Best Trader Joe’s Items To Feed A Family
I have been really busy with work, volunteering and parenting lately. Summer camps in our area are really expensive so my son is in a lot of different half day camps, which means I’m working while parenting. My husband also travels a lot, so I’m also solo parenting frequently.
Recently, I’ve noticed that I’ve been relying heavily on Trader Joe’s to get dinner on the table. A new Trader Joe’s opened near my house and I can usually run in on my way home from drop off when it is still nearly empty. I have a lot of standard Trader Joe’s items that I pick up for healthy snacks and meals, but sometimes, I just need to get breakfast, lunch or dinner on the table quickly and focus more on convenience.
I mostly try to feed my family organic proteins, dairy and produce, but for the sake of convenience, I will pick up pre-made or frozen foods that aren’t organic. I figure as long as we eat healthy most of the time, we’re good. I also feel like buying convenience food from Trader Joe’s is probably healthier than getting take out, which would be our other option on the crazy busy nights.
If you’re struggling with getting dinner on the table, or need some tried-and-true options from Trader Joe’s, here are some of my favorite convenience foods.
Best Convenience Food From Trader Joe’s
These are hands-down my family’s favorite foods from Trader Joe’s. We always have at least one of these items in our freezer at all times.
- Chinese Take Out At Home: Before you get on my case about this not being authentic Chinese take-out, or not healthy dinner, let me say that in our house, this is our dinner option in lieu of take-out. Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken, served with fresh broccoli and Trader Joe’s frozen Organic Brown Rice has recently become a go-to in our house. I know it isn’t a super healthy dinner option, but it is far healthier than take-out, especially with the addition of the broccoli.
- Quick And Easy Mexican Food: The Trader Joe’s Pollo Asado Authentico is one of my favorite dinner items, in general. I’m not much of a cook so there is not one thing I can make from scratch that will taste like this. The chicken is cut super thin so it cooks really quickly, which is why it is on my best Trader Joe’s convenience food list. We usually use this in tacos, with guacamole from Trader Joe’s and lettuce, tomato and corn tortillas. While this chicken is great in tacos, we’ve also used it in salads and burrito bowls.
- Lightning Fast Pasta Night: Trader Joe’s Turkey Meatballs are a go-to for adding protein to spaghetti night. I can get dinner on the table in less than 15 minutes when I use the frozen meatballs, a jar of sauce and any pasta (penne is my favorite since it’s easier for the kids to eat).
- Quick Gourmet: We don’t get this often – usually because it is out of stock – but the Trader Joe’s Seasoned Rack of Lamb is always a hit in our house. I usually serve it with mashed potatoes, which take about 30 minutes to prepare, and another veggie.
- More Italian Food Please: Another favorite in our house is the ravioli. I recently bought the Trader Joe’s Sweet Corn, Burrata and Basil Ravioli after seeing it in the Fearless Flyer. So, so good! Since then, I’ve bought it a few times and have also tried the butternut squash ravioli.
- Asian Dinner Again: Another popular dinner in my house is the Trader Joe’s Bool Kogi. My husband and I have been eating it for years and my boys like it now too. I usually serve it with brown rice and vegetables but sometimes we mix things up and try our hand at Asian tacos by serving it up in corn tortillas with cabbage slaw.
- Pizza Night: We used to have great pizza options in our old neighborhood but haven’t really found anything in our current neighborhood that is worth spending calories on. Instead, I try to keep a box of Trader Joe’s Organic Three Cheese Pizza in the freezer. It satisfies our hunger for pizza and we don’t have to spend $20 on mediocre pizza.
Any one of these seven dinner options make it to our table at least once a week, sometimes more on super busy weeks. I always try to supplement with fresh vegetables to make it a bit more healthy, but as a working mom, sometimes, I have to take shortcuts.
What are your favorite Trader Joe’s convenience foods?