I love Trader Joe’s for so many reasons—but one of my favorite things is coming up with new ways to combine their wide variety of delicious heat-and-eat products for quick weeknight meals. I especially love their cauliflower gnocchi, salad kits, and frozen produce for easy meal prep!
After seeing Hungry Girl’s Instagram post about a three-ingredient meal using Trader Joe’s products, I got the idea to come up with my own versions. All of these require little (or no) cooking, and can be on your table in less than 10 minutes. And they all serve four people—so you can make a family dinner, or prep out your meals for the week. Last but not least, they all pass muster with our dietitian, Brierley Horton, MS, RD (so you know they’re healthy!)
Here, our five favorites.
Southwest Black Bean Bowl
Trader Joe’s microwavable quinoa cooks in about five minutes (a fraction of the time it takes on the stovetop), and frozen roasted corn adds a smoky-sweet flavor boost. Combine a few spoonfuls of salsa and you have yourself a complete meal! Just microwave according to package directions, and stir everything in a large mixing bowl to heat and combine. This makes four HUGE servings—but they’re still under 400 calories each!
Here’s the formula: One box of quinoa (both packages) + 1 can black beans + 1 bag roasted corn + 1/2 cup salsa
This is a very light lunch, and only has about 125 calories, so consider pairing it with a sandwich or bowl of soup for extra staying power. You could also double up your serving size and still stay within sodium guidelines. We love that this dish has plenty of vitamins from the leafy greens and a boost and omega-3s from the salmon. Plus, it couldn’t be easier to whip up!
Here’s the formula: 2 cans salmon + 1/2 cup tzatziki + 1 bag mixed greens
Pesto Chicken and Zoodles
This dish is a little higher in sodium (it has about 650mg per serving), but it’s a much healthier option than going out for pasta! Just saute your zoodles for seven minutes on the stovetop, add pre-cooked chicken and a spoonful of pesto, and heat for another one to two minutes.
Here’s the formula: 12-ounce container pre-cooked chicken + 1 frozen box of zoodles + 1 container of pesto
Lighter Nicoise Salad
This is another salad that’s pretty low in calories (it only has about 172 calories per serving). To beef it up, you could add olives, boiled potatoes, or an extra egg. Or, you could double up your serving size and still stay within our sodium guidelines.
Here’s the formula: 4 hard-boiled eggs + 1 bag green beans + 2 cans tuna + 1/2 cup Green Goddess dressing
Creamy Chicken & Kale Salad
This dressing is so addicting and flavorful that you’ll want to dip all your proteins and veggies in it! It’s got a healthy dose of good-for-you fats from the almond butter, the chicken provides satiating protein, and the kale salad mix boosts your fiber intake. Now that’s a triple whammy we can get behind!
Here’s the formula: 12-ounce container pre-cooked chicken +1 bag kale salad mix + 1/2 cup almond butter dressing
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