Food

A Five-Minute Trader Joe’s Dinner

Trader Joe's tahini grain bowl

Good news: Trader Joe’s month is baaaack! We’re kicking things off today with a recipe from a reader named Xizi: an easy rice bowl with egg, tahini and Trader Joe’s fan favorite, Everything But the Bagel seasoning. “I have blown through two jars with this hack. It still hits the spot Every. Single. Time,” says Xizi. Here’s how it’s done…

Trader Joe's tahini grain bowl

Tahini Grain Bowl
From reader Xizi

You’ll need:

Grains, such as frozen organic jasmine rice or organic riced cauliflower
One egg
Greens, such as baby kale or spinach
Organic tahini
Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend

Microwave rice according to package directions and place in a bowl. Over low heat, make a runny fried egg. Place the egg on top of the rice, and sprinkle with greens of your choice (baby kale or spinach works well). Dress with tahini and Everything But the Bagel seasoning, as desired.

Trader Joe's grain bowl recipe

Thank you so much, Xizi! Wouldn’t this make a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner? What are your latest Trader Joe’s hacks?

P.S. More Trader Joe’s recipes, including five-ingredient shrimp tacos and a breakfast hack.

(Photos by Yossy Arefi for Cup of Jo. This series isn’t sponsored, we just really love Trader Joe’s :) Thanks to Franny Eremin for editing this series.)

  1. Yummy, that actually sounds like something I would love to try. I have a Trader Joe’s about two miles down the road.

  2. Sarah says...

    I had to share my dinner, which is a TJ’s riff on the Smitten Kitchen recipe. My husband and I just declared it our entertaining recipe for the 2019 patio season :) https://smittenkitchen.com/2018/07/grilled-zucchini-ribbons-with-pesto-and-white-beans/
    It is basically all assembly while the zucchini grills, so about 15 minutes. 5 ingredients (6 if you want to eat it with crusty bread!)

    Serves 4
    Two cans great northern or cannellini beans
    1-2 packages of zucchini (2 largish or 3 smallish zucc’s per package)
    Pesto (the jar from the pasta aisle or the tub from the refrigerated section; I prefer the latter)
    Lemon
    1 container of burrata (2 balls)

    Directions:
    1. Slice zucchini lengthwise using knife or mandolin; oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill (outside or on grill pan on stove), medium-high and flip after grill marks appear. Squeeze lemon on top after they come off the grill.
    2. Drain beans and mix a couple spoonfuls of pesto (I just do this straight in the colander!) while the zucchini grills. If you want bread, slice and toast it now.
    3. Plate pesto-ed beans with an extra dollop of pesto in wide shallow bowl, curl zucchini slices on top, make a little nest in the middle. Slice each ball of burrata in half and nestle a half in the middle of each plate, with cracked pepper on top. Enjoy!

  3. Amanda says...

    I’ve made this for lunch the past two days and I’m so happy about it! I used a seven minute egg (hat tip to dinner: a love story) to avoid the oil from frying and it is top notch. Thanks!!

  4. Stacy says...

    This is an idea I got from Ali Edwards’ blog: a pork loin and a jar of salsa Verde in the Crock-Pot for 6 hours on low. Shred and serve with taco fixings and tortillas. Super easy.
    My current favorite is the artichoke antipasto, which I use instead of pesto on chicken, wrapped with prosciutto and topped with marinated artichoke hearts. I serve the chicken with gnocchi topped with everything but the bagel seasoning.

  5. Jen says...

    I just made a Salmon Rice Bowl last night with all ingredients from TJs.
    – Marinate salmon in OJ (2/3cup), Soy Sauce (1/3cup, and honey (1 TBS) for 20 mins and then cook in pan 2-3 mins on each side
    – Take half the marinade and reduce until it thickens
    – Roast shredded brussels sprouts at 450 F for 20 mins then squeeze 1/2 and lime and dash of fish sauce
    – Dice up 2-3 persian cucumber, douse with RW vinegar and a dash of sesame seeds
    – Make ginger scallion sauce
    – Make rice
    – Assemble it all together and add as much ginger scallion sauce as needed!

    • Mia says...

      Jen, I made this for our family tonight and everyone – from the 2-year-old to the 42-year-old gobbled it up. Thank you so much for sharing it!

  6. lomavistagirl says...

    Just picked up the February edition of the Fearless Flyer and they included a memo to customers all about how they are reducing plastic packaging throughout 2019.

    • Emily says...

      Yes!! This makes me so happy!

    • pepperpie says...

      The most recent episode of the (official!) Trader Joe’s podcast addresses this very topic and goes into more detail if anyone is interested :)

  7. Abbe says...

    That sounds SO GOOD Edwina!!

  8. Kat says...

    Here’s a new one I tried this week: brown rice (I had some left over in the fridge but you could heat up TJ’s frozen rice) + Yellow Tadka Dal (a little pouch that goes in the mirco for 2 mins) + wilt some spinach. Mix together and add some hot sauce on top – delish!

    Also, this is my go-to lunch every day of every workweek: On Sunday I roast up a few big pans of veggies (cut up butternut squash or sweet potato, onion, mushrooms, brocc and cauli sprinked with cumin and tumeric – so good). I put this in a big container and each day for lunch I put some on top of arugula + one teeny tiny avo + TJ’s Almond Butter Turmeric salad dressed (with the veggies in the refrigerated section). It’s so good and filling, and I love that I get in lots of veggie serving before dinner!

  9. Megan Lec says...

    I can’t stop scooping up Trader Joes frozen garlic naan and their frozen falafel. These two essentials can be modified in seemingly infinite ways. Some nights when I get my toddler to sleep I slather on just hummus and add a little feta. Other nights I go all out with calamata olives, shredded carrots, and cucumbers. A little tzatziki or tahini and some salt and pepper and you are in business! (pro tip; if you have a toaster oven, toast your naan for 3-4 minutes and bask in crispy naan in the comfort of your own home.)

  10. There’s a TJs down the street from where I live (and a Penzey’s spice and hardware store, so I don’t need to leave my neighborhood). I make meals from TJ’s food all the time. Here are a couple favorites:
    Precooked lentils with sauteed chopped veggies and spices are a complete meal. You can top that with an egg.
    Spatchcock chicken with baby potatoes and chopped carrots – all in a baking dish in the oven. Let the oven do the work.
    Baby greens with a chopped apple, crumbled gorgonzola, balsamic dressing (I make my own from TJ’s olive oil, canola oil and balsamic vinegar), topped with spicy and sweet pecans. Yum!

  11. Edwina says...

    I live in Melbourne, but I bought a jar of this ‘everything but the bagel’ seasoning on the recommendation of my cool teenager niece when I was visiting her in the US over Christmas. And it is *SO GOOD*. My favourite combo at the moment is to sprinkle it over the top of Vegemite (cliche i know) & avocado toast <3

  12. Sherry says...

    Another post I’d LOVE to see: road trip food. Healthy and otherwise. Keep in the cooler and shelf stable. An actual meal and strictly snacks. Trader Joe’s specific and can get anywhere. I could go on and on!

    • Nicole says...

      Sherry, I could write that article!

      * Brami Beans (Lupini Beans) – Packed with protein, nice texture (Thrive Market or Whole Foods)
      *Cliff Bar Nut Butter – Banana, Chocolate Peanut butter flavor (trust me on this – they don’t taste terrible like most bars)
      *World Peas Ranch Flavor – Also packed with protein and super crunchy
      *Baby Bell Cheese + Your Favorite Cracker
      *Savory hand pies aka empanadas (google for the recipe of your choice)
      * Biena Roasted Chickpeas (I like the Ranch flavor – see a theme here?)
      *Oloves olives – Come in individual pouches! I like basil and garlic
      * Smuckers Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches – Ultimate road trip food
      *Chocolate/Peanut butter protein balls (there are lots of varieties and recipes – look online for a recipe or buy pre-made from Whole Foods)
      *Hard boiled eggs with truffle salt

      Favorite Airplane Meal: Cup of Ramen Noodles, and I precook some shelled edamame and throw in a plastic baggie. Ask the stewardess to add hot water to your cup, throw the beans in… viola!

      More involved airplane meal: I make myself a cheese board with Trader Joe’s mini brie, a hunk of my favorite wine soaked cheese, roasted red peppers and artichokes from the jar, roasted garlic (from the grocery store cheese section) and whatever other bits and bobs I have laying around. It’s so luxurious, I always get asked about it :)

  13. Emily says...

    Homemade pizzas on frozen (thawed) Naan. Grab Naan, pizza sauce (fresh, near veggies, not canned), mozzarella, and any toppings! I let the kids choose their own toppings, make them in the oven and/or toaster oven and viola! Delish and everyone is happy.

  14. Joanna says...

    so many fave tj’s meals!
    – frozen shrimp thawed and sautéed w/ pesto + orzo pasta + roasted asparagus & diced tomatoes mixed in
    – already steamed lentils in refrigerator section mixed w/ roasted sweet potato cubes, goat cheese, dried cranberries & whatever greens i have on hand
    – same steamed lentils + bruschetta mix (from refrigerated section or perishable both are good) + feta – best as an app w/ crackers but have def eaten as a meal
    – from previous cup of jo post: sweet potato gnocchi + greens + sliced up chicken sausage
    – squash ravioli tossed w/ browned butter & sage + mozzarella & greens
    – also like making cauliflower rice bowls either w/ falafel (from mix), tzatziki sauce & sriracha or w/ the frozen veggie gyoza, roasted broccoli & drizzled w/ soyaki & hot sauce

  15. Emm says...

    I want to love Trader Joe’s for so many reasons- the culture, the people who work there, how small and accessible it is, the fact that I lived right next to the original TJ store for years and years…. but, everything tastes so… Trader Joe’s. You know how if you eat at a restaurant too much, after a while, that taste just disagrees with you? That’s how I feel about all the ready made food and Trader Joe’s brand packaged foods at TJ.

    • Emily says...

      That’s interesting because TJ’s doesn’t make any of its own food — it just puts its label on products from other companies. Maybe they choose things that taste right to them?

    • Colleen says...

      SAME. I cannot seem to get on the TJ fan train. I’m also resistant to it because their products are mentioned on sooo many cooking sites now, sponsored or not. It’s. Not. That. Great.

  16. Azlin says...

    This is like my childhood comfort food the Asian version. Rice, sunny side egg and sweet soya sauce and sometimes cut cucumbers. Yummzsss 🙏🏽

    • allison says...

      Yes! In our house, cucumbers are mandatory and there’s a plop of sambal on the side of the plate.

  17. Kirsten says...

    Ha. This is basically the meal I ate every single day for dinner during college. Except with couscous because then I could make the whole thing in three minutes flat. Egg + steamed veg + couscous with some avocado and some soy sauce = delish

  18. Emily R Hylden says...

    YEP. Had a version of this for lunch — I had last night’s leftover risotto, but had just returned from TJs with fresh arugula, an avocado, and pearl tomatoes. Add an egg & LUNCH IS SO GOOD.

  19. Rachel Simmons says...

    But who really acctually eats kale…

    • Paulette Campbell says...

      I do I love it in salad soup and stirfries.

    • rachel says...

      true! when cooked it isnt horrid… lol

  20. Karin Engel says...

    Not really a dinner hack….or maybe for some of us it is :) I take TJ’s frozen soft pretzels, spray each one with a little canola or olive oil, sprinkle with the everything but the bagel spice blend, and bake according to the package directions. Serve with either TJ’s garlic aioli or their blue cheese mustard. Yum!

    • margie says...

      I had the seasoning, found the hot pretzels, and was scouring the store- only to find the blue cheese mustard was seasonal and unavailable. It sounded so good; I was so bummed! But still doing the pretzels with bagel seasoning.

  21. SJ says...

    FOLLOWING.

    Someone literally asked me today:

    “How many times do you go to Trader Joe’s (Per month)?”
    “I go at least once.”
    “Oh, funny. I thought you went twice a day.”

  22. Hali says...

    On the topic of Trader Joe’s… they have such a solid network of cult followers on Instagram! My best friend started an Instagram account about a year ago because she lives across the street from TJs and is always discovering new products. Her account has totally blown up! People are SERIOUS about TJ hashtags! It’s so much fun to discover new products on her account then go hunting for them in my local store. When she walks into her Trader Joe’s now, the manager and crew members ( crew members !! ) will sometimes guide her to the next best thing or open a box of something they’re loving and want her to try so she can share it. They’ll also fill her in the rumors of delicious new products that aren’t out yet. Her account is @traderjoespro and it’s one of those things that just brings me a little dose of giddiness whenever I see it. Oh and did you know that each store has its own in-house artist to make the store signs ever week? I’m about 95% positive that is true. I only wish Trader Joe’s didn’t go so hard on the plastic packaging in their produce section but @traderjoespro told me that they’re working on reducing that this year :)

    • Oneida says...

      Yes! A friend of mine (who is a fabulous artist by the way) had the TJs in-house artist job. She said she loved it 😍 All those signs and displays you see are hand drawn by them! Even the little labels for each case!

      We are TJ lovers and I am so happy to hear about the plastic.

      We recently moved and when we told my 5 year old daughter about the move, her first question was “But what about Trader Joe’s?!? 😢”. We reassured her that the new city had a LOT of them. She was like, “oh,” stopped crying, and moved on. She literally had NO other questions about moving haha. We lived 1 minute from TJs and now we live 2 minutes from our new one 🤣

    • Linda says...

      I know one of the artists, so it’s definitely true!

  23. K says...

    P.S. It would be awesome if you had a post rounding up the best reader meal suggestions you get on these TJ’s posts. I’d love to have that resource.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s a GREAT idea, K!

    • Dana says...

      Great idea. Just last week I scoured these posts and comments to meal plan for my entire week (it was a hectic week so I declared it TJs hack week). It would be awesome to have a compilation!

  24. K says...

    I cannot remember if I found this recipe for crispy sheet pan gnocchi and vegetables here or via another site, but it’s so good that my family eats it once a week now. My meat-eating son and husband will sometimes have a few meatballs along with it. I like adding a bit of burrata or fresh mozzarella. So good, and so easy to throw it on a pan and let it roast for 25 min.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.thekitchn.com/recipe-crispy-sheet-pan-gnocchi-and-veggies-247360

  25. Maggie says...

    Not a dinner (or is it???) but has anyone tried the Trader Joe’s pancake bread? IT IS INSANE. Tastes just like a stack of pancakes!! Highly recommend.

    • hali says...

      My husband and I DESTROYED the entire loaf of that two nights ago, blissfully knocking down a solid 3-day streak of healthy eating in one fell swoop! It was phenomenal! It paired so well with cups of decaf coffee and netflix documentaries. Like brunch in dessert form!

    • Sarah says...

      OMG what is that? I had to Google it. I haven’t seen it at my local TJ’s but it’s on my radar now.

    • Kimberley says...

      Just gave it to my kids for breakfast this morning. So good!

  26. Sarah says...

    Love this! Maybe you can also do some snack recs? A couple I love:

    – Cornbread Crisps topped with pepper jelly and either Unexpected Cheddar or goat cheese

    – A container of cream cheese mixed with tinned smoked trout, thinned out with a little olive oil and topped with Everything but the Bagel Seasoning as a dip with any cracker or crudité

  27. gfy says...

    I use TJ’s Red Pepper Spread by heating it up with a couple of tbls of white miso, a tbls butter and a tiny splash of rice vinegar, then use it over pasta. So good. Makes a great pizza sauce too – came up with this for a dinner with my mother who is allergic to tomatoes and needed an alternative red sauce! Pesto is delicious but gets old, shockingly.

    Going to try commenter Sarah’s Gnocchi Balsamic Butter Veg dish next. That sounds excellent!

    • Hali says...

      It’s seriously the BEST thing to discover a recipe you want to try then realize you have everything you need to make it. I’m going to try this for dinner! (And I the only reason I have white miso in my fridge is thanks to Jenny’s kitchen staples post.) Thank you!!

  28. M says...

    Yes to Trader Joe’s month!

    Not sure if this is a hack but I like to do a quick and cheap taco night with tjs ingredients:
    -crispy taco shells
    -refried beans (black or pinto)
    -toppings like pico de Gallo, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, green Chile salsa, hot sauce

    Just warm up the beans in the microwave and the shells in the toaster. Fill shells with beans and add toppings.

  29. Claire says...

    I do not have a Trader Joe’s hack, but I do love their European style butter and the Unexpected Cheddar.
    Rice, eggs, and greens sounds like a delicious dinner though.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      so glad!!

  30. Kim says...

    I saw the photo and was immediately taken aback that rice and eggs was a featured recipe! My next thought was that the person who submitted the recipe HAS to be Asian. Growing up in the 80s, my Chinese mom would make rice and eggs for my brother and me as a quick fix all the time. I LOVED it. I was certain nobody else ate eggs this way because my mom paired EVERYTHING with rice, even stuff you’re not supposed to like lasagna and chili. So, I thought eggs were just another thing she paired weirdly with rice. I still make rice and eggs when I’m in a pinch. Easy and satisfying.

    • Leilani says...

      Chili 10000% goes with rice!! You get so many more meals out of it. But I’m Hawaiian and we also do rice with everything, so probably biased here lol.

    • Sydni Jackson says...

      One time my husband and I stopped by my friend’s house (she’s Filipino) and they invited us to stay for dinner. They had just made a hodge-podge of things from their pantry – Jasmine rice, fried egg, and baked beans – but everything tasted so good together and was surprising filling! Now every time I make it I think of her :) But really, so economical and fairly nutritious.

  31. Sasha L says...

    Everything bagel lovers: Molly Yeh has a gallettes recipe that is super good. It’s basically just pie dough, topped with cream cheese and egg and green onion mixed, top with fresh sliced tomatoes, then sprinkle edges of pie with everything bagel topping, and bake. They look amazing and beautiful, but take no time at all and so so good. She has a bunch of everything recipes. (She has a recipe for making your own topping too, in case you live in a sad sad place with no Trader Joe’s, like me 😪)

  32. Michelel says...

    So excited you are bringing this back!!

    I keep the sundried tomato chicken sausage or the garlic chicken sausage on hand at all times. It lasts for quite a while in the fridge (or frozen) and can be quickly added to anything! I add it to the cauliflower gnocchi with the vegan pesto (from the fresh section – I can’t stop raving about it this stuff!) or with beans and kale.

    • gfy says...

      And thank you for raving! Wow can’t wait to try the gnocchi – I googled and they’re vegan too!!

    • Gina Moore says...

      Thank you! Just bought all these ingredients for dinner this week!

  33. Stephanie L. says...

    This is not a specific TJ hack but saves us at dinner time at least a few times a month:
    Boil some quinoa (you can even use the boil-in-bag kind if you can’t be bothered to measure and rinse!)
    Steam some broccoli
    Decide on a happy amount of feta cheese
    Juice 1 lemon
    Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and EVOO!
    Combine it all together, be newly amazed at how easy AND delicious (AND nutritious!) it is each time you have it. Enjoy!

    • Rae says...

      Ha! This is essentially what I am eating right now with some white beans added. Delicious and it keeps in the fridge for a day or two (longer if you make fresh broccoli each time) so make extra.

    • Katy says...

      Roast the broccoli instead / and since you aren’t making anymore dishes throw a pepper on the sheet pan too. The broccoli reheats better from roasted if you want to make a big batch for multiple days!

      Also 1 sheet pan is actually less dishes than pot / lid / steamer. ;)

    • gfy says...

      I do quinoa, peas and capers – dressed in a rice vinegar vinagrette with chili flakes it has become a mainstay!

    • Jessica McManus says...

      I love to add the TJ’s Chilli Lime seasoning to this exact grouping :)

  34. KL says...

    So much love for Trader Joe’s! I used to do a lot of my shopping there when I lived a block from one, but have since moved and have subsequently moved on to other grocery stores. Every once in a while I’ll get back to TJ’s and a lot of what I get there (packaged items) tastes pretty good, but I’ve become really skeptical of their meat, dairy, and produce. It all seems very “factory” to me, and not great in the animal welfare/ environmental welfare departments. A lot of the other grocery stores I go to (namely Whole Foods and Wegmans) source at least enough of their things locally (I also prioritize getting to a local farmer as often as possible). Also, some of their packaged things have really weird ingredients. I don’t know, anyone else weirded out by their food? Or am I on an island by myself? Totes cool if so, I’ll bring a book.

    • Anna says...

      I’ll come hang on that island with you! TJs is the most economical option for me, which I appreciate, and a lot of their staples are great (they have also started stocking vegan butter, woah!). But (and I know is this mentioned on every TJs post on CoJ) the plastic involved is just crazy, especially for produce. Why must a single cauli be plastic wrapped?! I also found that their bread went mouldy insanely fast!

    • p. says...

      I’m with you. I used to be a regular shopper years ago, but now whenever I go back, I’m disappointed.

    • Christine Hart says...

      Totally agree! The produce I bought over the last month or so has been terrible. I threw out 2 almost full bags of arugula, 1/2 a package of green beans, 1/2 a package of broccoli… Very disappointed. I meant to speak to the produce manager but every time I go in it is so busy I don’t want to bother him/her.

    • Mas says...

      Same as P. Used to love it but now I just feel meh whenever I make the trip there. I am also skeptical of the ingredients in their ready made foods. I used to shop exclusively at TJs whole in law school and ate way too much of their prepared foods. Also that was when I was at my unhealthiest. Correlation or causation? Probably both plus law school is the pits.

      Whenever I read these posts I feel a twang of guilt that I’m not saving money by shopping there, but it’s not that convenient to get to so then I get over the money aspect too.

    • Sarah says...

      I agree with you! I used to be a big fan, but I’m just lukewarm on it now. I got sick after I ate a prepackaged salad, and for a while it felt like every time I checked out, there was a new list of recalls on the counter so I’m not super trusting of their prepared stuff. Now I go every month or two, mostly to stock up on pantry items (Hot Cocoa Dunkers, Barbara’s Oat Squares (about $2/box cheaper than at Whole Foods!), aged Parmesan, cans of beans, filled ravioli, pasta sauce, etc).

  35. Erin says...

    Trader Joe’s creamy tomato basil pasta sauce is SO good. Lately I’ve been putting it on cheese tortellini and adding sauteed shrimp & asparagus.

  36. emma says...

    I like the quattro formagio frozen pizza w/ a simple arugula salad (arugula+evoo+lemon juice+parm+s&p) on top- move over cpk.

    • Sasha L says...

      We make something similar, caesar salad pizza. Cheese pizza with chopped romaine (or whatever greens), drizzled with caesar dressing. Yum!! Awesome with an egg on the pizza, then salad, too

  37. emma says...

    Add a TJ frozen scallion pancake to it and mmmmmm.

    • Dee says...

      Love this idea!!

    • Danielle says...

      Yes! A fried egg on one of those scallion pancakes plus sriracha mayo is so good.

    • Dee says...

      This sounds amazing!

  38. Annie says...

    Love this idea, except for the tahini! Any ideas on what could replace that? That Everything But the Bagel seasoning really is amazing – first loved it on avocados!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i think any salad dressing would be delicious!

    • Whisk up some miso, sesame oil and pepper (+ extra salt if desired) into good mayo (TJs brand is THE BEST) and you’ll have the most addicting dressing ON EARTH.

    • Sarah says...

      If you don’t like tahini on its own (I don’t!) you can whisk a little lemon juice, honey, and a bit of olive oil into the tahini, and it’s delicious!

  39. Julia says...

    Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup + cut up and sautee Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage + fop with fresh Arugula = happy tummy!

    • Ann says...

      OH MY GOODNESS. I never thought of this. Thank you so much for sharing this magic.

  40. Maggie says...

    I’m on Whole30 and Trader Joe’s has been a life-saver for affordable organic free-range chicken. $2-$3 cheaper per pound than other stores in my town. Their bone broth is cheaper by a few bucks a package too. Other Whole30 things I love to get there: produce, fruit, all-natural turkey deli meat (way cheaper than other brands), and Spindrift sparkling water. If you haven’t tried that–it’s delicious. Grapefruit is my favorite.

  41. Jen says...

    Love these! Lately everything I make for breakfast has just been a conduit to get the Everything but the Bagel seasoning into my mouth.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha

    • beks says...

      this!

      I’ve taken to buying several jars at a time and keeping one in my purse to give away when exalting its deliciousness, I just can’t trust that person to remember to buy it on their own :)

    • Eileen says...

      Agree! TJ’s is superior. I bought the whole foods version in a pinch and it was not as good.

  42. kathleen says...

    fish tacos!
    Panko encrusted tilapia, their shredded cabbage, avocado, green goddess dressing, with a side of their seasoned black beans. It’s delicious.

    • Gabrielle says...

      Have you tried the tacos with their cilantro dressing? It’s bananas.

  43. Laura B says...

    One of my fave TJ hacks I learned from their daily sample (bless those samples!):
    TJ’s Turkey meatballs, simmer in the Korean BBQ Sauce
    Heat some rice, cook up some frozen broccoli
    Toss together and throw some sesame seeds on top.

    Dinner is done in a matter of minutes and the flavors (slightly sweet, tangy, spicy) are phenomenal!

    • Hilary says...

      Do you think those meatballs would be good in marinara or regular BBQ sauce?

    • Laura says...

      Hilary – Yes! They would great in other sauces. They are a touch dry (compared to a beef or pork meatball) which is why I like to simmer them in the sauce.

    • Gina Moore says...

      Thank you! Just picked these ingredients up for dinner tonight!

  44. MM says...

    Yum! Last night I baked wild salmon filets with a “TJ Everything But The Bagel” crust on top. Very good. I also make homemade peasant bread and roll the dough in Everything But the Bagel before baking. Find me something I can’t put that stuff on.

    • Anna says...

      Ice cream.

    • Karen says...

      MM, I’m intrigued! Is it just the seasoning that you put on the salmon (generously?), or are there other ingredients?

    • KL says...

      Anna, I legit think it might be good on ice cream, haha!

  45. Leni says...

    I wish we had Trader Joe’s in Germany… It is owned by Aldi, a German discounter, after all! So curious to try this everything but the bagel seasoning!

    • beks says...

      Whole Foods now has their own bagel seasoning, you might be able to order it via Amazon?

  46. Rebecca C. says...

    My local TJs was actually sampling this one time and now my family is hooked! Its so good and satisfying for a delish weeknight meal.

    1 package of fillet of beef
    1 container of Garlic Spread & Dip
    1 bag of ciabatta rolls
    some arugula or spinach

    Roast the beef in the oven according to package (20 min). Toast some ciabatta rolls, smear the garlic spread on both sides, add a few slices of the beef and top with your greens of choice! I usually get the spinach salad kit with raspberry dressing and serve as the side! Enjoy!

    • Christine says...

      Oooh, I used to have a sandwich like this at a restaurant I loved in NY (RIP Divine Bar on 52nd st). They also had a little olive spread on it. Thanks for the meal idea!

  47. lesley says...

    this recipe looks good, i love anything with an egg on the top :-)

  48. Maria says...

    Loveee this series!

  49. Elizabeth says...

    I learned this one from Prescribe Nutrition: frozen organic rice with seasoned lentils (from the refrigerated section). Mix up your own vinaigrette–instant, filling, healthy lunch! If you want a bit more protein, chop up a hard-boiled egg on top.

  50. Megan says...

    I live for all the Trader Joe’s meal hacks. Please never stop them from coming.

  51. Amy says...

    I put Trader Joe’s fried fish (battered fish nuggets) in the toAster oven, then serve it with rice and broccoli and a dollop of sour cream. The best.

  52. Irene says...

    This is an updated take on a simplified Korean bibimbap. If you don’t have Everything Bagel spices, try a teaspoon or so of soy sauce/tamari/amino acids and a side of kim chee with the rice and fried egg. If you put the greens in the bowl first, followed by hot rice, the heat will soften the greens to make it easier to mix. The Italian version would be pasta + fried egg + grated parm + greens + squeeze of lemon.

    • Jessica says...

      This!
      This is all excellent advice for this slightly-too-simple recipe.
      I especially stan for the bit about putting the hot rice on the greens, not to the side, so that you can wilt them. On the side looks better on Instagram, but underneath tastes better in your mouth.
      I’d also suggest doing this with Shichimi Togarishi (Japanese 7 spice blend) instead of bagel blend. It has the poppy and sesame seeds, plus a little heat from red and black pepper, some citrus peel and some salty nori bits.

    • Sasha L says...

      Irene and Jessica, great ideas!! Thank you.

    • Barbara says...

      Yes, this! I’m Korean too, and soy sauce + a drizzle of sesame oil is always a good idea over eggs + rice + greens.

  53. michaela says...

    I make The KSB meal that was posted awhile back *all the time*, and while I was shopping at Trader Joe’s a little while ago, the cashier asked me what I was planning to make for dinner that night because she needed some new ideas (don’t the TJ’s cashiers always have the best conversation starters?) I told her all about the KSB and she was so excited to try it!

    My Trader Joe’s meal hack is one that we take on backpacking trips because it’s lightweight and delicious: one box of Shells & White Cheddar mac & cheese plus the Crispy Crunchy Broccoli Florets! I think it would be delicious with some hot sauce added too. The broccoli florets are baked until super crispy, so they have almost a dehydrated texture—we top the mac & cheese with them instead of mixing them in and letting them rehydrate, because they do get a little mushy. But when you’re backpacking, you care a little less about the finer points of flavor and texture. It’s just nice to feel like we’re getting some veggies in. :)

    • Emily says...

      We make the KSB all the time in our house too! We call it Meanie Greenie after another commenter on that thread called it that. Meanie Greenie night is the best!

  54. How simply wonderful. Now I know what I’m meal prepping for dinner next week–just a bunch of rice. The egg and greens will only take a couple of minutes :) Thanks!

  55. Hilary says...

    Next week I’m checking out this pork gyoza stir fry:
    https://www.thekitchn.com/trader-joes-dinner-ideas-265012

    I just discovered TJ’s kale pesto and it’s amazing! We’ve enjoyed it with TJ’s cauli gnocchi and chicken sausage. We also mixed the pesto with shredded chicken and roasted red peppers and grilled in a tortilla. YUM!

    This black bean soup recipe with cilantro lime rice is perfect with TJ’s Cuban beans and their frozen rice. Dinner ready in minutes!
    https://iowagirleats.com/2012/12/04/best-ever-black-bean-soup-with-cilantro-lime-rice/

    • Jessica T says...

      I love that black bean soup recipe! So quick and yummy.

    • Nicole says...

      I just made that gyoza stir fry last night for mid week dinner. And it happened to be Lunar New Year too. Just used a third of the gyoza sauce and a bit of siracha, and the chicken gyozas. Perfect ten minute one pan meal!!

    • emma says...

      The frozen chimichurri rice mixed w the boxed tomato soup is amazing too. If you eat meat, you can chop up some sausage in it.

  56. Rachel says...

    We just got a Trader Joe’s in my city a few months ago, and I’m making it a habit. Last week, I bought the $2 salad y’all have posted about before. Adding canned corn and black beans, fresh avocados, and some roasted salmon. So good! I can’t wait for more recommendations in the next month :)

  57. b says...

    This comment thread is going to be GOOD.

  58. Andrea says...

    Nearly a decade-long of reading the blog, but my first comment ever! This is one of my favorite series of posts. Happy to see it return. I have two favorite TJ recipes to contribute:

    Cauliflower gnocchi with sausage
    – frozen cauli gnocchi
    – frozen artichoke hearts
    – lemon juice
    – olive oil
    – parmesan cheese
    *I add the gnocchi to the pan while frozen, I think it cooks better this way. I mix all other ingredients together and add red pepper flakes if I need the heat.

    My favorite crockpot party dish
    -party sized meatballs (2 bags)
    – 1 jar of carolina gold bbq sauce
    Drop it in the crockpot and let it get warm – people RAVE about this and its usually the first thing to run out when I make it

  59. This seafood sauté is always a hit at our house! I double the spice and oil blend and add a pound of shrimp to the mix. It’s super easy and I serve it with rice and a salad. A healthy dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes? Yes, please!

    https://healthyrecipesblogs.com/seafood-saute/

  60. Sarah says...

    Here’s one of my go-to hacks. Recipe: Gnocchi with balsamic butter vegetables, veggie sausage, and goat cheese:
    Sautee TJs Fire Roasted Vegetables with Balsamic Butter Sauce in a large skillet. I like to add some additional frozen veggies from their freezer aisle (usually extra pearl onions and green peas) as well as some fresh grape tomatoes to the pan (there are some in the frozen veg packet but I am a tomato fiend and always want more). Lately I’ve also added some of their soy sausage – either the Sausageless Sausage or the soy Italian version they have, but meat eaters could add regular sausage.
    Separately, I cook a package of their gnocchi, which only takes a few minutes. Once everything is ready, I add the cooked gnocchi to the veggies and another glug or two of balsamic vinegar. I finish with some goat cheese. It’s *chef kiss* good, super easy, hearty and satisfying.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, this sounds SO delicious.

  61. YES! I just made this last night using trader joe’s ingredients and it was a true dinner miracle! absolutely delicious!
    https://www.thekitchn.com/15-minute-miracle-minestrone-busy-philipps-261985

    Another one we like to make in our house is trader joes hasbrown with mashed avocado and a fried egg on top. Sometimes we will throw in some sauteed garlicky kale. HIGHLY recommend.

    xo love you Cup of JO!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “trader joes hashbrown with mashed avocado and a fried egg on top. Sometimes we will throw in some sauteed garlicky kale” = omg making this asap!

    • KimW says...

      Genius……cannot wait to try!

    • Sasha L says...

      We make this camping! One skillet dish!! Frozen hash browns, eggs scrambled in, cheese, salsa, hot sauce, avocados, in a tortilla. So yummy!!