenagers might take down three.

1. Turkey Burgers with Avocado Basil Pesto

You’ll need:

  • 1 package frozen turkey burgers
  • 4 slices sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 3 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 1 medium ripe avocado
  • 4 whole-grain English muffins
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  1. Cook the turkey burgers straight from the freezer according to package directions. When you flip the burgers to the second side, add a slice of cheese.
  2. In a small bowl, mash the avocado and pesto together until creamy.
  3. Lightly toast the English muffins
  4. Spread the pesto over the inside of the English muffins. Add the burger and a pile of spinach, cover, and enjoy while hot.

Makes 4 burgers

2. Quickie Fish Tacos with Crunchy Slaw

9 easy trader joe's recipes

You’ll need:

  • 1 box cod fillets
  • 1 bag southwestern chopped salad
  • 1 lime
  • 1 to 1 1/2 ripe avocados
  • 6 to 8 corn tortillas
  • Favorite taco sauce
  • Optional: pickled jalapeños
  1. Bake the cod fillets according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, empty the chopped salad into a big bowl, drizzle on about half the dressing and the juice of 1 lime. Toss well.
  3. Warm the corn tortillas using your preferred method (I like to blister them just slightly on the flame of my stove or in a hot skillet).
  4. To assemble, put one fish filet on a tortilla, a pile of slaw, a wedge of avocado, and a drizzle of taco sauce and pickled jalapeños, if using. Large filets can be cut in half lengthwise.

Makes 6 to 8 tacos

3. Spicy Baked Tortellini, Sausage, and Broccoli

9 Easy Trader Joe's Recipes

You’ll need:

  • 1 bag broccoli florets
  • One 10-ounce package spinach tortellini
  • One 24-ounce jar spicy pasta sauce
  • 2 spicy chicken Italian sausages, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water seasoned with salt to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tortellini and cook until just tender, another 2 to 3 minutes. Drain well. Return to the pot and add the sausage and enough sauce to nicely coat everything, about 3/4 of the jar.
  3. Transfer the tortellini to an 8×8 or 9×9-inch baking pan. Scatter the cheese over the top. Bake until the sauce bubbles and the cheese is melted, about 25 minutes.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

4. Miso Dumpling Soup

Miso soup plus other Easy Vegetarian Recipes for College Students

You’ll need:

  • 1 box miso ginger broth
  • 8 frozen dumplings
  • 2 big handfuls baby spinach
  • Chili crisp to taste
  1. Pour 2 cups miso broth into a small saucepan and set over high heat. When the broth boils, add 8 dumplings straight from the frozen bag. Continue to cook until the broth comes back to a boil and dumplings are done, a few more minutes.
  2. Remove from heat, add 2 big handfuls of spinach to the broth, and stir.
  3. Ladle into bowls, top with a little spoonful of chili crisp, and stir (add more if you want it spicier).

Makes 2 servings.

5. Old-School Tuna and Cheesy Shells

9 Easy Trader Joe's Recipes

You’ll need:

  • One 6-ounce box shells with white cheddar
  • One five-ounce can tuna, drained
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Cook the shells according to package directions. 1 minute before the pasta is done, add the peas. Drain well and return to the cooking pot along with the drained tuna.
  • Add the cheese packet, butter, milk, and stir to blend. Serve warm

Makes 3 servings

6. Easy Cornmeal Crust Pizza

You’ll need

  • One 8-inch cornmeal pizza crust
  • 1/3 cup marinara sauce (more or less, depending on how saucy you like your pizza)
  • 1 cup Mozzarella cheese
  • Any favorite toppings
  1. Preheat oven to 450F with the rack on the lowest level.
  2. Spread the marinara sauce over the pizza crust
  3. Scatter the Mozzarella over the top
  4. Add any favorite toppings (I’m partial to sliced mushrooms, chili flakes, and arugula.
  5. Bake until the crust is crisp and the cheese melted. Cut into wedges.

Makes 2 servings with a leafy salad or steamed vegetable on the side.

7. Pasta & Meatball Marinara with a Side of Broccoli

You’ll need:

  • 16-ounce bag pasta
  • 1 bag frozen turkey meatballs, thawed for an hour on the counter or in the fridge overnight
  • One 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
  • 1 bag broccoli florets
  • Olive oil, 1 lemon, salt, and pepper for seasoning the broccoli
  1. Bring a large pot of water seasoned with salt to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, put the marinara sauce and thawed meatballs into a large, deep skillet over medium high. When the sauce comes to a boil, drop the heat so it simmers. Simmer until the meatballs are warmed through.
  3. Put the broccoli into a medium pot and add an inch of water. Add a lid and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until tender, drain well, and transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle a few teaspoons olive oil, the juice of 1/2 a lemon and a few pinches of salt, and freshly ground pepper over the top.
  4. Serve the meatballs and marinara over the pasta and broccoli on the side.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

8. Sheet Pan Peppers, Onions, Potatoes, and Sausage

You’ll need:

  • 1 pound little waxy potatoes
  • 1 medium to large onion
  • 2 red or yellow bell peppers
  • One 12-ounce package chicken sausage
  • Olive oil, salt, and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Cut the potatoes into 1/2-inch-thick coins, cut the onion into 1/4-inch-thick slices, cut the bell peppers into 1/2-inch-wide slices.
  3. Pile the vegetables on the center of a parchment-lined sheet pan. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over everything, sprinkle with a heaping 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and add a generous shower of black pepper.
  4. Roast the vegetables until the potatoes just start to get tender, about 12 minutes.
  5. Cut each sausage into about 4 pieces, add to the sheet pan with the vegetables. Continue to cook until the potatoes are tender and a little golden, another 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. Serve with coarse ground mustard on the side.

Makes 4 servings

9. Chickpea Cauliflower Curry

Cauliflower curry and other easy vegetarian recipes for college students

You’ll need:

  • 1 bag (12-ish ounches) cauliflower florets.
  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • One 11-ounce bottle yellow (or red) curry sauce
  • Frozen brown rice packets
  1. Fill a medium saucepan with water and a few teaspoons salt and set over high heat. When the water boils, add cauliflower florets (about 12 ounces). Boil until the cauliflower is tender enough that you can cut it in half with relative ease, about 6 minutes.
  2. While the cauliflower cooks, pour the chickpeas into a colander, rinse with water, and leave it to drain in the sink. When the cauliflower is done, add it to the colander with the chickpeas to drain.
  3. Transfer the chickpeas and cauliflower back to the saucepan and add an 11-ounce bottle of Thai-style curry sauce (you can also use a jar of Indian-style curry/simmer sauce that’s about the same size).
  4. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring regularly, until the curry is warm and the flavors come together, 5 to 10 minutes. While the curry cooks, follow the package directions to cook one (or more) packet of rice. Spoon some of the rice into a bowl, add a few big spoonfuls of curry, and enjoy.

Makes 4 servings

If you like these 9 easy Trader Joe’s recipes, check out:

12 Quick and Healthy Breakfast Ideas

10 3-Ingredient Lunches

12 Healthy Convenience Foods

10 Trader Joe’s Appetizer Hacks

Registered Dietitian’s Favorite Trader Joe’s Products


02.28.2024 at4:57 AM #


This is genius! I want to try every single recipe- thank you!! 🙂

02.28.2024 at4:57 AM #

Katie Morford

Awesome! I hope you do.

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