Maximum flavor with minimal effort.
Trader Joe’s is one of the most popular grocery store chains in the nation. It has all the essentials, like fresh produce and pantry staples, but keeps customers hooked with its selection of unique items you can’t really get anywhere else. And it’s pretty affordable.
With its array of convenience and prepared foods at low prices, the chain is a goldmine for anyone looking for quick and easy meals. Here, we’ve taken to TikTok for simple recipes that maximize convenience and taste while cutting down on time. Not a fan of complicated recipes with a million steps and ingredients that are difficult to track down? No problem. Keep reading for 10 lazy Trader Joe’s meals you can make in minutes!
Related: 15 Best Trader Joe’s Items Under $5
When you’re feeling a little lazy, like we all do sometimes, nothing sounds better than pizza. The next time you’re tempted to order a pie, make this instead. It’s made with seven simple ingredients, and it’s super refreshing.
You’ll need to pick up the following TJ’s products: Trader Giotto's Pizza Crust, Garlic Spread Dip, Fresh Mozzarella, and Trader Giotto's Balsamic Glaze. You’ll also need fresh toppings. The creator, @laurenbatschh, used tomato slices and arugula dressed in olive oil. Simply assemble your flatbread and bake for about 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees.
Pollo Asado Bowl
Like her username suggests, @traderjoes5itemsorless is the queen of quick and easy Trader Joe’s meals. She’s written an entire cookbook dedicated to TJ’s recipes you can make with five ingredients tops. Here, she shares how to whip up pollo asado bowls using five ingredients in just 15 minutes.
The TJ’s Pollo Asado Autentico does most of the heavy lifting since it’s marinated with spices for a flavorful, juicy source of protein. The recipe creator simply pan fries the meat for about 5 minutes while heating up a bag of the frozen roasted corn in a separate pan. Microwave some frozen rice, and then it’s time to assemble. Rice and chicken will make up the base of your bowl, which you can then top with corn, guacamole, and salsa.
Cauliflower Gnocchi and Chicken Sausage
As proud members of the Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi Fan Club, we’re pleased to present this four-ingredient recipe from @hannah__ford.
Pop an entire bag of the cauliflower gnocchi in your air fryer and cook for about 7 minutes at 400 degrees. While they’re crisping, cut some Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage into bite-sized pieces. Plop them onto a skillet and cook them up for a few minutes. When the gnocchi is ready, add it to the same pan as the chicken sausage.
Toss everything with a jar of the viral Cacio E Pepe Pasta Sauce, and add some generous handfuls of spinach to sneak in extra greens. Sprinkle with an Italian seasoning blend. And because no Italian-inspired recipe is complete without some cheese, shred some fresh Parmesan cheese, measuring this with your heart.
With over one million views, this 15-minute Trader Joe’s dinner from @taylercaffee has quite the following. This recipe couldn’t be simpler because it requires no chopping—just dump all the ingredients in a pot until everything is cooked through. You’ll need a whopping three products from TJ’s, including the Mushroom Miso Soup, Chicken Cilantro Mini Wontons, and Asian Style Vegetables With Stir Fry Sauce.
Other creators have swapped out the wontons for the pork potstickers and loved it just as much. Some have even added an entire jar of the Thai Style Yellow Curry Sauce to spice it up. If you don’t eat meat, try the gyoza potstickers instead for a plant-based take on this viral favorite.
Breaded Chicken and Arugula Salad
A salad kit with an easy protein is the key to unlock endless combinations of lazy lunches and dinners. Fortunately, Trader Joe’s is full of them.
TikTok user and home cook @heidibove_ recommends combining two popular TJ’s products to make an epic but simple salad. You’ll need a bag of the Lemony Arugula Basil Salad Kit and some of the frozen Breaded Chicken Tenderloin Breasts. The recipe creator suggests air frying the chicken for about 18 minutes, but if you’re short on time, the cooking instructions say you can microwave or fry them in a third of the time. They’re pre-cooked, so you just need to heat them up however you prefer. Vegetarians could easily sub the Chickenless Crispy Tenders, too.
Assembly is straightforward—add some of the breaded chicken pieces to the salad kit for a tasty meal. This would also be perfect in a wrap.
Mac and Cheese With Hatch Chile
Year after year, the Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar is a fan favorite. Joe himself caught on to the item’s mega popularity and released the spreadable version made with hatch chile. Then, @kelseysfoodreviews made it even better by smartly adding it to cooked noodles for a creamy yet spicy take on mac and cheese.
If spicy is your thing, act fast—the hatch chile version is only available for a limited time. And if it’s not, you can still make this recipe using the non-spicy spread.
Tofu, Veggie, and Noodle Stir Fry
Few recipes come together in just 10 minutes, but this one makes the cut—and it’s fully vegan. You only need three products from Trader Joe’s to bring this to life on busy weeknights, including the Squiggly Knife Cut Style Noodles, Sriracha Flavored Baked Tofu, and Asian Style Vegetables With Stir Fry Sauce. Each ingredient is less than $5, making this meal efficient on time and cost.
While the noodles are boiling, dice up the block of pre-cooked tofu and heat up the frozen stir-fry veggies in a skillet or fry pan. Add the tofu pieces to the veggies along with the drained and cooked noodles. Combine everything with the packet of soy and sesame sauce that comes with the noodles, and serve.
If you like this one, the TikTok creator, @consciouschris, has an entire playlist of lazy Trader Joe’s meals that are fully plant-based.
Atlantic Salmon With Lemon Herb Butter
Still learning your way around the kitchen? The Trader Joe’s Atlantic Salmon with Lemon Herb Butter, which is found in the frozen section, is about to be your new secret weapon. Each package contains a single salmon filet topped with three dollops of creamy, flavorful lemon herb butter, so there’s no mess cutting your own salmon pieces, and you don’t have to season them yourself.
The directions give you a few options on how to prepare the fish, but @natashaslist recommends cooking it in a pan, which only takes about six minutes. Before you get cooking, don’t forget to transfer the salmon to the fridge overnight so it thaws. To make this a meal, serve alongside one of the many TJ’s salad kits or roasted asparagus spears.
Mediterranean Falafel Salad
On the hunt for a quick and easy salad using just a few Trader Joe’s ingredients? We got you. Well, technically, @brittanyyeh‘s got you.
Empty a bag of the Organic Mediterranean Style Salad Kit with some of the included dressing into a large bowl, which will serve as a delicious and hearty base. Add a few microwaved falafels for some plant-based protein, as well as a healthy dollop of Roasted Garlic Hummus in the middle. Finally, the viral Crunchy Chili Onion gives the salad a boost of spice and texture. You can stop there, or add some fresh veggies like chopped cucumber and grape tomatoes.
Egg Roll Bowl
TikTok recipe creator @jzeats has an entire series of easy Trader Joe’s meals, but her rendition of an egg roll in a bowl is the one to try first. You only need a few TJ’s essentials, and only one pan for the entire dish.
Sauté green onion, garlic, and ginger before adding a package of ground chicken and breaking it up. Season the mixture with a drizzle of soy sauce and add an entire bag of the Organic Broccoli Slaw. Once it’s cooked through, season it with some of the Mushroom & Company Multipurpose Umami Seasoning Blend and serve over the rice of your choice—for the laziest of dinners, grab a box of the frozen white or brown rice. Last but not least, drizzle the entire bowl with a generous serving of spicy mayo made from combining sriracha, mayonnaise, and sesame oil.
To jazz it up even more, add a couple sheets of the seaweed snacks and a few shakes of the Nori Komi Furikake Japanese Multi-Purpose Seasoning.
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