Food

Trader Joe’s Meal Hacks

Trader Joe's Meal Hacks

When we were in Fire Island a couple weeks ago, my friend Linsey disappeared into the tiny kitchen of our rental house, with five little kids running underfoot. Fifteen minutes later, she emerged with the most delicious pulled pork tacos. Crazily enough, she revealed that she had used mostly Trader Joe’s stuff. Here’s her “recipe,” plus a few others…


From Linsey:

Pulled Pork Tacos
TJ BBQ Pulled Pork
TJ Tortillas
TJ Mango Salsa
TJ Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
Avocado

Heat up the pulled pork. Then pile on tortilla with mango salsa, cheese and avocado. That’s it!

From my sister:

Trader Joe's Meal Hacks

Boursin and Pea Ravioli

Any kind of TJ Ravioli
1/2 container of Boursin cheese (which Trader Joe’s sells CHEAP)
Dash of olive oil
1/2 cup TJ frozen peas
1/2 pack of TJ Organic Baby Spinach (optional)
Pepper

Make the ravioli and peas separately. Then mix together, and stir in Boursin and olive oil. If you’d like, stir in baby spinach, which will wilt when mixed with the warm pasta. Add pepper to taste.

From my mom:

Trader Joe's Meal Hacks

Stuffed Red Peppers
Half bag of TJ Harvest Grains
Half can of TJ Cowboy Caviar
4 red peppers
Sour cream

Make half the bag of harvest grains. Then mix in half the can of Cowboy Caviar (or more if you’d like it spicier). Cut off the top of the red peppers and pull out any seeds or ribs. Fill peppers with mixture. Put in a baking pan covered with foil in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Serve with sour cream or yogurt.

What Trader Joe’s recipe hacks do you have? I also want to try these easy fish tacos.

P.S. The fanciest Trader Joe’s dessert, and how to get kids to eat vegetables.

(Top photo by Stella Blackmon, second two photos by Tory Williams for Cup of Jo. This post isn’t sponsored, we just love Trader Joe’s:)

  1. Jen says...

    I was there the other day and they were sampling a dip that was phenomenal. It was a pack of their jalapeño artichoke dip mixed with 1/4 bag of their roasted corn (from the freezer section) and mozzarella cheese served with tortilla chips! Delicious!

  2. Hillary says...

    My FAVORITE easy dip for a party is made exclusively with ingredients from Trader Joe’s:
    -1 package of pre-cooked lentils
    -1 container of their bruschetta mix
    -1 container of crumbled feta

    Mix together in a bowl and serve with crackers or pita chips. SO tasty!

  3. Renee says...

    What wonderful ideas – more like this please!

  4. Vanessa says...

    My husband is away for work this week, and these recipes have been a great way to make quick meals for my toddler and me. Thanks!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      so glad, vanessa!

  5. Adrienne says...

    I like to make a room-temp salad with:
    – whole wheat spaghetti noodles (cooked, drained)
    – a package of raw cruciferous crunch
    – the spicy peanut dressing to taste (it’s not so spicy that my 6 year-old can’t eat it)
    – sesame seeds or crushed peanuts
    – if I want a protein, some chicken, tofu, or shrimp.
    This is so easy, and friends have appreciated it after having a baby/ as a potluck offering because it’s filling but fairly healthy.

  6. Joanna Tsay says...

    Not.sure if this has already been mentioned, but the fresh bruschetta sauce with steamed green lentils. Mix together. Eat with multigraph tortilla chips. So good!

  7. Christine Webb says...

    My question about their pasta..it tasted like chemicals, smelled like chemical. After eating a few bites, I couldn’t eat any more of it. The burps were even worse. And according to the ingredients, there should be no way it should taste that way..it was the really wide noodles. Everything else I’ve tried from there is awesome!

  8. Christine Webb says...

    My question about their pasta..it tasted like chemicals, smelled like chemical. After eating a few bites, I couldn’t eat any more of it. The burps were even worse. And according to the ingredients, there should be no way it should taste that way..it was the really wide noodles.

  9. Nicole says...

    The Boursin and Pea Ravioli was also terrific with their Lobster Ravioli! Husband loved it!!

  10. Robin says...

    These are fantastic hacks! My TJ must-haves are always the edamame hummus (for a sandwich spread) and the mushroom and black truffle flatbread. I wanted to share this Food & Wine article on what actual chefs by from TJ’s… I had so much fun reading this! http://www.foodandwine.com/fwx/slideshow/what-chefs-buy-trader-joes

  11. I made the ravioli tonight and my husband instantly asked where I got the idea :) Thanks for sharing!

  12. Lennie says...

    I love this post so much! I read all of the comments for more ideas, too. This post saved my butt for this week’s meal planning.

    • Lennie says...

      P.S. We tried the pulled pork recipe last night and my husband loved it!

  13. Amy P says...

    I made the Boursin pasta tonight. I had high hopes but it was pretty mediocre. I weighed out the 1 lb pasta it called for but I think it needed much less; we could barely taste the Boursin and the texture was not at all creamy. Maybe 2/3-3/4 lb pasta? I kinda want to try it again because I feel like it’s got such potential.

    • Nicole says...

      Hi Amy,

      The Ravioli is in an 8.8 oz pkg. A pound of pasta would be too much. Maybe give it another shot with less.

  14. My favorite TJ hack I beet salad
    Makes 2 servings

    1 pack baby beets
    1 pack fresh mint
    1 goat cheese medallion (it comes in a package of about 5 medallions)
    Balsalmic vinagrette
    Toasted pecan pieces (or your nut of choice)
    1 orange

    1) Chop up the beets and orange, divide into 2 bowls
    2) Cut or use fingers to split goat cheese into pieces. Drop half onto each salad
    3) Sprinkle each salad with pecans
    4) Garnish with torn pieces of mint
    5) Drizzle in balsamic vinagrette and Enjoy!!

  15. Roxana says...

    Was at TJ’s yesterday and I thought of this post and picked-up the pulled pork taco supplies and the Boursin (the entire package of which I could eat entirely on my own. . . sans cracker :) and ravioli supplies. Looking forward to trying these out this weekend! Love TJ’s. They should sponsor you ;). Thanks for these great meal ideas!

  16. Amy says...

    My toddler won’t touch it, but a favorite TJ’s lunch of mine:

    Heat up their frozen garlic naan. Top with a mashed avocado and a tin of smoked trout. Finish with salt, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and a drizzle of balsamic.

    Toddler approved: TJ’s smoked Apple Chardonnay chicken sausage + Pioneer woman’s red pepper pasta (sauce can be doubled and frozen without the cream)

  17. Karen says...

    Warm Lentil Salad – Saute pancetta cubes (you can buy them already cubed at TJs) in a bit of oil, add in TJ’s mirepoix, add TJ’s ready to eat lentils, top with a bit of chicken broth, salt, pepper, fresh or dried thyme and 1 bay leaf. Let simmer for about 15 minutes. After removing from the heat, add 1 tbsp sherry vinegar (this is key for flavor). Mix and serve. I sometimes add oven roasted zucchini and/or cauliflower on top so it feels like a complete meal.

  18. Loving all these posts! Everyone is so creative, I’ve got a ton more easy meal ideas now! I suffer from Fibromyalgia so as much as I love to cook, my body can ‘t tolerate long hours in the kitchen anymore so TJ’s has been a huge help in simplifying and improvising!

    Couple more of my go-to TJ faves:

    Chicken medallions in red coconut curry sauce that they have in the deli section. I take a bag of TJ’s frozen stir fried veggies that you can steam in the microwave and mix those in with the chicken medallions and serve over a pack of the TJ microwave frozen red sprouted rice. You get a few servings out of it when in a pinch and its less than 10 mins (maybe even 5) to throw together!

    Chicken, egg, & potato salad (Persian Salad Olivieh) easy TJ version –
    I take 1 large potato and 3 eggs and boil them (hardboil for eggs, potato should be soft enough to mash) and add a can of TJ’s chicken in broth. Mash everything together, add mayo to whatever your desired creaminess, add a pack of the TJs chopped Miripoix mix of onions, carrots, and celery, and a pack of TJs peeled and ready to eat edamame, season with TJ’s 21 Solute and sea salt, and optional pepper, garlic & turmeric and mix thoroughly . I like to serve as lettuce wraps with the romaine hearts, or its good for sandwiches or toast or crackers or wraps. Lasts a couple of days for lunches for my hubs & I!

    Pizza Pasta – I like to fry up a pack of the Italian bacon and chopped Italian sausage, a pack of the sliced mushrooms, a small can of sliced black olives, and a pack of the frozen roasted peppers – all in the TJ’s garlic infused olive oil and season with the 21 solute and sea salt. Then I make a pack of whatever TJs gluten free pasta I feel like that day, and combine everything with a jar of the Tomato Basil pasta sauce. Then I add a layer of shredded cheese to the top and a layer of pepperoni slices on top of that and put it under the broiler for a few minutes. Delish and everything comes from TJs, a lot of food and super easy!

  19. Love this! So handy for those quick meals that still need to be delish!

  20. Jane B. says...

    Who’s published the Trader Joe’s Meal Planner?!!!?! Where can I get my hands on it?!! Please tell me is is complete with maps of the store on where to find that sauce that goes with those things that need to be dipped in it. Wouldn’t it make THE perfect holiday hostess gift!!!!?!!

    • Sandi says...

      I would like a copy of that.