Busy doesn’t even begin to describe your weeknights—which is why Trader Joe’s recipes are a serious game changer. Not only is the food super affordable, but the variety of products make getting a deceivingly simply meal (that looks totally gourmet) on the table in no time at all. We gathered our favorite secret recipes that’ll make you look like the Barefoot Contessa—all while spending 20 minutes or less in the kitchen. Scroll down to see them all.
Homemade Pizza with Prosciutto
Trader Joe's popular make-at-home pizza dough is an easy way to impress your family on the fly. Combine a little tomato paste with garlic, olive oil, fennel and thyme, and then spread the mixture on your shaped dough. Then, sprinkle your choice of cheese (we prefer a blend!) and top with thin slices of prosciutto. You can fancy it up even more with arugula or figs. It takes less than 20 minutes to bake.
Try a twist on the classic lobster roll! Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper, and saute in butter. Then tuck them into a squishy hot dog bun with some greens and a dollop of mayo or a tangy tartar sauce. You may not actually be lounging at the seashore, but with this recipe, at least you can pretend you are. Perfection.
Trader Joe's has a great selection of ravioli, but topping it with marinara can get old. By adding steamed spinach, peas and melted Boursin cheese, this pumpkin ravioli now has three veggies (and they all taste like cheese!).
Expose your kids to a taste of Thai with this easy recipe. Mix a can of coconut cream (also available in a low-fat version) with a bottle of Trader Joe's Thai Red Curry Sauce and simmer. Cube some of Trader Joe's pre-cooked all natural chicken breast to throw in the pot, and serve over their three-minute rice. You can also add steamed spinach!
Fortified Mandarin Orange Chicken
You know your little foodie will gobble this one up no matter what the season. So why not turn it into a filling dish that meets your kiddo’s daily veggie requirement too? It’s easy to beef it up with winter greens like broccoli, peas and green peppers. Follow SOP for stovetop prep when you’re cooking the chicken and sauce. Throw in chunky green peppers and broccoli florets for the last few minutes, and cover your saucepan so they steam a bit, and then swirl in a handful frozen green peas just before you serve. Your little chef won’t know what hit her!
Tortellini Soup with Kale & Sausage
Wondering how to use up all that kale sitting in your bin? This simple stew-like recipe is perfect for cold winter nights, and the kids love it! Simply saute white onion and the sliced up sausage in a bit of olive oil until the onion is soft and the sausage has browned. Add the chicken stock or broth and bring to a boil. Then, add the tortellini and reduce heat to a simmer for about four minutes. Finally, toss in the chopped kale, let it wilt and then top with parmesan cheese.
Delicious Pulled Pork Tacos
Trader Joe's Pulled Pork can be made in the microwave in three minutes and makes a super-tasty base for these tacos. Add your favorite toppings, but don't skip the Roasted Tomatillo and Mango Salsa, which adds some tang and spice.
Pesto Pasta with Shrimp
Pesto is the star of this easy pasta recipe that will definitely earn a spot in the summer dinner rotation. Mix your favorite cooked pasta with shrimp and garlicky pesto. Add chopped fresh basil and tomato with a sprinkling of grated parmesan for an extra blast of favorite summery flavors.
Trader Joe’s is on a mission to bring fondue back. We’re loving it because busy parents can throw this cheesy meal together faster than your Insta-pot can say “ready, set, go!” Simply heat a container of Trader Jacques’ La Fondue (made with three savory kinds of cheese) in the microwave for about five minutes. Let it sit for one or two more, and then bring it straight to the table (psst … no dishes or special cookware are part of this easy-peasy meal’s appeal), where you can have fresh fruit, veggie, and French bread pieces waiting. The only thing that would make this meal better is a matching container of chocolate fondue for dessert!
Asparagus Risotto with Chicken
This one-pot meal takes less than 15 minutes. Warm up some asparagus risotto on the stovetop (this usually takes over an hour to prepare!), slice up Trader Joe's pre-cooked seasoned chicken breasts, and add to the risotto at the last minute to warm it up. Serve with a salad and dinner's done/
—Gabby Cullen with Sara Olsher, Allison Sutcliffe & Anna Doogan