August 11, 2023

Quick Meal Ideas From Trader Joe’s

Here’s a compilation of quick meal ideas from Trader Joe’s, if you’re short on time and looking for an alternative to fast food. See my comment below for plant based options. Many of these products can be stored in the freezer and pulled out the night before or morning of. This isn’t an exhaustive list of all the good options there. I simply picked up products that looked appealing to me (or I’ve had before) and checked the ingredients and nutrition facts panel. I tried to optimize for protein, because carbs are usually pretty easy to add and don’t take much effort or time. I also tried to choose options with recognizable ingredients and minimize seed oils. I was pleasantly surprised to see a few options with olive oil and butter or cream, as opposed to vegetable oils! I didn’t organize these by dietary restriction, but maybe I will someday. You can always google and find the ingredients.

I realize that many of these recommendations are based around meat. Hitting our protein needs in crucial to overall health, muscle maintenance and blood sugar optimization.  Meat isn’t the only way to meet your protein needs, but it does make it easier to consume a balanced plate. Some convenient plant based proteins are often very processed, contain additives and seed oils, and are devoid of micronutrients. Most plant based protein isn’t nearly as bioavailable as their meat counterparts, and often has a unfavorable ratio of carbs to protein. However, there are alternatives like egg based meals (always quick), tofu, greek yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit and nuts or granola, fish, etc. The last section of this list has vegetarian options. According to research, the optimal amount of protein to consume is between 0.8-1.5 grams per kg of “ideal” body weight. The older and more active you are, the higher your needs will be. Needs will also be higher if your recovering from any type of injury, surgery, or any other physical stress to the body.


Chopped Salad with grilled chicken, couscous, currents, Parmesan cheese and pecans

Salad dressing will be heavy in seed oils, but there are so many good dressings that you can replace with. I forgot to look, but I do remember TJ’s having some good ones in the refrigerated section.






Grassfed Beef Sirloin Roast (fully cooked)

This thin sliced beef is awesome on a sandwich, wrap, stir fry, or just on it’s own with some potatoes and green beans.







Organic Italian Precooked Chicken Sausage

I particularly love these because they have no chewy casing. Works great to throw into a soup base with veggies and potatoes (I like the TJ’s boxed soups also), or for making a stir fry. We often pan fry these and make a bowl with quinoa or rice and sauteed spinach or arugula. Also would go well in place of meatballs with sauce and chickpea noodles (or whatever you prefer).






Greek Style Chicken with orzo pasta, spinach, olives, and feta

You could add a simple side salad or just chop up some cucumber or peppers to have on the side.







Roasted Chicken or Turkey Breast with salt and pepper

So simple and so good! Use on a salad, make chicken salad with it, or use it in your favorite recipe as a shortcut for cooked chicken or turkey. We like to split up a package into ziplock bags for the freezer, to have on hand for quesadillas or just plain chicken for the kids.







Pesto Chicken Breast

We usually cook this on the grill, but it’s also great pan fried. Pair with a starch and whatever veggie you like. Sauteed zucchini or green beans are quick and easy.







Turkey Meatloaf

We like this one with sauteed spinach and roasted potatoes (see below for frozen options).







Traditional Carnitas Mexican Style Oven Roasted Pork (fully cooked)

Easy quesadilla addition or taco filling. We like to give options to make a taco bowl or soft corn tortillas.







Organic Grilled Chicken Breast

We like to use this for stir fry, quesadillas, tacos, chicken salad, etc. My kids like to just eat it plain with ketchup. If they won’t eat what we’ve mixed together with the chicken to make it a meal, we just offer fruits and veggies to meet their carb need, without making anything separate. Can also offer with a premade guacamole cup or avocado slices or nuts, to add some nourishing fats.





Turkey Meatballs (fully cooked and frozen)

We like to add frozen chopped spinach to some red sauce and chickpea pasta. Our kids like these plain or dipped in red sauce.







Spatchcocked Lemon Rosemary Chicken

I’ve never gotten this, but I’d imagine you could roast potatoes in the same pan with it.

This recipe looks easy:






Harvest Salad with grilled chicken, green beans, corn, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, and hard cooked egg

Salad dressing will be heavy in seed oils, but there are so many good dressings that you can replace with. I forgot to look, but I do remember TJ’s having some good ones in the refrigerated section.






Turkey Burgers (raw and frozen)

Can use as a traditional burger or cook and chop them up to put on a salad.








Balsamic Vinegar and Rosemary Grilled Chicken

Great on a salad or in a wrap. This comes in plain and lemon herb, also.








Mashed Potatoes (frozen)

Made with butter and cream! Check out the benefits of eating cooked and cooled potatoes and other starches, HERE.







Fire Roasted Bell Peppers and Onions (frozen)

A perfect pair with chicken, beef or tofu or a stir fry, burrito bowl or taco. Also great with eggs and cheese!







Roasted Seasoned Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan Cheese (frozen)

I haven’t had these but they look fantastic!








Multigrain Blend with Vegetables (frozen)

Also haven’t tried this one, but would be an easy pairing with a protein.








Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry with green peas, red peppers, grilled corn, tamari, onion, sesame oil and ginger (frozen)

We love this stir fried with pre cooked chicken and regular rice added.







Mashed Cauliflower (frozen)

Such an easy veggie add! I haven’t had this, but the ingredients are the same as how I’ve made it in the past. It was delicious!







Spicy Mexican Style Riced Cauliflower with tomatoes, tri color peppers and jalepenos (frozen)

I haven’t had this, but if I did, I would pair it with some ground beef and shredded cheese.







Organic Brown Rice (cooked an frozen)

If you microwave this, I suggest you pop it out and put it in a ceramic bowl with a plate on top. This will prevent leaching of plastic chemicals into your food. These plastics are not microwave safe, despite their claims!






Mahi Mahi Burgers (frozen)

A staple in our house, for nights or lunches when we have no food! We pan fry or bake them. Sometimes we make these for the kids, when we make a fish dish they don’t like.







Gochujang Vegetable Stir Fry with Zucchini Spirals (frozen)

This would be good with rice and a protein.








Do you have any TJ’s products that are your go-to’s for quick meals? I’d love to add your ideas! Drop a message in the comments. Thanks!

Leave A Comment