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11 Trader Joe’s Thanksgiving Staples Nutritionists Love

October 25, 2023
Courtesy of Trader Joe's

Thanksgiving will be here before we know it, and many consider this to be the Super Bowl of cooking and entertaining. While some items are pretty standard to any holiday dinner table, from turkey to cranberries and sweet potatoes, there are many variations on how to enjoy these dishes. Nutrition experts are also looking for these staple ingredients for their own holiday table, and they have discovered a few Trader Joe’s Thanksgiving staples to make your holiday grocery shopping a one-stop shop.

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1. Breaded Turkey-less Stuffed Roast with Gravy

This is a delicious, protein-rich main dish for vegan and vegetarian gatherings. It’s also a simple, fuss-free option for hosts looking to accommodate vegan or vegetarian guests without adding too much more work to their busy cooking schedule.

“This meatless roast is made with vital wheat gluten and lentils, providing 26 grams of protein per serving,” says Stephanie Wells, MS, RD. “When combined with side dishes like green beans and sweet potatoes, this meatless roast can help make any plant-based Thanksgiving meal more balanced and satisfying.”

2. Fresh Organic Cranberries

Cranberries are perfect for everything from that must-have cranberry sauce to baking bread and desserts.

“The fresh cranberries at Trader Joe’s are packed with phytonutrients and vitamin C, which can help reduce cellular damage and inflammation in the body,” says Wells. “They can be used to make cranberry sauce, roasted with vegetables, or added to smoothies, oatmeal, and baked goods for a fresh, tart flavor and festive color.”

3. Nuts About Rosemary Mix

This seasonal nut mix is the perfect healthy snack!

“They are a good source of healthy fats and fiber,” says Ashlee Welter, RDN. “As an added bonus, they will keep you feeling full for a long time.”

Add it to your charcuterie board or set it out as a snack with a side of cheese cubes.

4. Pumpkin Bisque

A soup is a perfect early course in the meal, and this one is very seasonal. This soup is not only delicious and hearty, but it’s also loaded with vegetables.

“The top veggies are pumpkin, butternut squash, onions, and carrots,” says Welter. “This soup provides a good source of potassium and is low in calories. Pair it with a protein, such as turkey breast for a balanced meal!”

5. Free Range Organic Young Turkey

“Even though it’s a holiday it’s important to still be mindful of how your poultry is raised and killed,” Adylia-Rhenee Gutierrez, a certified integrative nutrition health coach and owner of Yhorlife. “Trader Joe’s Free Range Organic Turkey is great because it’s organic, healthy, and it’s a great base to have for Thanksgiving.”

6. Four Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

Potatoes are always a good choice and the Four Cheese Scalloped Potatoes make it more festive!

“This is my absolute favorite side dish,” says Gutierrez, who recommends buying a bulk of this item because you can make it as a full meal just by adding green beans. “It’s rich and only has 340 milligrams of sodium so you won’t feel overly bloated. The best part is it’s super easy to heat up so you don’t have to worry about spending hours in the kitchen and no messy cleanup.”

7. Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are a great holiday vegetable and are easy to prepare.

“They are low in sodium and to heat takes about 20 minutes,” says Gutierrez. “Even if you’re not a fan of Brussels sprouts, Trader Joe’s does an amazing job of lightly seasoning the Brussels sprouts for every non-veggie eater out there.”

8. Roasted Mashed Sweet Potatoes

These mashed sweet potatoes contain only one ingredient: sweet potatoes!

“They do not have any added sugar, fat. or salt,” says Welter. “The sweet potatoes are easy to cook and you can add your own toppings as desired.”

She recommends serving it as a side dish with a topping of crushed pecans and maple syrup mixed in. Pecans are a great source of heart-healthy fat.

9. Harvest Apple Salad Kit

It is important to include veggies at every meal, and a feast known for its excess and gluttony is no different. The ingredients in this salad will pair beautifully with the dinner of turkey and trimmings and allow everyone to start with something light and green.

“This salad has a blend of leafy greens, which are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants,” says Welter. “Eating bulky foods, such as salad, will help fill you up faster without adding a lot of extra calories. The apple vinaigrette does have added sugar, so limit the amount of dressing to decrease the sugar content.”

10. Holiday Vegetable Hash

This vegetable hash can be quite a workhorse this holiday.

“This seasonal blend of veggies is perfect as a side dish, to add to your holiday stuffing, or to make a delicious soup,” says Kimberly Nanninga, RD. “It is filled with butternut squash, sweet potatoes, red onions, and celery, accompanied by a flavorful herb-trio.”

This is a good find in that it helps you to bring all the tastes of the season together without even lifting a knife and is loaded with simple, clean ingredients.

11. Cranberry Chevre Goat Cheese

While all the goat cheese in the Trader Joe’s cheese section is a good option, this cranberry chevre is very seasonal and versatile while being simple and delicious.

“Serve as an appetizer or on a charcuterie board,” says Nanninga. “This is sure to be a crowd-pleaser with the seasonal cranberries and delicious creamy goat cheese.”

Charcuterie fixings can include crackers, celery sticks, or even a mixed green seasonal salad.

Read next: 8 Frozen Foods at Trader Joe’s Nutritionists Love to Buy

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