Mealtime Has Never Been Easier, Thanks to These 3-Ingredient Trader Joe's Recipes
It's no secret that Trader Joe's may very well be heaven on earth. With innovative products, affordable prices, and fresh options, shopping at TJ's is, dare I say it, enjoyable. One of the best things about Trader Joe's is its pre-made and frozen goods, which are essential for throwing together easy meals.
From savory meat sauces to hearty rice blends, and tasty dressings and dips, you can cook up a dish of pretty much any cuisine. And for those evenings when you can't muster the strength to throw a meal together, TJ's has your back, per usual. We put together a list of our all-time favorite breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes using only three Trader Joe's ingredients.
Keep some of the below items in your freezer, fridge, and pantry so you can quickly whip something up in a pinch and finally say sayonara to weekly takeout!
Trader Joe's has a plethora of hearty breakfast foods to choose from, and the offerings go far beyond cereal and frozen egg wraps. Keep reading for a list of breakfast recipes you can make on busy mornings with (about) three TJ's ingredients.
Grilled Nut Butter and Banana Sandwich
Why make a traditional PB-and-banana sandwich when you can make this grilled version with TJ's Mixed Nut Butter? It's a tasty blend of almonds, cashews, walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, and pecans, with just a pinch of sea salt. This breakfast sandwich may require one extra step but trust us, it's well worth it.
Start by pre-heating a nonstick pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Spread softened butter on the outside of the sandwich, and then sprinkle with cinnamon. Once it's toasty enough on each side, lay bread on clean work surface, slice, and eat.
If you prefer a savory breakfast, you're going to want to stock some of these Shakshuka Starters in your freezer. The great thing about this Middle Eastern dish is that you can customize it based on your preference and what you have on hand. TJ's Shakshuka Starters are so convenient for a busy morning because they take just 10 minutes to whip up. All you need are eggs, some fresh herbs, and feta or goat cheese.
To make it in a microwave:
- Remove the bowl from the box and puncture the film three to four times with a fork.
- Place it in the microwave for about 3 minutes and then partially peel back the plastic film and stir.
- Re-cover the bowl and place back in the microwave for an additional 2 minutes.
- Peel back film, stir, and make two holes using the back of a spoon. Crack a fresh egg into each of the holes and re-cover the film once more.
- Microwave for 2 to 3 minutes to cook eggs to desired doneness. Top with feta and mint, or goat cheese and parsley. If you have sourdough or multigrain, toast some up and start dipping.
To make shakshuka on the stove:
- Place contents of shakshuka starter bowl into a small sauté pan with 2 tbsp. of water and cover.
- Heat pan on medium-low for 6 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until simmering.
- Make two holes with the back of a spoon and crack fresh eggs into each hole.
- Re-cover the pan and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes to cook eggs to desired doneness. Top with feta and mint, or goat cheese and parsley, and enjoy with your favorite toasted bread.
Açaí Smoothie Bowl
If you've ever ordered an açaí bowl from a café or restaurant, you already know how pricy they can be. TJ's Açaí Packets are affordable and so simple to whip up at home. To make your own deliciously refreshing smoothie bowl, just add an açaí packet to a blender with some frozen berries and your preferred non-dairy milk. You can also add half of a banana for extra sweetness and creaminess.
Blend ingredients until smooth, and then pour everything into a shallow bowl. Top with the remaining banana, granola, dried fruit, coconut flakes, or nuts.
G.O.A.T (Greatest of all Toasts)
If you're craving something sweet and savory, this breakfast toast is a great, quick option to whip up. Toast up some multigrain bread and spread TJ's Chevre Goat Cheese on each slice. (Pro tip: let the goat cheese come to room temperature so it's easy to spread).
Add a few thin slices of ripe peaches to each slice of toast, and garnish with some fresh basil.
Egg Salad Bagel
Skip the line at the bagel store and make a flavorful egg salad sandwich right at home. Toast a sliced TJ's Everything Bagel and add a few scoops of pre-made egg salad and Extra Hot Habanero Ghost Pepper Salsa for an added kick.
Want an easy lunch you can throw together in a matter of minutes? Trader Joe's has you covered thanks to staples like Unexpected Cheddar and the chain's popular salad kits.
60-Second Tamarind Salmon
If you're looking for an easy, protein-packed lunch, this tamarind salmon recipe will become a weekly go-to. Just grab TJ's Fully Cooked Roasted Salmon Fillet and warm it up according to the package instructions. Brush on a few tablespoons of TJ's Tamarind Sauce and top with TJ's Crispy Onion Chips and sliced green onions.
Unexpected Grilled Cheese Sandwich
TJ's Unexpected Cheddar has been a fan favorite for years for good reason. It can be used in countless recipes or simply sliced on a cheese plate. If you want to elevate your standard grilled cheese, try using this supremely rich and creamy cheddar instead of your usual cheesy pick.
Spread some softened butter on your favorite type of bread (sourdough or ciabatta are great options). Heat a griddle or pan on medium-low heat and place one slice of bread on, buttered side down. Add a generous handful of grated Unexpected Cheddar and top with the other slice of bread, butter side up.
Cook for 2-5 minutes until bread is golden brown and then flip your sandwich. Cook for a few more minutes until the cheese has melted. Remove from heat and serve alongside TJ's pre-made Organic Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup.
Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad
Do you consider yourself a buffalo chicken buff? If so, you're going to want to make this spicy, flavorful pasta salad for your next picnic or barbecue. Simply cook a bag of Italian Farfalle according to the package instructions, and drain and run it under cold water until the noodles are no longer warm.
Then, add a container of TJ's Buffalo Style Chicken Dip to a bowl with the farfalle and mix until all the noodles are well coated. Garnish with sliced celery for the perfect crunch and enjoy!
Southwestern Chopped Salad
No one makes a better pre-made salad than TJ's. They're so handy when you want something quick and healthy, and you can even add additional toppings to make them a bit more filling.
Joe's Diner Macaroni Bolognese
Who would have thought boxed mac and cheese and Bolognese would be a superior combo? The great thing about this recipe is you can keep these TJ's items—Joe's Diner Mac 'n Cheese and Bolognese Style Tomato & Beef Pasta Sauce—on-hand and make it in a pinch.
Separately cook the mac and cheese and Bolognese in two bowls. Strain the Bolognese, add it to the mac and cheese, and garnish with some fresh basil.
Sure, you can pick up one of Trader Joe's frozen meals for dinner, but if you have the capacity for even a little bit of heavy lifting, you can easily take one of those dinners to the next level.
Veggie Burgers With Avocado Tzatziki Dip
Want to make a simple yet deliciously satisfying #meatlessmonday dinner? Whip up TJ's Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burgers with some creamy Avocado Tzatziki Dip. These veggie burgers are anything but ordinary since they're seasoned to perfection and made with multi-colored quinoa, black beans, roasted corn, and red peppers.
Cook 'em up in a hot oiled pan or toaster oven for ideal crispiness, and then serve them on a fluffy Brioche Bun with a dollop of TJ's Avocado Tzatziki. The creamy tanginess of the dip pairs perfectly with the savory veggie pattie, and dinner will be ready in just 10 minutes.
Chicken Sausage With Peppers and Onions
Sausage and peppers is a classic Italian dish loved by all, and it's incredibly easy to make. All you need is TJ's Hot Italian Sausage, a red bell pepper, a green pepper, a yellow onion, and a jar of Trader Joe's Spicy Chunky Tomato & Pepper Pasta Sauce. Yes, I know, this recipe technically calls for five ingredients, but dinner will still be ready in under an hour.
Start by browning the sausage in a hot oiled sauté pan. While the sausage is cooking, julienne the peppers and onions. Next, add about half a jar of the marinara sauce to the pan along with the peppers and onions. Simmer on low to medium heat for about 30 minutes or until the sausage is cooked through and the veggies are soft. Add more sauce if needed. Enjoy with a "sixth" ingredient: a slice of crusty Italian bread.
Green Goddess Salmon With Fennel
Looking for a lighter weeknight meal? Get your daily protein and omega-3s with a piece of perfectly grilled salmon topped with Trader Joe's Green Goddess Salad Dressing, and a side of roasted fennel.
Season salmon with salt and pepper. Heat an oiled pan and place salmon skin side down and cook for eight minutes, undisturbed. Using a spatula, flip salmon over and cook for another three to four minutes. Keep in mind, cooking time is dependent on the thickness of your salmon fillets.
Once the fish is finished cooking, remove fillets from the pan and add more oil and the sliced fennel to the pan. Sauté the fennel with a little salt and pepper for about five minutes or until soft. Drizzle some Green Goddess dressing over the salmon and fennel. Boom. Dinner's ready!
Sloppy Joe Sliders
Think about the last time you had a good old fashioned Sloppy Joe. This school cafeteria classic can be revived with Trader Joe's "Just Sauce" Turkey Bolognese. Heat the sauce by following the directions on the box. Spread some TJ's Organic Ketchup on a few soft, buttery Aloha Rolls for a layer of sweetness and then scoop the bubbling Bolognese onto each one. You'll enjoy every single bite of this blast from the past.
Chimichurri Rice With Jalapeño Chicken Sausage
Flavorful, filling, and ready in 30 minutes or less, TJ's Chimichurri Rice and Spicy Jalapeño Chicken Sausage is the way to spice up your home cooking. Brown the sliced chicken sausage in a hot oiled pan and then remove from pan. Add a few tablespoons of water and the rice to the pan, and cook for four to five minutes. Toss the sausage back in the pan and mix with the rice. For an extra kick, drizzle a little TJ's Habanero Hot Sauce and you're ready to serve!