Four Trader Joe’s Meal Hacks

the bear

When it gets dark at 4:30 p.m., all I want to do is curl up on the sofa with the boys and watch reruns of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The last thing I want to do? Stress over dinner prep. So! I asked four friends for their easiest Trader Joe’s meal hacks (and please add yours below!)…

Yummy Reuben-y Sandwich
from Lucy Kalanithi
Makes one sandwich

Says Lucy: “I had all the ingredients and randomly put them together. It was so good, like a modified reuben. Then I ran into a friend at Trader Joe’s who was like ‘try these jalapeños, you can put them on anything,’ and they’re a great touch. My neighbor just came over for one and said it was ‘sublime.’ Mainly it’s just super fast and makes a special lunch or dinner with chips on the side.”

Ingredients:
– wheat bread, two slices
– Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar Chicken Sausage
– Trader Joe’s Aioli Garlic Mustard Sauce
– Trader Joe’s havarti cheese
– Trader Joe’s Hot and Sweet Jalapeños
– Trader Joe’s Sauerkraut
– Pickled onions, optional (I like this recipe)

Toast two slices of wheat bread. Split one sausage in half, length-wise, and heat in toaster oven. Spread mustard on one piece of bread, place cheese on the other (Swiss works but I prefer havarti). Then layer everything else and add pickled red onions, if you’d like. Enjoy!

Customizable Naan Pizza
from Erin Jang

Says Erin: “This is my kids’ go-to dinner hack — it’s so easy, they can make it themselves!”

Ingredients:
– Trader Joe’s Tandoori Naan in the freezer section
– Trader Joe’s jarred pesto or tomato sauce
– Trader Joe’s Ciliegine Mozzarella Balls
– whatever veggies or leftovers you have
– Trader Joe’s frozen pineapple

Put four pieces of plain naan on a cookie sheet. The boys spread pesto or jarred tomato sauce on the naan, then tear some pieces of small mozzarella balls on top. Then they layer on whatever they can find in the fridge — leftover roasted vegetables, olives, sliced mushrooms, leftover shredded chicken or meatballs, or a few pieces of TJ’s frozen pineapple. (We also love a Korean-ish pizza topped with chopped kimchi, cooked bacon and scallions.)

Easy Chilaquiles-Inspired Dinner
from Selena Ma

Says Selena: “This dish offers a lot of forgiveness in the timing, so being exact isn’t all that important. It isn’t meant to look pretty, but it’s SO GOOD. My partner and I can eat a huge amount, so this recipe serves two very large portions, or four medium portions.”

Ingredients:
– Avocado oil
– Trader Joe’s Salsa Autentica
– Trader Joe’s Corn and Chile Tomato-less Salsa
– Trader Joe’s Fancy Shredded Mexican Style Cheese
– 4-5 eggs
– Trader Joe’s Salted White Corn Tortilla Chips
cilantro for garnish

Optional add ons:
– avocado
– black beans
– meat or breakfast sausage
– sour cream

Warm up oil in a large skillet or cast iron pan on high heat. When the pan is hot, begin cracking in your eggs — I like to pop the yokes with a fork. Pour half the jar of red salsa gently around the eggs. Add a few handfuls of chips (you want some of the chips to get soggy) and begin folding these ingredients together. Add in half the jar of corn salsa and stir. Sprinkle in cheese and continue stirring. If it seems too dry, add more salsa; if seems too wet add more chips. Meanwhile, on two plates, make a bed of chips. Pour the heated mixture on top of the bed of chips. Garnish with a little cilantro. Slice avocado on top and drizzle sour cream, if you’d like.

Chicken Wonton Soup
from Linsey Laidlaw

“This fast, easy winter dinner can be easily tripled for extra hungry teenagers — I keep three bags of dumplings in my freezer at all times.”

Ingredients:
– Trader Joe’s Miso Ginger Broth (I ‘soup’ mine up with a few spoonfuls of miso or bouillon paste, a dash of soy sauce + black vinegar, and a drizzle of honey)
– 1 bag spinach
– 1 bunch of cilantro
– 1 bunch of scallions
– Trader Joe’s frozen Chicken Cilantro Mini Wontons
– Trader Joe’s Chili Crunch

Heat broth over medium heat and add the enhancements. While it’s simmering, roughly chop the spinach, cilantro and scallions. Pop in your wontons, then add the chopped greens just before serving so they soften just a bit. Top with chili crunch.

Now we’d love to hear: What are your Trader Joe’s dinner hacks? Please share below… xoxo

P.S. More Trader Joe’s hacks, including fish tacos and a breakfast hash.

(Photo by Jeff Wasserman/Stocksy.)

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