These Tasty, Healthy Dinners from Trader Joe’s Take 10 Minutes or Less

By Aly Walansky
|
May 19, 2022
a collage of trader joe's ingredients
Image credit: Lindsey Engelken for Clean Plates

Life can get really busy. With full days of work, school — or both — a roster of errands, family, and friends, it can feel like we have no time or energy to pull together a healthy, satisfying dinner at the end of the day. But sometimes a good dinner can be prepared super-quickly with just a few good ingredients — and there are a ton of perfect options to be found at Trader Joe’s that are sure to fit the bill. A quick dinner doesn’t have to be processed or from a fast food drive-through to be inexpensive and tasty: in fact, it can be full of great ingredients and very satisfying.

Broccoli and Kale Slaw Salad with Grass Fed Beef Sirloin Roast

For a really quick, hearty meal, Maxine Yeung, RD NBC-HWC, owner of The Wellness Whisk, loves pairing Trader Joe’s salad kits with a pre-cooked protein. “One of my favorite combos is the broccoli and kale slaw salad topped with their ready-to-eat grass-fed beef sirloin roast that’s just simply seasoned with salt and pepper,” says Yeung. The salad’s almonds and sunflower seeds add a nice crunch, while the dried fruit and dressing add a touch of sweetness. “Depending on your mood, you can use the beef right out of the fridge or heat it in the oven for about 10 minutes while you prepare your salad kit,” she says.

Hearts of Palm Pasta with Steamed Lentils and Trader Giotto’s Rustico Pomodoro Pasta Sauce 

For a quick, alternative pasta idea, try Trader Joe’s linguine-shaped, gluten-free hearts of palm pasta mixed with a homemade version of “lentil bolognese” made up of pre-cooked steamed and lightly seasoned lentils and a jar of marinara sauce. “Lentils are a great plant-based substitute for ground meats, and the pasta comes flavorless, so you can pair whichever of Trader Joe’s many tomato sauces you prefer,” says Yeung, who finds this hearty, protein- and fiber-packed meal is ready in just a few minutes since everything is precooked and can just be thrown into a pot and warmed up. 

Trader Joe’s Gyoza Potstickers

Trader Joe’s Gyoza Potstickers are a hit with almost everyone. They come in several varieties (for example: Chicken, Pork, and Thai Vegetable) and are quick and easy to prepare. However, deciding how to make these into a meal is not quite as simple. “You can always pair them with a vegetable and maybe an extra protein source, but my favorite thing to do is to add them to a salad,” says Sarah Skovran, RDN LD, a registered dietitian nutritionist and ACE-certified personal trainer with a private practice in Maine.

Read next: 10 Surprisingly Gourmet (& Healthy) Things You Can Buy at Trader Joe’s

The rest of the salad can be prepared while the potstickers are cooking, and the whole thing can be topped off with your favorite salad dressing. “If you want to lean into an Asian feel, try Trader Joe’s Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette, mandarin oranges, and rice noodles. And if you’re really in a time crunch, add them to a salad kit like Trader Joe’s Crunchy Slaw,” says Skovran. This is a great way to make a salad interesting while at the same time getting to eat potstickers. 

Egg Roll in a Bowl

This fun dish can be made using three different ingredients from Trader Joe’s: Tamarind Sauce, ground pork, and shredded cabbage mix. “This lighter take on a classic encompasses all the flavors of an egg roll, but in a healthier, higher protein and higher fiber way,” says Julie Balsamo, MS, RDN. “Cruciferous vegetables, including cabbage, contain antioxidants that have been shown to reduce inflammation.” Just stir-fry some ground pork (or chicken), throw in the shredded cabbage mix, and add in the tamarind sauce. Done in just about ten minutes, this meal is a go-to on busy nights. 

Mediterranean Chicken & Hummus Salad

This light salad can be made using Trader Joe’s roasted garlic hummus, heat-and-serve grilled chicken breast, and Mediterranean-style salad kit. In terms of gut health, plant diversity is key. “This salad not only includes plant-based protein through the addition of roasted chickpeas, but also incorporates a variety of vegetables,” says Balsamo, who notes that legumes are an excellent source of choline, magnesium, zinc, and selenium, all of which have a positive impact on brain health. Top the salad with chicken and hummus for a filling, nutritious, and quick meal.

Green Curry Shrimp Fried Rice 

This dish uses Trader Joe’s popular Thai green curry simmer sauce, riced cauliflower stir fry, and cooked shrimp to skip the take-out and add some spice into your dinner routine in just about ten minutes. If you’re looking for a healthier comfort food option, this meal does not disappoint. “Cauliflower rice is an excellent source of fiber, making it a great way to add bulk to meals, without overdoing the calories or carbs,” says Balsamo. Top with shrimp for protein and enjoy this delicious, well-balanced meal.

Read next: These Healthful, Delicious Dinner Recipes Take Just 20 Minutes or Less

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